Acupuncture is an ancient form of medicine developed in Korea & China about 4000 years ago. It works by the insertion of tiny needles into meridian points in order to help regulate the nervous and circulatory systems, these being two major systems in our body. The ancient clinicians already discovered a number of favourable access points to the nervous and circulatory systems so meridians can be looked at as a combination of peripheral, nerve and arterial pathways as well as helping with myofascial syndrome where referred pain from sensitive trigger points in the muscles can be felt in other parts of the body.
How does Acupuncture work?
The mistranslations of ancient text books of acupuncture into English language have led to a lot of misinformation about acupuncture and what it really is. Acupuncture is not an energy medicine. Acupuncture is not voodoo, religion or magic and there are no invisible energy meridians. Acupuncture is a real physical medicine based on real anatomy not energy. What acupuncture actually does is improve the flow of oxygen (Qi), nutrients (Ying Qi), and blood (Xue) through the circulatory system to nourish every cell of our body.
Acupuncture treats #1 cause of disease:
1. Blood stagnation (Impaired blood flow in the body).
When there is a problem with blood flow to any area of the body, that area cannot function properly. The body will not heal properly without proper blood flow. Acupuncture causes your blood vessels to dilate and therefore helps increase blood flow to specific areas of the body in order to relieve pain, improve organ function.
2. Blocked nerves (Impaired signalling between the brain and the body)
Acupuncture also works by stimulating the nervous system by activating nociceptor, sensory nerves and proprioceptor fibers that travel from the skin to the spine and into the brain. Acupuncture improves the nerve signal to your brain and forces your brain to release opioids (natural painkiller) to shut off the pain signal and help eliminate your pain.
Acupuncture works by treating the 5 main factors that influence your health.
- The flow of oxygen in your body (Qi)
- The flow of blood in your body (Xue)
- The health of your blood vessels (Xue mai)
- The health of your organs (Zang fu)
- The health of your nervous system (Jing mai)
In short, acupuncture stimulates the body’s natural ability to heal itself! Acupuncture treats a number of conditions either on its own or in conjunction with Chinese herbal medicine or other therapies.
So if you are looking for a natural solution to your health problems without drugs or any sides effects, look no further. Get Acupuncture Today!
Christmas should be a happy time, time spent with friends and family, but we all tend to get caught up in the business of the Christmas period and end up stressed, anxious and with never ending “to do” lists. One way to help with stress levels is gratitude. There is always something each day we can be grateful for, be it waking up pain free, having the love of your family, that smile a stranger gave you when passing, the sun shining. Finding things to be grateful for can help our mental health. By focusing on positive thoughts rather than the negative ones can help reduce the affects of our stress hormones.
Below is an advent calendar for you to download and use this festive season, but rather than just counting the days until Christmas I challenge you to fill in at least one thing you are grateful for each day.
Embrace Nature, Embrace Health.
Welcome to autumn – not a time to be sad that summer is over, but a time to admire the beauty of nature all around us. This is the season of stunning autumnal colours. Stop and take a moment from your busy life to enjoy what nature has to offer..
Nature truly has healing powers – from the wonderful plants that nourish us through the food we grow and eat, to the beautiful herbal tonics we can make using plants to help support organs and body system. Who hasn’t tried echinacea when struck down by the cold or flu? (By the way echinacea has many other uses too). Come and see our Naturopaths and Herbalists at Simply Great Health here on the North Shore to find out more.
Just being outside amongst the plants has healing powers too. A number of studies have found that by getting into nature, and better still, living in close proximity to “green space”, a number of health benefits may be experienced. A recent Spanish study published in the International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health, 2018, found that “Greenspaces have been associated with reduced cancer mortality among young women. Mechanisms explaining the beneficial effect of green spaces include increased levels of physical activity and reduced exposure to air pollution, which have been both associated with cancer development” (2018).
A study published in BJ Psych Int. found that “Individuals have less mental distress, less anxiety and depression, greater wellbeing and healthier cortisol profiles when living in urban areas with more greenspace” (Barton & Rogerson, 2017).
