Chakra Acupuncture

What is chakra acupuncture?  Is it woo woo or hippy dippy stuff? It is acupuncture to balance and clear the chakras in the body by identifying blockages and imbalances, working on the organs, emotions, hormones and spirit

I suppose to begin with you need to know what a chakra is, then we can discuss the acupuncture. In Sanskrit, the word “chakra” means “disk” or “wheel” and refers to the energy centres in your body. These wheels or disks of spinning energy each correspond to certain nerve bundles and major organs. The chakra system refers to the energy centres we have in our bodies. There are seven major chakras, each in a specific location along your spine starting at the base or root of the spine and moving up to the crown of your head.  There are also many more energy centres or chakras in the body, some people believe up to 114. But from an acupuncture point of view all acupuncture points could be seen as chakras as they too are centres of energy in the body.

So let’s get to it, everything, and I mean everything, is made up of energy. This article explains it really well including a bit about quantum physics but don’t let that put you off, have a read to see where I am coming from.

If we accept that we are merely made up of energy then we can accept that energy flows throughout our body.  As we live our hectic day to day lives with all of the stresses and influences that brings then it can make sense that we can get blockages, stagnation and imbalances in these flows of energy? Where blockages etc. begin to happen then we can get ailments such as illness and pain.  We need to be able to do something about this in our daily lives. “Movement is king” if you keep moving then disease and ultimately death find it difficult to catch up with you.  This from an energy point of view means that if you keep moving then energy won’t get blocked and unbalanced.

Let’s get back to chakras and acupuncture. If chakras are merely centres of energy, then it makes sense that they can get blocked or out of balance. The aim of using acupuncture to treat the chakras is to harmonise the flow of Qi or energy by getting rid of any blockages and imbalances within. An added bonus of chakra acupuncture is that is also works on an organ level and hormonal level by treating the endocrine system at the same time as the associated organs. On a third level it also works on the emotions and often we can get an emotional release at the time of treatment or in the next day or two. There is of course a spiritual connection to the chakras for those who believe in this therefore you can see that chakra acupuncture can help us with many levels of self healing.

The use of chakra acupuncture during treatments may not even be obvious to you. I will incorporate points into your treatment plan if I think you need this and if you are open to knowing more about it I will talk you through what I am doing and why.  You can choose to have a chakra balancing treatment as a standalone session the choice is always yours.  But by incorporating these points into a treatment you will get a very strong result where the acupuncture is facilitating you to heal and balance your own body.

Contact me if you are interested in booking a chakra balancing acupuncture session


TCM and Energetic Food Values

What is TCM and energetic food values?  In Traditional Chinese Medicine we talk about diet not in the sense of ‘dieting’ to lose weight but from a holistic point of view with food being used as medicine to heal the body.  Now this is not in a way where we tell you to avoid certain foods because they are bad for you nor is it from a calorie counting way. In TCM foods have an energy value of hot, warm, cold, cooling or neutral.

In my clinic I will often talk to you about the kinds of food you can introduce into your diet to support your treatment and your healing journey.  The energy value of a food is not just about the temperature of it either it is about the effect it has on the body.  For instance if your body is running hot and you have inflamation or pain then I will suggest some foods you can introduce to cool your system down from the inside.  If you are struggling with feeling cold I will suggest some foods that can heat you up etc.  So for instance Chrysanthemum tea has a cold energy value but you would drink it when its hot but once you have drank the tea the heat of the water disappears and you are left with the cooling effects from the plant.

Here are some lists of food from each of the energy values:

Cold: Bamboo shoots, bananas, chrysanthemum, crabs, cuttlefish, clams, spinach, wild rice, grapefruit, tomatoes, sprouts, lettuce, watermelon, kelp, soy sauce, salt

Cool: Apples, barley, broccoli, buckwheat, cauliflower, cucumbers, celery, aubergine, coconut, cheese, cream, strawberries, oranges, mangoes, mushrooms, peppermint, pineapple

Neutral: Cabbage, carrots, cashews, corn, figs, grapes, lemon, olives, oysters, sugar, sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, pistachios, beef, pork, duck

Warm: Asparagus, apricots, chestnuts, cherries, chicken, venison, garlic, ginger, coffee, vinegar, peaches, lychee,  pumpkin, mussels, lobster, spring onions, onions, turmeric.

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Hot: Black pepper, chili, chili peppers, cinnamon, ginger, jalapeños, mustard, mustard seed.

By selecting one or two foods from the right category over time you can help to heal yourself from the inside out!

You can also help your health by eating these foods according to the seasons.  In the hot summer days (you know those rare occasions in the UK) you can choose foods from the cold or cool list to help you to reduce the heat in your body.  In the winter you can choose foods from the hot list to keep you warm and avoid getting those ‘cold to the bone’ days.  Foods on the neutral list are good for balancing things out.

So on the next hot day why not treat yourself to a bowl of strawberries and cream to cool you down and if anyone says you can’t eat that tell them “yes I can, my acupunctruist told me so because of  TCM and Energetic Food Values!”

