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

What is Distal Acupuncture?

Acupuncture taught at Western Universities is usually a type of Traditional Chinese Medicine style of acupuncture which can incorporate a distal point or two, but often more needles are located closer to the site of disharmony; there are however many different styles which practitioners study & practice post-graduate.  In addition to the general study of TCM, Mark has trained in two popular styles of Distal Acupuncture – ‘Master Tung Style’ and ‘The Balance Method.’

 

Master Tung was a famous modern day acupuncturist from Mainland China who later settled in Taiwan; he was not formally trained, but honed his skills from a family lineage of acupuncturists from whom secrets were passed from father to the eldest son over many generations.

 

Balance Method Acupuncture is based on ancient I-Ching theory, modernized in recent times by the late revered Dr Richard Tan.   Dr Tan was an engineer before immigrating to the USA and spent many decades analyzing and perfecting his own acupuncture techniques which have become famous worldwide in recent times.

 

Distal Acupuncture uses theories of embryology to explain its effect on different areas of the body through neural pathways to the brain, which have existed since the time that the body was still a foetus.  We all start out the same way, as you see from the photo below – everything is connected, it is only later that the limbs separate, however the neurological connections still exist many decades later.

 

 

The photo below shows a distal acupuncture point used for fertility, as you can see the points are located nowhere near the gonads, however they are highly effective points for fertility.

 

(photo courtesy of ‘Art of Acupuncture’)

 

For physical symptoms, practitioners will often needle points of similar body landmarks on the opposite side of the body, or even opposite and distally such as needling the shoulder to resolve pain in the hip.

There is an excellent book, which details these theories called ‘The Spark in the Machine’ it was written by a Western Medicine ER Doctor known as Daniel Keown, it explains these theory in everyday language.

Although needling locally (traditional acupuncture) is beneficial for some conditions by increasing blood flow to the area, for acute conditions you could think of it like – shaking an overtired crying baby, which is only likely to seriously exacerbate the problem!!  A smarter approach (similar to distal acupuncture) is to use techniques which will lull them into a sound sleep from afar, music in the background, rocking the cradle, aromatherapy etc, etc.

The benefits of a distal style include the fact that most treatments are on the arms & legs, so there is no need to disrobe; secondly it relies on the ‘Homokulus Effect’ (see the diagram below):

 

 

Because our hands and our feet are so important to our everyday function, they use  a proportionally large area of our brain’s motor cortex, needling in these places has a very strong effect.  For this reason distal acupuncture typically uses fewer needles with a higher rate of success.

Using specific neural pathways the intervention sends a signal to the brain via the nervous system to release natural painkillers through the circulatory system, vasodilation occurs delivering extra nutrients and oxygen to heal the affected area. Treatments are quick, effective and I have found that they have better results in the longer term.

Most people who experience a Distal Acupuncture session are usually slightly confused initially, it isn’t always obvious why a practitioner might be needling an unrelated body part, however they are often later amazed with the results experienced.

Dr Tan would often explain the distal theory by saying that the switch that ‘turns on the light’ need not be at the actual site of pain, it can be located anywhere in the room, no matter how large – so long as there is an electrical connection…

 

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Sciatica pain relief with Acupuncture

Sciatic pain (sciatica) typically affects the body unilaterally, with pain extending from the hip / lower back down one leg.  People often describe the uncomfortable sensation as a ‘pain in the butt cheek’, often worse when sitting, as numbness, burning or tingling which runs down the leg or even as sharp and shooting sensations from the hip the calf.

Sciatica is a symptom of an underlying lower back condition such as a structural impingement or compression of the sciatic nerve, which exits the spinal column around the upper sacrum.  Trauma, chronic disk degeneration or even pregnancy can be the cause of the condition.  Sciatica and Piriformis syndrome are two conditions which are often confused, they are quite different structurally however the pain and symptoms are very similar, pain management of both conditions resolves over time, and the symptoms of sciatica can be expected to improve in the absence of significant structural damage.

Sciatica is a condition, which can come and go over time; western medicine typically treats it with surgery, painkillers, anti-inflammatory medicine and even cortisone injections.

Research into acupuncture treatments has shown effective pain relief and the resolution of symptoms are manageable naturally with acupuncture.  Fine needles are inserted into specific sites, which trigger a nerve system response including a cascade of natural endorphins and enkephalins for pain relief. Blood circulation to the area is increased which nourishes the surrounding tissue and over the course of several treatments it is likely to resolve the symptoms and prevent further deterioration of the condition (McDonald & Janz 2017.)

