What we Treat

At Cycle of Life Acupuncture Caloundra & Buderim, we offer Comprehensive, Gentle and Compassionate care relevant to your health. Working with you, Dr. Erica French (Acupuncture) creates a treatment plan which best suits your needs. Using an Integrative approach by collaborating with your General Practitioner, Fertility Specialist, Chiropractor, Naturopath, Bowen Therapist, etc. she offers preventative medicine by giving supportive lifestyle and nutritional advice to address your health. It is the Preventative treatments which ensure our patients are at their optimal level of health.

Body temperature charting

In an acupuncture session with Dr. Erica French, you may be asked to start charting your body temperature, using a Basal Body Temperature (BBT) chart.

Why is it important?

BBT chart recording has been used since the 1950’s for natural family planning purposes, but it is possible to get some indication of what hormones your body is producing from the temperature fluctuations. We use them to get an idea of whether or not you are ovulating, and what your Yin Yang balance is like, from an Oriental medicine perspective. They are not always accurate with every person, however additional testing can confirm if the chart is showing your true ovulation status, and can be a useful tool in helping you connect with your cycle and your body.
Instructions for daily charting:
When you wake up in the morning, before you get out of bed or drink any liquid, place a digital thermometer with the small metal tip under your tongue, at the back of your mouth.

Press the button and wait for the beep.

Record the temperature on the chart with a dot.

During your period, mark the square with an X to show bleeding.

After a few days have passed, draw a line between the successive dots. You will end up with a line graph, showing the changes in your temperature throughout the cycle.

Day 1 is the first day of your period.
Each cycle, start a new chart.

After a couple of months you will start to see a regular pattern. Erica will show you how to tell when you are ovulating based on this chart.
For further, more detailed information, check out these links:

Barrett, E. S. and W. Vitek (2019). Trying to conceive? Track your cycle—any method will do. Fertility and Sterility 112(5): 815-816.

Fehring, R. J., et al. (2013). Randomized comparison of two Internet-supported fertility-awareness-based methods of family planning. Contraception 88(1): 24-30.

Ask Erica for more information about BBT charting at your consultation. If you haven’t booked one, do so now!

Pregnancy is a joyous and happy occasion, but it takes a bit for us to adjust to the situation, which keeps changing as baby grows. Different health complaints arise in the 3 trimesters – The first is morning sickness and hormonal fluctuations as baby starts to form and develop vital organs. The second is where hormones settle down but there are sometimes emotional difficulties and possibly muscle aches as your body expands.

In third trimester, as the pregnancy starts to grow to term and baby begins to engage before the birth, problems like pelvic separation pain occur, with swelling, backache and sometimes anxiety, especially if it is your first child.

The Research

There is mixed research about acupuncture for labour induction however there are many other avenues where an experienced health practitioner who works with pregnancy can be of assistance.

Results have been largely positive in studies on pregnancy migraine and nausea & vomiting associated with morning sickness, as well as hyperemesis gravidarum.

There is an extensive reference list at the bottom of the page if you wish to read further information.

Experienced practitioner

Dr. Erica French has been working with pregnant women for much of her career. For an appointment with her to see how her knowledge can support you through this amazing and life changing time, call or text to make a booking on Ph. 0412 025 487.

Reference List

Allais, G., et al. (2019). Acupuncture treatment of migraine, nausea, and vomiting in pregnancy. Neurological Sciences 40(1): 213-215.

Handayani, S. and Balgis (2019). Pre-Labor Acupuncture for Delivery Preparation in Multiparous Women Past Age 40. Medical Acupuncture 31(5): 310-314.

Moon, H. Y., et al. (2020). Safety of acupuncture during pregnancy: a retrospective cohort study in Korea. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology 127(1): 79-86.

Neri, I., Pignatti, L., Fontanesi, F., & Facchinetti, F. (2018). Acupuncture in Postdate Pregnancy Management. Journal of acupuncture and meridian studies, 11(5), 332-336.

Smith, C. A., et al. (2019). The effect of complementary medicines and therapies on maternal anxiety and depression in pregnancy: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Affective Disorders 245: 428-439.

Sniezek, D. P. and I. J. Siddiqui (2013). Acupuncture for Treating Anxiety and Depression in Women: A Clinical Systematic Review. Medical Acupuncture 25(3): 164-172.

A major issue that people seek help for in acupuncture clinics is musculoskeletal pain. Over generations, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has developed methods for healing muscle and joint pain. There are a number of different ways that Chinese medicine views pain, both acute & chronic. Acute pain is usually caused by what we call “stagnation”, or stuck-ness, of energy (Qi) and/or blood (xue).

THE EASTERN VIEW – Stagnation: How does it happen?

