“It is not normal! We do not have to put up with it!” Period Pain or Dysmenorrhoea

Louise Bennett brings us some relief from the dreaded monthly “cramps”. As the titles suggests, we don’t need to let the suffering continue! See what Chinese medicine and acupuncture can do for you.

Pain that occurs in the lower abdomen or lower back region before, during or after a period is termed dysmenorrhoea by the medical profession. Primary or functional dysmenorrhoea occurs for no obvious reason and investigations reveal the presence of no other disease. Secondary dysmenorrhoea however, occurs with diseases such as endometriosis or pelvic inflammatory disease.Menstruation depends on the smooth flow of qi (energy) and blood around the body. Anything which impedes the flow of qi and blood can cause dysmenorrhoea. Some of the usual suspects which impede the flow of qi and blood include emotional strain, exposure to cold, overwork, chronic illness and excessive sexual activity or too many childbirths close together.Many of you may have forgotten what a normal period (menstrual cycle) looks and feels like. Your cycle should last around 28 days, give or take a couple either way. The flow should last from 3 to 7 days and you should lose between 50 to 100 ml of blood. The colour of the flow should start off slightly dark red for a couple of days and then fade to a lighter red, with no clots, pain, or unusual odour.

To Chinese Medical practitioners, the menstrual cycle is an amazing diagnostic gift – giving us clues that reflect changes in the whole body. According to Giovanni Maciacia (2000) a well respected Acupuncturist and academic, Chinese Medicine can diagnose dysmenorrhoea in 8 different ways, depending on the presenting symptoms. Questions asked during the consultation to arrive at a diagnosis include:

  1. Pain*?
  2. How long is your cycle?
  3. What colour is your flow?
  4. How many days does your flow last?
  5. Do you have clots?
  6. Do you suffer headaches?
  7. Premenstrual tension?
  8. Constipation/diarrhoea with period?

During the period, treatment concentrates on relieving the symptom. However between cycles, the treatment is aimed at treating the root cause of the dysmenorrhoea. Regular treatments over a 3 month period with acupuncture and Chinese herbs are required to regulate the menstrual cycle. Primary dysmenorrhoea responds well to treatment with acupuncture and Chinese herbs over this time frame. There will be initial improvements in secondary dysmenorrhoea however significant changes will require a longer commitment to treatment.

Damp and Heat Explained

Marney Murray brings us an article explaining how Damp and Heat (two basic elements of Chinese Medicine) effect our bodies, and how to remedy them. damp and heat

With summer almost here, parties and Christmas feasts generally mean over indulging in rich foods, alcohol and hanging out by the pool. Sound like fun? Not for everyone… How does climate and diet affect us during summer?

During the Qing and Ming dynasties (1368 – 1911), famous Chinese physicians found damp and warm weather conditions during the long summer period exacerbated many uncomfortable symptoms in many patients. These symptoms were due to ‘Damp’ and ‘Heat’ already existing internally in their patients. This article will explain what damp and heat is in the digestion and how to reduce it to minimise the uncomfortable side effects mentioned in the column to the left.

Damp and Heat internally manifests as a sticky type of fluid or residue (collectively called Dampness) generated due to incomplete digestion. The Dampness has a tendency to slow us down energetically, hence the feelings of heaviness or dulled senses.

This tendency to clog or obstruct the body’s metabolic rate is one of the reasons excess heat can appear in the body. The heat generated is “pent up” due to the sticky fluids not allowing it to escape as normal – much like the steaming/fermenting process of a compost heap. Damp and Heat hinder the usual metabolism of fluid, leaving the digestion less available to process the last meal, contributing to further Damp and Heat generation in the body.

To eliminate Damp and Heat, acupuncture and Chinese herbs are used to promote the movement of Qi benefiting the digestion and energy.
Damp and Heat conditions are generally long standing, and have been getting worse over a period of time, so a contentious effort and commitment to results are required from both patient and practitioner.

One of the most effective ways you can begin to reduce Damp-Heat is through diet and eating habits.

