Programs

Human Microbiota Transplant (HMT®) Therapy

Human Microbiota Transplant (HMT®) therapy is a method of preparing healthy donor stool, and separating the bacteria from it to transplant them into a patient in order to alleviate a variety of gastrointestinal illnesses such as Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s Disease, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). It is also known as the Fecal Microbiota Transplantation. The therapy is administered via colonoscopy, endoscopy, or enema by qualified and experience medical doctors.

A large number of diverse bacteria and organisms are found in your gastrointestinal tract, which is an important part of your immune system. Gut dysbiosis and the presence of pathogenic microbiota are implicated in the onset and progression of many diseases. The purpose of an HMT® therapy is to restore the probiotic and commensal bacteria and organisms found in a healthy donor’s stool that may be missing or found in low quantities in a patient.

HMT® therapy is often recommended as a treatment for Clostridium difficile (C. diff), a particularly infectious form of chronic diarrhea. It is estimated that over 12,000 HMTs® are performed annually in the U.S. alone for this condition.

HMT® therapy may also be used as a second line treatment for patients who are refractory to antibiotics and traditional pharmaceutical treatments. Patients who struggle with chronic refractory conditions and those facing surgery as a last resort option may benefit from HMT® treatment.

Our medical doctors work with the Hong Kong based Asia Microbiota Bank (AMB) to provide HMT® therapy to IMI clients. The AMB team has a strict donor selection process, a proprietary HMT® production line, and cutting-edge donor sequencing data to ensure safety, the highest quality of HMT® product, and to help to improve clinical outcomes.

For more information about HMT®, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Facial rejuvenation acupuncture (FRA) has been used in Asia for hundreds of years to enhance beauty and preserve a youthful appearance. It aims to reduce fine lines, improve muscle tone and treat underlying imbalances that contribute to the aging process.

A1996 study published in the International Journal of Acupuncture revealed that, of 300 patients surveyed, 90 percent said they saw a lessening of lines, clearer skin tone and subtle tightening after facial acupuncture treatments.

A Safe and Effective Alternative to Botox or Surgery

Although celebrities swear by Botox to smooth out their wrinkles, did you know that Botox is made from the one of the deadliest poisons known to man? Botox is a derivative of botulinum toxin, a lethal poison, which paralyses muscles that create wrinkles.

Facial acupuncture has become more popular in recent years, because people are seeking a safer alternative to the more invasive procedures such as Botox injection or facelift surgery.

While FRA does not claim to replace surgery or work as quickly as Botox, it is an excellent alternative for a number of reasons:

  • It is far less costly
  • No foreign substances are injected into your face
  • There are no side effects or risks of disfigurement.
  • It is virtually painless and no anesthesia is needed
  • No trauma, wound, swelling or discolouration
  • You can return to work immediately

What Causes Aging and How Does FRA Work?

According to Chinese medicine, health and beauty are determined by a “free” flow of blood, Qi (energy) and lymph through a series of pathways or channels around the body including the face. If Qi, blood and lymph circulate freely, there is more oxygen and nutrients to nourish the skin and less buildup of toxins and cellular waste, which can cause inflammation, blemishes and skin infections. As we age, Qi is unable to flow upward to “lift” the face and blood fails to nourish the deeper facial tissue. This eventually leads to poor muscle tone, sagging skin and wrinkles.

During a FRA treatment tiny needles—as fine as a strand of hair—are inserted into specific points that spread Qi and blood out via channels to fill the face. This encourages the upward flow of energy to “lift” the face and increases blood flow to the skin and underlying muscles. Regulating the flow of Qi and blood also prevents congestion and accumulation of toxins, which lead to puffiness, blemishes and skin infections. 

What Can FRA be Used For?

  • Sagging muscles
  • Fine lines or wrinkles
  • Dull or pale face
  • Dry skin
  • Acne or blemishes
  • Inflamed skin
  • Puffiness
  • Dull eyes
  • Dark circles
  • Drooping eyelid

Does FRA hurt and is it safe?

Acupuncture does not hurt. The needles are as fine as a strand of hair. A sensation of numbness or tingling is usually experienced. Although there are no side effects some bruising may occur after treatment. FRA is safe—the needles are sterilized and discarded after use.

Beauty Comes from Within

Acupuncture has long been used to enhance beauty and promote good health. Although the effects of FRA take time, it can improve your overall health. Generally you can expect to sleep more soundly and feel more energetic.

How Many Treatments Do You Need?

For best results we recommend 10 weekly treatments although you may see some improvement after 5 weekly treatments. A monthly maintenance treatment is recommended thereafter.

