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Not Guilty!

In Traditional Chinese Medicine disturbances in our emotional life are considered to be a major cause of illness. If healthy emotions are ones which are appropriate to the situation we are in, an unhealthy response is one that is not so appropriate, either excessive, inadequate, or just not fitting. Such responses if they are ongoing or habitual lead to illness. So, for example, there are situations where it is healthy and appropriate to be angry, but if our anger is out of all proportion to the situation, or we are always angry and always on the edge of losing our …

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Posted in: Health, Healthcare approaches, Lifestyle, Mental Health, Spirituality, Uncategorized, Understanding Health | 0 Comments »

A Bad Day at the Office?

Most of us spend a large part of our life at work, so what happens at work has a major influence, for better or for worse, on our health and happiness. It’s almost customary to regard work as a necessary evil that we have to put up with to pay the bills and, if we are lucky, to buy the things we want and the holidays we can look forward to. But is that enough? Can we make our work a satisfying and fulfilling experience, not something to simply endure? Work is one of the main places of course where …

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Posted in: Business, Health, Mental Health, Understanding Health | 0 Comments »

Don’t Be One Of The Worried Well

The worried well are, apparently, on the rise. In some ways this is not surprising given the frequency of headlines highlighting the way in which all sort of things can be bad for you. As I began writing this I had a quick look at the Daily Mail online health section, and had no trouble finding out that white wine drives some women crazy (not in a good way), and that rice cakes and red meat are bad for your skin. So if you do have a tendency to worry about your health, you can find plenty of things to …

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When Does Dedication Become Obsession?

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, health is seen very much in terms of harmony and balance. So it should be clear that obsession, which is virtually by definition a state of imbalance, is an unhealthy place to be. Obsessional behaviour is of course quite common; the term ‘OCD’ has entered the language, and many people will describe themselves as having some obsessional traits, ranging from mild idiosyncrasies to full blown mental health problems. But is obsession always bad? Is balance always such a good thing? Suppose you want to achieve, and not in a mediocre kind of way; perhaps you want …

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Demystifying Chinese Medicine: Why Is It So Good At Treating Back Pain?

Although acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is used in the treatment of a very wide range of health problems, in the West many people associate it especially with the treatment of back pain. NICE (the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence, the organisation responsible for providing the guidelines to the NHS on treatment options for different conditions) lists  a course of acupuncture  as one of the recommended ways of treating persistent, non-specific low back pain. Many people have positive experiences of acupuncture relieving their back pain. So why is TCM acupuncture so good at treating back pain? The …

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Athlete’s Are Not All Just Wheels and Chassis: Mastering the Ability to Heal

Injury is part of an athlete’s life; it can be a minor inconvenience, an ongoing niggle or, sometimes, a devastating blow. Injuries can be frustrating, a test of patience; athletes often do not cope very well with a period of enforced inactivity. An injury which prevents you from participating in your chosen sport for several months can even lead to depression. So, how you respond to injury, especially serious or long term injury, is, or should be, part of what it means to be an athlete – whether professional, amateur or weekend. Consider for a moment how you might respond …

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Posted in: Exercise, Health, Healthcare approaches | 0 Comments »

Mind, Body and What?

Sometimes when we want to make it clear that we are referring to a human being in their totality, we might use phrases like ‘body and soul’ or ‘mind, body and spirit’. But what do these words mean? We may think we know what a body is, and we may even think we know what a mind is (although we might find ourselves having a bit of difficulty if pushed to define it), but what about words like ‘soul’ and ‘spirit’? Surely these are candidates for the vaguest words in the English language, and indeed one might suspect that they …

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Posted in: Spirituality, Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

Treating Psoriasis with Acupuncture

Ancient Chinese Medical Knowledge in the Modern World The Chinese have been using acupuncture to treat psoriasis for thousands of years—descriptions of the disease are found in the earliest Chinese medical texts. At the Sean Barkes Clinic we follow in this tradition. Treatment begins with a careful examination of the affected parts of the body and a detailed consultation in which we discuss not only how you experience the psoriasis (Does it itch? Does it feel hot? Does it get worse if you are stressed?….) but other aspects of your health as well. This is because our treatment is holistic …

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Demystifying Chinese Medicine: What Have the Kidneys Got to Do with Fertility?

Many people seeking help to enhance their fertility are turning to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), but may be surprised to hear that part of the treatment, at least, is targeted at the Kidneys. After all, from a  western medical point of view, the kidneys have little to do with fertility (although, for example, the importance of the adrenal glands, that sit at the top of the kidneys,  in regulating a number of vital physiological processes will have knock-on effects on reproductive health.) So what have the Kidneys to do with fertility? To understand this, begin by noticing the upper case …

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Posted in: Diet, Health, Lifestyle, Understanding Health | 0 Comments »

Demystifying Chinese Medicine – Yin and Yang

If you know anything at all about Chinese Medicine, or about the classical Chinese culture that it grew out of, it is probably the words Yin and Yang. The T’iai Chi Tu symbol, depicting the way Yin and Yang harmonise with each other, appears frequently. I even knew an accountant who had it on his business card! I guess balance is important in accounting too! Yin and Yang are indeed key concepts in Chinese Medicine, but what do they really mean? Is it just a lot of mystical hot air? The concepts originate in the observation that many aspects of …

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