Friday, October 7, 2016

So, what conditions does the World Health Organization (WHO) think acupuncture has benefit?


The World Health Organization showed an impressive list of conditions it felt acupuncture would have therapeutic effect. The was review entitled “ Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of reports on Controlled Clinical Trials” (

It was a 81 pages document looking at clinical acupuncture trial data and results. It is worth noting that constructing effective clinical trials for acupuncture is difficult and some of the conclusions of the results have limitations.

“It must be emphasized that the list of diseases, symptoms or conditions covered here is based on collected reports of clinical trials, using the descriptions given in those reports. Only national health authorities can determine the diseases, symptoms and conditions for which acupuncture treatment can be recommended. “

Dr Xiaorui Zhang: Acting Coordinator Traditional Medicine (TRM) Department of Essential Drugs and Medicines Policy (EDM) World Health Organization


Conditions to which acupuncture has been proved through controlled trials to be an effective treatment:


Adverse reactions to radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy

Allergic rhinitis (including hay fever)

Biliary colic

Depression (including depressive neurosis and depression following stroke)

Dysentery, acute bacillary

Dysmenorrhoea, primary

Epigastralgia, acute (in peptic ulcer, acute and chronic gastritis, and gastrospasm)

Facial pain (including craniomandibular disorders)


Hypertension, essential

Hypotension, primary

Induction of labour

Knee pain


Low back pain

Malposition of fetus, correction of

Morning sickness

Nausea and vomiting

Neck pain

Pain in dentistry (including dental pain and temporomandibular dysfunction)

Periarthritis of shoulder

Postoperative pain

Renal colic




Tennis elbow


Conditions for which acupuncture has shown a therapeutic effect but further proof needed


Abdominal pain (in acute gastroenteritis or due to gastrointestinal spasm)

Acne vulgaris

Alcohol dependence and detoxification

Bell’s palsy

Bronchial asthma

Cancer pain

Cardiac neurosis

Cholecystitis, chronic, with acute exacerbation


Competition stress syndrome

Craniocerebral injury, closed

Diabetes mellitus, non-insulin-dependent


Epidemic haemorrhagic fever

Epistaxis, simple (without generalized or local disease)

Eye pain due to subconjunctival injection

Female infertility

Facial spasm

Female urethral syndrome

Fibromyalgia and fasciitis

Gastrokinetic disturbance

Gouty arthritis

Hepatitis B virus carrier status

Herpes zoster (human (alpha) herpesvirus 3)




Labour pain

Lactation, deficiency

Male sexual dysfunction, non-organic

Ménière disease

Neuralgia, post-herpetic



Opium, cocaine and heroin dependence


Pain due to endoscopic examination

Pain in thromboangiitis obliterans

Polycystic ovary syndrome (Stein–Leventhal syndrome)

Postextubation in children

Postoperative convalescence

Premenstrual syndrome

Prostatitis, chronic


Radicular and pseudoradicular pain syndrome

Raynaud syndrome, primary

Recurrent lower urinary-tract infection

Reflex sympathetic dystrophy

Retention of urine, traumatic


Sialism, drug-induced

Sjögren syndrome

Sore throat (including tonsillitis)

Spine pain, acute

Stiff neck

Temporomandibular joint dysfunction

Tietze syndrome

Tobacco dependence

Tourette syndrome

Ulcerative colitis, chronic


Vascular dementia

Whooping cough (pertussis)

Friday, May 6, 2016

Green tea cognitive dysfunction


A small study didn’t find any signification change in cognitive function at the end of a 12 month trial. However, it did show the reduction of oxidative stress in the elderly.

If you need an anti-oxidant and you like tea, go green.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Heart and mind – a closer link than you think

Aorta and the heart



Dementia is a disease of the brain.  It’s the slow decline of the brain’s ability to remember and process complex tasks.  When severe, cognitive impairment limits memory and language to a point where daily living tasks can no longer be performed.

Research has found that the heart has some influence over this.  The aorta, the biggest artery in the human body, is found to be a buffer from the pulse of the heart as it sends blood up to the brain. This protects the small and intricate blood vessels of the brain.  Damage to the blood vessels will reduce the oxygen and nutrients from reaching the vital parts of our white and grey matter.

