southend acupuncture fertility cancer pain

Breathing the Qi Gong Way

How are you all feeling?  These are difficult times, especially if you are prone to feeling anxious anyway.   It’s  the uncertainty of what lies ahead that makes me feel a bit anxious.  The trick is to stay in the moment, by which I mean, trying not to dwell on the past or the future – the past is gone and the future hasn’t happened, it’s just a dream.

When we feel anxious, the first thing that is affected is our breathing.  The breath becomes shallow and this starts a domino affect throughout the rest of the body.   In this short video I explain and demonstrate the breathing used in Qi Gong.  Breath is one of the most important aspects of Qi Gong, along with the Mind (or your intent).  In Qi gong we use our breath not only to build up the Qi, but also to focus the Mind and help move the Qi around the body, especially to where it is most needed.

Breathing to Connect Mind and Body

The Mind aspect of this type of breathing is what gives it depth, without which it would just be ‘breathing’ which we all need to do otherwise we would die!  Breathing abdominally is very grounding.  It draws down our energy, rooting us to the Earth, stopping us from floating away in our dream worlds that often do not represent reality.  So great if you are suffering from anxiety, now or at any time.

Grounding Meditation

I also include in the video a simple but effective grounding technique which can also be used as a meditation.  Meditation doesn’t have to be complicated to be affective, you just need to learn how to be in the moment.  This technique will help you get there.

If you have any questions, just let me know.  I am still open for consultations and advice, and Qi Gong lessons, just not in the traditional sense.  But I’m still working via Skype and FaceTime, and of course on the old fashioned telephone and email 🙂

 

 

If you have any questions about acupuncture, or any of the topics in my blogs, please do contact me.  Find out more about me, or my treatments  here.

Acupuncture Southend cancer fertility pain backspin

What day is it? Acupuncture under Lockdown

Is it week 3 or week 4 of lockdown? I’ve lost track of time.  As an Acupuncturist who works evenings and weekends it’s difficult keeping track of the days anyway.  When I was younger and working in the city, the structure of the week was very rigid. Monday was the start of the week; I was tired and invariably recovering from the weekend.  Wednesday was the middle of the week and always a dull sort of day, being stuck in the middle of the week; but it was also my training night at the kung fu club, so not such a bad day after all.  Thursday was the start of the weekend (well, for me anyway).  There was definitely a more relaxed feeling at work and I always felt a lot happier.  Friday was technically still a workday, but it felt like the weekend to me.  And then finally, it was the actual weekend.

acupuncture Tui Na southend cancer fertility pain

Insurance days

The Bad old days

Back then I structured my whole working week to make work more bearable and to get me to the weekend.  If I had anything difficult to do or a bit taxing, if I was able to I would schedule this for a Tuesday or a Wednesday.  Monday was always a day that I tucked myself away and kept my head down, trying not to catch anyone’s eye.  I called it my ‘colouring-in day’.  Thursday and Friday were days that I tried to keep free too; for me these were weekend days.  If I couldn’t manage to dodge work on these days, then I made sure it was scheduled for the morning.  Don’t get me wrong, although I didn’t like my job (which I’m sure you realise by now) I wasn’t that bad at it either.  I did it for 17 years and it was quite demanding at times, so I’m sure in all that time I would have been sacked if I wasn’t up to scratch.

Steve Coster Qi Gong Acupuncture Southend

The five elements of the week

Looking back (and knowing what I know now) I can see that my whole week was a microcosm of nature and the seasons, according to Chinese medicine and the five elements.  Monday was the most yin day; it represented the ‘winter’ of my week, when it was the quietest and I just wanted to hide away.  By Tuesday I was slowly emerging and expanding, like the Spring, ready for new growth.  (I make this sound more exciting than the reality of it – we are talking about Insurance here, after all).  By Wednesday and Thursday I was totally yang as I go into the ‘fire’ phase, or the ‘summer’ of my week.  Now I have recovered my energy and I’m at my most productive, literally firing on all cylinders, ready for the weekend, which is Friday and Saturday.  Now I was in the ‘earth’ phase, or the ‘late-summer’, reaping in the ‘harvest’ of my efforts earlier in the week.  (I make this sound quite dramatic, but remember we’re talking about insurance here).  And finally, we reach the ‘metal’ stage, or the ‘autumn’, which for me was Sunday; a time when we meditate on the past seasons and make preparations for the winter.

