- Published: Sunday, 20 November 2016 13:50
- Written by Louise Stevens
I first became interested in complementary medicine after suffering with an illness. I was forced to self diagnose because western tests were not giving any answers to my feeling so unwell and I felt my health deteriorating. This started me on a path of research and experiencing many different therapies. I began to realise that we can be in control of our own health and well being and I feel strongly that we should be teaching our children this valuable lesson too. The most positive way to do this is to lead by example.
I experienced acupuncture and Chinese medicine for the first time while studying nutrition. This gave me a thirst to learn more, and the most exciting part, alongside the amazing results, is that there is something new to research in conjunction with the traditional. After all life is about balance.
I completed a 3 year honours degree in acupuncture and Chinese medicine at LCTA London in 2011 after which I studied a 1 year diploma course on paediatric acupuncture with Julian Scott. Prior to the acupuncture I attended a 1 year course in naturopathic nutrition, including a short course in food intolerance testing.
I have completed CPD courses on fertility and IVF support, eye health and Qi Gong.
As a mum of 3, I have a particular passion for treating babies and young children and have had great success in treating issues such as:
- Digestive and bowel problems,
- Sleeping issues,
- Coughs and colds,
- Skin and lungs disorders, and
- Eye conditions
I also find it very useful to support the immune system during immunisations or from the side effects of medications.
Babies and children respond extremely well to treatments as their energy is so vital. The needles do not need to be retained and any pain felt is very shortlived compared to the longterm benefits gained.
- Published: Tuesday, 12 July 2016 14:57
- Written by Louise Stevens
Recently I attended a herbal conference at the Chelsea physic gardens on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR). What is this I hear you cry!
Well we have recently been warned about the global threat "..for a post antibiotic era, in which common infections and minor injuries.. could once again kill" WHO 2014. If trends continue it will be a bigger killer that cancer in 2050.
While herbal medicines may not be as powerful as modern antibiotics, their antibiotic action remain effective. This is likely to be due to the synergy of a multitude of chemicals in each medicinal plant that has adapted itself to the negative effects of bacteria, fungi and viruses over the course of time. Such Antimicrobial actions can be further enhanced by the use of different herbal combinations.
The advantages of herbal medicines are that they not only directly affect microbial actions but also improve greater resilience to reinfection and faster recovery from infection. Herbal medicines are effective both in stimulating an immune response and directly fighting infections.
In fact a trial has been approved for GPs to prescribe a Chinese herbal medicine formula for urinary tract infections (UTIs) instead of antibiotics. This is very exciting news indeed. Let's hope it's the start of a more integrated and collaborative approach to healthcare.
- Published: Sunday, 12 June 2016 17:15
- Written by Louise Stevens
Asthma has become in the last few decades a very common disorder in developed nations. The precise reason for this huge increase in atopic conditions like asthma has not yet been adequately explained, but we may suppose that aspects of our modern lifestyle and environment contribute a significant part of the picture. Exposure to environmental airborne pollutants appears to either directly cause inflammation in the bronchi or exacerbate it. Atmospheric pollution has increased and so has the number of chemicals (pesticides and preservatives etc) in our food. While these may not be so directly involved in the aetiology of asthma, it is possible that they play a role in over sensitising or derailing parts of the immune system, thus producing abnormal responses to various external stimuli e.g. dust mite excreta, pollens or foods.
Chinese medicine believes that one of the main causes of asthma is from the retention of deep rooted phlegm in the lung system. It can be from factors that are hereditary, constitutional, environmental, exogenous, dietary or due to a weakened state of health. A marked change in our behaviour and diet has occurred, particularly in children. One of the features of paediatric physiology is the immaturity of the digestive system. This inherent digestive weakness predisposes to incomplete breakdown of food and the accumulation of Phlegm. Fatty and cold foods, unfortunately the mainstay of many a modern child's diet, are especially dangerous in this regard. Phlegm is very clearly a key component of all types of asthma.
All children and adults with asthma need to be on a diet to reduce Phlegm. This means restricting foods that produce congestion of mucous membranes (e.g. peanut butter, diary products), and foods that impair the Spleen's ability to breakdown food (excessive raw or cold foods and sugar). Aspects of lifestyle and behaviour that require attention includes reducing screen time. Not only is the lack of movement not beneficial for the qi of the body but the nature of the sometimes mindless absorption and focus on the screen is seen to deplete qi. At the other end of the spectrum, is the plethora of after school activities and the expectations of parents that their child should fulfil. Such relentless pursuits can exhaust a child's qi and leaves very little room for the valuable dreaming time of childhood.
If treatments are consistent using acupuncture and/or herbal medicine, diet and lifestyle advice firmly adhered to, then positive changes can be made with a definite reduction in attacks and morbidity.
Happy to discuss any queries or questions!