Ginger chicken bone broth

This is one of the easiest  recipe is easy, but you need some time for the simmering. Ginger chicken bone broth is a great base for cooking all sorts of Chinese foods and soups. It is one of the mildest and soothing drinks around. You can play around with the recipe by adding a few vegetables or Chinese herbs. This broth is so mild on the system that one might drink it while pregnant. These type of soups are great at any time of the day.  No wonder women feel like such a wreck afterwards. Something warm, soothing and more nutrient dense would be more helpful during or after such hard work.


makes : 2.8 liters

  • 1 cup rice wine
  • 450 g of ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 3.8 liters of water
  • 2.5 kg chicken meat and bones
  • 1 tbsp salt (optional)

Try adding carrots, daikon, green onions, goji berries, and other Chinese herbs to make the broth even more interesting and flavorful.


  1. In a big pot put in all the ingredients, bring to a boil and simmer for 5-8 hours. Keep the lid on and the heat low and make sure to check that the liquid doesn’t boil off too quickly. It is the rice wine that helps to break down the essential goodness of the chicken. Breaking up the chicken is also good. It is likely to need another hour of simmering when the meat falls off the bones and the joints easily tear apart.
  2. Strain. Salt to taste. Enjoy hot.

24hour organ clock

When you come in to the Sydney Acupuncture clinic, we discuss many different concepts and ideas, use different vocabulary, one is the 24 hour organ clock. Within Traditional Chinese Medicine, it is believed that each organ has its highest and lowest energy point at special times.

The 24-hour organ clock cycle can assist us recognise when to exercise, eat, have sex, rest and sleep. It also acts to communicate with a particular organ or meridian (energy channel) of the body.

Large Intestine: 5 am to 7 am is the time of the Large Intestine making it a perfect time to have a bowel movement and remove toxins from the day before. It is also the ideal time to wash away toxins from your body and comb your hair. It is believed that combing your hair helps to clear out energy from the mind. You could also include dry washing qi gong which I may have shown to you. At this time, emotions of defensiveness or feelings of being stuck could be evoked.

  • Rising and defecating
  • Guilt
  • Stuck
  • Defensiveness

Stomach: 7-9 am is the time of the Stomach so it is important to eat the most important meal of the day. It is the most optimal digestion and absorption. Warm meals which are high in nutrition values are best in the morning. You can add those “bad carbs” (satire) at this time. Emotions that are likely to be stirred include disgust or despair (unable to stomach something).

  • Healthy eating
  • Disgust
  • Despair

Spleen 9-11am is the time of Spleen, where enzymes are released to help digest food and release energy for the day ahead. This is the ideal time to exercise and work. Do your most taxing tasks of the day at this time. Is it a coincidence that the working day starts at 9am. Emotions such as low self-esteem


may be felt at this time.

  • Thinking and working
  • Jealousy/Worry
  • Low Self-esteem

Heart 11am- 1pm is the time of the Heart which will work to pump nutrients around the body to help provide you with energy and nutrition. This is also a good time to eat lunch and it is recommended to have a light, cooked meal. Having a one hour nap or a cup of tea is also recommended during this time. Feelings of extreme joy or sadness can also be experienced at this time.  Are you happy when the lunch bell goes? or are you missing out on joy by working through your lunch?

  • Meeting talking and eating
  • Joy
  • Frightfully Sad

Small Intestine 1-3pm is the time of the Small Intestine and is when food eaten earlier will complete its digestion and assimilation. This is also a good time to go about daily tasks or exercise. Sometimes, vulnerable thoughts or feelings of abandonment my subconsciously arise at this time.

  • Sorting and organizing
  • Insecurity
  • Vulnerable / Gullible
  • Feelings of Abandonment

Urinary Bladder 3-5 pm is the time of the Urinary Bladder when metabolic wastes move into the kidney’s filtration system. This is the perfect time to study or complete brain-challenging work. Another cup of tea is advised as is drinking a lot of water to help aid detoxification processes. Feeling irritated or timid may also occur at this time.

  • Storing and reserving
  • associated with the Skin
  • Irritation
  • Timidity

Kidneys 5-7 pm is the time of the Kidneys when the blood is filtered and the kidneys work to maintain proper chemical balance. This is the perfect time to have dinner and to activate your circulation either by walking, having a massage or stretching. Subconscious thoughts of fear or terror can also be active at this time.