southend acupuncture tuina qi gong cancer

These were not happy times for me.  But now I take solace knowing that, even in the most challenging and unhappy times in our lives, the seasons do change and we do move on.  The trick, I suppose, is tuning in to your ‘self’, knowing how you feel and what you want from life.  For me, I did this by practicing Wing Chun kung fu and Qi Gong.  The two most important aspects of Qi Gong are breathing and the Mind.  In Qi Gong we use Mind to move the Qi around the body, to nourish the organs, the bones, muscles, sinews, tendons, blood and fluids.  Without focusing the Mind, Qi Gong loses it’s depth and becomes ‘mindless’ exercise.  Practised with ‘mind’ then, Qi Gong can be so powerful that you can get a full workout without even moving.

southend acupuncture back neck pain

Being true to nature in the lockdown

We are actually in the wood phase of the year, the time of expansion and new growth.  The yang energy is picking up; the weather is getting warmer and we all want to be outside moving our Qi and making things happen.  Obviously, the lockdown poses a bit of a problem in that we can’t be as ‘expansive’ as we would like, but there is still much that can be done at home.  We can make plans, work on projects and ready ourselves for the summer and the fire phase, coming out of Lockdown like rockets!  And, of course, we can practice Qi Gong.

I am still doing treatments during the lockdown, although not in the traditional sense. Due to social distancing measures I can’t do acupuncture or tui na, but I am doing Skype and FaceTime sessions. Talking through your situation with me will allow me to tailor my advice to what would be most relevant for you as an individual. I can also show you Qi Gong techniques, acupoints and self-tui na, specifically for you. Although more limited in scope than face to face practice, there is good evidence that this sort of approach can benefit your health and help you self-manage your symptoms at home. Just call or drop me an email and we can go from there.

If you have any questions about acupuncture, or any of the topics in my blogs, please do contact me.  Find out more about me, or my treatments  here.

southend acupuncture cancer pain fertility

Coronavirus Statement from Steve Coster Acupuncture

Let me begin by stating that Acupuncture, Tui na and Qi Gong are all excellent for boosting the immune system and therefore protecting you against viruses such as Covid19, or at least lessening the symptoms you may experience.

However, please do follow the NHS guidelines re hand washing.   Should you contract the virus, or you suspect you have it, again please do follow the NHS guidelines.

My clinic is open as usual but if you have any flu-like symptoms please call me before attaining your appointment.

Until further notice I will be

  • providing hand sanitizer to all my clients as they enter the building
  • wiping down the treatment couch and face hole after every client
  • couch roll is always changed between clients anyway
  • all surfaces will be cleaned daily

If you have any questions about Coronavirus and Acupuncture, please do contact me.

I wish you all good health.

Steve

 

If you have any questions about acupuncture, or any of the topics in my blogs, please do contact me.  Find out more about me, or my treatments  here.

southend acupuncture cancer pain fertility

Life in a World of Imbalance

We live in a world that is out of balance.  The planet itself is not out of balance of course, it just does what it has always done.  The imbalance I’m talking about is within us; we just project that on to everything else.

Did you know that between the war years of 1940 and 1945 there were no bananas in the UK.  When the banana returned to Britain on 30 December 1945, it was the first time some children had ever seen one.   It’s hard to believe in our modern age, when everything is available all year round, that something as commonplace as a banana wasn’t available.  I suppose it must sound just as crazy to a teenager when we tell them that we grew up without mobile phones or the internet, or that there were only three channels on the TV.  How did we ever survive without looking at Instagram every two minutes?

southend acupuncture back pain cancer fertility

Imbalance and disconnection

It is near impossible to live a balanced life in a society that is anything but balanced.  Many of the people I see in my practice tell me the same story:  they are working long hours, eating on the go, punishing themselves in the gym and not getting enough rest.  And then that’s when I see them, when they are exhausted.  Sometimes they are ill or have an injury that won’t clear up on its own.  Or they just don’t feel good; they are not sleeping well, have digestive problems, anxiety, depression, fertility issues….

southend acupuncture cancer pain fertility

Having whatever you want whenever you want it comes at a price.  Not just to the planet, which is well documented, but to the health of every one of us living on the planet.    We have lost our connection to nature.  When something like Coronavirus comes along it just highlights this disconnection.  We see ourselves as something other from the planet, as if we just dropped here a few hundred years ago, like the Conquistadors arriving in South America to plunder the land.   We speak of fighting disease and a war against germs, finding a cure to kill the enemy.

