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Insomnia

Sleep is an important part of our day and vital for our bodies to rest and reset. How much you need depends on your age and can range from 12-17 hours for babies to 7-9 hours for adults. But when we have trouble with getting to sleep it may seem like the problem is insurmountable, especially in the middle of the night. Prolonged insomnia can make you feel unwell and can lead to concentration difficulties and lack of judgement, mood swings, anxiety and depression. Insomnia is also a contributing factor in diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease.

Millions of people worldwide are affected by insomnia at some point in their lives. Such is its prevalence in today’s society, there are whole organisations dedicated to supporting people with insomnia and sleep disorders. So, what is it and what can we do to help us fall asleep and stay asleep?

What is insomnia?

Insomnia is a disorder where people have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. Many report being tired and ready to sleep, then getting into bed, turning off the light and being wide awake. Others report they wake up fully alert and unable to switch their brains off or relax enough to get back off to sleep.

Causes of insomnia are many and varied. They include jet lag, shift work, physical pain and discomfort, lack of exercise, recreational drug use and care duties. Mental health issues such as depression and anxiety can be a cause and a symptom of insomnia. Prescriptions drugs, such as corticosteroids, statins and beta blockers have been noted to exacerbate sleep issues. Sometimes, there doesn’t seem to be any tangible cause.

Medical Treatment

Typical interventions from the medical profession have varying degrees of efficacy. Prescription drugs are used, although GPs no longer prescribe sleeping pills as often as they used to. Counselling and CBT is also an option, sometimes in conjunction with medication. Over the counter sleep aids are available, but not always useful as they can make you drowsy during the day. Sometimes melatonin is available, but is most often prescribed to children with learning disabilities. This, however, is not licensed by NICE as a sleep aid.

Alternative help with Cambourne Acupuncture

There are things that we can all do at home to try to improve our sleep such as reducing caffeine, increasing physical exercise and adopting relaxation techniques. Treatment at Cambourne Acupuncture can be an integral part of your journey back to good sleep too.

During a consultation we’ll assess your recent clinical signs and symptoms and your experience of insomnia to identify the underlying cause of your insomnia and factor this into your treatment course.

Acupuncture aims to rebalance the energy flow around your body so it is in alignment with your circadian rhythms. Certain points on your body are stimulated to encourage relaxation and can have a rather pleasant sedative effect! A course of Chinese herbal medicine may be recommend for certain causes of insomnia. For example, during a woman’s menopause phase when insomnia can be a common issue.

If you are beginning to have sleep issues, or have had insomnia for a long time, do contact us to see how we can help you get a good night’s sleep. We are members of the British Acupuncture Council and you can find out more on how acupuncture can help treat insomnia on their website: https://www.acupuncture.org.uk/a-to-z-of-conditions/a-to-z-of-conditions/1283-insomnia.html

Treatment for warts and verrucas

Unsightly and often occurring in visible places, warts and verrucas can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. But you don’t have to put up with them on your hands and feet forever.

There is many an old wives’ tale about how to get rid of them, from the sublime frog kissing to the ridiculous drawing an ‘X’ in the middle of a crossroads and spitting on it (please look both ways before trying this)!

There is an easier way and one that will not get you arrested or run over.

What are warts and verrucas and what causes them?

Warts and verrucas (planar warts) are small rough lumps on the skin, usually found on the hands or the feet. Some can appear on the face, often the forehead. They are an infection in the top layers of skin caused by a strain of viruses called human papillomavirus (HPV). The virus is passed on via direct contact with someone else who has warts or verrucas. The virus can get into the layers of skin via scratches or cuts and some people are more susceptible to contracting them than others.

Warts are harmless but can be itchy and uncomfortable. Verrucas can be more painful and many describe the feeling as a sharp sting through their foot as they walk. Both are highly contagious and left untreated they can last months, or sometimes years.

How they are treated by your doctor or pharmacist

Conventional treatment will usually start with a visit to the pharmacist, where you can buy plasters and creams to kill the virus and restore the skin. These act by eating away the skin to eradicate the virus and soften the area so it can heal. The side effects of this can be further pain, blistering and irritation of the skin. When they become persistent, a doctor might treat them with liquid nitrogen which acts to freeze-burn the skin.

