Acupuncture in Winter

IN WINTER: The body withdraws. Winter is the season where the kidney element is predominant. Our kidneys are held deep within the body and are vital to life. Winter is about withdrawing into ourselves, not overexerting one’s self. The Kidney’s element in Chinese medicine is water, water becomes cold easily and cold injuries the body if left unattended so keeping warm and eating warming food is important. The aspect of spirit that resides within the kidney is the Yi. This is our intelligence. The kidney organ separates the impurities from the fluid within our body and excretes them through the urine. Similarly, the Yi helps us to discern the pure from impure thoughts. Winter is a time to assess your current beliefs and values and redefine your focus for the spring, so you can clearly focus on the new ventures that spring may bring.

 Physically Winter affects the body in more ways than one, particularly in the modern world. There is a dryness in the air both external and through heating devices – this saps our moisture that is vital to the kidneys, leaves our skin and lips dry and our brain a little muddled at times.  Because our Qi withdraws it leaves our surface exposed to the elements and the cold and wind may sneak into the system, this is where we see wind cold invasion in Chinese medicine aka a cold or flu.


You know that eerie feeling when you think you are getting sick?


This is the point when the external elements have invaded the body and your body mounts a defence, you feel clammy and your glands may be up, you might wake with a kinked neck and you generally feel a bit off. Continue reading

Lymphatic Drainage: The Zero Pressure Technique

The fascinating truth behind light pressure

We have learned to accept that having a massage without pain means no gain. Although, it is true that in some cases we need to apply more pressure to release stubborn, chronic tension, there is also a magnificent technique that is based on zero pressure: lymphatic drainage. This specialised, powerful modality helps drain the lymph, which is designed to eliminate excessive fluids and waste from our body tissues. This fluid and waste removal stimulates the immune and circulatory systems giving a great overall immunity boost.

Why do we use zero pressure? 
Because the lymph is located just below the skin (as well as, in deep organs) and the aim is to move the skin just enough to enhance the lymphatic movement.

Who Benefits from manual lymphatic drainage (MLD)? 
All of us, as it cleanses the toxins that overload the body (from chemical stress, food preservatives, fatigue, infections and lots more in these modern age). In particular this modality is great for edema (swelling) due to pregnancy or inflammation,  post surgery – both to heal quicker and helping reducing scar tissue, for those who get sick easily or tend to get the seasonal flu (even one treatment reduces the chances to get sick!), respiratory infections, chronic fatigue, immobile people.

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The Urge

Often when we think Women’s health, the most common dysfunction people immediately think of is leakage. Whether that is leakage during a certain activity such as sneezing, laughing, coughing (stress urinary incontinence) or leaking on the way to the toilet (urge urinary incontinence).

Some people often don’t associate other symptoms such as urgency, frequency and increased nighttime voids as bladder related issues.

In actual fact, if I were to ask Women what is more bothersome to them, the leakage or the urgency coupled with or without frequency and nighttime voids, the later would be what is impacting their quality of life more. Leakage on most occasions Women can manage e.g they might be happy to wear a panty liner during exercise in the event that they might have a small leak. But urinary urgency has a significant impact on quality of life.

Urinary urgency is defined by the International Continence Society as the complaint of a sudden compelling desire to pass urine, which is difficult to defer.


Often the urge is very unexpected and unprovoked, and can literally happen at any time.

The issue with urgency is that it’s often followed by a fear/anxiety/stress response because the urge is so difficult to defer that you are compelled to find a place to toilet immediately.

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