Imbalance on Mars

The world we live in now positively encourages this disconnection with nature.   We treat the planet like it is an inanimate object, here simply to be exploited, stripped bare of all its natural resources.  Now we are even planning to colonize the Moon and further afield, when we all know what colonization really means.  Exploitation.

southend acupuncture cancer pain fertility

Our reductionist worldview encourages the belief that we live on a rock where everything is for the taking and what isn’t, is simply out to get us and must be destroyed.  We apply this view to the macrocosm as well as to the microcosm.   Germs and viruses are part of the same planet we exist on.   They are not Aliens that have found their way to earth intent on destroying humans.  Coronavirus is not a ‘new’ virus, it’s just the usual suspects repackaged.

What has changed, of course, is our ability to live with such viruses.  As the planet’s Qi has weakened, so too has our own.

Absence of evidence does not mean evidence of absence.

Man has created false daylight and a summer with no end.  Energetically this means we are always in Yang mode, always growing and expanding.  This goes against the universal law that Yang cannot exist without Yin.  The world is changing so rapidly that we can’t keep up with it.  5G is being rolled out even though we don’t understand how it might affect our health.  The one thing that is certainly harmful to our health, above COVID19, is fear.  As I have explained previously, the root of all illness is emotional.  Any emotion that is persistent or intense will have a negative effect.  So, just because we cannot see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

southend acupuncture cancer pain fertility IVF

Before the Industrial Revolution life was different.  Work was dictated greatly by the sun and seasons.  We ate according to the seasons and to the greater extent, locally.  More exotic food stuffs were a rare treat, not staples like they are today.  As foods weren’t available all year round, it’s storage and preservation had to be managed skilfully.  Now, as all food is available, it feels normal eating salads and smoothies in the winter.

Tuning into the Seasons

The naturalistic philosophy behind Chinese Medicine gives us some idea of how we should be living in rhythm with the seasons.  At the moment Nature is telling us to rest.  We are still in the Yin time of year (at the time of writing this anyway) when all living things are conserving their energy ready to burst forth in the spring.  Winter is also when the Water energy is at its strongest, so it’s a time when the reservoirs are able to refill.  Without this opportunity to do so the reservoirs would be empty for when they are most needed, in the summer, the Yang time of year.  How can we fill our Qi reservoirs if we never stop?

Societies that rely on the land to exist have an intimate relationship with the seasonal energies, and they have a genuine sense of what it means to be in harmony with them.  If the farmer fails to plant the seed in the springtime, he would have missed the moment when the summer arrived.  Without the growth of the spring (wood) and the maturity of the summer (fire) there would be no harvest (earth).

Reconnecting with nature

Although simply washing your hands regularly is effective, here a few other things you can add to your daily routine to not only reconnect to nature, but also boost your immune system:

  • Sleep.  We need more of it in the winter and less in the summer, so don’t feel guilty if you would rather be in bed on a cold winter’s night.
  • Exercise.  As for sleep, we need more rest in the winter.
  • Eat well.  Try to have a colourful diet with many different flavours.
  • Don’t have a tv in your bedroom.  If you do, then cover it up at night.
  • Leave your phone and ipad in another room
  • Turn the Wifi off when you go to bed.  This is becoming difficult as many things in the home are now controlled via wifi.  Or you just forget to do it.
  • Have a few moments of silence in your day.  Resist the temptation to put the TV on at home, or the radio in the car.
  • Try not to carry your mobile on your person.  Put it in your rucksack or handbag.
  • Use the earphones instead of holding your phone close to your head.
  • Leave the car at home when you can. Go for a walk.