Quite often, however, warts and verrucas don’t respond to any conventional treatment and recur again and again. Continual treatment with creams can damage the skin, making further warts more likely and compromise your overall health and wellbeing.

How Cambourne Acupuncture treats warts

At our clinic we treat warts and verrucas with a combination of acupuncture and herbal medicine. Small acupuncture needles are inserted around the affected areas in other areas of the body to regulate and boost the immune system. We can also use moxa therapy, which involves heated moxa held close to the skin or on acupuncture needles.

Herbs are carefully selected to in preparations that are administered orally as a tea. This helps to tackle the virus from inside the body.

Successful treatment of verrucas after years of recurrence – Rachel’s story

“Having had verrucas on my feet for 8 years I became very self-conscious about the soles of my feet and gave up any activities where they may have been on display. Last summer the infection spread to my fingers and I developed warts around both thumb nails. Jane treated me with a combination of herbs & acupuncture. I was amazed and also hugely excited. My feet & hands are now clear. The infection has gone. I have taken up swimming & yoga again. I am delighted with the results of Jane treatment & cannot recommend her highly enough for her skill, patience, kindness & encouragement. Thank you!”

This testimonial was from 2010 so I reached out to Rachel again to see how she is now. I’m delighted to say that ten years on, Rachel is still free from warts and verrucas. She has never had another problem.

If you would like to discuss skin conditions or any other problems worrying you, you can call us to discuss your concerns or click here to book an initial online consultation to talk about a course of treatment designed for you.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome treatment

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common disorders women experience today. It can affect as many as one in three women in the UK. It is a multifaceted disorder which ranges in severity in each person. Ovaries become enlarged and have fluid-filled follicles (or sacs) that surround the egg.

What are the symptoms of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome?

The higher than normal levels of certain hormones caused by PCOS can affect the development and release of eggs during ovulation.  As a result, many women’s menstrual cycles become long or irregular and their ovulations are infrequent. They can develop excess facial or body hair or acne, as well as thinning hair and hair loss from the head. The syndrome is also linked with increased insulin resistance and diabetes plus other metabolic disorders, as well as pregnancy complications such as pre-eclampsia.

Not all women with polycystic ovary syndrome will present the same way or have the same symptoms as it can vary in severity in each person. Some will have mild or no symptoms apart from irregular periods, so it can often be difficult to diagnose.

What causes PCOS?

The jury is out on what is the exact cause of PCOS. Stress is said to be a factor, as are hormonal imbalances.

Conventional treatments

Conventional treatments for PCOS may concentrate on reducing the many symptoms and factors that exacerbate the syndrome. This may be support to lose weight, as well as strategies to reduce stress. Contraceptive pills may be prescribed to reduce body hair and acne. Diabetes medication may be offered to treat Type 2 diabetes and reduce PCOS symptoms.

If the woman wants to get pregnant, fertility medication may be prescribed. Surgery is the last resort for some, where portions of the ovaries may be removed, which can (in some cases) kick-start ovulation.

Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine can help

Research has demonstrated that acupuncture can increase ovulation and reduce the level of male hormones that cause excess hair on the body and hair loss on the head. In addition, acupuncture works to harmonise the nervous system, calming or stimulating depending on what is required for a balanced state of health and wellbeing.

A course of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can also help with insulin sensitivity, as well as improve hormonal balance.

I have PCOS. Will I be able to get pregnant?

Acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine and lifestyle tweaks can make a significant difference to your fertility health. At Cambourne Acupuncture we design a treatment regimen specifically designed to support your fertility goals and we have had great success with women who have previously been unable to fall pregnant.

Vicki’s experience of getting pregnant during treatment at our clinic

“We had been trying for three years to conceive. We didn’t think we’d have any problems as I had fallen pregnant the first time after only a couple of months. After many tests it was discovered that I had PCOS.

