Plan Ahead for a Healthy Pregnancy

Plan Ahead for a Healthy Pregnancy

– Nadia Gazzi

When you plan ahead for a healthy pregnancy and make sure both partners are in optimal health, you give your unborn child the best possible start in life… and every one wants that, don’t they?

Most couples fall into one of two groups: healthy couples who are not anticipating any difficulties falling pregnant or carrying a baby to term; and couples who know that there is a potential problem due to past history or an existing condition. We’re not miracle workers, but we can help you create the perfect environment for a healthy pregnancy, so let’s look at both groups separately.

 The healthy couple:  Experience tells us that when it comes to fertility the common definition of “healthy” does not guarantee an easy and immediate conception. We find people are delaying having families, which is a lot later than the biological clock warrants. Modern lifestyles are also making it harder than what you may realise. And men’s health at this stage of the process is extremely important. This is why it is advisable that both partners are working on their health with exercise, nutrition, and stress management. Regular acupuncture treatments and Chinese herbal supplements have a good reputation for fertility support.

The problem pregnancy: Even when the woman presents with a history of miscarriages, Poly-Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) or unexplained infertility, we like to treat both partners, because good sperm quality will help immensely to improve the likelihood of a successful pregnancy.

If you have a western medical diagnosis, we begin with that. We will also look at your overall health in our Chinese medicine way, suggest lifestyle choices, and try to work out where your system is blocked. The blockage can be caused by an emotional energy such as stress, fear and anxiety or  physically, such as endometriosis and ovarian cysts. In either case, it’s a good time to talk to us.

Two women, same problem, different treatments: Because our body constitutions are so varied, we often find that similar symptoms have different causes and therefore require different treatments. Interestingly, we find we have a higher success rate in treating unexplained infertility – it usually takes 3 months for your body to get ready for pregnancy. So please be patient and give your body a chance.

Please refer to our fertility page for more guidance, advice and information.


Abdominal Palpation

Abdominal Palpation

Client Stories

Because the abdomen is the seat of most major organs, abdominal palpation can reveal the precise areas which are sapping energy and causing pain, discomfort, and loss of function.

George was 45 and came to us because he felt highly stressed, had constant bloating of the whole belly, and reduced energy levels.  Abdominal palpation revealed tightness under his ribs. I treated this immediately with acupuncture and shiatsu; and by the end of the first session the tightness under his rib cage had significantly decreased.  He went home with a Chinese herbal formula and some dietary modifications.  A week later, George reported that his energy levels were improving and bloating was now intermittent. There was still some tightness under his rib cage and this reduced further at the end of the next treatment session. I changed his herbal prescription and he continues to work on dietary changes and having regular treatments. These days he’s noticed improved energy and moods, no more bloating, less stress, and increased libido.

Louise wanted treatment for her painful periods and preconception care. She had a very cold area in the centre of the belly. I treated her with cupping, moxa and acupuncture as well as prescribing herbs and giving dietary advice.  After 2 months of weekly treatment her periods were completely pain-free and her belly felt warm all over. Her husband also had weekly acupuncture and Chinese herbal treatments during the 3 month preconception care period to improve the quality of his sperm and decrease stress. In Louise’s next cycle she conceived naturally.

Using the Abdomen for Diagnosis

Using the Abdomen for Diagnosis

 – by Alice Louey

The abdomen provides a lot of information upon gentle palpation.  I use this when there are digestive, stress, energy, menstrual or fertility issues to identify specific areas that need treatment.  Treatment may involve a number of different modalities:  moxa,  cupping,  acupuncture,  shiatsu/acupressure releases,  and/or Chinese herbal formulas.  

Temperature Variations: Most people who come in with the above issues don’t realise that they may have temperature variations in their abdomen which can indicate areas where there may be energy blockages. Palpation identifies these variations and helps your practitioner diagnose and address the source of your symptoms.

Tight Areas: Often people have become so used to feeling tightness under their ribs that they assume this is normal and may not even notice it. Actually it’s a result of stress which can also cause bloating. Stress can cause blockages/stagnation within the body and can be resolved by treatment with herbs, massage, and acupuncture to improve energy flow. Treatment can help clients feel more comfortable and look slimmer.