Eating only until 50-60% full will ensure that the digestion is not over loaded and can process all the food eaten, even if you eat more frequently. Lower consumption of rich, sweet, greasy, raw or cold foods as they reduce the efficiency of our digestive organs, whilst taking care with spicy, hot foods and alcohol will prevent excess heat. Beginning to adjust the diet to a more neutral and cooling one before the indulgent Christmas period will make summer a more pleasant time of year for you.
See your practitioner for dietary advice and print outs of the above mentioned food categories.
Putting your health first!
marney@albatherapies.com.au

Vegetarian Christmas Recipes

Julie Constantine and Elly Kielly have helped put together this delicious vegetarian feast for Christmas. Try your hand at a few of these tasty recipes.

VEGETARIANS CHRISTMAS RECIPIES

Sweet potato & leek roulade with Xmas stuffing
Ingredients (serves 6)
• Roulade
• 20ml (1 tbs) olive oil
• 1 leek, finely chopped
• 60g butter
• 1/3 cup plain flour
• 300ml milk
• 4 eggs, separated
• 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
• 1/4 cup grated parmesan
• Stuffing
• 30g unsalted butter
• 1 brown onion, finely chopped
• 2 garlic cloves, crushed
• 1 1/2 cups fresh white breadcrumbs
• 1 tbs chopped fresh sage
• 1 tbs chopped flat-leaf parsley
Filling
• 500g sweet potato, peeled, chopped
• 15g unsalted butter
• 100ml thin cream
• 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
Method
1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease and line a 39 x 26cm Swiss roll pan.
2. To make the roulade, heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the leek and cook gently for five minutes until soft. Remove leek from pan. Wipe pan, then add the butter. When it has melted, add the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Start adding the milk, a little at a time, whisking until all the milk is combined and the sauce has thickened. Remove from the heat, beat in egg yolks, one at a time and season.
3. In a separate, clean bowl, beat the eggwhites until stiff. Add a quarter of the eggwhites to the roux, then gently fold in the remaining eggwhites. Fold in leeks and cheddar until just combined, then pour into the prepared pan and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden and puffed.
4. Meanwhile, to make stuffing, melt butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook for five minutes until soft and translucent. Add garlic and breadcrumbs and cook for a further 3-4 minutes. Stir in herbs and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
5. For the filling, steam or boil the sweet potato until tender. Drain and mash with the butter, cream and nutmeg. Season well and set aside.
6. When the roulade is cooked, place a clean tea towel on your workbench and sprinkle with the parmesan. Turn the roulade out onto the tea towel and peel off the baking paper. Allow to cool for 1-2 minutes, then spread the sweet potato over the roulade.
7. Sprinkle the stuffing over the sweet potato. Using the edge of the tea towel, carefully roll up the roulade from the longest side finishing with the seam-side down. Slice and serve warm with rocket salad and glazed eschallots (shallots)

Rocket salad with redcurrants and hazelnuts
Ingredients (serves 6)
• 1/2 cup hazelnuts
• 60ml (1/4 cup) red wine vinegar
• 20ml (1 tbs) hazelnut oil (or, if not available, use EVO)
• 60ml (1/4 cup) extra virgin olive oil
• 1 garlic clove, crushed
• 150g wild rocket
• 1/2 cup redcurrants (preferably fresh, or substitute defrosted, frozen redcurrants)
Method
1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Place the hazelnuts on a baking tray and roast for five minutes. Cool slightly, then slip off their skins by rubbing them together. Chop roughly and set aside.
2. Place vinegar, oils and garlic in a small bowl. Season and whisk to combine.
3. Place rocket, hazelnuts and redcurrants in a large bowl, drizzle over the dressing and toss to combine.

Glazed shallot & capsicum salad

Ingredients (serves 6)
• 24 shallots, peeled
• 40ml (2 tbs) olive oil
• 2 each red and yellow capsicums, roasted, peeled, cut into strips
• 2 tbs brown sugar
• 1 tbs chopped flat-leaf parsley
Method
1. Blanch the shallots in boiling water for five minutes. Drain. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.
2. Add the shallots and fry, stirring occasionally, for 6-8 minutes until golden.
3. Add capsicums and sugar and cook for 1-2 minutes until the sugar caramelises. Stir through the parsley and serve, warm or cold.