 

If you have any questions about acupuncture, or any of the topics in my blogs, please do contact me.  Find out more about me, or my treatments  here.

Southend on Sea acupuncture cancer pain fertility

City City Yang Yang – Learning to slow down

Recently I’ve been spending a bit of time in London.  I was on a fertility and menstrual problems workshop the whole of last weekend, run by my Tui na teacher, Sarah Pritchard.  I also paid a visit to Tate Britain to see the William Blake exhibition before it ends.  It was a great show but very busy, which sort of spoils it a bit for me.  It made me feel slightly suffocated, so I think I rushed it a bit.  In fact, Tate did a study on this phenomenon and found that people on average spend only 8 seconds looking at a picture!

Sarah Pritchard

I find London exhausting these days.  It is still exciting and vibrant and endlessly fun, but it’s also exhausting.  It drains me of my energy.  When I was younger I thought the complete opposite; London was like a magnet.  I worked in the City and so spent a lot of my free time there too.  I was like a moth being lured in by the lights.  That wore off by the time I reached the age of thirty, then all I wanted was to work anywhere but the City.  And as you know, I eventually escaped.

Yang of the City

I’m always surprised by the change of energy when I travel into London.  By the time the train reaches Romford (or Barking, depending on how you approach the beast) I can feel the Qi of the City pulling at me, and by Stratford it’s buzzing.  But it also makes me feel a bit anxious and I’m always relieved when I’m leaving.  When I get off the train at Southend it always feels like there is a lot more space.  The temperature feels like it drops a degree or two.  Being at the mouth of the North Sea helps; it’s as if that open expanse of clean air rushes up the Thames Estuary and clears the atmosphere.

acupuncture southend cancer pain fertility

The energy of any city, not just London, is constantly in Yang mode, which goes against the seasonal grain somewhat.  We are in the Yin part of year, the winter, a time when everything in nature should be doing less, conserving our energy so we can burst out in all our blooming glory in the Spring.

The Capitalist system that we live under influences every aspect of our lives; but it is entirely Yang energetically.  It allows no time for rest, only growth and expansion.  There is no time to rest: lunch is for wimps and sleep is for the dead are the mantras of the modern age.  We eat cold foods in the winter when our digestive systems are crying out for warmth.   We train in the gym late into the night when we should be tucked up in bed.

Yang without its other half, Yin, can only mean trouble.

Chinese medicine teaches us that balance is needed for health.  It’s difficult though; it’s a beautiful sunny day today and there is a temptation to get outside and run or cycle.  But it’s still pretty cold out there.  In Chinese Medicine sweating in a cold environment is bad news.  When the pores of the skin open it allows the cold into the body, which energetically stops the Qi from moving.  This might mean pain in a joint or a muscle, or something more systemic like menstrual pain.  If you do sweat in the cold weather, then make sure you don’t hang about in wet clothing.  Just don’t get cold.

In Chinese Medical theory there is a particular type of Qi, called Wei Qi (or Defensive Qi) that needs nourishing.  The Wei Qi a protective barrier against the outside evil forces, like the weather or diseases.  Think of the Readybrek glow and you’ll get the idea. If your Defensive Qi is weaker than the Qi of a disease, then you are more likely to contract it.  That’s why not everyone catches the flu when it’s going around.

So, what can you do to help you slow down?

In the Tate article above they recommend spending at least 10 minutes looking at each piece of art.  They call it slow looking.  But here’s something you can put into practice straight away.  Next time you are at a Pelican crossing, press the button and wait for the green man before crossing.  Even if there is no traffic, still wait for the green man.  While you are waiting take a moment to ground yourself.  Be mindful of your surroundings.  You may feel frustration, even a little foolish.  But remember that all you are feeling is an expression of the state of your Qi.  Take a moment to enjoy a minute of calm.

acupuncture southend cancer pain fertility

Try it and let me know how it made you feel.

If you have any questions about acupuncture, or any of the topics in my blogs, please do contact me.  Find out more about me, or my treatments  here.