For most of us the aorta functions beautifully through our lifetime.  It has a fantastic elastic quality that swells about 15% with each heartbeat.  In the cases where the blood vessels are damaged by plaque and other wear and tear, the aorta loses some of this elastic quality.  The pulse from the heart then travels more directly to the brain and can cause slow damage to the small blood vessels. It makes sense that dementia affects the older population more than the younger.  Our vital structures gradually wear and become less efficient over a lifetime.  The more you invest in your health now, the more it pays off later in life.

So look after your heart.  Eat unprocessed foods, rich in vitamins and fibre, avoid smoking, and exercise regularly.   A few alcoholic drinks are ok, but remember that large amounts can cause necrotic damage to the heart tissue.  Enjoy everything in moderation.

Look after your heart and look after your brain.


Sydney Alumni Magazine: issue 03 – semester one 2016. P.26

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Bread can be ok


*Gluten doesn’t necessarily need to be the bad guy. Fructans in wheat and other carbohydrate products seem to be more of an agitator the gut.

*Modern bread making is accelerated and with lots of additives thrown in.

*A large number of people avoid gluten that don’t necessarily have an intolerance or celiac disease (auto-immune condition resulting in inflammation of gut)

*Traditional long sour dough bread making lets the fermentation process happen in the way it was traditionally done for centuries. A large part of the population can tolerate this.


Thursday, April 7, 2016

Dried fruit and nuts are great

“Trail Mix” (dried fruit and nuts) is very good for you. Research is suggesting cadiometabolic benefits, reduce cardiac risk factors and improved glycemic control. Dried fruit and nuts have a long shelf life and very portable. Next time you need a snack – reach for the bag of almonds and sultanas and not the chocolate bar.



trail mix

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Acupuncture for back pain

Acupuncture is a complete healthcare system with a proven record of success for many physical as well as emotional imbalances.  With the ability to target specific pain areas, whilst addressing the overall symmetry of the body, it is the treatment of choice for many patients suffering from back pain.

The beginning of the New Year is a great time to get off to a healthy, balanced start. Contact us at the clinic today for your body tune up.


Over our lifetime – illness, poor posture, accidents and over-exertion – can lead to sudden, persistent and long lasting back pains.   According to recent reports, back pain is the number one cause of job disability all over the world.  It has also been reported that Australians alone spend more than $1 billion every year on back pain treatments, not to mention indirect associated costs, such as loss of wages and productivity.

Common causes of back pain:

  • Facet Joint Syndrome
  • Displaced Intervertebral Discs
  • Poor Posture

Facet Joint Syndrome:

Facet or zygapophyseal joints

 facet joints

Facet joint syndrome is a common culprit of back pain. The facets joints are synovial joints* located between the vertebrae of your spine and are responsible for the elasticity of your back.  Nerves from the spinal cord feed through these facet joints to other parts of the body.  They enable the movement of the spinal column and when swollen and irritated become painful.

A common symptom you may have experienced is a sharp, focused, stabbing pain in the muscles next to the spine, often intensifying when you breathe in deeply. These joints can also become inflamed from over-use.  Or, like other joints in the body, suffer from degenerative diseases such as osteoarthritis. Once the joint has been released and has regained movement, the pain will dissipate and it can recover.

* A “Synovial Joint” is a joint that is surrounded by a flexible, membrane-formed sac containing fluid that lubricates the joint.  These joints are highly innervated by nerve fibers, and can become very painful when restricted, caught or stuck.  When you get a “pop” or “crack” in the joint, it is an indication the joint has been mobilized, and range of motion has been regained.


Displaced Intervertebral Discs:

Intervertebral Discs

vertibrae disc

Displaced intervertebral discs are another common cause of back pain.  The intervertebral discs are spongy cushions that connect the vertebrae of the spine.  These discs are responsible for important tasks including; shock absorbing, keeping the vertebral column stable and providing flexible points to allow movement.  Made up of two parts: An outer shell and a jelly-like contents, they are able to tolerate a lot of pressure, but over exertion can compromise the outer shell, pushing the jelly-like contents out, causing pain.

