Thursday, March 31, 2011

How to relieve Morning Sickness

Morning Sickness

Symptoms of “morning sickness” may start at any time from the time of the first missed period, or not until the 10th week of pregnancy. Morning sickness can occur at any time of the day, in the morning, later in the day, or throughout the day. Roughly 75% of women suffer from morning sickness, and a small percentage of women experience ongoing symptoms beyond the first trimester.

To relieve morning symptoms

Try to have a low fat protein snack such as yoghurt or nuts immediately before bed. This can help to sustain you throughout the night, as morning sickness can be exacerbated by hunger.

In the morning before getting up, eat a plain biscuit or a banana. Remain in bed for about 15 minutes, then slowly rise and have a light breakfast.

For symptoms that persist during the day

Where possible, REST when your body calls for it. Put your feet up with your head slightly elevated and rest. Get help with home and work commitments wherever possible.

Eat small, frequent meals, ie 6 meals per day instead of 3. Some women find that nausea is reduced if they don’t have food and fluid at the same time.

Don’t take your emotions to mealtimes, create a calm atmosphere and allow yourself ample time to eat your meal.

Avoid high fat foods especially fried foods.

Avoid spicy foods and any foods that you know upset you.

If the smell of cooking or hot food makes you feel ill, try to eat cold foods instead.

Fluid Intake
Fluid intake is vital, especially if your symptoms are moderate to severe. Ensure you are getting enough fluid. 6-8 glasses per day is a minimum.

If you find water difficult to swallow at this time, try the following which can help you to get some nutrients and stay hydrated:
weak tea
diluted fruit or vegetable juices
flat lemonade
dry ginger ale
milk drinks
sports drinks

Still Struggling?
If you are really struggling even to keep down fluids, and you are already using the acupressure points suggested, an acupuncture treatment can help to more powerfully clear the nausea and vomiting. See also the information about the herbal capsules.

Snacking can help to reduce symptoms of nausea. Stick mostly with plain and bland foods at this stage:
- Toast with jam or honey
- Sandwiches with low fat fillings
- Baked potato with baked beans
- Low fat milk puddings and yoghurt
- Breakfast cereal with low fat milk
- Boiled or scrambled eggs
- Fruit salad, stewed or fresh fruit
- Low fat soups
- Cold meat/fish (home cooked)
- Boiled rice

Supplements that can assist
B6 can reduce severe nausea and vomiting, and is best taken as part of a B complex, or sourced from sesame seeds, chick peas, bananas, sweetcorn, raisins, hazelnuts
Magnesium is depleted by vomiting. Nuts, pumpkin seeds, beans, avocado and broccoli are good sources.
Zinc requirements increase during pregnancy, zinc deficiency can worsen nausea. Ginger is a good source of zinc.

Herbal Medicines
In your kit you have been given a course of anti-nausea herbal capsules.

These capsules are proven by research to reduce morning sickness, and do not contain ingredients that would harm the baby or compromise the pregnancy in any way.

Dose: 1-2 capsules each time, up to 4 times per day. Take only as needed.

Further information about this formula, including research trials conducted, please contact the clinic.

Still No Improvement?
If symptoms are severe despite following the earlier mentioned actions, please seek medical attention.

It is important that you are able to ingest appropriate amounts of nutrients and fluids to avoid dehydration and potential risks to the pregnancy.

Friday, March 18, 2011

The vicious relationship between fatigue and aging.

With the pressures of a modern life: working, being a parent, having a social life, exercising, eating well, further education, traveling to and from - it’s exhausting. We are seeing extreme fatigue in the clinic more frequently as this completely exhausting lifestyle is taking its toll on our society. Clients are presenting with a slew of symptoms that with some juggling are able to be well treated with our form of medicine. In the world of complementary and alternative medicine it is often called Adrenal Fatigue.

But in the world of modern medicine, this condition doesn’t have a real label, sometimes it’s called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome if it’s severe enough, but a lot of the time it’s outside of the reach of standard blood tests and patients are told there’s nothing wrong with them. From 1850s to 1920s medicine talked a lot about Hypoadrenia or Adrenal Fatigue, now the modern diagnosis of Adrenal Insufficiency is reserved for those on the brink of death, or with only a small percentage of functioning adrenal glands remaining.

What is known in the medical world is that poorly functioning adrenal glands land you in a whole heap of trouble, problems ranging from impaired glucose metabolism to increased mortality from heart attack.

The adrenal glands In addition to helping you handle stress, make two primary hormones known as adrenaline and cortisol, which help control body fluid balance, blood pressure, blood sugar, and other central metabolic functions.