Christmas Pudding Truffles
Ingredients
175g digestive biscuit crumbs (or other vegan biscuits)
50g chopped raisins
50g roasted hazelnuts, chopped
50g ground almonds
75g blackcurrant jam
1 orange, zest only, very finely chopped
dark rum or brandy
150g plain chocolate (vegan)
White marzipan, angelica and glace cherries
Method
1. Mix the biscuit crumbs, raisins, nuts, jam and orange zest together in a bowl. Add sufficient rum or brandy to make a fairly stiff mixture.
2. Form the mixture into walnut sized balls.
3. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of hot water. Coat each truffle individually and rest on a foil covered board until set.

Decorate the top of each truffle by taking small pieces of white marzipan and rolling it out into an uneven shape, then press onto the top of each truffle to resemble icing. Add bits of glace cherry to resemble berries and angelica to represent holly.

Crispy Spicy Toast
Ingredients
2 cloves garlic (or less)
1 tsp salt (or less)
1/3 cup Olive oil/2 teaspoon Olive Margarine
1 tsp paprika/garam masala (or less)
2 tsps cumin seed, finely crushed
2 tsps sesame seed, finely crushed
Some slices of bread
Method
Peel and crush garlic
Add all other ingredients into bowl and mix well
Spread it on bread and toast it in frying pan. Enjoy with dip or on it’s own.

Cannellini & Sundried Tomato Dip Recipe
Ingredients
1 can cannellini beans
1 C steamed eggplant
1/2 cup toasted almond meal (or LSA)
1 clove garlic
2 T sundried tomato paste
(or 7 sundried tomatoes)
5 kalamata olives
Generous squeeze of lemon juice.

Method
Toast the almond meal lightly over medium heat. Stir constantly. Be careful, it burns quickly.
Lightly steam the eggplant.
Process all ingredients in food processor or with a hand-held barmix.
Serve with veggie sticks (celery, cucumber, carrot, capsicum etc.)
and/or
soy and linseed toast (cut into melba squares).
Can also be used as a sandwich spread.

Chilled Melon Soup

This refreshing summer soup is a great starter for
dinner on the patio on a summer evening.
Try any variety of melon in this recipe.
Serve leftover soup with salad for lunch the next day.

Ingredients
• 6 cups cubed ripe melon
• 1/2 cup diced seedless cucumber
• 6 tablespoons lime juice, divided, plus more to taste
• 1 tablespoon thinly sliced scallion green,
• 1 whole scallion, divided
• 1 jalapeño pepper, plus more to taste
• 1 cup cold water
• 1 2-by-1/2-inch strip orange zest
• 1/2 cup orange juice, plus more to taste
• 1 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger
• 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
• 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro, or mint for garnish
• 6 teaspoons plain yogurt, or crème fraîche for garnish
Method
1. Dice enough melon to measure 1 cup and combine in a small bowl with cucumber, 2 tablespoons lime juice and scallion green. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve the soup.
2. Place the remaining melon and 4 tablespoons lime juice in a blender. Chop the whole scallion and seed and chop jalapeño; add to the blender along with water, orange zest, orange juice, ginger and salt. Blend until smooth and creamy. Taste and add more lime juice, jalapeño and/or orange juice, if desired.
3. Refrigerate the soup until chilled, 2 hours.
4. Stir the reserved diced melon mixture and divide among 4 soup bowls. Pour the soup into the bowls. Garnish each serving with cilantro (or mint) and yogurt (or crème fraîche), if using.

Tips & Notes
• Make Ahead Tip: Refrigerate the melon mixture (Step 1) and soup (Step 2) in separate containers for up to 1 day. Finish with Step 4 just before serving.

Dying of Thirst

It’s that time of year again and every year seems to be getting hotter. Hydration (drinking water) at this time is very important. At a seminar recently, I heard that to cleanse the body properly each day we need to drink 4 glasses (1 litre) of water per 22 kilos of body weight. So for a 66 kg person, 3 litres of water must be drunk. That’s pure water – not juice, tea or coffee.

