Sunday, April 13, 2014

The story of a website past and present

Dear Chinese Medicine Adventurists,

The story of a website past and present

When I was at uni I really jumped on the marketing and advertising group for the final year internship clinic.

Everybody hated this group. It was extra to the work and involved off curriculum activity. Mainly it's an affront to ones practice ability I believe. Why advertise? They will come (big loud voice!)

However I immediately saw the advantages. Using the established university structure I didn't have to build a base of people to contact. And I could experiment beyond my wildest desires with no fear of losing. It was was all supported and under the umbrella of uni. It was a double comfort zone.

Soon I got to work with a free website, added content, played with videos and started designing and printing things. I learned so much! It is still relevant today! In fact I was the first hit for the uni for a while until they got some website action together, after my lead! I just googled it. Page 2. Not bad after a bit of time ;)

I think the main things I noticed were keep it short: videos, sentences, letters! And artists are complete free spirits. I  was on someone's case for design and photoshop so much that they don't really speak to me anymore after! Haha. An artist is someone who sees a deadline and looks in the opposite direction! I try an and always set a deadline before the deadline, if possible. Even when meeting up it's preferable to set a time 1 hour before you have to actually meet and just turn up an hour later as you then both meet at the same time ;)

I also started getting images on the digital billboards at UTS, which was really fun too!

November 2013. I decided to get serious with my own site. I had experimented with two free sites prior to this. I learnt a lot. HTML, Flash. which  one is better, mobile activated site, what people search for (suburb where they want to get acupuncture!). A lot of my colleagues have followed suite and changed their original URLs for example to their suburb.

I also realised how cut throat it was! I registered my current URL through a free provider. I just jumped on it when I saw it. A peer registered the same name as me (one month after). The only difference? A hyphen in their URL name. A real compliment from such as long established practitioner. I did start a dialogue but was ignored. To this day they still heavily Google advertise under the same URL with a hyphen, not realising how lame that is!

Fast forward to today and I had learnt some lessons. Time to apply them into a professional site!

This process is another story as well. At first I had to get powerful pictures. Mine were just not good enough. I had to wait a long time to tee up a photographer, get the shots I needed and take some re shoots too!
 This a fun shot we took. Too cheeky for the website, so here it is :) 

Establishing what would work and what didn't was a drawn out process. I think stage two I will hire a professional designer to co-ordinate that type of thing!

6 months down the track, post design changes. Post name change (a loop hole in business name registration meant that someone else has Bondi Acupuncture as a business name now, another peer! Hence now I am  Bondi Acupuncture Sydney. Which is actually a lot more far reaching from brand and search point of view I believe.) My web designer went overseas, my model in some shots was my girlfriend (now ex). There is so much going into a site it is phenomenal!

I also had to write all the content. I decided to be super professional and reference it to the highest standard. Like writing a book!

So there you go. A story of designing, integrating, loss and achievement. Then you have to step back and let it come together naturally. Then when nothing happens you have to push again and then step back again. Not very different from doing acupuncture on a patient really!

In the next few days  a functional version of this site will be up! I am thinking of having a launch party! You're invited!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Volunteer Acupuncture Position

Volunteer Acupuncturist Position
The Bondi Beach Affordable Acupuncture Clinic
The Clinic
The Bondi Beach Affordable Acupuncture Clinic is a busy clinic set up to provide low cost, easy access acupuncture for people who cannot afford acupuncture treatments.

Cases range from patients trying acupuncture for the first time to physical pain, emotional factors, addictions and complex Western medicine syndromes and diagnoses.

The clinic is a communal multibed clinic (several beds in an open room). It is a concession aimed clinic. Twenty minute treatments are $29 full wage and sliding scale down to $10-$5 donation for any concession.
All acupuncture positions are volunteer based, including the lead acupuncturist.
It was established in 2011 and the clinic currently runs at Chapel by the Sea, 95 Roscoe Street, Bondi Beach every Thursday from 5pm to 9pm.

All donated proceeds go to the Norman Andrews House: a community service that provides support and welfare assistance to those experiencing hardship, difficulty and homelessness.