When you experience fatigue, it could be a sign of many other symptoms to come if you do not address it. Here is some lifestyle and dietary advice to address adrenal insufficiency naturally.

Lifestyle/Diet Advice
•    Protein snack before bed
•    Get to sleep before 10pm (between 10 p.m. and 1 a.m., our adrenals work the hardest to repair the body) , sleep in until 9am if possible
•    Do the things that you like
•    Laugh several times a day
•    Avoid getting over-tired
•    Avoid coffee or other caffeine containing beverages
•    Have a glass of water in the morning with 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of good quality sea salt (provided blood pressure is ok)
•    Breakfast: protein breakfast, no carbs and definitely no fruit
•    Fruit is ok from lunchtime onwards, but with a meal not on its own
•    Try to have a small early lunch at 11ish, then another lunch at 2-3pm.
•    Avoid gluten grains (wheat, oats, rye, barley)
•    Avoid starchy foods such as potato, pasta, bread
•    Avoid trans-fat such as French fries
•    Avoid fruits high in potassium such as bananas, figs, melons and grapefruit
•    Never skip breakfast
•    Avoid TV and Computers. Some people may be photosensitive. Watching television or working at the computer may prevent the melatonin level from rising to induce sleep. If you are one of these people, you should turn off your television or computer by around 8 p.m. at night.
•    Replenish you glycogen supply and eat breakfast before 10.00 am
•    Eat frequent small nutritious meals through out the day, to supplement on low energy times.
•    To provide energy over a longer period of time combine good fats with protein and whole grains at every meal and snack.
•    Whole grains are brown rice, wheat grain (cook like rice), buckwheat, quinoa, millet, amaranth
•    Eat raw and fresh nuts (shell them yourself and soak in water) and store in the freezer, as a light quick snack.
•    Good protein includes meat, eggs, dairy and legumes.
•    To aid in breaking down protein and high fiber foods trying taking digestive enzymes and Hydrochloric Acid with meals.
•    Mix 1 – 2 tbsp of essential oils into meals daily (Fish, Flax, Coconut, Hemp)
•    Avoid foods that are high in potassium as they make adrenal fatigue worse – Banana, dried fig, Raisins, Dates, Oranges, Grapefruit, Apricots, Avocado, Cantaloupe, Honeydew, Kiwi, Lima beans, Milk, Potatoes, Prunes, Spinach, Tomatoes, Fruit & Vegetable juice, Winter squash
•    Avoid dropping your blood glucose quickly- this leaves you with unhealthy cravings for more energy. Foods that do this are - Refined flour products: pasta, white rice, bread, pastry, baked goods, coffee, tea, black tea, hot chocolate, alcohol, colas, chocolate, honey, sugar, syrups and soft drinks.
•    Avoid dropping Blood sugar levels especially in morning so avoid fruit and fruit & vegetable juice.
•    Avoid Rushed and hectic meals. Take your time, slow down, concentrate on eating and digesting.
•    Avoid transfats – especially deep fried foods.
•    All cooked food and NO raw food, except sprouts.

Low Energy and the Endocrine system.

As the adrenals are part of a whole system of glands that work synergistically together, when the adrenal glands fatigue so do all of the other glands over time. This means that most people, who are suffering long term fatigue, typically have what’s known as Endocrine dysfunction. With time, after we deplete our adrenals from chronic stress, over work, long hours and late nights, the body starts to pull energy from other glands and depletion occurs in all of the Endocrine glands, being the adrenals, ovaries, testes, thyroid, thymus, pituitary and thus a depletion occurs in all of the hormones they produce. In the long run we will not only suffer from signs of fatigue but decreased libido, compromised immunity, depression, weight gain, hot flashes, increased visual and internal signs of aging just to name a few.

Some adrenal hormones assist in the conversion of T-4 to T-3, (Thyroid hormones) and perhaps assist in the final effect of T-3 on the tissues. Some scientists believe that even the entrance of thyroid hormone into our cells is under the influence of adrenal hormones. Thus, if your adrenal level is low enough, you might do well to take both adrenal and thyroid supplements together. New studies are showing that many people go undiagnosed with thyroid insufficiency as blood test for T3- and T4 are not an accurate diagnostic tool, and thus, signs and symptoms are the best way to determine the health of you thyroid. For more information go to - To test you adrenals you may want to do a saliva Cortisol (stress hormones) check.

Long periods of stress creates elevated Cortisol, which then results in "stealing" of the master hormone pregnenolone. Pregnenolone is used to make most of the sex hormones in our body, and when it is used up by just making the “stress hormones” it becomes less available for the production and conversion of the other sex homrmones like progesterone, the sex hormone precursor DHEA and aldosterone in the kidneys, leaving the kidneys and sex hormones depleted.