The first session lasts 50 minutes, and follow up sessions last 40 minutes.

What to Expect in Your First FRA Session?

IMI’s Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture (FRA) program is administered by Registered Chinese Medicine Practitioner (Acupuncture) Gianna Buonocore.

During your first session, Gianna will provide Traditional Chinese Medicine diagnostics such as checking your pulse and tongue to get an overview of your general health and uncover any underlying imbalances that may contribute to aging. She will inquire what specific areas you wish her to work on and will individualize your FRA treatment plan according to your needs. 

Making an Appointment

To make an appointment or more information about the FRA program, please call 2523 7121.


 

Children's Wellness Program

chidren

Living in Hong Kong, the combined factors of pollution, dense population, stressful living, rapid weather change and the overuse of medications leave our children a high “total load” to cope with.

This “total load” burdens our children’s immune system and compromises their physical, cognitive and emotional health. They could become susceptible to frequent colds and flu, digestive disturbances, nutrition deficiency, allergies, asthma, eczema as well as learning and behavioural issues.

The best way to combat these health problems is to re-balance and support your child’s system and strengthen their immunity from the inside.

Our professional team of practitioners combine modern diagnostic tests with natural medicines and therapies, to get to the root causes of your children’s health problem and provide effective, lasting healing without dependence on drugs and medications.

An Integral Approach to Children's Health and Wellness

IMI offers an integral approach to children's health and wellness that is unique in Hong Kong. Our team of practitioners consider the totality of the child, and address the root causes and not just the symptoms. Naturopathy and homeopathy offer safe and effective treatment in attention deficit, hyperactivity, autism, anger issues and developmental delay, without side effects. In certain situations, homeopathy, herbs and supplements can be given when the child is taking conventional medication. Osteopathy enhances neurological functions. IMI also offers diagnostic testing, counselling and functional medicine.

For more information on our program or to make a booking, please call 2523 7121, or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

Pregnancy & Childbirth Program

It is a common misconception that obstetricians and natural healthcare practitioners are mutually exclusive. Yet many women have found that their obstetrician often doesn’t have time to answer all of their questions. A natural healthcare practitioner can offer support, advice and treatment specific for your needs.

Many of IMI’s naturopathic physicians and other practitioners specialising in pregnancy care came from an integrative background. This means that they have a deeper understanding of the body, mind and energy, from a medical as well as a natural medicine perspective.

Our practitioners also draw on the wisdom of ancient healing traditions, renowned for supporting women during pregnancy for thousands of years. You can receive safe and effective treatment to support your body naturally whilst you continue to have regular checkups with your obstetrician. 

Our team includes licensed Naturopathic Physicians, Homeopaths, Clinical Nutritionists, Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners, Acupuncturists, Osteopaths, Integrated Manual Therapists, Chiropractic Doctors, Hypnobirthing Specialists and Psychologists.

Whether you are planning to conceive or already pregnant, our experienced team can support you physically, emotionally, energetically and mentally to help you prepare for an optimal pregnancy, birth and beyond: 

Planning to Get Pregnant?

If you are planning to conceive, or trying to boost your fertility, there are many modalities in natural medicine that can support you. This phase is an ideal time to consider a safe, naturopath-supervised clinical detoxification to minimize harmful toxins being passed on to your baby. We would also ensure that you are on a supplement programme that is specific for your needs. This will support an optional pregnancy for you and your little one.

During Pregnancy

Having a baby can be one of the most rewarding and enriching experiences life has to offer. On the other hand, pregnancy can bring with it all sorts of physical challenges and conflicting emotions during this transitional time.

Each trimester your body is going through physiological, hormonal and psychological changes. Fortunately there is a long history of pregnancy, and a lot of wisdom from ancient traditions has been applied and refined for thousands of years to support women through these natural changes.

Many of the modalities offered at IMI combine this natural wisdom and the science of modern medicine to offer effective support for common conditions such as:

  • Morning sickness
  • Heart burn
  • Urinary Tract Infections
  • Candida, including Thrush
  • Illness such as colds and flu
  • Back pain
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Potential miscarriage

If possible we aim to first treat these conditions with safe, natural remedies. This is because when you are pregnant drugs can cross the placenta and affect the development of your baby. However, we also recognise that sometimes medications are needed. If so, we would work in conjunction with your medical treatment to minimise side effects and strengthen your system and immunity.

Preparing for Birth

When deciding on your birth plan, it is important to know what options are available to you. Although both private and public hospitals in Hong Kong provide excellent maternity care, there is more to your birth plan than where and how you choose to deliver your baby.

Whether you want a natural birth or a medically assisted (epidural) delivery, natural therapies can play a huge role in working with your body’s innate wisdom to prepare for childbirth.

