What does your tongue say about you?

Anyone visiting a traditional acupuncturist will know we ask you to stick your tongue out for a few seconds. We do this because the tongue gives us clues about what is happening inside your body. Skin can moisturised, hair can be conditioned and natural body odors are often masked with perfumes – luckily for us, the tongue is still an unadulterated part of your insides that we can easily see.

The tongue of course is part of the digestive system and holds many clues to your digestive health, however within Chinese medicine the tongue also tells us how the body as a whole is nourishing itself through observation of this small part.

Firstly we look at the colour of the tongue – hopefully it is some sort of red or pink. Dark and full redness usually indicates heat or inflammation. A pale tongue would cause us to question the quality of someones diet / absorbtion of food or perhaps their general vitality.

We look carefully at the coating of the tongue – and this is very useful at understanding your digestion. A thin white coating is perfectly normal and healthy. A thick greasy white or yellow coat, or even no coat at   all shows an acupuncturist something is out of balance.

We look at the moisture around the tongue – there should be some of course, and we look at any markings on the tongue. This is to see how hydrated and efficient in fluid metabolism the body is. When we see horizontal cracks we liken it to an empty river bed, cracked and dry in the midday sun.

The tongue is further divided into zones – as a rule the tip of the tongue represents the top of the body and the chest. The middle and sides of the tongue represent the digestive organs and the back of the tongue is the pelvis and lower limbs. So as well as looking for spots of all colours, cracks and markings – we are also looking at where they occur on the tongue.

For example it is very common to see menopausal women with bright red tips and a cracked body further back. The cracked body shows the dryness and lack of Yin in the body, whereas the red tip shows us heat is rising up to the chest and heat. Vegetarians often present with pale tongues – in Chinese medicine this equates to ‘blood xu’ which translates as meaning the quality of the blood and it’s ability to moisten and nourish tissues is weak.

 

Your tongue like everything else in your body, relies on good circulation and good supply of nutrients for cell growth and function. Some common examples of the tongue showing serious illness can be seen with iron deficiency where the tongue can become abnormally smooth and shiny. In vitamin B-12 deficiency the tongue can become swollen and red causing it to be called ‘beef steak’ tongue. The next time you are ill with a respiratory cold have a look at the coating on your tongue to see what colour it is!

Start right now – don’t brush your tongue fur in the morning! Stick it out in front of a mirror and spend a few minutes really going over all the different areas of the tongue. Even better, see how it compares to your partner, child or friend. When you start looking you soon realise quite how different every tongue is!

 

 

 

Post Herpetic Neuralgia

2012 has seen a stream of patients in the Norwich clinic suffering with Post Herpetic Neuralgia (PHN). After an attack of shingles / chicken pox (involving the herpes virus), the nerve involved can remain incredibly sensitive and continue to elicit pain for months. Many cases of PHN are self limiting and can be helped with conventional medications such as anti-depressants and opiates. However if the drugs don’t work – there is little else recommended. A small percentage (3%) of cases will continue with severe discomfort and as many as 40% are estimated to struggled to some degree or another long term.

Acupuncture has a good history of addressing nerve pain in general – Prior to 2011 I had little experience with PHN, this year changed that! From the hips, to the back to the face – I had to learn how to use acupuncture effectively for this condition. The most resistant case was of neuralgia remaining 2 years after the original infection with minimal relief from medication. Using electro-acupuncture and infra red heat, all remaining PHN cleared up after the 4th session – even I was surprised! I found as a rule with successful cases, the first session of acupuncture gives relief for the rest of the day only. The second session usually lasts into the next day, the third extends for several days and by the 4th or 5th we are seeing substantial pain relief. On top of acupuncture, I ask all patients to stop drinking any coffee and sometimes to take a good quality B-vit complex.

Most PHN patients see me twice for one to one appointments before they are moved to the multi-bed acupuncture clinic on Thursdays to continue their sessions at reduced rates. Please ask your GP for a referral letter for further reductions.

The Norwich Community Acupuncture Clinic runs from Norwich city centre at The Complementary Health Care Clinic 01603 665173.

Free acupuncture clinic Saturday 8th September.

The Complementary Health Care Clinic is hosting an entire open day dedicated to pain relief. All the therapists who routinely deal with pain will be there offering advice and assessments. This is an excellent chance to interact with therapists in a really hands on way – something you would normally have to book an appointment for. There will be a free acupuncture clinic running in the morning – for anyone who would like to try it. Just turn up on the day!

Click here for more information!

