Give a healthy gift to your loved one!

Gift Vouchers now available for everything we do at Root & Branch – Shiatsu, Acupuncture, Chinese Medicine, Oriental Therapies etc… Give a healthy gift to your loved one!

We find that people are often time poor, shy, not ready to make the commitment or simply not sure of the effectiveness of alternative medicine.

A gift voucher is a great way to allow those people to take the next step at their own pace, and allow them to evaluate the effectiveness of treatment themselves.  We find that most people respond well and many of them make the decision to continue care.

Contact us to purchase or for further detail.

Eastential Chinese Medicine, David Yao Chi Guan, Four Seasons Wellness Centre, Shinma Acupuncture, Acuuncture Abbotsford Convent, Abbotsford Medical & Acupuncture Centre

Shiatsu Masa does great SHIATSU Massage Melbourne!!

A treatment with Shiatsu Masa will leave you feeling like a Zen Master!

 

 

 

 

Hello, I’m Shiatsu Masa. I’m a qualified Shiatsu practitioner at Root & Branch Oriental Therapieshere in Abbotsford, Melbourne Australia.

Shiatsu Massage is a style of massage which was developed in Japan based on traditional oriental medicine doctrine.  It is still very popular in Japan today, particularly at traditional hot springs & ryokan. Each treatment typically takes between 60-90 minutes which includes a short interview to ascertain the specific needs and heath status of the client.

Treatment is undertaken with the recipient dressed, lying flat on a floor mat and includes finger, hand, and foot pressure in combination with a number of stretches and gentle rotations.  Your practitioner will probably also recommend some dietary and lifestyle advice which will support your condition after the treatment.

Post treatment most people feel invigorated, occasionally there is a healing reaction as toxins are released, however this is usually only temporary and will pass with adequate water intake.

Shiatsu not only feels great, but but it also proactively restores health, remove blockages of energy flow to stimulate circulation, promote relaxation, alleviate pain and support the body back to it natural state of homeostasis.  It is a total body therapy which may assist numerous conditions including digestive disorders, anxiety, sports injuries, insomnia, fatigue and stress.

*Shiatsu Masa focuses on easing the following conditions;

  • Lower Back Pain
  • Neck & Shoulder
  • Muscler Tension
  • Stress Relief

 

Shiatsu Masa is waiting to see you soon!!

Eastential Chinese Medicine, David Yao Chi Guan, Four Seasons Wellness Centre, Shinma Acupuncture, Acuuncture Abbotsford Convent, Abbotsford Medical & Acupuncture Centre, Yuki Murata

Shiatsu Masa, Best Shiatsu in Massage Melbourne, Please come &  try

Japanese Needle Therapy Practitioners – newly qualified!

By Mark Davis BHSc (Chinese Herbal Medicine, Acupuncturist).

 

I first traveled to Japan in 1990 after years of fascination with everything Japanese from an early age.  I had studied Japanese for two years at college and was just starting my 2nd year of Japanese Language at the University of Tasmania when I had the opportunity to work in Japan.

Later when I later started studying Chinese Medicine, as fascinating as it was, with my connection to Japan rather than China, I slightly lamented the fact that it was Chinese Acupuncture that I was studying. However I always knew that I would study Japanese Acupuncture postgraduate, there are no courses offered in Australia for undergraduates, and in fact, postgraduate course opportunities are also limited.

So together with Shiatsu Masa, I was extremely pleased to have the opportunity to attend a 2-day certification course this weekend for ‘Japanese Needle Therapy’.  The course is offered by the highly qualified Yoshie Asahara of Chudo in the historic Block Arcade in Melbourne’s CBD.  Yoshie-Sensei has nearly 20 years experience in Japanese Acupuncture, massage and shiatsu in both Japan and Australia, and she is the founder of this style of Japanese Needling.

