All posts by penny

Stress and acupuncture

This study of mice in the Journal of Neuroscience shows some evidence for the effect that many acupuncturists see in our clinic rooms. Patients come in with scattered thoughts, trying to recall their week, how they slept, what level their pain has been. They are suffering from constant stress – perhaps caused by poverty, fear, misdiagnosis, pain or abusive relationships. The pressure on them is immense and they cannot think clearly. Brain fog descends and patients can get flustered and anxious. The authors of this study created ‘socially defeated’ mice by putting them under the strain of being repeatedly exposed to an ‘alpha’ mouse. The stress basically causes inflammation in the brian cells and this reduces the effectiveness of the certain aspects of the memory.

Professor John Sheridan, one of the study’s co-authors, said:
“Stress releases immune cells from the bone marrow and those cells can traffic to brain areas associated with neuronal activation in response to stress.
They’re being called to the brain, to the center of memory.”

Super supervision!

Regular time for reflection, challenge and support is important for independent practitioners. I’ve been part of a group in the North West and we call ourselves the Wondergoats!*

We have meeting together regularly since we first started training in 2010. We know each other very well, and although we operate very different business models, we can always be helpful to each other. Our sessions are often four hours long – with case discussion, business development, planning and new learning on the agenda. We always eat delicious food and have lots of fun along the way.

Here we are today at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, enjoying a picnic and providing support and challenge to each other.

*a story for another time …

Purpose in Life

I was having an interesting conversation with a friend about crafting a life with meaning. sent me this infographic today and it gives some scientific background to why it’s healthy to follow your dreams and use your skills for good. Find it here. I like these simple infographics because they give useful reminders and good references. See what you think.

It also reminded me of a quote another friend sent me on my 60th birthday, when my business was in its infancy.

Needles for Nepal

It’s that time of year again where I ask all you lovely acupuncture pals to take a look at your needles and find the ones that are about to go out-of-date. I’m off to Dr Fatima’s again in Kathmandu and she can use all the needles you can supply in her busy community practice at Boudha. I’ve already started to get parcels to my own community practice at

The Energise Centre, 3 Douglas Green, Salford M6 6ES.

So please parcel up anything you can spare and send it to me in the next four weeks or so. And thanks to the anonymous contribution received just yesterday!