Blog Archives

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

 

Advertisements

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

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

What is in a Cigarette?

We no longer live in a world where we don’t know that cigarettes are bad for us. 30 years ago the effects of cigarettes were unknown but these days we know they damage our body, but what is inside them?

There are over 4,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke; at least 50 of them are known carcinogens (cancer causing). If you were to inject the nicotine in one cigarette directly into your vein it would kill you instantly, there is enough poisonous nicotine in one cigarette to kill a horse.

Here are just a few of the chemicals found in each cigarette:

Benzene (petrol additive) – colourless cyclic hydrocarbon obtained from coal and petroleum, used as a solvent in fuel and in chemical manufacture, it is a known carcinogen associated with leukemia.

Formaldehyde (embalming fluid)- colourless liquid, highly poisonous, used to preserve dead bodies, it is a known cause of cancer, respiratory, skin and gastrointestinal problems.

Ammonia (toilet cleaner) – used as a flavouring, frees nicotine from tobacco turning it into a gas, often found in dry cleaning fluids

Acetone (nail polish remover) – fragrant volatile liquid ketone, used as a solvent, for example, nail polish remover

Tar – Particulate matter drawn into lungs when you inhale on a lighted cigarette. Once inhaled, smoke condenses and about 70 per cent of the tar in the smoke is deposited in the smoker’s lungs.

Nicotine (insecticide/addictive drug) – one of the most addictive substances known to man, a powerful and fast-acting medical and non-medical poison. This is the chemical which causes addiction. The great news is it is out of your system within 48 hours of stopping smoking

Carbon Monoxide (CO), (car exhaust fumes) – odourless, tasteless and poisonous gas, rapidly fatal in large amounts, the same gas that comes out of car exhausts

Arsenic (rat poison)

Hydrogen Cyanide (gas chamber poison)

The wonderful thing to find out is that our body is amazing at repairing itself. Your body starts to repair itself the second you stop smoking, even in between each cigarette. It is up to you whether you continue the damage with the next cigarette or if you become smoke free. Your body can only repair the damage so many times before cigarettes start to have a permanent damaging effect on your body.

You are 10 times more likely to remain smoke free if you use hypnosis.

Book a session with Monica Black at Breathe London by going to http://breathe-london.com/hypnotherapy

Treating Insomnia

 

Treating Insomnia 

Wellbeing is often defined as more than just an absence of illness, and the ways in which we react to stress is often an indicator that although we are not ill we are not necessarily balanced. Insomnia is one of the main indicators of stress affecting our lives in a negative way and I often treat patients in the acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine clinic at Breathe-London for insomnia. In fact many patients come for acupuncture or herbs for different reasons but often come with chronic insomnia and have just accepted this as a normal way of being.

In the ancient Chinese way of thinking about health and wellbeing a poor sleep pattern or poor quality sleep is an indicator of an underlying imbalance in our Qi.  At night our defensive Qi circulates throughout the interior of our body nourishing and warming our internal organs, if this circulation is disrupted then over time other health problems can arise.

There is a long history of treating insomnia with acupuncture and Chinese medicine in fact there is an acupuncture point called Anmian that translates as peaceful sleep and is one of the main points to treat insomnia. If insomnia is due to a background of anxiety herbs such as licorice and angelica root, goji berries, and Schisandra fruit are used to calm the spirit.  A full case history is taken during the first consultation and patients are treated with a unique combination of acupuncture points and a bespoke formula of herbs is created to treat the insomnia and also to address any underlying imbalances that may be causing the insomnia.

In London noise and light pollution are common causes of sleeplessness and we also can get into negative patterns of behavior with our sleep including drinking too much caffeine during the day and not having enough down time to quiet the mind after a hectic day. Teaching sleep hygiene and developing positive new patterns of behavior is an important part of the treatment process.

If you would like to learn more about acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine Visit www.breathe-london.com/waterloo-acupuncture

Simon Plant May 2011

Simon Plant BSc (Hons) MSc MBAcC

www.acumoxatherapy.com

Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine

Breathe London Well Being Centre

Graeme Weatherston / FreeDigitalPhotos.net http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=330

Note: Do not take any herbal medicines without consulting a qualified herbal medicine practitioner.

CBT – Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

What is CBT?

CBTlooks at how our thoughts affect our feelings and subsequently our behaviour. Our thoughts have an extremely powerful effect on how we feel. If we approach a siltation with a positive mindset we are more likely to succeed than if we concentrate on the negative and everything that could go wrong.

As we grow and develop, our external influences model the way we feel and approach situations. We continue approaching life with the same mindset but often desire a different outcome. It is only when you start to challenge these entrenched thought patterns that you can change the way you feel about a situation.

Look at The Wright Brothers. Everyone thought that flight was impossible; the external influence upon their thinking was that it couldn’t be done. The Wright Brothers challenged this and saw a different way; it was only through changing their mindset and focusing on the positive that they were able to challenge the laws of physics.

Henry Ford said it perfectly: “Whether you think that you can, or that you can’t, you are usually right.”

As did Albert Einstein: “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

The thoughts that go through our minds on a regular basis, the ones that are second nature, contribute to how we feel about ourselves and situations. CBT works by understanding these thought patterns and breaking through them to challenge them and give you a different approach, allowing you to develop techniques to have a more positive and constructive way of thinking that dramatically improves your self-esteem and confidence.