Posts by LizL

Grit for Health

Posted by on Jan 23, 2020 in Blog | 0 comments

I recently read the book “Grit” by Angela Duckworth.  Essentially, your passion to do something as well as your persistence to endure when times are difficult is the recipe for success (whatever that is).  What struck me is that this is an important theme in the world of Chinese medicine and acupuncture.  How you present yourself to the world and how you engage with the world affects how you move, how you stand and, therefore, your vital energy.  If you are not looking forward to each day, if you feel stuck, you may not stand up straight.  You may stand as if you are about to stop: collapsed chest, tightened stomach, tense hands, tense feet, tense face.  If you do this every single day then you are likely to start having pain related to this. You can even get stomach problems or, for women, menstruation irregularities.  For other people, they may lack focus on their ultimate goal and have scattered thoughts.  Due to lack of organisation, they may constantly be thinking of several things they need to do.  With each thought of, “Oh, I need to do ‘x'”, their brain will send signals to the muscles that get you up and moving- the back, the back of the legs, the base and upper part of the spine.  In time, this may result in back pain, neck pain, headaches.  At the very least, it will result in constant tension.

So as much as having a passion for something and a clear focus is a recipe for “success”, it’s also not a bad way to create a healthy body.

Today, as you walk around or stand, consider how you hold yourself.   Take a moment to consider where you hold tension.  Then breath into it and release it.  Consider what you can do to embrace the day and make it fulfilling.   If you are walking like a child walks to the park, then you are doing pretty well.


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Acupuncture for Sciatica- A Different Approach

Posted by on Jul 25, 2019 in Blog | 0 comments

The past couple of years I’ve been learning more about other methods of Chinese medicine.  Traditional acupuncture works really well but there are always cases that make you reflect on whether you could be doing something different.  This last year I’ve been learning about the Sinew Channels which are briefly acknowledged on acupuncture courses but not taught at all.  Acupuncture courses teach the 12 meridians because they are the standarised curriculum based on what Mao set up in the 1950’s.  But there are many more systems.  I consider the 12 meridians a bit like a Swiss Army Knife.  The 12 meridians work brilliantly on a lot of different things, hence, why they are perfect as a standarised method.  However, there are times when you need a specialist tool dedicated to the task at hand.   For many painful conditions, I’m discovering that the Sinews channels, with it’s unique needling and palpation of the channel, incredibly effective.  The Sinews Channels hold a lot of painful conditions because, from a Daoist perceptive, they represent how we relate to the world around us.  For example, when are sitting quietly in a chair and suddenly need to get up, we look up, engage the top and bottom of our spine, and press our feet to the ground which tightens our back, bottom, hamstrings and calf muscles.  If we spend our day thinking of the tasks ahead of us, and what we need to do, we send micro signals to our body to “get up”, thus tightening our neck, back, glutes, and calf muscles.  These microsignals are as instinctual as sweating when it’s hot.  If we constantly tighten these muscles, we can develop back pain, neck pain, headaches, shoulder pain, sciatica.  However, the treatment of the Sinews isn’t just about relaxing muscles, it’s also about awareness.  The Sinews treatment is very interactive where the patient works with the practitioner finding weak and tense points.  With that awareness, the patient can discover the links and connections to their pain and create an awareness so that they can let go.  We can’t be “in the moment” at all times since we have jobs and families that require planning.  We can create space where we aren’t planning all the time or unnecessarily.  By understanding where we hold pain, we are more empowered to let it go.

Pain relief from a Sinews treatment can be instantaneous.  I had one patient who has struggled to get out of her chair because of sciatica.  She’d been to the osteopath many times with no success.  I previously did Traditional Chinese Medicine acupuncture with some success but the treatment didn’t last longer than a few days, which she was grateful for but I wasn’t satisfied with.  She went to see her doctor who suggested surgery.  Needless to say, she still wanted some pain relief until she could undergo surgery.  Willing to try something different, we did a treatment on the Sinews Channel using its unique needling technique down the channel.  After the treatment, she got up off the table with absolutely no pain.  None at all.  The next day she called me up to say that not only was she still pain free, she had been woken up every night in the past year with leg cramps and after the treatment she no longer had leg cramps at night.  I saw her two weeks after the treatment and she is still pain free.

