The Emperor – Major Arcana Tarot Card 4

The Emperor
The Emperor Major Arcana Tarot Card

In our last Tarot blog we looked at The Empress card, this is our mother archetype within the tarot allowing us to progress to the next card, which is the father archetype called The Emperor.  

The Emperor is the fifth card out of the 22 Major Arcana cards within the tarot, remember the first card is “0” with the fool, and labelled card number 4.  The Emperor closely flows on from the previous cards in the Major Arcana as the Major Arcana describes our overall cycle of life and spiritual development.  Within the Major Arcana we started out with The Fool and this is the energy of the limitless possibilities that the universe can deliver, this then flows into the Magician allowing us to actively channel this energy into our pursuits. The High Priestess allows the more internal, instinctual or creative qualities to flow through and utilise the active energy from The Magician. The Empress then brings forth this energy into a more feminine dynamic relating to yin, growth and abundance and flows into balance with The Emperor.  Just like the Magician and the High Priestess represent a ying/yang dualistic complementary dynamic, so does The Empress and The Emperor cards.

In the traditional Waite-Smith deck, The Emperor sits on a throne surrounded by rams’ heads, two carved into the arm rests of his throne representing the astrological sign Aries, rules by the planet Mars with his red robes representing the element of fire.  He wears a gold crown to show his authority, carries a sceptre with an ankh in his right hand representing life or his rulership and an orb in his left hand to symbolise the world in his hands with the breadth of his realm.  Behind him is a great mountain range to demonstrate his majesty or aspiration for bigger and greater things.  From a Mystical Qabalistic perspective The Emperor represents the path between Chochmah (Wisdom) and Tiphareth (Glory or Splendour) on the Tree of Life.  Tiphareth is the force that combines the energies from the sephira Chesed (Compassion) and Gevurah (strength or judgement) to balance itself in the glory or splendour, thus the attributes of wisdom or deep thought and this is taken into consideration when giving advice the spectrum that moves from ultimate compassion to severe judgement whilst remaining balanced between the two forces.

The Emperor represents the father figure and a masculine dynamic energy, this is regardless of gender and refers more to the archetypal qualities.  It is about protecting and defending love ones, stability or security and can represent leadership qualities of an individual with a clear vision.  The Emperor can represent a situation bound by rules and regulations, excellent navigating and helping your path through a tricky situation.  The emperor is a straight shooter and will think through a situation giving strategic and sound advice that takes into consideration factors others may not be aware of.  Selecting The Emperor in a reading can indicate success through self-discipline, careful planning or seeking out the advice of knowledgeable experts to navigate through a situation.

Tarot is used within each Esoteric Acupuncture session at Mornington Chinese Medicine with Simon Altman.  He has had the wonderful opportunity to train personally with Dr Mikio Sankey the developer of Esoteric Acupuncture and completed all levels of Esoteric Acupuncture training.  Simon uses tarot as an adjunct to give direction, purpose and meaning to the session as well as Sound Therapy, Reiki and Astrology.  Tarot within the session can be concise, or if there is a specific interest, a longer interpretation can be arranged.  

Esoteric Acupuncture is a style of heart centred acupuncture that works on the deeper levels of the body to promote balance and direction in life.  It can be used as maintenance or a tune up and incorporates a more spiritual esoteric acupuncture pattern on the back of the body, then a complementary esoteric acupuncture pattern on the front of the body, which can then be combined with a standard Chinese Medicine to help with core issues. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me for further information or to discuss these amazing topics.

Simon is available for consult on Monday, Friday and Saturday at 
Mornington Chinese Medicine.

To book your appointment please call us on: 5973 6886

The Empress – Major Arcana Tarot Card 3

The Empress
The Empress Major Arcana Tarot Card

In this blog we are exploring one of my favourite Tarot cards The Empress, which is an appropriate card for Mornington Chinese Medicine as she is one of the main cards representing fertility, the mother, abundance, living life to the fullest, feminine power, pregnancy and love.

We have previously looked at the earlier cards starting with The Fool, The Magician and The High Priestess.  The Empress is the fourth card out of the 22 Major Arcana cards within the tarot.  The Empress closely flows on from the previous cards we have investigated as the Major Arcana describes an overall cycle of life and development.  We started out with The Fool which is the energy of the limitless possibilities that the universe can deliver, this then flows into the Magician allowing us to actively channel this energy into our pursuits, then The High Priestess which allows the more internal, instinctual qualities to flow through.  

