Archive of ‘Food Energetics’ category

Acupuncture Awareness Week 2015 – Stress

By Rhiannon Griffiths

The 2015 theme of The British Acupuncture Council’s Acupuncture Awareness Week, during 2nd to 8th March, is STRESS. I am thrilled that the BAcC has chosen this topic to focus on this year, because it is such a common modern day condition, and not many people know acupuncture can actually really help with stress. And make sure you scroll to the bottom of this page for special FREE offers, videos and more!

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Acupuncture Awareness Week 2015 - Stress

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A recent study, commissioned by the British Acupuncture Council for the awareness week, reveals British stress levels are on the increase, and we are risking our health by turning to sugary food, comfort eating and alcohol to help cope with modern life. The study of 5,000 adults found that over half of the UK are more stressed now than ten years ago, a third of us admit to comfort eating when stressed, a quarter confess to drinking alcohol and as a result 1 in 5 admit they put on weight.

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Despite 70 per cent of the UK saying they are aware prolonged periods of stress can have a long term impact on their health, almost half of people admit they just put up with it, and two thirds say stress is unavoidable in their life. A lack of time (41%), wanting to have it all (25%) and difficulty switching off from work (24%) were cited as the top reasons for the rise of burnt out Brits.

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In scientific terms, acupuncture has been shown to stimulate release of endorphins (the happy hormones) and oxytocin (the calm and contented hormone) – leading to reduction of stress and pain. Yet the statistics showed that 1 in 10 of us think stress isn’t serious enough to seek help, and 67% say they didn’t know acupuncture helps to release endorphins, in order to combat stress.

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In Chinese Medicine we view this process as harmonising Qi within the energy pathways of the body, restoring balance, health and wellbeing. It is why acupuncture is so relaxing and makes patients feel so good.

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Stress was originally a scientific term, first used to explain the temporary ‘fight or flight’ response in organisms, but is now used regularly to describe a range of physical and emotional symptoms.

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Many people suffer stress or feel “stressed out”, experiencing emotional signs such as feeling frustrated, irritable, tearful, overwhelmed, anxious, worried or depressed. Additionally, physical symptoms such as exhaustion, muscle tension, tight neck and shoulders, irritable bowel, nausea or migraine may also be indicative of high stress levels.

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In Chinese Medicine, we believe our emotions can be a huge cause of illness in our bodies – so stress, fear, worry or frustration can prevent the smooth flow of Qi energy in the body, creating stagnation in the channels, or depletion of the body’s overall energy, ultimately causing imbalance or pain.

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Acupuncture seeks to address the ROOT CAUSE of the stress, and relieve anxiety, exhaustion or overwhelm by boosting the energy that is lacking, or moving the stuck energy that is causing tension. It is this differentiation of identifying EXACTLY what is going on in a patient’s body, that is the benefit of using acupuncture to treat stress, and means the results are often better in the long term.

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I see many patients who are exhausted from being permanently stuck in this ‘fight or flight’ stress pattern – this is the daily norm for people, with extended hours in the office, balancing work and home life, a lack of proper rest or nourishing food. Acupuncture can provide vital support to break this vicious cycle.

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Rhiannon Griffiths Acupuncture AAW Thame

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To mark the awareness week I have many opportunities for you to get involved with learning more about how acupuncture could help you, & also for you to access FREE information about stress:

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+ see what my patients (pictured above) have to say about STRESS – pick up your FREE copy of THAME OUT

+ join the FREE “7 Day Stress Busting Challenge”, on instagram, Facebook & Twitter or sign up HERE

+ download your FREE “How to Help Physical & Emotional Stress” information sheet now

+ read the blog post “Top 10 Ways Acupuncture Helps Stress” on this website

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NOT SURE WHAT TRADITIONAL ACUPUNCTURE IS, OR HOW IT WORKS? WATCH THIS NEW VIDEO:

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THIS YEAR’S AAW 2015 CELEBRITY ENDORSER – DONNA AIR – ON ACUPUNCTURE & STRESS:

