Learning – why it never stops


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Why do acupuncturists do CPD (Continued Professional Development)?  Acupuncture is seen as a life-long learning.  I’ve just spent my last two weekends on courses with the eminent acupuncturist Niki Bilton.  The first weekend was spent looking at how we treat the Spirit: one of the main differences in Acupuncture compared to Western Medicine is that we treat physical, mental and emotional conditions as one, ie the person not their list of symptoms.  By doing so we enable the patient’s energy to rebalance, and facilitate their return to health.

Not only did we look at ways of treating patients (some well known, others new and enlightening), but also how we can develop ourselves as practitioners, in order to be able to deliver better treatment to people.  It was a time of  writing and reflection, a thoughtful two days, full of quiet, yin energy.

The second weekend was completely different – one of fun, laughter, games and dancing: looking at each of the Five Elements in health, to understand the finer nuances of what makes them not only survive, but thrive.  It’s not often that you go on a course that involves you getting up and giving it your all (a full on Flashdance routine in my case…) to show the exuberance and joy of the Wood element in spring, or told stories with kids props to understand the playfulness of Fire in summer.  Once you have fully understood each of the Elements, not just through words, but also movement and energetic quality, you will be able to acknowledge and interact with it in the treatment room: recognising each patient’s potential for health, and thus be able to choose the points that will help them achieve true health.

This is why I, and other members of the British Acupuncture Council, commit to on-going training: to deepen our knowledge, experience and understanding of this simple yet complex system of medicine, and the wish to improve ourselves as practitioners.


UK Acupuncture Awareness Week 2015


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Here we go again…! March 2-8 2015 is Acupuncture Awareness Week in the UK.  What does this mean?  Why do I get involved?  As I wrote last year “Because I love what I do!  There is no better job satisfaction than seeing people happier and healthier”

Acupuncture Awareness Week is a great opportunity to tell people about what acupuncture can do for them.  This year the focus is on stress – how it affects our bodies, and how acupuncture can help. (I’ll be writing more about stress in another blog post in a couple of days’ time…)

AAW is also about promoting my business: to let as many people as possible in East Sussex know that I exist, where I practice from (a fabulous treatment room in the countryside between Lewes and Eastbourne) and what acupuncture can do for them.

I’ll be holding an Open Day at my clinic on 6 March.  It falls into two parts: from 10am – 12pm there’s a drop in session: the chance to come along, take a look at the treatment studio, meet me and ask any questions you have about acupuncture over a cup of tea and slice of homemade cake.  Later on (12.30pm – 2pm) I’ll be doing free 15 minute consultations, which gives you an ideal chance to have a private chat (in person or over the phone) and to find out if acupuncture could help you to better health. The address – and a map – is on my website.

Hopefully there will be plenty about acupuncture in the press.  The British Acupuncture Council (BAcC), who organise the event is the largest body of Traditional Acupuncturists in the UK, a self-regulating body that ensures that members practise to the highest professional level. If you’d like to know more about AAW, take a look at their website www.introducingacupuncture.co.uk

What else will I be up to that week? All the usual social media stuff – Blogging, Facebooking, Tweeting and the like. Oh, and baking cakes for the open day, when I’m not treating my usual cohort of patients. I’ll also be running a competition whereby 4 lucky people will get a session of acupuncture absolutely free!  So whether you’ve never tried it and would like to – or have used it in the past and wouldn’t mind a top up, all you have to do is (a) turn up at the Open Day and put your name in the drawer, (b) post a comment on my Facebook page about acupuncture during the week or (c) email me and ask to be put on the list (assuming you live in East Sussex).

I really hope that Acupuncture Awareness Week brings acupuncture to the forefront of peoples’ minds when they think of health.  If you’d like to know more, take a look at my website, or get in touch directly – my contact details are at www.jgordonacupuncture.co.uk

In the meantime – back to the recipe books….

The real cost of Infertility


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Lord Winston spoke recently at a conference on assisted genetics about the “real cost” of infertility.  What struck me, reading his speech, was his reference to the emotional cost of infertility.