Following on from The High Priestess we enter the card of The Empress, a card with lots of depth and some amazing symbolism included within the Waite-Smith deck.  The Empress sits on her throne comfortably surrounded by cushions with a heart shape pillow by her side that has the astrological symbol for Venus, the roman goddess of femininity, beauty and love.  She has a forest with a flowing river and waterfall ending at her feet, with this water bringing emotional fulfillment and life to the nature around her.  The Empress has wheat in front of her representing fertility as the seeds are ripe for harvest taking on the waters of life that are flowing around her.  Her crown has 12 stars representing the various cycles of life including the zodiac, the months of the year, and time in general.  The red cushions represent love and the pomegranates on her dress represent fertility with its free-flowing nature alludes to pregnancy.

Within a Tarot spread The Empress can signify a time of abundance, prosperity, creativity and passion is surrounding you.  It can represent happiness, security, emotional fulfilment and pregnancy.  Aside from fertility it can also represent domestic harmony and stability, a home that if there are already children, may be used as a hub to support, feed and nurture those around you. It resonates with the number 3 in numerology as it combines card number 1 The Magician with card number 2 The Empress. Through this combination of energy, it signifies the path between Chochmah (Wisdom) and Binah (Understanding) within the Hermetic Qabalistic tree of life and merges these two special sephirot’s spheres of influence.

Tarot is used within each Esoteric Acupuncture session at Mornington Chinese Medicine with Simon Altman.  He has had the wonderful opportunity to train personally with Dr Mikio Sankey the developer of Esoteric Acupuncture and completed all levels of Esoteric Acupuncture training.  Simon uses tarot as an adjunct to give direction, purpose and meaning to the session as well as Sound Therapy, Reiki and Astrology.  Tarot within the session can be concise, or if there is a specific interest, a longer interpretation can be arranged.  

Esoteric Acupuncture is a style of heart centred acupuncture that works on the deeper levels of the body to promote balance and direction in life.  It can be used as maintenance or a tune up and incorporates a more spiritual esoteric acupuncture pattern on the back of the body, then a complementary esoteric acupuncture pattern on the front of the body, which can then be combined with a standard Chinese Medicine to help with core issues. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me for further information or to discuss these amazing topics.

Simon is available for consult on Monday, Friday and Saturday at 
Mornington Chinese Medicine.

To book your appointment please call us on: 5973 6886

The High Priestess – Major Arcana Tarot Card 2

The High Priestess
The High Priestess Major Arcana Tarot Card

In this blog we are continuing the story of the Major Arcana in the Tarot.  Previously we covered The Fool and The Magician.  Now we have The High Priestess which is the third card within the 22 Major Arcana cards of the tarot.  The High Priestess closely follows from The Fool which takes that leap of faith into the current cycle of events, to The Magician bringing about the enthusiasm, energy and motivation at the beginning of your journey.  Following on from the external forces The Magician represents moves into The High Priestess  presenting the more internal nature of reflection, meditation, looking within and taking time to reflect whilst trusting your intuition or gut feelings.

She holds onto a scroll of inner knowledge, representing our true purpose or our destiny and the cross at the level of her heart slightly hidden refers to looking inwards for deep spirituality.  The Moon at the feet of the High Priestess can signify the subconscious or unconscious mind, hidden knowledge, the need to look within and use the more feminine aspects of our psyche.  The two pillars on either side of The High Priestess are Jachin and Boaz and represent the two pillars from the entrance to King Solomon’s Temple.  These pillars can symbolise the three pillars of the Qabalah which are Mercy and Severity and the High Priestess sits right in the middle represented by the middle pillar or balance between Jachin (masculinity) and Boaz (femininity).  The High Priestess is sitting in front of a veil stretching across the two pillars decorated with pomegranates, these mythologically symbolise the fruits of the underworld and are also symbol of fertility.

The High Priestess is associated with Pisces and is a card of possibilities, looking inward and using your intuition to achieve the results you desire.  Whilst the Magician has the outward energy to achieve results, the High Priestess is a card of using your gut feelings and intuition to transverse a situation.  Trust your gut is one of the messages of the High Priestess, if you trust your intuition and your gut feelings it is very hard to stray of the correct path in life.  Trusting your intuition as you may need to use that feeling because some aspects of the situation could still be hidden, however your inner world can navigate this map without effort.  It is also a card for psychic and spiritual development, as this requires you to go within and meditate or for a relationship it suggests one that psychic or spiritual development can take place.

