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Acupuncture Awareness Week

The first ever Acupuncture Awareness Week launches today Monday 27 February 2012 and will attempt to dispel the many
myths still surrounding acupuncture. Simon Plant, British Acupuncture Council Member will be offering free fifteen minute taster treatments at Breath London at the Colombo Centre and Westminster Gym this week and will be on hand to answer your questions about how acupuncture can help you.

Recent research has revealed that over 21 per cent of the British public think acupuncture needles are as large as the needles used for regular injections. Not true! But it just goes to show that in spite of Chinese medicine’s ever increasing popularity, there are still a whole host of common misconceptions surrounding this ancient form of treatment.

Every year traditional acupuncturists carry out 2.3 million acupuncture treatments and this figure is on the rise. Yet the latest research clearly demonstrates how myths about acupuncture still remain strong. Acupuncture Awareness Week, the first of its kind, aims to banish these myths and provide the public with all the answers they need to feel confident about giving acupuncture a try.

A growing body of evidence-based clinical research shows that traditional acupuncture, as practised by British Acupuncture Council members safely treats a wide range of common health problems including low back pain, [click here to visit BAcC research page],  tension headaches and migraine-type headaches. In fact the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines on best practice now recommend that GPs offer a course of ten sessions of acupuncture as a first-line treatment for persistent, non-specific low back pain.

TV presenter Clare Nasir had had several failed attempts to conceive using IVF alone. She had one last chance, and decided to use acupuncture in conjunction with the IVF to boost her chances of success. She now has a two year old daughter – listen to her story in the video below.

Learn more about Acupuncture by visiting http://www.introducingacupuncture.co.uk/

Learn more about Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine available at Breathe London by visiting http://www.breathe-london.com/waterloo-acupuncture

To book a free fifteen minute taster treatment contact Simon Plant at Breathe London: 07570 091568

 

Simon Plant BSc (Hons) MSc MBAcC MRCHM

Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine

 

Cupping – An Acupuncture Technique

Cupping is an ancient technique used throughout East Asia, the middle east and in many eastern European countries to treat muscular skeletal pain and in traditional cultures it is believed to help treat colds and flu’s. Cupping is one of the techniques commonly used alongside acupuncture. Cupping involves the application of a sterile glass cup to the skin, air inside the cup is heated to create an air tight seal. Cupping is incredibly relaxing and like having a strong massage, massage oils infused with herbs such as mint are applied to the skin and once the cup is on it can be moved up and down the affected area, a technique known as slide cupping.Chinese medical theory developed over centuries, through observation of nature and our interaction with the environment and as such the language used in understanding illness, pain and the cause of disease is very different from modern western medical language. Environmental causes of diseases such as wind, cold, damp and heat are very important in Chinese medical thinking. In traditional Chinese medicine the use of cupping helps to expel cold, move stagnant blood and reduce swelling and inflammation and as a result stop pain. An ancient Chinese medical saying “Where there is pain there is no free flow, where there is no free flow there is pain” sums up neatly the understanding of the causes of pain from a Chinese medical perspective.A recent study1 found that medicinal cupping reduced the level of pain and tender points in patients with Fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is a medical condition characterized by pain and pain on pressure. Other symptoms associated with fibromyalgia are fatigue, sleep disturbance, joint pain and stiffness and digestive and bladder problems. The cause of fibromyalgia is unknown and there is no known cure.At the Breathe London Acupuncture Clinic patients come to see me for help with the symptoms associate with Fibromyalgia. Cupping is one of the techniques I often use to help with pain. However I always use the principles of Chinese Medicine to try to understand what is happening to the patient and treat the root cause of the illness rather than treat purely symptomatically. I use a combination of acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine and cupping and to treat each patient’s unique experience. Treatments are constantly modified and adapted in response to the patient’s needs.

If you are interested in learning more about how acupuncture, cupping and herbs can help you please contact Simon Plant at Breathe London. Free 15 minute chats are available if you would like to know more.

