Eating to beat the heat

herbal-medicineOriental medicine (OM) emphasises that we should eat according to the season to stay healthy.

Summer is the season of maximum Yang (expansive, warming, vibrant energy). These days, we often see it as a time to kick back and relax, but it’s worth remembering that in ancient times, especially in an agrarian culture, summer would have been a physically demanding time of year. So diet would have been very important.

So what sort of food should we eat to help cool ourselves down when the mercury starts climbing? Have you ever noticed that when you devour an ice cream, it … Read more ...

Acupuncture – taking the fear out of a dentist’s visit or operation.

acupuncture dentistMost of us feel mildly uncomfortable, if not outright apprehensive, at the thought of a dental procedure or surgical operation. For example, surveys show that around one in five of us are very afraid of dentist visits. This fear can lead us to postpone dental treatment to the point where problems start to build up and we end up needing more work done than we might otherwise. Ouch…!

Poor dental health actually reduces our overall health too – it has been linked to heart disease and dementia – so this situation affects more than just our mouths.

Before operations, up … Read more ...

How does Acupuncture work?

acupuncture-pointsIt might seem bizarre that inserting needles into various points on the body can influence the way our cells work. But a lot of research shows this is the case.

One of the areas most studied is the pain-killing effect of acupuncture. We have known for some time now that acupuncture affects nerve conduction within the spinal cord. The basis of the theory is that acupuncture stimulation ‘closes a gate’ within the spinal cord, preventing pain signals from travelling up the spinal cord and getting to the brain.

Beyond this, we also know that acupuncture has hormonal effects. Researchers initially … Read more ...

Ice or heat for injuries?

acupuncture fire iceA question I am often asked in clinic is “Should I use ice or heat on this injury?”.

The icing controversy

The conventional viewpoint is that it’s best to ice an injury in the first few hours and to apply heat to a chronic (long-lasting) injury. Ice, along with rest, compression and elevation (R-I-C-E), is seen to limit swelling and inflammation for the first 24-48 hours following an injury. However, the use of ice has recently been questioned by some in Western medicine, and has never been advocated in Traditional Chinese Medicine. In clinic, what we tend to see is … Read more ...

Sleep peacefully with Oriental Medicine

acupuncture oriental sleepHow did you sleep last night? Could have been better? If you are rubbing your eyes while reading this and trying to counteract the effects of insomnia with coffee, you are not alone. Almost one in four of us has trouble sleeping on a regular basis.

Much has been said about modern life eating into our sleep. In Victorian times, before the electric light bulb, adults generally slept 9-10 hours per night. Ancient Chinese texts describe the idea of the body being governed by a 24-hour clock, with each of the 12 main meridians responsible for a 2-hour segment of … Read more ...

Healing from your kitchen – Ginger soak/poultice for injuries and pain.

acupuncture gingerApart from having Acupuncture, people often want to know what they can do themselves to aid recovery from injuries, loosen tight muscles, or ease the pain of arthritis.

The answer is to raid your kitchen (or the local supermarket) for some ginger. This is the basis of a handy DIY external treatment that has excellent anti-inflammatory and muscle relaxant effects. It also acts as a mild irritant to the skin, increasing blood flow and mobilising the body’s own healing mechanisms.

I have used ginger soaks and poultices (medicated bandages) successfully for knee pain from osteoarthritis, low back pain, finger injuries, … Read more ...

Acupuncture and Later Pregnancy & Birth Preparation

Sacupuncture and pregnancyo you’re counting down the months (or even weeks or days) till you can meet the newest member of your family. This time should be all about nesting and preparing, but that’s hard to do if you are feeling exhausted by some of the conditions that can arise in late pregnancy. When these problems are severe, they can really detract from the experience of being pregnant. Issues that tend to flare up at this stage of the pregnancy include:

  • Swollen ankles, fingers and wrists (can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome)
  • Iron-deficiency anaemia
  • Indigestion, acid reflux
  • Varicose veins
  • Haemorrhoids
  • Back
Read more ...

Acupuncture in Pregnancy

acupuncture and pregnancyAcupuncture is very useful in pregnancy, from alleviating exhaustion and morning sickness in the early weeks to bringing relief from back pain, haemorrhoids and indigestion later in pregnancy. It can even help a breech baby turn head down!

As you approach your due date (from about 35 weeks), we recommend a weekly program of “pre-birth” acupuncture to prepare for labour. Women who have this sort of acupuncture program are less likely to need interventions during labour than those who don’t.

Here are some of the pregnancy-related issues our Acupuncturists use Acupuncture to help with:

  • Morning sickness
  • Tiredness/exhaustion
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Swollen
Read more ...

Acupuncture for Fertility

acupuncture fertilityIf you’re having fertility issues, we recommend you seriously look into having Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine. Many conditions reducing fertility can be helped with this combination of treatments. These include:

  • Endometriosis
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
  • Unexplained infertility
  • Male fertility issues

If you are thinking about starting a family (or adding to it!), our Acupuncturists recommend a 3 month pre-conception programme of Acupuncture (with Chinese Herbal Medicine if required). This allows us to find the root cause of any issues and get you in the healthiest possible state to conceive.

For those with known fertility problems, or those needing assisted … Read more ...

Acupuncture for Neck and Shoulder pain

acupuncture neck shoulderNeck and shoulder tension is one of the banes of modern life – when severe, the pain often extends down the arms and also can lead to headaches and jaw stiffness. It can really limit your life. But you don’t have to be stuck with it!

Acupuncture is great for melting those knots. Within 4-6 treatments we usually see substantial relief, with the hard areas becoming much looser. The time taken for this to happen depends on how long the tension has been there for, and how severe it is.

The treatments are very gentle – Acupuncture use extremely fine … Read more ...