  • Driving and consolidating
  • Fear
  • Terror

Pericardium 7-9 pm is the time of Pericardium when nutrients are carried to the capillaries and to each cell. This is the perfect time to read. Avoid doing mental activities at this time. A difficulty in expressing emotions may also be felt however, this is the perfect time to have sex or conceive.

  • Socializing and flirting
  • Unresponsive
  • Hurt/Extreme Joy
  • Inability to Express Emotions
  • Depleted

San Jiao 9-11pm is the time of San Jiao or endocrine system where the body’s homeostasis is adjusted and enzymes are replenished. It is recommended to sleep at this time so the body can conserve energy for the following day. Feelings of paranoia or confusion may also be felt.

  • Associated with the Thyroid and Adrenals
  • Controls Metabolism
  • Energy Transfer and Regulates Temperature
  • Relaxing and Chilling
  • Hopelessness
  • Confusion, Paranoia

Gallbladder 11pm-1am is the time of the Gall Bladder and in order to wake feeling energized the body should be at rest. In Chinese medicine, this period of time is when yin energy fades ad yang energy begins to grow. Yang energy helps you to keep active during the day and is stored when you are asleep. Subconscious feelings of resentment may appear during this time.

  • Sleeping and regenerating
  • Bitterness
  • Resentment

Liver 1-3am is the time of the Liver and a time when the body should be asleep. During this time, toxins are released from the body and fresh new blood is made. If you find yourself waking during this time, you could have too much yang energy or problems with your liver or detoxification pathways. This is also the time of anger, frustration and rage.

  • Deep resting and dreaming
  • Anger
  • Frustration
  • Rage

Lungs 3-5am: the time of the Lungs and again, this is the time where the body should be asleep. If woken at this time, nerve soothing exercises are recommended such as breathing exercises. The body should be kept warm at this time too to help the lungs replenish the body with oxygen. The lungs are also associated with feelings of grief and sadness.

  • Early stirring gentle breathing
  • Grief
  • Sadness

Sydney Chinese Medicine practitioners use this clock to help them determine the organ responsible for disease. For example, if you find yourself waking up between the hours of 3-5 am each morning, you may have underlying grief or sadness that is bothering you or you may have a condition in the lung area.


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

Black pepper : pungent and warming

Black pepper is known as one of the most commonly and utilise medicinal herbs, but in resent times, it has been relinquished to the culinary backseat. Black pepper has a wonderful pungent and warmingPepper property, which not only can enhance favour but can also assist in digestive and circulatory function. The black pepper plant processes properties which are antimicrobial, antioxidant, antispasmodic, circulatory stimulant, and can stimulating diaphorese.


Black pepper can have a extensive range of uses, due to its hot and stimulating nature it is fabulous for a variety of cold and flu symptoms, like chills, fevers and mucus congestion. Black pepper can assist with micro circulation by increasing blood vessel circulation and thus help with cold feet and hands.

One of the most fascinating aspects of black pepper ability to increase bioavailability, that is to increase the absorption rate of food and herbs into the body. From a food aspect black pepper will increase the nutrition which will enter the body but when it comes to herbs and drugs may act synergistic, where the effects would be enhanced.


Chinese five spice mix

3 teaspoons of peppercorns

3 teaspoons cinnamon bits

3 whole star anise

2 teaspoon whole cloves

2 teaspoon fennel seeds


Place the herbs in a warm fry pan with no oil and stir for 3 to 4 min


Grind the herbs in a mortar and pestle or coffee grinder until fine powder

Store in an air tight containers





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 

A Case Study on osteoarthritis of the knee

Patients suffering with knee osteoarthritis find relief from alternative therapies including acupuncture when Western medicine has failed. Due to the growing age population in Australia, knee osteoarthritis is becoming increasingly prevalent and acupuncture can be seen as a cost effective and safe alternative to pharmacological or surgical intervention. The case study below is interesting as although the patient attained positive results, he still sought surgical intervention for his pain.