Simon Plant BSc (Hons) MSc MBAcC MRCHM
Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine
Breathe London Acupuncture Clinic
acupuncture.breathe@gmail.com
www.breathe-london.com/waterloo-acupuncture
07570091568

1 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21701180

Transformation

Over the course of the next 12 weeks I’m going to talk about transformation.  Eight years ago I was a chartered accountant working in corporate finance.  Now I run Breathe London, teach yoga, massage, do personal development coaching and run positive psychology workshops.

In order to understand how I created the job that I love I’m going to introduce the key tipping points, courses I’ve studied, inspirational teachers I’ve met and books that have changed the way I think and feel.

The courses include Emotional intelligence psychometric testing and coaching, a masters in positive psychology, life coaching, Reiki mastery, Sivananda yoga, Hawaiian massage and Polynesian philosophy, deep tissue massage, vipassana mediation, mindfulness coaching, Iyengar yoga, Tai chi, scuba diving and many more

Each week I’ll explore each area to give you an insight into how each of these courses has improved the quality of my life.  I’ll also provide details on courses that you can attend and teachers that I recommend.

Transformation of the mind can never be pinpointed, it’s an ongoing process.  However there are often key moments which feel like tectonic plate movements.  One of the first that I felt was on a glorious Summers day walking across the Domain in Sydney in 1999.  It was a Friday and I was stressed about a deal that I was involved on.  As I looked into the distance I suddenly noticed how green the trees were in the botanical gardens.  They seemed to shimmer and vibrate.  Next I caught the sun glinting on the harbour and felt it also warm my cheeks.  Overhead a Qantas jet banked over the harbour bridge.  I felt my body and mind fill with light and burst with pleasure.  I felt connected with everything around me. My experience merged completely with my environment.  It was as though for the first time I was in tune with my surroundings. I felt a burst of energy which felt like the whole world was powering me.  I wept and life has never been the same since.

Now whether this event occurred because of the people who implanted ideas or because of the books I read or the courses I attended or because of predetermination I shall never know.  All I know is that every so often when I stop and observe the world I feel fully energised and blessed to be alive.

Have a happy and transformational new year

Love Andy

Acupuncture may reduce period pain

A recent systematic review1 has found that current evidence supports the use of acupuncture to reduce period pain. The systematic Cochrane review is recognized as one of the most authoritative and valid sources of evidence in healthcare and systematic reviews are recognized as producing the most valid and rigorous results. The systematic review critically reviewed ten clinical trials involving over 900 participants who where treated with acupuncture for period pain. 

The review found that acupuncture and acupressure reduced nausea and back pain associated with period pain and improved quality of life compared to placebo controls and medication. The research is an example of the increasing evidence base being generated through clinical trials to validate the use of traditional acupuncture treatments.

Period pain is one of the most common conditions I treat in the acupuncture clinic at Breathe London and the treatment of period pain and other problems associated with the menstrual cycle are well documented in classical Chinese medical texts.  I also combine acupuncture and herbal medicine for the treatment of period pain and from my personal experience find that the combination of the two is more effective than acupuncture on its own.  The aims of the treatments are not to provide short-term pain relief but to provide long lasting changes so that even when treatments have finished period pain is significantly reduced.

Each person’s experience of pain is different and treating period pain with traditional acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine is no different from treating other conditions with acupuncture. Although there a classical acupuncture points for treating pain, an individual diagnosis and treatment is essential for long lasting and effective results.

An In depth initial consultation is important during which a traditional diagnosis is formulated and the treatment is tailored to each patient and involves close monitoring of the menstrual cycle. The points used will also change throughout the menstrual cycle. Acupuncture may also be combined with moxibustion which involves the gentle warming of acupuncture points with the herb Artemisia vulgaris. Dietary and exercise advice are also given and a short course of herbs may be recommended.  After acupuncture treatment for period pain many of my patients report other beneficial experiences including the relief of the symptoms of premenstrual tensions (PMT) including improvement in digestion and bloating, and also mood.

If you are interested in learning more about how acupuncture and herbs can help you please contact Simon Plant at Breathe London. Free 15 minute chats are available if you would like to know more.