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SEE ME TREATING STRICTLY COME DANCING’S CAMILLA DALLERUP:

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WATCH THE PLAYLIST OF FREQUENTLY ASKED ACUPUNCTURE QUESTIONS:

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© Rhiannon Griffiths 2015

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Free Five Element Ebook CF




5 Ways to Connect with the Water Element for Winter

By Rhiannon Griffiths

This post was first published as a guest post on Aussie health blog This Is Lifeblood – it is most definitely Winter here in the Northern Hemisphere, that cold, still, watery, dark Yin time. I often write about the Water Element, as Water is my constitutional element (or CF), but Winter is the season of the Water Element, and it is important to connect in with this energy now, at its most potent, whatever your own Element is.

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Water CF Element Five Elements Chinese Medicine

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1. Slow Down & Think Hibernation

The quickest way to connect with the Water Element at any time of the year, but particularly as we move into Water’s season of Winter, is to slow down! Many of us will have been super busy and outwardly sociable during the Summer, with lots of outdoor gatherings with family and friends. Winter is about stillness, coolness, darkness, hibernation – think about what nature is doing at the moment, everything is retracting inwards, seeds of potential are underneath the ground, barely a bud or leaf above soil, and animals are retreating to warm safe spaces. The Water Element will respond beautifully to increased rest in warm safe spaces! Up your commitment to quiet self-care, scale back your social commitments, and keep the Kidneys warm – no crop tops or showing your midriff! Just remember, the energy you conserve during the Winter, becomes the pot of Qi you have for the following Summer – it’s well worth topping yourself up now!

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2. Activate the Water Element Taste

Each of the Five Elements has a “taste” associated with it. Fire is bitter, Earth is sweet, Metal is pungent, Wood is sour, and Water is salty. Salt is a hot topic in health circles, and many people avoid salt at all costs. Processed table salt is not advisable, especially if you have high blood pressure, but in Chinese Medicine, we know that the Water Element and its associated organ, the Kidneys, actually NEED some salt to be supported and function correctly. Add a touch more sea salt or pink himalayan salt to your Winter cooking, or opt for something naturally salty like miso – it is warm, sweet and salty in terms of Chinese Food Energetics. It goes straight to the Water Element organ of the Kidneys, helping to activate their function of fluid control within the body.

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3. Warm the Qi with Food Energetics

As seen above, we can affect the balance in our bodies with that we eat. During Winter we need to reduce raw and cold food intake, cutting down on salads and turning to physically warm dishes like soups, stews and risottos. Apart from being warming, they also have a very “watery” aspect to them, which automatically connects in to the Water Element. Adding energetically hot spices like garlic, cayenne, chilli, ginger, or cinnamon is important in Winter as the temperatures drop down. But note, if you have a tendency to run towards being a hot person, go easy with those very heating spices, even in Winter – nourishing your Yin with rest, and gently warming with thyme, sage or rosemary should be a good balance for you.

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4. Reign in the Fear & Ramp up the Reassurance

The emotion associated with the Water Element is Fear (or conversely, complete lack of it!). This element is all about risk assessing and then reassuring. In Winter, my fear tends to crank up a few notches, as the weather gets worse with snow and ice in the UK – it is riskier to travel, there is more disruption, more uncertainty, and my Water Element has a bit of a wobble! It might not be about the weather, but notice if fear is creeping in and holding you back, this exercise may help you reign in the fear. Write down the issue you are fearful about. Then divide the page in two, with a line down the centre. On the left, write down everything you can think of that is the “worst case scenario”, what you are afraid will happen, what could go wrong, what is stopping you. Once you have really connected into the fear of that column, and exhausted all the potential options (remember, the Water Element WILL find ALL the possible risks, so to harness the positive side of this power, you need to do the same!), turn to the right hand column. You may find it helpful to switch seats or go into a different room for the right hand column – be in a different energetic space!