Southend Acupuncture Cancer

Cancer and the role of Acupuncture

The role of Acupuncture in the care of cancer patients is contentious.  Some studies show that Acupuncture and Acupressure are of great benefit in the relief of pain and other symptoms, while other studies seem to show that are no significant benefits.   All I can say is that the proof is in the pudding.  As an Acupuncturist at the Macmillan Centre at Southend Hospital I have had some great results, helping patients with pain, hot flushes, anxiety, and lots of other side effects associated with cancer treatment.

Cancer diagnosis and treatment

Cancer treatments have come a long way in recent years, especially if they are identified early.    It is now possible to identify a cancer in it’s very early stages and remove it completely, therefore curing it.  Today you are likely to live nearly 6 times longer after a cancer diagnosis than you were 40 years ago.   You are 95% more likely to survive bowel cancer than you were only 15 years ago.  Cancer treatments, however, can stlll be incredibly harsh and unforgiving.  Even if you get away with the least invasive of treatments with minimal side-effects, you are still left to deal with the emotional impact of having a serious illness.

Acupuncture can help

In Chinese hospitals you are just as likely to be treated with Chinese medicine as you are with Western medicine.  A recent study in China showed that a large proportion of cancer patients use Chinese Medicine in conjunction with conventional Western medicine.  In a recent study in Hong Kong 63.3% of a total 786 cancer patients used Chinese medicine in conjunction with Chemotherapy.

The NHS is a long way from offering Acupuncture routinely, but you will find it on a Tuesday at the Macmillan Centre at Southend Hospital where I volunteer.   As a volunteer therapist I am able to support cancer patients with acupuncture and Tui na. Some are currently undergoing treatments while others are in recovery.

Studies have shown that Traditional Chinese Medicine in cancer management has the potential:

  1. To raise the quality of life
  2. To improve the immune response
  3. To minimise the side effects of radiotherapy and chemotherapy
  4. To treat the complications during the peri-operative period and promote the rehabilitation of patients after operations
  5. To ease the pain

Cutting Down your Risk

Although Acupuncture can help during cancer treatment (and the effectiveness of the treatment), there are a few things you can do that can either reduce the chances of developing it yourself or to boost your treatment and recovery.

I think therefore I am

Our cells are affected by our emotions, something the Chinese have known for thousands of years. In Chinese Medicine we say that the root of all disease is emotional.  Each organ has an emotion associated to it:

The Heart – Joy and happiness

The Lungs – Sadness and Sorrow

The Liver – anger and frustration

The Spleen – Worry and over-thinking

The Kidneys – Fear

If we experience an intense emotion such as a shock, or a negative emotion over a long period, like having to endure a job we hate or being in an abusive relationship, the organs will eventually be affected.  We can be slowly worn down by fear or anger, especially if you are unable to express that emotion.  So it’s important that we are mindful of what we are feeling so we can do something about it. Easier said than done, I know.  It may take a bit of guidance and practice, but the potential for a new job or relationship is there.  Nothing in life worth having comes easy I’m afraid.

So we all have to do things we would rather not be doing, like work.  Just walking out of a job is not advised, and doing your dream job might be a few years away.  Changing the way you think can make all the difference.  It wasn’t that long ago that we thought disease was spread by a ‘bad air’ known as a miasma.   It was John Snow (not that John Snow, the other one) who made a connection between an outbreak of cholera on Broad Street in London and the water supply. If it wasn’t for such reformers as John Snow we would all be walking around wearing plague masks looking like evil penguins! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miasma_theory

You are what you eat

What we eat can also have an effect on the development of cancer.  Certain foods, such as sugar and trans-fats, have been shown to be particularly bad for us.  Some foods on the other hand, such as turmeric, have been shown to be good for us.   Many medical professionals, however, will tell you there is not enough evidence to support this.  But even if there is the slightest risk, isn’t it something we should take into consideration?  If there is enough evidence to suggest something is unsafe, surely it should be approached with caution, and at least warrant thorough investigation?

Southend acupuncture pain cancer backache

This is only my opinion of course.  Everyone should be free to eat as much sugar as they like, but it would be nice to be presented with all the facts so you can make a well -informed judgement.  But we have to be realistic; if there is money to be made certain people and organizations will be reluctant to show us the truth.  For decades the tobacco industry insisted that smoking posed no significant risk to health, when all along they knew how deadly it was.  Why wouldn’t Big Business making money from sugar products do exactly the same? And the meat and dairy industries?

