Celebrating 6 months of success: thanks to you! 💗

To all my wonderful patients, friends, family and everyone who has supported my home clinic in the past six months.

Sending you a gracious 💓 bomb to sincerely thank you for all the support to be able to transition from big mumma clinic at Fertile Ground to very quiet, intimate and independent space in Ivanhoe.


It’s been a great experience, from commuting to East Melbourne to stepping through the front part of my house into my clinic office. This means I don’t walk as much however it certainly is convenient.

Thank you to all my beautiful patients for making the consistent effort to continue your treatment with me from all over Melbourne, some as far as Mentone, Derrimut (bless you) & beyond.

Thank you Andrew and all my family have been very supportive with looking after the kids.

Thank you gorgeous patients for being über patient despite the pitter patter of small feet and the random bang and clunk that we gracefully speak over. I trust you have enjoyed being greeted by them and their occasional administration of alcohol swabs and moxa stick waving.

Thank you to my patients, family, friends, community at Ivanhoe Primary School and Ngaio and Kevin at House of Fertility & Healing in Sydney for all your referrals!

I am really loving my practice at the moment, it is an honour to look after you all and watch you grow and blossom in good health. I will always endeavour to provide you with the best professional service and treatment possible, while walking my talk.

Lots of love,

Ilana Sowter 💗💗💗


Cosmetic acupuncture: a natural alternative to Botox?

Are you feeling and looking, haggered, worn out? New shops are opening all the time in Ivanhoe but never really survive, the ones that seem to do well are … the beauty salons! So many of us prioritise beauty and how we appear above everything else.

If you are looking for a natural alternative to Botox or anti-wrinkle treatments, cosmetic acupuncture is worth trying.


The benefits of cosmetic acupuncture are not only to improve blood and lymph circulation to the face but also treat your underlying imbalance and constitution, after all if your organs are working at their optimum internally then externally the face and skin will flourish and glow. A healthy inside reflects a healthy outside. This way the results of the treatment will look authentically good rather than fake and not only will you look good, you will feel  great too!

Like my recent post on the Mei Gui Hua Cha (rose bud tea), the Chinese have been using natural methods to preserve and elongate their beauty so they look much younger than they are. It’s time learn about these tricks of the trade!

In the photo above you can see the precious Jade roller, which I also incorporate into my treatment which gently invigorates the skin and enhances the cosmetic acupuncture treatment.

Next time you are thinking of trying some anti-wrinkle or Botox treatment, consider a package of cosmetic acupuncture… You will be pleasantly surprised!

@Ilana Sowter Acupuncture Melbourne, Ivanhoe, Northern suburbs

Wake up & smell the roses: to your purpose

It’s Wednesday morning and many of you may be thinking, bugger, another day at work and it’s only Wednesday!

Remember before all our complaints and dislikes comes the gratitude for the simple and essential things in life we take for granted. You’re alive! You have choices, you have purpose, you came here to do something and only you can take the risk to find out what it is. We are well off enough to have access to the Internet, a cup of coffee and a roof over our heads. All of these things are miracles that we bypass everyday.

When I coach my clients to awaken to the gratitude and find their life purpose we move out a lot of the crap that is plaguing their lives and blocking them from really flourishing as they are.


It’s an absolutely divine day today here in Melbourne, so reach over and smell those roses, think about what you have that is good in your life and what you are looking forward to in the future. Only good lies ahead! 🌹

@Ilana Sowter Acupuncture Melbourne, Ivanhoe, Northern suburbs

Hickeys? No it’s gua sha – benefits & action

Gua sha (Chinese: 刮痧; pinyin: guā shā) translates to “scraping sha-bruises”, is a key treatment in traditional Chinese medicine where a clay spoon or tool is used to scrape the skin which brings out toxic heat from the body.

The sha or toxic heat that is brought out from gua sha.

Yes, it certainly looks unsightly, a trail of bruising that could pass for a love bite track or hickey crawl.

However the benefits certainly outweigh the look, especially if you prefer to avoid medication and want to detox the body, by moving blood and toxins to the surface of the body to be renewed and healed.

In my case here the gua sha has been indicated for sore throat. It is amazing how it provides instant relief. The theory suggests that by scraping the neck, the blood brings the pathogen, stagnant qi and toxic heat to the surface, which will take some days to fade. However the internal sore throat pain is alleviated, depending on the severity of it.