Tarot is used within each Esoteric Acupuncture session at Mornington Chinese Medicine with Simon Altman.  He has had the wonderful opportunity to train personally with Dr Mikio Sankey the developer of Esoteric Acupuncture and completed all levels of Esoteric Acupuncture training.  Simon uses tarot as an adjunct to give direction, purpose and meaning to the session as well as Sound Therapy, Reiki and Astrology.  Tarot within the session can be concise, or if there is a specific interest, a longer interpretation can be arranged.  

Esoteric Acupuncture is a style of heart centred acupuncture that works on the deeper levels of the body to promote balance and direction in life.  It can be used as maintenance or a tune up and incorporates a more spiritual esoteric acupuncture pattern on the back of the body, then a complementary esoteric acupuncture pattern on the front of the body, which can then be combined with a standard Chinese Medicine to help with core issues. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me for further information or to discuss these amazing topics.

Simon is available for consult on Monday, Friday and Saturday at 
Mornington Chinese Medicine.

To book your appointment please call us on: 5973 6886

The Magician – Major Arcana Tarot Card 1

The Magician
The Magician Major Arcana Tarot Card

In our previous post we looked at the first Major Arcana Tarot card, numbered 0, The Fool.  The Fool represented the first step in the beginning of a new journey or cycle in life.  This is then followed by The Magician, numbered as card 1, is the second card in the Major Arcana. 

The Magician generally depicts a person holding a magic wand with esoteric tools laid out in front on a table or altar.   In the Waite-Smith deck, four tools are displayed which are also the symbols for the four suits of the Minor Arcana, these are Wands, Cups, Swords and Pentacles.  This symbolises the power you now have to manifest plans into the world.  It could be new opportunities in life such as changing or finding a new job, new emotional opportunities, new intellectual pursuits or simply putting those plans into action.  The magicians hands traditionally (in Waite-Smith symbolism) have one pointing up holding a wand and one down pointing to the ground empty.  This represents active and passive energies or the transmission of information and the transmitted.  

Each tarot card contains within it a vast system of symbolism, meaning and correspondences.  The Magician relates to the Philosophical Mercury (different to the traditional mercury), its colour is yellow, Qabalistically its number is 2, Beth, representing a house giving a hidden clue as to making a structure or tangible impact on your surroundings.  On the Qabalistic tree of life, the path of Beth travels from Kether (Crown) to Binah (understanding), or the inspiration coming down from divinity and being transformed into Knowledge or understanding.  The infinity symbol above The Magicians head is positioned at Kether, or the Crown Chakra, symbolising the universal energies coming down from divinity into the Magician and allowing that energy to transform from the immaterial to the material.

The journey of the Major Arcana started with The Fool, a card that indicates taking a leap of faith, trusting the universe will support you at this point in time, or with your current endeavours and shows a new beginning or cycle in life. Following this new start and burst of inspiration flow into The Magician, a card that allows that inspiration to manifest and enter our lives.  It is about putting that initial energy or motivation into action, and succeeding in that particular endeavour, or time in our life.  Having the energy to complete a task and also follow through with it is one of the themes of the Magician.  Using your own inner and external power to manifest and bring about positive change in your life.   Being a Major Arcana card, representing those big spiritual sign posts in life, means this event is one that can encourage learning a lot so that it becomes an unforgettable stage in your life, whilst demonstrating a change in a situation that then leads down a more spiritual or meaningful path.

The Magician is an excellent card within a Tarot spread, it is an exciting time and step in the journey of life with new ventures beginning and starting to take shape.  It allows spiritual, emotional and mental growth as well as the manifestation of a new stage in life.  Currently we have looked at The Fool (0) and The Magician (1).  The card that follows on from The Magician is The High Priestess which will be discussed in our next blog on the Tarot.

Tarot is used within each Esoteric Acupuncture session at Mornington Chinese Medicine with Simon Altman.  He has had the wonderful opportunity to train personally with Mikio Sankey the developer of Esoteric Acupuncture and completed all three levels of Esoteric Acupuncture training.  Simon uses tarot as an adjunct to give direction, purpose and meaning to the session as well as Reiki and Astrology.  Tarot within the session can be concise, or if there is a specific interest, a longer interpretation can be arranged.  