For each of the risks or fears you wrote down on the left, write down ONE thing that you COULD do, if indeed the worst thing were to happen. For example, it could be the idea of moving to another city is too scary for you, despite your heart knowing it is what you want to do. So in the left column you might write, “I could move away and then not have enough money to support myself”; then in the right column, one thing you COULD do if that were to happen would be “I could find a flatmate”, or “I could move back home with my folks”, or “I could be creative with coming up with new revenue streams”… whatever feels congruent and true to you – this is not a BS exercise, else your Water Element will not feel reassured enough. It must feel as true as possible.

You should find that by connecting to the Water Elements resourcefulness in coming up with contingency plans, you can prove to yourself (and your Water) that even if the worst thing happened, you WILL be ok. Give it a try, it can be really liberating to write it all down and visually see if the bad thing happened, it really wouldn’t be such a big deal – and this is coming from a Water CF girl, who does the risk assessing thing constantly!!

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5. Have Acupuncture!

And of course, having acupuncture will immediately connect us into the Water Element ready for Winter! There are specific points we call “horary points”, which have particular potency during their specific season. Don’t forget each of us has ALL of the Five Elements – Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal & Water – within us, we just tend to have ONE of the Elements that we resonate most with, or is like our default setting… (read more in my FREE ebook to see what Element you might be!)… So although this post is particularly relevant to those Water CFs (constitutional factors or constitutional Elements) amongst us, we can ALL benefit from connecting in with the Water Element in Winter.

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© Rhiannon Griffiths 2013

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What Does Going Off Coffee Have to Do With the Heart?

By Rhiannon Griffiths

A patient recently emailed me, surprised that she had gone off her beloved coffee. Having previously drunk a lot of the black stuff on a regular basis, she found she just didn’t feel like she wanted it any more. She was intrigued and wanted answers.

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From my integrated Five Element Acupuncturist perspective, it wasn’t a surprise. Each of the Five Elements – Fire, Earth, Metal, Water and Wood – have an associated taste, as well as many other resonances, read more in my new ebook. Coffee is bitter, and bitter is linked to the Fire Element. The main Fire organ is the Heart, and in Chinese Medicine and Chinese Food Energetics, the bitter taste is said to go straight to the Heart and affect the energetics, feelings and functionings of the organ.

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Coffee Heart Five Elements Chinese Medicine

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This is why I avoid coffee, I LOVE the smell, but its affects on me and my heart are super strong. I get shaky, light headed and feel sick, like my blood pressure has dropped. I feel my heart beating like mad, skipping around with palpitations.

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For others, and maybe for you, it is different and the Heart is given some support from coffee – some boosting, a little kick in the morning of familiar warmth, of feel-good happy contented energy. But for some, a craving or too much dependence on coffee can indicate (or even create in the long term!) an imbalance in the Fire Element and it’s energy.

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The more we return to balance in the Fire Element and the heart, the less we NEED coffee. And this is what had happened to my gorgeous patient. Through work on herself, with the support of coaching and acupuncture, she had become more in touch with her Heart. She connected with her Heart, acknowledged it and really FELT into it. She was fully enjoying this Heart space she hadn’t realised she had been missing.

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So what does that have to do with coffee? The support from acupuncture and coaching had created a mindful, ACTIVE connection to the Heart space. This connected to the energy of the Heart, the nurture of the Qi (or life force) there, focusing attention there, shifting the energy there, creating a boost, a stimulation, a kick start of the Heart and the Fire Element. It therefore no longer needs to rely on the coffee and it’s bitter taste for that Heart boost or stimulation. As a result, the craving goes down, the body, mind and spirit no longer require it; it’s a sign that something internally has changed.

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Have you noticed something has changed for you recently? Have you gone off a certain food, or found yourself suddenly reaching for something that isn’t normally on your menu? It could be an indication of an internal shift, one of your Five Elements is in a changing state of balance – towards imbalance, or toward a better state of balance. Share your thoughts in the comments below and my acupuncturists brain may be able to shed some light on it for you!

