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.
Safflower Chinese medicine clinic is pleased to now have a GP working alongside their Chinese Medicine practitioners. Dr Carol Head started in August and is loving working on Phillip island. Carol has been a GP for over thirty years and worked in a variety of practices both in Melbourne and rural Victoria, including in San Remo. Carol is excited to join Safflower Clinic because it gives her the opportunity to spend longer with patients and take a much more holistic approach than in conventional general practice.
New patients can enjoy a relaxed first appointment with plenty of time to discuss their issues. Follow up appointments can also be longer when necessary so patients won’t feel rushed.
Carol treats a wide range of issues using both conventional and complementary therapies and is especially interested in laser acupuncture which is a form of acupuncture where low energy laser is used instead of needles. It is useful to treat all sorts of ailments including musculoskeletal problems, pain, arthritis, depression and anxiety.
Carol has an interest in chronic health issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure, chronic fatigue and irritable bowel as well as a mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. She is happy to see patients with any general practice issues, but Safflower clinic is not equipped for emergencies or trauma.
Carol is happy to bulkbill pension and HCC holders. Private patients will pay between $75-170 depending upon the length of consultation, with Medicare rebates available. More details are available on the Safflower website and appointments can be booked online – www.safflowerclinic.com.au or ring 59567011.
While we haven’t seen the end of winter, spring is certainly on its way. The warmth of the sun is breathing life into us once again, birds are nesting, flowers are blooming, and we are beginning to awaken from the deep slumber brought on by the cold winter days – it’s time to get moving again!
In Chinese medicine springtime is attributed to the wood element and the liver and gallbladder systems. The nature of wood is to spread, grow and reach new heights. Once the seed is planted it is destined to become a tree and although it may encounter obstacles on its path, it does not stop pushing and it never considers giving up. This is the wood energy and as such the liver and gallbladder system is responsible for this smooth spread and flow of Qi within the body. Any congestion or restriction can cause the wood energy to stagnate and backfire which can lead to symptoms like pain, PMS, menstrual irregularities, emotional outbursts or digestive problems. The spirit of the liver is said to be the planner and the gallbladder is the general who executes those plans. Therefore, issues concerning lack of direction, setting goals for the future and the inability to focus and complete tasks to reach those goals, can be seen as a disruption in this system.
With acupuncture and herbs as well as implementing a healthy diet and lifestyle we can promote the smooth flow of Qi and bring a sense of wellbeing and balance back into the body and mind. Foods that help to encourage the healthy functioning of the liver and gallbladder include dark leafy greens, sprouts, herbs like parsley, basil and rosemary, fennel and citrus fruits as well as whole grains like rye. Avoid eating too much refined and processed foods, sugars, fats as well as dairy as these tend to weigh heavy and are congesting to the body.
Book your consultation today at safflowerclinic.com.au or call us on 5956 7011 to learn more about how Chinese medicine can help you stay in your flow this spring.