Traditional Chinese Medicine

Alchemy in Bellingen was rated the number one clinic for Acupuncture on the NSW mid-north coast and as one of the thirteen best clinics in NSW for Acupuncture.

The Sunday Telegraph, Body & Soul Magazine, 2011

A TCM consultation traditionally will include at least two or more of the below techniques to elicit homeostasis within the body.

TCM is a sought after style of treatment all around the world because:

  • Its effectiveness is scientifically validated. The World Health Organisation recommends TCM for over one hundred different diseases and syndromes based on gold standard scientific research.
  • It is a safe treatment, with only rare occurrences of side effects reported worldwide each year.
  • It is holistic and natural treating causes and symptoms, ranging from physical injuries, to mental health issues and diseases of internal organs.

“With a vast body of knowledge and practice to learn from, practitioners of TCM are able to offer their patients a wide array of treatment techniques.” says David. “By combining some, or all, of these strategies patients have the best chance of quick and effective recovery from injury and enhanced performance in everyday life.”

Patients usually feel relaxed, happy, & even slightly euphoric after a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) treatment. This type of health care has developed over thousands of years and patients reap the benefits of that extensive process of research and refinement.


Who would have thought that a fine needle inserted in precisely the right location could relieve physical and emotional distress?

“Patients usually feel relaxed, happy, even slightly euphoric after Acupuncture treatment” says David, Alchemy in Bellingen’s dedicated and patient Acupuncturist. “This type of health care has developed over thousands of years and patients reap the benefits of that extensive process of research and refinement.”

Acupuncture – a time-honoured medicine
The origins of acupuncture in China can be traced back at least 2000 years, making it one of the oldest and most long-standing health care systems in the world. Today, acupuncture is an effective, natural and increasingly popular form of health care that is being used by people from a wide range of cultural and social backgrounds.

Acupuncture takes a wholistic approach to understanding normal function and disease processes and focuses as much on the prevention of illness as on the treatment.

What is qi & how does it affect the body?
When healthy, an abundant supply of qi (pronounced chee) or “life energy” flows through the body’s meridians (a network of invisible channels through the body). If the flow of qi in the meridians becomes blocked or there is an inadequate supply of qi, then the body fails to maintain harmony, balance and order, and disease or illness follows. This can result from stress, overwork, poor diet, disease pathogens, weather and environmental conditions, and other lifestyle factors. Upon consultation this imbalance becomes evident to Acupuncturists through observable signs of bodily dysfunction. Acupuncturists look carefully for these signs of health and dysfunction, paying particular attention not only to the presenting signs and symptoms, but also to the medical history, general constitution, and the pulse and tongue diagnosis.

How does acupuncture work?
Acupuncture treatment involves the insertion of fine, sterile needles into specific sites (acupuncture points) along the body’s meridians to clear energy blockages and encourage the normal flow of qi through the individual. The practitioner may also stimulate the acupuncture points using other methods, including moxibustion, cupping and massage, in order to re-establish the flow of qi.

As a natural form of healing, acupuncture has the following benefits:

  • provides drug-free pain relief
  • effectively treats a wide range of acute and chronic ailments
  • treats the underlying cause of disease and illness as well as the symptoms
  • provides an wholistic approach to the treatment of disease and illness, linking body, mind and emotions
  • assists in the prevention against disease and illness as well as the maintenance of general well-being

Acupuncture is known to treat a wide range of disorders including:

  • Neurological conditions such as headaches, migraines, difficulty sleeping, nervous tension,stroke, some forms of deafness, facial and inter-costal neuralgia, trigeminal neuralgia, some forms of paralysis, sequelae of poliomyelitis, peripheral neuropathy, noises in the ears, dizziness, andMeniere’s disease. 
  • Cardiovascular disorders such as high or low blood pressure, fluid retention, chest pain, angina pectoris, poor circulation, cold hands and feet, and muscle cramps.
  • Respiratory conditions such as bronchial asthma, acute and chronic bronchitisacute tonsillitis, rhinitis, sinusitis, hay fever, chronic cough, laryngitis, sore throat, influenza and the common cold.
  • Digestive system disorders such as toothache, post-extraction pain, gingivitis, mouth ulcers,hiccough, spasms of the oesophagus, gastric andduodenal ulcers, gastric hyperacidity, gastritis,heartburn, hiatus hernia syndrome, flatulence,paralytic ileus, colitis, diarrhoea, constipation, haemorrhoids, liver and gall bladder disorders, and weight control.
  • Urogenital disorders such as cystitis, prostatitis, orchitis, low sexual vitality, urinary retention, kidney disorders, nocturnal enuresis, and neurogenic bladder dysfunction.
  • Gynaecological and obstetric disorders such as premenstrual tension, painful, heavy or irregular, or the absence of periods, abnormal uterine bleeding or discharge, hormonal disturbances, disorders associated with menopause, prolapse of the uterus or bladder, difficulty with conception, and morning sickness.
  • Skin conditions such as eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, nerve rash, herpes zoster, acne, scar tissue and resultant adhesions, hair loss and dandruff.
  • Eye conditions such as visual disorders, red, sore, itchy or watery eyes, conjunctivitis, simple cataracts, myopia in children, and central retinitis.
  • Musculoskeletal disorders such as osteoarthritis, sciatica, lumbago, weak back, low back pain, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, tenosynovitis, shoulder and neck pain, cervicobrachial syndrome, ‘frozen shoulder’, and ‘tennis elbow’.
  • Sporting injuries such as sprained ankles and knees, cartilage problems, corking and tearing of muscles, torn ligaments and bruises.
  • Psychological conditions such as depression, phobias, emotional disturbances, anxiety, nervousness and addictions such as smoking.

