Guest Blog

West London Pinpointed for New Clinic
Andy Murray reportedly has one on speed dial and Mariah Carey is
believed to be a fan too, while the Chinese Olympic team swear by it.
Acupuncture, the ancient Chinese therapy that involves inserting
needles into the skin at specific points of the body, is not only
subscribed by sporting superstars and celebrities, or adults for that
The UK’s first specialist paediatric acupuncture clinic has opened in
West London. The London Children’s Acupuncture Clinic, which is based
at The Hale Clinic in W1, is the brainchild of Elizabeth Lee and Emma
Rickards-Tilley, who have degrees in acupuncture treatment and
specialist diplomas in paediatric acupuncture. They trained with
Julian Scott, who has been treating children for over 30 years and
trains practitioners in this specialised field.
Elizabeth, a mother of three and grandmother of three, and Emma, who
has four children, believe now is the right time to open an
acupuncture clinic dedicated to the needs of children. “As Chinese
medicine gains greater following in the West there has been growing
demand for a specialist children’s acupuncture clinic in this
country,” says Emma. “We have found that children can respond
extremely well and quickly to acupuncture, helping them overcome many
childhood ailments. Once their initial natural anxieties have been
overcome, children often find the whole experience enjoyable, and
actually look forward to coming for treatment.”

Acupuncture works to restore the balance of energy flow through the
use of fine needles that are inserted into carefully chosen points of
the body. In children under eight, acupuncture needles are tapped in
and immediately taken out. Children of this age only need to sit still
for a few seconds at a time during the treatment, while children aged
over eight generally sit for 10 minutes or more with the needles in,
but unlike adults, the needles are smaller and inserted superficially.
Elizabeth and Emma point out that the first systematic review study of
paediatric acupuncture safety was published in the December 2011 issue
of international journal, Paediatrics, finding that acupuncture is
safe for children when performed by a qualified practitioner. “Much
research has been performed by the British Medical Association and the
BAcC (British Acupuncture Council). This has found that the risk of
any serious adverse event is less than 1 in 10,000. Mostly any adverse
event is simple small bruising. Patients should always check that
their practitioner is qualified and registered with the BAcC,”
explains Elizabeth.
The Clinic offers treatments for a range of conditions including
insomnia, asthma, eczema and attention deficit disorder. “The World
Health Organisation lists conditions where research confirms
acupuncture as effective treatment. The BAcC, are constantly
researching too and their website has its own research page,” says

The Clinic runs two sessions per week, treating children from newborn to age 15.

For further information about The London Children’s Acupuncture
Clinic, visit

By Katherine Howard



Wellbeing – is it something to be aware of?

Wellbeing is a term that is being used more and more. The Health and Social Care bill has prompted the setting up of Health and Wellbeing Boards by local councils, which means your local Council should be starting to care about your wellbeing! Sounds amazing but what exactly is wellbeing? Where does it fit in to our lives?

At a recent conference I heard a fabulous definition of life which I want to share with you – “Life is a chronic condition which is sexually transmitted and universally fatal. It is still mostly self-managed in a domiciliary setting with a small proportion of time in hospital.”(1)

Life is to be praised and should therefore be extended as long as possible shouldn’t it? The problem is that life for the average person is good for the large proportion of the time and then goes downhill, with the last 11 years of a female’s life and last 9 years of a male’s life tending to involve life limiting conditions. Generally, current thinking is to attempt to extend life even if the quality of life is poor, while the ideal would in fact be to extend the years where the quality of life is high rather than to extend life for the sake of it. Perhaps the aim should be to have a better life rather than simply a longer one. This is where the concept of wellbeing comes into play.

‘Wellbeing: The state of being or doing well in life’Oxford English dictionary

Whereas goes further:

‘well-be·ing: a good or satisfactory condition of existence; a state characterized by health, happiness and prosperity.’

This is a more inclusive definition and takes into account the element of having enough money to live. The World health organisation includes wellbeing firmly into their definition of health.

‘Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.’