Over time, the discs will suffer some wear and tear. They can lose height; from compressive loading of standing upright, or bulge out; from side bending or torsional loading from twisting, often from incorrectly lifting a heavy load, resulting in a sudden, sharp, debilitating pain.  The good news is that even with disc injury, the body can repair itself to a great extent and become healthy again.

Poor Posture:

Back pain can be the result of poor posture: body and spine misalignment while standing, sitting in chairs that are not supportive, shoulders hunched over looking at a computer screen, incorrect or no exercise, even wearing the wrong types of shoes can cause back pain.  It may be worthwhile to address Lifestyle factors and consider changes to reduce the risk of injury and increase the opportunity for a balanced body.

Acupuncture Treatment for Back Pain:

targeted needling

It is estimated that a person will experience severe back pain at least once if their lifetime, and most sufferers of back pain will recover completely. Given time and the right treatment plan, back pain can be resolved in days to, if extremely chronic, several months.

Acupuncture and massage aid greatly to speed up the healing process, by targeting the specific dysfunctioning joints and addressing the overall symmetry of the body.  It’s also important to identify any underlying disharmonies that may be contributing to the condition. For example, a weak immune system may be hindering the clearing of inflammation of a joint.  Acupuncture also assists in treating these underlying disharmonies, and when used in conjunction with massage, reduces tension, clears inflammation, and promotes healthy alignment of the spine and overall balance of the body.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Acupuncture or Alexander Technique both proved clinically significant in the reduction of neck pain


Acupuncture or Alexander Technique both proved clinically significant in the reduction of neck pain.

A randomised controlled trial of 12 acupuncture sessions or 20 one on one Alexander Technique lessons proved a better reduction in pain and associated disability vs usual care (physical therapy and drugs).

Criteria for trial inclusion was neck pain for more than 3 months . Median duration for neck pain was 6 years. 517 Participants were requited and randomly assigned into the 3 groups.


At the 12 month follow up the results were:

Acupuncture = 3.92 % reduction in NPQ pain questionnaire (Northwick park questionnaire)

Alexander Technique = 3.79 %  reduction in NPQ pain questionnaire

As compared to usual care of physical therapy and drugs.


Compared to baseline measure at the start of the study they were

Acupuncture = 32 % reduction in NPQ pain questionnaire (Northwick park questionnaire)

Alexander Technique = 31 %

12 month follow up


What is Alexander technique:
A form of postural training that teaches people how to avoid unnecessary muscular and mental tension during every day activities.

Read more

Sourece :


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Life long skier still going at 95, very impressive

Klaus Obermeyer , 95 and still skiing

Amazing story. Klaus Obermeyer,  life long skier and still doing it well.
He is  95, still gets out on the planks , does martial arts daily (akido), swims, tries to eat vegan (but cheats a little) and still runs a business. What an amazing bar he has set … also inspiration it can be done.

Read full article 

Friday, November 27, 2015

Weight loss helps clear up clogged arteries



Its pretty much what you would expect. Eat better food and do regular activity and you will reduce negative effect of plaque building up on the pipes of your body. Which is a good thing. Atheroscleorisis is a major risk factor for heart disease and heart attack. Having a heart attacks has been described as a “crushing chest pain with a feeling of impending doom”. Sounds like something to be avoided.

In this study they found that the damage happening to arteries could be improved or revered with weight loss. This also led to reduced use of medication to treat the problem

Reach for the green beans and broccoli instead of the French fries

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Antioxidants stop the training effect of exercise – Oxidative stress can be a good thing

wrench rust

Recently I heard on a radio science show something very interesting regarding antioxidants. Apparently they negate the training effect of exercise. One of the usual goals of exercise is to become healthy, stronger and more capable. We do this by over loading the muscles, causing slight damage and then when they repair they come back stronger. In damaging the muscles we cause oxidative stress. As it turns out the, we need these free radicals to stimulate the body’s own antioxidants and cause the wonderful training effect of exercise. If you train and take antioxidants supplement you won’t get this effect and you won’t change physically.  If you want to get buff, throw away the pills and get some tasty, good whole foods.