IT’S SLEEP SUNDAY SO LET’S TALK ABOUT SLEEP AND ACUPRESSURE POINTS THAT CAN HELP YOU TO GO TO SLEEP…

Acupressure is an easy way to help with pain and insomnia and well worth trying if you are struggling to sleep. Acupuncture and acupressure are both methods used to stimulate acupoints. In comparison, acupuncture uses a hair-thin needle to stimulate acupoints whereas acupressure uses a firm pressure to massage the acupoints. In acupressure and acupuncture acupoints, the specific points that are stimulated are the same points.  Acupoints are categorized in relation to their functional effect on the body, again, the categorization and use of points is exactly the same in both healing arts.

The Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapist’s explains how Acupuncture works. The acupuncture needle will stimulate the flow of QI [pronounced ‘chee’], which circulates in channels or meridians within the body. The QI circulates within the deeper organs of the body but connects to the superficial skin. In the state of a normal healthy body, a balance exists between these systems. Both the superficial energy and deeper energy can be influenced by the stimulation of specific acupuncture points. If injury, disease, emotional trauma or infection occurs, the natural flow of QI within the meridians and organs may well be affected and the result is an altered flow, either a slowing or stagnation of QI causing pain and inflammation or a deficit of QI, which may cause weakness, exhaustion and longer debilitating disease. The stimulation of relevant acupuncture points may free stagnation, reduce excess or indeed, increase QI to the specific area or organ and thus help to restore normal QI flow and balance.

There are several techniques in applying Acupuncture by Acupressure or Electro-Acupuncture which enhances the repair mechanism and enables an improved recovery time.

Follow the pattern below to start your acupressure treatment.

 

Place the tips of your index and middle fingers on the centre of your breastbone, at the acupressure point known as ‘Sea of Tranquility’. Now close your eyes and apply steady pressure, not too hard, for a minute or two. You will then soon feel tension, anxiety and stress start to slip away.

You could also use your first two fingers and tap them across the top of your head from temple to temple. Then work from front to back and side to side as this can get blood and oxygen moving to ease tension and restore focus.

To destress your shoulders make a gentle half-closed fist and with a loose wrist, tap your right hand gently but firmly up your left arm, along your shoulder and up the side and back of your neck. Repeat the same process on the other side to ease tension and release endorphins.

If you can’t quite get the gist of this then check out this YouTube video.

#Acupressure pressure points for #sleep disorders and insomnia.

MY TOP TIPS TO AVOID HURTING YOUR BACK OVER CHRISTMAS…

It’s easy at this time of year to forget the correct way to pick something up or the correct way to sit to avoid stirring up your back problem, so I’ve put some tips together to remind you.

If your using public transport don’t forger your badge or stick as you should be offered a seat.

When brushing your teeth rinse with a cup of water, don’t bend, it’s a classic position to trigger low back pain.

If you have to have a bath as you have no shower, either bend your knees to the floor then fill up your bath or get someone else to fill the bath for you. I have pulled my back out twice while filling a bath. When you do have a shower remember to have your toiletries at the correct height so that you are not stretching or bending.

Always, always, always bend the knees when picking up anything or bending down. Use your legs when lifting. Bend at the knees and straighten your legs as you lift the object. This puts less strain on your back.

And for the women, don’t carry your life around in your handbag.

And for the men, don’t carry too much in your computer bag.

Another one for the women, don’t wear high heels all the time. The long term effect can not only effect your back but also your feet.

Standing incorrectly I suppose is an obvious one but they say that if you can avoid leaning while standing (against a wall or similar) and do not stand on one leg as this can create muscle imbalances.

If you stand for long periods of time, raise one foot on a box to lessen the strain on your back. Check your posture and try to maintain the natural curve in your spine. Take frequent breaks if possible.

If you must sit for long periods of time, get up every 30 minutes, walk around and do a few stretches.

If you work at a computer, adjust your chair so your elbows to wrists are parallel to the floor and the screen is at eye level.

If your going to stay with family over Christmas do pay attention to how you get in and out of the car. Sit down facing the door and swing both legs into the car together. Getting out is the reverse. It may look cumbersome but many a bad back is triggered by getting in or out of the car the wrong way. Ensure if you are driving any distance that you take regular breaks and have a walk around, and pop a cushion or towel behind your back.

