Acupuncture relieves pain.

Hurray!

It’s always a problem raising enough funds to carry out good  research into interventions like acupuncture. The main problem being that acupuncture treatment is inexpensive to carry out, and doesn’t make much money for big companies that usually fund that type of research.

But the National Health and Medical Research Council recently funded just such a study involving 528 patients with acute low back pain, migraine or ankle sprains who presented at the emergency departments in four Australian hospitals.

Really excitingly, this is the world’s largest randomised controlled trial into acupuncture for pain relief in Accident and Emergency. And even more excitingly the study has found that acupuncture is as effective as pain medicine in providing long-term relief for patients who come to hospital emergency departments in considerable pain.

This is so important. Acupuncture carries virtually no side effects and it isn’t habit forming. It really is inexpensive and easy to deliver and, in my experience of over 20 years of giving acupuncture treatment,  people love having it. They really do! Even the most anxious or sceptical people end up calm and relaxed  and leave with a sense of well being.

What’s not to like!

Pain is such a complicated package, and the longer it goes on, the more complicated it can become. I do get to see people sometimes who have only just hurt themselves; pulled a muscle in their back or neck or shoulder; but mostly I see people where the problem started weeks or even years previously. By that time things have moved on, and the original problem now has some tricky add-ons bolted to it. Long term use of pain medication can definitely be one of these, but there are lots of others. Anticipation of pain which has been around for a while can cause anxiety, a loss of confidence in our bodies ability to sort things out for us, and changes in our ways of moving.  It can overload other parts of our bodies which are being overused to help out, stop us sleeping and start problems with our immune responses.

The use of acupuncture to help with these types of complicated or chronic pain is well documented.

What I love about this new piece of research is that it shows acupuncture to be just as good as usual hospital emergency treatment for pain relief. After an hour of either acupuncture treatment or drugs, the pain relief is the same.

It would be great to see more research funded into non drug related approaches to health care. This is a big and really exciting move in the right direction!

A Therapeutic, High Protein Granola for Early Spring

A photograph of homemade granola

Another beautiful weekend of perfect, early Spring weather!

My bees have been gathering pollen from local willow, crocus and daffodils; I can’t wait to taste the honey!  A few bumble bees about too.I spent some of the weekend digging in the last of the teapot, bumble bee houses that I started off over Winter thanks to a huge teapot donation from a very generous client!  Fingers crossed for tenants!

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Early Spring; a balancing act!

A photo of Lilla slacklining.

It’s that time of year again! Some days still feel like Winter and then the weather throws a day of pure early Spring!

Today was definitely Spring. My bees agreed and were out in force; honey bees on the snow drops, daffodils and willow and some bumble bees on the crocuses. I’m making some nests for bumblebees; digging cracked teapots stuffed with old nest material into an overgrown bank. I can’t wait to see if I get some takers!

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The Same IVF Drugs-Just much Cheaper.

A photo of a smiling woman getting an injection.

I’ve been working with clients for over fifteen years to help optimise their chances of a successful pregnancy with IVF.

At the moment here in South Cumbria we are benefiting from one of the best NHS funded IVF schedules in the country. It seems strange to think that something as fundamental as IVF treatment could have such varying NHS support from one region to another, but it really does.

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Two Late-Winter Soups to fight Infection

A photograph of two homemade soups.

Another late Winter day, but I felt the first hint of Spring around the corner last Wednesday!

It’s difficult to define what made it happen, but suddenly I looked at my garden in a slightly different way; I noticed bulbs pushing through, bird song and I had my first urge to start tidying things up. Right on cue my hens started laying properly again. I think day length has something to do with it; and something to do with the quality of light.

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