Food energetics

Food, science and finding balance

By |2017-08-05T16:12:17+00:00August 3rd, 2017|Categories: digestion, Food energetics|

Food, Science and Finding Balance

Here’s a whimsical take on how finding balance can be difficult if we get caught up in the so called evidence-based, scientific view of what we eat!

We all know this is a common process- science tells us something is bad for us, then a few months down the road, tells us it’s good for us -this process then continues, sometimes for years and encapsulates not just food, but medicine, exercise routines and general lifestyle.

The only real way to find balance, is to appreciate the individual’s needs at that particular time (because of course, things change for us over time and responding to this allows us to continue to bring balance into our lives and keep us well).

So enjoy the video – it’s hilarious!

CLICK HERE for the video!


Questions about specific conditions and how acupuncture may help

People find acupuncture can bring relief for all sorts of health problems and find it can help to maintain overall well-being during times of heightened stress.

Please take a look at the Research Fact Sheets page, produced by the British Acupuncture Council. These fact sheets show good quality research trials, highlighting how acupuncture may be affecting the body’s nervous system, endocrine system and circulation to restore health.

If you are interested in what patients have to say about their experience of acupuncture, please read the comments on the Patient Experiences page.

Contact Lee

If you have any questions about a condition you have and whether acupuncture may help, please contact Lee on 01837 214888 (for acupuncture in North Tawton (Okehampton)) or 01392 927299 (for acupuncture in Exeter).

Get your Sprouts!

By |2017-08-05T16:15:11+00:00June 30th, 2017|Categories: digestion, Food energetics, Uncategorized|

Sprouting Benefits

Sprouting is essentially the practice of germinating seeds. This can be grains, nuts, beans or other kinds of seeds. The Chinese have done it for thousands of years (think beansprouts!).

There are huge health benefits, plus, it’s SO easy to do and provides satisfying, window-sill entertainment as you watch your sprouts grow in your kitchen in 3-6 days with almost zero effort….no complicated preparation, no complicated management and a tiny cost for such potent nutrition. The photo below is my sprouting jar (‘Geojar Glass’) after soaking some alfalfa seeds for 8 hours.

acupuncture in exeter - sprouts, glorious sprouts

Here it is again after only 2 days of sprouting…you can use a simple glass jar with muslin around the lid or go for one of the many cheap sprouting jars you’ll find on the web.

exeter acupuncturist - more sprouts

Why Sprout

Sprouting converts most of the seeds/grains starch into simple sugars, proteins into amino acids and enzymes and vitamins are boosted, plus they become much more digestible. Interestingly, when grains and legumes are sprouted, they often do not cause allergies (eg: when wheat is consumed it might trigger an allergic response, but when the wheat grain is sprouted, it is much less likely to do so).

Like anything, sprouts shouldn’t be eaten to excess – they are also cooling in nature, so great when the weather is hot and particularly useful for those with a robust, fiery ‘excess’ type of constitution, rather than for those who are constantly cold and deficient (eg: exhausted, feels the cold much more and may have loose stools). For these individuals, lightly cooking by simmering, steaming or stir frying the sprouts reduces their cooling effect whilst still retaining the goodness.

In the life-cycle of plants, sprouts express the point of greatest vitality (the point where huge amounts of energy are produced to begin the transformation from dormant seed/grain, into a shoot that begins to expand into a fully-grown plant.

What to Sprout

Alfalfa, radish, mustard seeds, lentils, mung and aduki beans, wheat or rye grains and sunflower seeds are all great to sprout.

How to do it

For more detail on the health benefits of sprouts and helpful instructions on sprouting (to ensure they are kept clean during the process), check out – https://draxe.com/sprout/ and for those interested in the Chinese perspective on diet and nutrition (which also includes sections dedicated to sprouting and food allergies) this book is a must:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Healing-Whole-Foods-Traditions-Nutrition/dp/1556434308/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1498860057&sr=8-1&keywords=healing+with+whole+foods


Questions about specific conditions and how acupuncture may help

People find acupuncture can bring relief for all sorts of health problems and find it can help to maintain overall well-being during times of heightened stress.

Please take a look at the Research Fact Sheets page, produced by the British Acupuncture Council. These fact sheets show good quality research trials, highlighting how acupuncture may be affecting the body’s nervous system, endocrine system and circulation to restore health.

If you are interested in what patients have to say about their experience of acupuncture, please read the comments on the Patient Experiences page.

Contact Lee

If you have any questions about a condition you have and whether acupuncture may help, please contact Lee on 01837 214888 (for acupuncture in North Tawton (Okehampton)) or 01392 927299 (for acupuncture in Exeter).

 

Food and Mental Health

By |2017-07-05T14:16:03+00:00June 15th, 2017|Categories: Food energetics, mental health|

Food and Mental Health – The Chinese Medicine View

Finally, we’re beginning to see the direct link between food choices and mental health. This article on the BBC News website details some of the latest findings on the subject.

