Women’s health specialist Carla, has a passion for holistic wellness, balanced lifestyles and boasts a wonderful approach to life.
When and how did your interest in and passion for Traditional Chinese medicine come about?
After high school, I rushed into Uni to study a degree in Media and Anthropology. About half way through this degree, I hit a huge low point in my health and happiness that turned my life upside down, so naturally I quit uni and moved to Melbourne on a whim. There, I met a wonderful holistic healer who put me on the self-healing path. I discovered TCM and it made so much sense to me. Balanced with a Human Biology degree, it was the perfect fusion of East and West. So in 2007 (4 years out of High School), I found my calling and moved to Melbourne to study. They say you’re never too old or too young to live your dream and I whole-heartedly believe this.
What inspired you to study and practice it?
My mum was a nurse so I grew up in hospitals and taking care of others (animals, toys and other kids). I saw how helpful she was to friends, neighbours and family and I also loved helping with my bare hands so it was only a matter of time before I followed in her footsteps (kind of). My Chiropractor friend and healer in Melbourne also got me on the right track, pushing me to reconnect with the healer within me.
What do you love most about practicing TCM and Acupuncture?
I love TCM because it encompasses so much; it is such a gentle and holistic approach to healing. I can help to treat people physically and hands on with acupuncture, cupping and herbal medicine, as well as educate my patients through lifestyle coaching, nutrition and dietary advice. As their practitioner, I am a support they can rely on. I work with my patients to restore balance in their own health and happiness so it is essentially a team effort.
What else do you do to stay healthy and well?
A good work-life balance – Career + friends and family + fitness (yoga, gym, surfing) + healthy food (plant based nutrition) + travel + education. Never stop exploring, learning and loving!
Do you use TCM methods on yourself or incorporate it into your lifestyle?
I always have a stash of different herbal medicines on stand by in case I feel myself getting sick or I have period pain. I also try my best to live by TCM principles of yin and yang, the five elements and in harmony with nature and the seasons. I am always ranting about balance because I believe this is essential in all aspects of life.
What’s the most fascinating thing/method you think TCM can do for the body?
I am always amazed at the power a few needles can have in bringing the body back into a balanced state. My patients walk out a different person; more grounded and zen-like. You can even see the change in their eyes and their body. To be able to help people relax, breathe and re-centre makes me feel so grateful and happy – it is why I do what I do. I also have a few tricks in my bag (like the one point on the leg for frozen shoulder) that always blow people away.
What’s been the most rewarding experience as a practitioner to date?
I specialise in Women’s health so for me my passion and excitement for TCM comes in helping women get their health back on track so they can make babies. Being there at the start of the process and helping with fertility, to seeing them fall pregnant and then supporting them all through their pregnancy, to the day they give birth to their little bub, is so rewarding. It is always such an honour to help women with their miracle of birth and life.
What’s something people don’t know about you?
A lot of people don’t know I am half Italian, that I can’t actually speak Chinese but can read and write Japanese… Makes a lot of sense, I know 😉
Favourite food or meal?
I LOVE all fresh (plant-based) food but Thai is my fave! I also really love tofu, avocados, bananas and berries (but generally not all together at once.) My hot tip is banana with natural peanut butter – heavenly combo!
5 Tips to include TCM practices in our daily lives?
- Live in harmony with nature, other people and the environment – be mindful of the seasons and live accordingly. Live in the now, not yesterday or tomorrow.
- Listen to your body and what it needs when it comes to exercise (don’t push your body beyond limits), nutrition (what s your body really craving?) and general health (rest when you’re feeling flat).
- Balance is key. “Eat food. Not too much, Mostly plants.” Eat what is local, fresh and seasonal. E.g. If it is cold, eat warming foods, and in summer more cooling foods.
- Acknowledge, feel and express all of the 5 TCM emotions; anger, fear, joy, worry and grief. They are all as important as the next to maintain good emotional health and wellbeing.
- Get support and help when needed. We humans are not perfect robots and our bodies can breakdown with life stresses, age, and wear and tear. Acupuncture and herbal medicine can be a great assistance in maintaining good health, restoring wellness and preventing disease. It’s always good to talk to someone too, to keep the mind in check too 🙂
Read more about Traditional Chinese Medicine and healthy living from Carla, here.
Do you have a question about TCM, acupuncture for Carla? Just leave it in the comments section below for a response!