Tender Areas: In some cases even gentle pressure on the abdomen causes sensitivity. Again, this can be a sign of some kind of blockage/stagnation within the body and is often associated with symptoms such as digestive problems and menstrual pain which can be associated with stress and fertility concerns.

Depending on how deeply ingrained the pattern of disharmony has become and how long it has been present, sometimes things resolve within a single treatment session, while at other times it may take a course of treatments.  As always, treatments are individualised for each client. In addition to the treatment you receive at the clinic you will often be offered personalised advice on diet, self-massage, acupressure, herbal prescriptions and other opportunities to help your body heal faster.

How to Get the Most Out Of Your Treatment

How to Get the Most Out Of Your Treatment

The most important way to ensure that your treatment is effective is simply to turn up for your appointment … beyond that, here are some ways you can participate in getting the most out of every session.

Eating:  It’s not terrible if you show up before you’ve eaten anything that day, but if you haven’t your treatment can make you feel light-headed and dizzy because the acupuncture and relaxation act like a sudden drop in blood pressure so we do advise you to eat something before you come to see us. We’ll probably talk to you about what you’re eating during your consultation, because that is part of your participating in achieving better health and well-being. If you haven’t eaten, do let us know so that we can add extra grounding to your treatment.

Coffee:  One of the benefits of your treatment is that it helps you relax. If you drink coffee right before your treatment that revs your body up so it works against what we are trying to achieve.

Clothing: We totally understand that sometimes you need to go straight back to work or to a meeting, and we don’t really mind what you wear, but if you wear loose, comfortable clothing that is easy to take off and put on it makes it easier for you.

Rushing: We know your life is busy, but if you can arrange your schedule so that you have a few minutes before your appointment to sit quietly and gather your thoughts, and can avoid rushing out at the end you’ll find that your investment of time and money in your Traditional Chinese Medicine treatment is far more effective. If you do need to leave early, have just come from a stressful meeting, or have an important meeting afterwards, let us know so that we can plan your treatment accordingly.

We Can’t Read Your Mind: If there’s something going on that we might be able to help with, talk to us about it. If it’s a question of logistics, we can certainly help.

In an Ideal World… You would go home and relax after your treatment. We know this isn’t always possible, but we encourage you to try and schedule it so that it does. You’ll be surprised at the difference it makes.

Related reading:

Getting better treatment results

Serving You Better at our Clinic

Serving You Better at our Clinic


Four years ago, we moved into our current clinic in South Melbourne. They’ve been four happy, busy years for all of us and we’re grateful for all we’ve been able to do, and for your help in doing it. Now we’re ready to make some more improvements that will help us serve our clients better… It feels a bit like moving from pre-school into primary school.

If you were in the clinic just before Easter you probably noticed the stained walls, the massive dehumidifiers, special drying fans and various other signs of leaking roof problems. Now, you’ll see that we’ve rearranged the reception area and the treatment rooms, the walls and ceilings are all freshly painted, and we’re happy to tell you that our landlord has finally repaired the roof so we shouldn’t have any further problems with damp and leakage.

This is all part of BnH growing up and working out what we can do to serve you better. For me, this is an exciting period of growth… and I can’t wait to see what is around the corner because I know it will move all of us closer to our goals of a healthy body and a happy, fulfilled life.

Sam is Leaving: Sam has been at Bing’s Natural Health for over 10 years since we first started in Middle Park. Most of you know her as our friendly receptionist, but she is also our business development manager. We will miss her, and there is no question that her departure will mean changes for the clinic because she is unique and has brought her own bright personality, clear vision, and disciplined approach to all areas of the practice. She will still do some shifts as a receptionist, but she is moving on to new adventures and we wish her well.

We Really Want Your Input: The staff at BnH have lots of ideas about the way we would like the clinic to grow, and things we would like to offer our clients, but we’d love to have your feedback as well. Please consider making a ‘wishlist’ of ideas you’d like us to explore and giving it to one of our new receptionists, Dorothy and Julia, or your practitioner. If you don’t tell us what you’d like to:

  • Change
  • See more of
  • Add

we won’t know what you’d like. Look out for feedback forms and short questionnaires over the next few months as we explore ideas, and look out for a few changes that we are confident will enhance your experience at BnH.