 

ACUPUNCTURE THE LATEST TREATMENT FOR FIBROMYALGIA…

The theory and practice of acupuncture originated in China. It was first mentioned and recorded in documents dating a few hundred years before the Common Era. Earlier instead of needles sharpened stones and long sharp bones were used around 6000 BCE for acupuncture treatment.

The word “acupuncture” means “needle piercing”. It is a traditional Chinese medical treatment using very fine needles, which are inserted into the skin at any of the 800 specially-designated points. It originated from a Dutch physician, William Ten Rhyne, who had been living in Japan during the latter part of the 17th century and it was he who introduced it to Europe.

A study conducted at Sheffield University in the UK looked at the long-term symptom reduction and economic benefits of acupuncture for persistent pain, An average of 8 acupuncture treatments was given to 159 people, while 80 received usual care instead.

After one year, people receiving acupuncture had reduced pain and reported significant reduction in worry about their pain compared to the usual care group. After two years, the acupuncture group was significantly more likely to report that the past year had been pain free. They were less likely to use medication for pain.

A scientific explanation is that acupuncture releases natural pain-relieving opioids, sends signals that calm the sympathetic nervous system, and releases neurochemicals and hormones.

Dove Press wrote that ‘A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Randomised Controlled Trials’, showed that ‘Acupuncture therapy is an effective and safe treatment for patients with FM, and this treatment can be recommended for the management of FM.’

Without balance in our bodies, there are many health-related problems we can encounter and having an Acupuncture treatment can help to restore your body systems to the right balance. They are quite often referred to as Yin (which is negative) and Yang (which is positive).

The Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapist’s explains how Acupuncture works. The acupuncture needle will stimulate the flow of QI [pronounced ‘chee’], which circulates in channels or meridians within the body. The QI circulates within the deeper organs of the body but connects to the superficial skin. In the state of a normal healthy body, a balance exists between these systems. Both the superficial energy and the deeper energy can be influenced by the stimulation of specific acupuncture points. If injury, disease, emotional trauma or infection occurs, the natural flow of QI within the meridians and organs may well be affected and the result is an altered flow, either a slowing or stagnation of QI causing pain and inflammation, or a deficit of QI, which may cause weakness, exhaustion and longer debilitating disease. The stimulation of relevant acupuncture points may free stagnation, reduce excess or indeed, increase QI to the specific area or organ and thus help to restore normal QI flow and balance.

ACUPUNCTURE, IS IT AS GOOD AS THEY SAY IT IS?

Acupuncture, is it as good as they say it is?

Back in 2009, after having numerous spinal surgeries and also being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia I was at a stage where no matter what gambit of drugs I was taking I was still in a lot of pain.

I was already having regular aromatherapy massage on my back which I found amazing, but the relief was short-lived, so I decided to go down the complementary therapy route and try something new.

Also, at that time, Acupuncture was available at my NHS pain clinic, so I was able to go for regular sessions which were to mainly treat my neck and arm pains. I found these to be beneficial and could notice a difference by the end of each session but as my treatments were only one session every two weeks, I soon found that my pain was back before my next session.

Acupuncture works by stimulating your own body’s healing mechanisms to help with pain and recovery. The concept has been part of traditional Chinese medicine since 1000BC where it was written in scripts on the holistic concept on how it can help heal the body.

Without balance in our bodies, there are many health-related problems we can encounter and having an Acupuncture treatment can help to restore your body systems to the right balance. They are quite often referred to as Yin (which is negative) and Yang (which is positive).

The Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapist’s explains how Acupuncture works. The acupuncture needle will stimulate the flow of QI [pronounced ‘chee’], which circulates in channels or meridians within the body. The QI circulates within the deeper organs of the body but connects to the superficial skin. In the state of a normal healthy body, a balance exists between these systems. Both the superficial energy and the deeper energy can be influenced by the stimulation of specific acupuncture points. If injury, disease, emotional trauma or infection occurs, the natural flow of QI within the meridians and organs may well be affected and the result is an altered flow, either a slowing or stagnation of QI causing pain and inflammation, or a deficit of QI, which may cause weakness, exhaustion and longer debilitating disease. The stimulation of relevant acupuncture points may free stagnation, reduce excess or indeed, increase QI to the specific area or organ and thus help to restore normal QI flow and balance.

