The Herbal Health Coach Health & Wellness Magazine - Spring 2020 Issue


What We Are Doing To Keep You Safe at
Kurrajong Natural Medicine Centre


As at 15th September 2021 it is our understanding that Traditional Chinese Medicine (including Acupuncture & Chinese Herbal Medicine), can currently be offered by suitably qualified & AHPRA registered practitioners.

Western Herbal Medicine and Remedial Massage currently are allowed

  • when provided by suitably qualified practitioners in a bona fide clinical setting (unfortunately this seems to exclude beauty therapy salons and health & wellness spas)
  • and where the well-being & health of the patient requires ongoing support

Covid 19 Advice for General practice and other primary health service providers from NSW Health

In addition, Covid 19 Safety Protocols must be observed – this involves the following steps to be taken:

  1. Complete a COVID-19 Safety Plan

  2. Register as a COVID Safe business

  3. Access your QR code and business resources online

(For businesses already registered as COVID Safe.)

From 30 September 2021, a health care worker must have received at least one dose of a COVID 19 vaccine in order to work.   
From 30 November 2021, a health care worker must have had at least two doses of a COVID 19 vaccine, unless the health care worker produces a medical contraindication certificate (in a form approved by NSW Health).  

We are happy to announce that this practice fulfills these requirements.

This advice has been provided by NSW Health, AHPRA and the Australian Traditional Medicine Society as of 15/09/2021


What's On

Online Yoga Classes:

⇒ Online Yoga on Monday Morning and Wednesday Evening – Please contact Susan on (02) 4573 0784.

⇒ Face-to-Face Yoga is not yet back on the agenda, but maybe soon…

Just let Susan know so she can send you the info you may need to join the online class.


The 5-Elements In Chinese Medicine:
Liver and the Wood/Spring Element

Adapted from “Foundations of Chinese medicine” by Giovanni Maciocia

Spring is the season of new birth and new growth. According to TCM, spring belongs to the wood element and dominates liver function. If we don’t adapt to the changing climate in spring, we may susceptible to seasonal health problems, such as flu, pneumonia, or a relapse of chronic diseases.

The Liver, which is the Yin-Organ of the Wood element) has many important functions, among which are those of storing Blood, ensuring the smooth movement of Qi throughout the body. Liver-Blood is very important for nourishing the sinews, thus allowing physical exercise, and storing Blood for the Uterus, thus ensuring a regular menstruation.

The functions of the Liver

It stores Blood
It ensures the smooth flow of Qi
It controls the sinews
It manifests in the nails
It opens into the eyes
It controls tears
It houses the Ethereal Soul
It is affected by anger

In the table below you can see the attributes of the Wood-element and its associated characteristics.

5 Elements
DYNAMICPotential activityActual activityUndifferentiated world of possibilityPotential resultCompletion of activity
YIN-YANGYoung YangMature YangBalanceYoung YinMature Yin
DEVELOPMENTGerminationGrowthRipeningHarvestStorage, Seed
SEASONSpringSummerLate summer, MonsoonAutumnWinter
CLIMATE / PATHOGENWindHeatDampDrynessCold
ZANG/YIN (SOLID) ORGANLiverHeartSpleenLungKidney
FU/YANG (HOLLOW) ORGANGallbladderSmall IntestineStomachLarge IntestineUrinary Bladder
EMOTIONAL QUALITYSelf-assertion, Righteous indignationJoy, EnthusiasmIntellectual focus, Ability to concentrateInstincts, Drive towards survivalWill, Drive
PATHOLOGICAL EMOTIONAngerOver-excitementObession, WorrySadness, GriefFear, Timidity
HUMAN QUALITYPlanning, Decision makingClarity of consciousnessIdeas, Understanding working memoryTaking in, holding on & Letting goLong term memory, Concentration
TISSUETendons and NailsBlood and Blood vesselsMuscle, FatSkin and Body hairBones and Marrow
SENSE ORGANEyes, VisionTongue, SpeechMouth, TasteNose, Smell, TouchEars, Hearing
FLUIDTearsSweatWatery salivaNasal mucusMucoid saliva
SOUND (OR TONE OF VOICE)ShoutingLaughingSingingCryingGroaning
COLOURGreenRedYellowWhiteBlue, Black
INJURED BY EXCESSIVEWalkingStaringSittingLyingStanding
FLAVOURSourBitterSweetPungent (Spicy)Salty
WESTERN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENCESHepatobiliary system, Emotion and Stress-related disordersCardiovascular system, Brain and PsycheDigestive system including pancreasRespiratory systemHPA axis, HPG axis, Urogenital system, Congenital disorders

Above table had been adapted from Dr Tony Reid (TCM) of

The smooth flow of Liver-Qi is essential to all physiological processes in every organ and every part of the body. On a psychic level, the Ethereal Soul (Hun) per- forms a very important role in our mental and spiritual life by providing the Mind (Shen) with inspiration, creativity, life dreams and a sense of direction in life.

