CHIME Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine
CHIME Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine
CHIME Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine

Insights

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Fed up of feeling stressed? Unsure what to do about it?

It continues to be a difficult time for many. After multiple weeks of lockdown, clients have reported feeling angry, resentful, frustrated, irritable, worried, sad, fearful and anxious. Whilst feeling and experiencing such emotions is totally normal and healthy (don’t beat yourself up), you need to ensure that you acknowledge how you feel, sit with it, and if you can, express it (verbally or through the body). A lingering emotion can be a dangerous thing, as each and every emotion has a specific effect on our Qi (our energy). In time, these stuck emotions which affect our Qi will cause both mental dis-ease and physical diseases.

For example, ongoing or unexpressed ‘anger’ and ‘frustration’ makes your Qi rise upwards, causing an imbalance between the upper and lower parts of your body. With too much Qi at the top and not enough below, common problems include depression, over-reactions, feelings of over stimulation, high blood pressure, headaches, migraines, dizziness, stiff neck and shoulders, eye problems, tinnitus, a tight jaw. vivid dreams, feeling hot and a dry mouth.

So, with this in mind, and whilst CHIME is closed, what can you do to help yourself from home?
  1. Acknowledge how you feel: When you were a baby, your body told you if you were hungry or in pain, hot or tired. Yet as we have got older, we have let our minds dominate and focused on thinking about how we feel, rather than feeling it. So for now, just shut your eyes, bring your attention to your breath and see what comes up- are you sad, or worried? Fed up and angry? Perhaps something else altogether?
  2. Sit with how you feel: You have permission to feel like you do. You are human, you have expectations, hopes and goals. Explore it. See how or if it manifests in your body by pressing down on different areas (e.g. stiff shoulders/ tight chest, painful abdomen?)
  3. Express how you feel: Focus on the emotion as you express it. This does not need to be done verbally, although it certainly can be (talking, shouting, screaming). It can also be done through writing e.g. journaling or penning a letter. Or by physically moving the emotion through you e.g. physical exercise, deep breathing down to the abdomen (make your tummy move in and out), stretching, punching, squeezing or crying.

When CHIME is back up and running, we will be providing personalised ‘reset’ and ‘rebalance’ treatments to help you move through stuck emotions, as well as bringing back our ever- popular Acu- Chill classes. These immersive sessions combine the benefits of meditation & acupuncture, visualisation and essential oils to help reduce stress and anxiety by calming the nervous system.

For now, acknowledge how you feel, accept it and express it. Give yourself time- just 5 minutes per day. Every day. And make things happen. Feel happier and healthier in your body and mind.

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Want to boost your confidence and strengthen your resilience?

Now more than ever, your mental tenacity, physical resilience and emotional resolve are being targeted, tried and tested. Unsure about your future and finances? Or about your career and connections? Or perhaps your overall health and happiness? The current climate has become a time of stagnation and anticipation.

Perhaps you’re guessing what’s new or what’s next? Madly deciphering messages and making difficult decisions? All in light of an uncertain, unknown and unrecognisable landscape.

But as human beings, we largely favour the familiar. Yet far too often, we look to our surroundings, environment and externals to provide us with this sense of stability. And in doing so, we fail to look at the very thing that is constant and within our control. OURSELVES. What could be a better investment or focus than ourselves- every part of which we experience and endure all day. Every single day. We owe it to ourselves to know who we are, back ourselves and boost ourselves, in every way we can.

So now’s the time to take control, improve your confidence and strengthen your mental and physical resilience. There are things you can do from home, right now.

1. Reset and Recharge
  • SLEEP: Aim for 8 hours per night so the mind and body can repair and reset.
  • CLEANSE: 5 days free from sugar (incl. fruit), dairy, caffeine, alcohol, wheat.
  • GO TECH FREE: Turn your phone off at least an hour before bed. And ideally for 1 day per week. Technology makes our energy stagnate and flow unevenly.
  • And when CHIME is open, come in for an Acupuncture treatment using needles in the back to gently reset the body and mind. Treatments will focus on mental and physical wellbeing and strengthening the immune system.