If you drink soft drinks you should drink even more water; they may be cooling but they are actually dehydrating and acidic. Soft drinks also serve to leach calcium from our bones. What about mineral water you ask? Well, there’s natural mineral water and there’s carbonated mineral water. The bubbles in natural mineral water are from the bicarbonate in the water which makes them slightly alkaline – Good! ‘Carbonated’ or ‘Lightly carbonated’ usually means that they have added carbon dioxide (acidic) – not good. The body’s normal pH is about 7.4 (slightly alkaline), normal urine pH is 6.0 (due to acidic waste products) and normal saliva pH ranges from 6.0 to 7.4 (depending on what you’re eating). Soft drinks as well as the carbon dioxide have phosphoric acid in them making them one acidic drink! The body tries to neutralize this by using minerals (from bones) – there goes the calcium, magnesium, silica etc. Non-fluoridated water (I’ll discuss this in the next article) like we supply in the Alba Therapies waiting room, is best.

We have a wide range of water filters from URwater (http://www.urwater.com.au) for sale at Alba Therapies. Ask Elly, our wonderful receptionist, about great tasting water in your home. So drink plenty of water this summer and have a happy and healthy festive season. Cheers!dragonfly_tap

Edible Skincare!

It’s coming to the time of year when everyone stops and breathes – for at least 10 minutes anyway. For those of you lucky enough to have a few minutes to yourselves (or better yet, the ability to share this time with good friends!), it’s time for an all-natural pampering. Rustle up some of your closest friends, a bottle of wine (remember : red is FULL of antioxidants) and a DVD or some peaceful music and raid your pantry. JULIE CONSTANTINE brings you these awesome home-made skin care recipes.

Basic Cleansing Oil Formula

The shelf life of this oil is pretty much as long as the oil doesn’t smell “off” (or rancid). It should keep a couple of months or longer if you use Olive oil, store in an airtight jar and keep in a dark place.

Combine:
6 Tablespoons coconut oil
1 Tablespoons vegetable oil of choice
6 drops of Antibacterial essential oil, Such as lavender or rosemary

Add ingredients to a jar (with a lid that can be secured tightly) and shake to blend. Dab a little onto your fingertips and massage onto your face. Rinse with warm water and pat dry.

Adzuki bean and Rice flour Scrub

This facial scrub is a nice, gently way to exfoliate the skin. Ground shells like walnut or almond can be too abrasive or harsh on the skin, so the ground adzuki bean makes a much smoother supplement.

Soak the adzuki beans until tender, and grind with rice flower to make a pasty scrub. You can use this as a facial mask, or as a scrub – or add it in with your favourite cleanser to really exfoliate those dead skin cells!

Honey, Avocado and Oatmeal Nourishing Exfoliating Facial Mask

You will need one Avocado, some honey and oatmeal for this recipe. It couldn’t be simpler!
Blend the flesh of half an avocado (the rest can be used to snack on!) into a paste. Add in 3 tablespoons of raw, coarse oatmeal and 2 tablespoons of clear honey. Mix into a thick paste so that it does not drip. If the mixture is too thin or runny, add more oatmeal until it is thick.

Take 1-2 tablespoons of the mixture and apply to a damp face. Massage gently in circles, never pulling down on the face. Concentrate on problem areas, such as the T-zone. Once your face has warmed up, stop and leave for about 10 minutes. A perfect time to read that next chapter! Or munch on the other half of the avocado. When the mask is cool, rinse with warm water, massaging gently.

This mask is very rich and nourishing, PERFECT for that dry after winter skin. If you wish to use it more frequently, massage into the skin only once. This treatment is not suitable for oily or acne prone skin.

This should be the right amount for 3 uses, so keep the remaining mask in an airtight container in the fridge. This will last for about 10 days.

NATURAL EYE CARE

Cucumber Eye Mask

This would have to be the most well known and most widely used methods of eye nourishment. Place a thin slice of cold cucumber over each eye and relax for 15-20 minutes. This helps calm the eyes and reduce darks circles.

Tea Bag Eye Mask
The next time you make tea; don’t just bin the tea bags. Lightly squeeze out the remaining liquid and place the tea bag in a container in the refrigerator. Use on the eyes when they are tired, and revive them! Or use on bruised eyes – this works very well.

A Gentle Detox

Leading up to and after the ‘silly season’ is a GREAT time to cleanse our bodies of all the gunk of the past year – and will help us to process all the coming attributes of this time of year. Marney Murray has an easy way to cleanse your system – turning away from all these unhealthy quick fixes we see so often.