Simon Plant BSc (Hons) MSc MBAcC MRCHM
Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine
Breathe London Acupuncture Clinic
acupuncture.breathe@gmail.com
www.breathe-london.com/waterloo-acupuncture
07570091568

1 Acupuncture for primary dysmenorrhoea. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011 Jan 19;1:CD007854.

Acupuncture can help with Nausea

A recent Swedish pilot study (1) has found that acupuncture can help with nausea and vomiting associated with radiotherapy. Although an essential part of treatment for cancerous tumors radiotherapy has unwelcome side effects including nausea during and after treatment.
During the study acupuncture sessions of thirty minutes duration was used two to three times a week during the course of radiotherapy treatment. Results indicated that the acupuncture treatment reduced the feelings of nausea and incidents of vomiting. In addition patients reported a reduction in pain, increased relaxation and improved sleep.The acupuncture point neiguan on the pericardium meridian was used. Neiguan is a point commonly used to treat nausea not just as a result of radiotherapy but also nausea due to morning sickness and also anxiety. The use of neiguan to treat nausea was recorded in early Chinese medical texts and its use continues to this day. Neiguan is located on the inner aspect of the wrist and is the acupuncture point stimulated by the sea sickness bands that can be bought in pharmacies. Neiguan treats nausea because the acupuncture point is on the pericardium meridian which connects with the stomach.

Although the results of the pilot study were positive one of the negatives was that patients were treated with only one acupuncture point and following a set treatment protocol. The strength of traditional acupuncture, which is often poorly reflected because of the nature of clinical trials, is that treatments are individualized based on a upon each individuals experience of health and their own body awareness. Using dialogue with the patient and also by examining the tongue, feeling the pulse and palpating the abdomen a unique diagnosis and prescription of points is used.

In the acupuncture clinic at Breathe London I often use neiguan when treating patients for nausea but only in combination with other points and always based upon my traditional diagnosis. I also teach patients simple acupressure techniques to help them with their nausea and also offer dietary advice. The acupuncture sensation is totally unlike having an injection although you may feel a numbness or tingling sensation and only fine sterile needles are used.

If you are interested in learning more about how acupuncture can help you please contact Simon Plant at Breathe London. Free 15 minute chats are available if you would like to know more.

Simon Plant BSc (Hons) MSc MBAcC MRCHM
Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine
Breathe London Acupuncture Clinic
acupuncture.breathe@gmail.com
www.breathe-london.com/waterloo-acupuncture
07570091568

1 Pilot testing of methods for evaluation of acupuncture for emesis during radiotherapy: a randomised single subject experimental design. Acupunct Med. 2011 Apr 3

Save The Rhino

22nd September marked World Rhino Day, organisations such as rhinoconservation.org do essential work in highlighting the threat to this endangered species.  Tragically there is an increase in illegal poaching of rhino horn for use in herbal medicine.

There is a mistaken belief that Rhino Horn can cure cancer. Professional bodies representing Chinese Herbal Medicine practitioners around the world have condemned the use of rhino horn and have categorically stated that rhino horn has no medical properties.

The UK’s Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine strongly condemns the illegal trade in endangered species and has a strict policy prohibiting the use of any type of endangered species by any of its members and no animal, mineral or endangered species are used. The illegal poaching of rhinos is not only abhorrent but is also an abuse of the Confucian principles that form some of the philosophical foundations of Chinese medicine that centre on respecting nature, living in harmony with and minimising our impact on the planet.

Members of the RCHM only use approved suppliers of herbal medicine who provide sustainable and responsibly sourced herbs.  The herbs and soil they are grown in are tested at each stage from planting, harvesting to processing for heavy metals and pollutants. Only herbs passing strict quality assurance standards are used.

Much of the world’s population rely on herbal medicine as their primary form of health care and many pharmaceuticals are derived from plant species. Artemisia Annua a herb that has been used in China for centuries to treat malaria like symptoms has now been synthesised to create new drugs to combat Malaria, still the largest cause of death1. Traditional herbal formulas are constantly being researched and traditional knowledge is being supported by modern research, recent research has shown that a traditional Chinese herbal formula can increase the quality of life for sufferers of Parkinson’s disease and is suitable for long-term use2.

