If you’re coming to Life Synergy for regular acupuncture, you’ve probably had the good fortune to be treated by our head acupuncturist Jonathan Yang.

You may even call him Jon or Jonny or Jono.

Jonny works out of all three Life Synergy clinics and is at Morningside in Brisbane East on Saturday and Monday, Burleigh Heads on the Gold Coast on Tuesday and Thursday and Murwillumbah in northern New South Wales on Wednesday and Friday.

He’s an incredible and energetic healer and has been an acupuncturist and Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner for over two decades.

Jonny gets out of bed in the morning to help people feel their best, and one of his great passions is improving his patient’s mental wellness.

Many of our Life Synergy patients tell us they admire Jonny’s optimistic attitude to healing and look forward to his healing hugs at the end of their treatment.

In his first Conscious Community Q + A, we ask Jonny what sparked his passion for acupuncture and how it all works.

Jonny, why did you become an acupuncturist?

Sometimes I tell people I became an acupuncturist to fit into my Asian culture. But I really became an acupuncturist because I was fascinated with and wanted to learn everything I could about our body’s energy force. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, we call this energy force Qi (pronounced “chee”). And learning all about how it worked was what got me so passionate about both Traditional Chinese Medicine and, of course, acupuncture.

When I was a teenager, I loved watching Kung Fu movies. I started to learn Kung Fu at 18. And that’s when I first learned about Qi. When I was studying 20 years ago, the Hawaiians called energy mana, the Japanese called energy kai, and the Indian culture of yoga called energy prana. But at the same time, in Western culture, energy just meant electrical energy.

I was studying Chinese in China and met a couple from Sydney who had almost finished their acupuncturist course. They’d come to China on an exchange, and our conversations set an acupuncture spark inside me. So as soon as I got back to Australia, I started studying acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine.

People find it funny that I decided to study acupuncture, but I had never even had acupuncture treatments. And if I’m being honest – back then – I feared needles, but that’s another story for another day.

How does acupuncture work with Qi?

I guess acupuncture allows us to unblock or influence energy. Our nervous system plays a vital role in how energy is transmitted through our bodies. That means that how your nervous system behaves directly affects your Qi. The nervous system has a yin and yang aspect.


Your body perceives some level of danger when you’re in fight or flight mode. It will increase everything so you can move faster and stop you from being hungry. That can lead to things like constipation.


And the opposite is the rest and digest mode, where everything is calm. Your eyes are relaxed, your blood is flowing, your heart rate is calm, and your whole body is calm.

So, with acupuncture, we are manipulating the nervous system, influencing the nervous system to calm down, and working on switching on more of those calming fibres.

Acupuncture turns on all these parasympathetic calming fibres. I don’t think it was ever needed 50 years ago. But in today’s world, everything is all about productivity and pacing – it’s like nobody ever has enough resting time.

How do you know where to put the needles?

So, for me as a practitioner – I spend time observing my patients: I’m looking at their breathing, noticing where their breath is going. You can tell when people aren’t breathing organically or naturally, which gives us insight into what’s happening in their nervous system. It’s easy to see if they struggle to breathe or if it’s difficult for them to breathe. And if that’s happening, then there will be muscle tension there. And if there’s muscle tension, then the physical aspect of what you are seeing prompts an algorithm in my head, and as that algorithm starts to build, the patient will share things that are happening for them – they might talk about their sleep or pain. And that just tweaks the algorithm, which determines how we treat and the way we treat.


If you are treating pain, you’ll generally find you can hit specific points that will eliminate pain quite quickly. And if it doesn’t, you just keep it really simple and focus on how the muscle works so that you can release the muscle and unwind the muscle.


And when you are treating for mental wellness, we stick to protocols that really relax the body. It speeds up the parasympathetic fibres that relax the body because most people who experience aspects of mental well-being challenges find it difficult to relax.


If people are quite sensitive to needles, generally, they will be sensitive to certain foods and may experience bloating. But in addition, they may be susceptible to smells and lights and suffer from allergies and loose bowels because the body is trying to get rid of toxins. So, when that occurs, we generally follow a protocol that focuses on that area we call a mast cell pathway.

What’s the best feedback you’ve had from a patient after a treatment?

We are constantly getting wonderful feedback from our patients about how our treatments have improved their lives. Of course, the best feedback is when the patient tells me they feel relaxed. But it’s also great to hear they no longer have pain. Likewise, I love it when a woman I’ve been treating for fertility falls pregnant. We hear so many good stories from our patients every day – so picking just one is super tricky.