Thursday, 20 December 2012

New Years Resolutions in 2013

Many people make New Years resolutions but do they actually stick to them. Watch this interesting video to find out....

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Acupuncture benefits IVF

Results from a meta-analysis by Chinese authors indicate that acupuncture, especially around the time of controlled ovarian hyperstimulation, can improve pregnancy outcomes in women undergoing IVF. The paper also suggests that more positive IVF outcomes can be expected if treatment is individualised to each patient. Twenty-three trials (a total of 5598 participants) were included in the analysis, including nine studies that had not been included in previous systematic reviews of acupuncture for IVF. The pooled clinical pregnancy rate (CPR) from all acupuncture groups was found to be significantly higher than that from all control groups, whereas the live birth rate (LBR) was not significantly different between the two groups. However, the results were quite distinct when the effect of the type of control procedure used and/or the timing of acupuncture treatment were examined in a sensitivity analysis. (The role of acupuncture in assisted reproductive technology. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:543924. Epub 2012 Jul 2).

Monday, 26 November 2012

Acupuncture, fatigue and breast cancer

A large-scale clinical trial has shown for the first time that acupuncture is effective in treating fatigue in former breast cancer patients.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

England cricket star, Stuart Bond has acupuncture

England cricket star, Stuart Bond has acupuncture

Acupuncture benefits IVF

Many women turn to acupuncture when trying to conceive and will often use acupuncture as a means to enhance fertility. The research below suggests that acupuncture when used alongside IVF may be beneficial

Results from a meta-analysis by Chinese authors indicate that acupuncture, especially around the time of controlled ovarian hyper stimulation, can improve pregnancy outcomes in women undergoing IVF. The paper also suggests that more positive IVF outcomes can be expected if treatment is individualised to each patient. Twenty-three trials (a total of 5598 participants) were included in the analysis, including nine studies that had not been included in previous systematic reviews of acupuncture for IVF. The pooled clinical pregnancy rate (CPR) from all acupuncture groups was found to be significantly higher than that from all control groups, whereas the live birth rate (LBR) was not significantly different between the two groups. However, the results were quite distinct when the effect of the type of control procedure used and/or the timing of acupuncture treatment were examined in a sensitivity analysis. (The role of acupuncture in assisted reproductive technology. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:543924. Epub 2012 Jul 2).

Monday, 5 November 2012

Tai chi increases brain size and improves memory

Once again the Journal of Chinese Medicine has reported on the latest research into Chinese medicine. This time it's quite a delightful bit of research into tai chi.

A joint Chinese-US research team has found that practising tai chi leads to increased brain volume and improved cognitive function in elderly people. One hundred and twenty older adults without symptoms of dementia were randomised to four groups (tai chi, walking, social interaction and no intervention) for 40 weeks. Two MRIs were obtained, one before the intervention period, the other after. A battery of neuropsychological tests was administered at baseline, 20 weeks and 40 weeks. Compared to the no intervention group, significant increases in brain volume were seen in the tai chi and social interaction groups. Throughout the study period, improvements in cognitive function scores were also observed in the tai chi group, including measures for dementia, learning capacity and verbal fluency. The social interaction also group showed some improvement on neuropsychological indices, but to a lesser extent than the tai chi group. (Changes in brain volume and cognition in a randomized trial of exercise and social interaction in a community-based sample of non-demented Chinese elders. J Alzheimers Dis. 2012;30(4):757-66).

It time to sign up to your local tai chi class!

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Hip Pain? Need to watch this video then

Clicking hips, burning pain on the side of your knee when running, snapping hip, IT band syndrome, sciatica? I see lots of clients suffering from hip pain and diagnosing it is a part of my job that I really enjoy. In this video (which is part of a series and the other are great too) a good examination is carried out as to what the cause of hip pain may be. A good diagnosis leads to a good treatment which means that you will be out of pain in no time. If you a re suffering from hip pain then get in contact to see how I can help.

Stretch those legs

Here is Cameron Reid again giving a good little demo of some easy to do leg stretches. Get stretching!

