Lois Nethery

What is Trauma-Aware Acupuncture?



In this video, I explain what it means when you visit a Trauma-Aware Acupuncturist.

Offering a Trauma-Aware approach benefits everyone, because it’s about creating a warm and welcoming space for all people.

Contact my admin team to ask a question or book your appointment.




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Free talk: Natural kids’ health

Saturday 24th September 2-4pm

Learn how to look after your kids using natural medicine, kitchen cupboard cures and traditional wisdom.


  • Chinese medicine view of children’s health
  • The importance of digestion, Chinese medicine diet tips
  • Supporting children through immunisations
  • Babies: breast milk and alternatives, colic, reflux, solids, teething
  • Lifestyle tips for kids eg clothing, activities
  • Sleep problems
  • Natural remedies and tips for worms and head lice
  • Supporting a child through illness, especially fever
  • Sharing Chi (energy) with your child
  • Acupressure at home
  • Recovery from antibiotics
  • Cough and asthma: causes and remedies
  • Ear infections and glue ear
  • Eczema




If you’d like to attend this talk (or future talks), please:


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Charting your BBT for fertility

If you’ve been reading fertility books and websites then you’ve probably come across the idea of charting your Basal Body Temperature (BBT).

How to chart

This simple procedure is really helpful when you’re aiming to conceive.  Over the years of supporting women to conceive, I’ve picked up a few tips and tidbits and am happy to share them here so that charting can work for you too.

Here’s how it’s done:

1. Get a BBT thermometer from the pharmacy.  Special BBT thermometers, sometimes called “ovulation thermometers,” are more sensitive than the usual kind that are used to detect fever.  Ideally you will get a glass one with mercury inside, as they are said to be the most accurate, but really what you need is one that you can use!  If you find the mercury ones tricky to read and have trouble shaking out the bubbles, then please just get a digital one – as long as you keep using the same one then your charts will be accurate enough.  If you do change thermometers then make a note of it on your chart so you can interpret any glitches.

2. Get a chart to record your daily temperatures.  There are now apps (eg iPeriod for iPhone) and websites that will help you predict ovulation dates.  Or you might like to use a spreadsheet on your computer that can produce a nice graph for you.  Other women opt for good old pen and paper versions.  If you search online for “BBT chart celcius” then you’ll find plenty of options to choose from.  The main thing is it’s got to work for you – if it’s something you can do quickly and easily every day, then great.  If you keep forgetting to record your temps because the computer is in the other room then please just keep pen and paper by the bed, and enter the numbers into your computer later.  By the way, I love the charts with lots of room to record all kinds of other events and signs, especially cervical mucus.  But please do make a note if you’ve had a couple of drinks or catch a cold – you will see how these events show up in your chart, so if it’s written down you won’t need to scratch your head trying to figure it what’s happened!

3. Take your temperature at roughly the same time every day, as soon as you wake up.  The idea is that when you start moving, you generate heat.  It’s then impossible to know what your baseline body temperature is.  So before you get up to shower or go to the loo or grab a drink of water, quickly pop the thermometer in your mouth, get your reading, write it down and then start your day.  Something to note – digital thermometers will beep at you.  If this is going to disturb your partner, then you might be better off with a mercury one.  And remember that you’ll need a bit of light to read the thermometer and your chart, so you may need a bedside lamp.  Finally, read the instructions for your thermometer – it should show you where the “heat pocket” is for oral temperatures – under the tongue, all the way up the back next to your back molars.  If you don’t have it all the way in the heat pocket then you might get inconsistent readings.

4. Remember to do this every day.  Before you slap the alarm clock and leap out of bed, remember your temps!  You might find an innovative way to do this, like setting your bedside lamp with a timer switch or putting a note on your alarm clock.  I love memory tricks that the ancient Greeks used to help them remember hours and hours of speeches.  Try this one:  Close your eyes… relax… visualise yourself sleeping in your bed… you hear the alarm and you open your eyes to look at it… you see your thermometer and chart dancing the tango on top of it!!!  Do this little visualisation every night just before you go to sleep.  Why the tango?!?  Well, you can choose a different dance if you like – but if you incorporate movement and novelty into your visualisation then it’s more likely to work.