Esoteric Acupuncture is a style of heart centred acupuncture that works on the deeper levels of the body to promote balance and direction in life.  It can be used as maintenance or a tune up and incorporates a more spiritual esoteric acupuncture pattern on the back of the body, then a different esoteric acupuncture pattern on the front of the body, which can then be combined with a standard Chinese Medicine to help with core issues. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me for further information or to discuss these amazing topics.

Simon is available for consult on Monday, Friday and Saturday at Mornington Chinese Medicine.

To book your appointment please call us on ph: 5973 6886

The Fool – Major Arcana Tarot Card 0

The Fool
The Fool Major Arcana Tarot Card

The Fool is the very first card in the Major Arcana sequence of the Tarot Deck.   A standard tarot deck consists of 78 cards and they are split into two categories; the Major Arcana consisting of 22 cards and the Minor Arcana consisting of the remaining 56 cards.  

The Minor Arcana cards describe mundane aspects of life including work, relationships, finances and general decision making.  These cards are similar to your playing cards consisting of four suits Wands, Cups, Swords and Pentacles which can be transferred to the modern Clubs, Hearts, Spades and Diamonds.  

The 22 Major Arcana cards deal with more spiritual life lessons than everyday matters and can show you the overarching reason why a situation is happening.  These are the spiritual signposts that direct an individual to understand the meaning behind the card and its importance at that particular moment.  

The Waite-Smith tarot, or Rider-Waite as it is commonly known was the first modern tarot deck originally published in in 1910 and used the symbolism, numerology, astrology and Qabalistic correspondences taught by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, a mystery school active around that time.  It was originally published by William Rider & Sons, designed by Arthur Edward Waite, an occultist, mystic and member of the Golden Dawn.  Waite commissioned artist and Golden Dawn member Pamela Coleman Smith to draw and design illustrations for each Major Arcana card.  

One of the most unique aspects of this tarot deck was that Arthur Edward Waite and Pamela Coleman Smith designed images and symbolism all the cards within the Tarot Deck.  Previously Tarot cards only contained pictures on the 22 Major Arcana cards, the remaining 56 cards would simply have 4 swords, or 7 pentacles drawn on the card, rather than a pictorial representation of the mystical meaning of the deck.  The Waite-Smith deck was the first deck to include pictures on all cards and tarot decks of today have Arthur Edward Waite and Pamela Coleman Smith to thank for this great innovation as many are based on their specific symbolism.

The first card in the Major Arcana is known as “The Fool” or “Jester” and is often listed as card number “0”.  In some sets “The Fool” can act as a wild card either starting the journey of the Major Arcana in which case it comes in at the number “0” or ending the Major Arcana set coming in at number “22”.  In most common tarot decks, based around the Waite-Smith symbolism and ordering, The Fool starts our journey of the Major Arcana as the first card.

The Fool represents taking a leap of faith into the unknown and trusting that the universe will support and guide you.  It is the beginning of a spiritual journey that starts our progression in life and through the trumps of the Major Arcana.  It is a time in life when anything is possible, and simply taking a leap of faith will succeed in your endeavours.  It is not a time to dwell on possibilities or problems that you think may occur, or internally rationalise why you shouldn’t complete a task or start a new venture, this is the moment where we can delve into challenges or goals head first with confidence.  The fool represents opportunities available to you that you can see, which acquaintances may overthink or be cautious, and the importance of trusting your own instincts to begin your own spiritual journey and life path.

The journey of the Major Arcana begins with The Fool and ends with The World, it is a cycle that repeats numerous times throughout our lives as we evolve, learn and develop both physically and spiritually.  The Fool represents taking that initial step into this world, or a new chapter in life showing the beginning of a new and exciting journey of discovery.  It represents exciting opportunities that you may be hesitant to pursue, but it is a great indication to take that leap of faith and start that venture, relationship or chapter of your life as you move into a new phase that may be unexpected.

Tarot is used within each Esoteric Acupuncture session at Mornington Chinese Medicine with Simon Altman.  He has had the wonderful opportunity to train personally with Mikio Sankey the developer of Esoteric Acupuncture and completed all three levels of Esoteric Acupuncture training.  Simon uses tarot as an adjunct to give direction, purpose and meaning to the session as well as Reiki and Astrology.  Tarot within the session can be concise, or if there is a specific interest, a longer interpretation can be arranged.  

Esoteric Acupuncture is a style of heart centred acupuncture that works on the deeper levels of the body to promote balance and direction in life.  It can be used as maintenance or a tune up and incorporates a more spiritual esoteric acupuncture pattern on the back of the body, then a different esoteric acupuncture pattern on the front of the body, which can then be combined with a standard Chinese Medicine to help with core issues. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me for further information or to discuss these amazing topics.