Literature Review

Traditional Chinese Medicine Perspective
Osteoarthritis of the knee can be classified as Bi syndrome (painful obstruction syndrome) (Flaws & Sionneau, 2005). It is seen as the invasion of external pathogens which invade the body and obstruct/block the flow of Qi and blood within the channels (Maciocia, 2004). The three main pathogens include wind, damp and cold and within their combination, different characteristics and symptomology can be seen. The weakness of defensive Qi (Wei Qi) could be the influencing factor for the invasion of external pathogenic factors assaulting the body, in this case the knees. The invasion of these external pathogenic factors can and will stagnate the harmonious flow of Qi and blood circulation so that pain can manifest. The pathogenic factors not only invade the channels but also affect the muscles and joints around the knee causing the blockage and a slow-down of circulation of Qi and blood. The clinical signs and symptoms may vary greatly due to the difference in pathogenic factors.
Some of the causative factors involved in osteoarthritis Bi syndrome of the knee include stagnation of Qi and blood, deficiency of liver and kidney, deficiency of Qi and blood and wind, damp, cold and heat.
Stagnation of Qi and blood can be brought about by overstrain, physical trauma or as a secondary effect of the external pathogenic factors as they can block the channels leading to pain and swelling of the knee joint (Maciocia, 2004).
The causative factors of deficiency of liver and kidney can come about due to overstrain, irregular eating habits, poor diet, prolonged sickness or a weak constitution and general old age. These may cause the consumption of Qi and blood leading to deficiencies of the liver and kidney. When looking at the correspondence of organs in relation to tissues, this can manifest as the tendons not properly being nourished as they relate to the liver and the bones not being properly nourished as they relate to the kidneys.
Wind as the predominant invader can be seen as a wandering type of obstruction with signs and symptoms manifesting as pain which tends to be moving or migrating randomly from location to location. Soreness can be seen in the muscles and joints but the quality of the pain can change quickly alternating between dullness and sharpness. Wind as an agent does not work solely however has a tendency to combine with other pathogens such as cold and damp. The main signs and symptoms include moving joint aches, pain and soreness which is not localised, aggravated by climatic changes, possibly accompanied with aversion to fever and wind, white tongue coating and a floating moderate pulse (Flaws & Sionneau, 2005; Maciocia, 2004).
An invasion of predominantly cold is referred to as painful Bi syndrome and characterised by severe pain and limitation of movement. The cold pathogen has the ability of freezing and contracting channels and tissues thus the blockage produces pain and loss of joint movement. Warmth and movement improve pain whereas cold and immobility enhance pain. The main signs and symptoms include severe joint aching and pain which is sharp in nature, exposure to cold will intensify the pain, pain which is alleviated by warmth, pain which is relatively established in location, reluctant for flexion or extension at the articulation, no presence of heat or redness, a pale tongue with white coating and a deep, tight or wiry pulse (Flaws & Sionneau, 2005; Maciocia, 2004).
The invasion of dampness is characterised with a sensation of numbness and heaviness as well as soreness and swelling in the muscles and joints. It is also called fixed Bi syndrome due to its localisation. Climatic factors are an influencing feature in the severity of pain. Some of the main symptoms include aching joints, pain, soreness, numbness and heaviness which is fixed in location, marked swelling of the affected area, difficulty flexing and extending the joints, worse pain in damp environments and rainy weather affecting the lower half of the body, a pale tongue with slimy white fur and a soggy moderate pulse (Flaws & Sionneau, 2005; Maciocia, 2004).
Heat is more a result of the other pathogens due to the obstruction. The main signs and symptoms which are associated with heat is joint aching and pain which is hot, swollen and distended and/or erythematous in the affected area, severe pain, difficulty in flexing and extending the joint, possible fever, thirst, aversion to heat, red tongue with yellow or slimy coating and a slippery rapid pulse (Flaws & Sionneau, 2005; Maciocia, 2004).
Traditional Chinese Medicine Treatment
The Osteoarthritis Research Society International reported that there was no statistical difference between the use of non-pharmacological modalities compared with pharmacological treatment for knee osteoarthritis with acupuncture listed as one of the 12 beneficial non-pharmacological modalities (Zhang et al., 2008). In addition, acupuncture is known to be a safe alternative to western medicine as it less liable to adverse events and is perceived to be less invasive (Vincent, 2001; White, Hayhoe, Hart, & Ernst, 2001).
Several randomised, controlled trials have shown acupuncture to reduce pain and improve function in treating knee osteoarthritis either on its own or as part of an adjunct therapy (Berman et al., 2004; Scharf et al., 2006; Vas, Mendez, & Perea-Milla, 2006; Witt et al., 2006). Interestingly, acupuncture performed by physiotherapists in a multicentre, randomised controlled trial provided no additional improvement in pain scores compared with advice and exercise alone on the WOMAC index (Foster et al., 2007). However this trial used fewer treatment sessions (than other trials) did not include a no treatment group and was performed by physiotherapists (not acupuncturists). There is also evidence that although both acupuncture and sham acupuncture improve pain and function in patients with knee osteoarthritis, there are no significant differences between the two which suggests that it could be due to a placebo effect (Scharf et al., 2006). Several studies have also suggested that acupuncture is a good replacement for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) as it equally effective, has much less side effects and is cheaper (White, Foster, Cummings, & Barlas, 2006; White & Kawakita, 2006). In addition, Yousuf and colleagues (2007) found that acupuncture was cost effective when used as an adjunctive therapy as patients receiving acupuncture treatment used fewer medications and were hospitalised less often. The use of electro acupuncture has also been shown to provide significant improvements in the symptoms of knee osteoarthritis in the sole treatment or as an adjunct therapy (Chau et al., 2004; Tukmachi, Jubb, Dempsey, & Jones, 2004). Xu and colleagues (2007) reported that the Silver Spike Point Free acupuncture device was effective in treating the symptoms of knee osteoarthritis with a statistical significant reduction of stiffness according to the WOMAC index.