Daily I see patients who are struggling through the infertility minefield, bewildered by the process, frustrated by a lack of success conceiving, scared by the financial cost of IVF and saddened by the possibility of a life without the family they have dreamt of.  I am truly grateful that I practise a system of medicine that is holistic: which treats the whole person, physically, mentally and emotionally.  Yes, there are often physical problems to be overcome: irregular cycles, PCOS, fibroids and endometriosis – and many more.  Yet one third of patients have no diagnosed cause of infertility – leaving an unanswered question to add to the problem.

As well as acupuncture being widely recognised as an effective treatment to regulate hormones (Anderson 2007), increasing blood flow to pelvic organs (Ho 2009, Anderson 2007), increasing egg production (Jin 2009) and quality (Chen 2009), there are a myriad of acupuncture points that help to soften, comfort and support patients emotionally.  Their names, translated from Chinese as “Body Pillar”, “Inner Courtyard”, “Upright branch”,”Palace of Weariness”, “Great Welcome” give a glimpse at what they offer.  Often it is by supporting the patient emotionally, being there for them and with them at difficult times, that we allow healing – and conception – to occur naturally.

If you’d like to know more about what I do, get in touch!

Past the Solstice…


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Have you noticed it’s getting just a tiny bit lighter in the mornings & evenings?  Yes, we’re past 21 December, the point of lowest energy in the year.  Many people struggle in the winter, and think that there are months to go before Spring: the good news is that from now on, every day is a little longer.

The human body responds to light, to regulate our circadian rhythms.  These are our internal control, which help regulate daily patterns such as digestion, sleep and energy.  When we lived a more outdoor life, before modern comforts of electricity and central heating, our bodies responded to the natural flow of the seasons more easily.  Now that we spend more time indoors, we miss out on the natural cycle, and it’s common to feel sluggish and lethargic at this time of year. Many people also start to experience low moods – and if we upset our body clocks significantly, SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) can result.

If you struggle with SAD, or the “winter blues”, here are a couple of tips to help:

Try and get outside every day, to enjoy the daylight. Even better if the sky is blue and it’s sunny: wrap up warmly and make the most of it.  Exercise releases endorphins, which trigger a positive feeling in the body.  A brisk walk will also help the New Year’s Resolution to get fit!

If you work in an office, try and get a desk near a window, so that you can see the sunlight.

Don’t be afraid to sleep a bit longer at this time of year.   Look outside: nature is sleeping, resting from the height of summer, to recharge before the push of Spring.  Try going to bed earlier rather than sleeping in, so that you make the most of the daylight hours.

Feed yourself with nourishing, warming foods.  It’s tempting to turn towards comfort food – ie stodge – but this won’t help your energy levels. Warming soups & stews will.

Stay positive: a lot has been said recently about “hygge” – a Danish word that (roughly) translates as coziness and friendship: make a list of things to look forward to(theatre ticket, meeting up with friends, seeing an exhibition about something that really interests you) – to bring in inner warmth.

And don’t forget acupuncture: many people come for treatment to help them navigate the change in seasonal patterns, particularly at this time of year.  If you’d like to know more, email me at Jeanie@jgordonacupuncture.org.uk



Acupuncture and our Body Clock


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There’s been a lot in the news over the last couple of days about our body clocks, and the effect that they can have on our health. Guess what? Acupuncture has understood these natural rhythms for thousands of years.

The Chinese Clock, or Law of Midday-midnight recognises the natural cycle of energy that flows round our bodies daily: keeping us active during the day and allowing us to rest at night.  Each organ has a most and least active time of day during 24 hours and if we follow the law we allow our bodies to work at their most effective.  For example, during the night, there is more energy concentrated in the Gall Bladder and Liver, allowing us to plan and make decisions – how often do we make a decision having “slept on it”?  Between 5-7am, there is more energy in the large intestine, so it is the optimum time to release bodily waste, before the new day starts.  Energy then moves into the stomach between 7-9am, stimulating hunger – the best time of day to eat a substantial, healthy meal to give us fuel to power our bodies for the day ahead.

How can we make the most of this knowledge? By respecting the different times of day that our bodies are at their peak, we can make sure that we eat healthily, exercise and rest at the appropriate times, working with our bodies for maximum effect.  It’s not uncommon to get out of rhythm – such as into bad sleep habits, driven by deadlines, a late TV show or kids waking you up in the middle of the night.  The good news is that acupuncture can help to restore these natural rhythms.   If your body clock feels out of rhythm, please get in touch – www.jgordonacupuncture.co.uk has my contact details.