Blog Archives

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

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Meditation May Reduce Pain

Meditation may Reduce Pain

Practicing just 20 minutes of mindfulness meditation a day may help alleviate pain, researchers report in The Journal of Neuroscience.

The study included 18 healthy adults who had never meditated before. The participants underwent four 20-minute training sessions of mindfulness meditation. This form of meditation involves focusing on breath and letting go of all other distracting thoughts.


Before and after meditation, the participants were exposed to painful stimuli while undergoing brain imaging scans called arterial spin labeling functional magnetic resonance imaging. To stimulate pain, a device that delivered 120 degrees of heat was placed on each participant’s leg. The device remained on the skin for 12-second intervals over a total of five minutes.
After meditation, the participants’ pain intensity and pain unpleasantness ratings decreased by an average of 40 percent and 57 percent, respectively. Meditation also reduced activation in areas of the brain linked to pain.
Earlier studies have suggested that meditation may help improve quality of life in cancer patients and help treat high blood pressure and stress.

References

  1. Natural Standard: The Authority on Integrative Medicine. www.naturalstandard.com
  2. Zeidan F, Martucci KT, Kraft RA, et al. Brain Mechanisms Supporting the Modulation of Pain by Mindfulness Meditation. J Neurosci. 6 April 2011, 31(14): 5540-54. View Abstract

In the workplace we run corporate wellbeing events, emotional intelligence coaching and stress management – Breathe Psychology at Work

Keith and Andy provide Tai Chi, Yoga and Meditation courses – Breathe Yoga & Tai Chi

Jo is running Nutrition Therapy at Breathe – Nutrition Therapy

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Healthy Eating: Avocados

A few fast facts and a fab little recipe!

  • Avocados are a fruit from the Lauraceae family which also includes cinnamon, camphor and bay laurel.
  • Grown in the sub tropical regions of South America, there are two types commonly available in Britain: the Hass variety – with a darker, more nobbly skin, and the Fuerte variety – brighter green with a smooth skin.
  • They contain the super-nutrient beta-sitosterol, which naturally helps to lower cholesterol.
  • But aren’t they packed with calories? Avocadoes do have a high oil content, but it’s mainly the ‘good’ monounsaturated type, and half an average avocado only gives you 137 calories, which is less than 2 digestive biscuits!
  • What else do they give us? Weight for weight, avocados are incredibly nutrient rich, topping the charts among the fruits for folate, potassium, magnesium and vitamin E. They are also great for B vitamins and fibre.
  • Avocados are packed with lots of potentially cancer-fighting supernutrients called antioxidants such as ferulic and gallic acid. They are also rare source of pre-formed glutathione, a crucial detoxing antioxidant.

Quick serving idea: The green buttery flesh of an avocado is versatile and tasty. Why not try making avocado hummus – a nutritious snack, high in protein (from the chickpeas) and the benefits of avocado mentioned above. Serve with warm pitta bread or some fresh crunchy crudités such as carrots and celery for a snack or with a classic crispy jacket potato.

For further advice or Nutritional Therapy consultations at Breathe click here 

Madeleine, Charlotte, Erika and Andy offer Life coaching, Positive Psychology Coaching, Personality testing and Hypnotherapy – Breathe Coaching

In the workplace we run corporate wellbeing events, emotional intelligence coaching and stress management – Breathe Psychology at Work

Keith and Andy provide Tai Chi, Yoga and Meditation courses – Breathe Yoga & Tai Chi

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Hay Fever? Try Acupuncture.

   Hay fever season is in full swing and many of my patients coming to see me for acupuncture are suffering from really bad hay fever. Most don’t realize that acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can treat the symptoms of hay fever and are pleasantly surprised when their symptoms improve.

In the Chinese way of thinking, which is rooted in the ancient philosophy of yin yang theory, spring is the time of great transition and the decline of cooling nourishing yin and the flourishing of warming, protecting yang.

Yin yang theory is also rooted in the traditional Chinese way of understanding how the body works. The yang qi (or energy) in the body is the body’s ability to protect itself and it is during this flourishing of the yang energy in the spring when symptoms of hay fever manifest.

If the body’s defence is poorly regulated the immune response, trigged by pollen, overreacts and causes the symptoms of blocked and runny nose and sore itchy red eyes. In terms of the Chinese way of thinking the body’s yang qi is too strong and not controlled.

Over 2000 years of history and tradition is now supported by evidence and acupuncture has been proven in clinical trials to relieve the symptoms of hay fever1 while acupuncture combined with Chinese Herbal Medicine is a safe and effective way of treating hay fever2.

Visit www.breathe-london.com/waterloo-acupuncture to learn more.

