acupuncture, health, Traditional Chinese Medicine

COVID-19 Important Update: the clinic is moving online

ABC How every single Australian's actions affect the spread of coronavirusWith the latest federal and state government announcements and requests from frontline medical staff to #stayhome in regards to the COVID-19 pandemic, I can no longer see that offering face-to-face consultations in my clinic is responsible practice. Despite always maintaining a high level of infection control, beyond what is prescribed in the Australian Government’s COVID-19 Infection Control Training for health professionals, it seems higher level precautions to keep everyone safe are required now with the use of additional personal protective equipment (PPE), temperature monitoring and most importantly social distancing. As a stand alone clinician, I don’t have the capacity to provide all of this myself in a situation with close contact.

I know that for many of you, your acupuncture consultation with me as an allied health professional is essential to your ability to function or manage your health. I take this responsibility extremely seriously. This decision is not taken as complying with the minimum level of responsibility I can, but rather doing what I believe is right for you and our community. As I close my doors to the physical clinic at House of Prana (for now), I want to assure you that there is a plan in place to continue your care with the myriad of treatment styles that Chinese Medicine has to offer. You are not alone. I am still here for you. And I have a bigger bag of strategies than you could imagine. 

If you have an appointment booked with me I will be in touch with you this week.

The thing is, acupuncture is only one part of Chinese Medicine. Those of you who already attend appointments with me know that a large part of my consultations involve diet, lifestyle and herbal strategies. Some of you have had moxibustion (that herbal stick) and acupressure homework. There is still so much more I can teach you to do in your home accompanied by appropriate prescriptions.  In fact, you are likely to learn more about Chinese Medicine for your health condition and be empowered with self-care strategies that are individualised to you. Better still, you can attend the appointment in the comfort of your own home, while self-isolating for the good of the community. The small number of you who haven’t managed to learn to love needles can avoid them, for now.

I plan to bring you two styles of health support:

  1. Telehealth consultations (with a delivery service for herbs, teas and other prescribed items)
  2. A webinar series

Most of you know I have been lecturing and writing courses in Chinese Medicine for years and the chance to be able to share my knowledge with you through online consultations and webinars gives you access to more information that you can use in your home to benefit your own health.

Currently, I am putting everything into place to ensure that both of these services are both professional and run smoothly so that your care is continued seamlessly. Please indulge me with a few more days to organise these services for you. But do contact me if you need assistance before you hear from me.

For now, be sure to follow me on Facebook, Instagram, this website and your emails if you are subscribed to my mailing list for updates, tips and some lighthearted distractions too.

Lastly, I want to acknowledge that a lot of you and the people you know are hurting right now. Please reach out if I can help. If you need support for your mental health please contact these Lifeline: 13 11 14, BeyondBlue: 1300 224 636 or Headspace: 1800 650 890.

I’m wishing each and everyone of you all the best right now. Stay home, wash your hands, stay in contact with friends and loved ones, be well and keep an eye out for further updates.

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

acupuncture, health, Traditional Chinese Medicine

COVID-19: important information about acupuncture and Chinese medicine services

wall mounted open signage
Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Pexels.com

As you’d all be well aware by now we are in interesting times with the COVID-19 pandemic. It is my role as your health practitioner to ensure that I deliver my Chinese Medicine services in a way that both benefits your health and is performed in an environment that minimises the risk of infection.

Below you’ll find the steps I’m taking to provide health services with suitable precautions to ensure that when it comes to your treatment you feel calm and supported in your health goals:

  1. Firstly, YES! The clinic is still open. Appointment-wise it is business as usual and you can still book in by calling or texting 0448 128 858, emailing sarah@sarahgeorgeacupuncture.com.au or visiting the online booking system.
  2. Clinic continues in strict accordance with government health advice. I am keeping a close eye on Australian Government, Tasmanian  Department of Health, Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHRPA) and Australian Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine Association (AACMA) directives and will comply completely. The situation is changing rapidly and I will remain flexible and responsive to those changes, notifying you of any changes that may affect you or your appointment. It is important to note that as registered acupuncturists we are already held to a high level of infection control and these infection control procedures continue with additional measures taking place in the building.
  3. Notify me ASAP by phone or email if you are unwell and/or are required to be isolated/quarantined. Your appointment will be cancelled/rescheduled with the usual cancellation fees waived. In this case, please DO NOT attend your appointment in person.  We will either cancel your appointment or reschedule it to when it may be safe for you to return. To reduce the spread of infection it is important that you advise me as soon as possible if you are affected by the following:
    • Experiencing fever, flu-like symptoms such as coughing, sore throat and fatigue, and shortness of breath. We will cancel/reschedule your appointment and should you require symptom relief this may be arranged remotely for you. (See below.)
    • If you have serious symptoms such as difficulty breathing, call 000 for urgent medical help.
    • If you have had recent overseas travel and are required to self isolate. (Have returned from overseas on or after 16 March, have been in or transited through China or Iran in the past 14 days, have returned from South Korea on or after 5 March, have returned from Italy on or after 11 March.)
    • Have been in ‘close contact’ with a confirmed case.
  4. Do you suspect you have COVID-19? If you think you might have COVID-19 because of recent travel or contact with a confirmed case, phone the Tasmanian Public Health Hotline (1800 671 738) for advice. If you haven’t travelled or had contact with confirmed case, phone your doctor or healthdirect Australia (1800 022 222).
  5. Skype & Phone Consults. This is the answer for when you can’t attend clinic due to sickness, isolation/quarantine or due to being extremely immuno-compromised but still need your Chinese Medicine treatment. The good news is that Chinese Medicine Skype and phone appointments are available for you! You may be surprised to know that Chinese Medicine is a lot more than just acupuncture. We have a full toolkit available to us including Chinese dietetics, lifestyle measures, exercises, herbal medicine, moxibustion (the herb I burn in clinic) and acupressure. Your treatment can continue should you be isolated at home with an individualised prescription of these methods tailored to your signs and symptoms and health goal. This applies to what you usually see me for or if you are seeking relief from other symptoms. These consultations will be conducted via Skype or phone. The fee is $50 and health fund rebates do not apply. Any products that are prescribed can be picked up by someone else or a courier service. If you have serious symptoms such as difficulty breathing, call 000 for urgent medical help.
  6. Preventative medicine. Please feel free to discuss your health situation with me at your next consult and we can discuss preventative measures. Of course these hygiene measures are your first line of defence. I have also been researching Chinese Medicine strategies that have been used in China some of which may be suitable to use here also.
  7. My health. I take my health very, very seriously not just now but always. My job requires me to be in tip top shape and if I’m even slightly unwell, I take time off. Currently I’m employing high level hygiene measures, hydrating, eating well and maximising sleep in a way that supports my immune system, and employing herbs, supplements and other Chinese Medicine methods individualised to me to maintain my health. We are dealing with a new pathogen here and research is limited as to what is effective. That said, each and every one of us can employ our winter cold and flu prevention practices.