Western Medicine Perspective
Osteoarthritis is a leading cause of disability worldwide (Lopez & Murray, 1998) and is the most common form of arthritis in people aged over 65 in Australia although the aetiology of the age-related increase is unclear (Felson et al., 1987). Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that mainly affects weight-bearing joints and women have a greater risk of developing the disease than men (Felson, Lawrence, Dieppe et al., 2000). The clinical features of osteoarthritis include pain and stiffness with the major pathological feature being articular cartilage degeneration. As the disease increases in severity, pain, swelling, loss of cartilage, bone spur formation and decreased range of motion can occur with variable degrees of mild synovitis and thickening of the joint capsule (McCance & Huether, 2006). Overweight adults have a higher prevalence of knee osteoarthritis (Hart & Spector, 1993) and it has been suggested that inactive children and adolescents are at a greater risk of developing the disease (Jones, Glisson, Hynes, & Cicuttini, 2000). The literature has also shown that occupations such as labouring (Felson et al., 1987) as well as participation in sports such as soccer or running may also be associated with the disease (Kujala et al., 1995).

Western Medicine Treatment
There is no known cure for osteoarthritis (Felson, Lawrence, Hochberg et al., 2000) however the goal is to control the patients pain, improve mobility and function and quality of life. Treatment strategies for osteoarthritis of the knee include patient education (Keefe et al., 2004), physiotherapy, weight reduction (Miller et al., 2006), NSAIDS (Bruhlmann & Michel, 2003), glucosamine (Herrero-Beaumont et al., 2007) and surgery (Lavernia, Guzman, & Gachupin-Garcia, 1997).
The general consensus among the literature was the utilisation of the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) as a standard for measuring the outcomes of knee osteoarthritis. WOMAC measures pain, stiffness of the knee and difficulty performing daily activities.

This is a case study of a 53 year old man called Roger (a pseudonym for his real name) who presented with pain in the anterior medial aspect of his right knee, interior to the patella. The pain had been intermittent for the previous 2 years and had progressively become intensified in the last 2 weeks. The pain was present most of the time but developed increasingly worse with high activity, climatic change or at the end of a days work. This made it very difficult for Roger as he worked long hours (12-16 hours, 7 days a week) in the metal industry and walked up stairs all day (he also found it difficult and painful walking down stairs). Roger was also a keen soccer player since his childhood, playing competitively for over 20 years. During this time, he sustained a lot of injuries to his knees.

Current diagnosis and medications

Roger’s physician diagnosed him with osteoarthritis of the knee after an x-ray and magnetic imaging resonance (MRI). The MRI showed joint space narrowing (due to loss of articular cartilage) and slight osteophyte formation. He was prescribed Panadol and topically applied Voltaren. Roger had an intra-articular steroid injection in his knee 8 months prior (since the Panadol and Voltaren did not work) with relatively moderate but short-lasting results (2 months). On further consultation with his physician, he was advised to seek surgical intervention. He was initially unwilling to have surgery so sought acupuncture treatment instead.