Discover Acupuncture Fortnight

Two weeks of reduced rate acupuncture sessions from 6th August until 17th August. Discover Acupuncture Fortnight is all about trying something new. Nearly everyone is familiar with the term ‘acupuncturist’ these days, but do you actually know how we work? The word ‘needles’ conjures up an image of comically large thick points which would indeed be painful. However the needles an acupuncturist uses are incredibly thin and absolutely nothing like the ones used to draw blood – a good acupuncturist will have the skill to tap the needle in without you feeling it. Acupuncture is widely used for pain management, but is also used by sufferers of many other conditions. It just depends on how you the individual respond – like other medical interventions. Discover Acupuncture Fortnight runs from The Complementary Health Care clinic – based in Norwich city centre.

What to eat according to Traditional Chinese Medicine

In Chinese medicine we believe how you eat and live has a direct effect on your overall well being and stamina. We also think there is no one super diet that suits all people – by looking at your symptoms, body type and lifestyle we will suggest which of the Chinese patterns fits your constitution and encourage you to eat appropriately. For us foods are not ‘good’ or ‘bad’, but they all have a specific effect on the body. Knowing what foods help or hinder your conditions are key to long term prevention and management of your health.

Starting with ‘Heat’ – heat often shows up as a fast pulse, short temper, headaches, red eyes, high stress levels, dark urine, inflammatory conditions, redness in the skin – especially the face, heartburn, yellow coating on the tongue, dry mouth, thirst and hunger, bleeding gums and short menstrual cycles. Heat moves things along – sometimes to quickly and diet is used to cool and slow down its effects.

Avoid: Coffee, alcohol in general especially wines and whiskies, chilli, beef and lamb.

Include plenty of the following: (generally fresh fruit and plenty of drinking water is good). Avocado, green leafy veg, salad veg, cucumber, green mung beans, rice, oats, bamboo shoot, banana, bitter gourd, clam, crab, grapefruit, persimmon, salt, seaweed, star fruit, sugar cane, water chestnut, watermelon, lotus root, cucumber, barley, bean curd, chicken, egg white, oyster, pear, peppermint, radish, strawberry, tangerine, and yoghurt, broccoli, cauliflower, courgette, corn, tomatoes, pineapple, turmeric, soya.

Herbal teas – nettle, camomile, peppermint, black tea

Food preparation: Steamed, boiled, raw

Exercise: Gentle tonifying like yoga, swimming, walking and cycling. Avoid over exercising.

Some ‘Heat’ conditions have an underlying deficiency of ‘Yin’ – or the natural cooling properties of the body. In these cases we look to add foods that build this coolness up rather than let off steam. A lack of Yin or moisture in the body might display a mixture of the above heat signs and the following; a thin narrow pulse, pale or cracked tongue, dry skin and hair, scanty periods, fatigue, dizziness, poor vision, night sweats, hot flushes, insomnia and a dry cough.

Include plenty of the following; Avocado, green leafy veg, salad veg, cucumber, green mung beans, rice, oats, barley, millet, fish, chicken, spirolina, chlorella, seaweeds, coconut, honey, royal jelly, black beans, kidney beans, sweet potato, root veg, blueberries, blackberries, mulberry, flax, pumpkins, sunflower, black sesame, pork, duck, lamb, eggs, oyster, fresh figs and dates, maca, banana

Food preparation: Keep foods well cooked and easy to digest. Minimise raw food preparation.

Exercising: Gentle restorative like yoga, walking and pilates. Avoid cardio exercise or that which makes you sweat. Make sure you get 8 hours min sleep / night or allow yourself an afternoon nap.

Yin Breakfast:

  1. Mash together – 1 ripe avocado, 1 teaspoon spirolina, 1 tablespoon flax oil, salt and pepper to taste and have on toasted rye bread.
  2. Poached eggs on rye toast with rocket and omega oils.
  3. Oat porridge with chopped pears, figs, dates, maca powder and cinnamon – use rice / nut milk.
  4. Yin smoothie:1 ripe pear, 1 ripe avocado, 1 teaspoon spirolina, 1 tablespoon protein powder and almond milk to taste.
Damp‘ conditions are sticky, heavy and sluggish. Modern food choices contribute to damp accumulation and combined with living in a damp northern hemisphere country, these conditions are the most common and yet often hardest to change since they involve the most abstinence!
Damp can be hot or cold, but it tends to show up in the body in the form of mucus. This might be in the respiratory system, the sinuses, the bowels or the reproductive system. It’s cloying and heavy nature creates muzziness in the head and limbs. In the acupuncture clinic we would look for water retention, bowel problems, weight gain, general fatigue, thick coating on the tongue, and sluggish metabolism.

What to avoid is more important with Damp providing the rest of the diet is balanced and healthy.

Avoid: Dairy, sugar, refrigerated foods, raw uncooked foods, bananas, peanuts, fried foods, beer, mushrooms,  vinegar, refined wheat products, iced water, chocolate.

The following are particularly helpful in supporting damp conditions:  rice, toasted oats, sourdough breads, buckwheat, millet, rye, root veg, pearl barley, aduki beans, alfafa, miso, garlic, onion, cinnamon, ginger, scallion, basil, rosemary, dill, oregano, sage, parsley, cardamom, nutmeg, fennel, anise, clove, coriander, leek, chives, turmeric, asparagus, leeks, stewed fruit- esp. pears,

Herbal teas : dandelion, fennel, ginger and lemon, licorice, nettle.

Food preparation:  Baked and grilled are ideal. Keep all foods well-cooked and chew food thoroughly. Use max 1 tablespoon oil if frying onions for stews. Do not drink water alongside meals – drink plenty before and after. Eat at regular time and never skip breakfast. Start the day with warm water and lemon.

Exercise: All types good for the damp condition though not excessive swimming. Avoid swimming if menstruating.

Lifestyle: Keep long hair dry outside, clothing completely dry, homes dry and well ventilated. Keep moving throughout the day – if doing sedentary work take full advantage of lunch break to walk around town.

Heat-Damp accumulation: Similar to cold-damp what you cut out usually provides the greatest benefit. Additionally avoid alcohol and excessive chilli. Include plenty of bitter and sour flavours.

Keep foods easy to digest, boiled, steamed, baked and grilled. Make sure salads if taken are at least room temp.

 

Examples of cooking for damp conditions:

Porridge made with water, cinnamon, ginger, almonds and chopped figs

Beans on toasted rye bread

Root vegetable stew with 1 tablespoon miso stirred in just at the end

Baked sweet potato with tomato and aduki bean stew

Tahini sauce – tahini mixed with lemon juice, salt and fresh garlic with oat cakes

Grilled fish, steamed greens and brown rice

Warm millet / quinoa salad with rocket, grilled chicken, spring onions and fresh herbs,

Yellow mung bean, carrot and butternut squash soup with turmeric, cinnamon and cumin

Mashed potato / root vegetables with olive oil, coconut cream, garlic and herbs

Baked polenta with ratatouille

Baked fruit stuffed with raisins / dates / nuts and live yoghurt

Chicken soup / casseroles / stews

Dahls with all pulses, grain and green vegetables

 

 

 

 

Acupuncture and Back Pain

Back pain is extremely common – about four in five people are affected at some point in their lifetime. If you ever experienced it yourself, you will know just how frustrating it is – limiting your ability to perform the simplest of tasks. It’s no surprise really when we consider just how much work our back does for us. Lifting, turning, bending and walking – our back will be active in all of these.

The fact that humans walk upright puts great pressure on the spine and the muscles that support it. Bones, joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons connect in such a way to allow an amazing combination of flexibility and strength. Our main support structure is the spine with 24 separate vertebrae plus the bones of the sacrum and coccyx. Between the vertebrae are discs that act as shock absorbers and allow us to bend. The spinal cord runs down the centre of each vertebra allowing the nervous system to relay information from the brain to the rest of the body – then back up to the brain. There’s a lot holding us up so to speak – yet back pain is mostly muscular in nature. Muscle pain perpetuates what is known as the pain cycle, a phenomenon of which the back is particularly susceptible. In the pain cycle, pain causes a muscle to spasm, which may distort the discs, joints and nerves of the spine. This spasm leads to further pain, leading to further spasm, which compounds the original problem. If the nerves are irritated enough it may cause pain to radiate down the leg and across the hips.

In young healthy people, back pain is more likely to originate from poor posture, a strain or tear to the muscles and ligaments or a direct trauma to the spine. It’s pretty easy to overstrain the back, which is why nearly everyone at risk in the workplace must go through the motions of demonstrating how to lift with bended knees! In fact in December I managed to injure myself while trying to move a heavy piece of furniture. Despite being a minor incident the whole back tightened up making it impossible to stand straight without pain. It was only with some acupuncture treatment from a colleague, was I able to return to work and the neurofen on standby could return to the back of the cupboard! As we age, degenerative diseases such as arthritis and osteoporosis can begin to cause problems. In Chinese medicine we look to see how people carry pain in their faces, and one of the secondary benefits of pain relief is an overall softening and ease in the facial expressions.