I went through a whole host of emotions from guilt and heartache to frustration and anger. After searching for answers, I found Jane’s website and phoned her. Within the first consultation, I found Jane so empathetic and was amazed that for the first time a professional said to me ‘I don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t be able to conceive again’. I followed all Jane’s advice and she was a constant support.

I would recommend Jane without hesitation. She always provided me with consistent advice and I’m so thankful to her for all her support before and during my pregnancy.”

To find out more about how Acupuncture can help treat the causes and symptoms of PCOS, visit the British Council of Acupuncture’ information page.

If you have any issues and want to talk to us about treatment in our clinic, take advantage of our FREE first consultation you can book here.

Improving fertility health for women

What is Secondary infertility?

Infertility is diagnosed when a couple are unable to conceive for a year or more and secondary infertility (as opposed to primary infertility), means that you have been pregnant before, but are struggling to conceive again.

Many people seek help to conceive if they feel they are having difficulties, via conventional and traditional medicine routes. The help we provide at Cambourne Acupuncture can certainly be a part of your journey towards conceiving.

Causes

The reasons for infertility fall into seven areas:

  • Ovulation disorders such as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), Primary Ovarian Insufficiency (POI) and thyroid issues.
  • Uterus or fallopian tube problems including endometriosis, fibroids and abnormal shape of the uterus.
  • Surgery, in particular when a mother has a C-section. Scarring can occur in the uterus which can lead to the surface being inflamed and difficult for embryos to embed.
  • Treatments and medications for chronic and acute conditions, most notably chemotherapy and radiotherapy which can reduce fertility.
  • Infections can also cause inflammation and blocked fallopian tubes.
  • Autoimmune disorders which may cause inflammation because of the body attacking itself.
  • Age is also a contributing factor, with studies showing that a women’s fertility decreases from 30 and significantly from 40.

Sometimes, though, there are no obvious reasons why you are having difficulties getting pregnant. These unexplained reasons can be the most frustrating of all. These conditions, whichever you may have, can be stressful enough without the added complications of unsuccessfully trying to conceive. But help is at hand.

Conventional ways of treating infertility

Before we explore how our methods can greatly increase your chances of conceiving, let’s take you through what medical treatment you may expect. If you are not ovulating regularly enough, pharmaceuticals may be prescribed to help normalize your cycle. Beyond that, you may be advised to have surgery (to treat endometriosis, for example, or to remove scarring from a C-section). Of course, we all know of IVF and this can seem like the last resort for people. It can also be a long, emotional and complicated process and the chances of conceiving may be no better than without it.

How can acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine improve your fertility health?

Here at the clinic, we work from a principle that a successful pregnancy happens when a couple are ‘fertility healthy’.  We specialise in a combination of acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine and this is particularly effective with fertility problems.  We are experts in using fertility charts to discover hidden blocks to your ability to conceive. Our programme of treatment will ensure your body is at optimum levels of fertility.

The physical and emotional strain and stress on your body is a major factor in the whole process of trying to get pregnant. We can help relieve that stress as part of your individualized programme.

Sign up for our free report The Art of Getting Pregnant to find out about how we can help you improve your fertility health.

We are members of the British Acupuncture Council. For more information on how acupuncture can help in relieving infertility, click here to go to their information page.

Vicki’s experience of getting pregnant during treatment at our clinic

“We had been trying for three years to conceive. We didn’t think we’d have any problems as I had fallen pregnant the first time after only a couple of months. After many tests it was discovered that I had PCOS.

I went through a whole host of emotions from guilt and heartache to frustration and anger. After searching for answers, I found Jane’s website and phoned her. Within the first consultation, I found Jane so empathetic and was amazed that for the first time a professional said to me ‘I don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t be able to conceive again’. I followed all Jane’s advice and she was a constant support.

I would recommend Jane without hesitation. She always provided me with consistent advice and I’m so thankful to her for all her support before and during my pregnancy.”

If you are struggling to conceive or have been diagnosed with any conditions that may hamper your fertility, do not hesitate to call me for an initial conversation to see how I can help you.