Examination findings
On investigation of his knee, there was visible swelling with no redness of the skin. Pain was expressed with palpation and with flexion and extension of the knee joint. There was limited movement of the joint and crepitus on extension and flexion of the knee joint. Roger was positive for anterior drawer sign and the abductor stress test as described by Bickley & Szilagyi (2007).
Roger was of average height and appeared physically fit. He had regular bowel and urine movements and normal blood pressure (130/80). His pulse was found to be wiry and moderate in speed (the kidney position was somewhat weak) whilst his tongue was pink (with a slight white coating) with no central line visible, swelling or teeth marks on the outer aspects.

Diagnosis and treatment
Roger’s traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) diagnosis was anterior medial knee pain due to fixed Bi syndrome (cold and damp predominant) accompanied with stagnation of Qi and Blood and an underlying liver and kidney deficiency.
The TCM principle of treatment was to eliminate the dampness, scatter the cold, improve the flow of Qi and Blood, tonify liver and kidney and alleviate pain.

Initial treatment strategy
The strategy for the acupuncture treatment for Roger was to encompass a selection of auricular points, local and distal acupoints and the application of moxibustion. Treatments were done twice weekly for the initial 4 week period and then tapered to once weekly for 4 weeks. The needles used had a diameter of 0.25mm and assorted lengths (depending on the point) and left insitu for 25-30 minutes each session. An evaluation was undertaken at the end of 8 weeks to assess the progress of the acupuncture treatment. Both oral and topical herbal medicine was also included and discussed in detail below.
The acupoints selected are listed below.
• Xue Hai (Spleen 10) • Yang Ling Quan (Gallbladder 34)
• Zu San Li (Stomach 36) • Xi Yan (MN-LE-16)
• Yin Ling Quan (Spleen 9) • Liang Qiu (Stomach 34)
• Qu Quan (Liver 8) • Yin Gu (Kidney 10)
• Knee earpoint • PGE1 (ear prostaglandin)

Initial herbal preparation
The oral herbal preparation prescribed was a patent medicine of Du Huo Ji Sheng Wan with 20 pills consumed three times daily. In addition, glucosamine (50mg, twice daily) was prescribed. The topical herbal preparation prescribed was Zheng Gu Shui to be liberally applied three times a day.

Treatment outcomes
At the end of 12 treatments, there was a marked reduction in the swelling of the knee although he was still positive for the anterior drawer sign and the abductor stress test. The range of movement had improved on both flexion and extension with reduced levels of crepitus in the knee. Roger was pleased with the reduction in pain thus achieved although appeared sceptical. He noted pain was still present at the end of the day after hard physical work and walking downstairs. Roger decided to seek surgery in the hope of total cessation of his pain.

Following an 8 week period, Roger had reduced his level of pain. Even though glucosamine is not a traditional Chinese medicine, it was incorporated as previous patients have benefited from its continued use and is also supported by the literature.
Despite the literature’s positive results, electro-acupuncture was not used as I did not see the need at the time. The best evidence available has shown that managing knee osteoarthritis (with acupuncture or other non-pharmacological treatments), is an effective way of managing knee osteoarthritis. Greater randomised trials of Chinese herbal medicine are needed to evaluate the efficacy of their use in treating knee osteoarthritis as there is a lack of high level scientific studies in the literature.


Closeup of male runner holding injured knee as he stands on scenic mountain top with snow capped peaks

