Complementary Health News: Late Summer


August - Are You Reaping Your Harvest?

by Josephine Clegg, Traditional Acupuncturist, Sleaford Natural Health Centre

In complementary health care, the patient is considered as a whole. The manifestation of certain conditions can reflect who they are and vice versa. Lifestyle is crucial to contributing to our constitutional ability to heal ourselves and is fundamental in us taking control of our health, so that we can reach our full potential.

It's Harvest Time
Living in harmony with nature enables us to realise the true potential of that season in ourselves. We can then reap our harvest in the same way that earth is experiencing its harvest all around us.

We are now in the 5 element season called Late Summer, attributable to the Earth Element. The organs associated with it are the Stomach and Spleen, and their role is to process, digest and assimilate physically, mentally and emotionally all information and food that enters our bodies, through our eyes, ears, nose, mouth and touch. This information is then sent around the body to where it is needed for use or storage, discarding what is not needed.

It is important to ensure the correct, good quality ingredients enter our bodies so that we can reap our harvest with a clear head and abundant energy. We can then fulfil our dreams and get our needs met.

When this process is inefficient, we can get symptoms such as muzzy heavy head, difficult concentration, eating disorders, obsessions and worries, low self esteem, over weight, feel bloated, prolapsed organs, sinusitis, headaches, cravings for sweet or fast foods, weak limbs, extreme lethargy, tiredness after eating. A lot of these symptoms are familiar to ME and fibromyalgia sufferers.

Our ability to love and be loved, to give and receive appropriately, without feeling guilty, are important in encouraging healthy Earth energy. An inability to do so indicates an imbalance in Earth energy. It may be that you didn't receive sufficient love and nurturing as a child, or that no matter how much love and attention you receive, it is never enough. You never feel able to reap your harvest, your life feels empty or your needs unmet, you can never accept or believe compliments, or don't feel anyone listens or understands.

Energy in the Bank
It is very common for people to use all their energy looking after others, as a mother or carer, or just someone that worries about other people all the time. Experiencing severe dips in energy, as soon as they begin to feel they have a bit of energy, they spend it and more, dipping into their reserves even deeper. This makes that person more chronically ill and delays their recovery. In this situation, treatment, lifestyle changes and exercises help the person to listen to their bodies and save some energy in the bank, so that they can gradually recover.

How We Can Help
These are all conditions that complementary medicine can help with. Through their different techniques, practitioners in Traditional Acupuncture, Osteopathy, Cranio-sacral Therapy, Remedial Massage, or Reflexology balance your energy, allowing you to function efficiently and appropriately - physically, mentally and emotionally. Advice on Diet, eating habits, lifestyle, correct breathing, exercise and posture are given. You can feel more grounded, supported and able to move on in the world, taking in what you need and using it appropriately.

In order to help, love and give to others, we have to first be able to do so to ourselves. Only when we are strong and stable, can we truly be what we want to be for those we love. Then everyone can reap their harvest and not just at your expense!



September - Time For A Change?

by Josephine Clegg, Traditional Acupuncturist, Sleaford Natural Health Centre

September A Time For Change
September has brought time for change: change in the weather from rain, wet and humid to dry and pleasantly hot; from summer holidays to school, university or work; from long light days, to nights drawing in.

These changes, not necessarily of our own choosing, all have implications on our health and sense of wellbeing.

For school children, starting school, or changing schools can be an exciting and / or traumatic time. New friends to be made, old ones to leave behind; new rules to learn and follow; new things to learn.

For mothers, starting school means their child is growing from baby to child, or child into adolescent. This can be difficult to come to terms with.

Sat in my garden, I see this reflected in the apple tree that is ripening its fruit, preparing to let it go when it is at its best.

In these situations, it is not uncommon for parents or children to feel anxious and the effects of stress. The shortening days can also adversely affect us. This can be overwhelming, adding to the complex emotions already taking place.

Diet, lifestyle and breathing exercises can help to stabilise emotions. Making sure the diet includes essential fatty acids, found in oily fish, wholefoods, nuts and seeds. Avoiding over processed, high fat or sugared, convenience or fast foods is fundamental for emotional and behavioural problems. Similarly, drinking plain (filtered tastes better than tap) water rather than pops or squashes. A qualified practitioner can advise on appropriate lifestyle measures specific to your condition and constitution.

With Traditional Acupuncture you can address your fears, anxieties and concerns by balancing your system enabling you to see life from a new perspective and releasing these problems so you can regain control of your life.

Complementary health enables you to take control of your health and life in these ways. You can feel more grounded, supported and able to appropriately move on in the world.

Sciatica and Back Pain
A wet August and long hours of repetitive work has brought many a back pain, sciatica, shoulder or neck pain to the fore. Given the frustration felt for not being able to enjoy the summer, or reap our harvest, as we should have because of the weather, movements may have become quick and jerky in an eagerness to do things quickly. When our energy is not flowing smoothly and evenly throughout our bodies, blocks occur, damage is caused and we can experience these symptoms.

It may be time to ensure the body is in alignment, so preventing old injuries, strains, stiff and sore backs or joint problems from really setting in before the cold winter comes. If so, then you should consider the benefits of Traditional Acupuncture, Osteopathic treatment, or Remedial Massage.