foot soak

foot soak 1The idea of a foot soak in a basin of healing herbal infusion is more than relaxing, it is powerful medicine. There are masses of tiny capillary endings on your feet that can aid in the transportation of goodness to the rest of the body. It is a simple technique which only uses a few tools, which include a comfy chair, warm water, bucket, herbs in which to enjoy the treatment.

For most a foot soak are seen as a lesser somewhat superficial treatment, but technically is actually very powerful medicine. It is medicine for the masses which is so simple yet effective for serious conditions like edema, cold feet, neuropathy, high blood pressure respond rapidly to herbal foot bath. The key is to treat the condition properly with the correct herb.

Chronic conditions need to be kept to a schedule. One single foot soak treatment will not fix the problem. Regular foot soaks in conjunction with acupuncture, massage, herbal medicine and exercise work best.

This is a basic procedure, not a recipe. I haven’t included specific measurements but have instead described the process and what to look for as you’re working. You can use either fresh or dry herbs. The trick is to know your herbs and know your condition.

We happy to be able to bring a special blend of Tibetan foot soak herbal mix. At present we only have the herbal soaks for in house application but we shall have lots more soon

Herbal ingredients:

Du Yi Wei

Actions: Activate blood and stop bleeding, dispel wind and alleviate pain.

Zang Chang Pu

Actions: Warm the stomach, diminish inflammation and relieve pain

Hong Hua

Actions: Activate blood and dredge meridians, dispel stasis and alleviate pain.

Hong Jing Tian

Actions: Activate blood and stop bleeding

Qiang Huo

Actions: Release exterior and disperse cold, expel wind-damp and alleviate pain

Ai Ye,

Actions: Warm meridians and stop bleeding, dispel cold

Sheng Jiang

Actions: Disperse wind-cold, warm the middle Jiao

Ku Shen

Actions: Clear heat and dry dampness, purge fire and remove toxicity

External use only


place 1-3 teabags into a foot basin and add 5-8 cups of boiling water. Steep and wait until it cools down to 40 Celsius. Soak your feet for 20-30 minutes. Keep adding hot water during soaking.


Avoid foot soak if you have open wounds, bleeding disorder, infection, burns, or if you are hungry or within 30 minutes of a meal.

Avoid using this foot soak herbal formula if you are pregnant, have metastatic cancer or other situations that you should not move blood.

Be cautious on children.



The information and reference materials contained here are intended solely for the general information of the reader. It is not to be used for treatment purposes, but rather for discussion with the patient’s own physician. The information presented here is not intended to diagnose health problems or to take the place of professional medical care.

Thanks and graduate for reading this blog if you would like to discuss your individual needs, please feel free to email or 02 8213 2888. 

Rodd Sanchez Sydney Foot Soak

Lumbar Spine & Disc Forces during Exercise: Rian Kenny

Lumbar Spine & Disc Forces during Exercise

When we hear about ‘Disc Herniation’ we usually associate such a thing with the lower back or lumbar spine, a common mechanism has been shown in clinical studies to be flexion of the lumbar spine (repeated or prolonged) and also some degree of twisting although this alone is not thought to be as damaging as flexion. Stuart McGill, Ph.D., author of the book “Low Back Disorders,” concluded that repeated or prolonged spine flexion is the primary mechanism leading to lumbar disc herniation.

The disc on the left is healthy with no damage to the outer fibres allowing the centre (nucleus pulposis) to stay central and provide good support to the vertebra above and below the joint. The centre disc is showing early signs of outer fibre damage and as we can see this allows the nucleus to ‘bulge’ outward toward the spinal cord and nerve roots. The disc on the right is showing a complete herniation or prolapse of the nucleus through the annulus fibres which have been catastrophically damaged, this results in spinal nerve root and central cord stenosis which can present with extreme pain locally and radiation or referral, most commonly down the legs.

The Discs themselves act as ‘shock absorbers’ between the vertebrae and are made up of outer fibres (annulus fibrosis) which is dense tough connective tissue almost ligament like in its make up and a jelly like centre which provides some spring (nucleus pulposis) which is well hydrated and allows shock absorption throughout the spine. A herniation of the discs usually results from damage to the outer fibres of the disc and subsequent ‘bulging’ of the nucleus pulposis, which is referred to by many names; slipped disc, bulging disc, herniation, prolapse all depending on the degree of damage (As seen Above)

Now that we have an understanding of the disc and what it does we can look at how the damage seen above can and usually does occur. Physics determines that when we move our spine the disc (due to its spongy make up) moves in between the vertebra and for the sake of this article we are going to have a look at the effect flexion of the spine has upon the disc.