2. Nourish and Nurture
  • EAT WELL: To strengthen the gut, boost energy levels, enhance the immune system and benefit your digestion. These include opting for warm, cooked foods, grains and vegetables (not cold raw salads) as they are easier to digest. Avoid dairy and sugar where possible- they are the creators of phlegm and fluid in the body (definitely not something we want ever, but especially with Covid-19 around).
  • ACT WISELY: Work with your body’s natural energy cycle e.g. 7-11am is when energy is strongest in your digestive system so eat your largest meal. Sort out issues between 1-3pm as this is the time for the ‘sorting organs’ to function. 7-9pm is when your energy is strongest in your heart protector, meaning this is a great time to connect with, socialise and engage with others.
  • FIND YOUR MANTRA - Pick an activity in the day you do multiple times (e.g. sipping water) and every time you do this, repeat to yourself over and over a simple daily saying/ small message that is meaningful for you e.g. “you are enough” or “you’ve got this”. Change the mantra daily/ weekly/ monthly as seems right for you.
  • Come into CHIME when we open for your personal diagnosis and Element coaching. This involves working together to identify and work with your Element. This helps explain which aspect of you is malfunctioning and how it is affecting you mentally and physically.


3. Free and flow
  • GET MOVING: Moving the body (even just swinging the arms), moves our Qi (energy), which in turn helps move thoughts, emotions, stresses and strains. Do what feels right for you- but I recommend getting out in nature. It’s a great healer.
  • BREATHE, PROPERLY: Focus on deep, slow belly breaths, not short shallow chest breathing (your tummy should move in and out). Breathe in through the nose (for a count of 4), hold for 7 counts, out through the mouth for 8. Doing so can benefit the immune system, boost energy, positively affect the nervous system and help the muscles relax- helping you to feel free.
  • ACU- PRESSURE YOURSELF: A great point exists between the big toe and second toe, about a thumb width back from where the toes join. Applying pressure to this daily for a minute or two helps to unblock and move Qi through the body. Especially good for frustration, aches and pains and lethargy (google Liv3 if you want to see it’s location).
  • Watch out for the next block of Acu- Chill immersive classes which work with the nervous system to help to unblock trapped and stuck energy causing stress, anxiety and poor sleep.

So, if you aren’t already, it’s time to get on the front foot. This isn’t a quick win or a short- term fad. It’s about growth and resilience and giving you the health and happiness you deserve, now and well into the future.

Image by Takemaru Hirai

‘Tis the Season

Chinese Medicine sees everything in nature, in ourselves and in our lives being made up of FIVE ELEMENTS: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water. Each of these elements affects and is affected by different seasons amongst other things such as physical organs, emotions, tastes, times of day and parts of the body.

As December approaches, we move from the Metal element of Autumn into the Water element of Winter. It is therefore especially important at this time of year to ensure that we nourish, strengthen and support the physical parts and emotional aspects of ourselves which are related to Water, specifically:
  • Our Kidneys: Source of energy and constitutional strength. Integral in enabling the body to perform at its best, in nourishing the brain and bringing about birth, growth, development and reproduction (male and female fertility), as well as healthy menopause and ageing
  • Bladder: Controller of fluid in and around the body- urine and incontinence, thirst levels and weight control, urinary tract infections
  • Brain: Mental clarity and, focus
  • Bones: strength, density and stability, esp. lower back and knees
  • Ears: ability to physically hear and be open and responsive to others’ words
  • Hair: quality, quantity, colour
  • ‘Zhi’: our ability to progress; our drive and determination; our willpower and potential; our levels of fear and anxiety; focus and future facing plans.

This can be done through diet, lifestyle changes, specific meditation and Qi Gong exercises, as well as stimulating specific WATER-related energy channels such as the Bladder channel on the back to energise us or certain WATER-related acupuncture points on the body, for example the soul of the foot to clear menopausal heat or migraines.

To give yourself the greatest chance of health, of balance and harmony – both to tackle problems and as a maintenance and prevention tool… book your seasonal treatment now.

Staircase by Brent de Ranter

From the Outside – In

  • Have you ever noticed your body feeling heavy when it’s wet or ‘close’ outside?
  • Or perhaps you’ve felt increasingly worried or depressed when living in a damp house?
  • Do migraines only seem to strike when it’s thundery weather?
  • Or do notice an increased sense of heat or anxiety when you drink coffee?
  • Maybe a joint seizes up after you go swimming, or on a long drive each year?

