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This blog has been written by Rebecca Swirsky.

 

smoking cessation patient Information

Acupuncture is an effective tool to enable one to quit smoking by minimizing cravings, calming the nervous system and strengthening will power. Acupuncture will only work if you are ready to quit and willing to commit to the process.

Support person
The decision to stop smoking can elicit uncomfortable emotions. Ask someone who is available to you in the next few weeks to act as sounding board and provide encouragement when needed.

Affirmation
An affirmation is a positive statement repeated often to create desired changes in your life. Repeating the affirmation helps not only to remind you why you are no longer smoking but imprints a new image of health so that the body can produce health. For example; ‘ I am a non smoker, I make healthy choices in my life.’

Setting boundaries
Set up contracts with other smokers to refrain from smoking in your presence. This includes spouses. When possible, stay away from smokers until you feel more confident with your non-smoking health status.

Drink water
Research shows that dryness causes cravings. Sip water frequently throughout the day.

Refrain from drinking coffee
Research shows that coffee causes cravings and dehydrates the body.

Food choices
Eat a lot of carrots, celery and other vegetables throughout the day. Avoid eating tomatoes. (Tobacco and tomatoes are both members of the nightshade family). Keep your sugar intake low. Too many refined sugars can upset the blood sugar level, which can aggravate smoking withdrawal symptoms. Sugar substitutes such as sweetex are sweeter than sugar and cause further sugar cravings.

Managing cravings
Cravings feel as though they will last forever but actually fade after a few minutes. Plan what you will do during a craving. For example repeat your affirmation, breath deeply, walk to another place, call your support person.

 

Derma-roller

At some stage or another in their lives, almost all women (and men) suffer from
– Cellulite
– Stretch marks
– Scars
– Hair thinning
– Wrinkling
So it’s understandable to feel anxiety. But while chemical options are many, instead of infusing skin with chemicals, or blasting off top layers, how about a natural, effective route? For proven impact, derma-rolling is in a class of its own.

Collagen is the gold standard for youthful skin, yet its presence begins decreasing once we hit our twenties. To stabilize this natural flow try derma-rolling, a safe, practical treatment with proven results. During treatment, micro-surgical needles are applied to the epidermis’s top layer, refreshing the skin’s natural instinct to heal. Through painless experience of skin ‘needling’, collagen is created. And the more collagen present, the fresher, younger-looking our skin appears. One study shows derma-rolling produces up to 1,000 more collagen.*
As Juliet uses high-quality rollers and non-invasive treatments to support her practice, bleeding post treatment is highly unusual. Just a natural, glowier looking you. However, as with all good things, commitment is required. Sarah Chapman, leading A-list facialist says, ‘It is excellent for tired skin, skin that is losing its smoothness and plumpness or becoming slack around the mouth and jaw.’ She continues, ‘I see most effect on lower face, although it makes the whole area look smoother and much fresher, as the skin takes on a new vitality and looks brighter as well as firmer.’
Derma-roller needles create a porous gateway through the use of the needling. As Juliet only uses natural serums to invite the best from her derma-roller, optimum results are achieved. So for dewy, collagen-rich skin, get smart. Cancel the botox and book a dermal-roller treatment. You’ll never look back – but you’ll certainly look younger.

1-Schwartz et al, 2006, internet paper. Abstract reflections about COLLAGEN-INDUCTION-THERAPY (CIT) A Hypothesis for the Mechanism of Action of Collagen Induction Therapy (CIT) using Micro-Needles; 1st edition February 2006. 2nd revision January 2007 Horst Liebl

 

Pre-Birthing Acupuncture

Congratulations mother-to-be! What a joyous, special, exciting time you’ve embarked on! And how wonderful that you’ve discovered acupuncture at just the right moment. But what is pre-birth acupuncture? Practised for millenia, acupuncture is a natural, proven discipline, known for working with the body. This means that you can feel the benefits of being nurtured and assisted with all your mother-to-be needs, during what is probably the most important journey you’ll ever undertake. It’s vital that you feel relaxed and supported – both for you and the little one (s!) growing inside you.

