Autumn Falk is a Shiatsu Practitioner, Medical Herbalist & Naturopath, specialising in individualised Herbal Remedies
This website is dedicated to bringing you information and access to natural health, naturopathy, medical herbalism and the healing arts of body work.
Autumn’s strengths lie in particular with herbal infusions, individual treatment plans and touch and connection to her clients within bodywork and shiatsu.
We hope this page brings inspiration and we would love to answer any questions.
Autumn Falk is a Medical Herbalist, Naturopath and Shiatsu Practitioner.
Trained by leading herbalists and iridologists in Germany, at the “Institute of Phytotherapy” (IfP) in Berlin, she completed her 3 year training in 2007. After the statutory exams, she graduated as a naturopath in 2008.
Autumn’s studies as a Naturopath and Medical Herbalist were focussed on Iridology, Phytotherapy (medical herbalism), Chinese medicine, basic homoeopathy and complementary therapies, including body work.
During this training Autumn came into contact with Shiatsu and found this form of body work to provide a welcome balance within the busy, mental activities of study. Autumn began her three year Shiatsu training alongside her Naturopathy studies.
Autumn was born and raised in Germany. Upon completion of high school, Autumn travelled in New Zealand and decided this was the country of her future home. At this time however, she returned to Germany, to study.
Having gained her qualifications in Germany as a Naturopath and then Shiatsu practitioner, Autumn moved to New Zealand in 2009 and is happy to be growing her clinic in the beautiful Bay of Plenty.
Autumns strengths include combining herbal remedies with body work. She is inspired by Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) which plays a major role in Shiatsu and influences her approach to natural health. With her compassion and playfulness, she naturally guides her clients to improve their health and wellbeing.
Plants and nature have always been a passions, leading to her current use of herbal medicine and inspiring her continual learning processes. Meditation has also played an important role in Autumns life and the principles of meditation as a sanctuary for wellness and self love have become a part of her nature in working with her clients.
As a naturopath, Autumn works with natural medicine, body work and iridology. Her focus is to combine shiatsu, herbal remedies and dietary advise to prevent illness and to support the body’s natural healing ability. Foremost for Autumn is the clients ability to restore optimal health and well-being.
Autumn is a member of the Shiatsu Association of Aotearoa (SPAA) and the New Zealand Association of Medical Herbalists (NZAMH)
Clinic for rent
We would love to make our beautiful clinic rooms available for other practitioners to use for their healing arts. We have two rooms, both with wall heaters and sunny windows.
In the evenings and on weekends, the waiting room & lounge area may be available for special groups to use.
Download more info here.
Events at the Clinic:
Blank Canvas Lounge Nights
Naturopathy is the knowledge and use of natural medicine and it’s procedures (methods), to determine health issues and treat them in accordance with the natural rhythms of the body and the integration of the whole person within their environment.
Naturopathy combines different modalities, so called alternative therapies. These include herbal medicine, homoeopathy and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), as well as various forms of body work, alongside a sound knowledge of anatomy, physiology and pathology of the human body.
The approach to health and to the body in naturopathy is holistic. Holistic means that all aspects of our needs – physical, social, mental and spiritual – are taken into account. In this sense the spiritual aspect is not associated with any religious ideology, it is related more to the ‘core-self’ within each one of us.
Medical Herbalism uses herbs in specific preparations, such as herbal infusions, tinctures and creams.
Most herbal remedies take effect immediately. But their effects are softer and more subtle than those of conventional medicine and may take longer for us to notice, depending on how sensitive we are. Therefore the effects of herbs are not as predictable as the effects of conventional medicine but herbal medicine is safer and works. Herbal remedies can work in different ways on the body, as well as having energetic and emotional effects which some people notice. People are often treated with herbal medicines to re-establish health over time, so the long term effect is reached much slower, but is consistent and lasting.
Herbal medicine supports not only specific symptoms of an ailment, but often seeks to resolve the root cause of these symptoms. It is a safe treatment for especially long term (chronic) problems. When the appropriate herbs are used, in the correct dose, they can have a great effect on our health.
Herbal medicine can be prescribed in heavy or light doses and over varying periods of time, e.g over a period of a month or up to 6 months. In many cases, herbal remedies are accompanied by other supporting programmes such as detox, cleansing, bodywork, nutrition and lifestyle changes.
Interactions between pharmaceutical drugs and plants are possible and need to be considered for the use of both in conjunction.
Iridology is the study of the eyes. It is a diagnostic tool for practitioners trained in iridology. The study of the eye includes the iris, the sclera, the pupil and all of the structures, pigments and colours within the eye.
Iridology does not diagnose illnesses, but rather aids the recognition of functional disturbances and can show tendencies in the individual towards imbalance in health as well as the results or consequences of health imbalances. Genetic strengths and weaknesses can show in the eye. And iridology may indicate the presence of a mineral or vitamin deficiency.
Iridology can show your genetic background, where you are heading, what kind of body you have and how your lifestyle has influenced your body. The localisation of a mark, hole or change of colour in the iris shows a dysfunction or change in the organ associated with that particular area. Different parts of the iris represent different areas of the body – anatomically there are nerve connections from all parts of the body to the iris.