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Mushrooms for Younger Looking Skin

Posted by on May 20, 2019 in Blog | 0 comments

Oh, how I wish I would have taken before and after pictures.  I  must admit, I’m  not very good at skin rituals.  I’m a horse woman so I forget to put sun protection on my face and I use Nivea as my daily moisturiser because it’s cheap and thick, so I don’t have to reapply it all the time.  However, about a month ago, I found my skin looking really tired.  Now I know perfectly well that once I got beyond 45, my skin revealed when I wasn’t getting enough sleep or I was just doing too much.  But this was different.  I honestly felt that I had aged a decade within the last few weeks.  I don’t wear hardly any makeup and I didn’t feel like walking the dog without putting some on.  Please keep in mind I don’t have huge issues with ageing.  I’m fine with it, but I don’t like looking in the mirror and being shocked by my reflection.  And that’s what was happening.

Several months ago I missed a talk given by colleague Martin Powell.  In Chinese herbal medicine circles, he’s the mushroom expert.  When it comes to medicinal fungus, Martin is the one I trust.  Fortunately, Martin’s talk is on YouTube.  It’s called “Why All Mushroom’s are Magic“.  I highly recommend watching it, it is utterly fascinating.  One of the things Martin mentions is that he had used Snow Fungus for a treatment and women asked if they could keep taking the snow fungus because they loved how their skin was on it.  You may not be completely familiar with snow fungus but you’ve probably eaten it if, like me, you enjoy your Chinese take-away. snow-fungus Snow fungus is a light coloured, slippery, papery mushroom frequently used in cooking.  Luckily, Martin sells snow fungus in pill form so you don’t have to start each morning cooking mushrooms.

So I decided to give it a test run.  In Japan snow fungus is used to reduce bad cholesterol and fight antherosclerosis.  Animal studies have shown it reduces tumours and increases the activity of natural killer cells.  It’s anti-inflammatory, so really, I had nothing to lose.

After 2 weeks of taking 2 pills each morning I noticed my tired look had gone away completely.  I was confident going out without make up again and, in fact, I felt I was looking better without makeup again.  That look of shock of my reflection had completely gone away.  Ever the skeptic, I thought maybe I was just getting used to my reflection but then my 15 year old daughter (who didn’t know I was taking the mushrooms) stopped me, looked closely at me, put the back of her hand to my cheek and said, “Your skin looks beautiful”.  I laughed.  And she repeated, “No really, your skin looks so even and smooth.”

Sold.  Needless to say, I will continue to take snow fungus.

My family has also been taking Reishi from Martin’s shop (and please use his shop as he is excellent at sourcing quality products and quality is everything when it comes to herbs).  I’ll do a write up on Reishi soon, too!  Watch this space!

xx Liz


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Local Fundraiser for My Son’s Friend

Posted by on Dec 7, 2018 in Blog, Uncategorised | 0 comments

Usually we do not mix work and family issues.  But this one is important to a local family who have had their life turned upside-down.  My son’s friend, Spike, he’s known since Primary school.  A couple years ago they were roommates when they went on a school trip to Salamanca.  Worried about who he was going to be staying with, he assured me that Spike was a super nice kid- “Yeah, mum, he’s super nice.”  As 16 year old’s, they sometimes walk to their 6th Form College, BHASVIC, together.  Just over a week ago, on a rainy morning at around 8:15am, Spike was hit by a car while walking to class.  He was flown to Southampton and  is in an induced coma with a severe head trauma.  Spike has two sisters and his parents are with him, too.  At a time when we are worrying about whether we are putting up our Christmas tree too early or too late, his family are willing their son better.  Years ago I treated a woman whose child was hours from home being treated for cancer.  She spoke about the financial hardship of not being able to work but also about how life just stopped for them.  She told me how she would look out the hospital window and watch people taking their kids to school and thought, “I used to do that”.  I will always remember the sadness and isolation in her eyes when she shared that with me.  I do not know Spike’s parents.  I know who they are because we’ve done the same school run for many years and we live in the same neighborhood.  But my thoughts are with them every day and my heart breaks thinking of what they are going through.  And, if the Brighton community can ease their financial difficulty as the cost of staying with Spike in Southampton, I know they would be grateful.  Most of the donations to them have been in small increments as many have been donated by children who are donating their pocket money.  My son has worked a part-time job for years and came to me with £100 of rolled up notes to donate.  If you can, please give.  And send a healing thought to Spike. (GoFundMe for Spike)

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MDMA for Trauma

Posted by on Nov 20, 2018 in Blog, Uncategorised | 0 comments

I’ve spoken about this for many months with colleagues who are in full support of the legalisation of MDMA for a number of conditions.  It’s about time we look beyond the politics and start prescribing effective treatments.

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