BE INFORMED. I have included a page here of a wide range of links to useful and reputable websites if you want to be more informed about COVID-19.

STAY CALM AND SMILE. Employ your usual stress reduction techniques. My favourites are the meditation apps Headspace, Calm and the breathing/qigong app 7 Min Chi. Get creative. Read your favourite books. Enjoy time in your garden. Get some sunshine and keep exercising in a low contact way.

If you have any questions about any of the content in this newsletter please feel free to contact me.

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

health, Traditional Chinese Medicine

COVID-19: stay calm and be informed with these useful links

3913708645_8db9db532c_zCoronavirus is here in Tasmania and at my Launceston acupuncture clinic I have been collating resources to benefit us all.

First of all, pay close attention to our two relevant government websites. Information is changing quickly and these are the best sources to get information from. These are also the best sites for hygiene and preventative measures:

For information about the virus itself and frequently asked questions for myth busting so you don’t end up sharing misinformation:

General and interesting information:

I’ll respond further as the situation here in Tasmania changes. Remember to keep checking the government websites for the best and up-to-date information.

But for now stay informed, keep calm and be kind. Follow the preventive guidelines. Stay well. Reach out to those who might need assistance.

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

health, nature, Traditional Chinese Medicine

How to live well this winter

Well! Winter is certainly packing a punch this year. My weather app says we’re due for -4 degrees Celsius tonight. Brrrrrrrrrrr.  Note to self: I need to refresh my winter wardrobe.Winter leunig

But what about winter and your health? Winter has a bad reputation for ‘catching a cold’ and cops the flack for setting the scene for ‘flu season’.

Here in Launceston, we certainly notice the seasons in a big way particularly as the days are much shorter and the temperature is much cooler. And those frosts!

In keeping with my other seasonal living guides (summer and autumn), here is your guide to living well in winter.

Winter is all about the Water element (in which we find the Kidneys and Bladder). It is when the Yang (hot, energetic Qi) is hidden by the Yin (cool, peaceful Qi) accumulation. And so we crave:

    • Comfort and being cosy
    • Embracing the indoors, or well warmed outdoor spaces
    • Introversion
    • Getting more sleep (earlier to bed, later to rise – just like the sun)
    • Using the warm quilt and/or flannelette sheets
    • Getting crafty (crocheting or knitting? I heard they are the new yoga!)
    • Comforting foods – soups, stews, curries, apple cinnamon crumble

Continue reading “How to live well this winter”

acupuncture, Diet, emotional health, fertility, health, IVF, pregnancy, Traditional Chinese Medicine

We’re speaking at the Woodford Folk Festival 2018/19 on fertility and postpartum care!


Woodford 2011-12 KM SG children festival
Kathleen and I teaching acupressure at the Woodford Folk Festival Children’s Festival (2011/12)

Hello again! I’m very happy to break this exciting news to you.

My fantastic naturopath-acupuncturist (and MamaCare) pal, Kathleen Murphy, and I will be teaming up again to speak about two of our favourite topics this year at the Woodford Folk Festival – Fertility (and Chinese Medicine) and The Fourth Trimester (or postpartum) care with Natural Medicine.

We’re super excited to be bringing discussions on traditional practices and evidence based care combined with our own clinical experiences to the good people of Woodfordia.

It’ll also be wonderful to be joining the great team at The Blue Lotus venue once again (where you’ll find the best of yoga, meditation and health speakers at the festival).

You can find us on the programme here.

DSC00608
And here we are speaking about Gluten and Grain Intolerance at the Woodford Folk Festival (2012/13)

Stay tuned for more info on when we’re speaking and details of what we’ll be speaking about!

We hope you can come and join us and the rest of the great lineup that the festival brings this year!

To book an appointment at the Launceston clinics 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, 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.