Complementary Health News: Spring


Stepping Into Spring

by Josephine Clegg, Traditional Acupuncturist, Sleaford Natural Health Centre

The Natural Way To Health
Complementary Health is a way of looking after yourself naturally. We are part of nature just as the daffodils emerging through the snow, or the birds nesting in our garden. What happens in nature happens in us. So it is important to watch and learn from nature to understand and help ourselves.

New Plans
At this time of year, Winter is at last releasing its long, slow grip on us and Spring is just around the corner. There is a sense of anticipation and excitement; the rising sap of Spring. We start to make plans and decisions about the year ahead our holidays, a house move, marriage, children or a new job.

These plans can be thwarted, just as the late snow and frosts stunt the growth of the daffodils. We may get aches and pains, particularly in the upper part of our body shoulders, neck or head. We may get easily irritable or premenstrual, or unable to sleep at night.

Acupuncture Can Help
In Chinese Medicine, this is due to the Wood element and the Liver and Gallbladder.

Traditional Acupuncture is a system of medicine that is thousands of years old. Acupuncture works by balancing the energy of the patient, known as Qi (Chee). This Qi flows in the body in channels known as meridians that connect to each other and to organs in the body like a canal system. Very fine, sterile, stainless steel, disposable needles are placed at specific points on these meridians to move the Qi.

The acupuncturist diagnoses and checks the state of a patient's Qi and health by listening, observing, taking pulses, palpating the abdomen and inspecting the tongue.

When you are well, your Qi is flowing smoothly and freely. However, when the Qi becomes blocked or interrupted in some way, dis-ease arises and we experience aches, pains, stress, anxiety, upset tummies or tension, for example.

Acupuncture can help us to see a clear way ahead, fulfil our plans, take control of our lives and rid ourselves of frustration and pain.

National No Smoking Day
For those who want to give up, help is available. Acupuncture can be a pleasant, relaxing and natural method to break this addictive habit and other addictions whilst offering support for any withdrawal effects.

Acupuncture, Massage and Reflexology may also help to detox the body, relieve stress, increase will power, reduce cravings, improve circulation, strengthen and clear the lungs. Alleviating side effects, whilst treating the underlying reason why someone has smoked, strengthens the whole person. Also, certain yoga breathing exercises help to clear the lungs.

Mothers' Day
Mothers can be very stressed, tired and fatigued, running around after others with no time for themselves. But mothers need nurturing too. As the central pivot of the family, it is important to be in good health and energised without guilt at taking time out for herself; allowing the whole family to benefit.




Spring Into Action - Naturally

by Josephine Clegg, Traditional Acupuncturist, Sleaford Natural Health Centre

Complementary health is a way of looking after yourself naturally. Being part of nature, we are affected by the seasons.

It is now officially Spring. The birds are nesting, the lambs are born and the garden is showing its potential for summer. The resting time of Winter is at an end and we start to sew the seeds and direct and encourage growth.

We don't just do this in the garden, but in ourselves too. It is time to spring clean the body and mind. Resolve bottled up issues, mentally and physically, align and balance ourselves to provide a healthy and productive environment in which to sew seeds of new and healthy attitudes, for a healthy life ours or a new born.

Some conditions associated with Spring are:

Pain and Arthritis
Arthritis awareness week is upon us. Arthritis is commonly diagnosed as a cause of pain, often in the sense of degenerative arthritis due to ageing.

As we become more active in the Spring, our old aches and pains may re-emerge or new ones arise from jarring joints or stretching muscles.

Traditional Acupuncture looks at disease processes in a different way to Western medicine to provide an additional way to treat a condition. The bones are governed by the Kidneys, whose strength decline as we age. The person is treated, not just the disease. Treatment is directed at the root cause of the condition, not just the symptoms. There are reasons we hold on to pain; the body wants to be well, and if we don't need the pain for some reason, we wouldn't have it. There is often an emotional link to pain, its location and intensity. Traditional Diagnoses and treatment vary according to our constitution, the type, consistency and frequency of pain; so every one receives uniquely different treatments appropriate for them.

Osteopathy and cranial sacral therapy gently help the body to self-correct to allow nature to function as nature intends. Connective tissue is relaxed, to benefit acute and chronic musculo-skeletal lesions by increasing mobility, and so easing arthritis. This enhances fluidity to improve delivery of nutrients and removal of waste products, dissolving arthritic conditions.

Remedial Massage can benefit muscular aches and pains, muscle tension and injury and improve joint mobility.

An additional benefit to all of the above treatments is, of course, an overall sense of relaxation and wellbeing.

Each organ has a two hour period in the 24 hour Chinese clock when it is at its peak, and 2 4 a.m. is the Liver's. As the Liver is concerned with planning and decision-making, it is no wonder some of us lay awake in the early hours. By balancing and freeing the flow of energy (Qi) in us we can achieve a more restful night's sleep.