The Liver, and in particular Liver-Blood, is also responsible for our capacity for recovering energy and it contributes to the body’s resistance to exterior pathogenic factors.

The Liver ensures the smooth flow of Qi

This is the most important of all the Liver functions and it is central to nearly all Liver dis-harmonies. The impairment of this function is one of the most common patterns seen in practice. What does it mean that the Liver ensures the ‘smooth flow of Qi’? The Chinese words for this function, shu xie, literally mean ‘to flow’ and ‘to let out’:

shu means ‘to dredge, disperse, scatter’
xie means ‘to let out, discharge, release, vent’

When Chinese books explain this function they use such terms as ‘disperse’, ‘extend’, ‘loosen’, ‘relax’, ‘circulate’, ‘make smooth and free’ and ‘balance’ (literally ‘stop extremes’).

Thus the Liver ensures the smooth flow of Qi throughout the body, in all organs and in all directions.

The Liver is often compared to an army general because it is responsible for overall planning of the body’s functions by ensuring the smooth flow and proper direction of Qi. While the ‘planning’ on a physical level is the reflection of the smooth flow of Liver-Qi (Qi = the body’s bio-electricity) affecting all organs, on a mental and spiritual level, the Liver influences our capacity for making plans and having a sense of direction in life. Because of this quality, the Liver is also said to be the origin of courage and resoluteness, if the organ is in a good state of health. However, the quality of courage is also dependent on the state of the Gall Bladder, which is the Yang-Organ of the Wood element.

The Liver Stores Blood and regulates the volume of Blood in the body

The Liver function of storing and regulating Blood volume also indirectly influences our resistance to external pathogenic factors (microbes, bacteria, viruses, etc.). If this Liver function is normal, the skin and muscles will be well nourished by Blood and be able to resist attacks of exterior pathogenic factors. If this function is impaired, the skin and muscles will not be irrigated and nourished by Blood at the appropriate times (during exercise), and the body will therefore be more liable to attack by exterior pathogenic factors. There are other more important factors involved in determining the resistance to exterior pathogenic factors, notably the strength of the Defensive Qi (Immune system) and Lung-Qi. However, it is necessary not to overlook the importance of this Liver function in this respect.

Typical Presentation of Liver Disfunction in Patients

A very large portion of patients present with Liver dis-harmonies in Chinese medicine clinics. These are often women with either pre-mentrual or menstrual disorders or both. PMS is a result of the smooth flowing Qi getting obstructed (or stuck) which then causes symptoms of pain premenstrually, mood swings, etc.

Similarly, when the Qi of the Liver gets stuck it can adversely affect the Stomach, causing a sense of fullness and often hunger. “I get a lump in my Stomach, especially when I get anxious or angry…” is a common comment made by patients that have a Liver-disharmony.

Signs of Liver Qi Stagnation include:
• Distention and pain in the chest and hypochondriac region – Regions coursed by the Liver channels
• Frequent sighing – 
Releasing Stagnant Qi in the chest
• Depression, moodiness, melancholy, unhappiness, and a general tense feeling – 
Flow of Liver Qi affecting the emotions or vice versa
• Sensation of a lump in the throat with trouble swallowing – 
Internal branch of the Liver channel ascends along the neck and throat
• nausea, vomiting, epigastric pain, reduced appetite, sour reflux, belching, awareness of pulsating (abdominal aorta) in the epigastric region, a sensation of the Stomach churning
 – Liver invading the Stomach
• Abdominal distention, borborygmus, diarrhoea
 – Liver invading the Spleen
• Alternating Constipation and Diarrhoea, irregular elimination
 – Liver Qi stagnating in the Intestines
• Irregular menstruation, dysmenorrhea, premenstrual breast tenderness, PMS – 
Liver channel is closely associated with menstruation

If the Liver Qi is stuck for an extended period of time, the Liver Blood will also become stuck, which can cause symptoms such as:
• Dysmenorrhea, irregular periods, dark and clotted menstrual blood
• Fixed and stabbing abdominal pain, abdominal masses (e.g.: fibroids, ovarian cysts, etc.), fixed, not movable
• Epistaxis (nose bleeds) or vomiting of Blood

Many of these imbalances are a result of ongoing physical and/or mental stress. This is so clearly obvious during the Look-Downs we are currently experiencing in Australia as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Naturally, there are other factors that come into play, however, the free-flowing of the Liver Qi is extremely important and plays a vital role in the maintenance of good physical and mental health.