Prior to labour, safe herbal medicines (Eastern and Western) can help improve the strength and tone of the uterus. Ideally you would be seeing an osteopath by this time as they would be paying close attention to the mobility of your baby and all of the structures around the uterus.

During labour, homeopathic remedies, acupuncture and osteopathy can help with the pain, dilation and speed up the delivery process naturally.

If you go past your due date, these modalities are also highly effective to induce labour. Mindfulness, breathing techniques and hypnobirthing can also help you to prepare for birth.

Turning a Breech Baby

When a baby is breech, instead of a head down position, the baby is poised to come out feet or buttocks first. This presents some hazards to baby and mum, and often a C-section is required. The combination of gentle, skilled osteopathy, acupuncture and moxibustion from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) are examples of safe and highly effective treatments to help to turn a breech baby.

Postnatal Care

As you recover from birth and adapt to being a mum, again many physiological, hormonal and psychological changes are happening. For immediate post labour recovery, homeopathy can help with bruising, and modalities such as herbal medicine, acupuncture and osteopathy are renowned for postpartum support.

Osteopathy and other skilled manual therapies can help with relieving pain, increasing mobility and reducing scar tissue.

Newborns also benefit with gentle manual techniques that relieve retained birth stress, and support early physical and emotional development.

If there are signs of post-natal depression or anxiety, which can be quite common after birth, supplements, homeopathy and professional counselling can make a huge difference and provide relief and support during this precious time.

Unsure where to begin?

We appreciate that the wide range of natural healing modalities can be confusing. To guide you towards the most appropriate practitioners or treatments to suit your personal needs, you can book a free 20-minute session with our Integral Health Advisor.

Call 2523 7121 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to book an appointment.

 

Articles and Resources

Emotional Wellbeing for Pregnancy

Having a baby can be one of the most rewarding and enriching experiences life has to offer. It can deepen our sense of purpose, give us new meaning, great happiness and open our hearts more fully to love. On the other hand, it can also be stressful bringing many underlying issues to the fore. On a psychological level, all sorts of deep-rooted patterns ranging from body image, childhood issues to relationship to mother or replicating familial patterns can emerge. On a physiological level, hormonal changes can heighten anxious thoughts and feelings, which may at times become quite overwhelming. Your body, mind and emotions go through a lot of changes in pregnancy and after delivery.

Folate vs. Folic Acid: What's the Difference?

Folate is the natural form of this nutrient found in foods. While folic acid is often considered to be a supplemental form of folate, there is an important distinction between these two different compounds, folic acid doesn’t always work and indeed for some it may even be harmful. Folate technically is called 5 MTHFR for Methyl-tetra-hydra-folate, and some supplement brands list this. Before and during pregnancy, IMI recommends 600-1000 mcg of folate as 5-MTHFR.

 

"Probiotics: The Friendly Bacteria for Mum & Baby" article featured in The Standard (April 2016)

Did you know that 80 percent of your immune system is located in your digestive tract? For your baby, and also for you, the GI tract is the first line of defense. Research has shown evidence that probiotics can play a role in improving colic, allergies, eczema, diarrhea and other digestive issues in babies and young children.

 

"Natural, Gentle, and Effective Remedies for Pregnant Mums" article featured in The Standard (February 2016)

Homeopathy can be a very helpful complement to your obstetrician's and midwife's advice. Homeopathic remedies are made from naturally occurring materials, and are considered gentle, safe, yet very effective for both the pregnant mum and her unborn child. Homeopath Mina Weight talks about how homeopath treat common emotional and physical sickness during pregnancy.

 

"Are Natural Therapies Part of Your Birth Plan?" article featured in The Standard (October 2015)

When you decide on a birth plan, it is important to find out about your options. Each birth is unique, so don't be afraid to ask questions because you deserve the best care and support that fit your very own needs.

 

"Osteopathy for Pregnancy-related Pains" article featured in The Standard (August 2015)

Jodi Waugh, IMI's Osteopath, explains the relationship between old injuries and pain during pregnancy, and how osteopathy assessments and treatments can help ensure proper alignment and relieve pain.

 

PCOS Doesn’t Automatically Spell Infertility

Women with PCOS don’t ovulate regularly, resulting in irregular menstruation or amenorrhea (absence of period) and ovulation-related infertility. Many women who stumble upon this diagnosis, perhaps while investigating causes for infertility, are disheartened. But PCOS doesn’t automatically spell infertility!

