I work six days a week between two jobs, one in a corporate setting and the other as an acupuncturist here at Phoenix Health and Wellbeing With such a busy life self-care is something I have to be particularly aware of.
How do I look after me?
In the process of becoming an acupuncturist I learned a few techniques to help with self-care. The first and most obvious one is acupuncture! I do not enjoy using needles on myself so I try to go see another acupuncturist from time to time, or if I’m in particular need. It’s always good to get another person’s perspective too.
On a Friday morning at Phoenix Health and Wellbeing I host a group acupuncture session for men who have prostate cancer. Part of the session includes a 15 minute body scan relaxation. There are plenty of videos on YouTube about body scans. In a nutshell here’s how you do it:
- you close your eyes, breathe slowly and deeply
- move your awareness around your body
- I always like to start and begin in the same place on the body
- As your awareness moves to a new part of the body think about how that area feels, tense, relaxed any aches and pains.
- Just acknowledge any feelings and keep moving around the body
This mindfulness technique helps me feel grounded and in the moment. Our busy lives lead to busy minds, so this is a great way to focus the mind and get yourself in the right frame of mind for the day.
If you’ve ever considered meditation or mindfulness but worry that your mind is too busy and you can’t calm it down, I offer a piece of advice from a former patient who was well practiced in meditation:
“Imagine you are in a forest by a river. This is where you will stay while you meditate. A canoe comes along the river. You don’t have to get in the canoe, but you can acknowledge its existence. You don’t need it right now and you are aware that there will be more canoes that you can use when you need one. The canoes are your stray thoughts. It’s ok to have them, acknowledge them and tell yourself you can return to them later. Now come back to the forest, in the clearing by the river and get back to your breath.”
A gentle walk
Another piece of advice I try to follow is to go for a walk. I was lucky in lockdown that I lived close to lots of countryside so there were numerous places to go for a walk. I always try to change it and take note of my surroundings. You shouldn’t get back home and not know where you’ve been. Be in the moment, enjoy it.
We’ve been taught all our lives that we must always be doing something. Try doing nothing but breathe for 5 minutes a day. Doing nothing is a lost art.
Qigong is an important part of Chinese Medicine. Tai Chi is a martial art form of Qigong. Wogong involves gentle movements and breathing, and you’ll all have seen images of Chinese workers all practicing outside their workplace. At my acupuncture college we had some lessons in the car park. There are classes throughout the country but if you want to give it a go on your own first, have a look for “Peter Deadman Qigong” on YouTube. Peter is one of the most respected Acupuncturists in the country (if not the world), and he’s also a Qigong instructor. He also has an online course.
Chris Wadsworth runs our Friday acupuncture clinic here at Phoenix Health and Wellbeing. He has a wealth of experience in working with many different conditions including; menopause, stress, depression and chronic pain. The clinic runs from 11am until 4pm. Appointments are available every half hour and cost just £55.
If you have private health insurance the cost of your treatments may be covered by your policy. Check before booking.
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Phoenix Health & Wellbeing is a Charity and social enterprise. By coming to us for a treatment you are supporting our charitable work. We use the proceeds of your treatment to subsidise those who would not otherwise be able to access our therapies. Roughly £4 to every £10 spent with us will go to help others.
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Friday and Saturday from 10:00 to 16:00
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