Hara (Japanese for ‘tummy’) diagnosis is a key feature of every session, the practitioner encourages the patient to feel for the disharmonies detected and a comparison is made throughout the session to ascertain the successfulness of each stage of the treatment.

Japanese Needle Therapy is a complete system within itself; it utilizes aspects of Japanese Acupuncture, Reiki,  Moxa, non-insertive tools and extra fine Japanese style needles, which are superficially positioned in only the outermost layer of skins dermis, so the treatment is totally pain-free, suitable for people of all ages.  The skin itself, the largest organ of our body is the main diagnostic tool; practitioners are taught how to access the skin condition on multiple locations for subtle signs of disharmony.  It involves a four-step process, which addresses constitutional, systemic and local symptomatic conditions all in one session for quick results.

The tools of Japanese Needle Therapy (top photo) include instruments which stimulate the meridians, including non-insertive tools and extra shallow superficial skin-only needles.  These needles used are usually reserved for facial acupuncture – inserted very superficially, only just beneath the skin’s surface, together with sticky-needles which are also painless and may be retained for several days to prolong the effectiveness of the treatment.

Because it is such a subtle style of superficial needling, this technique can even be offered by Shiatsu Masa in conjunction with Shiatsu treatments; you can benefit from the proactive health benefits of Japanese Needle Therapy in conjunction with a super ‘feel good’ Japanese style massage!

So what is the difference between Chinese Acupuncture & Japanese Needle Therapy?  Quite frankly it is like Chalk & Cheese; both modalities are equally beneficial under certain circumstances, Japanese Needle Technique is super gentle (it is not ‘true acupuncture’ due to its super shallow insertion in the skin’s outermost dermal layer) and therefore appealing to people who are needle phobic; others might be better suited to one of my style of Chinese Acupuncture, it is always best to discuss the various options with your practitioner.  Japanese Needle Therapy, however, is a super soft and an effective way to introduce you to Oriental Therapies.

It is not often that Shiatsu Masa & I can attend the same course, so we were both really happy to take a class together locally; which we can both integrate into our current practice – a new style of treatment which I am sure our clients will be more than happy to experience.

 

 

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Medicinal Teas tailored to good health!

By Mark Davis BHSc (TCM).

 

Asian countries have a rich tradition of using herbs in traditional medicine; one of the simplest things we can do for good health is using healthy teas to improve our health when used appropriately.

From Green, Pu’er, Oolong, Loquat, Dokudami, Omija to Hawthorn tea and beyond, I have long enjoyed these tasty teas on a daily basis for many years; with their vibrant colours people often exclaim ‘what are you drinking?’

I enjoy them Hot in the morning and during the cooler months and slightly chilled during summer, even kids can adapt to the taste and in Asia they are often enjoyed in place of soft drinks, calorie free!

The results can be subtle for occasional use, or marked if you make a conscious effort to follow a particular tea as a health regime.

 

Green Tea:

We’ve all heard about the life prolonging benefits of green tea (especially Sencha & Matcha) the health benefits include antioxidants & disease fighting catechins and rich vitamins profile with moderate caffeine levels for a ‘pick me up’ effect.

The leaves of Camellia Sinensis and its many sub species are unprocessed and plucked from buds at the apex of the plant.  It contains high levels of free radials for cellular stress, it boosts metabolism, reduces cholesterol and stimulates the brain to improve memory.  It is said to have anti-cancer properties -research is continuing particularly for prostate cancer.

Matcha powder is also a great addition to homemade puddings and desserts. Overall green tea has a cold nature and whether drunk hot or cold, it may not be suitable for people who yearn for a heat pack on their belly.

 

 

 

 

Pu’er Tea:

People often laugh when I tell them I’m serving them ‘poo er’ tea, unfortunately it doesn’t do what it sounds like it might; however it is great to harmonise digestion.

An oxidised, aged form of fermented tea leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant are mostly produced in the Yunnan province of China.  In China Pu’er tea is revered for its weight loss benefits, cholesterol reducing and cardiovascular protective benefits.

