Onions and Garlic – A Force For Good?

Too Common and Crude

According to Ayurveda – traditional Indian medicine – onions and garlic can be ‘stimulating to the desires’. For this reason it is usually avoided by those who practice meditation and other spiritual paths. In Chinese herbal medicine, garlic is often considered too common and crude to be included in classic herbal recipes.

Onions and Garlic - A Force For Good?

Onions and Garlic – A Force For Good?

So how should we regard onions and garlic? Does they have a good side? Could it be helpful for improving our health?

According to traditional Chinese dietary theory onion and garlic, both of which hail from the Alium family, are pungent in nature and warming. This can help to move stagnant Qi (energy), activate the lungs and act as a digestive.They are considered excellent for improving circulation, and for resolving phlegm and dampness (fluid retention) in the respiratory system. This makes these foods a great asset during the autumn cold and flu season in the UK, set against a backdrop of increasing damp and cold.

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According to author Henry C. Lu ‘onion is used in Chinese folk medicine as a diuretic and an expectorant’. Other members of the Alium family including spring onions, chives and leeks offer up similar properties.

Feeding Gut Bacteria

An analysis of 64 studies by researchers at King’s College London found prebiotic fibres in onions and garlic which are known to have a positive effect on ‘good bacteria’ in the gut, specifically Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus. These bacteria are required for a healthy digestive system to function effectively. Also refer to http://theacupunctureblog.co.uk/the-microbiome-diet-bugs-that-count/

At this time of year therefore a good addition to one’s diet would be a hearty vegetable soup created from a stock of onions, garlic and leeks. Enjoy good health this autumn.

[Onions and Garlic – A Force For Good?]

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There’s Nothing You can Do About Sperm Quality (Or Is There?)

Are you a male struggling with low sperm parameters?

I recently came across an article by York Acupuncturist Ali Longridge which I wanted to share with you.  I have had many male patients who have checked in with low sperm count, morphology or motility. The mantra they arrive with is ‘there is nothing that can be done is there?’ But is this really true?

After a course of acupuncture treatment and dietary changes, a repeat sperm test will often show a marked improvement.

There's Nothing You can Do About Sperm Quality (Or Is There?)

In this well researched article Ali points out that that there is indeed much that can be done. As she points out –

Fertility acupuncture has been shown to increase the delivery of nutrients, antioxidants and oxygen to the sperm-making cells.

Read her article at:-


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There’s Nothing You can Do About Sperm Quality (Or Is There?)

Also see http://theacupunctureblog.co.uk/cordyceps-mushrooms-endurance/

(Please note that unfortunately we are usually unable to help with VERY low sperm counts.)

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Acupuncture Review Finds Evidence Of Effect

Acupuncture Review Finds Evidence Of Effect

Acupuncture Review Finds Evidence Of Effect

What Is Acupuncture Good For?

I am often asked which conditions acupuncture is good for. A recent review commissioned by the Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association, provides an up to date evidence based guide to the effectiveness of acupuncture using scientifically rigorous methods.

In this study they considered 122 different health conditions and assigned them to one of four categories –

  • Positive effect (8)
  • Potential positive effect (38)
  • No evidence of effect (5)
  • Unclear/insufficient (71)

For the eight best supported conditions the evidence was consistently positive and acupuncture was recommended by the review authors. The eight conditions are:-

  • allergic rhinitis
  • back pain (chronic)
  • headache (tension type, chronic) and migraine
  • knee osteoarthritis
  • nausea and vomiting (either postoperative or due to chemotherapy)
  • post operative pain

The ‘potential positive effect’ list of 38 conditions includes neck, elbow, heel and shoulder pain, asthma, IBS, anxiety, depression, insomnia. It also includes primary and secondary stroke treatment. This is a condition which is the most common inpatient indication for acupuncture in Chinese hospitals.

Acupuncture Review Finds Evidence Of Effect

To be clear, no evidence of effect does not mean that acupuncture is ineffective, rather that there is currently no evidence of effect. These results reflect only what research has been done to date, they are not neccesarily a good indication of how someone would get on with acupuncture in normal practice. Interestingly however, the study authors do point out that :-

“it is no longer possible to say that the effectiveness of acupuncture is because of the placebo effect, or that it is useful only for musculoskeletal pain”.

Read the study

{Based on an article by Mark Bovey, Research Manager British Acupuncture Council}.

Topic: Acupuncture Review Finds Evidence Of Effect

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My Body Has Held Me To Ransom

“I can’t believe my body has held me to ransom for all these years”.

This is a sentiment I have heard expressed in so many ways over the years. As a man it is often difficult to truly appreciate what a woman puts up with each month, particularly when things don’t go smoothly. As an experienced fertility acupuncturist though I have treated many many women with a large variety of menstrual difficulties over the years and I have to say the results are often profound. Of course you don’t have to be trying to get pregnant to get help with your cycle.

So how could acupuncture help? Before starting it is a great idea to seek a medical diagnosis so do have a talk with your GP first in order to rule out anything more serious. On your first visit to an acupuncturist you will be asked a whole lot of detailed questions about your menstrual and general health to establish what is behind your symptoms and how best to move forward.My Body Has Held Me To Ransom

I have come to regard the female menstrual cycle as something which needs to ‘flow’ smoothly. This means for example that the monthly blood flow should be smooth and fluid (so no clots) and free from ‘stop-start’ bleeding. You should be largely pain-free and emotionally consistent for the whole month (so no mood swings or energy drops). Any other symptoms that occur during your menstrual cycle such as bloating (bowels not flowing well) or fluid retention (impeded fluid flow) will be taken into account.

In some of my more poetic moments I am drawn to consider my role as a ‘plumber’, opening taps, removing blockages, turning up the water pressure and improving heat distribution. To translate this into ‘acupuncture speak’, one of the most common diagnoses is ‘Liver Qi Stagnation’ which has amongst its symptoms, moodiness, fluctuation of mental state, a churning feeling in the stomach and feeling ‘wound-up”. Does this sound familiar? Yes we are talking about PMS. Treating acupuncture point ‘Liver 3’ (located on the foot) during the premenstrual phase often produces the most dramatic treatment outcomes. It is like opening a tap.

So go on – get your life back!

Martin Dean

07969 41 31 58







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Acupuncture Increases Ovulation Frequency in Women With PCOS

In a recent Swedish study 32 women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) were given acupuncture in combination with low frequency electrical stimulation (‘electrocupuncture’). After 10-13 weeks of intervention, circulating levels of a variety of hormones (including estrone, estrone sulphate, estradiol, DHEA and testosterone) were found to have decreased in the acupuncture group and were significantly lower than in the control group.
[Source : British Acupuncture Council]

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Acupuncture point P6

If you have ever used those sea sickness travel bands you attach to your wrists, you will be familiar with acupuncture point Pericardium 6 (or P6), also called Nei Guan in Chinese (meaning Inner Pass). Located on the middle of the forearm three fingers width above the wrist, this point is indicated for palpitations, insomnia, nausea and vomiting [source Peter Deadman, Manual of Acupuncture]. Two interesting uses for P6 are to calm morning sickness in pregnancy and to treat mild insomnia, both of which prove to be effective in clinical practice.
The pericardium is the ‘wrapping’ of the heart, which is said to store the spirit. According to Deadman, P6 is “one of the main acupuncture points for regulating and calming the spirit and treating a wide range of emotional disorders”.

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