Can Acupuncture Help?

Acupuncture is a safe, effective system of treatment. In recent decades pre-birth acupuncture has been further refined to support you both before and after delivery. Feet, legs, lower ankles and hands are traditional pre-birth acupuncture areas. Because of the significance of this time, practitioners will be aware of all your concerns. Treatment times conventionally run for 4 weeks, beginning with weeks 36-40 pre-birth. This is about you and your individual experience, and having trust in your practitioner will help prepare you for the most natural delivery possible. Acupuncture treatment will help reduce fear and anxiety, emotions which can also be transmitted to your baby. While addressing anxiety, investing in pre-birth acupuncture can also mean serious physical benefits. These will include reducing overdue delivery time, reducing birthing time, and reducing the need for medical intervention. Pre-birth acupuncture supports breech babies, while helping your baby to engage. It may be tailored to assist in any back complications such as back ache / pelvic dysfunction. During birth, acupuncture may additionally be used for analgesic effects.

Debra Betts, a highly-regarded acupuncturist specialising in pregnancy and women’s health, conducted a small, observational study in 2004. Drawing on the cumulative experiences of 169 women, Betts discovered that a course of pre-birth acupuncture treatment caused significant reductions to common birthing challenges. Her findings concluded that epidurals were reduced by 32%, chemical inductions by 35%, and caesarians by 32%, while smooth vaginal births increased by 9%. These are serious figures – which may significantly impact on your experience of the birthing process.
Whether you choose a home birth pool over a hospital, a mid-wife over a doctor, relaxing whale music over current pop music, think carefully when considering pre-birth care. Key preparation can impact significantly on the birthing experience. However you choose to embark on this important journey, it’s vitally important that you feel nurtured and supported, with all your physical and mental needs fully addressed. If you’re happy, there’s a greater chance the little one inside you will feel safe and happy!
Byline: Rebecca Swirsky

 

Facial Rejuvenation
Facial Rejuvenation is a very old story. Uniquely specialist in practise, it began with the concubines of the Empress and Emporers in the Chinese Sung Dynasty (96O-127OAD) ensuring the continuation of their highly-prized beauty. Now, in modern times, tired of aggressive, chemical-rich practises on the face, we are finally catching on to this well-kept ‘secret’.
In 1996, the International Journal of Clinical Acupuncture reported that among 300 cases of facial rejuvenation, 90% of those treated showed visible and obvious effects after just one course of treatment. This included facial elasticity, improved facial colouring, smoother surface and overall well-being. Based on the ancient Chinese use of meridian lines branching to and from the face, facial rejuvenation targets each client’s needs individually. These may range from:
• Puffyness
• Drooping Eyelids
• Dry Skin
• Large Pores
• Facial colouring
• Deep Wrinkles and/or Fine Lines

More than just an acupuncture ‘face-lift’, facial rejuvenation works to holistically revitalise the patient’s entire system, removing a build-up of toxins which add between 5 and 10 years to a client’s face. Because individual fine needles are inserted into the skin at precise points, the cause, rather than the effects, of the ageing process are treated and reversed, with benefits extending to the entire body. A course of 8-12 sessions is recommended, and for after-care, Juliet will personally tailor-build a bespoke care plan for each client according to their specific needs, extending the effects of the treatment and ensuring optimum long-term results.
Complementing the practice of Facial Rejuvenation, Juliet also offers Facial Massage, a technique achieving similar effects but without the use of needles, and useful for those clients for whom needles are a concern.
Byline: Rebecca Swirsky

 