Berman, B, Lao, LX, Langenberg, P, Lee, WL, Gilpin, AMK, & Hochberg, MC. (2004). Effectiveness of Acupuncture as adjunctive Therapy in Osteoarthritis of the Knee Annals of Internal Medicine, 141(12), 901-910.
Bickley, LS, & Szilagyi, PG. (2007). Bates’: Guide to Physical Examination and History Taking (9th ed.). Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Bruhlmann, P, & Michel, BA. (2003). Topical diclofenac patch in patients with knee osteoarthritis: a randomized, double-blind, controlled clinical trial. Clinical & Experimental Rheumatology, 21(2), 193-198.
Chau, R, Lau, P, Ho, G, Wong, K, Chan, A, & Leung, AWN. (2004). Acupuncture effectiveness of electroacupuncture in the management of knee osteoarthritis. The Journal of Pain, 5(3), S88.
Felson, DT, Lawrence, RC, Dieppe, PA, Hirsch, R, Helmick, CG, Jordan, JM, Kingston, RS, Lane, NE, Nevitt, MC, Zhang, Y, Sowers, M, McAlindon, T, Spector, TD, Poole, AR, Yanovski, SZ, Ateshian, G, Sharma, L, Buckwalter, JA, Brandt, KD, & Fries, JF. (2000). Osteoarthritis: New insights. Part 1: the disease and its risk factors. Annals of Internal Medicine, 133(8), 635-646.
Felson, DT, Lawrence, RC, Hochberg, MC, McAlindon, T, Dieppe, PA, Minor, MA, Blair, SN, Berman, BM, Fries, JF, Weinberger, M, Lorig, KR, Jacobs, JJ, & Goldberg, V. (2000). Osteoarthritis: New Insights: Part 2: Treatment Approaches (Report). Annals of Internal Medicine, 133(9), 726-737.
Felson, DT, Naimark, A, Anderson, J, Kazis, L, Castelli, W, & Meenan, RF. (1987). The prevalence of knee osteoarthritis in the elderly. Arthritis & Rheumatism, 30(8), 914-918.
Flaws, B, & Sionneau, P. (2005). The Treatment of Mordern Western Medical Diseases with Chinese Medicine (Second ed.). Boulder Blue Poppy Press.
Foster, NE, Thomas, E, Barlas, P, Hill, JC, Young, J, Mason, E, & Hay, EM. (2007). Acupuncture as an adjunct to exercise based physiotherapy for osteoarthritis of the knee: randomised controlled trial. British Medical Journal, 335(7617), 436-440.
Hart, DJ, & Spector, TD. (1993). The relationship of obesity, fat distribution and osteoarthritis in women in the general population: the Chingford Study. Journal of Rheumatology, 20(20), 331-335.
Herrero-Beaumont, G, Ivorra, JER, del Carmen Trabado, M, Blanco, FJ, Benito, P, Martin-Mola, E, Paulino, J, Marenco, JL, Porto, A, Laffon, A, Araujo, D, Figueroa, M, & Branco, J. (2007). Glucosamine Sulfate in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis symptoms. Arthritis & Rheumatism, 56(2), 555-567.
Jones, G, Glisson, M, Hynes, K, & Cicuttini, F. (2000). Sex and site differences in cartilage development. Arthritis & Rheumatism, 43(11), 2543-2549.
Keefe, FJ, Blumenthal, J, Baucom, D, Affleck, G, Waugh, R, Caldwell, DS, Beaupre, P, Kashikar-Zuck, S, Wright, K, Egert, J, & Lefebvre, J. (2004). Effects of spouse-assisted coping skills training and exercise training in patients with osteoarthritic knee pain: a randomized controlled study. Pain, 110(3), 539-549.
Kujala, UM, Kettunen, J, Paananen, H, Aalto, T, Battie, MC, Impivaara, O, Videman, T, & Sarna, S. (1995). Knee osteoarthritis in former runners, soccer players, weight lifters and shooters. Arthritis & Rheumatism, 38(4), 539-546.
Lavernia, CJ, Guzman, JF, & Gachupin-Garcia, A. (1997). Cost effectiveness and quality of life in knee arthroplasty. Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, 345(1), 134-139.
Lopez, AD, & Murray, CJL. (1998). The global burden of disease, 1990-2020. Nature Medicine, 4, 1241-1243.
Maciocia, G. (2004). Diagnosis in Chinese Medicine A Comprehensive Guide. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone.
McCance, KL, & Huether, SL. (2006). Pathophysiology: the bilogical basis for disease in adults and children (Fifth ed.). St Louis: Elsevier Mosby.
Miller, GD, Nicklas, BJ, Davis, C, Loeser, RF, Lenchik, L, & Messier, SP. (2006). Intensive weight loss program improves physical function in older obese adults with knee osteoarthritis. Obesity, 14(7), 1219-1230.
Scharf, H-P, Mansmann, U, Streitberger, K, Witte, S, Kramer, J, Maler, C, Trampisch, H-J, & Victor, N. (2006). Acupuncture and Knee Osteoarthritis A Three-Armed Randomised Trial. Annals of Internal Medicine, 145(1), 12-20.
Tukmachi, E, Jubb, R, Dempsey, E, & Jones, P. (2004). The effect of Acupuncture on the symptoms of knee osteoarthritis- an open randomised conrolled study. Acupuncture in Medicine, 22(1), 14-22.
Vas, J, Mendez, C, & Perea-Milla, E. (2006). Acupuncture vs Streitberger needle in knee osteoarthritis – an RCT. Acupuncture in Medicine, 24, (Suppl): S15-24.
Vincent, C. (2001). The safety of acupuncture. British Medical Journal, 323(7311), 467-468.
White, A, Foster, NE, Cummings, M, & Barlas, P. (2006). The effectiveness of acupuncture for osteoarthritis of the knee – a systematic review. Acupuncture in Medicine, 24, (Suppl): S40-48.
White, A, Hayhoe, S, Hart, A, & Ernst, E. (2001). Adverse events following acupuncture: prospective survey of 32000 consultations with doctors and physiotherapists. British Medical Journal, 323(7311), 485-486.
White, A, & Kawakita, K. (2006). The evidence on acupuncture for knee osteoarthritis – editorial summary on the implications for health policy. Acupuncture in Medicine, 24, (Suppl): S71-76.
Witt, CM, Jena, S, Brinkhaus, B, Liecker, B, Wegscheider, K, & Willich, SN. (2006). Acupuncture in Patients with Knee Osteoarthritis of the Knee or Hip. Arthritis & Rheumatism, 54(11), 3485-3494.
Xu, H, Ryan, JD, & Li, K. (2007). Clinical investigation into the effectiveness of needleless acupuncture in the managementof the symptoms of osteoarthritis of the knee: a preliminary, single-blind and sham-controlled study. Australian Journal of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, 2(2), 9-15.
Yousuf, S, Frick, KD, Spencer, C, Lao, L, Berman, B, Steinwaches, DM, & Hochberg, MC. (2007). Cost effectiveness of Traditional Chinese Acupuncture as adjunctive therapy in ostoeoarthritis of the Knee. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, 15 (Supp 3), C36.
Zhang, W, Moskowitz, W, Nuki, G, Abramson, S, Altman, RD, Arden, N, Bierma-Zeinstra, S, Brandt, KD, Croft, P, Doherty, M, Dougados, M, Hochberg, MC, Hunter, DJ, Kwoh, K, Lohmander, LS, & Tugwell, P. (2008). OARSI recommendations for the mangement of hip and knee osteoarthristis, Part II: OARSI evidence-based, expert consensus guidelines. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, 16(2), 137-162.