At Root & Branch Oriental therapies, Mark Davis [Dr of Chinese Medicine] treats sciatic pain using a combination of trigger points, electric stimulation, cupping and distal acupuncture using the ankles and wrists.  Increasing blood flow and relaxing the muscles around the lumbar vertebrae is the first step followed by targeting the nerve itself to increase circulation and muscle relaxation along its pathway down the back of the leg.

Manual therapies such as Shiatsu can also contribute significantly to rehabilitation through stretching and by working on the tight muscle tissues of the Glutes, piriformis and hamstrings.

References:

Table 1 & 2 of the Acupuncture Evidence Project (McDonald J, and Janz S, 2017) retrieved from: www.acupuncture.org.au

Further Reading:

https://www.spine-health.com/blog/acupuncture-and-stretching-helped-my-sciatica-open-letter-spine-health-reader

 

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!!

 

Dry Needling Abbotsford

A common question is “Do you do dry Needling?” Absolutely yes we do!  Dry needling is a type of acupuncture which is rapidly gaining in popularity, it involves the insertion of a needles into tightly bound muscle fibres, trigger points or muscular knots which cause local and referred pain.

By manipulating the needle in a specific manner, Dry Needling can induce a twitch response which will desensitise the area, resolve pain and release to muscle fibres to restore natural blood circulation.

CAUTIONARY NOTE – There is a strange twist to Australian Law which requires Acupuncturists to hold a bachelor degree level qualification and be registered along side other health professionals such as psychologists, chiropractors, doctors, nurses etc,. yet body workers such as massage therapists can do a short course and qualify to use acupuncture needles for ‘dry needling!’

FINDING A PRACTITIONER YOU CAN TRUST!

Dry needling is clearly within the scope of an acupuncturist, most Acupuncturists spend between 4-5 years of study on acupuncture alone, plus numerous hours of professional development each year.  An Acupuncturist who has an interested in sports medicine should be your first choice for the proper resolution of trigger points.

Acupuncture is a holistic approach of mind and body; Dry Needling is a local needle treatment to address physical pain, a good Acupuncturist will safely and effectively incorporate both aspects of wellbeing into your treatment plan to create the best outcomes for your health.

HOW DOES IT DIFFER TO ACUPUNCTURE?

The term “trigger point” was coined by Dr. Janet Travell in the 1940s, the Chinese medical literature described the phenomena of tight bands muscle bands, tender knots within muscles that refer pain to distant locations, and needling as a treatment for the problem as early as the first century BCE.  Many experts and organizations, including the World Health Organization, classify dry needling as a sub-type of acupuncture.

WHAT CAUSES TRIGGER POINTS?

Trigger points, or muscular knots occur when a muscle is overloaded, either suddenly or chronically.  Most people have at least a few trigger points, given that so many common situations cause them.  Potential causes of trigger points include:

  • Maintaining an awkward position too long
  • Poor lifting habits
  • Carrying an overloaded purse
  • Bad posture
  • Sitting on a wallet in the back pocket
  • Hitching up your hip to carry a child
  • Sitting at a computer for too long
  • Any type of repetitive motion
  • Poorly designed shoes
  • Limping
  • Falls
  • Car accidents
  • Structural anomalies (short arms, one leg that is longer than the other, an asymmetrical pelvis, etc.)

Much of the stiffness and many of the aches and pains that we tend to accept as a normal part of aging are likely caused by the large collection of trigger points that most people have amassed by the time they are senior citizens.

WHERE TO FROM HERE?

 

Mark has a special interest in treating musculoskeletal aches and pains, he incorporates a three way approach including classic Chinese acupuncture, Modern trigger point techniques and ‘Tung’ style distal acupuncture for an all inclusive and thorough approach to resolving pain fast!

To make a booking with Mark, CLICK HERE!

Some other interesting articles here:

Dry Needling Newcastle

 

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

Have you tried Cupping yet? Detox naturally with Chinese Medicine

Cupping is a tradition from China, but it also fins its root in many other ancient societies from the Middle-East to Southern Europe.

Now, with the Spring Solstice just around the corner, your timing couldn’t be better!  We are all naturally susceptible to becoming run down around the time of seasonal changes, get in now to try it out, most people find it totally INVIGORATING!