Acupuncture to treat Insomnia
Do you or someone you know have sleep challenges? Sadly, this is an all-too common issue. Work pressures, home-life worries, racing thoughts, all play themselves out on the pillow, leaving us tossing and turning and frustratingly, clock watching.
. Sleep deprivation leaves sufferers desperate for relief. While it’s clear drugs (hypnotics) taken to induce sleep may provide relief from the symptoms of insomnia they do not treat the underlying cause. This means the actual root problem may continue for years, with foreign substances regularly taken into the body, and a pattern of dependancy established. Insomnia can be split into three main areas of concern, manifesting as: trouble falling asleep, continuing to stay asleep, or early wakening. Any one, or all three compromise daily mood and ability to function at the most basic of levels. Thankfully, sleeping tablet presciptions are not the only answer.
Acupuncture, with its earliest written record dating at around 200 BCE, offers a holistic approach. To this day, it continues to be globally respected as an effective, safe treatment, and in the UK, is one of the most widely-used complementary therapies.
Having comprehensively assessed her patient’s individual needs, Juliet will prescribe a minimum of 6-8 sessions, alongside a bespoke out-of-clinic treatment plan. Viewed in Acupuncture as an imbalance or disharmony in the flow of energy, insomnia’s root causes will be addressed by inserting fine, sterilised needles into pre-determined points along the patient’s body. Meridien lines will be activated, fine-tuning the bodies Qi and realigning energy to aid and restore sleep. Instead of releasing toxins into the body through the use of hypnotics, the practise of Acupuncture seeks to enable the release of toxins out of the body through Qi realignment.
Surprisingly, one in five of us still don’t fully realise how effective Acupuncture can be for the treatment of insomnia. But with over 2,500 years backing Acupuncture, it’s a far healthier and more effective alternative than reaching for sleeping tablets.
Byline: Rebecca Swirsky

 

Infertility

In the UK, infertility is on the rise. Around a quarter of couples are having difficulties conceiving. What should be a personally fulfilling, sensitive time for growing a family can shift into an experience fraught with disappointment, frustration and despair. As the cycle of disappointment continues, stress kicks in, further adding to difficulties conceiving. Yet acupuncture can impact in numerous ways to improve fertility rates for members of both sexes, while working on general levels of well-being to induce a calmer, more positive state of mind.

Studies:

Study and research initatives repeatedly point to the effectiveness of acupuncture in human biology. Polycystic ovaries and endometriosis hormones are both conditions shown to be positively impacted by acupuncture. Through treatment, patients are empowered to activate their own fertility mechanisms without the use of drugs or chemicals, boosting overall levels of well-being and decreasing stress hormones.

In 2002, the Fertility and Sterility journal noted a 42.5% jump in patients receiving acupuncture, compared to 26.3% for those who weren’t, while in 2004, Colorado’s Reproductive and Fertility Medicine Centre conducted a study showing an increase of 51% in women who underwent acupuncture and IVF, as compared to 36% who solely underwent IVF. Having acupuncture treatment also impacted on statistics for stillbirths and miscarriages, showing a 12% decrease. Finally, Shanghai University conducted a study in 2005 showing men’s sperm structure and morphology to have been significantly boosted by acupuncture treatment.

How may Acupuncture Treatment help?
Acupuncture Treatment has been shown to enhance/regulate the areas of:
Menstrual cycle and ovulation
Ovary function (subsequently impacting on egg quality)
Sperm vitality
IVF side-effects
Uterine lining thickness
Hormone regulation
Possibility of miscarriage
Relationship between patient and pracitioner:

For change to be enacted, a trusting working relationship must develop between client and accredited practitioner. This involves the client being fully listened to and heard, and the practitioner having a thorough understanding of each clients individual needs. Juliet will holistically assess each clients needs, in order to understand how they may best attain their goals, whether it be in the areas of general well-being, sleep, stress, menstrual difficulties or fertility. Quality of care is vitally important, and Juliet will take every effort to ensure her clients needs come first.