For hundreds of years Chinese Medicine has appreciated the importance of our external environment (weather, living conditions etc.), and how this can affect what’s going on in the inside of our body too (and only now are we beginning to appreciate this in the West).

If for example we have too much fluid in our body (usually from weak digestion), any ‘fluid’ outside our body can draw out any problems that are attributable to fluid in Chinese medicine (like a magnet!). For example, forehead headaches or a muzzy head, stiff joints, sinus problems, mucous, dizziness or swellings and lumps.

Specific foods we consume also have qualities which can trigger/enhance issues already lurking in the body. For example, foods that can increase fluid include bananas, avocado oranges, wheat, dairy and sugar.

Do you know the right foods to enhance your physical and emotional wellbeing? And perhaps more importantly, the foods to avoid, overall, and at specific times of year?

Get in touch to book a 90 minute personal consultation and receive tailored lifestyle and dietary advice.

Hot Air Balloon by Edward Polo

From the Inside – Out

What goes on inside your body often manifests on the outside of it too, because of where each organ’s specific energy channel runs and because of the specific job each organ is supposed to help with. For example, in Chinese Medicine the Liver controls the smooth flow of Blood and Qi (energy) and the energy channel runs through the uterus. Painful periods and PMT therefore can usually be addressed by treating the Liver, in the same way pain in the knees (e.g. arthritis) is commonly relatable to a digestive or Kidney issue.

Taking the time to look at your tongue and feel your pulses can tell me about all the different organs inside your body, how your digestion is working, how fluids are moving and whether there is heat or cold stuck in the body. Look at your tongue now – is it red or pale? Swollen or thin? Is there a tongue coat or not? Think of your tongue as an external manifestation of what’s going on with each organ.

Come in for a free 30 minute consultation. We can chat, I’ll take your pulses, I’ll look at your tongue and make a preliminary diagnosis about what’s going on inside. Think of it as a health M.O.T… and find out what you can do benefit yourself physically and emotionally, inside and outside the clinic.

Image by Pierrick Van Troost

Each and Every Place on Your Face

  • Do you have dark bags under your eyes, no matter how much sleep you get?
  • Or perhaps two lines between your eyebrows?
  • If your skin breaks out, do blemishes always appear in the same place on your face?
  • Or do you have floaters in your eyes, despite being told your vision is fine?
Each part of the face represents a different organ. For example, the Liver manifests between the eyebrows, or the Lungs on the cheeks, the stomach round the jaw and the intestines round the mouth. The area directly underneath your eyes relates to the kidneys – so if you continually notice dark circles/bags here (despite sleeping for hours), it could mean your Kidneys are being overworked (from too much work) or it could be hereditary, as this part is passed down down your parents.

Equally, colours, textures, temperatures tell us a lot. If you’ve got broken capillaries or a red face, it is likely due to excess heat in the body, or loose skin and muscles is often attributable to a digestive and Kidney (Yang) deficiency.

Facial enhancement acupuncture works with the face and body together, addresses the root cause as well as the signs and symptoms, tackles the inside and the outside… all in a non-invasive, safe and efficient way.

Come in for a 1-2-1 tailored consultation and book your six sessions of facial acupuncture now (combines needles in the body and face, skin stimulation, personalised creams).

Image by Joshua Fuller

Getting Personal

It’s all good and well being given medication that tackles a certain problem… and a lot of the time, it works well. But what if your issues manifests in a slightly different way from someone else’s? Do you think all ‘colds’ are the same? Or everyone who has panic attacks for example experiences the same sensations?

Imagine if you could have treatment that got to the root cause of your problems and really looked at your personal, specific, unique manifestation of that problem.

In Chinese Medicine, the more information you can tell us abut your issue, the better. We are always looking to understand the root cause and the specifics of YOUR EXPERIENCES. Each tiny bit of detail can indicate something very specific, e.g. not being able to get to sleep means something very different from waking up in the night, or with respiratory issues including asthma, difficulty breathing in, is often a Kidney problem, whilst difficulty breathing out is often a Lung issue.