Back pain is one of the commonest reasons that people initially visit an acupuncturist and usually with the support of their GP. Often they find their medication doesn’t fully alleviate their pain or the side effects are intolerable. The good news is that acupuncture has minimal side effects. In fact The National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) have both supported the use of acupuncture in lower back pain after evaluating recent trials, yet only a few NHS clinics provide this option and are rare in Norfolk, although the British Acupuncture Council is working hard to increase the number of acupuncturists within the NHS.

So are you wondering how it really works? Traditional acupuncturists see pain as a lack or blockage of energy at the site of pain. A good acupuncturist will ascertain which particular meridians are involved and then place needles along the channel to get the energy moving again. Often the acupuncturist will choose a point at the far end of the meridian to affect the pain in the middle – for example, there is a fantastic point between the nose and upper lip which is used to affect energy in the sacrum. An acupuncturist will also look at the underlying cause of your back pain. Let’s take two people both complaining of lower back pain, but one has osteoarthritis and the other pulled a muscle while gardening. Although both are likely to be needled near the pain, an acupuncturist will choose additional points that influence the bones according to Chinese medicine and different points that nourish the sinews for the gardener. Those who prefer a physiological explanation of acupunctures efficacy can look at the recent research which has identified several possible reactions in the body responsible for pain relief. They include the release of beta-endorphins and a model whereby traditional acupuncture meridians parallel the neurons and synapses of the nervous system.

The question everybody asks is ‘how many sessions will I need?’ There is no one size fits all answer to this. Unsurprisingly the sooner you seek treatment, the easier it is. When the body has been in pain for a long time, we begin to see compensatory mechanisms appear and this is another layer for your therapist to work through before reaching the original problem. As a rule of thumb most people will detect a positive change by the second or third treatment, though for a few it can take up to eight treatments.

There is a lot you can do outside the clinic to help your back pain. If your physiotherapist has shown you exercises, make sure you do them! The benefits are accumulative and will be noticeable in time so don’t give up. If you are taking anti-inflammatory medication, check your diet is supporting these. Certain substances encourage the inflammatory process in the body and simply must be avoided to both reap the benefits of your medication and perhaps even reduce your dependency on it. The biggest culprits in our daily lives are all the fun naughty treats we allow ourselves; coffee, alcohol, cigarettes and sugar! Losing even small amounts of weight can also take pressure off and increase your mobility. Finally, keep moving! We’re not talking cartwheels but small gentle movements will aid circulation to the sore areas -Tai Chi classes are a popular choice for many as part of their ongoing pain management plan.

If your current method of treatment is failing you, take control and make the necessary changes yourself. Nearly all alternative modes of pain management can be used alongside your existing plan from your doctor. Investigate different therapies and don’t be afraid to try something new! The human body has an amazing capacity to heal and transform itself given the right conditions.

If you are interested in acupuncture treatment please seek out a practitioner with the relevant training. You should expect your acupuncturist to have studied to degree level in acupuncture or the equivalent discipline. Most insurance companies now accept treatment by a certified practitioner so it’s well worth checking your cover.
The Norwich Community Acupuncture Clinic offers reduced rates for pain management acupuncture every Thursday at The Complementary Health Care Clinic, 34 Exchange St, Norwich, Norfolk NR2 1AX. All enquries 01603 665173

What can you do to boost your fertility naturally?

Searching for the best foods to help you get pregnant can be incredibly confusing! Just a few minutes spent online and you will find a huge variety of do’s and don’ts, some of which contradict each other – and others which involve strange new super-foods and supplements!

At The Norwich Natural Fertility Partnership we do not believe in a one-size fits-all-diet. Since most of us eat at least three times every day – food really is a major influence in how our bodies grow and function each month. Every time you eat you are giving your body the raw materials with which to fuel development and function in each and every part of the body, be it the iron of hemoglobin in a red blood cell or vitamin E boosting production of immune B-cells.

The food we eat can also hinder normal functioning of the body. A good example of this is the liver, the amazing organ that allows us to get rid of unnecessary cells –  be it toxic substances or excessive levels of hormones. If our liver is working overtime due to poor diet and drinking habits it can struggle to carry on with all its day to day chores of general waste removal that any body will generate.