As you can see, the Liver is a very important organ and it plays a major role in the body’s overall health and wellbeing.

Eating Seasonally to Optimise Your Health

by Danny & Susan Siegenthaler

Eating seasonally is more important than one might think; the fruits and vegetables that are ready to eat in any one season not only are fresh and still full of nutrients, but they carry the energy of the season. This is important as our bodies require that exact energy. For example, the Liver energy provides us with strengthening out Immune system and vegetables such as spinach and citrus fruits (e.g.: blood oranges) are high in Vit. C which is a known immune boosting vitamin.

Spring is the season of new birth and new growth. According to TCM, spring belongs to the wood element and dominates liver functioning. If we don’t adapt to the changing climate in spring, we may susceptible to seasonal health problems, such as flu, pneumonia, or a relapse of chronic diseases. It is advisable to reduce the intake of sour flavors and increase sweet and pungent flavors as this facilitates the liver to regulate the qi (vital energy) throughout the body.

Excessive greasy and heeting (hot) foods can cause Liver Fire. Examples of hot foods: Lamb, beef, curry, and other spices. Examples of damp or greasy foods: Deep fried food and alcohol.

Not enough warming foods, such as meat and grains, can contribute to inadequate Blood production and Blood Deficiency. Blood Deficiency, in turn, can lead to Liver Blood Deficiency. Women are particularly prone to Blood Deficiency especially at puberty, after childbirth, and somewhat after each period.

Examples of recommended foods for the spring include onions, leeks, leaf mustard, Chinese yam, wheat, dates, cilantro, mushrooms, spinach and bamboo shoots. Fresh green and leafy vegetables should also be included in meals as should sprouts from seeds.


In addition, uncooked, frozen and fried foods should only be taken in moderation, during winter, since these are harmful to the spleen and stomach if consumed in large amounts. As the cold of winter keeps us indoors and tends to make us eat too much, people may develop a heat imbalance in the spring, which leads to dry throats, bad breath, constipation, thick tongue coating and yellow urine. Foods like bananas, pears, water chestnuts, sugar cane, celery and cucumber can help clear the excessive heat.

Finally, fruits and vegetables that are ripe now are energetically aligned with the energy of our bodies. It therefore makes sense that food which are ripe now will feed not only our body, but also the energies our body need now.

What is Qi Actually

by Danny Siegenthaler

In Chinese medicine and particulary Acupuncture we frequently talk about Qi (pronounced Chi). I generally explain it as ‘the bodys own electricity or bio-electricity’. At the end of the day, however, not everybody can relate to that. So below is a video of a research experiment that was videotaped by accident – yep, very grateful for this accident. This video filmed the development of a frog embryo and shows how cell-division is actually initiated by Qi…

In the video on the right, Dr. Adams clearly states: “All of these things are in some way being regulated by a single type of signal…”

This signal is Qi – This is exactly what we’re doing with Acupuncture – this is what Qi is and acupuncture manipulates the qi.

Qi is the organisational energy that takes these trillions of cells that make up that tiny little frog embryo, and keeps them all organised – keeps them in place; And, tells them what to do; making sure, that for example, the Eye is perfectly formed.

So now, that we’ve actually seen Qi and what Qi does, the next question is:

How does this integrate with Acupuncture points, the Acupuncture Channels and how do the Points communicate with each other and the body’s tissues and organs?

Once we realise what Qi is and how it relates to our body, you realise that when this organisation is occurring, it has to follow a system.

We do know how these sort of systems work. – They create a certain pattern where you get channels/lines of communication between nodes – the place where this information comes together and is then sent on via another channel.

The perfect example is the Internet …. Nodes and Lines of communication

    •    In our body this is exactly the same
    •    In Embryological development you get these channels of communication and you get these Nodes [for the medicos amongst us – nodes are the Control centres where morphogens are located and where morphogenesis takes place].
    •    The nodes become the acupuncture points, in fact, they ARE the Acupuncture points.
    •    And, the reason they are found where they are is because these regions are where the greatest amount of change occurs.