Similarly, there are at least 12 different types of migraines and headaches in Chinese Medicine – each stemming from a different organ, channel or substance. Knowing the answers to the following questions helps determine the cause as well as the points and needle technique used to treat it.
  • Where on your head do you feel it?
  • Is it better or worse with pressure?
  • Is it better or worse with rest?
  • At what time of day is it worst?
  • Is the pain fixed or does it move around?
  • What is the sensation like – sharp, muzzy, achy, dull, contracting stabbing?
  • What was going on at the time it started?
  • Does it affect your eyes?
  • Are there any other signs of symptoms?

Get in touch now to learn more, to diagnose what is at the root of YOUR specific manifestation of a problem, and how it might be best to tackle it

Image by Rodion Kutsaev

Tick Tock, Chinese Clock

The Chinese Clock associates specific times of day with certain organs and activities. It can therefore be used as a lifestyle guide, indicative of when it might be best to undertake or abstain from certain activities.

For example, our digestive system is at its strongest between 7 and 11am- indicating we should eat our largest meal of the day during this time, and our smallest meal of the day between 7-11pm (since this is when the digestive system is at its weakest). Similarly, 7-11pm is when most of our energy is flowing through our hearts, making this a good time to connect with others and spend with partners (!) and to action self love.

It can also be used as a diagnostic tool to indicate if certain organs or parts of the body/ mind are out of balance. For example, if something happens at the same time each day/night, this can tell us about the health of an organ or a specific emotional issue which needs addressing. For example, if you always wake up at 3.00-5.00am, this could indicate a weakness of the Lungs or some grief/loss/sadness that needs to be addressed.

What patterns have you noticed in your life? Or what times of day do you notice the same things happening? Tiredness slump at 4.00pm? Difficulty getting out of bed at 7.00am? Bowel problems in the evenings? Get in touch and find out what this means for you.

Image by Prince Akachi

Disease and Dis-Ease:
Physical and Mental

We are all aware of diseases, illness and ailments that cause us to feel ill, less able or restricted in some way. But it’s not very often we consider how our emotions might affect us on a physical level, or how our physical self might affect or influence our emotions. In the same way, many people come initially for treatment for physical ailments, but don’t make the connection/ association with using it to benefit emotional issues too.

All of the organs in the body and associated with and linked to specific emotions.

For example, the stomach is connected to our heads and worry. Often when we are worrying, the physical part of our body that is affected is our digestive system (nausea, IBS or acid reflux, constipation, wind or bloating).

In the same way:
  • The Liver = frustration and anger
  • The Heart = Joy and connection
  • The Kidneys = Fear
  • The Lungs = Sadness
If a specific organ is out of balance or being overworked in the body, this can make us more likely to feel an emotion, and often this is when people cannot explain why they feel like they do. For example: working too hard, too much physical work or not enough rest can weaken the Kidneys. This often brings about feelings of fear and anxiety, lack of motivation and focus.

Next time you’re feeling physically and emotionally out of balance, find out what you can do to change things. Often it’s a lot easier to make physical changes to alter our emotional state of dis-ease, than it is to solve emotional problems head-on.

Image by Scott Webb

Acu-Chill

Having written my final thesis about the use of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine in disaster zones, understanding how it can be used to treat the body and calm the mind is an area I am particularly passionate about.

Following 9/11, the Asian Tsunami, the Grenfell Tower Fire (to name a few) – acupuncture was provided to victims, families and servicemen to help address trauma, shock and to calm the nervous system. Going forwards, I would love to see Chinese Medicine being used alongside, and to support Western Medicine where solutions are limited/ not ideal.

Whilst many of the ‘traumas’ and shocks we experience day to day are a cry away from being in a disaster zone, the number of people I see whose nervous systems are in ‘high alert’ is increasing day to day- partly from being ‘always on’, digitally plugged in, resting less, and living more stressful lives.

It is therefore precisely for this reason, that Acu-Chill was born… a group class which is based on some of the acupuncture protocols used in disaster zones. It combines this with the use of meditation and essential oils to help reset and relax the body and mind, to benefit sleep and enhance emotional stability.

Get in touch to find out when the next block of Acu-Chill classes are running and book your space. If you want to read to read/ know more about the use of acupuncture in disaster zones, just ask!

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CHIME Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine
Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine