Acupuncture is one of the oldest and most common forms of alternative medical treatments in the world and dates from the Shang dynasty in China from 1600 – 1100 BC. However, it has only become popular in the West since the early 1970’s.
The goal of acupuncture is to balance the flow of energy in the body. According to Chinese medicine, energy, or qi, flows through the body through 12 pathways which are called meridians. If this flow of energy becomes out of balance and blocked, the result is some form of disease or discomfort. The practice of acupuncture involves inserting vey fine needles into the skin at specific points along these meridians and in a combination which the acupuncturist will decide upon depending on the condition that is being treated. These needles may be manipulated by hand, or may have an electrical current passed through them, in order to stimulate the flow of qi and get yin and yang back into balance. When the yin and yang are back in balance, the flow of energy is unblocked, and good health is restored.
While Eastern practitioners believe that acupuncture is all about the qi, Western scientists have studied it and come up with some theories of how it works including the fact that the acupuncture needles stimulate nerves and trigger the body’s own natural painkillers. Dr Ting Bao suggests that the nerve sends signals to the brain and the brain then releases neural hormones such as beta-endorphins which make the patient feel happy and raises the pain threshold, so the patient feels less pain.
However, other practitioners such as Kylie Study say that acupuncture does not directly trigger the release of the beta-endorphins, but works by stimulating the hypothalamus and pituitary gland to produce the extra hormones. It actually seems likely that acupuncture works using a variety of different mechanisms. It has certainly been proven to impact a number of different health conditions.
At Acubody, in our London acupuncture clinic, we have had some great results using acupuncture for the treatment of infertility. More and more women have been putting off having a family in recent years until their 30’s, concentrating instead on climbing the career ladder and becoming financially stable. Since fertility declines with age, that has caused problems with women conceiving. By using acupuncture, we have been able to increase the levels of fertility in women, who have then gone on to conceive naturally.
If you’re feeling stressed, you may find it difficult to sleep. Stress is a common culprit for sleepless nights — and unfortunately, sleep deprivation can make stress even worse.
Decreasing stress with acupuncture and healthy sleep habits can help you break the cycle of stress and sleep. When you decrease stress, you can sleep better, and when you sleep better, you’re in a better position to manage stress in a healthy way.
Sleep and Reactions to Stress
When you’re sleep deprived, you’re more likely to have a stronger negative response to stressors. When you’re tired, you have less patience and energy to deal with the annoyances and stresses of life. Sleep deprived people report greater subjective stress, anxiety, and anger than those who are well rested, and sleep deprivation can lower the psychological threshold for perception of stress.
Using Acupuncture to Decrease Stress
It’s not unusual for acupuncture patients to experience improvement of symptoms including chronic stress, depression, and anxiety. A study of acupuncture’s effect on stress in rats found that acupuncture can decrease some of the effects of stress. Rats who had been exposed to stress, then treated with acupuncture, behaved more like normal rats who hadn’t been exposed to stress.
Better Sleep Habits for Better Sleep
Of course, reducing stress and getting better sleep can’t be achieved with acupuncture alone. Acupuncture is just one part of an overall healthy strategy to sleep well and reduce stress. Use these tips to build better sleep habits and alleviate the effects of stress so you can sleep better at night:
Practice relaxation techniques. Wind down at night by making relaxation part of your bedtime routine. Try yoga, meditation, deep breathing exercises, a hot bath, or aromatherapy to relax and wash away stress before you go to bed.
Create a comfortable sleep environment. A healthy sleep environment should be calm and soothing. Keep work and other stressors out of your bedroom, and avoid using your bed for anything other than sleep or sex. Make sure your bedroom is quiet and dark, using blackout curtains and white noise if needed. Reduce or eliminate clutter, which can be anxiety inducing, and paint your walls in a light or neutral color that’s soothing and relaxing.
Make sleep a priority. Stressful, busy lives can push sleep far down on the list of priorities, but rest is one of your most important tasks of the day. Schedule your life around sleep, not the other way around. You should aim to give yourself at least eight hours of time to rest each night so you’ll have plenty of time to get the recommended seven hours of sleep.
Sleep in a position that’s comfortable for you. Everyone has their own sleep personality and position that they prefer, but some sleep positions are better than others. Generally, stomach sleeping isn’t good for proper alignment of the spine and support for your body. Back sleeping or side sleeping tend to be better choices for supportive sleep that doesn’t aggravate the body’s pressure points.