Simon Plant February 2011

Simon Plant BSc (Hons) MSc MBAcC

www.acumoxatherapy.com

Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine

Breathe London Well Being Centre

1 Xue, C., English, R. et al. (2002) Effect of Acupuncture in the Treatment of Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis: A Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial The American Journal of Chinese Medicine. 30 (1)1–11.

2 Brinkhaus, B., Hummelsberger, J. et al. (2004) Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine in the treatment of patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis: a randomized-controlled clinical trial. 59 (9) 953-960.

Photograph by Arvind Balaraman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Common misconceptions about Hypnotherapy

 

There are lots of misconceptions people have when they think about hypnotherapy. Here are just a few that I have come across whilst working with Hypnotherapy.

You lose control under hypnosis and say things you don’t want to say

Most people know about hypnotherapy through stage hypnosis and are nervous that if they went to see a hypnotherapist they would end up clucking like a chicken every time someone said potato. It is important to remember that all hypnosis is self-hypnosis and you remain in complete control the whole time. Take stage hypnosis, the stage hypnotherapist always chooses a willing participant from the audience. The participant goes onto stage expecting to act like a fool so when the hypnotherapist puts them into a trance and tells them to cluck like a chicken every time they say potato they react accordingly. However, if the hypnotherapist tried to tell them to stop smoking for example they would probably turn around and say no, as this was not what they were expecting to have to do on stage.

In the same way when you go and see a Hypnotherapist you are expecting to deal with certain things. By booking the appointment you are subconsciously and consciously agreeing to let the therapist speak to your subconscious about the thing you have come to see them about. If for example the therapist then asked you a question you weren’t willing to give the answer to you just wouldn’t.

Hypnotherapy is a magic wand

Lots of people think that hypnotherapy is a magic wand that can change the way their mind thinks without any effort from them at all. Whilst hypnotherapy is a very powerful tool as it speaks to your subconscious mind, it still requires strength and determination  from the person to want to change. Just as under hypnosis the therapist can’t make you do something you don’t want to do, if for example you don’t want to give up smoking  but your partner wants you to and sends you to a hypnotist the chances are that it won’t work long term as you didn’t want to make the change in the first place. If on the other hand you want to but just don’t know how, then hypnotherapy is the simple yet powerful tool you are looking for.

Only highly suggestible people can be hypnotised

Whilst people who find it easy to trust may find it easier to go into a deep hypnotic trance it is not a fact that only they can be hypnotised. Anyone can be hypnotised, the hypnotherapist will just use a different technique for a highly suggestible person than they would for a very analytical person. It may surprise you to know that we all enter a trance like state on a daily basis, when watching TV, waking, singing, etc. Take driving, when you do a journey you do every day it is common to “zone out”. You are still safe it is just that your subconscious brain has taken over the controls; the journey is so second nature to you that you just drive, sometimes arriving at your destination with no recollection of the journey. You know you were safe as you are still happily sitting in your car. If during that journey when you were on autopilot someone had stepped out in front of you that would be the time that you shocked yourself into action. This is all hypnotherapy is in its simplest form, quieting down the conscious mind so that the subconscious mind is listening.

As you can see Hypnotherapy is not something to be scared of, you remain in complete control the whole time. It is important to trust the Hypnotherapist just as it is important that you trust your doctor or your dentist’s professional capability. Recommendations are a good way to find a trustworthy Hypnotherapist, and when you have found them ring them up and ask them questions until you are happy. Listen to your gut reaction about them and you will find a therapist that can help you overcome most things, helping you to become the person you want to be.

 

A great Buddhist exercise: The 10,000 reasons

 

I’ve been reading a great book about Buddhism and neuroscience called the Buddha’s brain. It illustrates how through the power of your intention and thoughts, you actually change the chemistry of your brain. By training the mind you change your brain and create future opportunities.


One of the exercises in the book is called the “ten thousand reasons”. It’s really simple but so powerful. I had the opportunity to put it into practice yesterday at Waterloo station. On the busy concourse a woman shoulder charged me as she hurled towards the trains with her young child in tow. My first reaction was slight hurt, my second low level anger. I was about to begin my third reaction; thoughts about how people were increasingly rude etc etc. I then recalled the wisdom of the 10,000 reasons exercise. Over the next few minutes I imagined the reasons why she may have been in such a hurry. For example, visiting a relative rushed into hospital or the child needing the bathroom etc. As I continued to think of the countless possible reasons I felt a wave of compassion rising and positive feelings. A few minutes later I saw the woman and child again and I felt really positive about the whole experience.

With a simple exercise I had reframed the situation, developed positive emotions and thoughts and actually re-wired the chemistry of my brain so that in the future I recall a good experience.


For more information on our Positive Psychology courses, massage, acupuncture and yoga go to www.breathe-london.com

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Hypnodieting Feature in March edition of Natural Health Magazine

The Training Alliance Group is proud to be the trainers for the Hypnotherapy section of the Hypnodieting course to become a consultantErika Keat who is part of the Breathe team is one of the founders of The Training Alliance Group and a Hypnodieting consultant, it is great to see that Hypnodieting is getting the recognition it deserves.