The Japanese have taken the natural healing of nature a step further and have what they call Shinrin Yoku, which translated means forest bathing. A practice of being connected with nature, recognising and utilising this wonderful health resource provided by our forests and countryside. It is a place where we can engage all 5 of our senses as we wonder through the bush. It would seem to not only help with blood pressure, memory and concentration but also seems to support a good night’s sleep. What a great way to unplug from technology, reconnect with our senses while at the same time getting some exercise and fresh air.
So as we are still enjoying such fine weather, why not take some time to get out into nature, enjoy some of our wonderful bush and give yourself a health boost at the same time. The best part is it won’t cost you anything. Give it a try this weekend and enjoy the benefits!
O’Callaghan-Gordo, C., Kogevinas, M., Castano-Vingals, G., Aragones, N., Delfrade, J. Fernandez-Villa, T., … Nieuenhuijsen, M.J. (2018). Residential proximity to green spaces and breast cancer risk: The multicase-control study in Spain (MCC-Spain). Int J Hyg Environ Health, 221(8), 1097-1106. doi: 10.1016/j.ijheh.2018.07.014
Barton, J. & Rogerson, M. (2017). The importance of greenspace for mental health. Retrieved from www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5663018
Buying organic fruits and vegetables can at times seem more expensive than buying from your supermarket. So we’ve put together a list to help you allocate your budget to the foods that should be bought organically, and which foods have less pesticides and chemicals and are ok to buy conventionally if your budget doesn’t stretch.
The clean 15 list shows you the best vegetables to buy organically to limit exposure to pesticides. A lot of the ‘clean’ produce has thick skin, allowing the produce to protect its edible parts from pesticides, meaning it’s safer for eating and better for you! Think strawberries (on the dirty list) vs. avocados (on the clean list).
Have a read below for your next shopping trip 🙂
Click here to download your printable version!
Small steps can make BIG differences. All too often we are overwhelmed by issues, we feel we can do nothing to help when maybe all it takes are small steps to initiate some change. We see and hear about enormous islands of rubbish and plastic floating in the ocean and the devastating effect this has on our marine life. We see horrific pictures of birds dying through starvation as they are not able to feed due to bits of plastic impeding them and whales full of plastic. What can we do about this? Surely this problem is too big for me as an individual to make any sort of a difference. But, every time we take our reusable bags to the supermarket that is one bag less to pollute our landfills and oceans. Every time we take our reusable coffee cups to café’s that is less plastic to pollute our environment.
We now have a serious world-wide problem with dying bees and decreasing bee populations. Without bees our agriculture would suffer, bees pollinate plants. It has been estimated that approximately one third of our global food supply is pollinated by bees. Really they provide a free pollinating service to our farmers so are a vital part of our food supply. Also life would be somewhat dull without colourful flowers and plants again pollinated by bees. Let’s stop using toxic sprays that kill bees and plant flowers to help support and feed them. Again small steps that can have big positive outcomes.
Let’s finish with the Star Fish Story adapted from The Star Thrower, by Loren Eiselsy (1907-1977).
A man was walking along the beach one morning as he did most days. A big storm had passed through the day before and left the beach covered in starfish, hundreds of starfish as far as the eye could see. Away in the distance the old man spotted a young boy bending down, picking up something and throwing it into the ocean. As the boy came closer the man called out asking what the boy was doing? The young boy paused, looked up and replied “throwing starfish back into the ocean. The storm has washed them up onto the beach and if left here they will surely die as they cannot return to the ocean by themselves.” The old man replied “but there are thousands of starfish on the beach, you really won’t be able to make much of a difference”
The boy bent down and picked up another starfish and threw it into the ocean. He turned to the man and said “I made a difference to that one, and that one” as he threw yet another starfish into the ocean.
We can all be that boy, throwing back one starfish at a time, not letting big seemly unsurmountable tasks overwhelm us. We too can make a difference. Think today what can I do to make a positive change to my family, world and environment 🙂