and mental wellbeing is an essential aspect of overall health. Stress can be
considered one of the main causes of illness in the west, as our means of
dealing with stressful situations is often to avoid and repress these seemingly
negative emotions. Unfortunately, this
functions to bury the stress deeper in the body and can lead to manifestations
of disease. On the other hand, disease can cause stress, and this then becomes
a cycle which is difficult to overcome. With the use of herbs and acupuncture
we can help reduce stress and the psychosomatic causes of illness.
There are 5
key emotions in Chinese medicine – Joy, Anger, Grief, Pensiveness and Fear.
These emotions are necessary for healthy mental processing, the problem arises
when emotions are held on to, not expressed or are over exaggerated. For
example, fear, most of us wish to avoid this feeling, but fear in its proper
expression functions to protect us from pending danger – unfortunately we
commonly have deep seeded fears which no longer serve to protect us, but
instead hold us back from living a life in alignment with our inner
medicine uses different techniques to help our patients acknowledge and release
pent up emotions which are damaging to the body. The World Health Organisation
(WHO) declared Chinese medicine to be more effective than conventional medicine in
the treatment of anxiety and depression given that it is safe, non-toxic,
non-addictive, cost effective and having only minor side effects.
Other common conditions which often result from underlying stress include: Insomnia, headaches, PMS, digestive issues, muscle tension, fatigue and many more. If you or someone you know are currently suffering from anxiety, depression or another form of emotional or mental strain it may be time to explore a natural treatment option. Don’t hold your self back any longer! If you require immediate assistance, please contact Lifeline.
Although some people
view the new year as ‘just another day,’ it does signify the end of one chapter
and the start of the next. A time to set goals, plan to reach milestones and put
into action everything we wish to achieve in the coming year.
In Chinese medicine, vision,
planning and tactical execution are part of the wood element. The wood element encompasses
the organs of the liver and gallbladder. This element thrives the most when ‘things’
move throughout our bodies. This includes energy, fluids, blood and emotions.
The liver also represents
the ‘general in the army’ or the CEO of a business. It sees (the liver organ
opens into the eyes) the bigger picture and has the capacity to plan strategically.
Due to the strong impact of stress in our busy life’s, we have lost our calm to
exactly do that: stop & think. The result is frustration and sometimes
repressed anger which can cause pain, discomfort and unease.
In partnership with the
liver, the gallbladder works out the details and is responsible for tactical decisions.
The gallbladder carries the ‘fire’ of the emperor with the vision of the liver
to all parts of our bodies. It is said that if the gallbladder is weak, we are
unable to make even the simplest decisions.
Allowing all our other
goals and plans for the year ahead to fall into place, we need to create space
and calm, allowing time for ourselves daily to tap into our vision and aspirations
so we can plan to achieve it.
Listen to your body
& mind, if something feels off do
something about it. Stop and think before you rush anywhere.
If you need a New Year ‘tune up’ or a ‘tune in’, we are more than happy to help
you in any way we can.
May your 2019 be rich in love, laughter, success and HEALTH.
Christmas bells are ringing as we prepare for another festive season. This time of year always seems to be the busiest and can often be very stressful and demanding. Here are some tips to keep you energised this season.
Rest: We need plenty of rest in order to recharge our body battery, it is just not sustainable or healthy to be constantly on the go. Take time out whenever you can, switch off from the TV and internet, go for a walk in nature, breathe deep and tune into your body. We also recommend getting to sleep by 10.30pm, if you struggle with this or your waking throughout the night, acupuncture and herbs are very beneficial for promoting a peaceful sleep and a restful mind.
Water: We can’t live without it! Fresh, filtered water is the best and will boost your energy levels as your cells are nourished by this essential life source. Dehydration can be linked to many diseases so swap that sugary drink for a glass of water and see the benefits for yourself.
Diet: This is challenging at the best of times, but especially during celebrations. Its ok to enjoy yourself but not at the expense of your internal balance. Listen to your body and learn what foods are right for you. A healthy digestion is the cornerstone to a healthy life. If you experience digestive upset acupuncture and herbs can help.
Presents!: Or should we say Presence – Being present with family and friends and fully enjoying these moments together brings much fulfillment to our lives. Maybe you know someone who is having a hard time, don’t be afraid to reach out and offer support or a shoulder to lean on, sometimes this is the greatest gift we can give. Avoid falling into the consumer trap and buying more unnecessary things, we recommend investing in experiences instead of things this year, perhaps treating a loved one to a session of acupuncture or a rejuvenating massage from one of our dedicated therapists could be the ideal gift this Christmas.
Call 5956 7011, or book online at www.safflowerclinic.com.au
We are living in a time of rapidly evolving growth. As we become better educated we are learning to refine our lifestyles to live more harmoniously with each other and the planet that sustains us. Traditional Chinese medicine views the body as inseparable from the environment, by getting back to the basics we can better tune in to ourselves and our environment to create the harmonious world we all deserve to live in
So, what are the basics for a healthy life?
Air – 70% of the body’s detoxification is through the breath. The air we breathe needs to be clean, ionized and not polluted by chemicals. But what good is clean air if our breathing is shallow? Exercise, breathe deep, fill your lungs with oxygen and you will have more vitality throughout the day.
Water –Good quality, clean water, free from chemicals and not chilled. Purify your water to remove heavy metals and restore its mineral balance.
Sustenance – Good, clean food. Not processed, cold or too sweet – simple right?
Safety – Past traumas, feeling insecure in relationships or jobs and then overworking or going into survival mode/fight or flight, weakens the body and mind. Its important to work through traumas, it can help to get advice and support from loved ones or a health professional.
