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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Top tips for preparing for your first acupuncture session

If you’re thinking about booking in for an acupuncture treatment there are a few things you can do to ensure you get the most out of the experience.

ASK SILLY QUESTIONS

Trying something new for the first time can be daunting and you may have questions that you feel awkward about asking.  Firstly – don’t worry about asking ‘silly’ questions! I for one welcome anyone’s questions about acupuncture as it gives me a chance to talk about my favourite subject.  It’s easy as a practitioner to forget how much we know compared to our patient and we sometimes gloss over things that you need to know more about.  So before you book in, have a think about what questions you have and ask them on the phone or during your initial consultation.

CHECK YOUR PRACTITIONER’S CREDENTIALS

Your first question should be whether your practitioner is a member of a regulatory body.  The British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) regulates the majority of acupuncturists in the UK and ensure that we are suitably trained, qualified, insured and that we keep our continuing professional development up to date. Acupuncturists should carry the logo on their website and you can check directly with the BAcC for registered practitioners in your area. If you are visiting someone who isn’t BAcC registered you should make sure that they are regulated by an organisation that is listed on the Public Standards Authority (PSA) register.

REFLECT

Once you’ve booked in it’s worth spending a bit of time thinking about where you are now and where you want to be following treatment…. Read More

Acupuncture – an effective alternative to HRT?

women's healthThe menopause can so often be a time that brings disruption and misery to a woman’s life.  It can involve one or more of a range of symptoms, which are experienced to varying degrees and levels of distress. These can include night sweats and hot flushes, insomnia, anxiety, depression, fatigue, headaches, aches and pains, palpitations and genital and urinary problems.

It is estimated that up to 60% of women’s lives are sufficiently disrupted to warrant visiting the GP, where the standard treatment is a prescription of HRT (hormone replacement therapy). For some, this brings immediate relief with no or little side-effects and the added benefit of preventing the development of osteoporosis.

For others the side-effects of HRT (weight gain, bloating, breast tenderness, nausea, cramps, indigestion, fluid retention, headaches, mood swings, depression acne and backache) outweigh the benefits.

A woman may be reluctant to take HRT because of the associated risks of cardiovascular disease and breast cancer. Others feel uncomfortable about taking medication for such a long period of time. Some are not able to take it because of a pre-existing condition such as high blood pressure. Some have been on HRT for many years but feel unsure about stopping because of the return of the original symptoms.

So what’s the alternative…?

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