Over the last four years I have seen how traditional Chinese medicine can impact peoples’ lives with almost miraculous results.  I always say that acupuncture helps me to do magic every day but miracles can take a little longer.  By this I mean that if you have a chronic issue that you have lived with for some time it can take a while and more treatments to fix than if you come to be as soon as you have a problem.  If you have an injury and you come to me within a day or so then your treatment time will be much shorter maybe even just one session if it’s a muscle injury.  If you leave it and try physiotherapy or other modalities then the problem settles in and it can take a bit longer for me to fix.

TCM can treat all manner of conditions from tendon and muscle injuries to complex medical issues and mental health problems.  If you have a condition that has required you to have ongoing prescription drugs or have been told there’s nothing that can be done to help then please give acupuncture a try, you have absolutely nothing to lose.

Time and time again I have patients telling me how acupuncture has changed their life for the better where traditional medicine and therapies have not been able to help. Acupuncture is able to clear blockages in energy in the body better than anything else thus allowing the body to heal itself.  Acupuncture balances our systems, from blood flow to organ health and the nervous system it creates and improves the natural environment to allow our own body to regulate and heal.

When we are feeling good, getting enough sleep, eating a varied and balanced diet our energies are flowing well around our bodies and all is well with the world.  But as we all know this feeling does not happen very often.  We regularly have little niggles that we put up with every day, whether that is aches and pains on waking, not sleeping very soundly or getting indigestion or bloating from our food.  It is at this point that we should do something about it.  At this point our energies are starting to get out of balance.  If we dealt with this at that point either by reducing our stress levels, improving our diet and sleep then this energetic issue would not progress further into physical issues.  At this point we should seek help from an acupuncturist to quickly re-balance everything.  You would not let your car continue to have issues with starting the engine or with making funny noises, you would take it to a garage to get the mechanic to check it out.  If your laptop was starting to get sluggish you would take it to a technician to get it fixed.  Why then do we not do the same thing with ourselves? I have often pondered this as to why we allow ourselves to get so energy drained that physical symptoms appear. Once the physical symptoms appear then the acupuncturist can help to find the root cause of the problem and by treating this the physical symptoms improve or disappear completely within a few treatments.

If Acupuncture and TCM can change things in our bodies so quickly why do we not have regular treatments?  We have our nails done regularly, go for massages regularly, have our haircut regularly but we don’t take care and balance our systems regularly.  Why is this?  Is it because we don’t know enough about this ancient medical treatment? Maybe?  Is it because we are scared of what we don’t know? Maybe? Acupuncture has been around much longer than any prescription medicines and is one of the oldest ‘original’ medicine modalities so why has it survived for this long? The answer is because it works! It changes lives every day around the world.

Give it a go!  What have you got to lose?

Surely Pancake Day, Shrove Tuesday or Fat Tuesday has no links to Traditional Chinese Medicine, right?  Wrong! This time of year with the emergence of spring is linked to the liver and gallbladder in TCM.  It is a time of awakening from winter where we have traditionally eaten warming foods, fatty foods and foods that would sustain us through the long winter months.

Of course in our modern day we have no need to put on weight to see us through the winter months but we still do it by over indulging at Christmas and by feeling the need to eat warmer comfort foods.  Everything comes around in cycles and we do things for a reason even if we don’t realise this.

We often see spring beginning and start to think about getting that bikini body prepped (trust me, I haven’t had a bikini body for 40 years but I still begin to think about those holidays that might be coming up! Not this year of course!).  But this is a natural cycle of events not just something we do for the holidays, it is what nature guides us to do. But going on a diet just brings extra stress and cortisol to your body which is not healthy for anyone. However if we use a holistic approach we will feel much better and maybe even shed a few pounds – win, win!

This is something that I am starting to realise at the age of 57.  Diets have never worked for me but what if I ditch the diet and try to follow the TCM principles to food?  Using food to heal the body has to be preferable to starvation right? In TCM we advise to make small swaps with food not a total change to how we eat.  We look at what the body needs not what it wants and by making one or two swaps its easy to do long term.

So during this time of the liver and gallbladder season (spring) lets consider what we can swap out to improve our health. The liver processes all of the food we eat and the drink we consume.  It detoxes and metabolises everything that passes through our body, food, drink, tobacco, pollution, even medication.

In Chinese Medicine the liver  links to springtime and regeneration so at this time of year, Lent, we often give up something that your liver will thank you for! It gives your liver time to clear out the toxins and for the gallbladder to get to work producing bile. Therefore clearing out fats that have been stored up over winter is really important right now. So there it is! This is how TCM links to pancake day.

So what can we swap out over the next few months instead of abstaining or giving something up like we usually do?  Over winter we create heat in our bodies with our foods to keep us warm.  But with the change in the weather this heat needs to be gone or it could lead to inflammation and then pain.  We need to begin to cool down our bodies slowly and the best way to do that is with food.  This is why in the summer months we eat salads and cold foods.  So right now you could begin to introduce some raw uncooked food into your diet with all of the wonderful vegetables that will be coming up.  Try swapping cream and butter with coconut oil and coconut milk in stews and curries, try thinly sliced courgettes, carrots and peppers tossed in a little lemon juice and olive oil in place of your cooked vegetables.

Instead of this time of year being a time of denial and abstention, see it as trying out new things, adding in new food and meals to your day. You don’t need to eradicate the things you love just balance these out with lots of fresh vegetables. Get your liver working at a super pace to boost your metabolism.  Your Liver and Gallbladder will thank you for it!