Gua sha has a myriad of uses from sore throat, infection, high fever, inflammation, chills, cough, sinusitis, heatstroke to pain and much more. Discomfort can be experienced as the spoon is pressed from top to bottom, however the relief produced is usually instant and many swear by it.

This is a common theme in Chinese medicine where we aim to ‘release the exterior’, rather than always pop pills to treat symptoms, we bring it out through the skin.

As they say, better out than in!

@Ilana Sowter Acupuncture Melbourne, Ivanhoe, Northern suburbs

The sha or toxic heat that is brought up from gua sha


Cultivating gratitude amongst the chaos

I woke up to the screeching noise of  metal scraping and banging something. It was midnight. I soon roused and realised this was directed at our beloved new car! A driver was high on drugs and through my front window proceeded to drive forth and back into the cars rear wheel.


The next day was a challenging one. Full of speaking to tow truck drivers, police, insurance people, car hire people… The list goes on. It was a busy day in clinic. Then dropping the in-laws off for a well meaning drink at the Maribyrnong boathouse ended up with being stuck in Melboune traffic for two hours 😁.

Usually I can see that the glass is half full, but this day was really testing me. In this challenging situations, we need to get back to the basics.

I am grateful I have a car  😊

I am grateful that everyone I love is safe and well ❤️

I am thankful that there are many people helping and looking after this situation to help me 😉

It’s a sunny day 🌼

I am alive! 😀

Days like this remind me that life is usually smooth and fine, and sometimes we are challenged ! ✨

I’m having some acupuncture today because for me, it always releases that tension and stuck energy that can get trapped in the body when it all seems too much, like rediscovering possibility.

@Ilana Sowter Acupuncture Melbourne, Ivanhoe, Northern suburbs

Anxiety: understanding and managing it with acupuncture

Anxiety is a common experience we all go through. If you have never had it before it can be quite a shocking ordeal; feeling like you are trapped within your body and know that something is wrong but are unaware of what it is.


I really remember the first time I ever felt anxious. I had fallen out with a good friend, and I believe my heart was literally freaking out as I absolutely believed in my mind that we would be lifelong mates forever. As challenging as a heartbreaking experience that was for me, it was a lesson life was teaching me: to surround myself with people I am resonating, growing and evolving with.

Chinese medicine pertains anxiety to the heart energy, which houses the shen or spirit of the body. People who experience anxiety may constitutionally have a weak heart energy or perhaps suffered a lot of emotional trauma and hardship in life. Anxiety can be due to truly being unhappy about a significant aspect of life, so it is very important to reflect and look deeper to what is missing or needs requires changing. The heart energy is in full flight during summer so people can be more sensitive to anxiety during this time of the year. Practising meditation and mindfulness can endure a calming effect on the heart energy.

Acupuncture is very calming and relaxing for the heart, when combined with the right Chinese herbs anxiety can be managed and alleviated. Ultimately the patient will be willing to do the inner work to see if there is a deeper level to their anxiety with these tools and psychology, meditation and goal planning.

Medication should be a last resort, as there can be serious side effects given the cause is not being treated, just the symptom. Louise Hay says that when out body becomes ill or unhappy it speaks to us through signs and symptoms: to pop a pill for every ailment that presents is like telling it to shut up. Be kind to yourself and to the body you live in!

@Ilana Sowter Acupuncture Melbourne, Ivanhoe

Bun in the oven: keeping the yang warm for fertility and pregnancy acupuncture

Got to love that phrase, bun in the oven! But these sayings often ring true. As we age the yang, or the warming energy of the body declines and can cause health issues such as cold feet, diarrhoea, bloating, dark under the eyes and exhaustion.


A baby needs a warm uterus to grow and thrive, too much cold in the uterus restricts circulation and blood flow, and from a Chinese medicine perspective can even cause miscarriage. This is why drinking warm drinks and eating warm food can be vital for a healthy conception and pregnancy. This is especially important after birth which taxes the body.

With the acupuncture and Chinese medicine treatment I practice in Ivanhoe, Melbourne some of the treatments I incorporate involve moxibustion, involving the waving of heated herbal sticks on specific acupoints of the body, Chinese dietetics, acupuncture, lifestyle advice and herbs.

As the old adage a bun in the oven goes, that oven needs to be warm not freezing cold.