When going for a herbal Medicine consultation always ensure that the herbalist is a member of a recognised professional body such as the RCHM, Association of Traditional Chinese Medicine (ATCM), or the National Institute of Medical Herbalists (NIMH). Ensure that the herbalist only uses an approved supplier of medical herbs.

If you are interested in learning more about how Chinese herbal medicine can help you please contact Simon Plant at Breathe London. Free 15 minute chats are available if you would like to know more.

Learn more about Rhino Conservation by visiting: http://www.rhinoconservation.org/2011/08/15/tcm-educators-speak-out-against-use-of-rhino-horn/

Simon Plant BSc (Hons) MSc MBAcC MRCHM

Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine

Breathe London Acupuncture Clinic

acupuncture.breathe@gmail.com

www.breathe-london.com/waterloo-acupuncture

07570091568

1. http://www.pharmainfo.net/reviews/potentialities-artemisia-annua-malaria-therapy

2. http://www.hindawi.com/journals/pd/2011/789506

Rhino Horn Image sourced from rhinoconservation.org

Inspiring – Walking with the Wounded

I have often asked myself: what is the difference between someone who takes life on and someone who accepts their fate?

My wonderful Grandmother was a survivor of Auschwitz ( German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp 1940–1945, her story is told in her book, From Thessaloniki to Auschwitz and Back ). Her whole family managed to survive. She was on the first train out of Thessaloniki Greece and could speak both German and Greek. The family ended up being translators for the Germans and through a combination of a lot of luck and strength of mind, she and her immediate family (father, mother and brother) all survived. Unfortunately not all of her extended family and friends had the same fate. She only passed away last December and managed to lead the most fantastic life; full of love and laughter. Undoubtedly Auschwitz left her with her demons, haunting her throughout her life, but nevertheless she was the most positive person I have ever met. She had an amazing strength inside of her, understanding anyone’s problems and helping them to find their own inner strength to succeed, whilst still having the courage to challenge situations that she felt weren’t right. She also had an amazing ability to forgive, even hosting the German ambassador for dinner in her later years. What was always clear to me though, was that she survived and succeeded because of how mentally strong she was.

And in life today there are countless examples of mental strength. Lord Alan Sugar for one; starting life in a council house and without a lot prospects, he is now a household name, having become a multi-millionaire along the way and at the age of 64, shows no signs of stopping. I look at the amazing troops to come out of war having suffered life-changing injuries both physically and psychologically, now taking on incredible challenges like Walking with the Wounded and I find myself asking again “what makes them stronger, more focused than others?”

We all know the people who seem to always find misery, they seem to never be happy despite the amazing house, car, husband, job, children etc. What makes them so different? Could it all be perspective?

How is it that some people give up and accept that they will never walk again whilst others fight until they can walk, defying the laws of medicine? Like Sergeant Steve Young from the programme, Walking with the Wounded on BBC , he was told he would never walk again after having suffered a broken back whilst serving in Afghanistan. He defied the medics and four months after his injury was walking again. Sergeant Young then undertook the challenge of a lifetime; along with his teammates they became the first team of unsupported war-wounded amputees to reach the Geographical North Pole, in only 13 days they managed to combat the most torturous conditions.
I watched the 1st episode of the programme in awe and felt humbled to see these men taking on a challenge that most able-bodied people would find near impossible. Although they all had times where they battled with their inner-demons, having to come to terms with their injuries and adapting to their new life, they all managed to remain upbeat and focused, remaining a team, helping each other along the way.

I have been very blessed with my life, I have had my fair share of challenges which I hope has made me a better therapist but I have always found the inner strength to overcome what life has challenged me with.

The more I work with people and the more I learn, the more amazed I am by the power of the mind. We live in a world of technology, a world where we are becoming less and less aware of the little things in life, of our body’s natural rhythm. We take for granted so much of what we have, only stopping to look at something when we no longer have it. We strive for goals, reach them and then strive for the next one. Rarely stopping to enjoy the wonderful life we have created.