Qi & how it works - internet example

So, Qi is the energy or bio-electicity in the body that controls everything; acupuncture points are nodes where information comes to and departs from, and the acupuncture channels are the lines of communication between the points and organs of the body.

Anti Aging Skin Care: What is it?
How it Works and What to look out for.

Susan & Danny Siegenthaler

What exactly is anti aging skin care?

When we are talking about anti aging skin care, we are primarily talking about skin care products that have been designed to benefit mature or maturing skin. That is skin which is starting to loose its tone and elasticity. Anti aging skin care products are supposedly designed to maintain or boost the aging skin’s tone and elasticity, which means they should contain ingredients that have been found, through scientific research, to help the skin by nourishing it and by providing specific nutrients or substances that will repair, nourish, hydrate and promote healthy skin. At least that’s the theory.

What are these ingredients and how do they work?

Let’s look at a particular product that fits the criteria well. The product includes rich liquid moisturising ingredients, formulated for mature, dry and damaged skin types and contains plant extracts such as Borage and Evening Primrose Oils, that are known to be high in essential fatty acids – building blocks for your skin. In addition the formulation includes anti-oxidants (Wheat germ Oil and Vitamins A & E) and phyto-hormones (Clary Sage and  Wild Yam) as well as Mango butter.

These ingredients have been shown to have rejuvenating, preservative and restorative effects on aging and mature skin types. This product also includes 100% pure essential oils of Sandalwood, Geranium, Patchouli, and Neroli, which are soothing and calming, while oils of Jojoba and Calendula have a moisturising effects. Calendula is a well known healing herb and its remarkable and many beneficial effects on the skin are well documented in the herbal medicine literature.

Age Defying

The manufacturer suggests the product should be used twice daily after cleansing and toning and prior to applying or instead of using your moisturiser.
This is an anti aging skin care formula that actually has the potential to work because the ingredients do have nourishing and revitalising properties and are in fact know for there effectiveness.

However, not all products are made equal. Most of the anti aging skin care products in the market place do not have long term beneficial effects, because they utilise synthesised chemical compounds that provide a superficial short-term benefit – a quick fix. Any positive result is usually only short term and will not last if the product is discontinued. Once the user stops using the product, the wrinkles come back and are usually more pronounced then they were prior to using such anti aging skin care products.

In some instances, unfortunately not many, the manufacturer actually warns the user that if they discontinue to use that product, the wrinkles/lines will come back and may be worse then before.

The difference between these two types of products is quite simple. One is designed to help the customer maintain or even reverse some of the aging effects, the other is designed to mask them – so, which would you prefer?

Choosing a good quality, natural anti aging skin care range

Anti aging skin care is a very lucrative market and consumers are literally spending billions of dollars world wide to keep that youthful look as long as possible. Does it therefore not stand to reason that we would use products that are not detrimental but beneficial to the health of our skin? Does it not make sense to purchase products that help rather then rob the skin of nutrients?

When next considering to purchase anti aging skin care products, you should take the time to find out what sort of ingredients are indeed in the products you intend to purchase – don’t ask the girl behind the counter, she really doesn’t know about the chemistry of products – ring the company, ask to speak to one of the chemists or the product development manager and don’t be afraid to ask questions like: Do your products contain any artificial ingredients, if so, what are they? What are the preservatives used in your products? – Don’t be put off by the names, just listen to their answers and if need be ask them to spell the name, then look it up on the net at: – just type the name of the chemical, eg: Paraben, search field and hit return.

What to look for in your anti aging skin care products

Anti aging skin care should be as natural as possible utilising plant-extracts, essential oils, herbal-extracts and vitamins that benefit your skin. They should not contain artificial, synthetic, synthesised or concentrated isolated ingredients that may actually do more harm than good. Another thing to remember, price does not guarantee quality. Often you are paying more for a name than the ingredients.

Look for names of essential oils, herbs, essential fatty acids and vitamins on the label of your anti aging skin care products and your skin will thank you for it.

Anti-Aging Skin Care Products: No More Lines or Wrinkles in Just 7 days?

Susan & Danny Siegenthaler


Do you really believe that an anti-aging skin care product you apply to your face can make your skin look 10 years younger in 7 days? Probably not, but you should, because there are products which are currently being marketed that say they do and they actually work.