Qi & Blood Stagnation: In acute trauma can create inflammation and, if there is any interruption to the free flow of vital substances through the blood vessels, lymphatic system, bones or tissue, stagnation can occur as blood pools and forms bruises.

Cold Stagnation: The Chinese medicine view of Cold is environmental, but with a lack of circulation so Qi, Blood and fluids cannot flow properly, resulting also in stagnation.

Deficiency Stagnation: When there is not enough fluid (Jin Yue) or Blood in the body to nourish the tendons, or when there is not enough Qi to move the Blood, it cannot flow through vessels and thus slows down in its flow, creating stagnation.


What does the science say?

Over the last decade or so, researchers for the efficacy and safety of acupuncture as a therapy have stepped up to the plate. Many Randomised Controlled Trials, Meta-Analyses of collected data and Systematic Reviews have been conducted to find out exactly what value acupuncture has in pain relief.

A large scale, high quality review was conducted in 2017 by Cohen et. al., associated with RMIT University in Victoria, assessing the use of acupuncture in emergency departments across a number of locations, for acute musculoskeletal pain relief (Cohen 2017). It found that acupuncture was helpful for back pain & acute ankle sprain and had results comparable to conventional medications.

In 2012, a meta-analysis was conducted by Vickers et al, assessing the usefulness of acupuncture for chronic pain. It concluded that, “Acupuncture is effective for the treatment of chronic pain and is therefore a reasonable referral option.”

These two research articles in particular were used to inform the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) to recommend acupuncture as an alternate therapy to codeine and other opioids .
Reference List
Cohen, M. M., Smit, D. V., Andrianopoulos, N., Ben‐Meir, M., Taylor, D. M., Parker, S. J., … & Cameron, P. A. (2017). Acupuncture for analgesia in the emergency department: a multicentre, randomised, equivalence and non‐inferiority trial. Medical Journal of Australia, 206(11), 494-499.

Therapeutic Goods Administration Guidelines – Australian Federal Government

How does Oriental Medicine view anxiety?

In Oriental Medicine, “anxiety” is a very general term that describes a symptom rather than a complete disease. There are usually several types of anxiety with additional concurrent factors that are associated with its expression – for example, changes in body temperature, sweating, insomnia – these are usually grouped together by a practitioner, identifying specific criteria that occur simultaneously with the anxiety and form the overall Oriental medicine “Pattern of Disease.“.

The Oriental philosophy of anxiety

Most anxiety is referred to as “Shen Disturbance”. Shen has numerous meanings but the more generalized meaning is that of conscious thought, or consciousness itself. It is described as the “Heart-mind”, meaning that part of the Self that is capable of engaging with the rest of the world in a conscious way, that is anchored in the Heart organ system and also in the brain.

According to Oriental philosophy, the “Shen” can become disturbed by any number of mitigating factors, and thus “leave its house” or, using other analogies, become “misted with phlegm”, “disturbed by Cold or Heat, or overcome by other organ system dysfunction. During a consultation, Dr. Erica French will identify how a patient’s Shen has become ‘disturbed’ and treat individually with acupuncture.

What does the science say?

There is a reasonable body of evidence supporting the use of acupuncture in the treatment of anxiety in various contexts, including gynaecological complaints such as polycystic ovarian syndrome, perimenopause and premenstrual syndrome. The reference list below illustrates how the evidence body is growing, and being added to with new study and review protocols being submitted, and higher quality research methodologies employed each year.

If you would like to book an appointment to discuss anxiety from an Oriental medicine perspective, contact Dr. Erica French at Ph. 0413 025 457.

Reference list:

Amorim, D., et al. (2018). “Acupuncture and electroacupuncture for anxiety disorders: A systematic review of the clinical research.” Complementary therapies in clinical practice 31: 31-37.

Li, M., et al. (2019). “Acupuncture for treatment of anxiety, an overview of systematic reviews.” Complementary therapies in medicine.

Pilkington, K., et al. (2007). “Acupuncture for Anxiety and Anxiety Disorders – a Systematic Literature Review.” Acupuncture in Medicine 25(1-2): 1-10.

Smith, C. A., et al. (2019). “The effect of complementary medicines and therapies on maternal anxiety and depression in pregnancy: A systematic review and meta-analysis.” Journal of Affective Disorders 245: 428-439.

Sniezek, D. P. and I. J. Siddiqui (2013). “Acupuncture for Treating Anxiety and Depression in Women: A Clinical Systematic Review.” Medical Acupuncture 25(3): 164-172.

Tu, C.-H., et al. (2019). “The Effects of Acupuncture on Glutamatergic Neurotransmission in Depression, Anxiety, Schizophrenia, and Alzheimer’s Disease: A Review of the Literature.” Frontiers in Psychiatry 10(14).