Simon is available for consult on Monday, Friday and Saturday at Mornington Chinese Medicine.

To book your appointment please call us on ph: 5973 6886

Alcohol around conception and pregnancy

Wine Bottles

At Mornington Chinese Medicine we have numerous lifestyle recommendations for the time when you are trying to conceive and also maintain optimal health.  One of those recommendations for men or women is to totally cut out alcohol.  This can sometimes be the most difficult step for some individuals, but the reasons behind this little piece of advice initially based within the theories of Traditional Chinese Medicine is becoming more mainstream and understood from a scientific point of view.

Alcohol has been linked to numerous problems if consumed during pregnancy and abstaining from alcohol during pregnancy helps reduce developmental problems and congenital defects in newborns.  More recently, studies have begun to show that cutting out alcohol before conception can be extremely beneficial.  Previous research on the Paternal contribution to foetal alcohol syndrome demonstrated that alcohol exposure changes the DNA in developing sperm and sperm activity.  

According to ScienceDaily’s summary of the recent research in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, “Drinking alcohol three months before pregnancy or during the first trimester was associated with a 44% raised risk of congenital heart disease for fathers and 16% for mothers, compared to not drinking. Binge drinking, defined as five or more drinks per sitting, was related to a 52% higher likelihood of these birth defects for men and 16% for women.

The new results suggest if you are trying to have a baby, men should stop alcohol for at least 6 months before conception and women approximately one year before conception for optimal conditions and obviously also eliminate alcohol whilst pregnant.

In Australia Congenital Heart Disease impacts about 1 in every 100 children born each year.  It can range in the abnormalities of the heart from valve diseases to septal defects where the blood can leak from one section of the heart to another.

Most previous studies on alcohol and heart disease focused on the link between alcohol consumption and future mothers, this is the first meta-analysis that focuses on the drinking fathers before conception.  

Alcohol from a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective adds ‘heat’ to your body and can also create ‘dampness’.  Dampness can bog down your body, stopping the metabolism of fluids creating symptoms like oedema, swelling and even accumulating excess fat.  Heat on the other hand has the natural ability to simply warm you up and heat up your body leaving it in a dry state with redness or dry skin, but it can also lead to conditions such as irritability, restlessness, insomnia and changes in spirit or mood including anxiety or depression.

Often when treating fertility from a Chinese Medicine point of view, two of the symptoms that we will commonly ask relates to ‘heat’ within your system.  The question “Do you have night sweats?” is extremely common as well as “Do you feel hot at night?”.  The differentiation between these two statements may seem ambiguous, however it puts a person on a spectrum between two extremes.  On one end is actually having night sweats, being hot and perspiring at night, waking up sweaty, the other end is the subjective feeling of heat at night.  This is a stage well before having night sweats where your body is beginning to heat up, you may start with the earlier signs of simply having a dry mouth, putting a glass of water or liquid of some sort near your bed that you can sip on during the night. 

Within Traditional Chinese Medicine and the treatment of fertility we often talk about the energetic function of the ‘Kidneys’, and ‘Kidney Deficiency’.  This does not mean the physical kidney organ within your body; it refers more to a set of functions within the body that has been classified under the name ‘Kidneys’.  In reality, the functions relate more towards the biological adrenal system than the actual Kidneys, however there is a small amount of overlapping from a biological point of view.  

Kidneys have numerous functions within Traditional Chinese Medicine, however, within fertility we focus on some specific aspects of this organ.  Kidneys are viewed as the origin of life; it stores the essence and is the fundamental source of yin or yang within the body.  Kidneys are responsible for aspects of fertility, because the Kidneys store the essence, it is said when conception occurs the father’s essence and mother’s essence combine.  It is the early Chinese Medicine version of parental DNA combining to create life. Having good functioning Kidneys within Traditional Chinese Medicine will allow a much higher success rate with conception or pregnancy in women and it also improves the attributes of sperm for men.  When the Kidneys are weak symptoms such as lower back pain, night sweats, low energy, burnout, fatigue, feeling hot, brittle hair or nails, low libido, low sperm counts and can also include dizziness, hearing issues, incontinence and seminal emissions.  