Keeping the blood sugar levels is essential for women trying to conceive. The pancreas like the ovaries is a gland, and insulin just like oestrogen and progesterone is a hormone. Hormones and glands act as ‘messengers’ within the body, giving instruction to cells to behave in a certain way. Functioning together as the endocrine system, a change within one gland can affect a seemingly unconnected gland. The ovaries, thyroid, pancreas and adrenals work in harmony together – so keeping your blood sugar and insulin levels happy sends a positive message to the rest of the system including your ovaries!

The adrenals are well known for the part they play in the fight or flight response – the hormones adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol all are produced here. However they also play a part in reproductive physiology producing androgens and oestrogen. Many of these hormones share the same precursor cells – so they can develop in one of several ways. By making sure your adrenals are not constantly under stress,  these precursor cells can then be directed towards maintaining a hormonal balance and support what is happening with the ovarian hormones.

Interestingly within Chinese medicine the three major organ systems of female reproduction are the Kidneys, Liver and Spleen/pancreas –  it is similar to conventional medicine in that harmony between all systems is paramount when trying to conceive. These three meridians run up the inside of the legs before diving deep into the pelvis which is why you often have needles in the ankles or knees with fertility acupuncture.

At the Norwich Natural Fertility Partnership here in Norwich we have 5 Golden Fertility Rules!

1. GO ORGANIC – essential for animal produce, meat and dairy.

2. DRINK 1.5 LITRES GOOD QUALITY WATER DAILY – invest in a good quality water filter or buy spring water.

3. EAT REGULARLY AND INCLUDE PROTEIN AT EACH MEAL – this is the one rule that catches many of my clients out!

4. INCLUDE 7-10 PORTIONS OF FRESH FRUIT AND VEG EVERY DAY – again this is harder than it first appears!

5. MAINTAIN A HEALTHY BMI – I see an equal number of women who are slightly underweight compared to women slightly overweight. You should make sure you are firmly between 19 – 24.9, the research overwhelming supports this as indicator of fertility.

One of the best studies done on diet and female fertility was done by The Harvard Medical school over 8 years and looking at over 17,000 women. Interestingly it found that women who gained more iron from vegetarian sources (without actually being vegetarian) were more likely to have healthy ovulation. At The Norwich Natural Fertility Partnership we work on a diet suited to you, your lifestyle and underlying health conditions.

Acupuncture Awareness Week – 27th Feb – 4th March.

To celebrate Acupuncture Awareness Week, The Complementary Health Care Clinic is offering half price acupuncture sessions to all new patients that week. To find out more please visit The British Acupuncture website. Many people are curious about acupuncture and are hesitant spending money on a treatment without knowing the effect it will have. This week is your chance to find out if acupuncture is right for you! Ring reception now in out Norwich clinic to make your appointment and make sure you mention ‘Acupuncture Awareness Week’ to receive your discounted session!

The Complementary Health Care Clinic, 34 Exchange St, Norwich, NR1 2AX.

Tel: 01603 665173

Different styles of Acupuncture in Norwich

Did you know that in Norwich alone there are 4 different styles of acupuncture commonly practiced? How do you choose which one is right for you?

Two of the often used types of acupuncture are ‘5 elements’ and ‘TCM’ (Traditional Chinese Medicine). In 5 element acupuncture the influence of our mental and emotional state on our body is paramount, many people who already understand the root of their ailment to be deeply imbedded in their thought processes will be well suited to this style. The feel of the acupuncture session will be gentle, thoughtful and nourishing, also making it a good choice for children.

TCM acupuncture is broad term which includes much of the acupuncture coming out of China in the mid 1900’s. It is often seen as slightly more aggressive than other types of acupuncture – though this ultimately depends on the person performing the treatment. Practitioners use electro-acupuncture and strong needling techniques – making it a good choice for people with pain conditions – back, knee and shoulder for example.

Japanese acupuncture uses ultra thin needles, and there are several variants whereby the needle does not actually penetrate the skin. Great for children and people who experience needle shock.

Medical acupuncture is performed by those who are already registered with another professional healthcare skill – physiotherapists, nurses and osteopaths for example. The British Medical Acupuncture Association runs accredited courses of various lengths. The plus side of this is that you can receive acupuncture from someone who has additional knowledge in relation to their field – giving them a more complete understanding on your condition. The flip side to this is that the actual clinical training time on some of these courses is limited – so don’t be shy to ask your therapist how much time they have spent studying before you sign your consent form. My experience from client feedback is that medical acupuncture tends to hurt!