5. Don’t worry about it when you’re travelling.  Or if the in-laws come to stay, or you’ve got a big project on at work and are doing late nights…  By all means, keep charting.  But big changes to your routine can really impact both your ability to take consistent readings and also the readings themselves.  If you do keep charting please note these factors and take the readings with a grain of salt.  International travel especially makes charting very difficult, with time zone changes and so on.  Just do your best.  Charting is something you do for you, and no-one else.  So do what works for you.

I’m sharing these little tips because it’s amazing how something like an annoying beep, not enough light and so on, can really disturb the process and lead to frustrations with charting.  The idea is to make it as hassle-free as possible.  As you’ll see below, charting is a big step to take and some women will resist it for various reasons.  By removing small obstacles and annoyances, you’re increasing your chances of charting success.

Why to chart
If you’re also seeing a Western medicine practitioner (eg gynaecologist, fertility doctor) then they may have already asked you to chart.  Among other things, you can see when you are likely to have ovulated and it can then help for scheduling tests etc.

In Chinese medicine, we use the chart like we do body symptoms, feelings on the pulse and period signs – it is another layer of information that we can weave into our diagnosis.  Chinese medicine diagnosis is an organic, dynamic process.  You are always changing so the “patterns” of energy in your body are changing too.  As Chinese medicine practitioners, it is our job to read and understand those patterns, so that we can help the body to flow well and remove impediments so it can perform all of those amazingly complicated processes that are driven by the body’s own intricate, sublime intelligence.

When you bring in your chart, we can read things from it like the status of your Yin and Yang, how stressed you are, whether there is stickiness or weakness, heat or cold, and we can decide when and how to address these factors.  The chart is something that you can be taught how to interpret and it brings you inside the process of your treatment.  It can be a very empowering experience and can really give you a sense of control, like you are riding the horse with the reins in your own hands again.

What I love most of all is that women can see how the treatment is helping them by watching their charts improve over time.  Fertility treatment can be a long, hard road.  Because each cycle takes a month, it’s a long time to wait to see if “maybe this is the one”.  If you don’t have a connection with the fluidity and responsiveness of your body by seeing the movements on your chart, then it’s easy to fall into the trap of seeing “success” in ultimate, black-and-white terms.  That is, whether or not this month is the one for a positive reading.

So by following your progress on your chart, you can see that your body is in fact becoming healthier.  As your chart starts to resemble those “textbook” pictures, you can really gain a lot of comfort that you’re doing yourself a great favour by putting in the work now to heal, repair, restore and nourish your body systems.  Your body will become a better environment for a growing baby, and it will also be in better shape as you move through the stages of your life.  In Chinese medicine, fertility work is deep work.  We aim for deep restoration and correction, and this pays off for you in the long run.

Why women don’t chart
You might be reading this because you just cannot get started.  For some reason, every little thing gets in the way of you charting.  Or you started and did it diligently for a while, then haphazardly, then lost interest as you couldn’t see the point any longer.  Maybe you are worried that it will show up something terrible, and you may then need to submit to a battery of tests and investigations, and so it feels better not to know.  For other women, charting can feel too intrusive, too clinical, too mechanical, not at all romantic.  You might feel like you have just started out on your fertility journey and are in the “let’s see what happens” stage.  Or maybe you’ve been charting for too long and you just want a break.

That’s fine.

If you are looking to Chinese medicine for fertility support, a chart can be great.  It can help your practitioner to fine-tune your treatment, and it can help you to feel empowered and motivated.

But the beauty of Chinese medicine is that we rely on naturalistic observation – what we can see, hear, touch.  Modern sources of information like XRays and temperature readings are great as they provide more layers of information, but if we don’t have them then we can still give you excellent treatments.

This is all about you.  What works for you, is comfortable for you, and gives you what you need.  Your treatment plan is all about you, what you’re looking for and what fits in with your lifestyle, budget and availability.  You can go as intensively or as lightly as you wish, and vary this as often as you need.