 

Estrogen Dominance and Female Infertility

Nowadays we are seeing more and seemingly healthy couples experience frustration when trying to conceive. Hormonal balance is a key factor. Estrogen is one of the primary female sex hormones. “Estrogen dominance” is a state when the body has too much estrogen, either from overproduction of estrogen or lack of progesterone.

 

"Keys to a smooth pregnancy" article featured in The Standard (March 2015)

Mums-to-be, did you know that what you consume during pregnancy has a huge impact on your pregnancy and your baby's health? IMI's Naturopathic Doctor Ardyce Yik has these advice.

 

Boosting Fertility, Naturally

Infertility is multi-factorial and there is no magic pill that works for everyone. While most couples generally believe that physiological problems are the cause of infertility, lifestyle and environmental factors are often overlooked. Stress is thought to play a role here, affecting the hypothalamic pituitary axis. Nutritional deficiencies, body weight, emotional distress, cigarettes, alcohol, and environmental pollutants—including heavy metals—all have an effect on a woman's ability to conceive and carry a baby to term.

 

Why is Confinement Relevant Today?

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) takes a preventative approach and recommends that after giving birth, women should rest as much as possible, drink plenty of nourishing soups and eat certain foods.

 

Research Shows Chinese Herbal Medicine Twice as Effective for Infertility as Conventional Therapy

A study published in December 2011 issue of the journal Complementary Therapies in Medicine showed that women who received Chinese herbal medicine treatments had been twice as likely to get pregnant than women who received conventional drug treatments for infertility or IVF.

 

Research Shows Chinese Herbal Medicine Twice as Effective for Infertility as Conventional Therapy

A study published in December 2011 issue of the journal Complementary Therapies in Medicine showed that women who received Chinese herbal medicine treatments had been twice as likely to get pregnant than women who received conventional drug treatments for infertility or IVF.

 

"The Safest Cure for Pregnancy Discomfort" article featured in The Standard (October 2013)

Osteopathy treatment can help relieving discomfort and improving health and vitality for pregnant mothers.

 

A Natural Therapy for Morning Sickness

In TCM, morning sickness is due to an imbalance in the liver and/or the stomach, leading to either a mild or severe form of nausea. The main principle in treating any kind of morning sickness is to harmonize the stomach and liver, so that the nausea and vomiting can be stopped.

 

Turning Breech Babies and Preparing Mothers for Labour

Moxabustion is used for babies in breech and posterior positions. It involves burning a herbal stick directly over an acupuncture point on the little toe of both feet. This method stimulates fetal activity and with continued treatment encourages the baby to turn. The optimum time to use moxibustion is 34 weeks although it may be effective as late as 38 or 39 weeks.

Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine for a Healthy Pregnancy

The goal of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is to restore balance in the body. This is can be achieved by promoting blood and energy (Qi) flow and balancing all the organs and systems in the body.

Acupuncture and herbal medicine have been used for hundreds of years to boost fertility, prevent miscarriage and promote a healthy pregnancy. Acupuncture is safe during pregnancy and is used to treat a wide range of problems such as morning sickness, insomnia, anemia, fatigue, sinusitis, edema and sciatica. Acupuncture involves inserting fine needles into specific areas of the body, to promote health. It is not painful.

Acupuncture for fertility

In TCM the Kidneys, Liver, Heart and Uterus form the core of reproductive activity. These organs are important for boosting fertility in men and women and for the growth and development of the fetus during pregnancy. Factors such as stress, environmental toxins, old age and poor health can affect the function of these organs and compromise fertility. Sometimes a course of Chinese herbs is advised to detox the body before trying to conceive. Chinese medicine is used to regulate the menstrual cycle, improve the quality of eggs or sperm, promote ovulation, fertile cervical mucus, thicken the endometrial lining and prevent miscarriage. Whether you are trying to get pregnant naturally or with IVF, acupuncture can help you increase your chances of getting pregnant. Recent research shows that acupuncture can increase the IVF pregnancy rates by up to 40% when acupuncture is used shortly before and after the transfer of embryos.

Pregnancy – is not an illness.

A balanced diet, plenty of rest and gentle exercise are important during pregnancy but even when women follow these good measures problems such as dizziness, morning sickness, tiredness and headaches may occur. These problems are common in pregnancy as a mother's body adapts to the changes required for the growth and development of her baby. According to TCM some organs are under more stress than other organs. The digestive organ is under a greater demand to produce and supply blood to secure a mother's pregnancy. The kidney must deliver its essence for the proper growth and development of her baby and the liver needs to transform toxins , stabilize the uterus and keep stress to a minimum. Acupuncture treatment involves regulating and boosting the appropriate organs and channels to relieve stress, pain and discomfort.

Acupuncture in pregnancy – a drug free approach.