We can see that when the spine is placed into flexion the nucleus of the disc if forced backward, toward the spinal cord, if we look back it was concluded that repeated or prolonged spine flexion is the primary mechanism leading to lumbar disc herniation. So if we apply this to exercises such as the squat and the deadlift we are placing an even greater load upon the spine and the discs with the added resistance, which results in a greater force upon the nucleus and a more detrimental effect on the outer fibres of the disc, which can result in a failure of these structures leading to possible herniation or protrusion of the disc.

It is fairly common to see people perform a squat (at the base of the squat) or deadlift (during the initial phase of the lift) with some degree of lumbar flexion or reverse of the normal courve, if this is occurring every time the exercise is performed we are exposing our lumbar spine and discs to an extremely forceful and repetitive damaging stimulus, which can and most likely will result in either the centre disc as seen above or even worse the disc on the right.

It is extremely important to note that when we are squatting or deadlifting that to reduce injuries, proper form should be stressed before increasing weight loads!! Physical restrictions whether it be joint restriction, muscular restriction or a biomechanical issue may affect the way in which you can perform a squat/deadlift or any other exercise for that matter, need to be addressed before you can squat as deep as you want to or perform a perfect deadlift.

If you find that you flex your lower back when you squat or deadlift firstly; lower the weight and see if there is any improvement and secondly; get assessed by your chiro or physio to check for any physical limitations your body may need addressed before you are able to progress with the exercise!

Take Home Tips:

  • When performing any exercise aim to maintain the normal curve in your spine
  • Stress proper form over increase in weight to reduce risk of injury
  • Get checked out to make sure you aren’t putting yourself at risk of injury and possibly address some of the reasons why your are flexing the lower back (of which there are many!!)
  • Following these tips you will probably find your lower back isn’t aching after a workout and in the long run you wont run into any more serious injuries!


Rian Kenny20160127_123651

Principal Chiropractor (Tuesday & Thursday )

Natural Health Practice

How does Gua sha therapy work?

Gua sha therapy

Gua sha therapy as practiced in by the practiionwrs at Sydney Acupuncture clinic is a technique from traditional Chinese medicine which is believed to aid healing and stimulate blood flow. According to practitioners, Gua sha can be used to remove unhealthy elements from the body, especially targeting injured areas.

Gua sha therapy has been indicated and promoted for any condition which presented with blood stasis internal or external resulting in pain. Whilst investiaging the Chinese medical litriture an array of conditions can respond  to gua sha therpy which include  headaches, igraine, neck, shoulder, back, and knee pain, as well as acute diseases such as fever, flu, asthma and bronchitis in children and adults. Gua sha is also effective in chronic disease including hepatitis.

How old is Gua sha?

The earliest reported use of Gua sha as a medical treatment in China dates back around 2,000 years. The literal meaning of Gua sha therapy  is “scrape rash”. The term appears to originate from an ancient text of Chinese medicine, Shang Han Lun, which is believed to be as old as 220 CE.

The Gua sha technique was soon transferred to south eastern countries like Vietnam where it became popular almost instantly. Multiple variations of Gua sha exist in Asia . Some variants of this ancient Chinese medical technique use different tools from a coin through to spoons, cow horns. Using oil or balm as lubrication, pressure is applied to the affected area using a implement.



As the translation suggests, Gua sha involves scraping the body. Commonly, a lubricant is applied to the area which is to be treated using Gua sha therapy , after which, pressure is applied in strokes using an edged instrument. Even though the most common scraping instruments are metal caps, the instrument can be anything from a ceramic Chinese soup spoon to coins- and even animal bones!

The instrument is pressed down firmly on skin and then moved/ stroked down along muscles or along acupuncture meridians. The strokes for Gua sha are typically four to six inches long. These strokes, however, may result in small capillary rupture, these are not causing internal bleeding or bruising as opposed to what people believe. Since the strokes do not because what can qualify as bruises, the marks also disappear in a considerably short amount of time.