We all start with different levels of Kidney essence when we are born.  The essence from a Father and Mother combine to bring about life where you obtain a portion of Kidney essence to use throughout life.  The health of the parents will depend how much of this essence is passed onto the child.   If parents a vibrant and healthy they will pass a healthy amount of essence to the child, whilst if the parents health has declined, they will pass less essence onto the upcoming child.  

There are numerous ways to deplete your Kidneys from a Chinese Medicine point of view.  Kidneys will have a naturally slow decease as we age and grow up. Developmental stages relate to the kidneys, so going through puberty and other stages indicate the functions of the Kidney’s and that they have reduced to a specific level.  Besides the natural decline of kidneys throughout our lives we can speed up our decline of Kidney essence if we choose to and there are numerous ways to do so.  Some of the ways include the adage ‘burning the candle at both ends’, it is overworking, not taking breaks, not resting enough, basically expending more energy than we are putting into our system.  Another way to reduce our Kidney essence is through drugs or alcohol, they both contribute to the decline in Kidney essence at various levels, especially stimulants of all sorts.  

One functions of the Kidneys is to hold our reserve storehouse of energy, the essence we store is used as reserves over our lifetime.   If another organ has low energy, it is borrowed from the Kidneys reserves.  As we complete activities that spend more energy from our body compared to the food and other energy we put into our body, we end up using up some of our reserve tank, or kidney essence, to give us that extra boost of adrenaline and energy we need.  Stimulants are designed to give you energy your body didn’t previously have, this from a Chinese Medicine point of view taps into our Kidney Essence and uses up some of that reserve energy to give you that quick buzz.  Another common way to reduce your Kidney essence can be going to the gym or exercising too much, this is another common way where by design we want to spend more energy than we put into our system, combined with possible pre-workout formula that contain stimulants and caffeine it’s a sure way to deplete your Kidney essence.  The key part here is ‘too much’ as regular exercise is great for the body, especially the Liver from a Traditional Chinese Medicine point of view, but it is all about moderation.

A good rule of thumb to follow for general lifestyle events would be how tired are you after the activity?  If you are worn out and exhausted after a workout, shift, or activity, dialling things back or taking breaks and conserving that energy is important to maintain your Kidney Essence.  This is especially true if you are trying to conceive as this will give the best possible chance for conception.

Alcohol specifically also adds heat into the system, so aside from depleting your Kidney Essence, it also adds to the heat that is produced.  As the feeling of heat is a common side effect when your Kidneys are weak, Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners try to cool you down, build up your Kidneys and reduce any external sources of heat you may be ingesting that could counteract the work we are doing do remove that heat.  This could be reducing alcohol, recreational drug use, chilli and hot or spicy foods as well as adjusting lifestyle activities such as increasing meditation to adjusting your diet through increasing specific types of foods.

Within Traditional Chinese Medicine alcohol is only recommended for specific purposes, and regarding fertility it is generally advised to cut out and abstain from alcohol all together.  New research is also showing that reducing alcohol improves your chances of conception and reduces the possibility of conditions such as foetal alcohol syndrome or congenital heart failure.  These are some of the topics we can help with at Mornington Chinese Medicine as promoting health and well-being is our primary goal as we believe health is the body’s natural state and Chinese Medicine is an excellent way to achieve equilibrium.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me for further information or to discuss these amazing topics.

Simon is available for consult on Monday, Friday and Saturday at Mornington Chinese Medicine.

To book your appointment please call us on PH: 5973 6886

  1. Parental alcohol consumption and the risk of congenital heart diseases in offspring: An updated systematic review and meta-analysis, European Journal of Preventive Cardiology,https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2047487319874530
  2. Science Daily, Fathers-to-be should avoid alcohol six months before conception, https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/10/191003074846.htm
  3. Prenatal Alcohol Exposure and Congenital Heart Defects: A Meta-Analysis, PLoS One. 2015; 10(6), https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4482023/
  4. Paternal contribution to fetal alcohol syndrome, Addict Biol. 2004 Jun;9(2):127-33; discussion 135-6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15223537
  5. Congenital Heart Disease – Heart Kids, https://www.heartkids.org.au/congenital-heart-disease
  6. Paternal contribution to fetal alcohol syndrome, Addict Biol. 2004 Jun;9(2):127-33; discussion 135-6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15223537
  7. Alcohol and Pregnancy – CDC, https://www.cdc.gov/dotw/fasd/index.html

©Simon Altman, 2019.