Remember when John Gummer encouraged his daughter to eat a burger to proof beef was safe during the mad cow epidemic.  Did you know that Australia and the USA will not accept a blood or tissue donation from anyone who lived in the UK for more than 3 months between 1980 and 1996?

Here are some links you may find interesting:

https://www.donateblood.com.au/faq/vcjd

https://www.redcrossblood.org/donate-blood/how-to-donate/eligibility-requirements/eligibility-criteria-alphabetical/eligibility-reference-material.html

If you have any questions about acupuncture, or any of the topics in my blogs, please do contact me.  Find out more about me, or my treatments  here.

Steve Coster Earth Acupuncture Chewing

Connecting with the earth & the art of chewing

Over the Easter weekend I was getting my hands dirty digging the veg patch and planting seeds.  The weather has been so clement that my courgettes are shooting up already!  In this week’s blog I explore our relationship with the earth and food we grow in it.  Acupuncture isn’t just about needles, a few simple lifestyle changes (such as how we eat) can make a big difference.

Connecting with the Earth

Steve Coster planting acupunctureSteve Coster Digging Acupuncture

It’s really important that we connect with nature; in fact it’s vital to our health.  Spending time in nature is becoming a big thing in health care all around the world. In Japan they call it shinrin-yoku, or forest bathing.  Nature therapy, as it is called elsewhere, helps to free us from the distractions from the modern world.  Not a particularly new idea I guess, but whatever way the holistic health ideal gets out there is great.  In other parts of the world it is called garden therapy, horticultural therapy, Kneipp therapy or even ocean therapy.  Whatever you call it, connecting with nature has to be good for us.

Steve Coster pain relief acupuncture

My courgettes!

Becoming grounded

The concept of Earth and grounding is fundamental to Chinese Medicine.  It is central to everything.  It is a pivotal time of year between the Yang and Yin when the summer is waning, around September, when fruits are at their ripest and sweetest.  Earth is also important in Qi Gong as Man is the connection between Heaven and Earth.  We need to be grounded, not only metaphorically but literally.  Gravity helps of course, but we all know people who have their heads in the clouds and are ungrounded, flitting from one thing to the next.  It’s important to have the creativity and freedom that comes with an attachment with the heavens, but it’s equally important to have our feet firmly planted on the ground.

In Wing Chun emphasis is put on the development of the horse stance, a stance used to ground oneself to generate power and stability.  It’s about being as solid and immoveable as a mountain, but not totally rigid and inanimate.  Mountains move, the whole Earth does in fact, we are just unaware of it!  By becoming connected to the Earth one is not only able to absorb power from it, but also transfer force into it, just like the roots of a tree.

The importance of proper digestion

We can also ground ourselves with food, by touching it, smelling it and tasting it.  Take a moment to really connect with what is in your mouth when you are eating.  Chew your food really well.  I am really adverse to food being liquidized before eating it, as I believe chewing is important to the digestive process.   Digestion starts in the mouth.  The action of chewing stimulates the release of saliva which contains digestive enzymes that break down starches into simple sugars.  Saliva also contains some fat digesting enzymes that begin the process of breaking down fats in our food.  Not only chewing, but smell and taste receptors also trigger the production of stomach acid and pancreatic juices 

In Chinese Medicine the whole digestive system is compared to a machine that mulches and heats the food to obtain the essences which are then converted into Qi and Blood.  By chewing we are breaking down the food into more manageable pieces but also heating it up.  If this doesn’t occur then vital energy is wasted in doing the heating which can result in Spleen deficiency and its related problems.  Without adequate chewing you will feel heavy and dull, develop gas, and be undernourished.  

The art of chewing 

Chewing ones food is again nothing new, but it became a big thing in the 19th century when nutritionist Horace Fletcher (1849-1919) developed into a real art.  He believed that you can eat whatever you like, but you must only eat when you are hungry and every mouthful should be chewed until it had lost its flavour.  Fletcher himself used to ‘Fletcherize’ each mouthful of food up to 100 times!  He famously said “Nature will castigate those who do not masticate”! 