@Ilana Sowter Acupuncture Melbourne, Ivanhoe

Blogging in the Melbourne rain: acupuncture for positive mindset

It was supposed to be hot and sunny today, however we in Melbourne were greeted with humid air and rain! So easy to get yourself down if you were planning a glorious day outdoors!

Remember though that rain brings clean air as it washes away the pollution and stagnant energy that builds up in this eclectic city we call home!

Looking at the things differently and trying to see the positive that occurs when we receive what we perceive as bad news can change our attitude and life for the better. Hence, why the rain reminded me of this today because people strangely often complain about it when it is essentially vital to our life! No rain, no plants, no food, no clean air nor water.


If you have been trying to change your mindset and find it difficult to do so, acupuncture can be highly beneficial. Acupuncture involves the insertion of fine, sterile needles into certain points on the body and is very relaxing and grounding. I also offer coaching services and I find that patients who are ready and willing to make changes reap the benefits in their physical and emotional health when combined with acupuncture. If you tend to stress, worry, become anxious or feel so down that you can’t get motivated, this combined therapy of acupuncture and coaching I offer  in Ivanhoe, Melbourne could just be for you.

Pregnancy Birth Preparation Acupuncture: Induction

Many women in Melbourne are aware of the benefits of acupuncture during pregnancy, such as preventing miscarriage, keeping mother and baby relaxed and calm along with treating mild side effects that occur throughout. I am always amazed at how cognisant mothers are these days when it comes to birth preparation.


Women who have found pregnancy acupuncture beneficial tell their friends and family and it spreads like wildfire. Often a woman will book in with me at 36 weeks on the dot because she knows that this is the optimal point to start because her best friend told her. Pregnancy birth preparation acupuncture starts 4 weeks before the estimated due date (EDD),  rather than trying to get things going at 41 weeks, though it’s never too late!

Given birth is a transformational process, (yes, it’s an absolute miracle that baby is squeezed through the vaginal canal and into the wonderful world!!!) and there is always some form of trauma or loss involved, preparing the body with acupuncture treatment, with the knowledge of an experienced practitioner and the natural tools you can help yourself with can reduce your risk of birth intervention and increase your chances of better recovery. Many highly reputable obstetricians and midwifes in Melbourne refer their patients to have pregnancy birth preparation acupuncture because they see the differences between births that do and don’t have it.

Pregnancy birth preparation can reduce birth anxiety and worries, assist in baby getting into the right position, improve circulation for mother and baby, alleviate aches and pains, soften the cervix, encourage baby to engage and much more. Please share this with a lovely mother who is about to bring their baby into the world.

@Ilana Sowter Acupuncture Melbourne, Ivanhoe

Acupuncture for sciatica: hip and leg pain

Acupuncture is highly sort out for pain, and it can be useful for sciatica. Sciatica can occur at any time in life, and it can be common in pregnancy given the ovaries and placenta produce relaxin hormone which helps stretch the ligaments and uterus for birth preparation. This can also cause pelvic issues with the impending growth of baby pressing on nerves and expanding the pelvis.


Sciatica can be felt from the lower back down the back or side of the leg, it may be a localised constant pain to a pain that is sharp and appears with movement right down to the toes. Either way if you have had it or someone you know has; it isn’t much fun.

Usually four to six acupuncture treatments will resolve most cases of sciatica, and an assessment is involved to decipher which channels are affected and where it is coming from in the body. This may include using distal points on the wrists or feet for example, or even the opposite limb. Once the sciatica is treated, it is important to look after the hips and legs so that they are strong and in alignment.

The most important reason people tend to try acupuncture is because it is associated with fewer side effects than taking medicines such as NSAIDs, as found in this systemic review.

Important things to note when managing sciatica are:

  • Don’t ice the area, unless it is a fresh injury you may consider icing it alternating with a heat pack, otherwise we recommend heat packs and hot water bottles.
  • Acupuncture, cupping, moxa and herbs
  • Exercise, such as walking, swimming, qi gong, yoga and pilates
  • Epsom salt or magnesium baths
  • Affirmations: Louise Hay in her little blue book refers to the metaphysical causes of sciatica being due to being hypocritical, fearing money and the future. The affirmation to reassure oneself is. “I move into my greater mood. My good is everywhere & I am safe & secure.”

@Ilana Sowter Acupuncture Melbourne, Ivanhoe