This is something that we consider when we see new patients during their first (and subsequent) visits – Chinese medicine looks not so much at the nutritional aspect of the food from a chemical, or substance-based perspective, but from an energetic perspective. What does this really mean?

Well, consider two people going on the same diet in order to lose weight…the first person loses weight, the second doesn’t (or even puts on weight). If the food choices are not in tune with our specific needs, they can lead to us being undernourished and in some cases become the cause of imbalance and disease. Now consider coffee – in the West we know that caffeine can overstimulate the nervous system and for some people cause insomnia, anxiety, palpitations, migraines and so on. However, this can still be the case for some people even if they drink de-caffeinated coffee, because (from a Chinese medicine perspective), the coffee’s basic ‘thermal’ or ‘energetic nature’ is still stimulating, heating and moving even without the caffeine.

So when we look at what you eat, we consider the energetic properties that the foods bring into your system – we compare this to your needs based on our Chinese medicine diagnosis and then make suggestions to correct any problems we find, using foods that you can include in your diet to restore balance. Don’t worry, we won’t give you a list of foods you can’t stand(!) -rather, we look at what you feel comfortable including in your diet, so you actually want to work with food in a positive way.

The healing potential from these basic changes to one’s diet are often overlooked because we sometimes consciously (or unconsciously) do not consider them to be sophisticated enough to be a solution to some of our problems. However, the ancient Chinese observed how foods had the power to restore balance and support the healing process.

In fact, in a 2500 year-old classical text, it says:

“The inferior physician reaches for the medicinals, the superior physician treats through diet and lifestyle”.

What this is not saying of course, is that medicine is not a worthy tool – it is simply emphasising that the most beneficial method of preserving health, is through balanced living (and eating!) -because this is something you do every day of your life.

The BBC article hints at the link between foods and mental health (and of course, there is the reciprocal relationship between mental health and food choices…it works both ways). You can read it here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-39976706

Research for other conditions

People find acupuncture can bring relief for all sorts of health problems and find it can help to maintain overall well-being during times of heightened stress.

Please take a look at the Research Fact Sheets page, produced by the British Acupuncture Council. These fact sheets show good quality research trials, highlighting how acupuncture may be affecting the body’s nervous system, endocrine system and circulation to restore health.

If you are interested in what patients have to say about their experience of acupuncture, please read the comments on the Patient Experiences page.

Contact Lee

If you have any questions about a condition you have and whether acupuncture may help, please contact Lee on 01837 214888 (for acupuncture in North Tawton) or 01392 927299 (for acupuncture in Exeter).

Chocolate, Fish ‘n Chips and the Heart

By |2017-07-05T14:20:36+00:00March 8th, 2017|Categories: Food energetics|

Here it comes again….that repeating news article full of justifications that eating chocolate is more than okay….it’s good for you!

Take a look at the article here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/food-and-drink/healthy-eating/chocolate-10-health-reasons-you-should-eat-more-of-it/

In Chinese medicine, there are certainly some parallels – foods with a bitter taste stimulates the heart energy (the organ and it’s energetic meridian), so in terms of dark chocolate particularly, it can be a simple support for the heart.

In terms of medical science, chocolate encourages the release of serotonin in the brain- the ‘feel good’ chemical, plus, it contains PEA, PhenEthylAmineome, which apparently increases the same type of endorphins we create when we are in love. This resonates with the Chinese Medicine view, where the heart relates to love, warmth, intimacy and compassion (no surprise then, that traditionally we draw the red heart to refer to love – and giving chocolates to a loved one is not uncommon…. remember the original Milk Tray adverts?!!!)

There’s one small point to make however, that it’s not all about quantity! If we like something, we tend to want more of it, simply to get more of that feel-good feeling. The secret lies in balance – knowing when we genuinely are ‘calling in’ a specific food-type or ‘flavour’ we need to balance our bodies (and then having an amount which is medicinal and not overburdening).

For example, a ‘therapeutic’ choccie after an emotional shock affecting the heart, or before a woman starts her period (where a little dark chocolate might be beneficial to the heart and circulation of blood in preparation for it to be released) might work well…. against when we are simply bored, needy, frustrated or we choose to eat it because it has become part of a routine or because someone told us it’s good for us (where for some, it can be a migraine trigger, or can cause restless sleeping patterns or palpitations).

What we should avoid, is demonising any of the foods – the more you push yourself away from something because it’s been labelled in your head or by others around you as ‘naughty’…the more the desire to hide away and in desperation, consume more than you need. Following your intuition (from the heart!) and literally keeping a light-hearted approach to these things is a good place to start.

It reminds me of something that one of my teachers once said to a student who was struggling with trying so hard to ‘do the right thing’:

‘…you know, sometimes I fancy fish ‘n chips

(big pause)

…..so I have fish ‘n chips!’

(you can swap the ‘fish and chips’ for chocolate!)

 

Contact Lee

If you have any questions about a condition you have and whether acupuncture may help, please contact Lee on 01837 214888 (for acupuncture in North Tawton) or 01392 927299 (for acupuncture in Exeter).