Overwhelming fatigue is the most common symptom of low Dhea. Other signs are depression, less muscle and bone mass, pain in the joints, decreased libido, dry skin and eyes, poor memory, difficulty in losing weight and a weekend immune system.

As the body manufactures around half of the hormone Dhea as it used to by age 40, we must be cautious to reduce chronic stress, long hours and late nights at this time.  .
To prevent endocrine disorder you must:
•    Reduce stress and Anger
•    Boost your immune system and prevent chronic illness and infection
•    Check to see if you have a Parasitic or  bacterial infection, which includes, candida, homminus Blastisis,  Giardia, round worm,  and H. pylori.
•    Address chronic pain issues
•    Find natural ways to treat depression, ad get pro-active about your lifestyle.
•    Reduce excessive exercise
•    Address feelings of fear and guilt
•    If you suspect you are gluten intolerance, go and check.
•    Prevent Low blood sugar by reducing foods and drinks that spike blood sugar and eat wholefood protein snacks through the day.
•    Treat mal-absorption with bifidous suppliments and herbal remidies.
•    Mal-digestion with digestive enzymes and HCL.
•    Get a blood test to see your levels of toxic exposure, especially if you have mercury fillings in your teeth, or are exposed to chemicals and pesticides in your job.
•    Aim to cut out severe and chronic stress
•    Reduce you “Late hours” and go to bed before 10pm at least 5 nights a week. Sleep deprivation soaks up your hormones, ages you rapidly and drains your adrenals.
•    Excessive Exercise
•    Reduce excessive sugar in your diet. Check everything that you eat to see the sugar content.
•    Treat chronically infected root canals.

Supplementing with Maca Powder may also be helpful as it assist your body by balancing the endocrine system - thyroid, pituitary, pancreas and adrenal glands to function optimally, thus boosting energy and libido. As Maca boost the glands that make hormones some women choose to eat Maca Powder as an alternative to taking artificial hormone. No potential interactions have been reported.

Chinese Medicine can offer a range of Herbal tonics for your specific body requirements. The cause for low energy is not he same in everyone, so visiting a trained Chinese Herbal Specialist may help you build your natural energy levels fast. 

Vitamins that help supplement the Adrenals are
Vitamin C, pantethanic acid (B5), magnesium, and vitamin E

Thursday, March 3, 2011

How to naturally treat Painful Periods

According to Chinese Medicine, one of the main reasons why a woman would experience period pain is due to ‘Stagnant’ Liver energy or ‘Qi”.

According to the philosophy of Chinese medicine, the liver is responsible for the smooth flow of Qi (energy) throughout the body, freeing up pain and smoothing out our reactions and emotions under stressful conditions. Painful periods, irregular periods, PMS, anger, irritability, and frustration are all signs that our Qi is not flowing smoothly.

Liver Qi stagnation is one of the most common conditions treated by Traditional Chinese Medicine in developed countries, like Australia.

Some of the symptoms commonly associated with Liver Qi stagnation are:
•    Pain or discomfort anywhere along the sides of the body, or during menstruation
•    Irregular periods
•    Depression
•    Mood swings
•    PMS with irritability and swollen breasts
•    Sighing
•    Hiccups
•    Frustration
•    Inappropriate anger
•    Sensation of a lump in throat
•    Difficulty swallowing
•    Bitter taste in mouth
•    Constipation
•    Abdominal pain and discomfort
•    Stomachache that improves after massage
•    Stomachache that worsens with anger
•    Poor appetite
•    Churning sensation in stomach

The health of your liver reflects your overall health and well-being.  The Liver is responsible for:
Converting carbohydrates into glucose, thus an important organ for energy production.

Filtering and neutralising drugs, including alcohol, and hormones such as estrogen.

The liver also filters over a liter of blood every minute. It is responsible for detoxifying, nourishing, replenishing, and storing blood.

It also recombines amino acids to create the protein our bodies need to grow and repair tissue, and aiding in the production of body proteins such as hormones.

Changing ammonia (a toxic by-product of protein metabolism) into urea, which is then excreted in urine.

Bile production, which is then stored in the gall bladder and used to help break down dietary fats. This is crucial also for weight loss. Fat soluble vitamins such as vitamin A, D, E and K need bile in order to be absorbed by the body.

If the Liver becomes over loaded it becomes toxic, or what is known as ‘Stagnant’.  The liver can become overloaded with dietary and environmental toxins, or hormone may build up like estrogen. When this happens the condition is known as Estrogen dominance.

Recommendations to Improve Liver Qi Stagnation:

General Principles

Eat less processed foods, and more freshly cooked meals. When eating out, choose meals that are prepared with less oil, sugar and salt. The best cooking methods are stir frying, poaching and steaming. Schedule main, heavier meals for the earlier part of the day where possible. Simplify your meals, don’t have too many food groups in one meal.