The clinic is represented under ACMAC (Association of Community and Multibed Acupuncture Clinics) and is held under auspices of the Chapel by the Sea, Bondi Beach Uniting Church,  Health and Wholeness programme. Page link here:

The Position
This is a volunteer unpaid position. You will be donating your time.

Due to high demand and increasing waiting times for patients we are looking for a reliable, dynamic, hardworking volunteer acupuncture practitioner.

If you are looking for a diversified case work stream, have a sense for community spirit and want to meet some challenging patients please apply.

Key Criteria:
Current CMBA AHPRA registration;

or current final year undergraduate in TCM (subject to mentoring under your institutions policies and guidelines);

or you are an experienced acupuncture professional willing to volunteer time and knowledge for a good cause.

Excellent acupuncture knowledge/techniques

Excellent communication skills

Able to work effectively in a small team using own initiative

Previous experience in community/not for profit area

Have a “go for it” attitude.

Feel free to promote your own acupuncture business and make patient business contacts in this role.

Position is currently available for all or part of hours from 5pm-9pm.

Feel free to visit the clinic to say hi and to have a look.

To discuss this opportunity in more detail, apply now or call Damien at Bondi Acupuncture on 0434018496 or apply directly by sending a short cover letter stating qualification, addressing position criteria and hours available to work to

Applications by Friday 7th March

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Through and Through Technique

Today I met one patient who amazed me. A courageous and dynamic woman caught in a trap of adrenal fatigue and chronic tiredness. The slippery slopes of those syndromes gently clawing in on a young, vibrant life. Not the end of the world or a life, but a dampening of a bright light that will flicker strongly again I am sure.

 I know as I have met that challenge and surfaced on the other side myself. This patient’s journey also had the thick boots of anti depressants to wade through.

What struck me with this person were the level of intelligence, multiple abilities under duress and flavour of life that was shown. This young vibrant person was a fatigue case that I hadn’t witnessed before. 

As we began acupuncture we realised a strong tolerance to treatment. Some acupuncture points could be manipulated strongly with only a slight feedback of sensation. Interesting. I was expecting a weakness with this person’s energy. Usually reduced Qi leaves a person vulnerable and weak. Constitutionally this person had a lot of strength. 

I experimented further needling Lr3 (on the foot) strongly. Usually a sensitive area. This point resulted in almost no reaction: “a slight dullness”. Reflecting in treatment: was this the result of multiple medications? However I have treated schizophrenic patients on higher doses of stronger mind dampening drugs. People who would mumble in consultation but give a clear ouch or signal when the acupuncture was a bit sharp!

Ok how can I make this happen I thought? A brave strong woman. Able to tolerate needle manipulation comfortably and very at ease. Not a problem we can try through and through technique.

 Now I am not worried about using Kd1 on the right people. However I have only heard through and through technique spoken about mythically at university and saw it only once in a Beijing hospital with a critical patient in continued treatment post brain surgery complications ( a surgeon who was a physician at the hospital as it turned out…) The only time I had used it before was to get some green students to try it when I was tutoring at UTS. St 40 through to Bl57. That seemed ok. A bit difficult getting it to poke through the skin’s resistance on the other side. But they did it, and to themselves…

Well it just seemed like a logical step. Lr3 through to Kd1. No problem. Both feet. Patient reporting back sensation and stronger sensation with penetration to the other side but nothing intolerable. 

Next Li4 and Lu10. Try squeezing those two points.  It’s sensitive! This patient tolerated both hands easily… After treating the front we treated the back. This time I did Kd3 and Bl60. With the patient’s permission I took a photo. 

It was great to work with this patient according to their level of Qi. It’s definitely a treatment I would reserve only for those who would be able tolerate it comfortably though. 

Kd3 to Bl60. Slightly angled. Patient feeling great during and after. Stronger technique to achieve deeper movement of Qi

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Michael Playing Piano at Bondi Beach Affordable Acupuncture Clinic

The Bondi Beach Affordable Acupuncture Clinic, which I have been running for over  3 years, is continuing to be a joy! Last night a member of the public played classical piano through the whole evening.

This individual is a very talented classically trained musician. I’ve often seen him on the street corner outside clinic smoking cigarettes and I would say hi.