There are several techniques in applying Acupuncture by Acupressure or Electro-Acupuncture which enhances the repair mechanism and enables an improved recovery time.

The conventional Acupuncture involves the use of single-use, pre-sterilised, disposable needles of varying widths, lengths and materials that pierce the skin at the Acupuncture points. The Physiotherapist will determine the locations of the Acupuncture points, based upon the assessment of the cause of the imbalance. A number of needles may be used at each treatment and these are typically left in position for some 20-30 minutes before being removed.

Trigger point Acupuncture may also be used to facilitate relaxation in specific muscles following trauma such as whiplash injury; for longer-term unresolving muscle pain such as repetitive strain injury (RSI) or as a means to obtain increased muscle length in order to aid stretch and rehabilitation such as sports injuries. Here the needle is placed into the affected muscle until it is felt to relax under the needle and then removed. Trigger point needling is often much quicker and therefore does not require the 20-30-minute treatment time.

Acupressure uses the Physiotherapist’s hands over Acupuncture or trigger points in order to relieve muscle tightness or to stimulate QI flow and balance the body. It is a healing art that uses the fingers of the Physiotherapist on the key Acupuncture points. The amount of pressure used varies according to the condition and requires trained sensitive hands. It is often used with sensitive patients, patients with a needle phobia, children or frail patients.

I do personally believe that Acupuncture and Acupressure can help heal and therefore relieve some pain but what I do not seem to have been able to achieve with this treatment is momentum.

Should it be used weekly, fortnightly, less or more? Is it something you could use to treat yourself? With alternative therapies being preferred by many sufferers for pain relief it’s a case of working out the correct balance of treatments that you need. Unfortunately, my local NHS Pain Clinic no longer offers this form of pain relief which then also means funding it yourself which for some people I am sure is out of the question due to the cost.

 

NEVER NEVER GIVE UP – MANTRAS TO HELP YOU FEEL BETTER…

One of my closest friends gave me this lovely tile with the words ‘Never, never give up’ to help me on my hardest days. I have it where I can see it every day to inspire and motivate me when I’m down.

Four simple words is all it takes to work for me but I have to admit I use mantras from inspirational people. I would repeat and repeat the saying when I go to bed. Like some people count sheep to go to sleep you can always repeat your mantra over and over again as you drift off to sleep.

According to Wikipedia a mantra is a sacred utterance, a numinous sound, a syllable, word or phonemes, or group of words in Sanskrit believed by practitioners to have psychological and spiritual powers. Mantra meditation helps to induce an altered state of consciousness. A mantra may or may not have a syntactic structure or literal meaning. Wikipedia

You can find a number of videos on mantras for pain on YouTube to keep repeating to yourself and you can also buy this book, Healing Mantras on the subject, which you can also listen to. Healing Mantras by Thomas Ashley-Ferrand which has four star reviews and one review saying, I love this book – it provides a really interesting insight into the power of sound and its significance to different religions and ethnic groups. The mantras are fun & satisfying to learn and come with background information, explaining the meaning and origin of each. He also gives examples of how they have been used by himself or others & the perceived results. Overall it’s a very positive pursuit & gives any reader another tool with which to influence their own life.

Health.com say as little as 30 seconds of using a mantra can dampen unpleasant sensations, says Ellen Slawsby, PhD, director of Pain Services at the Benson Henry Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Slawsby recommends a picking neutral or positive word or phrase rather than a sound. 

“That’s using something inborn, an internal mechanisms to elicit your own endorphins or endogenous morphine,” she says.

Simple words and phrases have the power to interrupt negativity and invite change in life. Discover how mantras can affect your well-being. Sonima explains how They have been around for at least 3,000 years, but mantras are having a mainstream moment. We meditate on them. We find them in pop songs that encourage us to “Let It Go” and get “Happy.” We tape them to our fridges and computers, pin them to our Pinterest boards, InstaQuote them on Instagram. On her website she has nine empowering mantras to shift your mindset.

Putting healing words into our thoughts is a personal thing but if we find any benefit from this type of meditation then it certainly has to be worth trying.

‘What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do’ – Timothy Ferriss