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© Rhiannon Griffiths 2014

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Note: original coffee cup photo from Tumblr

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Free Five Element Ebook CF




Awesome Aussies – Krys Hansen

By Rhiannon Griffiths

This is a slightly belated post this week, from a skype filming a fortnight ago with my fabulous and beautiful friend Krystal Hansen. The fourth vlog in my “Awesome Aussies” series introduces this gorgeous creature and discusses how May was her month of compassion, and how her next project focuses on making meditation easy and accessible to everyone, including a very interesting way of funding the project via community!

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awesome aussies

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Who is Krys? She is a modern yogi, an amazing yoga teacher and a holistic health coach. Krystal is another kindred spirit that I connected with first online via Instagram – I am @rg_acupuncture & Krys is @practisewellness – and on my arrival to Australia, she noticed some familiar local places in my photos!

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me & krys.

In Australia we met up: on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland. This is where my main base was for my trip in March, as I had flown into Brisbane from the UK. We spent hours chatting in Buderim, having had green smoothies and raw tartlets at the fabulous raw vegan cafe, Ground.

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ground cafe buderim with krys.

In the video below we chat about what compassion means and how it creates a ripple effect of energy outwards to everyone around us; how our gifts / vocations, be it yoga or acupuncture, or whatever our paths are, find us when we are in a dark place, and leads us out into the light, becoming our professions.

Krys explains more about her latest project – The Modern Yogi Meditation Ecourse – and the community funding behind it via Pozible, you can pledge your support there right NOW!

And we also discuss what overlaps there are between the three body types in Ayurveda and the Five Elements in Chinese Medicine – how it is ultimately about understanding the seasons, how that relates to you, understanding what you are, what you might be like when you are in balance, and what you might be like when you’re out of balance! And most importantly how these ancient concepts are SO relevant to modern day life and can help you be healthy in mind, body and spirit!

Be sure to listen to the very end to hear about the strength of the HEART energy – it’s a gem of scientific info that will blow your mind!

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[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8IbAlstrUTs%5D

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Although the May is now gone and the month of compassion has concluded, I encourage you to look on Krystal’s instagram feed or facebook, and check out what the beautiful prompt is for the day of the month you are on NOW – it will work for the month of June too! And if you are drawn to connect in with the energy of her latest project – the method of funding and/or the actual meditation Ecourse itself – then please do visit her website or the Pozible site for more details… its going to be an EXCITING project, one I am THRILLED to be a part of! <3

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© Rhiannon Griffiths 2013

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Awesome Aussies – Shakti Grace

By Rhiannon Griffiths

Welcome to yet another fabulously magical interview with a wonderful health-focused woman I met on my travels to Australia. The third vlog in my “Awesome Aussies” blog series is Shakti Grace, the Holistic Chef Australia, and I adored chatting to this chick – we could have chatted all night (Aussie time of course!)

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awesome aussies

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Who is Shakti? She is a holistic chef and creator of “Shakti’s Superfood Blend”… having been a private professional chef for people and musicians all over the world, her focus is now on getting the healthy and holistic message out to the general public through her series of superfood workshops. Her latest lot have just gone tri-state, so book your place now! She is also on the highly esteemed cooking stage at this weekend’s Mind Body Soul exhibition in Sydney!

In Australia we met up: in Sydney – Shakti very kindly collected me from the airport, and we went straight to the quirky vintage “Nourishing Quarter” in Surrey Hills to share some amazing, healthy, clean food (including a delicious raw mango cheesecake!)… a perfect, beautiful, kindred evening in a brand new city!

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shakti & me

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We met online via (my new obsession) Instagram (I am @rg_acupuncture & Shakti is @theholisticchef), and instantly hit it off, through a love of healthy food that nourishes on all levels – physical, emotional and spiritual. Hear in this video below about what makes her Superblend so special (clue: high vibrations, & cracked cell walls!), and how we are both big fans of Chinese Food Energetics, acupuncture and Eastern philosophy!

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[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FA5IUAaA0xI%5D

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Don’t forget to visit Shakti’s website for more information about her Superfood Blend and how you can purchase it online in Australia – I know there’s a BIG new batch just arrived with her, so it couldn’t be a better time to give your body a boost!

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The Holistic Chef Shakti Grace

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© Rhiannon Griffiths 2013

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