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 

The Correlation between TaiChi and Chinese Medicine

Often misinterpreted as a martial art in its general form, TaiChi is a widely practiced technique throughout the world. Tai Chi, however, is much more than random, disoriented punches and kicks. In addition to defense, TaiChi also has plenty of health benefits.

Read on to find out where TaiChi came from and how it is related to Traditional Chinese Medicine:

What is Tai Chi?

Contrary to popular belief, TaiChi is, in essence, rhythmic movements which are designed for strength and serenity. Dating back as far as nearly three millenniums, the movements involved in TaiChi use the entire body and are proven to enhance relaxation and peace. In addition to using hands-on healing techniques along the meridian lines of the human body, TaiChi is one of the most popular healing techniques derived from Traditional Chinese Medicine since it is much simpler.


How is Tai chi related to Traditional Chinese Medicine?

TaiChi has been derived from a more traditional and prominent discipline in Traditional Chinese Medicine known as Qigong. The flow of Qi, therefore, is one the most important concepts which Tai Chi is based on. When perfected, TaiChi is known to make use of the internal energy of the human body, resulting in subtle movements which are too quick to be noticed by the human eye.


The best part about Tai Chi is that the movements involved are gentle and organized enough to no damage the muscles. It has been proven by science that chemicals are produced for healing muscles whenever movement is done by the human body. Since muscles do not require any repair after TaiChi is practiced, these healing chemicals can be used to heal the rest of the body.

Benefits of Tai Chi

practice of Tai Chi Chuan in the park. Detail of hand positions

TaiChi has a variety of benefits which can be obtained by people of all ages because of the gentle nature of movements involved in the technique. Like most techniques derived from Traditional Chinese Medicine, TaiChi also works primarily on improving the overall balance and fitness level of the human body.

In addition to alleviating symptoms of depression and reducing general pain, Tai Chi can help lower blood pressure and improve heart health. People have also reported better moods, and decreased stress and anxiety. Inflammation within the body can also be eased through Tai Chi, leaving people with more flexibility and less falls.

To learn more about Tai Chi and Traditional Chinese Medicine, contact Rodd Sanchez.






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 

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