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Diet, food, recipe, Traditional Chinese Medicine

Strawberries: how to eat ’em and why they are good for you

StrawberrySo strawberries have been in the news at the moment and for all of the wrong reasons. But that doesn’t mean that they are not a) tasty and b) good for you!

You may also be helping our farmers out with their glut of beautiful fruit that is now unlikely to be sold at the quantities they’d hoped.

Here’s what strawberries are generally considered to do for us from a Chinese Medicine point of view:

  • Thermal nature: cooling
  • Flavour: sweet, sour
  • Effect: Forms body fluids and Blood

So this means that the delicious red goodness that is a strawberry is refreshing, the sweetness promotes the production of body fluids (good for those people who have problems associated with dryness), the sourness conserves those body fluids and the red colour means this fruit is beneficial for making Blood. On the last point, strawberries are considered to be high in vitamin C and we know that this is helpful in absorbing iron – you might want to team your strawberries up as a dessert following an iron rich meal. Don’t eat too many strawberries (especially raw) if you run cold or are prone to loose bowel motions.

So what should you do with your strawberries, especially if you’ve picked up a bumper pack at a bargain price? (After you’ve sliced them first for safety reasons.)

Well in Chinese Medicine, the general rule is not to eat too much raw food (especially with a cooling nature and especially if you already feel cold) so maybe eat a few raw strawberries. The rest can be cooked up in any one of these great sounding healthy, strawberry recipes. Failing that, you can always dip a few in the finest quality, fair trade, 70+% cacao, dark chocolate. Yum.

So support the farmers, enjoy your strawberries and just be sure to cut them (and maybe cook them up) first.

To book an acupuncture appointment at either Launceston clinic or for further information on Chinese Medicine contact Dr Sarah George (Acupuncture).  Sarah is a practitioner of acupuncture (AHPRA registered), massage therapy and natural health.

acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine

Acupuncture in Launceston: 2 new clinics and more appointments available

Hello!

It’s been a busy few months here at Sarah George Acupuncture & Natural Health. In August we had the buzz of the Cook Healthy Japanese Food workshop that I presented with the wonderful Sam Seghers from Mindful Menus. There are more seminars in the pipeline so stay tuned.

And this month the big news is my clinic is leaving its humble location to make its new home in not one but two great central Launceston locationseffective 1st October!

Here are the details to find me:

House of Prana from right
House of Prana
  • In Balance* The In Balance Physio & Pilates team are creating a fantastic, new allied health hub at their beautiful new location of 1st Floor, 233B Charles Street, Launceston
In Balance building
In Balance

*As the exact opening date of the new In Balance clinic is still not definite, I’ll be operating only from House of Prana until I can work from both clinics. I’ll keep you updated.

There are some great benefits to moving to these new locations, including:

  • HICAPS for onsite private health fund claims
  • New herbal dispensary (better access to herbs and no more ordering from the mainland)
  • Greater availability of appointments – 4 days!
  • Easy walk from town
  • Benefit of other practitioner services and team approach where you require it – eg. pilates, yoga, floatation rooms, physio, hypnotherapy, art therapy and remedial massage.

As always my treatments remain holistic and individualised to you, including additional therapies as required such as cupping, gua sha (scraping), moxa, acupressure, tuina (Chinese Medicine massage), herbal medicine, Chinese Medicine dietary advice and lifestyle modifications. And you’ll be benefiting from the knowledge and skills I’ve gained in over 10 years’ clinical experience, several years’ of lecturing and supervising acupuncture students and qualifications at bachelor and masters degree levels in acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine.

To keep up to date with the new clinic developments and news you can follow me on Facebook and Instagram too.

To book an appointment at either clinic or for further information on Chinese Medicine contact Dr Sarah George (Acupuncture).  Sarah is a practitioner of acupuncture (AHPRA registered), massage therapy and natural health.

Diet, food, food allergy, health, recipe, Traditional Chinese Medicine

New Launceston workshop: Cook Healthy Japanese Food

Hello! It’s been a little while since my last post (I’ve been busy) but I’m here to say that the great Sam Seghers from Mindful Menus and Redcliffe Yoga & Massage is coming to Launceston (from Redcliffe, QLD) to team up with me for a fun and informative workshop!