When I look at people like my Grandmother, Lord Sugar and the soldiers, the only answer I can come up with is that they have mastered the biggest tool we all have available to us. They have managed to work with their minds in a positive way. If we understand what drives us, if we work with our minds and bodies rather than against them, we can achieve amazing things, things we never thought possible. The mind is the most powerful tool you can ever have, more powerful than any computer. It has the ability to make you believe you can achieve anything.

Look how powerful it can be if we start on a negative spiral for example. We can imagine things so vividly even though the chance of them happening are less than 00.1%, but we still feel the physical and physiological responses as if it had already happened. Or there are the psycho-somatic cases when you tell your brain you are ill and it starts to give you the symptoms as if you really were.

Of course although our bodies are amazing machines, there are times when you must accept that your amazing machine is not going to recover to the extent that you want it to. You may never be the person you were before, but a fantastic thing to learn is that if you work positively with your own mind, you can see that the person you are now is as brilliant and in some ways better than the person you were before. If we all worked in a positive way the world would be an even more inspiring place – all that aggression that people have could be funneled properly to achieve something good.

I am not meaning to sound too idealistic; we all have our down days, but the trick is to make those fewer and more far between.

Hypnotherapy, CBT & NLP are amazing tools in helping you understand what drives you, helping you to become a more positive person. So many of my clients turn their lives around even though nothing has physically changed; they still have the same car, job, house etc, but simply their perspective has changed. Rather than allowing themselves to focus on the few tiny things in life that aren’t quite right they start to focus on all the things that are right, giving them the strength to challenge themselves and take on tasks they never thought possible.
 
 
To find out more about Walking with the Wounded and the amazing work they do please take a look at their website http://www.walkingwiththewounded.org.uk/
 

By Erika Keat

Erika Keat is part of the Breathe London team, she offers Hypnotherapy, CBT & NLP at Breathe on a Wednesday between 2.30pm and 9pm. For more information or to arrange a consultation please contact Erika.

Reiki taster evening, 25 July

Have you heard of Reiki but never quite knew what it was?

Have you heard of Reiki but didn’t believe it could work for you?

Or maybe you’ve never heard of Reiki…..

 

Monday 25th July, 7.30pm – 9pm

Breathe London Wellbeing Centre at the Colombo Centre – Map

 

Whatever your experience with this complementary therapy, come along for a relaxing, informal evening which will include:

 

Short history of Reiki

How Reiki works and the benefits of Reiki

A chance to ask any questions

An experience of Reiki

 

And maybe you will be the lucky one who wins a FREE treatment! A lucky dip will be held on the night.

 

Your investment: £10 (or £15 on the night)

Please contact Emily Wilson to reserve your place or to find out how to make payment: 07979 591716

info@emilywilsontherapies.co.uk

www.emilywilsontherapies.co.uk

What is the Difference between Stage Hypnosis and Clinic Hypnotherapy?

For many people when you speak about hypnosis their first image is of the stage. Watching people cluck like chickens etc, whilst the audience laugh away marvelling at the “control” the stage hypnotist has over the person. Stage hypnosis has helped clinical hypnosis become more recognised; it allows people to see the fun side as well as the therapeutic side.

So how does stage hypnosis differ from hypnosis that is used for therapeutic reasons? The trance you enter when under hypnosis is the same for both the stage and the therapy room. The difference is the goal, the objective. When you are on stage you are entering into this trance with a view to having fun with your subconscious, playing games and entertaining the audience. You are in that frame of mind. Just like all hypnosis, stage hypnosis is self-hypnosis, you have to want to go up on stage and prance around.

Very often when you go to a stage performance the performer will get a group of people on stage, usually made up of people who have volunteered. The performer then does suggestibility tests with this small group and gets it down to the most suggestible person, the one that they can work with best on that day.

Derren Brown is someone who I really admire; he has understood the human mind and how it works to an amazing degree. He tends to get people on stage by throwing a Frisbee into the audience; he will say something like if you don’t want to come up then pass it to the person next to you. This way he gets a willing participant up on the stage.

