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Posted by on Feb 25, 2016 in Health Hub |

Brain Teasers for Better Health

Brain Teasers for Better Health

Keeping our brains active is incredibly important; and solving riddles is a great way to do this.

It improves memory and processing speeds, which has a positive impact on mental health, and is a great way for students to improve their exam scores while having fun.

It prevents the build up of sticky amyloid plaque in people who have the Alzheimer’s gene variant; while new research has revealed that it doesn’t prevent Alzheimer’s for everyone, as previously suggested, people with this gene variant will find it incredibly helpful.

And finally: it provides a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction and gives us problem solving skills that we can use in our day to day lives. If we feel able to tackle difficult problems, our anxiety goes down and our resilience goes up.

So, here’s a few to try with your friends and family:

A magician claims he can turn water into wine – but he can only do it if the water is frozen. He pulls out a full ice cube tray, gets an audience member to taste a cube and they agree that it’s frozen water in the tray. He pulls out another cube, allows it to melt in a glass, and gets an audience member to taste it – lo and behold, it’s white wine. How do you think he did it?

Barbie lives in a one storey house with a pink front door. She has pink walls, pink chairs, and a pink bedspread. Her coffee mugs are pink and her window panes are pink. What colour are her stairs?
A basket contains 5 apples. Do you know how to divide them among 5 kids so that each one has an apple and one apple stays in the basket?

A girl who was just learning to drive went down a one-way street in the wrong direction, but didn’t break the law. How come?


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Posted by on Feb 22, 2016 in Health Hub |

Fertility and Nutrition: An Eastern Perspective ~ Christina Atkins

Fertility and Nutrition: An Eastern Perspective ~ Christina Atkins

Modifying our diet to encourage pregnancy is one of the most simple and powerful tools we have to ensure optimum fertility and a healthy pregnancy.


Asian culture sees food as medicine – what we eat today will sow either the seeds of health or those of disease of the future.

All things in nature can be explained in basic terms of yin and yang and the interplay of these energies.   Classical medicine states that:-

“Yin is still in nature , yang is active in nature . Yang generates and yin grows things. The yang function radiates and moves, yin stores and nourishes ” ~ (Su Wen )

Yin and yang constantly affect each other and we can easily find ourselves out of balance because of many factors, from the lifestyles we lead to the foods we eat. For example, overeating of hot spicy foods causes the yang to excessively radiate which causes excess sweating, open pores and then chilling of the body.  Long term this can lead a person to experience exhaustion.

On the other hand, excess consumption of cold, raw foods can chill the digestive system causing sluggish movement of digestion.  This results in bloating and the accumulation of water, which in turn, can lead to phlegm build up and disease.

The good news is that we can improve the yin-yang balance of our bodies just by changing our diet and thus improving your chances of a healthy pregnancy.

When I palpate a person’s ‘hara’ or abdomen, and feel it is “cold and empty”,  usually it is due to their over consumption of raw and cold foods.  This often means that they also tend to have a weak digestion.   I will then immediately advise them to eat only steamed vegetables and warm or room temperature beverages.  This enables the body to transform food into fuel with ease, without taxing an already weak digestion.  This is especially important if a women is trying to conceive; we want to encourage an environment that is warm, where blood flows freely and is able to nourish a developing foetus.

Here is an example how yin and yang work together to conceive a life:

Yin dominates the fluids in our body. Stretchy fertile mucus is needed to guide the sperm through the generally acidic environment of the uterus.  Yin encourages the cultivation of fertile mucus to carry the sperm safely up the pathway to the ovum.  Yin ensures the egg and sperm that are released within 3-months’ time is ripe and succulent to carry life. We need yin to encourage a lovely thick endometrium for the fertilised embryo to embed its home in the uterus snugly and be nourished for the next 10 months.

Yang energy is needed to circulate energy throughout the body.  It ensures the egg is fully released from the ovum and completely makes its way out of the fallopian tubes to the uterus.  Sufficient yang Qi ensures the sperm swims efficiently through the uterus to meet the waiting ovum and, subsequently, impregnate successfully.  Often men that have poor circulation have issues of viable sperm motility.  This can be improved with regular acupuncture sessions.  Women who have irregular cycles and ovulation issues can benefit from regular treatment also. Maintaining upright yang Qi ensures the baby is held safely in the uterus for the full gestational period.
Basic Yin nourishing foods –

  • Soup or stocks made from bone marrow. You can add the stock to hearty soups or risotto or consume as a broth on its own
  • Pork and pork marrow
  • Osso Bucco – this nourishes fluids
  • Eggs – great blood tonic
  • Coconut milk
  • Anything with gelatin
  • Dates – spleen and blood tonics
  • Tofu – lubricates dryness
  • Honey
  • Kidney beans
  • Maltose
  • Pears
  • Spinach
  • Walnuts
  • Watermelon

Basic Yang foods –
We aim to warm the middle of the body, put fire back under “the burner” so we can strengthen the digestion and stomach.