Cook Healthy Japanese Food – Saturday 11th August (1pm-3pm)

Header Cooking Healthy Japanese Food

So Sam is a whizz with Japanese cookery (having lived there for 14 years). She is going to take some great Tasmanian fresh produce and create several tasty Japanese dishes. And she’ll be able to answer all those tricky questions you have about ingredients like:

  • the seaweeds (e.g. wakame and kombu – what on earth do you do with them?)
  • tofu (how do you cook it so it doesn’t taste like a sponge?)
  • mushrooms (e.g. shiitake, king oyster – what do you do with them?)
  • green tea (e.g. what to look for in a good Japanese tea and how to brew it)
  • miso (everyone is talking about it – what is it and what do you do with it?)
  • And many more…

All food prepared on the day will be gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, vegetarian and vegan although we are also happy to discuss substitutions for other diet styles, food allergies and intolerances.

My job in all of this is to introduce you to the exciting world of Chinese Dietetics. This will change the way you think about food in a very healthy and balanced way.

In Chinese dietetics we talk about the thermal nature of a food (e.g. cold, cool, neutral, warm, hot), the flavour (bitter, sweet, pungent, salty, sour) and the organs that each food has an affinity with. You’ll discover that no wholefood should be considered good (eat tonnes of it) or evil (avoid it at all costs) for every person in the same way. We’ll talk about balance of thermal nature and flavours in your meal. And we’ll go through the Chinese dietetic properties of each food we use in the recipes on the day and the over all benefits of the dish (including the cooking methods) so that you know which ones will benefit you most.

During this time you’ll also enjoy the most amazing healthy Japanese afternoon tea banquet of all the dishes we have created on the day.  Having been lucky enough to have attended several of Sam’s Japanese banquets in the past I assure you that these dishes are delicious!

If you’re interested in learning a little more about Chinese Dietetics here’s a post I wrote a while ago on balancing the five flavours in a meal.

To book tickets to Cook Healthy Japanese Foods visit our Eventbrite page.

For further information on the event visit the event on Sarah George Acupuncture on Facebook.

To book an appointment at the clinic or for further information on Chinese Medicine contact Dr Sarah George (Acupuncture).  Sarah is a practitioner of acupuncture (AHPRA registered), massage therapy and natural health.

acupuncture, fertility, IVF, pregnancy, Traditional Chinese Medicine

Launceston acupuncture clinic now open!

Launceston clinic tableBig news! My new clinic in beautiful Launceston is officially open.

It’s been a little while in the making (I’ve been writing a subject on Chinese Medicine dietary therapy for an acupuncture degree program) but the clinic is now ready for patients!

This is primarily a women’s health practice in line with my professional experience and further education. I enjoy supporting women with a range of menstrual issues (including period pain), couples through preconception care, natural fertility cycles and IVF/ART, as well as assisting women throughout their pregnancies and towards birth. Additionally, research and my clinical experience indicates that acupuncture is also effective for a range of common pain conditions including osteoarthritis of the knee, chronic lower back pain, headaches and migraines (prophylaxis).

Launceston clinic bookshelf

I bring to each consultation a blend of skills and knowledge from my clinical experience and academic pursuits (formerly, Senior Lecturer of Chinese Medicine at Endeavour College of Natural Health, Gold Coast). My qualifications include a Master of Health Science (Traditional Chinese Medicine) with distinction and a Bachelor of Health Science (Acupuncture); I’m regularly staying up to date with training – so you’re in good hands. You can read my bio here.

I’m pretty excited to be bringing my compassionate style of Chinese Medicine to you with a range of  treatment techniques including acupuncture (including electro-acupuncture and laser acupuncture as required), tuina (Chinese massage), cupping, Chinese dietetics and lifestyle advice adapted to assist you as an individual with reaching your health goals.

Never had acupuncture and worried it hurts? click here.

To make an appointment or for further information call: 0448 12 88 58.

To book an appointment at the clinic or further information on Chinese Medicine contact Dr Sarah George (Acupuncture).  Sarah is a practitioner of acupuncture (AHPRA registered), massage therapy and natural health.

acupuncture, herbal medicine, nature, Traditional Chinese Medicine

Goodbye to the Gold Coast but what is next?

Tasmania lavender close up
Lavender flowers at Bridestowe Lavender Estate

So there are big changes here at Sarah George Acupuncture & Natural Health. The clinic is moving… quite a long way away… to Launceston, Tasmania.

The reason for this is that I am taking a step away from permanent academic life to focus more on providing one on one care to my patients combined with running a few courses, doing a little teaching and writing more about Chinese Medicine for good health in a clean, green environment close to beautiful fresh produce and herb farms including Bridestowe Lavender Estate and 41º South Ginseng Farm.