Nutrition is the process of obtaining the required food to feed our body cells, which enable us to be healthy, grow and to stay alive. The relationship between food and a healthy body is a huge part of nutritional studies. A good balanced intake of nutrients through food provides the basis for a healthy body.
We need to learn how to provide our bodies with adequate foods or temporarily supplement our body with minerals and vitamins, according to our physical requirements, our stage of life and our constitutional type. Personal choices in what you eat, when you eat, the way you eat and how much you choose to eat effect the nutritional up-take and influence your body’s healing abilities.
The foods we eat contain nutrients that are digested, absorbed, transported, metabolised, stored and eliminated by the body. Over 45 nutrients are required for our body to function properly. The main nutrients are carbohydrates, fats, proteins, fibre, minerals, vitamins and water! Carbohydrates, proteins and fats are known as macro nutrients and are needed in large quantities. They are metabolised by the body to produce energy. Micro nutrients on the other hand are vitamins and minerals, which are needed in order for the macro nutrients to produce energy and are only required in smaller amounts.
I am honoured to live in NZ and to be able to learn about Rongoa Rakau and Rongoa Maori.
Rongoa Maori is a set of tikanga (practices) individual to each iwi (tribe), whanau (family) or practitioner. Rongoa Maori consists of
- rongoa rakau (New Zealand Plant Medicine)
- mirimiri (Maori massage)
- rituals and ritual practice
- recipes and techniques for healing and manufacturing rongoa rakau
- karakia (prayers) and incantations
A key principle in Rongoa Maori is the kaupapa of the land. In this we are kaitiaki (caretakers) of the land, from which our healing plants grow. An intimate relationship with Papatuanuku (earth mother) is what keeps our wairua (spirit) healthy. We must show her our respect and care in order to stay healthy ourselves.
The concept of Te Whare Tapa Wha describes the four cornerstones of Maori health,
- taha tinana – the aspect of physical health
- taha wairua – the aspect of spiritual health
- taha whanau – the aspect of family health, relationships & belonging
- taha hinengaro – the aspect of mental health, thoughts, feelings & mind
The body, the spirit, the mind and the family are equally important in Maori health and so they are for Rongoa Maori.
Taha Wairua is the essence of Rongoa Maori. Without taha wairua rongoa rakau is empty and looses it’s purpose and healing. Taha Wairua describes wholeness, a connection to the source through being a part of the whole. The connection between the physical and the spiritual is made though Mauri. In other cultures this is referred to as Chi / Qi / Ki or lifeforce energy. It is within all living beings and needs to be nourished. A strong Mauri can help us heal ourselves and maintain good health.
Traditional Chinese Medicine
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a more than 5000 years old healing art anchored in China, which consists of acupuncture, acupressure, Chinese herbal medicine, moxa, cupping, Chinese massage called Tui Na and the study of nutrition – the 5-Element theory.
TCM has an in depth knowledge about internal and external processes of our body. In this way of thinking our body has a life force which is called Qi that moves through the body, moving with it blood and body fluids.
Traditional Chinese Medicine works with the concept that there are channels or energy lines called meridians, through which Qi flows through the body. There are 12 main meridians. Each meridian is correlated to an organ or organ system. Each organ and meridian can be correlated with one of the Chinese elements (wood, fire, earth, metal, water) in pairs, each Pair representing either the yin or the yang aspect of the element. Yin and yang represent opposite but complementary qualities.
Yin is the soft, receiving, inward movement, front of the body & right side, substantial and cold aspect
yang is the hard, expanding, back of the body & left side, outward movement, immaterial and heat, fire aspect.
As part of your Naturopathic Consultation and Treatment schedule, Autumn may complete or suggest one or more of the following diagnostic tests.
Blood pressure test
A blood pressure reading is regularly done in a consultation. For clients with heart problems it is recommended to monitor their blood pressure between consults, either at home or through a pharmacy.
pH tests measure the acidity or alkalinity of a substance, often saliva, blood or urine. The best time to test pH levels is about 1 hour before a meal and 2 hours after a meal.
Saliva pH Test:
A saliva test may be done in clinic within your consultation. It determines the ph-levels in your saliva which should remain between 6.5 and 7.5 throughout the day. pH levels in saliva show digestive enzyme activity in the body. These digestive enzymes are primarily manufactured by the stomach, liver and pancreas. A pH level below 6.5 in body is acidic, either by producing too much acid or by an inability to remove body acids through the urine. A low pH can over time increase your risk for diseases.
A pH level above 6.8 can lead to the body struggling with excess gas, constipation and production of yeast, mold and fungus.
Urine pH Test:
A pH test of your urine can also be done within your consultation. It will show how well your body is able to remove acids through the urine and how much your body is able to maintain optimal mineral status. Minerals like sodium, magnesium, calcium and potassium are ‘buffer minerals’ which the body uses to keep pH levels within an optimal range. Unbalanced pH-levels whether too acidic or too alkaline, force the body to ‘borrow’ minerals from vital organs and bones to neutralize the acid or the alkalis and to safely remove it from the body.
