Indigo Chinese Medicine is a Chinese medicine general practice with three locations on the Border and North-East Victoria: Albury, Wodonga and Beechworth.
The Wodonga clinic houses a comprehensive raw herbal medicine dispensary with over 180 individual herbs along with a wide variety of herbal pills and capsules for a large variety of presentations.
We provide acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, diet therapy, cupping, moxibustion, qi gong, lifestyle advice.
We also offer workshops and cooking classes, and selected wellbeing related products.
Why the name Indigo?
There are three really good reasons for the name Indigo Chinese Medicine.
Besides being one of the prettiest looking words, the name Indigo was selected because by sheer luck (or it could be destiny) the clinic is founded in the Indigo Shire at Beechworth.
Chinese herbal medicine uses indigo naturalis, known as Qing Dai (pronounced “ching die”).
And importantly, the colour indigo represents all sorts of lovely healing aspects; it is the colour of intuition and perception and is helpful in opening the third eye. It represents service to humanity, reflects great devotion, wisdom and justice along with fairness and impartiality. Indigo is a defender of people’s rights to the end.
Qualifications, Training & Registration
All practitoners of Chinese medicine are governed by AHPRA and the CMBA. In order to be a registered practitioner, we have to undergo intense degree qualifications – a 4 or 5 year process depending on the institution. Before we complete our degrees we have already undertaken 600+ hours of practical training in acupuncture, cupping, tui na (acupressure massage), moxibustion, and herbal dispensing. Once qualified, we must be registered with AHPRA along with a professional association. Each year we have to meet professional standards set by AHPRA including completing a minimum 20 hours of continuing professional education. There is no substitute for for fully qualified Chinese medicine practitioners.
In addition to our official requirements, our practitioners are a part of a wider group of practitioners spanning Mansfield, Shepparton, Wangaratta, and of course Albury, Wodonga and Beechworth. We gather quarterly to share skills and learnings, to network, to collaborate and work together. We call ourselves North East Oriental Medicine Practitioners (NEOP) and this is just another of the ways we keep our skills and knowledge sharp.
As you can tell, it is rigorous and demanding profession. But, we love our job and wouldn’t want to be doing anything else. Our passion is to bring this wonderful medicine to North East Victoria and Southern New South Wales for the benefit of our community.
Dr Becki Milani, BHSc
Registered Practitioner – Acupuncuture, Chinese herbal medicine, Dispensing
Becki gained a Bachelor of Health Science majoring in Chinese Medicine (Acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine) from Southern School of Natural Therapies in Melbourne. A Wangaratta local, she is keen to see quality natural healthcare alternatives available to her hometown area having had experienced first hand the power of Chinese medicine:
“Before finding Chinese medicine I was a mess. At the age of 26 I felt like death warmed up and it frustrated me that I should have been feeling vibrant, healthy, energetic, full of life. I was plagued with insidious health complaints. Because nothing showed up on the test results, the doctors kept telling me there’s nothing wrong. Meanwhile I was suffering daily with irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, palpitations, mood swings, acne, poor appetite, unable to focus, pains and aches everywhere, painful and irregular menstrual cycles, and fatigue! I was always tired!!! More than ten years later I’m a completely different person. While I’m not perfect (I still like to indulge), my health is in very good shape and nowhere near the strife I was on a fast-track to. It’s wonderful to be empowered about my own health and know the tricks of the trade – how to find balance in my daily life, how to eat, exercise and live for my pattern type. I have regular acupuncture myself, and have a mini herbal pharmacy at home!”
Becki has a special interest in women’s health from menarche to menopause including fertility, working with assisted reproduction technologies, and pregnancy. She continues to undertake fortnightly observations with world-renown herbalist, Steven Clavey, in his Melbourne clinic.
In addition to her work, Becki is passionate about animal welfare and has a little rescue cat called Trixy. She is also an avid foodie and was a contestant on MasterChef in 2009 (yes, she still has the apron!). You will often see her breakfasts spamming our Instagram feed.
Chinese medicine is an ancient system of medicine stemming back thousands of years. Some evidence exists up to 5,000 years ago! Officially though, we say 2,500 years of history. Over this time the ancients observed people, the weather, the seasons, the terrain, foods, plants, animals disease, cause and effect, everything! Philosophies were developed and theories created, refined and documented. Many other medicines we have today borrow from the depths of Chinese medicine.
Simply put, Chinese medicine views that at all our health complaints can be attributed to an imbalance in the body. What we do in Chinese medicine is restore balance with acupuncture, herbal medicine, diet therapy, tui na (acupressure massage), cupping, moxibustion, qi gong, tai chi, and lifestyle advice.
Chinese medicine treats the <em>person </em>and not the disease based on identifying individual’s pattern. Patterns are identified through questioning (case taking), observing the tongue and reading the pulse. That is why when we get asked questions such as “what can I take for x?” we will start to grill you with in-depth questions to flesh out your exact presentation in order to provide the correct advice. Looking at the underlying pattern is also the reason why we can effectively treat a wide range of conditions, pain, and presentations.
Because we assist the body to heal and restore itself, it is completely natural, effective and side-effect free. Therefore Chinese medicine a safe option for males, females, children, teens and the elderly. Even animals can get acupuncture and herbal medicine!
Nowadays there is more and more evidence-based research to support acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicines. One example is of a recent RMIT study has shown that acupuncture provided the same level of pain relief as analgesic drugs (without the side effects) in cases of migraines, back pain and sprained ankles. Most participants treated with acupuncture also tended to leave hospital earlier. It’s nice to know modern medicine is catching up to ancient wisdom!
Acupuncture is not scary. In fact most people are so relaxed they fall asleep on the treatment table and experience a little high after the treatment, which I dub the ‘acupuncture high’. After receiving treatments over time, you start to look forward to a little tune-up, usually for me is around the turn of each season (unless something more urgent turns up in the meantime).