Sunlight – Vitamin D3 and pure Yang Qi is received from our sun. It allows dietary fat to be converted into hormones and to repair and grow nerve and brain cells.
Meditation – Will undo the clutter of the mind, promotes mindfulness in all we do. To be present and experience the gift of living.
Touch – Bonds us together, promotes release of oxytocin and is a basic biological need. Hugs bring joy!
Purpose – Why are you here? What brings you fulfillment? What are your skills and passions?
In Chinese medicine we strive to support the dynamic balance within everyone, once equilibrium is achieved within it is so much easier to manifest it in the world around us.
Embrace the simple life, book your next appointment with Safflower Chinese medicine.
This is a snapshot of the event on Medicinal Cannabis presented by Associate Professor Kylie O’Brien from the National Institute of Integrative Medicine in Melbourne:
- Cannabis is a complex plant with over 400 chemical constituents. These include the cannabinoids, terpenoids and many other plant nutrients.
- There is a difference between recreational and medicinal cannabis. Medicinal cannabis is the judicious use of the plant medicine to treat and prevent illness. Ideally, it is prescribed and individualized to the patient and their condition by a practitioner trained in its use.
- There are many strains of cannabis (‘cultivars’), with varying amounts of the two main active constituents (both cannabinoids), tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC is the active constituent that produces known psychoactive effects including euphoria, and the strains grown for the ‘adult use’ or ‘recreational use’ market are high in THC. In contrast, CBD and the other cannabinoids do not produce the typical euphoria and other psychoactive effects. Many cannabis cultivars grown for the medicinal cannabis market are bred to contain high amounts of CBD and little or virtually no THC, whilst others may be bred to contain a balanced ratio of THC and CBD, and others high amounts of THC and lower amounts of CBD. There are over 140 different cannabinoids which probably have specific therapeutic effects.
- Forms of medicinal cannabis include: oils (which are ingested orally as a liquid or in capsule form or vaporized using a vaporizer), suppositories, external ointments and the raw form which may be smoked. Some people juice the leaves of the plant.
- Scientific evidence exists for the positive effects of medicinal cannabis. A major report published in the US in 2017 by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine found substantial or conclusive evidence that cannabis or cannabinoids were efficacious in the treatment of chronic pain, spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis and chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, and moderate evidence for sleep disorders associated with a range of conditions. Other research suggests it may be efficacious in the treatment of range of diseases including epilepsy, Dravet Syndrome (severe form of childhood epilepsy), Parkinson’s Disease, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, inflammatory bowel disease, anxiety, depression and many others.
- The WHO (World Health Organization) published a series of reports in 2018 on cannabis, cannabis resins, CBD and THC. Currently cannabis and cannabis resins are listed in Schedules 1 and IV of the Single Convention of Narcotic Drugs (1961), which are the strictest schedules for substances with little or no recognized therapeutic value. The WHO recently recommended that CBD should not be scheduled and this recommendation will be considered by the United Nations at the end of this year.
- In Australia, access to medicinal cannabis by patients is difficult. In Australia, CBD is contained in Schedule 4 and THC in Schedule 8 of the Standard for the Uniform Prescribing of Medicines and Poisons. This means only a medical practitioner may prescribe it.
- There are main two pathways by which a medical practitioner may access and prescribe medicinal cannabis. The first is via the Special Access Scheme, whereby the medical practitioner must apply to the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) for approval to prescribe a specific product for a specific patient. The doctor must also gain approval from their State or Territory Health Department. The second pathway is via the TGA’s Authorised Prescriber Scheme. Under this scheme, the medical practitioner may apply to prescribe specific products for a particular class of patients or conditions eg. chronic neuropathic pain. They must first be approved by a specialist college or human research ethics committee (HREC) then apply to the TGA for final approval. They must also gain approval from the State/Territory Health Department. The National Institute of Integrative Medicine’s HREC are accepting applications from medical practitioners who wish to be approved as Authorised Prescribers of medicinal cannabis under the TGA Authorised Prescriber Scheme. The paperwork involved is extensive and onerous for busy doctors.
- In the US, 31 states have legalized the use of medicinal cannabis. Canada has recently legalized adult use cannabis, the law coming into effect on the 17th October 2018.
- Australia is lagging a long way behind. Access to medicinal cannabis, a plant medicine, is a human rights issue.
- What can we all do to help? “It’s all about education”, says A/P Kylie O’Brien who has been an advocate for Medicinal Cannabis for the past 10 months and has been very involved with doctor and public education about medicinal cannabis. She has been scheduled to speak in the Victorian Parliament on this issue near the end of October and encourages all supporters to talk to their local MP to bring to her/his attention this most important issue. She believes that in light of the good safety profile of CBD, the findings of the WHO report and their recommendation that CBD should not be scheduled, there is no logical reason why CBD products should continue to be Schedule 4 medicines in Australia. She believes that the regulation of CBD could be handled under the TGA’s world class, stringent system for regulating complementary medicines. This would open up access to, at least, CBD products.
Medicinal Cannabis is a very safe, effective herbal medicine that has been made legal in Australia since 2016 BUT is virtually inaccessible to the millions of Australians who could benefit from it.
If you are interested in keeping up to date with this topic, Medicinal Cannabis Education www.medicinalcannabiseducation.org.au runs practitioner training events as well as public events. In addition, United in Compassion is a patient advocacy group set up by Lucy Haslam www.unitedincompassion.org.au which provides information to the public also.