Other names for Gua Sha therapy 

Graston Technique (GT) is a “trademarked” therapeutic manual method for diagnosing and treating disorders of the muscles, skeletal and related con

gau Sha , GUASHA

Gua Sha therapy by Rodd Sanchez

nective tissue condition s. The Graston Technique was initialised by David Graston which uses a collection of stainless steel instruments of particular shape which practitioners to rub / scape over muscles in order to sense and resolve adhesions in tendons and muscles.  Practitioners must be licensed in order to use the Graston Technique name, but results are very similar to tradition GuA Sha


Instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM) is a popular treatment for myofascial restriction. IASTM uses specially designed instruments to provide a mobilizing effect to scar tissue and myofascial adhesions.



How is cupping different from Gua sha?

Even though both techniques are essentially used to remove toxins from the body and stimulate blood flow, there are a few differences in the way in which these techniques are performed. Cupping makes use of heat or suction to create a vacuum within a cup which is placed on lubricated skin. The purpose of this suction or heat is to open any blocked passages of nutrients within the body.

Contgade gua sha rary to what most people believe, both cupping and Gua sha are completely painless as long as the technique is performed by a skilled professional. If you live in Sydney or Sylvania and would like to be treated using Gua sha or cupping, contact Rodd Sanchez.

Sydney Gua Sha Therapy & Sylvania Gua Sha  Therapy







The information and reference materials contained here are intended solely for the general information of the reader. It is not to be used for treatment purposes, but rather for discussion with the patient’s own physician. The information presented here is not intended to diagnose health problems or to take the place of professional medical care.

Thanks and graduate for reading this blog if you would like to discuss your individual needs, please feel free to email or 02 8213 2888. 

Rodd Sanchez Sydney acupuncture and Chinese medicine 

Tennis Elbow

Tennis Elbow is an injury to the muscles that extend the wrist and fingers. The site of injury is typically a bony bump on the outside of the elbow (lateral epicondyle) where these muscles elbow

A typical tennis elbow sufferer will experience pain mild to very server) when performing even simple tasks like gripping or resisted wrist/finger extension. Pain can also be present when the muscles are stretched. Tenderness could be felt directly over the bony aspect (epicondyle) but there maybe active / trigger points in the wrist muscles also .

Tennis Elbow can be caused by repetitive damaged to the muscle tissue at the point it anchors to the arm bone at the elbow. It occurs when large forces are applied to an area which the healthy tissues can not handle. Some of the common causes for tennis elbow include,

  • Unaccustomed hand / fore arm use. eg painting, excessive typing, excessive repetitive gripping or wringing activities
  • Poor forearm muscle strength or tight muscles

In some cases clients will develop Chronic Tennis Elbow which is when the soft tissues in poor health, which are easily injured. Inflammation follows the injury, which leads to swelling and elbow pain.

There is also evidence that longstanding forearm muscle imbalances can distort your elbow joint position and result in chronic tennis elbow pain. This results in decreased ability to perform normal elbow activities and reducing elbow and grip strength.

Tennis Elbow can be clinically diagnosed by history taking and using some confirmatory clinical / physical tests, which can give a provisional diagnosis. An ultrasound scan or MRI are the best tests to identify any tendon tears or inflammation


Stretching Exercises

wrist range of motion: Bend your wrist forward and backward as far as you can. Do 3 sets of 1020170220_17514120170220_175144



Wrist Flexion Stretch: Stand at a table with your palms down, fingers flat, and elbows straight. Lean your body weight forward. Hold this position for 15 seconds. Repeat 3 times.



Wrist Extension Stretch: Stand with the back of your hands on a table, palms facing up, fingers pointing toward y our body, and elbows straight. Lean away from the table. Hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times.20170220_175208 20170220_175200



Strengthening Exercises

  1. wrist flexion exercise: Hold a can or hammer handle in your hand with your palm facing up. Bend your wrist upward. Slowly lower the weight and return to the starting position. Do 3 sets of 10. Gradually increase the weight of the can or weight you are holding.
  2. wrist extension exercise: Hold a soup can or hammer handle in your hand with your palm facing down. Slowly bend your wrist upward. Slowly lower the weight down into the starting position. Do 3 sets of 10. Gradually increase the weight of the can or weight you are holding.
  3. wrist radial deviation strengthening: Put your wrist in the sideways position with your thumb up. Hold a can of soup or hammer handle and gently bend your wrist up, with the thumb reaching toward the ceiling. Slowly lower to the starting position. Do 3 sets of 10.
  4. forearm pronation and supination strengthening: Hold a soup can or hammer handle in your hand and bend your elbow 90°. Slowly rotate your hand with your palm upward and then palm down. Do 3 sets of 10.20170220_175150 20170220_175148
  5. Sit at a table with your forearm resting on the table. Hold a rolled up towel or small ball in your hand. Squeeze the towel in your hand and hold for 10 seconds. Release and repeat 10 times. Switch and do the other arm.

