- Published: Thursday, 21 April 2016 14:21
- Written by Louise Stevens
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common chronic condition which upsets the bowel (with either diarrhoea or constipation or both at different times) causing discomfort and pain. when sever it can e very debilitating and can seriously interfere with one's work and social life. It is thought that to one degree or another it affects 20% of the UK population. Symptoms are often worse with upsetting emotional events or stress at work. The first episode often occurs after a period of stress or gastro-intestinal infection.
Conventional medicine relies mostly on dietary recommendations and anti-spasmodic medicines for the pain IBS is considered to be a 'functional' problem, i.e. one that does not need surgery or major drug treatment. The connection with emotional stress is recognised and that sometimes leads to the use of anti-depressants.
Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine is very effective at treating 'functional' digestive problems, where conventional medicine may struggle. Chinese medicine treatment is tailored to you as an individual and so are the dietary recommendations.
The organs most often associated in IBS are the Liver (stress) and Spleen (digestion). The stress affects the hypertonicity of the large intestine and the spleen leads to a weakening of the digestive function. If the Liver is the main organ responsible then constipation may be more apparent with abdominal cramping. A diet that helps regulate the liver energy (qi) includes dispersing and pungent flavours like onions, garlic, turmeric, watercress, peppermint, dill, sour flavours including citrus and pickles. Plenty of fresh vegetables and be careful not to overeat. Avoid saturated fats and fast food. Care with chilli and avoid artificial and synthetic substances.
If the spleen is more involved, diarrhoea may be more apparent. A diet to strengthen the system will be helpful. Eating warm, cooked food and include foods like oats, barley, rice, root vegetables and chicken are all naturally warm and sweet. Careful not to drink too many fluids with meals and take time to eat and chew food properly. Avoid cold raw foods and drinks, including too much fruit. Avoid dairy, wheat and sugar!
If you would like more information please get in touch. Happy to chat!
- Published: Monday, 08 February 2016 10:00
- Written by Louise Stevens
Charmian Wylde BA MBAcC
I have over 25 years of experience as a practicing acupuncturist, having studied at The London School of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine (now Westminster University) and in Nanjing, China where I worked in a department of acupuncture within a busy teaching hospital.
I established and was co-director of The Birmingham Centre for Chinese Medicine for 10 years, during which I learned how helpful acupuncture could be against a wide variety of painful conditions, such as migraine headache, sciatica and trigeminal neuralgia.
Over the past decade I have been involved in the education of those wishing to study acupuncture, designing and writing a BSc Acupuncture degree for The University of East London, where I was course director and senior lecturer. Aside from passing on skills to new practitioners, working in the arena of acupuncture education provided opportunities to develop my own practice and deepen my understanding and appreciation of how versatile acupuncture is in tackling common health issues. These included infertility, arthritis and Type 2 Diabetes in conjunction with GP prescribed treatment.
I have also been impressed with the importance the Chinese place on regular exercise and movement in order to maintain good health. As a yoga teacher, I have an interest in using acupuncture to speed up recovery from sports injuries and in keeping chronic conditions such as back pain at bay.
I have seen the important role acupuncture can play in maintaining good health in our lives, especially when we are living longer, but also in confronting chronic illnesses for which there is sometimes little remedy. Acupuncture in my view is a common sense system of medicine with much to offer in the improvement of health and wellbeing in a fast-paced modern world.
I have over the years developed a problem-solving insight and will work with my patients to see how we can apply acupuncture to usher you towards a state of feeling better in both mind and body.
I lived in West Dorset during the early 1980s and am thrilled to return to the region. For me there is nowhere better, and along with the bracing sea air and glorious Dorset landscape, I’m delighted to work with Louise in offering acupuncture in Weymouth.
- Published: Wednesday, 03 February 2016 11:04
- Written by Louise Stevens
The Chinese New Year of the Fire Monkey will start on February 8, 2016 – the second New Moon after the Solstice. Following 12 months of the dignified and surefooted Goat, the New Year of the Red Monkey is going to shake, rattle and roll!
The positive and negative quality of the Monkey Year 2016 culminate in a year where anything can happen. There is little point in storing up goods or planning one’s life. The influence of the Monkey puts everything into flux. Things will get accomplished, but largely through personal and individual efforts. Group movements, such as political upheaval or revolutions, will not make a mark during this year.
This cheeky animal bursts with exuberance, bringing a lightning fast pace and fantastical motivation. The Monkey increases communication, humor and wit, helping us get through stressful times with grace and ease. Business flourishes and risks tend to pan out. The Monkey’s gift is the ability to find unconventional solutions to old problems. Daring to be different can lead to success.
Talk is fast and cheap though, so be on the alert for deceptions. With so much mental energy zapping around, everyone needs to re-think their fitness program, diet and health plan. If you don’t have one, you definitely need to instigate some form of regular physical activity this year. The body was designed to move! Honor it! Stress needs to be burned off by going to the gym, swimming, yoga, water aerobics, dance, martial arts, team sports, tennis or long walks. When was the last time you did any of these things?
Although a lively, optimistic and progressive year where finances, politics, and real estate should see an upturn, there will be a decided undercurrent of insecurity. Everyone wants to work the shrewdest angle, get the best deal, and win big. However, business decisions made this year should be based on fact, not emotion. Problems and chicanery abound, so nothing this year should be taken for granted, whether politically, financially, professionally, domestically or emotionally.
A particularly auspicious time for new inventions, the Year of the Monkey is for taking risks and being rebellious, a year where agile, inventive minds, sheer guts and bravado will win out. Now is the time of courage, action, anarchy, and true devotion to even the wildest of schemes, a time to start new endeavors, for they are destined to succeed under Monkey’s influence. But a word to the wise: those who can hang on for the wild ride, outsmart the confidence-trickster, and bluff their way through will come out unscathed. Those who are dull or slow witted, and can’t handle the stress will come unglued.
On the individual level, do go ahead with your life. Move forward, make strides, and stretch out for what may lay ahead. The Year Of The Monkey 2016 is a time for business considered as risky, and here the seeds of unplanned success lays. Run with ideas, embrace the inventive, and don’t look back.
Remember that this year will reward the individual effort and those who place their trust in the group collective will face disappointment.