It was just recently that I heard about his amazing piano playing talents. To be honest I couldn’t believe it. So one day he started playing one of the two pianos at the chapel and I was amazed. One of them is an upright and the other is flat grand type piano. It’s hilarious as the first thing he said about the pianos was that they were terrible. He’s on the street all the time looking homeless in raggedy clothes and he whinges about the quality of two pianos he can freely play!

When you chat to him he will tell you the royalty in London he knew, the posh suburbs he was living in and his world touring. It’s all quite incredible.  So I guess he would know a good piano  from a bad one…

So for a long time I have encouraged him to play for patients in clinic and sometimes he would. Only a little bit. Just recently I have been encouraging him to play on the street corner where usually he just smokes, to make some busking money. Other people have been asking him too. 

The last two weeks he has been in the chapel everyday practicing. Literally playing his scales for hours and then going through music, sitting there reading music, which also blows my mind! Someone else who plays the piano has joined him and last night he played for a good couple of hours while patients were getting acupuncture. It was very inspiring. In fact I gave him some money from the acupuncture donations for his time.

So this is a new phase and if he comes in next week to play I know we will have some traction with his playing at Affordable Acupuncture and maybe even on the street. That is if we can find him the highest of quality electric pianos as he is very particular about the quality of the instruments he will play!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Acupuncture on the Tongue! WFAS 2013 Review

Yes, you heard correctly! The abstract for the talk reads: "tongue acupuncture is a technique that treats illness through acupuncture applied to the tongue."

Quite a lot to swallow? Get it? Anyway the workshop presentation was really most exciting.

Dr. Sun Jie Guang can be found at the Hong Kong International Tongue Acupuncture Research Clinic or at

I found him at 9am Sunday morning on day 2 of the WFAS conference.

The basic concept of tongue acupuncture is similar to all body part acupuncture (ear for example). Where an image of the human body is put on a small part of the body. The areas of the human body projected on the body part represent where you treat with acupuncture for the associated actual area where there is an issue. On the ear, for example,  mainly the internal organs are represented in the inner part of the ear. For some reason this is sometimes called a holograph. In reality it isn't a holograph. But it does sound fancy.

Just out of interest holographic acupuncture seems to be recent and not referenced in the classics. Ear acupuncture was developed in France during the 1950s by Nogier     The concept of the Homunculus is often cited (latin for little man) for this human image transposed onto another body part. However this has always confused me in its adoption as it is very understandable in its use in neurology where the idea is well known. This is because the human image covering the head indicates the actual physiological parts of the brain associated to where the sensory organs are. Anyway this could be a whole new blog post...

However I have liked ear acupuncture in my own clinical experience ever since I made my own discoveries with patients and their issues.  Parts of the ear (tenderness or harder parts) and the projected image seemed to correlate with the parts of the body where there was an issue.

Anyway an upside down human image is  projected on to the top of the tongue and also on the underneath of the tongue.

Here's an image from his website of the human shape projected on the underneath part of the tongue.

Dr. Sun Jie Guang, in his 30 years of experience,  has noticed a lot of connection with brain function issues and sub-lingual swelling. He stated to treat the area and the symptoms are reduced.

You needle for 3 to 5 seconds. The needle is not retained. Pregnancy is ok. Not in cases of high blood pressure, easy bleeding (warfarin) or heart disease.

One tip he gave was that neck pain is easily treated in the sub-lingual fold and lower back issues are treated higher up the tongue.

Finally he gave a very charming notion how often to get tongue acupuncture as a patient. Every day or three times a day. Same as Western pharmaceutical medication frequency...Except this is completely unrelated to pharmaceutical dosage etc etc. Anyway!

Dr. Sun Jie Guang and his practical head lamp tongue acupuncture equipment

Treatment sounds intense. However apparently after the adrenalin has subsided the actual needling wasn't as bad as you would imagine regarding discomfort. A friend of mine volunteered and said it was fine. A lot of people stated that they experienced immediate relief from issues.

It was all very fascinating and quite dramatic. The question is would you be able to do it in Australia? Under scrutiny from a professional board or examined in court? Anyway it was amazing to witness!


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