Posted by & filed under Acupuncture, Women's Health.

Painful periods


Period pain or period cramps, also known as dysmenorrhea, is actually a common condition. Over half of women experience painful periods. Some women will have a diagnosis, for example of endometriosis. But most of the time, there is no ‘reason’ for the pain and a lot of women just consider the pain as inevitable.

Often, when I ask women about their periods and if they experience cramps and/or pain, the answer is often along the lines of ‘Yes I do have some cramps, like any other woman. Pretty normal, isn’t it?’ And just as often, these women aren’t coming to see me to help alleviate the discomfort but for another unrelated reason because they are totally unaware that this is something that can be helped.

Well, according the Chinese Medicine, painful, crampy periods are not ‘normal’. The pain that some women experience is the sign of some imbalances that can be corrected.
This has recently been confirmed by a study from the Western Sydney University. The results from this study have shown that acupuncture leads to significant reduction in the intensity and the frequency of menstrual pain after 3 months of treatment.


So, what can someone do to help alleviate the pain?

Stress is often making that sort of pain much worse.

So, the first step is to include some stress reducing techniques in your life. You can try to get some exercise, have a nice relaxing bath (with some Epson salt and some essential oils such as lavender), gentle exercise, reading, singing etc etc

Keep your abdomen warm.

The first thing is to ensure that your abdomen (and lower back) is always covered and kept nicely warm. During your periods, using a wheat bag to keep the area warm can be very helpful too. But another less know way is to ensure that your feet are warm too. So use some socks in bed, don’t walk bare foot on a cold floor but use sleepers instead!

Get a balance diet

Ensure that you have a balance diet with some warming foods such as dry ginger, cinnamon or turmeric. Some foods high in omega 3, such as oily fish (mackerel, sardines …) or nuts and seeds can be very helpful too thanks to the anti-inflammatory nature of omega 3s.

Get some acupuncture

In particular, in the week just before your period and during your period. Acupuncture will help the Blood circulate more freely thus reducing the amount of pain.

How about you?

What is working for you when you get these crampy, colic spasms? Do you get other symptoms as well, such pain radiating down your thighs, lower back pain, diarrhoea or even nausea and vomiting?

Are you silently struggling with painful with periods?

If you have noticed that painful periods are part of your life and standard treatments aren’t quite working for you, contact me to see if I can help you.

Posted by & filed under Acupuncture, Diet, Digestion.

What to do when you have loose stools



Maybe this is something familiar to you. You are nicely going about your daily activities, maybe you are sat down having a meal or you are walking around with a friend and then, suddenly, without so much of a warning, it strikes. You look frantically for the nearest toilet. You need to get there. F.A.S.T. One of my patient likened it ‘having a volcano in your belly that is ready to explode at any time’.

You are finding that your stools are at best loose, quite often explosive. You may feel bloated and/or tired. You might have had a diagnosis, for example of IBS. But I’m finding that more often than not, my patients are coming for something completely unrelated and this is just part of their symptoms. Many of them have just resigned themselves to the symptoms and are just trying to manage the urgency the best they can.


Loose stools, bloating, tiredness, all these symptoms are the sign that your digestive system is struggling so the best thing you can do is to make it as easy as possible for it to do its job.

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Acupuncture, Holistic Therapy, Prevention, Stress.

Broken Chain Link - Under Stress

You’ve just had enough. You are just managing to cope with your symptoms and get through the day doing the one thousand things that need to be done. And then, your train is late, your boss wants to have a meeting with you and on the top of it, your computer is refusing to behave.

You can feel all the tell tale signs that you are going to have a flare up, that your symptoms are going to get worse and worse. For some of my patients, it’s a headache or a migraine that rears its ugly head or it might be joints aching to an unbearable level or feeling more and more fatigued.

Sounds familiar? You are not alone to find that stress is making your symptoms worse.

On the top of it, the conventional advice is to ‘just stop stressing’ as if you could just do that by the flick of a switch. I know… they haven’t a clue, have they?

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Insomnia.

Adults need an average of seven to nine hours sleep each night in order to function properly during the day. Insomnia is sleep disorder characterised by an inability to fall asleep or stay asleep for as long as desired, without the presence of an underlying problem like sleep apnoea or depression. It is thought that up to one in three people will suffer from insomnia at some point in their lives.

