All posts by penny

Excited for our ‘Meg-in-London’ event

It won’t be long before John and I meet Margaret Wheatley for our day event ‘Leadership in these Times’. We are very honoured and humbled to be spending the day with a gang of people, keen to hear her speak about her new book ‘who do we choose to be?’

It’s moxa time!

Here at Nudge Towers the season now demands moxibustion as standard for almost all patients. It is a lovely gentle modality that most acupuncturists use. Moxibustion is a form of heat therapy in which dried plant materials called “moxa” are burned on or very near the surface of the skin. The intention is to warm and invigorate the flow of Qi in the body and dispel certain pathogenic influences. Moxa is usually made from the dried leafy material of Chinese mugwort (Artemesia argyi or A.vlugaris), but it can be made of other substances as well.

Acupuncture Evidence Project 2017

This 81 page booklet is a summary of the findings of the Acupuncture Evidence Project (McDonald J, and Janz S, 2017). The full document is available from the Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association Ltd (AACMA) The study found evidence for the effectiveness of acupuncture for 117 conditions, with stronger evidence for acupu cture’s effectiveness for some conditions than others. Acupuncture is considered safe in the hands of a well-trained practitioner and has been found to be cost effective for some conditions. The quality and quantity of research into acupuncture’s effectiveness is increasing.

Of the 122 conditions identified, strong evidence supported the effectiveness of acupuncture for 8 conditions, moderate evidence supported the use of acupuncture for a further 38 conditions, weak positive/unclear evidence supported the use of acupuncture for 71 conditions, and little or no evidence was found for the effectiveness of acupuncture for five conditions (meaning that further research is needed to clarify the effectiveness of acupuncture in these last two categories).

In addition, research showed that acupuncture was cost effective for
10 conditions, and is safe in the hands of a well-trained practitioner.
The level of evidence has increased over the 11-year period of this
study for 24 conditions. Placebo-controlled clinical trials consistently
underestimate the true effect size of acupuncture (which means that acupuncture is more effective than the type of trials used in this review show), yet they have still demonstrated National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Level I evidence for the effectiveness of acupuncture for 117 conditions.

A Few Places Left for the Meg Wheatley Event

I’m very excited to think this rare opportunity is only a month away now. Please go ahead and book or ask me about bursary places – there are a few left.

November 9th, London: A Day with Margaret Wheatley

Leadership in These Times

Facing Reality | Claiming Leadership | Restoring Sanity

As our hearts break for all the suffering inflicted by natural and human disasters, as cruelty continues to rise up in distant and local places, it becomes more challenging and more necessary that we do what we can, where we are, with what we have.  It is essential that we consciously choose how we can be of service as leaders for this time. This is the basis of my work—that we  learn to cultivate presence, compassion and discernment on behalf of people, that we not get swept away by the ever presentemotions of grief, anger, and exhaustion.

Please join me for this one day inquiry where we delve into our leadership: past, present and future, and define for ourselves who we choose to be.

Register here

My MA research receives commendation

Just wanted to share the news that the research for my MA in Professional Practice at Lancaster University has received a commendation and I want to thank everyone who has supported me on this learning journey. I have uploaded a summary of. the content here.

The academic feedback included:

“A fascinating enquiry into the explanatory models used in acupuncture between practitioners and clients. You conducted action research with multiple cycles, leading to the development of tangible outcomes, including an information sheet for practitioners and engagement with your wider ‘community of practice’ in acupuncture.  The report demonstrates excellent understanding of the professional context – with detailed analysis of the various perspectives through which this practice may be understood.

You reflected on your original intention to improve clinical outcomes and the extent to which you achieved this objective. This is followed by an in depth reflection on your methodological choices – here you demonstrate an excellent understanding of the potential of this research to support change – your research philosophy if you like – which is closely aligned to your values and practice.

Overall, you have presented a very strong investigation into your field of professional practice, leading to a clear strategy and tangible outcomes to improve practice.”

Go me!

Put on your own oxygen mask first – why being selfish is good for us

This article summarises the happiness research about self-care and debunks the notion that being selfless is the way to happiness. A meta-analysis of numerous studies of happy individuals revealed that happiness is associated with—and precedes—many successful outcomes. This suggests that it is happiness that creates success, rather than the common view that happiness comes as a result of success.

Whilst you’re on the Happify site take a look at this travel writer’s summary of a typical weekend in Copenhagen: how the Danes live in the happiest country in the Western World. Click here.

And finally here is the lovely view in reception at my Salford clinic – always sunny!

Acupuncture for Painful Menstruation Relief

This recent summary provides a technical account of how traditional Chinese Medicine can alleviate period pain. The researchers found that, in all cases, acupuncture leads to a significant reduction in the intensity and duration of menstrual pain after three months of treatment, and the results were sustained one year after trial entry.

There are a variety of theories regarding the mechanisms by which TCM therapies can relieve pain from dysmenorrhea. Armour et al. suggest there are “plausible mechanisms of action for acupuncture to improve primary dysmenorrhea, including endogenous opioid release, reduction of inflammation, alterations in uterine blood flow and changes in prostaglandin levels.” [16] In a study conducted by Yang et al. to investigate the efficacy of moxibustion at the acupoints CV4 (Guanyuan), CV8 (Shenque), and SP6 (Sanyinjiao), the researchers found that pain levels decreased over the three month trial, and that the therapeutic effect of moxibustion was sustained in the three months after the trial ended. Through blood tests, the researchers also found that moxibustion decreased levels of both PGF2 and PGE2, which allows for increased blood flow and decreased contractility of the uterus. [17] Heat is also well understood to regulate menstrual pain — “an abdominal heat wrap was found to be as effective as ibuprofen, and more effective than acetaminophen in relieving dysmenorrheic pain” [18] — and thus it is not surprising that heat from moxa, especially directly over the abdomen, would be similarly effective for inducing vessel dilation and increasing blood flow to decrease pain. [19] The acupoint SP6 (Sanyinjiao) may be distal, but it is effective for the treatment of dysmenorrhea, “likely due to the fact that SP6 is segmental to the uterus… This segmental activation at the level of sacral spinal nerve 2 (S2) may lead to reflex sympathetic inhibition of the uterus resulting in increased uterine blood flow.”

The most important result of this study, and others like it, is that menstrual pain is not inevitable. Many women may feel that medications — either NSAIDs or oral contraceptives — are their only option for treating their monthly symptoms, but acupuncture has been shown to be equally effective, and its effects last long after the course of treatment. Additionally, TCM practitioners provide individualized advice that helps women take an active role in caring for themselves. Acupuncture can provide a safe and effective alternative to medications. This study shows that the abdominal pain and emotional symptoms of primary dysmenorrhea can be addressed with TCM, and it will hopefully empower women to address their menstrual pain holistically and efficiently.

Acupuncture aids sleep – new study

This new research study demonstrates that sleeplessness can be positively helped with acupuncture. The study’s conclusion is that ‘Acupuncture treatment is more effective than sham acupuncture treatment in increasing insomnia patients’ sleep quality and improving their psychological health’. The study was a single-center, single-blinded, and randomized controlled clinical trial. Seventy-two patients with primary insomnia were randomly assigned into two groups – the acupuncture group, who received acupuncture treatment, and the control group, who received sham acupuncture treatment. Thanks once again to Mel Kopperman of the Evidence Based Acupuncture website.

This infographic shows the amount of sleep each of us should be getting.