Ever get the hiccups? Annoying aren’t they? And with the silly season coming up and perhaps a few more celebratory drinks imbibed, it’s likely we all might get them at some point. A great acupressure point to help stop them is called Lung 5. You’ll find it on the inside crease of the elbow (on the thumb side of the biceps tendon). Press firmly on the point, take a nice deep breath and get your Lung Qi flowing in the right direction. It’s also a great point for reducing a cough, for asthma or for almost any respiratory condition. If you are someone who suffers from these conditions it might be worth trying some acupuncture.

    Come and see Clare on a Tuesday or Thursday to see if she can help you. She should be able to stop your hiccups as well 😉

    Clare Faux, Dr of traditional Chinese Medicine


    Lose Weight While You Sleep

    Did you know that insufficient sleep is seen to be directly associated with weight gain? So before you pay for that new gym membership to start off your 2021, consider giving yourself permission to sleep and commit some time and energy to improving your sleep quantity and quality by making some changes.

    2020 has been an incredibly disruptive year in all aspects, and we aren’t sleeping like we could have been. Lack of sleep can affect our caloric intake and increase consumption of unhealthy foods. Alterations in appetite regulation can also affect our hormone production and regulation while promoting weight gain.

    It also doesn’t hurt to hydrate well, eat your greens, move your body, plan your meals, track your symptoms, snack smart, remove sugary triggers from your pantry and solidify your new health routine commitments with a friend. But perhaps getting your 7-8 hours of sleep a night could be a more relaxing approach to your new year and could prove to be a more effective weight loss tool in the long run.

    Christine Carley, Naturopath.


    Vitamin D

    Vitamin D is required for immune function and bone mineralisation. A deficiency may be associated with low mood, osteoporosis, autoimmune conditions, multiple sclerosis, backache, cancer, obesity and depression. If you are found to be deficient (through blood testing) you could try exposing skin not usually used to the sun like your thighs, back or stomach for 30 minutes in the morning. This is a safer time of the day for sun exposure. It is important not to shower with soap once you have been in the sun as this affects the absorption of vitamin D.

    Food with naturally higher D levels are; fish liver oils like cod, halibut, herring, mackerel, tuna. Butter, egg yolk and sprouted seeds also contain some vitamin D. Supplementing with cod liver oil daily or sublingual liquid vitamin D may help with deficiency, especially if you are not absorbing well with capsules due to gut issues.

    There is something special about starting your day off with some beautiful morning sunshine!

    Christine Carley, Naturopath

    Feeing like you “lost” a year?

    Wow, well. 2020 has certainly been… a year.  In January, Parasite won the Oscar for best Film and Brexit actually happened. January also saw Kobe and Gianna Bryant die in a helicopter crash. In March, Harvey Weinstein was sentenced to prison for sex crimes and Australia faced devastating bushfires. In May, the death of George Floyd saw protests and social unrest.  The deadly explosion in Beirut occurred in May. All of this happened under the cloud of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic which brought tectonic change to almost every part of life; how we live, how we work, what we do for work, what it means to be a child, what family means and what is important.

    So with a year like this one, it’s not surprising that we are seeing more and more people ‘cancelling 2020’. Some argue that it is part of the human nature to pin failures, hopes and dreams on a period of time like a calendar year.

    We tend to measure a year with seasons, milestones, rituals and events. When a year is stripped of all of those important moments, we tend to feel lost and put hope in the future.

    Every calendar year brings a cycle of hope. January is when we make commitments to improve our lives in various ways. We believe in the power of change and promise ourselves: “This is our year”. Admittedly, some of us admit defeat by the end of January, but the hope never fully dies out. It just gets refocussed on a new target and soars again by the end of the year.

    As poet Emily Dickinson wrote “hope is the thing that feathers”.  No one knows what 2021 will bring and we don’t know what the ‘new normal’ will look like. But we need to hold onto our hope that it will get better.

    Hope fosters a belief that things will get better and that whatever 2021 holds, you will have the ability to cope and manage the obstacles. If 2020 taught us anything, it’s resilience.

    Belinda Gibson, Psychologist

    Will the real Yoga please back-bend

    A Physio friend recently told me that 70% of her clients sought her out because of an injury incurred doing yoga- not in classes but as a result of imitating some amazing pose on Instagram! And who wouldn’t want to be able to do a free handstand or some amazing back bend?

    I think wannabe yogis are drawn to these poses because yoga bodies tend to be strong, lean and graceful. They are not worn out by high impact or repetitive movement. Yoga is not repetitive. It works every muscle and joint in the body in a unique way in each pose. Even the breath changes with each pose. But most importantly, authentic yoga is methodical. You start with the most basic movements. These early poses stretch the hamstrings and the hips gradually and build spinal strength. One pose leads to another more advanced pose. Authentic yoga teaches you to understand and work with your weaknesses, tightness and injuries. A dancer who comes to yoga with have different challenges to a footballer.

    Yoga also builds concentration and mindfulness – an ability to find a way into an advanced pose via how it feels- and guides you to recognise your limits so that you do not injure yourself.

    There is much to be gained from finding a good teacher so that over some time you can find your way into some of these stunning poses without ending up at the osteopath/ physiotherapist. A combination of holistic physiotherapy and yoga is a profound and effective way to stay strong and pain free.

    Vanessa Shribman is an Iyengar (authentic) yoga teacher who has been practicing yoga since 1987 and teaching since 1990. She owns Coast Yoga in SA and recently started teaching at the Dharma Circle in West Footscray. She is also a holistic physiotherapist and practices at the Western Health Collective and from her home clinic in West Footscray. She can be contacted via her website

    Our content is a labour of love, crafted by dedicated volunteers who are passionate about the west. We encourage submissions from our community, particularly stories about your own experiences, family history, local issues, your suburb, community events, local history, human interest stories, food, the arts, and environmental matters. Below are articles created by community contributors. You can find their names in the bylines.

    Your feedback

    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here



    Latest Articles

    Latest edition

    #98 July 2024

    Recent editions


    Become a supporter

    The Westsider is run on the power of volunteers. Your contribution directly contributes to ensuring we can continue serving and celebrating our community.

    Related articles