To my patients, I wanted to thank you for choosing Sarah George Acupuncture Natural Health (in Brisbane, West End and Broadbeach) for your health care over the past few years. It has been an honour to be your acupuncturist in this time and I am grateful for you in trusting me to help you towards reaching your health goals.

Stay tuned… I will be setting up as an acupuncturist in Launceston, Tasmania… feel free to share this news with anyone you know living in Launie who might be looking for an acupuncturist.

Tasmania Cataract Gorge
Cataract Gorge, Launceston

And you can always follow me here on the blog and/or on facebook, instagram and twitter.

To book an appointment at the clinic or further information on Chinese Medicine contact Dr Sarah George (Acupuncture).  Sarah is a practitioner of acupuncture (AHPRA registered), massage therapy and natural health.

 

acupuncture, health, pregnancy

The acupuncture evidence is in and it’s good news for sufferers of chronic low back pain, headaches, migraines, knee osteoarthritis and many others…

Sarah George fertility acupunctureDon’t let anyone tell you that there is no evidence to support acupuncture.

Firstly, it’s a stupid generalisation to make for the reasons listed here and secondly, well it’s just plain wrong.

Australian researchers, Dr John McDonald and Stephen Janz, have recently published the Acupuncture Evidence Project. This huge comparative literature review has identified 46 conditions with strong or moderate evidence to support the use of acupuncture as a treatment. It is the largest piece of work of it’s kind in relation to acupuncture evidence and has been embraced world-wide.

The authors concluded “it is no longer possible to say that the effectiveness of acupuncture is because of the placebo effect, or that it is useful only for musculoskeletal pain”.

So you’re probably wondering which conditions is there strong evidence for… here’s the list:

  • Allergic rhinitis (perennial & seasonal)
  • Knee osteoarthritis
  • Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (with anti-emetics)
  • Migraine prophylaxis
  • Chronic low back pain
  • Postoperative nausea & vomiting
  • Headache (tension-type and chronic)
  • Postoperative pain

And then there’s another 38 conditions with moderate evidence including pelvic pain in pregnancy, constipation, insomnia, irritable bowel syndrome, neck and shoulder pain, and anxiety.

For some of the conditions reviewed that did not make it into the strong or moderate evidence category, acupuncture may just not have had enough high quality trials published yet – so do watch this space. Good quality acupuncture research is currently experiencing a growth spurt.

To read a plain English summary of the Acupuncture Evidence Project click here. Or for the full review click here.

If you’d like to try acupuncture for a health condition do be sure to choose a registered acupuncturist (and no, dry needling is not the same thing – it is not held to the same high standards of training or regulation to ensure safety.)

And go on… share this about. It’s worth counteracting the fake news and alternate facts with some good old scientific evidence.

To book an appointment at the clinic or further information on Chinese Medicine contact Dr Sarah George (Acupuncture).  Sarah is a practitioner of acupuncture (AHPRA registered), massage therapy and natural health.

food, health, herbal medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Uncategorized

Do you know these herbs and spices?

Sri Lanka AHG cardamom tea
Cardamom black tea

So a lot of us use a range of herbs and spices in our cooking and medicines and yet we may not have a clue what they actually look like when they’re growing on the bush or vine or tree. (I also know some of you grow an extensive range of herbs in your gardens and very much know what they look like and how to use them.)

By definition herbs are plants of a particular type (soft, succulent and mostly grown from seed) but this doesn’t truly capture all of the plants we use as herbs. Broadly speaking, herbs can be any plant we use in medicine, food, flavouring, for fragrance or even as a dye.

While I was in Sri Lanka late last year I wanted to visit as many Ayurvedic herbal gardens as I could to learn more about these medicinal plants. Here are some photos I took at the Ananda Spice Garden (near Koggala Lake) of some herbs you may use on regular rotation in your kitchen or even in a medicinal brew:

Sri Lanka AHG aloe vera
Aloe Vera
Sri Lanka AHG cinnamon
Cinnamon
Sri Lanka AHG ginger
Ginger
Sri Lanka AHG red ginger
Red ginger
Sri Lanka AHG vanilla
Vanilla

Aren’t they gorgeous?

And if you are interested, here is a east-west fusion (read: not Classical Chinese Medicine but still really interesting) of the Five Elements of herbs I found in one of my favourite, old herb books – Isobell Shiphard’s How can I use herbs in my daily life?

Isabell Shipard 5 element herbs

To book an appointment at the clinic or further information on Chinese Medicine contact Dr Sarah George (Acupuncture).  Sarah is a practitioner of acupuncture (AHPRA registered), massage therapy and natural health.