If you’d like more information about charting or are interested in how Chinese medicine fertility treatment can help you, then please don’t hesitate to


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Energy goes deep in Winter

A funny thing happened on May 31st…

I was in the clinic and had felt the fifth person’s pulse for the day.  The position of the pulse that relates to “Kidney” energy had been sunken and low on all of those people.  Young pregnant women, elderly people – same feeling on the Kidney pulse.

Then I realised it was one day until Winter, when the Kidney and Water element dominate.  At this time it’s said that energy turns inward, contracting and shrinking away from the outside world.

Acupuncturists two thousand years ago wrote about this – the connection between the movement of energy in nature and corresponding movement of energy in the body.  In Winter, everything slows, sinks down, condenses and goes into storage.  The exact same energetic tendency can be felt in the body, because we are a microcosm of the outer natural world.

I was amazed that those ancient observations still held true in modern people, with all our artificial heating and lighting, unseasonal food, sedentary indoor jobs and so on.  That the Kidney pulse can respond to Winter’s onset (albeit one day early!) – in human bodies that have so many weird artificial conditions imposed on them – suggests to me that the natural forces that surround, support and nurture us are more powerful and subtle than we give them credit.

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Apple and Goji Berry Crumble (Gluten-free)

This warming dessert will fill the room with vanilla and spice aromas.  It’s gluten-free, low in fat and has no cane sugar.

This is the version I made, adapted by using what I had at hand, based on Teresa Cutter “The Healthy Chef”.  I really wanted to use goji berries so I had a look at a very decadent Apple Goji Strudel recipe to see how to include them – that recipe uses plenty of brown sugar and butter, if you’re that way inclined!

It’s apple season – they’re fresh, juicy and plentiful and great value.  Goji berries nourish the Yin of the Kidney and Liver, making them a great winter food.  They’re good for Kidney-based conditions such as lower back pain or fertility issues, and they are especially known to benefit the eyes and vision.


4 large fuji apples, cored and cut into chunks
125 ml orange juice
Zest from 1 lemon
120g dried Goji berries, rehydrated *
1/2 cup almond meal **
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
20g plain-flavoured oil (I used rice bran oil)
25g honey

Combine the apples, orange juice and lemon zest in a saucepan.
Cook over a low heat for about 20 minutes until the apples are soft and liquid has evaporated.
Fold the Gojis through the warm apple and place into a baking dish or individual ramekins ***.
Combine almond meal, coconut, oil, vanilla, cinnamon and honey until all are coated.
Sprinkle over the apple and goji.
Bake in a moderate 175 C oven for 20-30 minutes until golden.
Serve with honey cinnamon yoghurt and enjoy! ****

* Goji berries are now in many health food stores but also at Chinese supermarkets – there are several in Dee Why.  The Chinese name is Gou Qi Zi (pron “Go Chee Tze”).  They look like red sultanas.  To rehydrate, soak in boiling water for 5-10 minutes.  Strain and sip the soak water – it’s a powerhouse of antioxidant, Yin-nourishing goodness!

** A great place to get almond meal is Saini Emporium in Dee Why, an Indian grocery.  It’s a treasure trove of beautiful spices, curry pastes and curious goodies!  Everything is sold in bulk quantities so it’s excellent value.

*** I accidentally cooked my Gojis with the apple.  It still tasted great, but they will be prettier if folded in as per the recipe as they lose some redness when cooked.

**** My preferred supermarket yoghurt is Farmers Union Greek Style Natural Yoghurt as they use S. Thermophilus and L. Bulgaricus cultures, which are supposed to be best for the intestinal flora (1).  Add about half a teaspoon of cinnamon and a heaped teaspoon of honey to a cup of yoghurt (adjust to taste).  I also had some liquid left over from the cooked apples so I reduced this to a syrup and added to the yoghurt, which gave a subtle citrus zing!

(1) See the Specific Carbohydrate Diet website at http://www.breakingtheviciouscycle.info/

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