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Good news for IBS sufferers as acupuncture proves beneficial

 A large trial of acupuncture for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) has shown that the treatment has significant benefits. British researchers at the University of York, led by Dr Hugh MacPherson, enrolled 233 patients who had suffered from IBS for an average of 13 years.  It has to be also noted that it was the same research team that investigated the benefits of acupuncture for non specific back pain. The results from that study have led to the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (N.I.C.E) recommending a course of acupuncture for non specific low back pain so these results may again influence the N.I.C.E guidleines.

Key symptoms of IBS included diarrhoea, constipation and abdominal pain, which often have a substantial impact on daily activities. Half the patients received 10 weekly individualised acupuncture sessions in addition to usual care, while the other half continued with usual care alone. Acupuncture was administered by experienced acupuncturists according to the principles of traditional Chinese medicine, and each patient’s individual presentation. A common core of points (Hegu L.I.-4, Taichong LIV-3, Zusanli ST-36 and Sanyinjiao SP-6) were used in over 50% of treatments. Acupuncturists were also allowed to use some non-needle techniques, consistent with their routine practice. The most commonly used were moxibustion (13% of patients), tui na (9%) and acupressure (6%). In addition, acupuncturists were allowed to provide lifestyle advice, with a restriction against probiotics. In total, 68% of patients received lifestyle advice, most commonly concerning diet (56%), stress management (24%) and exercise (6%). At three months from baseline, the results showed a statistically significant difference between the two groups favouring acupuncture, with a reduction in the IBS Symptom Severity Score (SSS), a validated measure that combines the key symptoms of IBS. With a successful treatment being defined as at least a 50 point reduction in the IBS SSS, the results showed a 49% success rate in the acupuncture group against 31% in the control group, a difference between groups of 18%. This benefit was largely found to persist up to 12 months.
(Acupuncture for irritable bowel syndrome: primary care based pragmatic randomised controlled trial. BMC Gastroenterol. 2012 Oct 24;12(1):150. doi:10.1186/1471-230X-12-150 [Epub ahead of print].

 From my own clinical experience I found acupuncture to have some great benefits so when combined with dietary advice such as taking probitiocs (just one example)  you have a powerful tool for change.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Acupuncture as effective as physiotherapy in post-stroke rehabilitation

In a recent post by the Journal of Chinese Medicine new evidence suggests that acupuncture may be useful in post stroke rehabilitation. Acupuncture is used routinely in China to aid post stroke victims. The evidence in my view suggests that the combination of both acupuncture and physiotherapy would be the most advantageous to patients care and well being The Journal of Chinese Medicine states the following.

 "A large multicentre RCT from China has found that acupuncture plus conventional care was similar in effectiveness to physiotherapy treatment plus conventional care for post-stroke rehabilitation. The research involved a total of 310 patients randomly divided into three groups. All received conventional care as needed, including psychological counseling, standard nursing care and daily medical evaluation. In addition, they received either acupuncture, physiotherapy, or acupuncture plus physiotherapy, once a day, six days a week for four weeks. Compared to baseline, participants in all groups improved their scores in physical performance, daily functioning and neurological deficit by the end of week two, and by the end of week four these scores had improved further. The study found no statistically significant differences in outcomes between the three groups after treatment, suggesting that acupuncture and physiotherapy were equally effective as adjunctive treatments and that the combination of acupuncture and physiotherapy, in addition to conventional treatment, did not result in synergistic effects. (An effectiveness study comparing acupuncture, physiotherapy, and their combination in poststroke rehabilitation: a multicentered, randomized, controlled clinical trial. Altern Ther Health Med. 2012 May-Jun;18(3):8-14)."

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Acupuncture for cancer suffers in Bristol

Penny Brohn Cancer Care is a charity dedicated to helping cancer sufferers live well, through a unique combination of physical, emotional and spiritual support designed to help at any stage of the illness.
The charity runs a weekly clinic helping to teach patients how to play an active role in keeping themselves well through treatment. The clinic runs from 9.30am to 1.30pm on Monday mornings and includes:

 I have been lucky enough to be chosen as one of the bodyworkers offering massage to cancer suffers. Also on Mondays there is an open acupuncture clinic where people can try acupuncture. Some cancer suffers have found acupuncture to be a useful tool in terms of helping them through chemotherapy and to manage the side effects of treatment they may be receiving. For more information on acupuncture for cancer care you can view an information sheet from Penny Brohn here and an information sheet from the British Acupuncture Council here.