Distal Acupuncture for Pain Relief

Brad Whisnant and Simon Altman at the Tung distal Acupuncture Workshop.
Brad Whisnant and Simon Altman at the Tung distal Acupuncture Workshop.

Pain is the number one reason most people are introduced to acupuncture as a therapy. Acupuncture has been used in pain management for centuries and continues to this day in modern China.  Hospitals and acupuncture clinics are always effectively handling pain and creating management plans for individuals who are in distress.  Acupuncture is excellent at diminishing pain levels right on the spot and can have instantaneous results at reducing pain levels.

The methods used within distal acupuncture have been described in Traditional Chinese medical texts for well over a millennium.  Distal acupuncture involves inserting needles away from the painful areas, going distant/distal from the injured site as opposed to proximal/close or needling the target area.  For instance, for back pain you may needle a hand and forearm or foot and calf.  If the points are inserted correctly and at the precise location, a change should be felt on the spot.  The pain level should start diminishing with flexibility increasing, as muscles are softened or loosened and an increased sense of wellbeing at the targeted site of discomfort is achieved.

Distal Acupuncture works using the meridian system and modern anatomy through targeting specific muscle groups and areas of pain.  It allows the injured or sore area to relax and heal without causing any further trauma to the area.

These systems focus on using the correlation between the muscles and the meridian.  This is the distal treatment which improves blood flow, oxygen, nutrients, and anti-inflammatory chemicals that your body needs to heal. – Brad Whisnant author of numerous books on distal acupuncture.

The two main pioneers of distal acupuncture were Master Tung with his family lineage of specific acupuncture points now known as “Tung Acupuncture” and Dr Richard Tan who created what is now known as the “Balance Method” based on the I-Ching and Traditional Chinese Medicine meridian theory. It is through a combination of these two systems using distal methods of acupuncture which allows a practitioner to shift and change pain at a specific area on the body.

Using the Balance Method and Tung Acupuncture for pain allows you to observe any changes in the condition straight away.  Distal acupuncture generally requires a few treatments to determine how low the pain can be reduced and as with all acupuncture treatments the therapy has a cumulative effect with all prior treatments building momentum on the condition.  The main benefit of these systems is you should feel some relief from your pain instantly within the treatment session.

Acupuncture & Hot Flashes in women with breast cancer.

hot flashes and acupuncture

Acupuncture and Hot Flashes

Here’s an interesting piece of new research about Hot Flashes in women with breast cancer that came out of Italy and was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology recently and reported in Reuters.  Click on the links to both articles are below.

Reuters reported the following in their article commenting on the journal HERE.

By the end of the treatments, hot flash scores – the frequency of hot flashes multiplied by their severity – were significantly lower among the women in the acupuncture group.

The enhanced self-care group’s average hot flash score was about 23 at the end of treatment, compared to about 11 in the acupuncture group. The difference would be noticeable, Razzini told Reuters Health in an email.

The difference in hot flash scores between the two groups remained significant three and six months after treatment, the researchers found.

Women who received acupuncture also experienced a better quality of life than those in the enhanced self-care group.

 

If you would like to read the actual Journal of Clinical Concolog, the link can be found HERE.  A summary of the Journal abstract is below.

Purpose: To determine the effectiveness of acupuncture for the management of hot flashes in women with breast cancer.

Results: Of the participants, 105 were randomly assigned to enhanced self-care and 85 to acupuncture plus enhanced self-care. Acupuncture plus enhanced self-care was associated with a significantly lower hot flash score than enhanced self-care at the end of treatment and at 3- and 6-month post-treatment follow-up visits. Acupuncture was also associated with fewer climacteric symptoms and higher quality of life in the vasomotor, physical, and psychosocial dimensions.

Conclusion Acupuncture in association with enhanced self-care is an effective integrative intervention for managing hot flashes and improving quality of life in women with breast cancer.

Children’s Acupuncture

Shonishin Kids Tools

Children’s Acupuncture

(Shonishin Paediatric Children’s Acupuncture)

Children’s Acupuncture or Shonishin is more commonly known as Japanese Paediatric Acupuncture and it literally translates as “Children’s Needle”.   Both Traditional Chinese and Japanese acupuncturists have been treating children for centuries.  The Shonishin system, more specifically, dates back to the 17th century Japan in the Osaka region and then passed down through the generations until it was popularised through medical journals and publications in 1960s Japan.

Shonishin is designed to be able to treat children up to about 12 or 13 years old in a gentle, comfortable and caring manner, with the child remaining calm and reducing any stress for both the child and parents.