The microorganisms that ferment the tea have been shown to compliment a healthy gut flora with aids digestion for heavy meals and this is the tea you will often find served at Chinese restaurants in conjunction with Yum Cha.

It varies hugely in price, its not necessary to buy the crazy expensive ones, however the cheapest are likely to be a waste of money.

 

 

 

 

Oolong Tea:

Partially oxidised leaves of the Camellia Senensis plant are popular in Japan as both a hot and cold beverage often enjoyed after meals, favoured for its effect of being able to metabolise fatty foods.

Additionally regular consumption of Oolong tea is said to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, lower the risk of cancer through its high antioxidant content, promote healthy blood sugar levels and decrease inflammation.

Oolong is great to be enjoyed all day long, take it in your drink bottle as a water replacement.

 

oolong

 

 

 

 

 

Loquat Leaf Tea:

Loquat trees are native to the southern parts of China, Korea and Japan, the leaves form the basis of a famous Chinese Medicine Cough formula called ‘Pei Pa Koa,’ it is a traditional cure for itchy skin, dermatitis and as a treatment for coughs and bronchitis

Loquat leaf tea, or ‘biwacha’ is also high in antioxidants so helpful to support immunity, while also being highly beneficial in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels and even said to be beneficial to pancreatic cells.

It is also highly favoured for its ability to aid in removing toxin accumulation in the body to aid the skin and liver health, it contains a substance called Amygdalin (B-17)(also found in peach kernels) B17 is a currently experiencing a research spike in western laboratories for cancer trials.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dokudami:

Houttuynia Cordata is a flowering invasive ground cover native to Asia.  It grows in dark moist areas, sometimes called “fish-smell herb” and its common name ‘Dokudami’ means “poison-blocker” in Japanese.

Dokudami has natural anti-histamine effects, which may be beneficial for allergies and for asthma.  It is again a good source of antioxidants, and has he ability to neutralise free radicals while also supporting the lymphatic system to maintain the body’s natural health defences.

Dokudami is a popular home remedy in Japan for allergies, detoxifying and even for skin rashes; its purported benefits include an anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal function while also having a mild laxative and diuretic effect.

Dokudami is one of the main constituents often found in detox foot patches.

 

 

 

 

 

Omija Tea:

Is a popular iced summer tea from Korea.  Omija is also known as Schizandra or ‘five flavour berry,’ and it is often used in Chinese Medicine herbal prescriptions.  Used as an infusion is has some benefits such as improving liver and kidney function, boosting circulation, good for the skin and makes us resilient to stress.  Some herbal traditions ay that this wonderful berry has anti-ageing benefits!

This tea may not be suitable to everyone it should be used with care for people who suffer from heartburn or those who suffer from phlegm on the chest, or sinus infections.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hawthorn Berry:

Hawthorn Berry is often called ‘the heart herb’ for good reason, even when you look at a Chinese Hawthorn Berry slice it resembles the side profile of an artery itself (there is a lot of symbolism in Chinese Medicine).  It is said that the cardio protective effects include angina, high blood pressure, hardening of the arteries and even irregular heart beat.  Even the Native Americans used hawthorn for heart and gastrointestinal complaints.

Similarly in Chinese Medicine the hawthorn fruit called ‘shan zha’ is used for an overloaded digestive system after overindulgence of meat products in particular (in addition to the heart and blood moving benefits).

 

 

Bael Fruit Tea

Kvass & other lacto-fermented foods.

By Mark Davis, BHSc (TCM).

I have been making Kvass this week, it is basically lacto-fermented raw beetroot cubes with added water, the resulting deep red liquid is taken in small doses internally for its health benefits.

Beetroot is  a powerhouse of nutrition packed full of vitamins and minerals, however it is higher in natural sugars than any other root vegetable, when fermented, enzymes and beneficial bacteria consume the sugars to make the nutrients more bioavailable.  Beetroot is particularly good for heart health, blood production and it is even said to lower blood pressure;  anecdotal evidence suggests that is especially beneficial for the Liver.