His message to humanity – to have an excellent overall health – was to have a holistic approach involving three steps:

  1. Eat only when you have a good appetite
  2. Chew the food like pulp and drink that pulp. Do not swallow food.
  3. Drink all the liquids and liquid food sip by sip. Do not drink in gulps.

It sounds horrible! 

Eating the Chinese way

In Chinese Medicine the way we eat is important too, but unlike Fletcherism there has to an element of joy to it.  Who wants to be like a cow chewing the cud all day? However, there are still plenty of do’s and don’ts when eating.  These are just a few:

  • If you want something badly enough it’s probably more healthy just to eat it.  The mental anguish in suppressing the desire will probably do you more harm.
  • Eat in a nice environment.  
  • Avoid arguing or emotionally charged conversations.  
  • Don’t be too hot or too cold.  
  • Turn the tv off. 
  • Don’t read.  
  • Don’t eat before a bath (or in the bath!). 
  • Take time to self-reflect – eating is a time to nurture not only the body but the mind also.
  • Relax after food, but don’t rush off to bed.
  • Give thanks before and after eating.
  • Try to eat locally, organically, and seasonally.

So I hope this week’s blog has given you food for thought.  Remember, we are of the materials of the Earth so it’s important to respect what it offers. Be compassionate towards animals and plants and only consume what is needed.  We should feel the same aversion to polluting our bodies as we do the environment.

If you have any questions about acupuncture, or any of the topics in my blogs, please do contact me.  Find out more about me, or my treatments  here.

Pain management with Steve Coster Acupuncture

A week in the Acupuncture Clinic

There is never a dull day in the Acupuncture clinic and every day is varied.

Just this week I have helped people with many things, from knee pain to IVF support.

  • back pain (from sprains to a prolapsed disc)
  • Hot Flushes (menopausal but also Chemo-induced)
  • Headaches and migraines
  • IVF support (supporting egg transfer and preparing for IVF in general)
  • Digestive problems
  • Water Retention 
  • Male fertility issues 
  • Cancer treatment support
  • And Morning Sickness!
Knee pain Steve Coster Acupuncture

Electroacupuncture for knee pain

Back pain Steve Coster Acupuncture

Cupping for back pain

Pain management Steve Coster Acupuncture

Acupuncture for Shoulder pain

 

 

Some cases are common place, such as lower back ache.  Other cases are more specialised and challenging, for instance chemo-induced hot flushes.  

But what we actually feel is often just the tip of the iceberg.

 

Pain is not the Cause, but the Symptom

What all the conditions I have seen this week have in common is that they are the symptoms of an underlying cause.  They are not the root itself.  Think of a tree, or an iceberg.  The part that we can see is only a small part of what is actually going on.

No matter how simple a case may seem, the root can be (more often than not) complicated.  We are not machines that if you change a spark plug everything will be fine again.  We are complicated organisms that are affected by what we eat, how we sleep, what we are thinking, where we live, who we talk to….and on and on.  So that is where the real skill of being a practitioner lies; being able to sort through everything and root out the actual cause of a disease or condition.

Do you trust your mechanic?

There is a real danger of treating ourselves as we would our cars.  Something goes wrong so we take it to the mechanic.  At the end of the day he calls you to go and pick it up.  And one day, it costs just a bit too much, so you sell it or scrap it.  There is a whole industry that encourages us to treat our bodies in this way, as if they are misbehaving machines.  We are given a pill for this symptom and a pill for that, and then another pill for the side effects of the first pill!  The pain may be dulled, but now you can’t think straight and your hands are numb!

Qi follows Mind

People often ask me how acupuncture works.  I explain about the concept of Qi , our vital energy, and how if this energy is impaired then illness will result.  But what the acupuncture needles really do is kickstart the Mind and Body into what it should have been doing all along – healing itself.  

In Chinese Medicine we say that Qi goes where the Mind goes.  That’s why practises such as Mindfulness and Meditation are so important for our health and wellbeing.  They teach us to focus our Minds and really feel what we are feeling.  No one can feel what you are feeling but you.

Please do contact me if you have any questions about Acupuncture.  Or you can find out more about any of the topics in my blogs here, about me, or my treatments