 The clinic at Penny Brohn offers the following.
  • Practical advice on eating well and managing side effects
  • Optional acupuncture to help with nausea and tiredness
  • Gentle exercise sessions specially designed for people with cancer
  • Relaxation skill sfor use at homeand in hospital
  • Delicious healthy snacks and juices
  • Meeting and sharing with others going through similar experiences
It really is a wonderful place and well worth a visit.

Friday, 21 September 2012

3 great tips on how to maintain posture

Posture is extremely important and the cause of many problems seen in my clinic. This video explains why posture is so important and how to maintain it.These simple techniques are easy to follow and learn, helping you prevent further problems arising.

Acupuncture for tension headaches

The National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) is a special health authority of the NHS that sets guidelines on the use of medicines, treatments, procedures and clinical practice for doctors and other healthcare practitioners. In 2009 NICE recommended that acupuncture should be made available on the NHS as a cost-effective short-term management treatment for the management of early, non-specific lower back pain. Today, NICE further extended their endorsement of acupuncture by recommending that acupuncture should be prescribed to patients in the prophylactic treatment of chronic tension-type headache. The guidelines stipulate a course of 10 sessions over the course of 5-8 weeks.
Not insignificantly, NICE conclude that acupuncture is the only proven method to prevent tension-type headaches and migraine and that doctors should prescribe it.
In a month in which a meta-analysis of nearly 18,000 patients demonstrated acupuncture’s capacity to help those in chronic pain from arthritis, there are now many reasons to consider acupuncture as a treatment for a number of health conditions.

You can read details of the new NICE announcement on The British Acupuncture Council’s website here: or read the guidelines directly on the NICE website here

Acupuncture for osteoarthritis of the knee

2 papers in Acupuncture in Medicine look at the acceptability to patients, and cost implications, of a group acupuncture clinic for osteoarthritis of the knee held each week in Parkbury House Surgery in St Albans. For more information on how acupuncture can help with osteoarthritis please contact me or visit my website for more information.

Watch the video on how acupuncture can help for migraines

Migraine sufferers Tina and Chris tell us how acupuncture helped alleviate migraine, whilst David Millard MBAcC offers some insight into the treatment. For more information on how acupuncture can help you please visit my website.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Acupuncture for chronic pain

An international collaboration, involving some of the UK’s top acupuncture researchers, has provided definitive evidence that acupuncture is effective for chronic pain. The Acupuncture Trialists' Collaboration analysed raw individual patient data, which was available for 17,922 participants enrolled in 29 high-quality, randomised trials of acupuncture for four chronic pain conditions; back and neck pain, osteoarthritis, shoulder pain and headache. It is the first systematic review of acupuncture to use individual patient data to conduct its meta-analysis. This method is superior to the usual method of using summary data, as it enables different outcomes to be combined and allows use of statistical methods that generate more precise results.

 The study, published in the prestigious Archives of Internal Medicine on September 10th, showed that for each of the four chronic pain conditions, the analgesic effect of true acupuncture was slightly better than that of placebo acupuncture. However, the difference between true acupuncture and usual care alone was found to be much larger and of clear clinical significance. Acupuncture was found to be statistically superior to control in all comparisons. Patients who received true acupuncture had less pain, showing scores that were 0.23, 0.16, and 0.15 SDs (standard deviations) lower than sham controls for back and neck pain, osteoarthritis, and chronic headache, respectively. The effect sizes for true acupuncture in comparison to no-acupuncture controls were lower by 0.55, 0.57, and 0.42 SDs, respectively. The authors give an example of what these effect sizes might mean in real terms. For an RCT where pain is scored on a 0-100 scale, a baseline pain score might be 60. Given a standard deviation of 25, post-treatment scores might be 43 in a no-acupuncture group, 35 in a sham acupuncture group and 30 in a true acupuncture group. In comparing true acupuncture with no acupuncture, the effect size for individual RCTs showed that it had a smaller benefit in patients who received a programme of ancillary care (for example physiotherapist-led exercises), than in those patients who continued to receive usual care (for example rescue analgesics). The average effect size of true acupuncture (approximately 0.5 SD, judged as ‘medium’), compared with no treatment, was judged to be of clear clinical relevance. The authors point out that while the difference between acupuncture and sham was of lesser magnitude (approximately 0.2 SD, judged as ‘small’), this is still a robust difference that could be clearly distinguished from bias. Theirs is the first study to unequivocally demonstrate this.  

