The subtle art of setting New Year’s Resolutions

New Year's Resolutions - Katy Bradshaw Acupuncture

It’s that time of year again – fireworks, champagne and New Year’s Resolutions.

Unfortunately New Year’s Resolutions are notoriously tricky to stick to.

Despite the fact the practice has been around in some form or another for 4000 years most of us seem unable to hold onto the grand plans we set ourselves on January 1st.

Perhaps because unlike our Babylonian ancestors, resolutions today tend to be about our relationship with ourselves rather than with the Gods.

It’s always easier to get out of a promise you’ve only made to yourself.

However…

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Soya vs dairy vs…?

Katy Bradshaw Acupuncture - soya vs dairy

The big question for many people today is how does soya vs dairy compare? I started experimenting with a plant-based diet recently and have been largely flying through the changes with a smile on my face.

Our family has been cutting down on meat over the last couple of years but remained big dairy consumers thanks to endless bowls of cereal and the favourite dinner (uniquely enjoyed by all members) of macaroni cheese.

A Game Changer

Then, like many others, we watched ‘The Game Changers’ on Netflix and both my husband and I were wowed and intrigued by the results experienced by many elite athletes who have moved to plant-based eating. The health and fitness factors coupled with the enormous environmental benefits inspired us to make the change

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Taoism and the art of Hibernation

Baby its cold outside. No I mean it’s REALLY cold outside.

OK so it’s not as cold as Canada.

Or Russia.

But its mid-January and we are in the full depths of the Great British winter. Dark at 4pm. Scraping ice off the car before work. Siberian winds coming in from the Continent. A DUSTING OF SNOW in some parts of the North.

When you take a look around at nature you can see what’s happening at this time of year. The trees have lost their leaves, the ground is hard and frozen, the animals are hibernating. Everything is still, conserving energy for the coming spring.

Everything that is, except us.

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Sleep like a baby

Sleep like a baby - Katy Bradshaw AcupunctureAccording to recent research over two thirds of adults are getting less than the recommended eight hours of sleep a night.  That’s over 40 million people starting each day not feeling their best.

In England alone doctors make over 10 million prescriptions for sleeping pills every year. Like most medication these can have unwanted side effects, especially dependency.

Given the scale of the problem I’m sad to discover that only 1 in 5 of us would consider acupuncture for insomnia. And even then that would be as a last resort.

Acupuncturists love to ask about your sleep

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You are how you eat

you are how you eatIn the final part of this series I will look at the idea ‘you are how you eat’.

Be mindful

Mindfulness is the buzz word at the moment. You can apply the principle of mindfulness to every aspect of your life and eating is no different.  It’s really just about paying attention.  Paying attention to what you put on your plate and what you put in your mouth. You can take it to the extreme by savouring every mouthful and chewing each bite 72 times (yawn).

Or to make it easier just try to make sure you sit down to eat and don’t do anything else whilst you’re doing it.

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You are when you eat

you are when you eatYou are when you eat. Who hasn’t heard the saying ‘eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper’? But why? What difference does it make to eat at certain times of day?

Chinese dietary advice is pretty simple when it comes to timings.

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You are what you eat

you are what you eat

The old saying goes ‘you are what you eat’. But have you ever considered that you might also be how you eat and when you eat? And what should you be eating anyway?

Now there are about a million different diets out there and I have no intention of adding another one to your repertoire.  We know that ‘diets’ mostly don’t work anyway.

But there are some principles of Chinese dietary therapy that continue to hold relevance after thousands of years and I’d like to introduce them to you here.

Essentially there are three main principles – what, when and how you eat is important.

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Transformative acupuncture – say what?

transformative acupunctureI wanted to talk a bit today about why I chose the tagline ‘Transform your Health’ for my acupuncture business.  What exactly is transformative acupuncture?

We live in a service economy – 70% of all consumer activity in the world is made up of services – and acupuncture is one of them.

Now for the science-y bit.

The evolution of goods and services goes something like this:

  1. Produce commodities
  2. Make goods from those commodities
  3. Provide a service that delivers those goods
  4. Provide a positive experience whilst delivering that service
  5. Transform people’s lives with that positive experience

I’m going to argue that a good acupuncturist sits nicely in stage 5.

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A pain in the neck (and shoulder, back, arm, wrist)

pain relief

I was idly scanning the internet this weekend looking for some stats of people suffering with pain in the UK (um… nearly half of the population!) and stumbled across some great videos posted by British Gypsom. They’ve worked with a physio to create a series of exercises designed to help plasterers ease the various aches and pains they suffer with as a result of their jobs.  That’s necks, shoulders, elbows, wrists, forearms and lower backs.

What a great idea!

So I started looking around a bit more and found some forums with loads of threads about people being stopped from doing their jobs because of pain and desperately looking for pain relief.

‘Go to your GP’

‘You’ll just have to rest it’

‘Take a holiday’

I hunted for what I was really looking for but couldn’t find it.

‘Have you tried acupuncture?’

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Taking a step back from our busy lives

meditiationI recently set myself the challenge of writing a blog every week but its only week three and I’m now several days late with this one!  The trouble is I set myself quite a number of challenges recently and it turns out it’s all got a bit too much – I’ve been feeling stressed to say the least. What does that feel like for me?

Waking up at 5am every day? Yes.

Drinking too much coffee? Yep.

Feeling like you’re failing at everything? Sometimes.

Craving cheesecake? Absolutely.

Kids playing up because I’ve been ignoring them? Oh yes…

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