Severe sleep deprivation can have a significant and detrimental effect on the health. Insomniacs are four times more likely to be diagnosed with depression, more likely to have a serious illness, more likely to have an accident at work, home, or on the road, and are more likely to miss work and have lower productivity than well-rested colleagues.

If you’re reading this whilst stressing about the prospect of yet another sleepless, unfulfilling night tonight then read on and follow some of these natural remedies and lifestyle changes that could help you to get the restful sleep you need…

Set a sleep routine

Try to get into the habit of going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even on the weekend. It might take a few weeks or more before your body and brain get used to what’s going on but try to stick with it and you should hopefully start to notice yourself getting tired at the same time in the evening and naturally rising at the same time each morning.

Cut down on caffeine

If you’ve suffered with insomnia for a while you might have come to rely on caffeinated drinks to keep you going throughout the day, but these could actually be worsening your situation. One or two cups in the morning is fine, but after noon you should say no to caffeine. Try it for a couple of weeks, in line with your new sleep routine and see if it helps.

Get some exercise

Some people believe that exercising in the evening causes the body to produce adrenaline, inhibiting sleep. However, studies have found that exercise does actually improve sleep. Insomniacs who adopted a regular exercise routine were found to sleep better, feel less depressed, and have more energy than those who avoided exercise all together. Fit it into your day wherever you can and you should start to see an improvement soon.

Cut down on alcohol

It might be tempting to have a nightcap to help you drop off to sleep, but alcohol can actually ruin your chances of a good night’s sleep. Sure, being a little tipsy will help you to drop off more easily, but you’ll wake more in the night and you won’t fall into restful REM sleep so you’ll wake feeling more tired.

Unwind in the evening

Try and start the relaxation and unwinding process as early as possible in the evening. It’s impossible to avoid opening your mail when you get home, or preparing dinner for a hungry family, but once that’s out of the way make sure you schedule in some ‘me’ time. It could be as simple as reading a book with a soothing cup of camomile tea, or taking a nice warm bath with a drop of lavender essential oil to help relax you.

Leave your devices like laptops, tablets, and smartphones out of the bedroom. They stimulate the brain and make it harder to fall asleep. Try reading a book under a low light instead, just try not to get so engrossed that you stay up late to read it! You could also try some meditation or yoga before bed to help you unwind and get into sleep mode.

Posted by & filed under Acupuncture, Digestion, Exercise, Prevention, Tiredness.

The story always starts the same way. As a child, you probably have been told that being selfish is a bad thing. And also very probably that helping others is a good thing to do. So you go in your life trying to support those close to you. It might be your parents, your children or close friends. You want to do your job well too and when your boss tells you that this work needs to be handed out tomorrow and please could stay for another hour to finish it, you don’t say ‘No’ either.

You sacrifice yourself to be able to care for your parents, your children, your work. And very quickly, there is no time left in your life to just look after yourself. You come back home exhausted, do whatever needs to be done and collapse on the sofa. Your health and wellbeing suffer and soon you find yourself complaining of backache, recurring migraines or just plain exhaustion.

The problem is

If you are not healthy, you cannot care for those who need and depend on you.


my way


To be able to look after others, to do your job well, you need to look after yourself. That means:

Knowing where your limits are energy wise

Overdoing things some time to time isn’t an issue, but do it daily and you’ll soon find yourself exhausted. Deciding how much exercise you are going to do today, if you can tackle the big tidying up of the spare bedroom or if staying at work another hour will really help tomorrow’s presentation, all of those are about measuring your own energy levels against how much energy that activity will cost you. If you don’t have the energy for it, don’t do it!

Eating to right foods and taking the time to prepare them

First thing first, try and eat nourishing foods. Avoid cold/icy and raw foods such as ice cold water, ice cream and raw vegetable like cucumber and lettuce. Slow cooked foods such as soups and stews are always easier to digest. You might even want to try our simple recipe to beat tiredness

Going to sleep at a decent time

so you can feel rested in the morning. Very simply put, you need to be asleep before midnight to get the best rest possible.

Having some time in your day to relax

It’s really just about having 10~15 minutes just doing something you enjoy. For some people it’s doing a bit of gardening, others it’s cleaning the house and for others again it’s listening to music or doing some meditation. Taking time out in the day is essential to reduce our stress levels. It’s essential to restore our energy levels too.


