Blog Archives

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 to learn more.

Simon Plant February 2011

Simon Plant BSc (Hons) MSc MBAcC

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 /


Sports Injury? Try Acupuncture and Herbs

Many people are aware of the therapeutic benefits of deep tissue and sports massage to relieve pain and speed up the healing process and some have experienced acupuncture for the treatment of injuries and pain. However, there is a long history of treating injuries with a combination of massage, acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine.

The warring states period in China (221-207BCE) was a pretty dangerous time and Chinese generals required a medicine that was quick and easy to apply and also effective. In addition secret formulas where passed down through the years in Shaolin temples and in the Kung Fu martial arts tradition. Known as die da or hit-fall medicine a range of pre-prepared soaks, liniments, plasters and herbal powders to be drunk where developed.

Herbs such as frankincense, myrrh, angelica root, safflower and turmeric are used both internally and externally to reduce swelling, cool inflammation and reduce pain. In the Shaolin tradition herbs are also used for ligament damage, deep bruising, and to speed up the knitting of fractured bones.

Acupuncture and massage reduces inflammation, facilitates the flow of blood and lymph, increases range of movement and is effective for treating strains, sprains and myofascial pain. A range of pre-prepared herbal products in the form powders, sprays, plasters and creams are available.

Luckily for us we don’t live in the warring states period of Chinese history but we do have access to the medicine to treat sports and traumatic injures, as well as occupational injuries such as tennis elbow and repetitive strain injury to help us recover quickly and get back to being active as soon as possible.

Visit and to book a series of massage, acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine treatments to suit your needs.

Note: No animal products, minerals or endangered species are used only herbs of botanical origin that are of the highest quality, that contain no adulterants, are tested for heavy metals and contaminants are used.

Caution: Never treat yourself with herbal remedies without the guidance of a practitioner of herbal medicine.

Coming Soon: Using acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine to treat gastrointestinal disorders.

Simon Plant March 2011

Simon Plant BSc (Hons) MSc MBAcC RCHM

Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine

Breathe London Wellbeing Centre

Statutory Regulation of Herbalists

The Department of Health announced on 16th February 2011 that herbalists, including practitioners of Chinese herbal medicine will be regulated by the government’s Health Professions Council from April 20121.

After a ten year campaign by the RCHM (Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine) and its parent association the EHTPA (European Herbal and Traditional Medicine Practitioner’s Association) and by many people who use herbal medicine the government has recognised the desire for freedom of choice coupled with strict standards of health care.

Herbal Medicine has been practiced in China for over 2000 years and is used alongside western medicine or as an alternative for conditions that do not respond well to western medicine.  The evidence base for the efficacy of Chinese Herbal Medicine is growing.

What does this mean to you as a patient?

It will ensure that only the most competent practitioners can treat the public and those who are regulated, fully insured and adhere to a strict code of ethics.

As recognised health care practitioners it is hoped that more private medical insurance companies will cover patients who visit herbalists.

It will mean that you will prescribed herbs by a qualified practitioner who uses an approved supplier that supply herbs that are of the highest quality that contain no adulterants, are tested for heavy metals and contaminants, are only of botanical origin, and are not endangered species.

While we wait for statutory regulation to be implemented in April 2012 only visit a herbalist who is a member of the EHTPA and their affiliate bodies.

If you are interested in learning more about Chinese Herbal Medicine visit

Keep and eye on our twitter feed for news and up to date research about acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine:

Keep up to date with our blog for more detailed articles about acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine.

Coming Soon.

Using herbs and acupuncture in combination to treat sports injuries.

Simon Plant. March 2011


Simon Plant BSc (Hons) MSc MBacC RCHM

Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine

Breathe London Well Being Centre