Prescription drugs are not recommended during pregnancy because they can cross the placenta and affect the development of the baby. Acupuncture during pregnancy is an ideal form of treatment because it provides women drug free relief for a multitude of problems at any stage of pregnancy. Acupuncture in pregnancy not only improves a women's quality of life but prevents problems such as high blood pressure, depression and sciatica from becoming more serious, which would necessitate medical treatment.

Acupuncture is used to treat these pregnancy related problems:

Pregnancy list

 Acupuncture for stress in pregnancy

Past studies have shown that if a mother experiences too much maternal stress her baby is more likely to be born underweight or premature. Recent research shows that women who experience high levels of stress during pregnancy have a greater chance of having a hyperactive child and there is growing evidence that hyperactivity can affect children long after birth. A baby's first connection to the world is through his mother. If a mother feels cheerful and contented these feelings pass through the placenta to nourish and protect her baby. Acupuncture can induce a feeling of well being. It counteracts the effect of stress hormones on the body. Acupuncture improves blood flow and promotes the distribution of oxygen and nutrients through the uterine arteries, which is necessary for the proper development of the unborn baby.

Acupuncture to prepare for labour – a quicker labour and speedy recovery

Many women want their babies to be delivered as quickly and naturally as possible. The benefits of a quicker labour are numerous. It reduces the incidence of maternal exhaustion and fetal distress, which can lead to medical intervention and facilitates a quicker recovery. Studies show that women who have regular pre-birth acupuncture are more likely to have a quicker and easier labour. From 34 weeks acupuncture can be used every week to prepare the uterus, soften the cervix, reduce stress and build strength before labour begins.

Acupuncture to turn a breech baby

Moxibustion is a gentle method to help turn a breech baby. It involves burning a herbal stick directly over an acupuncture point on the foot to stimulate fetal activity. Moxibustion is a safe treatment and is ideally used between 34 and 36 weeks pregnancy.

Acupuncture to induce labour

If labour has not begun by your due date acupuncture can provides a safe and gentle way to initiate the onset of spontaneous labour. Acupuncture helps reduces fluid retention and loosen tight pelvic muscles and joints, which can hinder the onset of labour. Specific points are used to help your baby descend further into the birth canal. When a baby's head presses on the cervix it can initiate a series of reactions, which involves the release of oxytocin and the onset of labour.

Acupuncture after pregnancy - postnatal care

Pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding place a significant demand on a mother; mentally, emotionally and physically. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine even a relatively uncomplicated labour occurs with a significant loss of blood and (Qi) energy. It is believed that a new mother must restore blood and energy quickly otherwise she is more susceptible to problems such as depression, insufficient milk supply and infection. Traditional Chinese Medicine includes the use of herbal medicines, dietary advice and acupuncture to promote a speedy recovery and reestablish balance in the body. Chinese Medicine is a natural, safe and effective way to treat postnatal symptoms and restore harmony to the body.

Acupuncture can treat the following postnatal problems

postnatal problems

The Confinement period

Nowadays mothers are being discharged early from hospital and there is a tendency to resume a "normal" lifestyle soon after childbirth. A Chinese custom of "confinement" is a traditional practice of postpartum care for mothers after the birth of their new baby. In the olden days new mothers had to stay in bed, keep their windows closed, eat certain foods and soups and not bathe or wash their hair for 30 days. The confinement period was essentially a primitive form of quarantine to prevent postpartum complications. There is no doubt that "doing the month" can speed up recovery and ensure the uterus is viable for another pregnancy, but nowadays we don't have to be so primitive. We have hot water, filtered clean drinking water, hair driers, soaps, disinfectants and antibiotics. However it is advisable that new mothers take care for at least 30 days after childbirth. They must eat well, rest more and sleep as much as possible during this time. There are traditional confinement soups, which are easy to prepare. They are meat, chicken or pork based and a rich source of carotenes, collagen, antioxidants and vitamin C and other vitamins and minerals. Confinement soups are excellent for promoting breast milk and facilitating a speedy recovery after childbirth.

Mother warming

Mother warming is a very relaxing treatment which can be started around 3 to 5 days after childbirth. This is a moxibustion technique and involves warming special points on the lower abdomen and back to speed up healing, relieve soreness and help tone the uterus.

If you interested in acupuncture or herbal medicine treatments please call 25237121 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to make an appointment with IMI's Registered TCM Practitioner Gianna Buonocore. If you are unable to visit clinic, you can arrange for a telephone consultation and have your prescribed remedies collected by a family member or friend.

If you are looking for midwives and nurses that support you through pregnancy, birth and beyond, we recommend Annerley.