It may be that our Bladder is full and wakes us up and once awake, we can't go back to sleep, or that we can not get to sleep in the first place.

When our energy flow is freed, so it is relaxed, rebalanced, regenerated and stimulated and our bodies are empowered to self heal. By releasing tension in the muscles and the mind, insomnia can be helped.

Achieving the smooth flow of energy in the body, mind and spirit enables us to prepare our bodies to be in optimum health for reproduction. Traditional Acupuncture, Osteopathy, Cranio-sacral therapy, Reflexology and Massage can rebalance you for optimum fertility.

Male and female fertility issues can be addressed. In Traditional Acupuncture, the Kidneys are responsible for birth, growth and development. The Spleen and Liver also play a vital part in a healthy reproductive cycle.

The practitioner works with you to identify and treat the root cause of any condition, not forgetting the importance of your diet and lifestyle issues that may need modification. Pre-conception care is vitally important for achieving a successful and healthy pregnancy, delivery and baby.

Both men and women are becoming increasingly aware that acupuncture treatment can increase their chances of success in assisted conception and make it a more enjoyable and less stressful experience. In particular, patients can benefit from the support Chinese Medicine gives.

Many women are told that they have what is referred to as "unexplained infertility". Chinese diagnosis can often reveal imbalances in the internal climate that inhibit conception and treatment can often correct these, resulting in a natural conception.

Acupuncture is a tremendous support for women choosing assisted conception, as many recent studies have proven. It is an excellent way to help to cope with the often stressful procedures, and to help balance any side effects of the drug therapy. Acupuncture can greatly improve the chances for a successful conception.

Together, the seeds for future generations are sewn.




May - Nature's Scent Victims

by Josephine Clegg, Traditional Acupuncturist, Sleaford Natural Health Centre

Complementary health is a way of looking after ourselves naturally. Being part of nature, nature impacts on our health and wellbeing all the time. To many, this is the start of an awful few months ahead, until the harvest is in. You don't have to travel far to smell the bright yellow rape flowers in the fields or freshly cut grass.

Hay Fever
Hay fever or allergic rhinitis can be seasonal (acute) - caused by the pollens of grasses, flowers, trees and nettles; or more regular (chronic), from house dust, traffic / air pollution, sprays or food allergies.

Symptoms include sudden sneezing attacks, profuse watery nasal discharge, blocked nose, itching, watering and red eyes, itching roof palate, sinusitis, cough with wheezing and heat. Similarities can be drawn with asthma.

The energetic causes are often diet, emotional stress levels and climatic factors of heat and damp. In Chinese Medicine, organs have their own type of energy or Qi. Hay fever is Damp Heat Accumulation flaring up in the Lungs when the conditions are right. Kidney Qi (energy) may be too weak to pull down Lung Qi, especially where there is wheezing and cough. Watery itchy eyes may relate to deficiency in Liver Blood.

Asthma and Eczema
As the skin is the third lung in Chinese Medicine, asthma, eczema and hay fever are often related. Asthma symptoms can be similar to hay fever and often co-exist. Problems on inhalation relate to Kidney Qi deficiency, and Lung Qi deficiency applies to exhalation difficulties.

Vaccination, cows' milk, irritant substances and food additives can trigger eczema. Life's events at the time of onset are always relevant. Many sufferers develop asthma and hay fever. Unfortunately, antibacterial and anti-fungal creams can also cause allergic reactions identical to the original condition. Also, the creams drive the condition inwards, manifesting in the lungs as asthma.

In Chinese Medicine, eczema is a combination of Wind, Heat and Damp depending on the type of rash. Underlying conditions of Blood Deficiency, Lung deficiency or Spleen Qi deficiency commonly apply. These may be the result of, or cause, emotional stress that often accompanies eczema.

Self Help
Complementary medicine is a two way process. The patient has responsibility to make changes to their Diet and Lifestyle where appropriate as advised by their practitioner.

Bee pollen is a rich source of protein and vitamin B12, one of nature's most completely nourishing foods. Comb honey is the richest source of vitamins and essentials minerals that help to build up strong immunity. It should be taken at least 6 weeks before the pollen season and continued throughout it.

A diary of your diet and symptoms are useful tools to help identify irritant / allergic food reactions it may not just be a food but could be the combination of foods.

Garlic eliminates toxins and can be used for hay fever symptoms, but not where heat is involved. Grapefruit seed extract is an extremely potent antibiotic and can be useful.

Inhalations of Lavender and Eucalyptus oils may help sneezing and a runny nose.

Yoga breathing and exercises improve lung capacity, health and reduce stress.

Professional Treatment
Traditional Acupuncture can identify possible culprits and irritants. It not only relieves symptoms but also gets to the root cause of the condition to heal it from within. The practitioner will then provide appropriate Dietary and Lifestyle advice.