6.Sit in a chair holding a towel with both hands, shoulders relaxed. Twist the towel with both hands in opposite directions as if you are wringing out water. Repeat 10 times then repeat another 10 times in the other direction.

20170220_175233 20170220_175230

Supporting women health with Acupuncture and Moxibustion

Acupuncture / Chinese medicine and how we can support women’s issues

Woman health

Ladies, it’s time to have a chat about women’s health and what acupuncture and Chinese medicine can facilitate with women’s issues. In short acupuncture has long successful history assisting women’s health issues, ranging from infertility, amenorrhea, PMS to digestive and mood disorders. Many of these issues are common practice for are team of acupuncturists and moxibustionist. We have planned and co-ordinated a series of in-depth discussion papers for the future articles in the coming weeks. For today’s article, we’ll be outlining some of the conditions and how acupuncture can help. If you would like some areas explained or feel like you have had a positive response and would like to share please feel free. No names or personal details will be documented

Here are some of the conditions which Chinese medicine and acupuncture can assist:

  • Amenorrhea (no periods)
  • Dysmenorrhea (painful periods)
  • PMS, PMD
  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
  • Endometriosis, polyps, fibroids and cysts
  • Recurrent urinary tract infections
  • Subfertility (commonly known as infertility)
  • Miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies and immune infertility
  • Symptoms related to female hormone imbalance such as acne and fluid retention
  • Pregnancy and post-partum issues
  • Pre and post fertility issues
  • IVF assistance

We shall in the next coming articles discuss how both Western medical and Chinese medical model view / diagnosis / treat female health issues such as menses (periods). These in-depth articles will be looking at the language / and specific vocabulary of both Western and Eastern philosophies, reinforcing the ideas of qi, blood, yin and yang and how we integrate them for present times. Inclusive of diet and lifestyle choices and how this can impact on women’s health issues, we shall be discussing interpretation laboratory blood test results from Western medical and Chinese medical perspective.

Thank you for time to read article

Audrey Cortez

Acupuncturist and Moxibustion Specialist

Hua Tuo

hua_tuoHuo Tuo

In Chinese Medicine there is a very long and proud history of scholars, clinicians and pioneers. They have paved the way for thousands of practitioners; I am one of them. Hua Tuo (c.140–208) is one of my heroes, who medical skills made him one of the most famous Chinese physician. He lived in the late Eastern Han Dynasty modern Anhui (which happens to be where I did my internship whilst in China). Hua Tuo was many hundreds of years ahead of his time in his medical knowledge and practice for both eastern and western medical knowledge.

Of the many wondrous achievements, historical records will have Hua Tuo as the first clinician to use anaesthesia during surgery. He used a general anaesthetic combining wine with a herbal concoction called máfèisàn (cannabis boil powder). Besides expertise in surgery and anaesthesia, Hua Tuo was famous for his abilities in acupuncture, moxibustion, herbal medicine, and medical DaoYin exercises.

He is said have developed the Wu Qin Xi which is the Exercise of the Five Animals, or five animals playing. Hua Tuo looked at the movement and form of the tiger, deer, bear, ape, and crane and applied it to exercise movement.

He was known as “the physician of the people”. He preferred to treat the common folks of the world and repeatedly refused to accept offers of the position as the Supreme Physician in the Imperial Palace. Hua Tuo will always be remembered for his mastery in several fields, including acupuncture, gynaecology, paediatrics, and surgery. Unfortunahua_tuo_2tely, Hua Tuo’s was arrested for his refusal and eventually put to death with his life works destroyed; hence his surgical practices went into disuse, with the exception of his method of castration.

The way Hua Tuo used acupuncture and herbs, was one of simplicity, only using a small number of acupuncture points and formulas comprising of only a few herbs. He practiced Qi Gong and taught the Qi Gong for health. He studied and mastered various classics, especially those related to medical and health measures, but also astronomy, geography, literature, history, and agriculture.




Rodd Sanchez

Acupuncture Sydney : Chinese Medicine Sydney