There are several benefits from a gentle cleanse, including: A feeling of lightness and more energy, More mental clarity and ease of getting up earlier (the sun and the birds are up earlier now too), Release of the stiffness felt as the liver clears acids from the tendons and ligaments, And a boosted immune function and prevention of minor complaints – like summer flu, sinusitis, sluggishness and winter weight gain.

How long will it take, and what is required?
This is designed to be a gentle cleanse, so to not disturb your body – it take 2 weeks. One week to shift your diet to a cleansing one, and one week of doing the same with more focus.

  • Enthusiasm at the fantastic results that await you!
  • A departure from alcohol
  • Abstinence from animal products, including dairy products.
  • A reduction or removal of tea and coffee
  • Abstinence from refined flour and sugar products i.e. Commercial breads and cakes.
  • You will require patience and gentleness with yourself. If you eat something that is not beneficial, don’t scold yourself. Acknowledge it and just keep going!
  • Also listening to your body and resting adequately.
  • You will find you have more energy if you do a gently walk, stretch, or both everyday.

Ingredients List

You will need: A bag of lemons, (one for each day). Spirulina, powder or tablet form (powder is preferred), Fresh fruits and vegetables (esp. Leafy greens and seasonal produce), Sprouts of any kind – snow pea, alfalfa, etc. (Sprouted bread is okay to eat during a cleanse), Beans (dried or tinned), tofu, tempeh, meat alternatives and Whole grains, such as brown rice, millet and pearl barley.

Method

  • Plan the dates of your cleanse so you can have your pantry and fridge stocked. Also it gives your time to become mentally prepared and enthusiastic about the results you will achieve. Begin whenever you like, I tend to shop on a Saturday and cook staples Sunday, then officially begin Monday.
  • Prepare some foods that will keep for a day or two, like bean and rice patties or zucchini fritters. Try things that may be new to your cooking repertoire, as these can be good to snack on or combine with main meals of fresh leafy greens and vegies prepared on the day.
  • Every morning, squeeze half to one lemon and have it in water before you eat or drink anything. This helps the liver to cleanse and the lemon becomes alkaline in the body, which is essential to help clear acids from the tendons and muscles and support your flexibility.
  • If you are getting a thick tongue coating in the morning, your digestive organs are cleansing themselves. You can scrape the coating off with a teaspoon and rinse your mouth with water. (You can do this before your lemon juice).
  • With tea and coffee, be gentle with yourself. Reduce slowly or you may get a detox headache. This is a very gentle cleanse, not a strong detox, so I would suggest reducing your intake ASAP and during the first week bring your consumption down to 1 cup per day, until you feel you no longer need it.
  • One or two teaspoons of Spirulina in juice or water per day. If you have never tried Spirulina start with half to one teaspoon, as it is very nutritious and a cellular cleanser in its own right. The Spirulina is essential for energy during ‘the cleanse’, especially if you are going to continue working. The protein in Spirulina has digestive absorption that is four times greater than in beef. A teaspoon of Spirulina is equivalent to 36 g of beef!(Available in most health food shops)
  • Leafy greens! Add them to most of your meals. Lettuce, Rocket, Baby Spinach, English spinach, Bok choi or Pak Choi, and herbs, like fresh parsley, basil, mint, oregano… yum! Seasonal vegies like asparagus, snow peas and beans are delicious right now! Crunch!!
  • Most foods can be lightly steamed, poached, boiled or baked. If you are particularly robust or have ‘heat’, you can eat more raw foods (see your practitioner to clarify ‘heat’)
  • If you are tired or are cleansing mucous from your system, eat lightly cooked foods and avoid dairy. Mucous can manifest as runny nose, sinusitis, asthma, allergies, Candida, excess weight and thick tongue coating.
  • Beans need to be soaked. If you are using dried beans, you will need to acidulate them (soak them in water with half a lemon for 8 hours). Do this in the morning before you go to work, drain them off and put fresh water in and cook for around 1 hour when you return home at night, or on the weekend. When soft, strain and put in an air tight container. Add to salads or other recipes. They also freeze well. By doing this you will increase the digestibility of beans and avoid uncomfortable gas!
  • You may continue with your standard multi vitamins or vitamin C. Flaxseed oil or fish oil supplement can also be continued as they are essential fatty acids. Colloidal Minerals are an excellent way to boost the minerals of the bones while you cleanse your organs and tissues.
  • Drink plenty of pure water, and experiment with herbs and teas to keep your fluid intake up. Green tea can be a gentle alternative to reducing your caffeine from tea and coffee as it also contains small amounts.
  • Enjoy the experience, experiment with new recipes, encourage your family and friends to eat some of your healthy new foods options!