Wellbeing offers at Breathe in February

 

Valentine Gifts Vouchers

Order a one off massage treatment or a course of treatments at Breathe Courses

Last few weeks to buy our 3 hour detox package for just £99

Start 2011 feeling great with a Breathe Detox package including:

– One hour Lymphatic Drainage to clear toxins and stimulate the immune system
– One hour Deep Tissue massage to revitalise body and mind
– One hour of one-to-one Yoga or Acupuncture to raise energy levels

Buy the detox course of treatments online and then call us on 07766 34 39 31 to book sessions

Breathe at the Colombo Centre has the largest team of dedicated Sports and Deep Tissue Massage therapists in Waterloo, SE1 in the heart of the Southbank and minutes from London Bridge.

Our therapists offer treatments Monday to Friday 10am to 9pm and Saturday 10.30am to 4.30pm.

Massages usually cost £30 for 30 minutes, £50 for one hour and £70 for 90 minutes.

To meet our therapists and see our timetable, click here…
To view our range of treatments, click here…

Nutrition therapy

To read about how to optimise your diet and book a session with Jo go to Waterloo nutrion at Breathe

Yoga holidays

To find out about Iyengar yoga holidays with Brenda Hobdell go to Yoga Holidays

Come and enjoy 3 days of yoga in the heart of the Suffolk countryside.
Potash Barns is set the hamlet of Brundish and is a great environment in which to unwind and relax.

29th April-2nd May

Cost:£300 for 3 nights
£250 for 2 nights

 

 

 

 

Breathe London Positive Psychology Workshops – Spring 2011

Positive Psychology Taster Workshops
We are starting a new series of Positive Psychology workshops on Wednesday evening.  All our 90 minute workshops are held in our coaching room at the Colombo Centre, Waterloo, SE1 8DP or at Imperial College in Knightsbridge. Sessions are held on Wednesday evenings from 6.30 to 8.00pm are limited to 8 people and cost £30.

To reserve your place, follow this link to pay online. When making your payment, please add a comment specifying the date of the workshop you wish to attend. Directions to the Ethos Centre, Imperial College.  Directions to Colombo Centre, Waterloo

 

Can you train your mind to be happier? (Imperial College) 12 Jan
We explore the science behind wellbeing:
– Do we have a set level of happiness at birth?
– What does evolution, adaptation and neuroscience tell us about the barriers to happiness?
– Is the study of happiness a blessing or a curse? What is the Eastern perspective?

Emotional Intelligence (Imperial College) 9th Feb
Here we introduce the Mayers Salovey emotional intelligence model and explore the concept of emotions as information which can be used to problem solve. We also look at the cross over of Buddhist psychology and Emotional Intelligence drawing on the work of Paul Ekman

Playing to your strengths (Imperial College) 23rd March
At work and school we often receive feedback which focuses on deficits rather than successes. This workshop gives practical tools to help you identify your core strengths and how to make the most of them . We introduce you to techniques to interpret the VIA strengths tool and techniques for listening for strengths from CAPP

The paradox of time (Imperial College) 12th April
Find out whether you have a propensity to spend your mental energy thinking about the past or future rather than living life in the present. Learn about the Zimbardo Time Pespective index – an amazing free online tool which helps raise your awareness about how your thoughts flow between the past, present and future

 



DETOX YOUR BODY AND MIND – 3 hour detox package for just £99!

POST-CHRISTMAS / NEW YEAR SPECIAL – We are offering a 3 hour detox package for just £99!

Start 2011 feeling great with a Breathe Detox package including:

– One hour Lymphatic Drainage to clear toxins and stimulate the immune system
– One hour Deep Tissue massage to revitalise body and mind
– One hour of one-to-one Yoga or Acupuncture to raise energy levels

Buy the detox course of treatments online and we’ll send you vouchers in the post. There is no limit on when you can use the vouchers.

Breathe at the Colombo Centre has the largest team of dedicated Sports and Deep Tissue Massage therapists in Waterloo, SE1 in the heart of the Southbank and minutes from London Bridge.

We also have a wide range of stress busting relaxing massages, Rolfing, Reiki, Acupuncture, Chinese Medicine, Aromatherapy Massage, Pregnancy massage, Myofascial release, Reflexology, Lomi Lomi massage and One to one Tai Chi and Yoga.

Our therapists offer treatments Monday to Friday 10am to 9pm and Saturday 10.30am to 4.30pm.

Massages usually cost £30 for 30 minutes, £50 for one hour and £70 for 90 minutes.

To meet our therapists and see our timetable, click here…
To view our range of treatments, click here…


Other lifestyle benefits can be found at www.bprlondon.com