Taste-wise, the Kvass is a little sour, sweet and salty all at the same time.  In Chinese Medicine, the sour taste directs foods to the Liver, the sweet taste to the Spleen and salty to the Kidneys.  So you can see already that it is quite a well balanced tonic for all three organs.

Although it’s origins are not Chinese, as an integrated health practitioner, I prefer to mix the best from all traditional health concepts regardless of where they originate.

We have all heard the saying “you are what you eat,” and the famous quote by Hippocrates: “Let food be thy medicine.”

Asian countries have a long history of using fermented foods including miso, tempeh, kimchi, natto etc.  In the West also, particularly Eastern European countries have traditions such as Sourdough, Kefir, Sauerkraut and Kvass.

Before refrigeration was available these processes were used to preserve staple foods so that they were available during the colder seasons when there was less produce, however  as they have been shown to be a valuable resource nutritionally, the tradition continues today and the consumption seems to be gaining popularity.

Regular intake of fermented vegetables will improve digestion, resolve bloating and compliment intestinal health.  Important research is currently exploring the associations between gut health and cognitive function.

In Chinese Medicine dietary guidelines, over-indulgence of fermented foods can result in ‘dampness,’  typically noticed as excess mucous, a heavy feeling, diarrhoea and sluggishness.

So these foods should be enjoyed in small doses, as an accompaniment to meals, on a daily basis.

Other similar blog posts:

Nukazuke  (糠漬け)

IT DOESN’T GET MUCH HEALTHIER THAN BEETROOT SOUP WITH BONE BROTH!

My own private Miso

 

 

Plantar Fasciitis

Acupuncture for Plantar Fasciitis, by Mark Davis, BHSc (TCM).

 

Plantar fasciitis is sometimes referred to as “Runners Heel,” it is an inflammation of the muscles on the underlying surface of the foot – the long, flat ligament that runs along the sole of the toes. It is one of the most common & painful foot problems which some people typically experience when getting out of bed in the mornings, or after being seated for prolonged periods.

Plantar fasciitis is usually caused from repetitive strain to the heel area, it is a common, and very persistent injury afflicting runners, walkers and hikers, and people who stand on hard surfaces like concrete & tiled surfaces for extended periods.

Although pain is typically felt between the arch and heel of the foot, plantar fasciitis pain often originates in the muscles of the lower legs and calf. When these muscles are tight and overstretched, it puts strain on the plantar fascia on the bottom of the foot. Being quite a stubborn condition, people can often see many health practitioners and typically invest quite large amounts of money in ongoing treatment for cortisone injections and orthotics.

At Root & Branch Oriental therapies, we have found quite a good success rate using manipulation of the calf muscle with heat therapy, combined with distal acupuncture which avoids upsetting the already inflamed facia of the plantar surface; typically most cases resolve within 3-4 consultations. Several products such as liniment patches and foot soaks are available to compliment the physical intervention between treatment.

Medical Science shows similar results; Xu Xuemeng et al., Guangzhou Dongcheng Hospital randomly divided 66 plantar fasciitis patients into an acupuncture group and a conventional therapy control group. The acupuncture group received standard acupuncture and the control group received triamcinolone acetonide acetate injections and local blocking therapy. The results were assessed 6 months after the completion of all treatments. The acupuncture group achieved a total effective rate of 97% and the drug therapy group had a 76% effective rate.

The aforementioned research is not an isolated finding; Guangzhou Social Welfare House researchers (Tang et al.) performed a meta-analysis of 19 independent plantar fasciitis clinical trials. A total of 16 of the 19 studies made extensive use of Ahshi acupuncture points. Based on the data, the researchers determined that acupuncture is effective for the treatment of plantar fasciitis. The following are some of the studies included in the meta-analysis.