And finally, don’t forget to give as much importance to your health as you do for the ones of others. Make looking after yourself a priority, take the time to do what makes you feel better, what gives you energy so that you can give back to other afterwards.

Posted by & filed under Stress.

Stress affects people differently. Some people manage to cope with the mental and emotional pressure fairly easily. Others have difficulties coping with stress, it affects the way they feel and it has an impact on the way they behave.

Signs of stress vary. They can include:

  • Erratic sleep patterns
  • Lack of concentration
  • Loss of temper
  • Loss of appetite
  • Feelings of anxiousness
  • Low self esteem
  • Unreasonable behaviour

Experience any or all these signs at once and there’s a good chance you need help and support through this stressful time in your life.

To help you, we’ve thought of a few stress-busting suggestions at Sabine Acupuncture.

Give these ideas a shot if your stress levels are on the rise…

Find out why you are stressed

Before you can tackle those stress levels you need to establish what’s causing the problem in the first place.

Sometimes this is easy. It could be differences of opinion at work, trying to juggle too many projects at once, a lack of time to get everything done could be the root cause of the pressure.

Make a note of your daily routine, try to identify the times when you feel more stressed than others, once you spot a pattern you can take positive actions to address the issue.

Try exercising a little

When you feel stressed, hit the gym, go for a jog, spend 30 minutes on exercise equipment and feel the tension leave your body.

Exercise releases ‘good’ energy, it puts you in a positive mood and it’s great for lowering stress levels.

Plus it should help you sleep a little better at night if you’re tired after a positive workout session.

Take time out

How often do you spare time to chill? If your home life is hectic and work is manic at the moment, it’s no wonder you feel so stressed.

Spare a few moments each day for simple relaxation techniques. This could be something as easy as deep breathing at your desk, stretching the muscles in your neck by moving your head side to side, or simply shutting your mind down for a few minutes.

Take time out and let that negative energy leave your body.

Avoid using substitutes   

Try to avoid unhealthy ways to cope with stress, some people turn to alcohol or they smoke more as a way to manage rising pressure levels.

Look for healthier solutions instead.

Drinking and smoking will only add to the problem, it’s a short-term solution that could lead to other health complications.

Acupuncture is good for calming stress symptoms. Give it a try if you are experiencing tension headaches!

Posted by & filed under Arthritis, Back Pain, Holistic Therapy.

Back pain is a common complaint that the majority of us will suffer from at some point in our lives.  For some people the discomfort may only last for a few weeks whilst for others it could be an ongoing complaint that they suffer for years on end.


Aspirin and paracetamol will only dull the pain for a few hours so why not try some of these effective natural remedies instead.


Make sure you’re sitting correctly

People who spend their days sitting at a desk are particularly prone to back pain.  If you have an office job it’s important to make sure that you’re sitting at your desk correctly.  Make sure that your back is supported and you can use the keyboard at your desk with your wrists and forearms positioned straight.  Your feet should rest comfortably on the floor and the computer screen should be positioned at eye level.


Eat a balanced diet

You are what you eat so eating a healthy and balanced diet can get rid of all sorts of different aches and pains in the body.  Try to eliminate foods that are high in fat and sugar and replace them with plenty of fresh, whole foods.  Don’t forget to make sure that you’re staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water too.  Dehydration can cause poor posture and an achy, sore back.


Fresh ginger

Fresh ginger has been used as a natural remedy for back pain for many years.  Slice up some fresh ginger and add it to hot water to make tasty ginger tea.


Make sure you’re getting plenty of Omega-3s

Omega-3s have brilliant anti-inflammatory properties so if you’re suffering from aches and pains in your back omega-3 could reduce the inflammation to ease the pain.



Acupuncture reliefs back pain by stimulating the nerves in order to release endorphins which provide pain relief.  It can also reduce inflammation and improve joint flexibility.

Posted by & filed under Colds and Flu, Detox, Diet, Digestion.

If you don’t have the time for regular detox diets you can still keep your body fighting fit and healthy by making sure that you incorporate plenty of these detoxifying drinks into your daily routine.

Hot lemon water

This refreshing drink is a great way to start each day.  Simply squeeze the juice of half a lemon into your mug and top up with steaming hot water to give your day a great kick start.  Lemon juice does wonders for your digestion and cleanses your system ready for the day ahead.

