Lucy Heller is an acupuncturist and herbalist with Health Space Clinics Newtown. The clinic offers an integrated approach to health, with chiropractic, acupuncture, massage therapy and nutrition services. Lucy enjoys working across a range of conditions, including fertility and digestive health issues, stress, musculoskeletal conditions and cosmetic acupuncture. A newcomer to Sydney, hailing from Melbourne, she loves the lifestyle and diversity the Inner West has to offer.
Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Lucy Heller. I grew up in St Kilda, Melbourne and recently moved to Sydney as I love the beaches and outdoors lifestyle here. (St Kilda doesn’t count as a real beach!) My mum always focused on healthy eating and healthy living. I was the weird kid eating carob-coated nuts as my recess treat when the other kids were eating Nutella. Perhaps I was born to work in the natural health industry.
I feel at home in Sydney’s Inner West, as it is such a melting pot of cultures. I have just moved to Leichhardt which is such a friendly area, and all of the neighbours have already welcomed us. Leichhardt reminds me a lot of Carlton in Melbourne, especially with the many Italian restaurants.
What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist and herbalist?
My first degree was a Bachelor of Communications/International Studies. The highlight of my first degree was doing an overseas exchange in Mexico. I would love to go back there one day and brush up on my Spanish! Afterwards I worked for the Victorian state government in a policy role. I thought that I could make a difference in the world by working for government. After some time, I realised that it would be more rewarding to work with people individually and support them in making lasting changes to improve their health. And so I went back to university for five years to study Chinese Medicine.
How did you get into acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine in the first place?
After I finished high school I took a gap year, travelling and volunteering abroad. It was an amazing year, but unfortunately I became quite ill with a parasitic infection. When I returned to Australia, I tried various Western medicine treatments, none of which worked for me.
I tried acupuncture and fell in love with it immediately! Not only did it help to cure my digestive health, I found that I left each session feeling relaxed and with a clearer mind.
What methods do you use?
I am trained in acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. I also incorporate cupping, moxibustion, dietary therapy and nutritional supplementation into my consultations.
My acupuncture style is gentle and I use very thin, Japanese acupuncture needles. I vary my treatment style according to the patient and their presentation. If I am treating a patient for a musculoskeletal condition – for example, back pain – I mostly use techniques of ‘distal acupuncture’. With distal acupuncture, you insert needles away from the problem area. With the example of back pain I may select points on the legs or arms, for example. I find this treatment style very effective for treating pain, and patients generally feel relief even after the first treatment.
If I am treating a patient for an emotional issue such as anxiety or depression, I might use a different technique called Five Element theory. This theory involves treating the patient according to their constitution type – earth, fire, metal, water or wood.
I enjoy treating a wide range of conditions, ranging from fertility to digestive health, stress, musculoskeletal conditions and cosmetic acupuncture.
What do you enjoy most about working in this area?
Our clinic is located in a beautiful historical building on Enmore Road, a 30-second walk from Newtown train station. I love the diversity of the area. Newtown feels so alive, with so many different people in it. Travellers, business people, students, it is just so diverse and inclusive. I feel like it’s the kind of neighbourhood where I can hold hands with my partner Sophia walking down the street and nobody blinks an eye.
What services does Health Space Clinics Newtown offer?
Health Space Clinics Newtown offers acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, chiropractic and massage therapy.
What can clients expect from a visit to the clinic?
At Health Space Clinics the practitioners work holistically, and we work as a team. Patients will often see more than one type of practitioner, and we are able to give the best health support because we are working together to support our patients.
Which podcast has inspired you recently?
I really enjoy Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations, as she invites inspiring guests onto her show to tell their stories.
Favourite places in the Inner West?
My favourite cafe is Ruby Lonesome in Marrickville. You can tell that the meals are prepared with love!
My favourite park is Mort Bay Park. My dogs just love it there, especially when they splash around in the water.
In Newtown I enjoy shopping at Dr Earth. I love the concept of the store which includes an organic grocery, cafe and florist under the one roof.
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