Home in Leeds and have just treated my Dad. He doesn’t usually ask for acupuncture treatments but he’s been very poorly recently. His type 2 diabetes has been totally out of control. He has not been able to eat, has lost weight and is totally exhausted. I guess he’s always been pretty sceptical about traditional acupuncture and I’ve never wanted to force this issue with him.
I gave him an early afternoon treatment. As it was his first treatment ever it was very simple. A few points in the back, some moxibustion on a point called Rich for the Vitals and a couple of points in his feet. All done in 1/2 an hour as he sat at the table.
Later we had tea (dinner to all you south of Yorkshire) and he said he felt hungry for the first time in weeks. He was also still up and about at 10pm commenting that it was ages since he’d not collapsed by 8 o’clock.
My Dad is 82 years old and acupuncture won’t cure him but it can certainly contribute to an increase in his quality of life and make living with diabetes easier.
If you’re interested in how acupuncture can improve your quality of life get in touch with me or your local Acupuncturist or alternatively you can look at the research about diabetes and acupuncture on the BAcC website at
Having just spent the last few days walking in the sun, eating outside and meeting up with friends and family, it feels like Summer has finally arrived.
In the West summer formally starts on the summer solstice when the sun is the furthest north, this year it’s the 21st of June. But for Five Element Acupuncturists summer actually started on the 5th May, the turning point halfway between the solstices when the sun’s rays hit the earth at 45 degrees. This might seem a bit odd to us modern Westerners but the Gaelic calendar, which is also based on the needs of an agricultural society recognises that Summer starts in May. Good for Irish kids as they get a lovely long holiday from early in July.
So what does the Summer mean for our health?
According to traditional Five Element Chinese medicine, each season is ruled by an element. Summer is associated with the element of Fire and the energy of Heart, Small Intestine, and the tongue. Knowing which element relates to each season can provide knowledge about health at that time and in Summer special attention should be paid to these organs.
When the Fire element is working well within us, the heart is strong and healthy. If not balanced there can be too little joy (depression), or too much (chaos) or inappropriate exuberance. Agitation, nervousness, heartburn, and insomnia are symptoms that a person's Fire is out of balance.
To prevent these problems try the following
- take full advantage of the long summer days. Get up earlier in the morning, go to sleep later at night, and try to rest at midday.
- fluids are very important in summer months so drink plenty of water or fresh watermelon juice which is particularly cooling. Avoid drinks full of sugar and chemicals (like fizzy drinks) as these don't actually relieve thirst, and also inundate the body with more toxins to eventually clear.
- you can add stronger or spicier flavors to your diet at this time of year but avoid indegestion by choosing ligher foods over heavier foods.
- avoid dehydration and sunburn especially for small children and older people as they are
are especially susceptible to these downsides of the heat.
- take cool baths, seek the shade and wear lighter clothing.
Summer really is a great time to focus on changes in life, a time to grow and be more aware of yourself and others. The predominant nature of Summer is Yang and so excitement, assertiveness, and exuberance comes more naturally to us all. Truly a time to be open hearted, to enjoy the weather and each other's company.
If you are not feeling the joy of Summer good acupuncture from a qualified and registered acupuncturist can help. Please get in touch.
Gaynor Hollis is a Classical Five Element Acupuncturist with a thriving practice in Birmingham. She is interested in all things healthy and life style related not just Chinese and Japanese acupuncture.