Green tea

Green tea is renowned for being very high in antioxidants, which is great news for your liver.  Drinking green tea regularly will help your body to increase its natural production of detoxification properties and help you to fight off nasty illnesses and disease.

Vegetable juices

You’ve probably heard of the bright green detox juice that was bought to our attention by a handful of health-conscious celebs.  Green juice is a great way of consuming a lot of healthy, detoxifying nutrients very quickly and easily.  Just some of the veg that you may find in green juice includes spinach, kale, watercress, broccoli and cucumber.

Fresh cranberry juice

Fresh cranberry juice is commonly quoted as being effective in preventing urinary tract infections and ulcers.  This is because cranberry juice is bursting with vitamin C, manganese and antioxidants.

Herbal teas

Rhubarb root, burdock, and dandelion root teas are full of vitamins and minerals and are all great at eliminating toxins from your body.

People detoxing should aim to drink at least three litres of fluid a day so these naturally detoxifying drinks are a great place to start.

Posted by & filed under Diet, Exercise.

How many diets have you been on in the past that didn’t last for a month? Bet there are more examples than you care to mention but don’t feel too bad, you are not on your own and there are plenty of people in the same position.  There are multiple reasons why a diet is prone to failure, some of which are covered in this article.

Lack of appeal – Boring diets are destined to fail, you need to find a diet that holds your interest otherwise how do you expect it to succeed? There are numerous diet plans out there and plenty of healthy recipe ideas that won’t tug at your waistline, look for an innovative diet plan or ways to eat healthier that involve tastier meal suggestions.

Lack of interest – People underestimate what it takes to reach their target weight, they think miracles happen overnight and when they don’t see the results they were hoping for in a short space of time they quickly lose interest in the diet. Set a long term target to achieve your weight loss goals, try to aim for a set amount of weight loss per month and when you see the pounds slipping off this should spur you on.

Too much expectation – Try not to overdo the long term target though, aiming too high can have the opposite effect. Be realistic about the amount of weight you can lose in a month, don’t put too much pressure on yourself because if you don’t make the weight one month this could put you off continuing with the diet.

Lack of exercise – Incorporate some type of exercise as part of your diet as well. Eating healthy helps, cutting out sugars and other fattening foods is crucial but some kind of exercise is required too. Diets fail because people don’t exercise, they think a change of eating habits is enough. Believe me it’s not, you need to work out or find a way of exercising that you like coupled to a healthy eating plan.

Posted by & filed under Acupuncture, Back Pain, Breech Baby, Depression, Nausea, Pain, Pregnancy, Stress, Women's Health.

Expectant mums suffer from a variety of symptoms during pregnancy, tiredness, nausea, backache and general aches and pains are common when you are eagerly awaiting the arrival of your little one. Acupuncture is a gentle therapy suitable for all stages of pregnancy and it helps women in the following ways.

Ease morning sickness – One of the most discomforting symptoms of pregnancy is morning sickness, particularly during the first trimester. Acupuncture helps mums to cope with feelings of nausea, it calms the digestive system and symptoms of sickness disappear. If you feel sick during pregnancy try acupuncture, regular bouts of vomiting should reduce or stop altogether.

Relieve pain – It feels like everything is against you during pregnancy, your back aches, your legs ache, you can’t sleep at night, there are pains in parts of your body that you didn’t know you had! Pain killers merely numbs the discomfort, try acupuncture instead. It helps to alleviate all types of pain, give it a go, you’ve nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Reduce stress – It’s hard not to feel stressed when you are pregnant. You feel like a hippo, you waddle around, you have all these worries running through you mind. When you get time to relax you can’t because your back is aching or you are suffering from haemorrhoids. Charming isn’t it? Lower your stress levels with a course of acupuncture, it increases blood flow, decreases inflammation in the body and makes you feel better about yourself.

Aid depression – Pre and post-natal depression are common during pregnancies. Instead of taking antidepressants use acupuncture instead. Studies have shown that this natural procedure helps to relieve feelings of depression so you can take better care of yourself and your baby as well.

Resolves Breeches – Enter your last trimester with a baby in the breech position and you should definitely consider acupuncture. You can optimise the position of the baby from week 34 onwards by using acupuncture, it really does help babies to turn.

If you need any more information about acupuncture during pregnancy please feel free to get in touch with Sabine Acupuncture whenever you like.

Have a happy and healthy birth!