Up your intake of vegetables, especially green leafy vegetables and red vegetables. Aim for 3 cups of vegetables each day, and minimum of 2 pieces of fruit each day. 6-8 glasses of water each day as a target, more in summer. A high protein diet will contribute to “qi stagnation”; it is best to focus on the quality of protein consumed rather than the quantity.

Check packaging for additives, sugar and salt. Try to choose brands without preservatives, and with sugar and salt lower on the list. Remember that ingredients are listed from highest to lowest content. Avoid MSG (and related additives) wherever possible. Look for numbers 620-640 (flavour enhancers). Number 621 is MSG. Artificial sweeteners should also be avoided where possible.

Reduce caffeine, carbonated drinks, alcohol, cigarettes, recreational drugs, fatty foods, sugar and salt. Replace with herbal tea or coffee substitute, water or diluted fresh juice, freshly cooked meals.

Turbulent or volatile emotions at meal times are especially detrimental; meals should be eaten in a calm and relaxed environment. Relax whilst you’re eating and enjoy your food, and avoid eating whilst working, reading or watching TV. Ensure to leave adequate time each day to relax, whether meditating, listening to music, gardening etc. or some other form of activity that doesn’t involve reading or watching TV.

Reducing your workload and the amount of time you spend at work, spending time at least once each week doing something you enjoy. Where possible, get to bed before 11pm, try to avoid burning the candle at both ends. Remain conscious of where your true energy levels are and avoid “running on empty”.

Avoid eating too late in the evening, try to have your final meal by 7pm. Your body needs to rest at night, not spending all night digesting your dinner. Your energy levels can be quite low in the morning if you’ve had a large meal before going to bed.

Recommended Foods (Eat More)

Vegetables: artichoke, asparagus, beet, beet leaves, brussels sprouts, carrot, celery, cucumber, green leafy vegetables rich with chlorophyll, a small amount of lemon with warm water on an empty stomach, lettuce (cos), mung bean sprouts, mushroom, rhubarb, seaweeds

Fruit: apple, coconut, mango, mulberries, passion fruit, pear, persimmon, plum, watermelon

Grains: millet, pearl barley, rice

Meat: Small amounts of organic beef, turkey, chicken

Nuts, seeds, legumes: flaxseed (linseed), flaxseed oil, mung beans, pine nuts, soy beans, tofu, yellow beans, yellow bean sprouts,

Fish: tuna, anchovy, halibut

Herbs: basil, dill, fennel, rosemary

Spices: cardamom, cumin,

Beverages: cow’s milk, soy milk, peppermint tea, green tea

Restrict/Avoid (Eat Less)

Foods that upset the Liver such as: Alcohol, coffee, spicy food, sugar, fried foods, fatty red meat, sweets, preservatives, additives, recreational drugs.

Heating foods: cinnamon, garlic, ginger, onion, shallots, leek, basil, cloves, wasabi, lamb, prawns, veal, pigeon, game birds, vinegar, citrus, pickles, coffee, tea, cigarettes, alcohol and recreational stimulants (amphetamines, cocaine, ecstasy).

Foods that are bad for the skin/skin disorders: chili, coriander, shellfish (including crayfish, lobster, mussels, oysters, prawns, shrimp)

Acupressure Points for Moving Qi

A popular treatment for the stress, anger, and frustration associated with Liver Qi Stagnation is known as the “four gates.” The four gates are the right and left side acupuncture points Lv 3–Liver 3 and Large Intestine 4.

Liver 3 is at the top of your foot, in the valley between your big toe and second toe.

Large Intestine 4  is found between the bones of the thumb and first finger). It lies at the highest point formed when the thumb is brought to rest against the index finger.

This can also be combined with LV13, located on the end of the 11th floating rib.

Castor Oil Pack Instructions

Indications: To remove blockages from any part of the body Endometriosis, PCOS, infertility, blocked tubes, phlegm cysts, lumpy breast, prostate blockage.

You will need:
Castor Oil
An old towel
Glad wrap
Hot water bottle (optional)


Warm ½ cup of Castor Oil on the stove.

Soak an old towel with the warmed oil

Whilst the oil is still warm on the towel, place the towel on your abdomen from the base of your ribs to pubic bone. (If using the castor oil pack for lumpy breast of cysyts in the body, place in that area.

Then wrap yourself in glad wrap, so the towel is unable to come off and you can protect your sheets from stains..

Place a Hot water bottle over you’re the wrap (optional, but for best results use the heat)

Go to bed and take it off in the morning.