Acupuncture

10October

Cupping

 

What is cupping?

Cupping is the use of glass, plastic or silicone cups or containers to create suction over an area of skin or muscle. In Traditional Asian Medicine this form of therapy has been used for thousands of years to help alleviate problems from coughs and colds to muscle trauma caused by stagnation.

When the cups are applied they lift and separate the layers of tissue below the cup (skin from the fascia, the fascia from the muscle, and the muscle from the bone), allowing a release of any stagnant blood or toxins that have built up in the area. The purple marks you can end up with are a result of that stagnant product being drawn up to the skin where it can be eliminated from your body through your lymphatic system.

 

What use is cupping for athletes?

Cupping is particularly beneficial for anyone, like athletes, who do lots of repetitive and intense actions and training. The act of intense exercise and repetitive actions causes not only tightness in the muscles and tendons, but also a buildup of lactic acid and other toxins. This tightness and build up can decrease your body's ability to properly oxygenate and repair the muscle tissue that is being continually damaged leading to prolonged recovery time, increased risk of injury and reduced performance.

The act of cupping can help relieve this build up in the muscles and tendons and encourage the flow of blood and oxygen to area allowing it to loosen and repair. This in turn can decrease your recovery time and injury risk while at the same time improving your performance by assisting your muscles to operate at their maximum capacity.

By Simon Strudwick

Posted in Wellbeing, Exercise, Acupuncture, General

19April

Achieving Better Health Through Routine

 
We all know that in terms of health, prevention is better than cure, but how do we prevent disease and maintain good health? We do this by developing good habits and avoiding bad habits.
 
How do we promote good habits? We do this by living in harmony with nature. In Chinese philosophical language we might call this ‘living in accordance with the Dao’ or ‘being in harmony with yin and yang’.
 
Nature works in regular cycles and our bodies are no different. Our bodies love routine. This is called circadian rhythm (1). There is a proper time to sleep, a proper time to wake and a proper time to eat. Every morning, dawn is the birth of yang. This is not the best time for sleeping. This is time to wake up and get moving – a good time to warm up the body with exercise and a good time to focus and sharpen our sleepy mind with meditative practice. After this we should be awake, fresh and ready for a good breakfast to fuel a productive day ahead.
 
As the sun goes down in the evening, this is the decline of yang and the birth of yin. As we come to the later hours, this is the time for us to wind down and relax and prepare ourselves for a good restorative sleep. If we find ourselves lying in bed with mind racing, thinking about 10,000 things, then we need to work on improving our evening routine. Sometimes it is a good idea to set an alarm to remind ourselves when bed time is approaching.
 
This is an especially good idea for the workaholics and internet addicts among us, allowing us time to break away from the activities that we are engrossed in and prepare ourselves for sleep. There are various different bedtime rituals which can be great to help us transition into a good night’s sleep – maybe taking a shower, doing some stretches or some quiet meditation before bed. My best general suggestion for people without a good bedtime ritual is to google ‘sleep hygiene’ and do some research of your own. You’ll be glad you did!
 
 
In the modern world, everybody has their own unique needs and their own unique set of challenges. Not everybody can live by the same ‘perfect’ routine but at least we all should have a routine. 
 
Without routine, life is just chaotic and good health can’t be sustained from chaos!
 
 
 
 
(1) Sleep Drive and Your Body Clock, https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-topics/sleep-drive-and-
your-body-clock
 
 

Posted in Wellbeing, Exercise, Acupuncture, General

01March

Save yourself from the Winter Chill!

It is that time of the year again where the season changes from hot to cold, at this time many of us are prone to colds and or flu due to the sudden change and our body’s inability to cope with it.  So why not beat the change in season this year and get your body’s immune system ready with just a few simple tips!

 

  •  Respect the change in temperature and wear appropriate clothing and footwear.  If your feet, stomach or back are cold the rest of your body will soon follow.
  • Increase your intake of Vitamin C as it can boost your immune system function and increase the level of antibodies within your system.  At this change of season it is recommended that you receive 200mg of Vitamin C a day in your diet, with a higher dose needed if you manage to get a cold.  This can be done very easily through your diet; as well as the usual citrus fruits - think about adding garlic and paprika to your cooking as well as extra helpings of broccoli.
  • Consume warmer foods and drinks, especially if it is cold outside.  This will keep your internal body temperature at the appropriate level despite the outside cold trying to invade.  A good tip from Chinese Medicine is to include ginger and or cinnamon in your diet, especially in the morning.   Try this in a tea, not only is it very warming and good for your immune system it can be very comforting on those cold mornings.
  • After exercise change out of your sweaty clothes and dry your hair before going outside into the cold.  Also try to avoid the air-conditioning or fans while sweaty as this can not only result in cold invading your body resulting in illness, but can also allow your muscles to stiffen up giving you a stiff neck etc.
  • Of course outside of these simple things you can incorporate into your daily life you can also prepare yourself for the change of season through the use of acupuncture, herbal medicine and nutritional supplementation.  For advice on any of these things please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Check out some beautiful healthy Winter recipes recommended by our dietician Sophie by clicking HERE. More to come! :)

 

By Simon Strudwick

Bachelor of Health Science (Acupuncture)

Posted in Wellbeing, Diet, Acupuncture, General