If at any time you need any help or have any questions, make an appointment with your practitioner and we can help you work out a detox that’s right for you, and help with herbs and teas and information!. Don’t hesitate to call us! (07 3843 3555)

School Holidays coming up! ATTENTION TEACHERS AND SCHOOL WORKERS!!

Well, we may be scratching our heads and looking around for answers as to how and why – but another year has come flying past us. Scary how these things sneak up, isn’t it? In just a few weeks (depending on schools etc) the school holidays of 2009/10 will be upon us – giving all our teachers, aides, admin staff, groundsmen and teachers-to-be a well deserved break. It’s been a big year, and after all that end of year marking of report cards, exams and assignments they can finally breathe a deep sigh of relief. At Alba Therapies, we can hear you a mile away… So, we’ve got a special offer JUST FOR YOU!.

Teachers, aides, school staff etc can come in to Alba Therapies and receive 10% off an hour long treatment! Try a relaxing massage, or even a remedial massage that goes a little deeper to work out those knots that have been building up all year. If you want a full body overhaul, why not try some acupuncture combined with Chinese herbs? We can tone you and get your body in fighting form for the Christmas break!

Don’t spend your holidays just getting over the last year – Relax, rejuvenate and replenish with the Alba Therapies team. Send yourself back into the new year with high spirits! Wind down and let yourself recover from the hectic year – with a fresh mind and body to make the next one even greater!.

We’ve got your health on our minds, so check it out. Let all your teacher friends and school staff members know – Maybe even a gift certificate for your favourite teacher? (Remember – some of them were looking after your kids whilst you had your treatment!!)

So hopefully we’ll see you during this Christmas break, we’ll keep you informed of our opening hours around the festive season a little closer to the date.

Peace!

Elly, Your friendly receptionist

Alba Therapies.

Spring, Pregnancy and Acupuncture – Monica Seelig

pregnany1Spring is all about birth and growth, so it seemed appropriate that I should write and article about pregnancy and birth. If you can manage it, I can thoroughly recommend Spring as the best time to have a baby – I’d have to be a little biased of course, as my youngest turns 3 this month. I have had 2 wonderful pregnancies and births and want to let you know that there are many ways we can help women on their journey into motherhood. And being a practice of 5 women, we all just love anything to do with babies!
In my experience, I have often seen women coming to acupuncture for the first time with morning sickness as they are acutely aware of avoiding medications and any unwanted ill effects to their baby. They are pleasantly surprised that something so natural and painless can ease their symptoms and let them enjoy those early days of pregnancy. In Chinese medicine, we attribute morning sickness to the major changes taking place in the body during those first few months impacting on the energy meridians and causing changes to the way the Qi and Blood moves – e.g. it can get stuck, go up instead of down (you can guess what would happen here!), there might not be enough energy or it can generate heat. It can also be complicated by the pre-existing state of the woman’s digestive system.
Therefore, pre-conception care is also important. We all know you can’t beat good genes; it is without doubt the best gift you can give. Optimizingyour health before you conceive is beneficial for both yourself and your
baby if you are planning a pregnancy. The people we most often see in thiscategory are those who are having difficulty conceiving. An increasing number of women are using ARTs (Assisted Reproductive Technologies).
There have been some good studies published recently showing that combining acupuncture with egg pick up and transfer produced a statistically significant increase in the number of pregnancies. It’s great to
see acupuncture getting the limelight it deserves and an increasing number of gynecologists are now recommending acupuncture to their IVF patients. After the intensity of medical treatments, most women benefit
from the relaxation they receive from acupuncture.
If you are having difficulty conceiving, the focus of our treatment is often the regulation of the menstrual period. Too little or too much bleeding, too painful, too often, infrequent periods and PMT will all need to be
examined and regulated. From a Chinese Medicine perspective, a normal period should last between 4-6 days, should come every 26-32 days, should not be painful or cause any disruption to your everyday life.
Anything other than this is not “normal”. Because acupuncture is holistic, all other areas of your health are looked at. Women often report improvement in their sleep quality, energy and reduction of stress levels as major added benefits.