There’s only one problem – basically it does not work in the long term. That is, as soon as you stop using the product, not only do all your wrinkles come back, but there will most likely be a few additional ones and chances are that your skin will not look as healthy as it did before. The reason for this is that these types of creams and lotions are nothing more than humectants, an oil-free class of moisturizer that reduces the loss of water by binding it to the skin, thus reducing loss of moisture, resulting in a temporary smoothing out of wrinkles. Basically, that’s the long and the short of it.

For this privilege you get to pay a heap of money, for what? Water? Yes, basically that is exactly what you are buying, a cream that holds water in your skin, resulting in a reduction of lines and wrinkles. If that’s what you want, than that’s fine, however, most consumers of skin care products want products that CARE for the skin, hence the name – skin care. Locking water into your skin is hardly taking care of it.

Real skin care is about providing the skin with the building blocks that nurture the skin with the nutrients it needs to give you a healthy, vibrant and youthful looking complexion. These nutrients are a combination of botanical ingredients, such as jojoba oil, coconut oil, safflower oil, and linoleic acid; vitamins, and minerals, which help maintain the skin’s outer protective layer and actually provide your skin with the help it needs to result in the healthy, good looking skin you want to have.

Some people are very fortunate and have a very healthy, good looking skin into their 70’s and beyond, unfortunately this is not the case for everyone. Everyone’s skin is slightly different and everybody has different ideas of what their skin should be like.


100% Natural Personal Care Products
When using creams that merely supply your skin with water, you are in actual fact not really using a skin care product, rather you are using a product that hydrates your skin – that’s it. Nothing else is on offer and your skin will not be benefiting in the long term from this type of product. Once you stop using it, the wrinkles will come back deeper and more prominent than ever. Just read some of the information provided by Dermatologists in the media. They all say the same thing. Don’t fall for the advertising and marketing hype.

Instead, you should think about real skin care and start to implement a daily skin care regime that actually has the potential to nourish and rebuild the tone and health of your skin. Using natural skin care products is even more preferable, as most of them do not contain potentially harmful ingredients that may end up doing you more harm than good.

There are many synthetic chemicals that are added to commercially available skin care products, such as parabens, EDTA, and the list goes on, and on, and on. Have a look at the list of ingredients that are routinely being used in many commercially available skin care products. It will astound you.
If your aim is to reduce the lines and wrinkles on your face, consider a holistic approach. Yes, it does take more time and effort, but the results will be much better, longer lasting and not least of all, much healthier for you.

Choose products that are truly natural. Natural skin care products usually contain essential oil and herbal extracts that are effective in treating your skin. They are not synthetic designer chemicals that will provide you with a quick fix. They are however proven substances that have been shown to promote healthy skin and a vibrant looking complexion. Cosmetic butters, oils from seeds, such as wheat germ, sesame seeds, etc., as well as different type of hydrosols, etc., are all rich in nutrients that soothe, hydrate and nourish your skin.

Many essential oils and herbal extracts have natural properties that enhance cell growth and aid in collagen production. These are the type of ingredients you need to look for in your skin care products. They will help, not just in the short term, but also over time. If you did stop using these types of products, the skin would still benefit from the time that you did use them and would continue to look healthy and vibrant, at least for some time.

So do your self a favour, don’t fall for the heavily promoted quick fix. It’s not, and you end up paying far more than just a lot of money.

Did You Know?


Did You Know?

  • Did you know wearing headphones for just an hour will increase the bacteria in your ear by 700 times
  • Did you know new born babies have 350 bones (by age 5 the amount of bones merges to 206)
  • Did you know you use 72 different muscles while speaking
  • Did you know the most common disease is tooth decay
  • Did you know the average person goes to the toilet 6 times a day
  • Did you know your foot is the most common body part bitten by insects
  • Did you know the longest time a person has been in a coma is 37 years

Did You Know?

  • Did you know each red blood cell lives an average of 4 months and travels between the lungs and other tissue 75,000 times before returning to bone marrow to die
  • Did you know the hardest substance in the human body is enamel
  • Did you know there are over 10 trillion living cells in the human body
  • Did you know the number 1 cause of blindness in the US is diabetes
  • Did you know every year over 98% of atoms in your body are replaced
  • Did you know your blood is 6 times thicker than water
  • Did you know 44% of people have broken a bone

We hope you enjoyed our Spring Edition of our Wellness Magazine. We are always open to constructive feedback and ideas for future articles. If you have a particular topic you would like us to cover please let us know and we will try to include it in an up coming Magazine


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Page last updated: 26th June 2020

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