In my lovely yoga class today, my wise teacher, Bridget at Yoga Om, talked about ‘Moments of Being’ as described by Virginia Wolfe. She encouraged us to notice the space or pause between our breaths. What does it feel like when we stop doing?
Woolf calls the forgotten rush of everyday life “non-being,” and contrasts this unconscious state with memorable moments—the hum of bees as she walked to the beach as a girl—that are often mysterious for being so ordinary and yet remembered. In these flashes of time she was conscious of being conscious, instead of “embedded in a kind of nondescript cotton wool” in which human days typically pass. https://richardgilbert.wordpress.com/about/
As we are nearing the shortest day and Winter Solstice, we have the opportunity to embrace the Yin. In Chinese Medicine everything comes back to Yang and Yin and whether they are in balance. Yang is about activity, doing, energy. Yin is about rest and being. Yang is the light, Yin is the dark. The most Yin we can be is when we are dead!
When our Yin is depleted we can feel tired, look pale, have night sweats and feel thirsty. We age more quickly and attract more illness,
Most of us live very Yang lives, in a society that values goals and measures success by our activity. Many of us have a mantra around being ‘too busy’. Many of us are fighting to find our Yang- we don’t want to get up when it’s still dark outside. We struggle to get out in the evening to that restaurant, gig or evening class. Our instinct is to snuggle up in our warm beds, in comfy pyjamas, on the sofa, stroking the cat or dog and eating warm nurturing food like stews and casseroles. Following this instinct is not being lazy or unmotivated. It is embracing our Yin!
During shorter, darker days, we need to conserve our energy and look after our Yin. Leave the big plans and the salad leaves for the Spring!
Now please go and think about what you can do to nourish your own Yin and notice the space in-between the actions and activity and allow yourself to sink into that.
A new Cochrane review, printed in October 2016, considered the results of 22 trials and the experiences of almost 5000 people. The review concluded that “Acupuncture appears to reduce headache frequency with patients with episodic migraine more than usual care (medication) or sham acupuncture”.
We love treating migraine as we see such great results.
Here is what Penny had to say about her acupuncture experience with us:
Caitlin has helped me with migraine and chronic neck pain. After four months of treatment my headaches are much less frequent and rarely turn to migraine. The neck pain has eased considerably, and my energy levels are higher than they have been for many years. It is a painless relaxing treatment in a warm welcoming space.
If you want to find out more about whether we can help to eradicate or manage your migraine get in touch. We would invite you in for an initial consultation, in which we find out more about you, your migraines and general health. We then give you some acupuncture to try. It is usual that a course of sessions are recommended as the benefits build gradually. On average, this may be coming to see us for 6 sessions, once a week. We would hope to see improvements within that time.
I’ve just signed up to enjoy one of Barney’s brilliant breathing sessions. Fancy joining me?
“I’ll be running a gentle Breathing Space workshop on Sunday 27 November, 2 – 5pm, at Leeds Buddhist Centre.
Please come along if you can, and let me know as soon as possible to book yourself a place. We are limited to 10 people maximum.
Hope you can make it!
There will be three main elements to the afternoon, suitable for all comers:
1. Chi Kung exercises for flow and balance
2. T’ai Chi, an introduction to the classical Long Form
3. Body Meditation and Relaxation.
Each hour will have a short break built in, with an extended lie-down to finish.
It costs £15 per person. This session needs to be pre-booked and paid for in advance. Just email me, and I’ll book your place and give details of how to pay.
Have a look at my Facebook Breathing Space page for the event, too, and feel free to share!
07769 806 236
Leeds Buddhist Centre
Leeds Bridge House
Leeds LS10 1JN
The Tetley car park is about a hundred yards away. There are usually plenty of spaces and it’s not too expensive.”
One of the most common side effects we see in our patients is a deep sense of relaxation after their treatment. Whatever symptoms the acupuncture is treating, we tend to see this result. Feedback we get includes comments about how how well people slept after acupuncture, how their partners noticed they were very chilled after a treatment, and how they seem react to things that would usually stress them out in a different way and be able to stay calm.
This is a wonderful aspect of receiving acupuncture. It is especially useful during IVF. A recent study has suggested that high stress levels may impact on IVF results, lowering the chance of success. Some fertility consultants refer directly to us during IVF and recognise that acupuncture may help to reduce stress during a potentially stressful time as well as possibly increasing blood flow, which is helpful when trying to prepare follicles and the uterus lining for implantation.
Most of us live with high levels of continual stress. The stress hormones which are essential in a flight or fight mode, are not so helpful when they become the norm for us. Whether you’re feeling like you need some time out for you, some rebalancing as you’ve been through a stressful time, or you’re preparing for IVF, give acupuncture a try.
A new controlled trial from China has found that women receiving acupuncture had a 43.3% of pregnancy rather than the 20% resulting from taking fertility medication including clomiphene (clomid). The study measured prolactin levels which are a key indicator of hormonal function in women trying to conceive. Read more here.
We love supporting women and couples trying to conceive, whether that be naturally or those receiving medical interventions. Initially we are trying to find out if there are any underlying issues that may be affecting fertility. Stress, which disrupts hormonal function, can often be a key factor. We then devise a treatment plan for you as an individual. Commonly this may involve weekly sessions of acupuncture over a couple of months and then if you are not pregnant within that time, we may reduce to less frequent sessions if we see improvements have taken place. We use changes such as those seen in the menstrual cycle, PMT levels, energy levels etc as an indicator of whether the acupuncture is helping.
For those on Clomid or having IVF we use different treatment plans and sessions may be arranged around key parts of your cycle and Western medical treatment. For instance with Clomid and ovulation inducing drugs we may treat pre and post ovulation. In IVF we may treat more frequently in the stimulation part of the cycle and then pre and post transfer. Although we have some general treatment plans, your treatment, is individualised for you.
If you want support in your bid to become and sustain a healthy pregnancy, get in touch and talk to us about whether we can help.