Emma Scott Lic. Ac, M.B.Ac.C

Professional Acupuncturist based in Malvern and Cheltenham

Stay healthy during winter with acupuncture

This blog post looks at how we can stay healthy during winter with acupuncture and Chinese medical theory.

Chinese Medical theory talks a lot about living in harmony with nature and the seasons. It is believed that living in this way creates balance between our bodies and the external environment, and will help our health tremendously. Also, modern science now recognises how we adapt our biological rhythm so that it is synchronised with the Earth’s revolutions.

“Heaven and Earth have the same roots as me, all things share the same body as me.”

– Daoist poem

The ancient Chinese lived in harmony with the seasons; for example, rising with the sun and eating fresh, seasonal produce that they had grown. They responded to the ebb and flow of the world around them.

Now, jump forward to modern day. We have artificial lighting and various devices which enables us to stay up late to cram in all manner of things we have to do. We are constantly available; constantly in demand. Many people eat on the go or in front of the TV, with mobile phones ever present. Our meals are often not as nutritionally rich as is needed. Many people are living excessive lifestyles, both physically and mentally, and this is impacting health and well-being.

In winter, it is even more important to slow down and match the energy of the season. Just as animals go into hibernation to conserve their energy ready for the spring, and as plants lay dormant building energy to emerge in the spring, it is also the time for us to conserve our own energy. This means slowing down, being well rested, keeping warm and nourishing ourselves. Conserving our energy and building our reserves enables us to have the required resources that we need in the spring. It is a time to reflect on health, replenish our energy and conserve our strength. As nature goes through its natural process of change, we, as part of nature, need to so too.

We can look at our energy like a bank account. If we overspend, we will be relying on our reserves; if we continually rely on our reserves we will be running on empty. Poor health is sure to follow! But the more conserve, the more we have available to draw upon when needed.

If we listen, we still have an innate connection to nature. Many of us naturally want to slow down in winter, cosy up under warm blankets and go to bed earlier, but many of us ignore this inherent knowing and push forwards anyway, fighting against these natural urges.

Winter is the season of stillness.

What can you do to help yourself stay well in winter?

Quite time and reflection

As winter is still and quiet, we should replicate this. Incorporate practices such as mediation, mindfulness or journaling; looking inward and reflecting on the past year. Practices such as Qi Gong cultivate energy. Other suggestions include listening to music, watching the stars, taking time to sit and enjoy a hot drink, or perhaps taking part in a gong bath.

Get some sunlight

The lack of light at this time of year may lead to varying degrees of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). There might also be a lack of Vitamin D which, we our bodies produce from sunlight. I encourage you to take a walk during daylight, as this will also lead to improved circulation and blood flow and release endorphins, which are naturally produced chemicals that make us feel good.

Eat warm nourishing foods

Chinese medicine teaches us that in the winter we need warming, seasonal foods. It is recommended to cook foods slowly and for longer. Meals such as soups and stews are ideal. They offer warmth and nourishment to the body. We should avoid cold and raw foods at this time of year, as these will expend more energy on digestion. Eat with regularity, sit down and chew well. Stay hydrated.

Stay warm

It is so important to stay warm. Dress according to the weather. Acupuncturists always recommend wearing a scarf. There is an acupuncture point on the back of the neck known as the ‘wind gate’ which is particularly susceptible to the wind and cold. Exposure of this point can lead to colds and flu.

What I can do to help you with acupuncture

Winter is the time of the Water element in Chinese medical theory, and the water element is associated with the kidneys and bladder. The kidneys are considered to be the source of our energy, or qi. They are the storehouse of the very essences of life. Current excessive lifestyles, especially at this time of year, use up this energy, potentially leaving the kidney qi weakened. Acupuncture aims to boost, nurture and nourish kidney qi and in doing so help to aid our own healing and increase our vitality.

Through an individual treatment plan and lifestyle recommendations, I can look to address underlying patterns which have led to, or may lead to, further health problems. This brings balance to the body as a whole and enables the body to heal itself, to work as best as it can. Your body will work more efficiently with an improved immune system, more energy, better sleep, better digestion and a greater sense of well-being.

 

In summary….

Being run down, exhausted and stressed lowers our immunity and we are then more susceptible to illness. By following the lifestyle advice above, and having acupuncture treatments that allow the body work as efficiently as it can, you will pass gently through the winter, ready to spring forth with renewed vigour in the warmer months ahead.

Please contact me if you would like any further information about how acupuncture can help you or if you would like to book an appointment.

Acupuncture and The Menopause

In this blog, I look at the menopause, and how acupuncture is more often being chosen as an alternative way to support you through this natural stage of your life cycle.

What is the menopause?

The menopause is a natural part of a woman’s life cycle. With the ageing process, our oestrogen levels decrease and periods become less frequent until they stop altogether. Oestrogen is the hormone that regulates a women’s periods. This process can take many years and symptoms may appear gradually. This gradual change is called the peri-menopause.

When does it happen?

The menopause usually occurs around the ages of 45 to 55. The average age is 51. In some cases, it might start as young as young as 30. This is known as a premature menopause

Continue reading

I’ve joined the team at Breast Cancer Haven, bringing acupuncture to Maggie’s Cheltenham

Emma Scott Acupuncture

I am so pleased to be part of the fantastic Breast Cancer Haven team, where I will be joining other therapists and bringing Traditional Acupuncture to Maggie’s in Cheltenham.

Maggie’s

Maggie’s is a  drop-in centre, one of 20 centres across the United Kingdom and abroad. Its aim is to help anyone who has been affected by cancer. There is free practical, emotional and social support which is provided by trained staff  to people with any type of cancer, and their families. It is such a fantastic centre; warm and welcoming to everyone walking through its doors. Furthermore, there is a packed schedule of events, classes and workshops which includes vaious arts, tai chi and expressive writing to name a few.

How can acupuncture help?

There is a growing body of research that supports the use of acupuncture to help people through their conventional cancer treatment. Acupuncture can be used alongside conventional treatment and can help to ease the side effects such as:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • fatigue
  • insomnia
  • hot flushes
  • dry mouth
  • pain
  • anxiety

Cancer treatment is developing and improving all of the time and can be extremely effective. But sometimes treatment overlooks the human being. Through acupuncture I look at you as a whole person, and take into account your unique experience and support you through this.

What’s the research?

To find out more about the research please click on this link .

Contact Me

If you would like any further information or are interested in booking an appointment please contact me.