Acupuncture has a proven and lengthy track record for producing significant positive outcomes rates for patients with plantar fasciitis. The data indicates that access to acupuncture, moxibustion, and TCM herbal foot baths is an adequate solution for the vast majority of patients.

Additionally it is worth considering that adverse reactions to acupuncture and trigger point therapy under controlled conditions by a properly accredited practitioner are rare.

References:

Tang, Cuanqi, et al. “Progress of Clinical Research on Acupuncture and Moxibustion for Heel Pain.” World Chinese Medicine 9.1 (2014): 120-123.

Gao F, Zhao B, Fan XH. Thrust acupuncture and injection therapy in treating plantar fasciitis 150 cases [J]. Yunnan TCM Herbs Journal, 2015, 36(6): 80-81.

 

Herbal Foot Soaks, for pain of the feet & ankles.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – try Acupuncture first!

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Herbal Foot Soaks, for pain of the feet & ankles.

Foot/ heel pain relief available in clinic now.

Our feet are the connection between heaven and earth.  It is easy to forget just how important they are to us, in modern day life we wear shoes and forget to re-connect with the earth.  Our feet bear the weight of our entire body,  700 times each for every kilometre we walk.  Each foot contains more than 7000 nerve endings, 107 ligaments, 19 muscles & 26 bones (1/4 of all the bones in the body).  For many people, feet are a low priority when it comes to ongoing care….  And yet, all it takes is the slightest irritation on the smallest toe to give discomfort to our whole being!

Herbal foot soaks are beneficial to most conditions related to pain and overuse of the muscles and tendons of the feet, from diabetic foot neuropathy, plantar fasciitis, heel pain, bone spurs and achilles tendonitis.  Prolonged use of herbal foot baths (> 2 weeks) may also be beneficial to general wellbeing including reduced stress levels, insomnia, migraines, fatigue, IBS and hormonal imbalances.

Western science is slowly catching up to the knowledge of traditional Chinese Medicine.  In a recent study done by Harvard, a simple warm bath before you go to bed at night can significantly increase your sleep. Click here to read the study.

HOW TO:  Initially 3-4 tea bags should be simmered for around 10 minutes.  Next the temperature needs to be equalised when the hot tea is transferred to the bucket, ensuring that the solution is below 45 DEC C to prevent scolding.  Best results are expected after >40 minutes use, a kettle of hot water kept handy can ensure the water is topped up regularly to keep the solution close to the desired 40 DEC C mark.

EVEN BETTER:  Take this time to relax, read a book, meditate or listen to some guided self hypnosis.

Here is a link to a breathing technique I particularly like:

Practical tips for dealing with stress & anxiety

Eastential Chinese Medicine, David Yao Chi Guan, Four Seasons Wellness Centre, Shinma Acupuncture, Acuuncture Abbotsford Convent, Abbotsford Medical & Acupuncture Centre, Yuki Murata

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Pain Relief in a convenient adhesive Chinese Medicine plaster.

 

Manufacturer: Guangzhou Medicines & Health Products.

701 Dieda Zhengtong Yaogao medicated plasters provide temporary pain relief from minor aches and pains of muscles and joints, simple backache, arthritis, traumatic injury, strains, bruises and sprains. Also used to temporarily ease pain from bone spurs in areas not covered by thick muscles such as heels and shoulders.

Now available in a convenient pack of 6 plaster sheets, each measuring 10 x 12cm, affordable and super effective to reinforce acupuncture or shiatsu therapy treatments between appointments.