Although the data indicate that acupuncture is more than a placebo, the relatively small difference between true and sham acupuncture suggests that factors in addition to the specific effects of needling contribute to its therapeutic effects. However, the authors also emphasise that the clinical choice made by doctors and patients is not between acupuncture and sham, but between acupuncture and no acupuncture, and, for this comparison, there is a clear and clinically relevant difference. The collaborators conclude that this landmark study provides the most robust evidence to date that acupuncture is a reasonable referral option for patients with chronic pain. They hope their findings will encourage clinicians to recommend acupuncture as a safe and effective treatment and inform future clinical and policy decisions. (Acupuncture for chronic pain: individual patient data meta-analysis. Arch Intern Med. 2012 Sep 10:1-10. doi: 10.1001/archinternmed.2012.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Frequently asked questions about acupuncture answered

Ever thought of having acupuncture? Here in a short video form Emma Cannon who is a British Acupuncutre Council member answers some of the frequently asked questions.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Tips on trying to conceive

A short video from Zita West who is as a midwife, a nutritional advisor and acupuncturist on how trying to cconceive. Zita also recomends having acupuncture to improve your chances of trying to conceive.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Acupuncture for Nausea and Vomitting

Ever thought about using acupuncture for nausea or vomiting? Then watch this video to find out more..

Great video explaining the magic of exercise

A great video explaining the many wonderful benefits of why exercise is so important.Just do only 30 minutes a day. Watch, be inspired and then exercise.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Clare Nasir describes her experiences using acupuncture to complement IVF

Acupuncture for IVF

Many more women (and couples)are seeking help when trying to conceive and often turn to acupuncture for help. Below is an article which suggests that acupuncture can help along side conventional treatment. For more information visit New research demonstrates a consensus amongst acupuncture experts on best practice treatment protocols for acupuncture enhancement of assisted reproductive technology (ART) fertility treatments. ART includes all fertility treatments in which both the eggs and sperm are handled. ART includes in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intrauterine insemination (IUI). In this study, researchers set out to determine if a consensus exists on high priority acupuncture points for the enhancement of ART. Acupuncture IVF and IUI ART has been used in the USA since 1981 to help women become pregnant. Although acupuncture and Chinese medicine for the treatment of infertility is a time honored practice, the combination of acupuncture with ART has emerged in recent years as an effective approach for improving pregnancy and live birth rates. In this study, researchers administered three rounds of questionnaires to fifteen international acupuncture fertility experts to determine if a consensus exists on best practice protocols. The investigation revealed that several key components are central to acupuncture in combination with ART. The timing of an acupuncture treatment in relation to the menstrual cycle is of great importance. An acupuncture treatment administered between day 6 and 8 of the “stimulated ART cycle” is optimal. In addition, it is ideal to have two acupuncture treatments “on the day of embryo transfer.” Pre-transfer acupuncture points of high priority are SP8, SP10, Liv3, ST29 and CV4. Post-transfer points include GV20, K3, SP6, P6 and K3. Auricular acupuncture points Shenmen and Zigong were also determined to be of high priority. About the Healthcare Medicine Institute: HealthCMi provides online acupuncture CEU credit to licensed acupuncturists and publishes current events related to acupuncture, herbal medicine and important innovations in healthcare technology.