Wang, Z., et al. (2019). “Effects of electroacupuncture on anxiety and depression in unmarried patients with polycystic ovarian syndrome: secondary analysis of a pilot randomised controlled trial.” Acupuncture in Medicine 37(1): 40-46.

Whilst Oriental medicine (OM) works on a different diagnostic framework than what we are used to talking about in daily language, the arrangement of its study into Internal Medicine complaints includes many different Western medicine categorised conditions as a means of division and establishment of treatment methods. Not all of these conditions have been fully researched so it is difficult to tell which ones have been proven and which ones have not.

For Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) it has been established that there is an OM diagnostic framework that the symptoms can be ascribed, usually associated with Heart/Shen disturbance . Whilst Shen Disturbance is a very broad diagnosis – your OM practitioner would always ask, “Why?” from a diagnostic perspective, it is still applicable with additional factors. An Oriental Medicine protocol for diagnostic framework associated with PTSD symptoms can be found here.

There have been a number of studies on the use of OM for treatment of PTSD in the Western framework and these have reached systematic review stage most recently in May 2023 where many animal and clinical studies, plus mechanism of action studies about acupuncture for PTSD have been analysed together to ascertain its effects. The review shows positive outcomes and you can click through to read the full text from this page.

The assessment criteria that Erica will use comes from not only the OM framework but also from her other modalities. She is experienced in dealing with patients of all ages and backgrounds.
If you would like to book an OM treatment with Erica to assess your Shen, call 0413 025 487

Reference List

Bisson, J, van Gelderen,M. Roberts N, & Lewis, C (2020) Non-pharmacological and non-psychological approaches to the treatment of PTSD: results of a systematic review and meta-analyses, European Journal of Psychotraumatology, 11:1,
DOI: 10.1080/20008198.2020.1795361

Feinstein, D. (2010). Rapid treatment of PTSD: Why psychological exposure with acupoint tapping may be effective. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 47(3), 385–402. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0021171

Sinclair-Lian, N., Hollifield, M., Menache, M., Warner, T., Viscaya, J., & Hammerschlag, R. (2006). Developing a traditional chinese medicine diagnostic structure for post-traumatic stress disorder. Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine, 12(1), 45-57.

Tang X, Lin S, Fang D, Lin B, Yao L, Wang L, Xu Q, Lu L, Xu N. (2023) Efficacy and underlying mechanisms of acupuncture therapy for PTSD: evidence from animal and clinical studies. Front. Behav Neurosci.

The Diagnostical and Statistical Manual of psychological disorders 5th edition (DSM-V) is what most health professionals use to diagnose depression. Its criteria for diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder must meet specific criteria and be defined as expressing at least 5 of the following:
• Depressed mood
• Loss of interest/pleasure in activities
• Weight loss or gain
• Insomnia/hypersomnia
• Psychomotor agitation or retardation
• Fatigue
• Feeling worthless or excessive/inappropriate guilt
• Decreased concentration
• Suicidal thoughts
There are 4 more criteria that must be met for this diagnosis to be confirmed, including:
• symptoms that cause significant distress or impairment of work or life necessity,
• is not the result of substance use or other medical condition,
• not better explained by another DSM-V disorder,
• no history of manic or hypomanic episodes.
These criteria are very specific and often people self diagnose depression because they have been feeling sad for an extended period of time.

Oriental medicine has a very different view of depression and the causes usually involve numerous organ system correspondences involving the Heart, Liver or Gallbladder, and can sometimes be complicated by Lungs (in cases of overwhelming Grief), or Kidneys (where Fear is a contributing factor). Your practitioner can explain how the Five Elements interact to form the symptom pattern that you specifically present with, in conjunction with physical symptoms that may accompany the feelings of depression, within the Oriental Medicine diagnostic framework. There are a myriad of possibilities when it comes to the interaction of Yin, Yang & the Five Elements that are all contributing to a general feeling of unwellness, but Erica is here to help.

If you would like to get in contact to discuss your situation, call 0413 025 487
or email info@cycleoflifeacupuncture.com.au

Reference List
American Psychiatric Association. (2022). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed., text rev.). https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.books.9780890425787

Bo Dong, Zeqin Chen, Xuan Yin, Danting Li, Jie Ma, Ping Yin, Yan Cao, Lixing Lao, Shifen Xu,(2017)
The Efficacy of Acupuncture for Treating Depression-Related Insomnia Compared with a Control Group: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
, BioMed Research International, vol. 2017, Article ID 9614810, 11 pages. https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/9614810

Xiao Xiao, Jiayuan Zhang, Yuxia Jin, Yunxia Wang, Qi Zhang, (2020) Effectiveness and Safety of Acupuncture for Perimenopausal Depression: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials, Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2020, Article ID 5865697, 13 page. https://doi.org/10.1155/2020/5865697

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