It is possible to suffer an injury when taking part in any type of sports, particularly contact sports such as rugby, football, and boxing. However, they can also occur in what might be thought of as sedentary sports such as snooker or darts. This is because repetitive actions, which in the case of snooker may take place over several hours, can also result in injury. The same thing can happen in a round of golf, among other sports.
You don’t even have to be taking part in a sport at all to suffer the same sort of injuries. You can get them from doing such things as digging your vegetable patch, where you may be adding manure and you turn over spadeful after spadeful of soil. DIY is another “hobby” which can lead to the same injuries, and believe it or not, you can also get them from sitting hunched up over your laptop all day or your tablet playing games for hours.
All of these injuries can benefit from a sports massage as well as myofascial release in London from one of the therapists at Acubody. Sports massage is a collection of techniques, and three forms of massage are generally used. These are effleurage, petrissage, and deep transverse friction massage (DTFM). Effleurage uses long, light, and gentle strokes along the length of the muscle and is performed slowly. Petrissage includes wringing, kneading, and scooping strokes. DTFM works by moving the fingers forcefully across the target tissues and is also known as cross-friction massage.
A sports massage is actually based on Swedish massage and overall is quite a strong, deep massage. Usually, no immediate effect is felt, but within 24 hours beneficial results are realised. In fact, the deep strokes that are used in a sports massage can actually make the limbs feel heavy for a while. This is the reason that a sports massage before taking part in an event will use somewhat lighter strokes. A massage before participating in sport has the effect of toning the muscles and increasing blood flow and circulation. It also has another benefit that many people don’t consider, but nonetheless is very important. It can relax an individual mentally.
If you think about it this makes sense, because prior to taking part in an important match or competition it is very easy to become stressed, and this can affect physical performance. You will perform much better if you are relaxed and at ease about taking part.
When you take part in any sorts of sport which involve physical activity – and the majority do – there can be stress on the body which can range from mild to severe. Some sports such as pheasant shooting, for instance, do not require much physical activity, but others involve a lot: even sports such as snooker and darts can require a lot of repetitive actions, and in the case of snooker this can be over a period of several hours.
If you are suffering from any sort of muscle pain, Acubody can help you with myofascial release treatment. This is a form of neuromuscular technique and research has shown that softening, stretching, and freeing of connective tissue is assisted by specialised receptors that are housed in the fascia and nervous system. It has an amazing effect on the muscles and releases pain through freeing up “knots” or adhesions, so is a useful trigger point therapy.
At Acubody, our highly-skilled therapists use London sports massage on athletes both before and after an event. Participating in sports has become more popular in recent years, and athletes are having to continue to push themselves further. What was seen as a great performance perhaps 30 years ago, today is seen as normal. Remember the four-minute mile: until 1954 it seemed impossible to achieve, but after Roger Bannister cracked it more athletes followed very quickly. Today, you are seen as pretty slow if you DON’T run a mile in under four minutes.
Acubody is the leading sports injury clinic in London and we use massage therapy, sometimes combined with acupuncture, to treat sports injuries. However, it is not only used to treat injuries, but also as a form of stress relief. Many massage therapists consider that it should be a lifestyle choice for sportsmen and women and they should have a massage at least once a month.
At Acubody we carry out a considerable amount of sports therapy in London as well as myofascial release. Sportsmen and women come to us for a London sports massage or myofascial release in order to relieve pain after a sports injury, which is frequently the result of muscle tension and trigger points. A trigger point is where a muscle is under tension but causes a pain somewhere else in the body. This is sometimes called a reflected pain.
HOW TO BREATHE CORRECTLY DURING YOGA? A COMPLETE GUIDE
Yoga is well on its way to becoming the most popular workout regime for flexibility, strength, and mental and physical health. It originated from the Indian culture more than twenty-six thousand years ago. It is associated with the Hindu religion and it embodies spiritual enlightenment and the state of being. Today, yoga is so popular not because of the spiritual factor, but more so because of the numerous physical benefits, it has to offer.
A Combination Of Therapies To Relieve The Pain Of Sports Injuries
The London sports injury clinic of Acubody Therapies in Holborn can help relieve all sorts of pain cause by playing sport, especially contact sports, but also others, such as golf, where repetitive actions can cause damage.