New research on back pain

Below is an extract from the daily mail looking at research which demonstrates the prevalence of back pain in young adults. Painful: One in three young adults suffer from backache, researchers have found Young adults are paying the price for spending hours slumped in front of the television as one in three suffer from back pain, research has suggested. Research company Mintel found that the proportion of 16 to 24-year-olds suffering from pain was similar to that of pensioners. The study found that 34 per cent of 16 to 24-year-olds suffer from back ache compared with 38 per cent of over-65s. Two fifths of Britons across all age groups suffer from back pain, the research found. Michelle Strutton, from Mintel, said: 'The high incidence of back pain in Britain’s youngsters is pretty alarming. 'Too much time sitting, weakens muscle tone and this can lead to back pain. 'Many of Britain’s youngsters lead a sedentary lifestyle and lack of sport may well be contributing to back pain as well as poor posture. 'Britain’s youth are spending hours at a time slumped in front of TV and computer screens, which is doing nothing to strengthen their backs. Read more: I see many people from back pain in my clinic and I agree with some of the points above. Many clients now are office based spending many hours I front of the computer often in poor positions resulting in altered biomechanics which in turn leads to back pain. The key is a combination of patient education, encouraging exercise, manual theraphy and possibly acupuncture. So switch off your computer and do something more interesting instead.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Acupuncture on the increase in the UK

A major national survey of practitioners of acupuncture in the UK provides an up-to-date overview of the profession and concludes that acupuncture provides a substantial contribution to the country’s healthcare. A team of UK authors conducted a cross-sectional survey of 800 practitioners randomly chosen from the four major national acupuncturists’ professional associations. Data collected included demographic details, association membership, statutorily regulated status, practice setting, style of acupuncture practiced, diagnostic methods used and needle response sought. Practitioners additionally recorded details of their 10 most recent patients, including demographic details, primary reason for consulting and lifestyle advice provided. Of the 330 practitioners who responded, 29% were doctors, 29% physiotherapists, 15% nurses and 27% independent acupuncturists. Of these, 62% were women with median age of 48 years. The majority (68%) practiced in independent settings, while 42% practiced within the National Health Service. Patients most commonly consulted for low back, neck, shoulder and knee pain, as well as headaches and migraine. Treatment for infertility by independent acupuncturists was found to have increased by fivefold over a period of years. Based on the survey results, the authors estimate that almost four million acupuncture treatments were provided in the UK in 2009, of which approximately one-third were provided within the NHS. They conclude that the primary complaints for which patients consult acupuncturists reflect the growing evidence base on acupuncture for these conditions, and suggest that the survey data provides a basis for future decision-making regarding policy and practice. (Acupuncture in practice: mapping the providers, the patients and the settings in a national cross-sectional survey. BMJ Open. 2012 Jan 11;2(1):

Acupuncture for painful periods

Non-invasive electro-acupuncture stimulation applied at Hegu L.I.-4 and Sanyinjiao SP-6 can significantly reduce the pain of dysmenorrhoea, according to a Taiwanese group. A randomised controlled trial enrolled 66 patients with primary dysmenorrhoea (without pelvic pathology) and randomly assigned them to an experimental or control group. In the experimental group, acupuncture-like trans-cutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (AL-TENS) at a mid-range frequency (1000-10,000Hz) was applied at Hegu L.I.-4 and Sanyinjiao SP-6 twice weekly for eight weeks, while the control group received AL-TENS at non-acupoints. After the intervention, the average total pain score in the experimental group was significantly lower than in the control group (2.9 vs 5.4). Significant differences were also observed between the groups in the average change in pain scores pre- and post-intervention (4.5 vs 1.39). Pain severity post-intervention was also significantly different between the two groups. (Effects of noninvasive electroacupuncture at Hegu (LI4) and Sanyinjiao (SP6) acupoints on dysmenorrhea: a randomized controlled trial. J Altern Complement Med. 2012 Feb;18(2):137-42).

Tai chi improves balance and walking in Parkinson's

Tai chi improves balance and walking in Parkinson’s patients Practising tai chi twice a week can help Parkinson's patients improve their balance and walking ability, according to an American study. A randomised, controlled trial assigned 195 Parkinson's patients with mild to moderate disease to one of three groups: tai chi, resistance training or stretching. The patients engaged in 60-minute exercise sessions twice weekly for 24 weeks. The tai chi group performed consistently better than the resistance-training and stretching groups in a number of postural stability tests. The tai chi group also performed better than the stretching group in all secondary outcomes (including measures of gait and strength, functional-reach and timed up-and-go tests) and outperformed the resistance-training group in stride length and functional reach. Tai chi lowered the incidence of falls  compared with stretching, but not compared with resistance training. The effects of tai chi training were maintained at three months after the intervention. (Tai chi and postural stability in patients with Parkinson's disease. N Engl J Med. 2012 Feb 9;366(6):511-9).