At the end of pregnancy, many of you may not realize that acupuncture and moxibustion are effective in turning breech babies. The optimal time to come in for treatment is 34 weeks as success rates are higher. Leaving it
to the last minute leaves no room to maneuver. Having baby in the “OA” positioning gives you the best chance of having a natural and quicker delivery.  Acupuncture can help with labour preparation and we have some
wonderful information on acupressure techniques that are great to use during labour.mother and baby
So if you or anyone you know is planning a pregnancy or is pregnant,
Alba Therapies offers a comprehensive and flexible approach to support
you through this wonderful journey.

HRT Alternatives

So you’re a woman at a change over point in your life and instead of celebrating the liberation from the monthly bleed; you are suffering hot flushes, sweating, sleeplessness, anxiety and a host of other symptoms you weren’t expecting or wanting. You’re not too enthused about the prospect of HRT and you’ve tried all the off-the-shelf products and have had little or no relief.

Thchinese-herbsen its time for a herbal prescription tailored to your needs. We (at Alba Therapies) don’t use Black Cohosh in any of our successful individualised herbal prescriptions. Why? There is a herb called Black Cohosh in Chinese herbal medicine but is a different species to those used in pre-packaged preparations. It too reduces heat, but it is recommended not to be used long term in cases of Yin deficiency, which is the main syndrome in menopause. Notice I said “main” not only.  Perhaps once or twice in over ten years of practice has anyone walked into the clinic with only one syndrome. Menopause is hardly ever only one syndrome but a complex interactions of various systems in the body. It all depends on how you have treated your body in the last 20-30 years on how many syndromes present themselves. Our herbs are in a convenient granule format, no boiling required. Add acupuncture to your treatment plan and speed up the whole process.  Herb preparations equate to the cost of your daily capuccino. So you can be free of your symptoms and truly celebrating this part of your life.

Benefits of Not Smoking

The media and the powers-that-be like to focus on the negative effects of smoking, but rarely mention the benefits of not smoking? The positive aspects of doing something always motivate me more that the negative. So what are the benefits of quitting:

• Within the first few hours after quitting, nicotine and carbon monoxide leave the body, halving in 8 hours.

• Within 2 days, taste and sense of smell improves.

• In 3 days, breathing is easier and energy levels increase.

• Within 1 month, blood pressure returns to the normal level and lung function improves.

• Within 2 months, circulation improves.

• One year after quitting, the risk of heart disease decreases by almost 50%.

• Ten years after quitting, lung cancer risk is halved.

• Ten to 14 years after quitting, the risk of dying from cancer decreases to nearly that of non-smokers.

• After 15 years the risk of heart disease is almost the same as for a non-smoker.

• People who quit live longer than those who continue to smoke eg a smoker less than 50 years of age who quits now has half the risk of dying in the next 15 years compared to someone who continues to smoke.

(Sourced www.cancercouncil.com.au)

The other benefit is Cost. In one year, a non-smoker saves $4,745.00 (based on one packet per day, average cost of $13 per packet of 25). That beats a stimulus package any day!

I have observed that people have a lot of reasons for quitting e.g. “for the kids”, “for my parents”, “for my partner”, “for my job”. Noble as all these reasons are they should never be the real reason. I have found that if the reason is external to you then you will tend to fall back into the habit. The best reason is “YOU”. If you believe you are worth it then you will succeed.  The acupuncture treatment methodology used at Alba Therapies has seen people quit within 1 to 4 treatments. We don’t charge extra for these treatments and you don’t have to wear things in your ears. Call 1300 253 669 if you want to know more or want an appointment.

May 31st is “World No Tobacco Day”.Are you worth it?

Are you worth it?