 

Stress Relief

It’s fair to say stress and Acupuncture are not natural bed-partners. When Acupuncture moves in, stress moves out!
While anxiety levels are nearly always reported as decreased following Acupuncture treatment, it’s important to acknowledge how invasive and encompassing stress can feel. In fact, prolonged stress in our system can make us question whether we’ll ever find our way to the sunnier side of the street.
Whether you have experienced stress in the past, or are presently stressed, you’ll recognise how acute levels of stress profoundly affect the nervous system. Deep anxiety alters our perceptions, the manner in which we experience the world, our ability to sleep, eat, work and play. As each of us is unique, how our bodies and minds process stress and acute anxiety is also variable. (NHS Choices 2011).
Sadly, work-related stress is rife, a phenomenon affecting up to half a million people in the UK (Health and Safety Executive 2011). Stress levels may be additionally impacted by alcohol, nicotine, pregnancy, bereavement, narcotics use, joblessness, poor eating habits, and general lifestyle. The impact of any one can result in illness, tiredness or lethargy, depression, mood swings, anger, frustration, confusion, paranoid behaviour, jealousy or withdrawal.
Acupuncture flushes out this overloading of toxicity, leaving those treated calmer, happier and more in control.
How Acupuncture Works:
Altering brain mood chemistry, regulating levels of neurotransmitters (or their modulators) and hormones such as serotonin, noradrenaline, dopamine, GABA, neuropeptide Y and ACTH, acupuncture works in specific and varied ways on the body, to ‘soften’ or ‘deregulate’ the analytical brain driving the anxiety or worry (Hui 2010; Hui 2009) and increasing AchE reactivity in the hippocampus (Kim 2011). Areas of the brain known to reduce sensitivity to pain and stress are also positively affected, while stress-induced memory impairment is improved (Arranz 2007).
Essentially, Acupuncture treatment invites the body to ‘regulate’ and look after itself by activating neurochemical messenger molecules. These ‘messenger molecules’ alter the body’s homeostatic mechanisms, engendering a physical and emotional well-being.
Perhaps the most important thing to remember when stressed is to be Kind To Yourself! Think about what would nourish your body and mind. Take regular exercise. Laugh a lot, whether this is putting on a ‘happy’ DVD or comedy show. Brain chemicals are shown to change when laughter takes place. Write down a list of achievements and think about working towards positive goals, rather than focusing on all the things you haven’t done. Breathe deeply and mindfully, aware of how our diaphragm moves as we take in and release our oxygen (this really does make a difference). Finally, stay in the present. Happiness and contentment lies not in the future or the past, but in the ‘now.’ If you can bring a sense of awareness to each action you take, you’ll feel more rooted in what’s happening around you.
Byline: Rebecca Swirsky

 

Hayfever

Sun-tan cream? Check. Sun-glasses? Check. New summer outfit? Check. Runny eyes, itchy nose, sore throat, sneezing, cold-like symptoms, nose-bleeds, nasal polyps? Check, check, check and… check.

Now the glorious weather has arrived, the last thing we need is for hayfever to be spoiling the fun. Affecting 20% of the UK population, hayfever (allergic rhinitus) plays an active role in the seasonal calendar, with our immune system working overtime to override histamine and leukotrienes chemicals in the pollen. While there’s nothing harmful in hayfever’s causes, self-preservational reactions typically result in nose and eye swelling to prevent more hayfever entering the body – clever, but not so pleasant to experience. Two types of hayfever exist – the seasonal, occuring when certain plants are in pollination, and the perennial, lasting all year round. Asthma and eczema sufferers generally experience increased hayfever symptoms, as will those born into a family of hayfever sufferers. Finally, London-dwellers seem to be the most affected, with the city’s residents rating top in those affected, cites Chemist Direct.

Instead of letting hayfever get us down, how can we enjoy sunny weather?

Just as not all people are the same, neither are anti-histamenes. It’s worth shopping around to find the brand or type that suits you. Consider anti-inflammatory eyedrops to protect teary eyes.
 
Sleep. Those with a good night’s rest reported a significant reduction in discomfort than those with 5 hours sleep or less.
 