Ingredients include:

  • Borneol 4.0%
  • Camphor 10.0%
  • Eupolyphaga sinensis 8.0%
  • Mentha haplocalyx 5.0%
  • Menthol 5.0%
  • Methyl Salicylate 10.0%
  • Phellodendron chinense 8.0%
  • Polygonum cuspidatum 2.0%
  • Rheum palmatum 8.0%
  • Scutellaria Baicalensis 8.0%
  • Zanthoxylum nitidum 8.0%

Non-medicinal ingredients include:

  • Petrolatum
  • Gum resin
  • Paraffin
  • Paraffinum Liquidum leve
  • Latex

The plasters are based on a traditional Chinese Medicine herbal remedy which shows anecdotal pain relief of muscular tension by stimulating blood circulation.

How to use:  peel off the plastic backing sheet and place the plaster over the sore area.  A  warming effect may be noticed initially, pain relieving effect will normally last for about 24 hours at which point it should be discarded.  It is best to wait a few hours before applying a new patch, many people report a cooling sensation between applying plasters.  When using on the torso it is often better to use bi-laterally even for one sided pain.

This product should never be applied over broken skin and use during pregnancy is contraindicated.

Eastential Chinese Medicine, David Yao Chi Guan, Four Seasons Wellness Centre, Shinma Acupuncture, Acuuncture Abbotsford Convent, Abbotsford Medical & Acupuncture Centre, Yuki Murata

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Topical Liniment for pain relief

liniment-for-pain-relief

There are lots of generic liniments on the market, but nothing beats the Dr’s own formula for musculoskeletal pain! The herbs which have been soaked for more than 12 months are chosen for quality & efficacy to speed up recovery, relax muscles and tendons to reduce inflammation, dispels stagnation & promotes circulation. Dit Da Jow has traditionally been used for trauma associated with martial arts, but suitable for strains, sprains, and muscular tightness and everyday aches and pains. For external use only, not suitable for open wounds.

Mark will often use the ‘Dit Da Jow’ in combination for needling of musculoskeletal conditions, sports injury and in conjunction with electronic muscle stimulation.

Eastential Chinese Medicine, David Yao Chi Guan, Four Seasons Wellness Centre, Shinma Acupuncture, Acuuncture Abbotsford Convent, Abbotsford Medical & Acupuncture Centre, Yuki Murata

 

Similar Blog articles include:

Have you tried Cupping yet? Detox naturally with Chinese Medicine

Dry Needling Abbotsford

Shiatsu Masa does great SHIATSU Massage Melbourne!!

 

What is acne in Chinese Medicine?

Acne typically occurs for the first time in puberty when hormones are surging, however for many people it can be a life long affliction.  In addition to hormonal imbalances it can stem from diet, skin pathogens, hygiene, excess sebum production and even as a result of stress.

 

In Chinese Medicine the redness associated with pimples and pustular skin conditions is considered to be heat, the pus production is a form of ‘dampness’ and irritation is a type of toxin accumulation.

 

People who suffer from acne have often tried numerous remedies without a great deal of success and some even resort to ‘heavy duty’ pharmaceutical solutions.  For those who would prefer a more natural solution, Dr Mark Davis (TCM) has formulated a patent herbal tincture, which has been well received by acne sufferers.

 

Good results have been reported with whiteheads, cystic acne, as a result of coming off the pill, hormonal and even stubborn acne which has not responded to other treatments.

 

The formula consists of 13 all natural herbs which work from the inside out.  it is super cost effective and easy to take; it reduces the inflammation, calms the redness, and improves circulation to control localised irritation.

 

Each 200ml bottle is a one-month prescription, results are often visible during the first 3-4 weeks, however best results are usually reported by the end of the 2nd month.

Naturally gluten free, 100% animal product free and no testing on animals!

Not recommended to be taken while pregnant or in conjunction with blood thinning herbs.  No side effects should be expected, however this is general advice and you should discuss with your practitioner if you suffer from allergies.

 

Eastential Chinese Medicine, David Yao Chi Guan, Four Seasons Wellness Centre, Shinma Acupuncture, Acuuncture Abbotsford Convent, Abbotsford Medical & Acupuncture Centre

 

You might find the following articles also interesting reading:

Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture

Cosmetic Acupuncture