Urine pH levels in the morning should be between 6.0 and 6.5 and in the evening between 6.5 and 7.0.
Zinc oral test
Oral Zinc tests determine zinc status on a range from poor to optimal (grade 1-4) in your body. This test consists of taking a mild zinc solution into the mouth and rinsing for a number of seconds. The taste remaining in the mouth afterwards gives clarity about your zinc status.
According to your zinc test results a zinc supplementation programme can be worked out.
The naturopathic consult and heath questionnaire may pinpoint the need for a blood test. Autumn can fill in a blood test request form to be taken to the local Pathlab, with the required tests indicated. These tests are paid for individually. If many tests are indicated, Autumn can write a request letter to your GP to make a referral and so reduce the costs or fully fund the blood tests.
Regular Blood test requests are:
- lipids (Cholesterol, Triglycerides, HDL, LDL)
- Diabetes checks (fasting glucose, random glucose)
- full blood count check (CBC) incl. red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets etc.
- Iron Status: Ferritin (Iron storage)
- Folate and Vitamin B12
- Liver function test
- Kidney function test
- Thyroid Test
Food Allergy / Intolerance test – Hair test
With a sample of your hair tested by a EAV (Electro-acupuncture-According to Voll) Hair Analysis machine, your tolerance can be challenged against 200 allergens from foods and environmental substances.
The hair sample is sent away and test results take about 4 weeks until completed and sent back with your allergy/intolerance report.
Together with your naturopath the test results can be addressed and can make a great addition to the treatment plan.
Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA)
This test measures the mineral content of the hair and may provide indications of mineral imbalances, deficiencies, and toxic elements.
The essential minerals found in the body, such as Calcium, Magnesium, Sodium, Potassium, Copper, Zinc, Iron, Selenium, Chromium, Manganese, Molybdenum, Phosphorus, cobalt and boron can be measured by a HTMA.
As well as testing levels of essential minerals, levels of toxic minerals such as lead, mercury, and cadmium can be tested.
Within 2 weeks the test results are sent back to your Naturopath, showing mineral imbalances, toxic overload or changes showing the effects of your own supplementation. After receipt of your test results Autumn will take these into consideration in your overall treatment plan.
Iridology is the study of the Iris, which presents different colours, pigments, and fibres.
Iridology can be used to determine constitutional physiology for the individual, which are inherent strength and weaknesses.
Iridology does not diagnose illnesses, but rather aids the recognition of functional disturbances in the body and can show tendencies in the individual towards imbalance in health as well as the results or consequences of health imbalances.
The Chinese Tongue diagnosis looks at the colour of the tongue body, its size and shape, the colour and thickness of its coating or fur, locations of abnormalities and moistness or dryness of the tongue.
Your overall health state can be revealed, specific organ functions and disharmonies can be pinpointed out of a Chinese medicinal view of the body. Not all tongue irregularities are indications of disharmony.
Before and during a Shiatsu treatment the ki flow is diagnosed through the pulse, tongue and examination of hara or the back. Questions about specific ailments or diet choices may be addressed before and after the treatment.
A Shiatsu treatment takes place on a futon (Japanese mattress) on the floor. During a Shiatsu treatment you are fully clothed and the Shiatsu room is warm, which allows you to deepen your experience. You are massaged through your clothes and without the use of oils.
Within the Shiatsu treatment bolsters, blankets or scarves might be used to prop your body up, keep you warm, cover your eyes or to hold your body.
Please wear comfortable loose, light and warm clothing (no jeans) for your Shiatsu treatment and bring spare clean socks with you.
Therapeutic deep tissue massage can treat many specific health issues, musculoskeletal problems and injuries.
Deep tissue massage helps to loosen tense muscles, targets knots and releases chronic musle tension, pain and discomfort and improves the range of motion in joints.
Within deep tissue massage fingers, thumbs, fists, forearms and elbows are used to stretch each muscle and fascia layer, using a medium to firm pressure throughout the entire body. Treating the deeper layers of musculature with regular stretching can very successfully improve poor posture that is the cause of muscular pain or headache.
Because this massage works very deeply emotional issues can also be addressed. Deep tissue massage provides relaxation, especially if you are stressed. It also moves toxins from the body, which water helps to eliminate. For this reason, it is important to drink plenty of water after your treatment.
Swedish Massage uses slow gliding strokes of light to medium pressure with kneading or squeezing techniques. These provide the body tissues with fresh oxygen and blood flow and so relaxation can take place. Swedish massage is a relaxation massage and is ideal for when no muscle pain or discomfort is experienced.
Reflexology is a science and practice based on the idea that there are areas on the hands and feet, which correspond to specific glands, organs and parts of the body. To stimulate specific areas of your hands or feet deep finger or thumb pressure is used. This stimulation can normalize functions in your body.
Depending on the style of reflexology used, it can range from firm and painful to gentle and more subtle pressure.
Autumn practices European, Japanese and Chinese reflexology methods.
For all enquiries contact us today!
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