I practice mainly TCM – though I also studied 5 elements. TCM for me is the most effective way to relieve aches and pains in the physical body and it is what I use when working at Norwich’s Community Acupuncture Clinic – which is exclusively for pain relief.

Every acupuncturist develops their own style – nearly all of us include cupping, moxibustion, gua sha, infra red and electro-acupuncture as standard within our practice, so it is not uncommon to actually receive several ‘therapies’ within your normal acupuncture session. Because we can vary so much individually – don’t be afraid to try again with someone new if your previous acupuncture did not help. It is worth spending a little time considering which type of acupuncture is best suited to you. There is a good story here in The Telegraph that illustrates this point. Finally – whoever you do choose make sure they have done the appropriate amount of training and that they are registered with one of the following organisations.

1. The British Acupuncture Council

2. The British Medical Acupuncture Association

3. The Association of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture UK

A typical fertility session with acupuncture

 

Prior to booking an initial consultation for fertility, many women ring in first just to find out a little bit more about how I work.

Usually I will have agreed with my client beforehand to book her appointment at key points in her cycle – around day 7, 14 and 21, though this can vary hugely depending on the length of each woman’s cycle. We start off with a general chat about how she felt after the last acupuncture session and how her week has been mentally, emotionally and physically. If she has been charting (checking her daily temperatures), keeping a food diary or has brought in a recent set of blood results she hands over everything to me. Depending on what arises in our conversation combined with her Chinese tongue and pulse diagnosis I decide whether to start needling on her back or front. It can be a very different experience lying face up or down – and some women have a clear preference about which makes them feel better afterwards! I tap all the needles in very gently at first, then revisit each needle and work with my client to achieve the ‘De-Qi’ sensation on as many points as possible rechecking the pulses as I go. Heat lamps and electro-acupuncture are added now if needed.  Once I am satisfied that my client is comfortable and warm, I turn the lights down, gather up her notes and leave the room.

While she is relaxing I sit in a  nearby room, writing up her notes and examining any new information she may have brought in. This is the time when I review her progress and make a decision about what I will ask her to do out of the clinic until her next appointment. The acupuncture needles stay in for 25-35 mins and occasionally longer if needed. When I return, I check the pulses again before removing the needles, leaving the room while my client dresses. We then have several minutes at the end of each session to discuss lifestyle or dietary changes for that week and make a ‘contract’ about what realistically can implement.

With each woman we quite early on decide on a key marker (or several markers), that would indicate to both of us that progress is being made. An example could be a change in the menstrual flow – in Chinese medicine we aim for a period that starts with bright fresh looking blood with minimal clotting that is at it’s heaviest in the first two days before tailing off to a scanty bleed for the rest of the period. So if one of my clients has an extremely scanty and brownish coloured menstrual bleed throughout, a key marker would be a increase in flow and redness of her bleed. In Chinese medicine this is equated to improved Yin and Qi in the pelvic region, but you could also relate it to a thicker endometrial lining from a conventional perspective.

I constantly refer back to these key markers in each case – sometimes acupuncture alone is not strong or quick enough to change the environment in a woman’s body and that’s when I will ask her to implement a change in her life that week. Very often I ask my clients to commit to one yoga and meditation class per week. In my opinion it is one of the most effective ways of managing stress, improving circulation to the pelvic region – undoing the effects of sedentary desk jobs and heavy workloads. And it’s a fraction of the price of acupuncture! It is simply my ‘wonder tool’ for bringing anyone back into balance physically and mentally and most importantly the only thing my clients have told me that has stopped the internal stress caused by not getting pregnant! There are many fantastic yoga teachers in Norwich, I recommend Louise Kitchener and Michelle Busuttil for yoga that truly transforms you from inside out!

Often I will ask my clients to alter their diets. I may be encouraging them to gain or lose weight and most often making sure they eat warm well cooked meals. Yes strange as it may seem cold salads and refrigerated sandwiches are not on the menu with fertility acupuncture! All meals should be warm and easy to digest – so cinnamon porridge instead of cornflakes for breakfast and soups instead of sandwiches at lunch.

The combined effects of acupuncture and lifestyle changes should yield noticeable results within 2-3 menstrual cycles. The initial focus is on these key markers – welcoming each new improved menstruation as a sign the body is becoming more fertile rather than the common pattern of sadness and frustration if the period arrives. It is difficult to shift the attention away from a positive pregnancy test – but that is often the key with fertility acupuncture – enjoying the journey, observing the changes in oneself and knowing everything is happening just as it should.