The most common question I get is “Are those bruises healthy?”

Actually they are not bruises, but simply petechiae of non-circulating old blood which is drawn to the surface.  The effect will stimulate the new production of blood, increase circulation and have a detoxifying effect.  Usually the marks should be gone within 4-6 days; a darker colour means that there is a high level of toxins and stagnation in the section of the body that has been treated. In this case, the marks can last a little longer. However, if there are hardly any toxins, the coloring could be just a light pink and is likely to dissipate within a few hours.

Cupping is often beneficial when used for coughs, cold and flu, muscular pain, stress relief and even for anxiety.  Cupping can be a stand-alone treatment, or incorporated as part of your Acupuncture or Shiatsu treatment.

 

 

 

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

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Nukazuke  (糠漬け)

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

I am trying to improve my diet with fermented foods which are good for your gut flora.

Tsukemono (漬物) means pickles.  Japanese people love pickled vegetables. In my home town Akita, which is at the northern part of main island of Japan. It’s extremely cold in Winter. Vegetable are traditionally preserved to use throughout the winter months.

A few month ago, I was attended a Nukazuke workshop held here in Melbourne. Nuka-zuke  (糠漬け) is a type of Japanese pickles which have been fermented in flavored rice bran. (Nuka means Rice bran) Nutrient rich bran-pickled-vegetables have been supplementing important vitamins and minerals to the Japanese diet for hundreds of years. I used to make Nukazuke many years ago, but I stopped. It can be hard work the Nuka-doko (pickling bed) needs to be kneaded daily for successful fermentation.

That workshop inspire me a lot. So I stared again 🙂

Traditional Nukadoko (pickling bed) is made of equal weight of rice bran and water & Sea salt (13% in weight of rice bran). But it’s hard to get good fresh rice bran.

Today, I will explain how to make easy ‘cheats’ Nukadoko (pickling bed) at home.

My cheat version of nukadoko is made from old bread (preferable Sourdough), Beer & Sea salt (About 10~13% in weight of bread). However, this recipe doesn’t use Nuka (Rice bran) at all, so we can’t call this Nukadoko, Actually  😉

1) Make bread crumb, use food processor or you can cut them into small dices.

2) Mix bread crumb with salt in clean container. And then mix with beer for a hard mud texture. Cover and keep in a cool dark place or in fridge.

3) Once you have prepared the medium, add cleaned left over vegetables (even peel & stems) to introduce lactic acid. (If you want to more flavour add dried red chili peppers or dried kombu or even garlic).

4) For the first 3~4 days, mix the bed with your hand twice a day. After 3~4 days, discard the wilted leftover vegetables and replace with fresh vegetables.

5) About a week later, your cheat bread nukadoko is ready to pickle!  Salt rub with veggies and leave it about 5min, then dry excess moisture with Paper towels. Then put them into the mixture and cover them.

It’s depend how long does it take to pickle. Hard vegetable like carrot or daikon usually It take about 1~2 days. Longer pickle time make it more salty & sour. Check the timing with your taste buds. Preferable store in fridge.

Please remember mix nukadoko everyday or every 2 days.

 

IMG_2204
My Nukadoko (pickling bed) Left:  Nukadoko (Sour dough),  Right: Traditional Nukadoko

 

Usually we pickle fresh crisp veggies like carrots, cucumber, daikon or turnip.

My personal favourite is cucumber (However you should get hard & crisp one otherwise it gets very soggy pickle – Try asian type cucumber) & Stalk of Broccoli.

The workshop lecturer recommended to pickle Okra and dried Shiitake mushrooms. It’s very tasty too, and full of healthy probiotics!

 

IMG_2234
Carrot, Celery, Cucumber & Red Capsicum.

 

IMG_2212
Stalk of Broccoli, Carrot, Red Capsicum, Celery, Dried Shiitake Mushroom & Dried Black Fungi.

 

 

[LINK] ~Found great informations of Nukadzuke from internet

*How to make Nukazuke [hangawara]

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

*How to Make Nukadoko (Fermented Rice Bran Bed) for Pickling [Garden Betty]

 

*Nukadoko (Pickling Bed to Make Nukazuke) [http://japanese-kitchen.net]

 

 

My own private Miso

Easy Instant miso soup balls

Shiatsu Masa does great SHIATSU Massage Melbourne!!

 

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