Exercise. Yes, at least 30 minutes on the treadmill means reduced symptoms – another reason to activate the gym membership!
 
Eating healthily, and the right foods – stoned fruits and apples, celery, melons, bananas, tomatoes have been identified as major hayfever aggravators.
 
Stress reduction. High stress levels result in higher hayfever symptoms, revealed a 2,000 large European survey. Such direct correlation indicates the desirability of alternative treatments, including massage, aromatherapy, and of course, acupuncture.
 
Keeping car windows closed. Pollen spikes in the early morning and evening, so this action particularly applies to those times. Fitting air-conditioning units with hayfever filters will help.
 
Dabbing petroleum jelly or beeswax around nostrils to keep pollens out.
 
Wearing sunglasses to protect the eyes.

How can acupuncture help?

Acupuncture is about balance. Hayfever is often aggravated by a pathogen (referred to as ‘Wind’ in Chinese Medicine) causing respiratory problems. Tackling allergic reactions in China and other Eastern cultures for over 2,500 years, acupuncture works on restoring the bodies natural balance by interacting with energy channels running underneath the skin, as well as stimulating the bodies healing system. If the body is out of sync firefighting hayfever symptoms, a course of acupuncture treatment supports the body in settling into a more healthy energy cycle. Not only can acupuncture restore the bodies normal functioning, it also helps stress levels, one of the main reactors with hayfever symptoms, while re-booting overall energy levels.

So, put a smile on your face. If winter’s left you feeling depleted, and summer’s leaving you irritable and teary-eyed, allow acupuncture to let the hayfever symptoms out and the sunshine back in.

By Rebecca Swirsky

 

IBS

Beginning in adolescence or early adulthood, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, an intestinal disorder, affects 22% of the UK population (Maxwell 1997).
While stress or eating have been identified as triggers, underlying reasons for IBS are unclear. What is certain is sensory nerves in an IBS bowel are hypersensitive, overreacting when the bowel wall stretches, leading to intestinal muscles being hypo- or hyperactive. Women are 2-3 times more likely to suffer, with menstruation increasing symptoms, while triggers for both sexes range from diets low in fibre, emotional stress, excessive laxative intake or heavy bouts of contagious diarrhea. Symptoms for IBS span flatulence, cramps, pain, diarrhea and constipation.
It’s no surprise that IBS-related visits to the GP, hospitalizations, absenteeism at work and depression is on the rise. In addition, IBS medicines making it to market are laden with side-effects while research literature commonly suggests conventional medicine has limited scope to help (Akehurst 2001).
Only about half those with diagnosable IBS symptoms seek support, and diagnosis may not be so helpful. Occurring in an absence of visible structural abnormality, IBS is commonly framed as a diagnosis of exclusion and is often not a positive diagnosis.
But with Acupuncture a viable IBS treatment, it’s time to break the cycle and make a difference (Anastasi 2009, Trujillo 2008, Reynolds 2008, Schneider 2007b, Xing 2004, Lu 2000).

Acupuncture positively affects IBS symptoms by:

• Offering pain relief (Pomeranz 1987).
• Ensuring regulation of digestive system (Yin 2010, Chen 2008).
• Raising sensory threshold of the gut, while decreasing bowel pain. (Xu 2009, Ma 2009, Tian 2008, Tian 2006, Xing 2004).
• Activating the opposing parasympathetic nervous system, stimulating the relaxation or ‘rest and digest’ response (Schneider 2007b).
• Targeting anxiety and depression (Samuels 2008) by altering the brain’s mood chemistry, increasing serotonin and endorphin production (Han 2004).

Just as we are unique, so we may also require different solutions. Relaxation exercises, herbal medicine, psychotherapy and Western medicine may be combined with Acupuncture to form safe, effective, cross-targeting treatment. No treatment need ever work in isolation.

An awareness that Acupuncture can help is the first step to recovery. There is no longer a reason to let IBS control your life.

Byline: By Rebecca Swirsky