* The disorders above which appear in bold have been recognised by the World Health Organisation as having been successfully treated by acupuncture. The disorders which do not appear in bold above are other common disorders which have been found to respond well to acupuncture.


MoxibustionMoxibustion is the process whereby a traditional Chinese herb Artemisia Vulgaris, a species of chrysanthemum is indirectly burnt above acupuncture points, applying heat to specific meridians.
Moxibustion has the ability to; warm the channels and collaterals, expelling cold, induce the smooth flow of qi and blood, strengthen yang from collapse and is used to prevent disease and maintain wellbeing and balance. Moxibustion is a known anti-inflammatory herb and promotes circulation.

Moxibustion is typically coupled with acupuncture.

Chinese Herbal Medicine

Chinese HerbsChinese herbal medicine is yet another facet of the integrated system that is Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and involves the use of ‘herbs’ that can include roots, stems, seeds, flowers and even berries to aid to assist in health care and disease prevention.

Herbs have the ability to strengthen and enhance the bodies’ functions, support the immune system and promote overall wellbeing. Herbs are natural alternative to synthetic chemical drugs. They usually have little to no side effects.

Chinese herbs are usually prescribed in formulas or modified formulas rather than single herb treatments and who wouldn’t benefit from Chinese Herbs?! They have been used medicinally for well over 5000 years with hundreds of generations of Chinese Herbalists passing on their knowledge of what works and what doesn’t to the following generations. The end result of this extensive period of research is a thorough understanding of the herbs and how they affect the human body.

In Australia today Chinese Herbalists are tertiary trained and regulated by professional associations, government standards, private health care insurers and animal welfare treaties (*no animal products are used in Alchemy’s range of Chinese Herbs). We treat a full range of medical complaints including digestive, gynaecological, paediatric, dermatological, psychological, musculo-skeletal, respiratory, cardiovascular, geriatric, hormonal, genito-urinary, lymphatic, reproductive, and neurological.

Alchemy’s range of Chinese Herbs include:

  • Powdered raw herbs
  • High Potency Granulated herbs that come in either tablets or powder

Tui Na

Tui Na Chinese MassageTui Na is one of the oldest forms of massage known to mankind and literally means “push grasp”.  Tui na involves a number of techniques that aim to change the balance of qi (energy) within the body. Tui na is a traditional form of massage that focuses on acupuncture point locations to enhance healing and therapeutic benefit.

Gua Sha

Is an Asian therapeutic technique using a smooth porcelain massage tool to rub tight muscles.

Modern research shows Gua Sha produces an anti-inflammatory and immune protective effect that persists for days following a single Gua Sha treatment. This accounts for its effect on pain, stiffness, fever, chill, cough, wheeze, nausea and vomiting etc. Gua Sha is effective in acute and chronic internal organ disorders.

Gua Sha

Cupping Therapy

Cupping TherapyCupping is a therapy whereby a jar (either glass or bamboo) is attached to the skin surface via the negative pressure produced by introducing heat in the form of an ignited swab.

Cupping has the functions of warming and promoting the free flow of qi and blood in the meridians, along with dispelling cold, dampness and the ability of diminishing swellings and assisting in pain relief. Cupping promotes circulation by encouraging fresh blood and with it oxygen to the muscles allowing for cellular renewal.

Chinese Dietotherapy

Chinese DietotherapyDietotherapy is simply the treatment of disorders through dietary means. No consultation is complete without considering common dietary practices. In traditional medicine it is often difficult to state that some natural products are either a medicinal or a foodstuff. In many situations they are considered both and as such can ‘heal or harm’ depending on the individual’s current state of health.

In TCM all foods have properties that pertain to traditional understanding of foods ie either produce a warm or cool effect within the body.