The same speaker gave a definition that they had produced at a Health and Wellbeing Board (Croydon) to fully encompass wellbeing:

  • ·         The absence of disease and infirmity
  • ·         ‘Being all you can be’
  • ·         Being resilient or having ‘bounce-back ability’
  • ·         Making a contribution- helping others benefits your own health and wellbeing

In terms of health and social care legislation this means that the remit of the Government has been extended from putting you back together again when you are unwell, to actually having to care about all aspects of your life that makes you healthy both physically and mentally – your biopsychosocial wellbeing to be precise. From the elements you can’t change like your age, gender or genetics, to those that can be changed – your lifestyle, your support networks and the greater environmental and the whole socioeconomic picture. This means that the health service and the social care service will be expected to be working together in tandem for the good of the individual.

If the Government is so concerned about our wellbeing, then it naturally follows that we too should be concerned about our own wellbeing. It is worth thinking about what makes you ‘all that you can be’. If you are someone that gets stressed for example then for your own wellbeing you should try to find something that releases that stress – or perhaps prevents its build up. For some this would be a walk in the park with the children or the dog while for others a tension relieving kick boxing class would fit the bill. Doing things that are good for your wellbeing will benefit all aspects of your life, less stress for example will equal better relationships, better sleep and improved mood and who couldn’t benefit from these?

Complementary therapies are known for promoting relaxation and wellbeing.–Reflexology is a gentle, non-intrusive complementary therapy that encourages the body to work naturally to restore and maintain its own healthy balance. A reflexologist works on points on the feet or hands, but it may also be performed on the ears and face.  To find out what a reflexologist is feeling for in your feet visit the interactive foot map at most clothing that will have to be removed are your socks so it is easy to receive.

 Most will find that reflexology results in relaxation and a relief of tension, also sleep is often improved. These changes in turn can translate to improved mood and sense of wellbeing!

Finding a good reflexologist is not always an easy process the Association of Reflexologists helps – all its members are properly trained, qualified and insured. There is a ‘find a reflexologist’ search by postcode available on the AoR website at

At the end of the day, it is important to recognise that you can help improve your own wellbeing by finding a solution that works for you. If you have no idea what this might be, start with a checklist to identify your weaknesses and set yourself some simple goals and identify some actions that might just help you improve your own wellbeing over a period of time. Remember to try a few different things and see what effect they have. After all you will never know what something is really like until you just do it!

(1)Peter Brambleby:  Commissioning show 2012

Tracey Smith FMAR BSc Hons
Reflexology Support Manager
Association of Reflexologists
Tel: 01823 364952
Fax: 01823 336646



Don’t Stress!

November – a time for dipping temperatures, darker nights and the calm before the Christmas storm of excess. The cloud-ridden skies and the rise in SAD can sometimes make the merest inconvenience seem like a major hassle.

It’s timely then that National Stress Awareness Day falls during this month (7th November) and some interesting studies have come to light as a result.

Movies that Move
Sitting down and watching a film may seem like a chilled out option but it depends on what film you watch. Blinkbox (, a film and TV streaming service, recently teamed up with the Stress Management Society to identify the best films to watch to keep stress at bay – and the ones to avoid – by monitoring volunteers’ stress levels and blood pressure while they viewed a selection of trailers across 10 genres. Kids and musical genres were found to significantly reduce the volunteers’ blood pressure and pulse, while, conversely, stressful scenes from action, thriller and horror films, showed a rise in stress levels. The study’s top five stress-inducing scenes were:

1)    Pulp Fiction – Adrenaline Shot
2)    Se7en – Ending
3)    War of the Worlds – Basement Scene
4)    Rear Window – Up The Stairs
5)    Jurassic Park – Kitchen

While Rock of Ages, Prometheus and The Five Year Engagement were among the films found to reduce stress levels.


Food for Thought
It seems stress is bad for our diet. A recent study conducted by global nutrition company Herbalife, and the Northern Ireland Centre for Food and Health, showed that highly stressed Brits consume, on average, 21% more junk food than their colleagues with low or average stress levels. The research, which is based on a study of 5,000 office workers in Europe’s five largest economies, also showed that UK workers experience the highest levels of stress, snack the most and consume the most unhealthy snacks when compared to their Continental counterparts.


Rant Away
There’s nothing more gratifying than a good rant to help ease stress and frustration. Rescue Remedy has come up with a gem of an idea – ‘rant therapy’. This simple service allows you to fire off an email about your stressed out feelings to  and within minutes you’ll get an automated reply with tips from the Stress Management Society. While the tips are good, the best bit is simply expressing thoughts and feelings without fear of causing offence – and getting a helpful reply in return.


By Katherine Howard