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Staying Well in Winter

Have you noticed that in winter you tend to slow down, feel more inclined to rest and become tired more easily? This is a natural occurrence with the changing of the seasons in all mammals, some of course, even hibernate. The cold and dark days of winter encourage us to slow down.

In Chinese Medicine, winter is the season associated with the Kidneys. The Kidneys store all the Vital Energy or 'Qi' in our body. They give us our constitutional strength; our 'deposit account' energy as opposed to our 'current account' energy, which comes via the food we eat.

The Kidneys have to work harder to keep the body warm during the winter months and it is a time when they can easily become depleted. We need to take extra care during a cold snap, especially if frail or struggling from illness. You can probably guess that there are higher levels of respiratory infections during the winter months but you may not realise that there are also significantly more strokes and heart attacks as well as higher incidences of other conditions such as thrombosis. Typically, death rates will increase by about 20% in winter (1).

But winter isn't all bad news by any means, with fewer hours of daylight we are encouraged to draw inwardly and recharge our batteries by getting more rest and having cosy evenings at home with loved ones, if we're lucky. Winter is a time for warm and nourishing foods and for keeping well insulated (remember the Ready Break advert with the red glow?) Our immune system needs a stable body temperature and adequate nutrition in order to function at its best. Going suddenly from the warmth of a building to the cold of outside; even if only popping out for a few minutes causes shock to the system if we are not properly wrapped up in warm clothing, and that shock can weaken our defences long enough to allow a pathogen to trigger an illness.

A winter seasonal acupuncture treatment can help to nurture and nourish Kidney Qi, guard against illness , boost energy levels and banish winter blues.

Source (1) : Office for National Statistics on line

Available from: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/dcp171778_337459.pdf

#winter #acupuncture

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Why membership of the British Acupuncture Council is so important

Unfortunately there is currently no statutory regulation for complementary and alternative medicine (with the exception of osteopathy and chiropractic). It is therefore essential to ensure that the acupuncturist you choose is suitably qualified and working to a high standard of competence and hygiene.

With over 3000 members the British Acupuncture Council is the UK's largest regulatory body for practitioners of traditional acupuncture and maintains extremely high standards of education, discipline, ethics and practice. Its aim is to ensure the health and safety of the public at all times.

When you choose a BAcC member you can be sure of:

  • a minimum of three years training to degree level including anatomy and physiology and other appropriate elements of western medicine.

  • adherence to the Council's Codes of Safe Practice and Professional Conduct.

  • compliance with current health and safety legislation.

  • full medical malpractice and public/products liabiltity insurance cover.

  • up-to-date practice skills maintained by mandatory continuing professional development.

The Professional Standards Authority created the Accredited Voluntary Register in order that members of the public can choose the services of practitioners who are on a register that has been independently assessed and approved.

 

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