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  • Ben Heathcote

Clinic Newsletter, May 2024

Greetings from Melbourne Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture Clinic!

As May unfolds, we continue our journey through the seasons. In this comprehensive edition of our newsletter, we delve into the seasonal transition from a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) perspective, explore an illuminating TCM concept, and address a pertinent health concern. We also bring you a nourishing meal recipe and a soothing herbal tea, each featuring a key ingredient with its associated organs, meridians, and TCM qualities.

Seasonal Change from a TCM Perspective With autumn behind us and winter approaching, we're navigating the transition from the grounding influence of the Metal element to the deep introspection of the Water element. In TCM, winter is associated with the Kidney and Bladder organ systems. The days grow shorter, and the energy in nature withdraws, inviting us to turn inward and conserve our resources. It's a season to focus on nurturing our Kidney and Bladder meridians, which play crucial roles in our vitality and overall health.

TCM Concept Highlight: The Three Treasures One of the fundamental concepts in TCM is the Three Treasures: Jing, Qi, and Shen. These treasures represent the foundation of our vitality, with Jing as our essence or life force, Qi as our energy, and Shen as our spirit or consciousness. Nurturing and balancing these treasures is essential for overall health and well-being.

Jing represents the deepest aspects of our physical and spiritual selves. It is often associated with our genetic inheritance and is considered the source of our life force.

Qi is our vital energy, the force that powers our physical and mental functions. It flows through meridians and is essential for maintaining health and vitality.

Shen is our spirit, encompassing our consciousness, emotions, and mental well-being. A harmonious Shen is vital for emotional balance and mental clarity.

Understanding and harmonizing the Three Treasures is a central aspect of TCM, promoting both physical and spiritual health.

Health Concern Spotlight: Building Immunity As we head into the colder months, immunity becomes a key focus. In Western medicine, immunity is often addressed through vaccinations and medications. In TCM, a robust immune system is seen as the result of a harmonious balance between organ systems, particularly the Kidney and Lung meridians.

The Kidney is believed to store our essence (Jing) and is central to our vitality and resilience.

The Lung, on the other hand, plays a vital role in the circulation of Wei Qi, our defensive energy. Acupuncture and herbal remedies may support these meridians, strengthening the body's defense mechanisms and promoting overall well-being. Consider TCM approaches to build immunity during the colder season.

Recipe for Seasonal Wellness: TCM Winter Warming Soup Hearty Winter Warming Soup This nourishing soup features a key ingredient with associated TCM qualities: Ingredients:

  • 500g of sweet potatoes, diced

  • 200g of lean beef or tempeh for a vegetarian option, thinly sliced

  • 1 leek, chopped

  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced

  • A drizzle of sesame oil

  • 1 litre of beef or vegetable broth

  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat sesame oil in a pot and sauté the leek and garlic until fragrant.

  2. Add the sweet potatoes and beef or tempeh, and continue to cook for a few minutes.

  3. Pour in the broth, cover, and let it simmer until the sweet potatoes are soft.

  4. Use a blender to purée the soup until smooth.

  5. Season with salt and pepper, and serve hot.

Key Ingredient Focus: Sweet Potatoes Sweet potatoes, a star ingredient in this recipe, resonate with the Spleen and Stomach meridians. They are considered warming and nourishing, making them ideal for colder months. Sweet potatoes help strengthen the Spleen, improve digestion, and provide a source of sustained energy. They are particularly beneficial for nourishing Qi and Blood, making them an excellent choice for maintaining vitality and warmth during winter.

Herbal Tea Recipe: TCM Winter Wellness Elixir Ingredients:

  • 3-4 slices of astragalus root

  • 1 slice of dried tangerine peel

  • 1-2 cups of hot water


  1. Place the slices of astragalus root and dried tangerine peel in a cup.

  2. Pour hot water over the herbs.

  3. Allow the tea to steep for 5-10 minutes.

  4. Sip and enjoy the warming and immune-boosting effects of this Winter Wellness Elixir.

Join Us on the Journey to Better Health As we embrace winter, we're here to support your health journey during this transformative season. Whether you're a familiar face or new to our clinic, we're committed to helping you achieve optimal health through the wisdom of TCM.

Explore our website for more information, resources, and to schedule your next appointment. We're here to address your questions and discuss your health concerns.

Wishing you a harmonious and nurturing May, filled with vitality and well-being!

Warm regards,

Ben Heathcote

Practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine

Melbourne Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture Clinic



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