  • Sardines
  • Cinnamon Bark, Clove
  • Dill Seed
  • Fennel root and seed
  • Pistachio nuts
  • Beef Kidneys
  • Chestnuts
  • Star anise
  • Red dates and black dates
  • Chicken soup, especially in winter. If taken regularly it will benefit you for the rest of the pregnancy
  • Chai teas


Yang tonics need to be taken in moderation as overdosing can cause a dispersive effect rather than gathering of energy.

The beauty in eastern medicine is that every person is seen as an individual and there is not one recipe or fix for everyone.   The above information is general in nature.

For a more individual treatment plan, it is recommended that you see a professional eastern medicine practitioner who can provide individualised recommendations.

Christina is available in clinic on Mondays and Wednesdays.  Private health rebates are available.

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Posted by on Feb 2, 2016 in Health Hub |

HSC Advice: The Journey vs The Destination

HSC Advice: The Journey vs The Destination

When it comes to the HSC and your children’s future, you need to walk the fine line between keeping them motivated, and ensuring they don’t get completely overwhelmed by pressure. So: ask your kid what the HSC will help them achieve career wise, but ask them about their other plans too.

Talk to them about how a bit of knowledge about foreign cultures will make it easier to make friends and navigate life in another country on your OE. Talk to them about how math will help them figure out the budget to restore an old car. Talk to them about how science is weirdly useful in the kitchen – knowing how things react and how to measure properly is a great skill to have if they ever plan to survive a Masterchef pressure test. Talk to them about how art history will help them spot things others don’t, and learn to look closer.

If you can make them see the value in the tests and the knowledge as well as the certificate they get at the end, you’ll keep them on track without setting them up to collapse.

Don’t forget that we’re holding info nights for families wanting to have a happy and successful HSC experience – these run every Wednesday in February. Bookings are essential, so please call the clinic to register your interest.

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Posted by on Jan 29, 2016 in Health Hub |

Five Natural Remedies for Basic Cuts and Scrapes

Five Natural Remedies for Basic Cuts and Scrapes

When it comes to simple, shallow scratches and grazes, staving away infection is the best way to avoid a trip to the doctor. There’s a number of natural products that can help you do this.

1. Honey

Raw honey is a fantastic product to have around – it’s a great remedy to use on pets, too. When honey meets the wound, hydrogen peroxide is produced via a glucose oxidase enzyme reaction. This is released slowly, and provides antibacterial activity, while keeping tissue healthy and undamaged. Some studies suggest that honey is better at preventing infection than antibiotics.honey

2. Garlic

Whether you’re ingesting it for colds and flu or using it as a topical remedy, it’s common knowledge that garlic is a fantastic antibacterial and antifungal. Make sure you don’t leave it on the skin too long as it can be very potent/cause damage; about 20 minutes would be the top end of the scale.

3. Chamomile

Another remedy that’s as good for your furry and feathered friends as it is for you, a box of chamomile teabags is worth having around the house. The dried flowers contain many terpenoids and flavonoids, and its popularity as a tea makes it incredibly easy to obtain and use; all you have to do is soak your teabags, and then apply them to the wound. They’re particularly good for sore eyes, too.

4. Aloe Vera

Aloe is a popular burn remedy, but it’s been shown to be effective for cuts, scrapes and sores. Swiping some fresh, cut aloe across the site can significantly improve healing time.

5. Witch Hazel

Witch hazel is a wonderful astringent that contains procyanidins, resin and flavonoids. In short: it’s wonderfully soothing on swollen wounds (if there’s any heat or discharge accompanying the swelling, infection has probably already set in – so you’ll need to talk to your health practitioner). It can also help slow bleeding.


If your wound is deep, hot, puffy, weeping, bleeding heavily or extremely sore, it’s crucial that you get someone to have a look at it; the wound may need a professional dressing, or care to remove the infection.

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Posted by on Jan 22, 2016 in Health Hub |

Ways to Spice Up Your Salad

Ways to Spice Up Your Salad

Salads are a summer staple – light, cool and easy to make. It’s great for your health and your sense of culinary adventure to try new things in your salads; it improves the variety of minerals and vitamins you’re getting as well as making your meals more interesting. Here’s some ideas.


1. Grapes

Grapes add a nice pop of acidity that will balance out the saltiness of feta cheese, and the sweetness of items like corn or lettuce. Slice them in half and toss them through; they’re absolutely magic as an accompaniment for chicken or cos.

2. Dried cranberries

Tart and packed with vitamins, a handful of dried cranberries adds texture and flavour. They go well in grain based salads, or with roasted vegetables.

3. Tofu

Rather than putting a boiled egg in, try some tofu – all the protein and none of the cholesterol. Try marinating it in teriyaki sauce, or a lemon and herb mix before frying or baking.

4. Hummus

Hummus is so much more than just a spread. Thin it down with water or add it to Greek yoghurt for a fantastic creamy salad dressing with lots of protein and much less fat than regular creamy dressings.

5. Fresh Herbs

Herbs are a great way to add flavour without adding fat or salt. Basil loves a Greek salad; dill is fantastic with any kind of fish or roast vegetables; coriander is a must in any Asian-style salad.


Your health practitioner is a great resource here too, as they’ll be able to make recommendations based  on your specific dietary needs. Following their directives, your creative salad might be your very best medicine.


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