A basic Shonishin treatment involves asking questions, observation of the child, pulse or stomach diagnosis and the treatment.  Home treatments are often taught to the parents after one or two sessions so that the Shonishin therapy can continue between sessions.  This allows the parents to continue treatment under the supervision of the practitioner with some regularity and also encourages the bond between a parent and their child.

The Shonishin approach uses a range of tools and is generally needle-less.  The tools used within Shonishin are often blunt and used for techniques that stroke, tap and press the various meridians of the child.  The techniques are gentle and the procedure is often completed fairly quickly without any discomfort or distress to the child.

A Shonishin session uses these tools in combinations to stroke, massage, press and tap over a range of meridian lines or specific acupuncture points known to promote health and balance within the child.  An experienced practitioner knows how to use these techniques to produce a variety of gentle stimulation and sensations within the child and this allows healing through the return to homeostasis.

Children's Acupuncture Tools
Shonishin Tools (Spring Loaded Teishin, Enshin, Yoneyama and Teishin)

Some of the tools used in Shonishin (from left to right) is the Spring loaded Teishin which is used to stimulate acupuncture points without needling, for rubbing the Enshin is used and looks like a metal ball on a stick that glides over the meridians, the Yoneyama is used for tapping or rubbing certain parts of the body and finally the standard Teishin which is a non-inserting blunt needle used to press or stimulate acupuncture points.

Whilst it is common for Shonishin to be totally needle free, there are occasions where absolutely pain free, gentle needling is used extremely superficially with extremely thin acupuncture needles designed for children.  The technique is no more then a few seconds long and is generally completed before the child even realises what is going on.

Along with the Shonishin treatment involving rubbing, tapping and pressing, gentle cupping or indirect moxibustion may be used to complement the treatment.  This will depend on the symptoms of the child and the condition being treated.

Shonishin, like Traditional Chinese Medicine, is a holistic means of treating an individual.  This means that each child coming in will be differentiated and treated as a unique case and have their treatment tailored specifically for them.

Young Children are considered within the philosophies of Oriental Medicine to be in a more “Yang” phase of development and this means their “Qi” moves and responds a lot quicker in comparison to adults.  A growing child’s body will naturally consume a lot more “Qi” or energy to allow for all the extra growth and development that is occurring.  This often can deplete the organs responsible for producing “Qi” and in combination with other factors within our environment can leave a child open for a range of health issues.

There are many things to consider when administering a Shonishin treatment.  The frequency, dosage and strength will depend on the age, health or illness of the child and presenting symptoms.  Keep in mind that because Children are considered more “Yang”, that the treatment will often be shorter in duration and generally only take a few minutes to administer.  The technique is most effective when combined with a home treatment that can be completed using household items and is taught using a spoon for rubbing or a toothpick for tapping.

You should always use Shonishin in combination and consultation with your paediatrician or General Practitioner.  If your child has a fever and the body temperature is 37.8°C or higher (moderate or high fever) it is generally advised to see your child’s doctor or wait till the fever has subsided before coming in to administer a Shonishin treatment.

Shonishin is a wonderfully gentle and therapeutic method to promote healing within children and tackles numerous conditions or problems in a gentle, holistic and caring manner.  If you have any questions about Shonishin or the treatment of children, please feel free to contact us for further information or to book an appointment visit Mornington Chinese Medicine for more information.

Acupuncture and Constipation

Acupuncture Stomach
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Here’s a little article about Acupuncture and constipation taken from healthcmi.com a great TCM news site.  It basically describes a new study that shows Acupuncture as an effective option for relieving slow transit constipation.  Acupuncture is an excellent modality to treat a wide range of symptoms relating to disorders involving digetsion and gut functions such as IBS.  The study used a range of standard acupuncture points that are commonly used in the clinic on a regular basis.  Read the snippet below and please comment if you have anything to say:

Acupuncture is effective for relieving slow transit constipation (STC). Slow transit refers to the slow passage of feces through the large intestine. Acupoint ST25, Tianshu, and CV12, Zhongwan. STC is a type of functional constipation that is present in approximately 15 to 30% of constipated individuals and is characterized by strained bowel movements with lumpy or hard stools. STC involves fewer than three bowel movements per week and is accompanied by a sensation of incomplete evacuation. There may be concomitant abdominal pain, nausea, and low appetite. The incidence of STC increases with age.

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