Similarly with clinical hypnosis, you have to be willing; you have to want to make that change. For example if you want to stop smoking, you don’t necessarily need to know how you are going to do it, but you have to want to become smoke free. If you are only coming for hypnotherapy because you have been nagged into it then even though you will still enter into the trance state, the hypnosis won’t have the amazing long lasting affect that it could have if supported by your willpower

No stage hypnotist would choose me, as I would be a “difficult” subject to work with. They would choose someone who was eager to “act the fool” and entertain the crowd. Great fun to watch! However, put me in a room where a hypnotherapist is working together with me to help me, and I enter into a trance state very easily.

Whilst as a hypnotherapist I do have the skills needed to perform stage hypnosis, I personally choose not to mix the two. I have chosen to get into the wonderful world of hypnosis to help people challenge their negative beliefs and become the person they want to be. I find my work extremely rewarding as I watch people beginning to make changes and take control of their world. Personally I wouldn’t feel comfortable mixing that professionalism and trust with the tricks of the stage.

 

Negative self-talk: how it affects us

What is self-talk? Self-talk is the internal dialog we all have ongoing through our minds every day. This internal dialog can take two forms, positive and negative.

Are you a positive thinker or a negative thinker? Do you tell yourself: Yes I can do this. I can reach my goal. Or do you tell yourself: I will never get that job so there is no point going for the interview. I am fat. I am stupid.
We all have moments of self-doubt where we question whether we can achieve something, but the difference between a constant negative thought pattern and a positive one is the difference between a person who never feels good enough and a person who feels content with life, happily challenged.

We all know those people who seem to have it all. They are always so happy. But when you stop and look at their life next to yours they have nothing more than you – sometimes they even have less than you. The difference is their internal dialog is set to positive; they look for the positive and they appreciate the things they have got.

Negative self-talk affects us in many ways. It can lead to stagnation, self-pity, depression and many more negative influences. When we repeat a negative statement over and over again we begin to believe it. “I am not good enough” may prevent us from taking the steps to achieve a promotion that we are easily qualified for. It gives us a lack of confidence that isn’t based on anything real, but reinforced by the internal negative dialog. Eventually these thoughts become all consuming and you find that you approach every aspect of your life with this negativity, beginning to feel stressed easily, depressed and having a lack of confidence and motivation.

Changing the internal dialog to positive statements makes our life better and assists us in moving forward, giving us the confidence to achieve our goals. If instead of saying “I am not good enough”, say “I can do this”. Not only will you achieve your goals but you will happier and healthier. Positive self-talk gives you a permanent cheerleader in your corner, one that carries positive messages to all areas of your life and helps you to move forward. Once you have this positivity no one can take it away from you, as it comes from within you, from your own though process.

Very often the nature of our self-talk originates from a very early age. It may be a teacher that said you weren’t good enough, or a parent that always made you believe anything is possible.

Hypnotherapy and NLP can help you to challenge the source of the negative thoughts and change them to positive ones. Eventually you will surround yourself with positive thoughts and that will create an environment that will allow you to live your best possible life.
Here a few easy steps to start to become positive:
· Smile more.

· Replace your negative thoughts with positive ones. This can be hard at first. Start by talking positively. When you have a negative thought or catch yourself about to say something negative, stop yourself and see if you can spin it on its head and turn it into a positive one. Soon this will become second nature and you will find yourself thinking in the positive first.

· Expect positive results. When you set a goal expect that not only will you achieve it but you will be better than you thought.

· Actually visualize the success you want. Picture it in your mind, picture what you DO want, rather than having a list of what you DON’T want. Have an image of what you DO want, and see yourself achieving your goal.

We all have the ability to retrain our minds, we do it every day. Give it a go. What do you have to lose? Nothing. What could you gain? Everything.

Monica Black is a master NLP practitioner and has worked as a hypnotherapist for over 15 years .  To book a session with Monica go to  http://breathe-london.com/hypnotherapy

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