THE
LOCAL

I curate an email newsletter called The Local.  It is a space for people interested in health and Hertfordshire (and also Bedfordshire, but it ruins my alliteration).  It is a joyful space where I look at the wonderful things we have around us in Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire.

It is about opening up the doors to small Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire businesses.  And, of course, it features acupuncture and health.

You can take a look below at some of the past issues of the Local (click on the date and it will take you to the whole copy) and if you are ready to sign up to get this delightful, once a week, newsletter you can click here.

2022

This week is sponsored by ALL the kid's Easter eggs!  And it isn't even Easter yet 🤐

Is it ever really a holiday though with children?  So far I have done:

  • 9 hours of swimming with the children

  • won at crazy golf to the children (I do not play to lose)

  • watched the children doing their activities

  • cycled with the children (I really hate cycling) 

  • AND cooked three meals a day for the children. 

 

Still, it is a much-needed break for all of us.

Are you on your holidays?  Or working?

I do love Easter though for the chocolate.  I will admit I was always thrilled when the Mini Eggs make a reappearance, but this post by Tony's chocolate (which really is the best chocolate) has me putting them back on the shelf 😔

 

See you next week (I might look like an Easter egg).

 

Love Andrea

 

What is your body telling you?

I wrote a blog post about ways your body may be saying (or shouting) at you.  What do these signs and symptoms mean?  Click below to take a read.

What is my body telling me?**

**stop eating chocolate Andrea

 

If you have private medical insurance you might be able to claim for your acupuncture treatments with me?  This includes Axa, Vitality and Aviva but as I am a British Acupuncture Council registered practitioner you can see a full list here of other health plans.

Last weekend I did some continuous professional development on scalp acupuncture.  Unsurprisingly, it is used for brain conditions such as stroke, Parkinson's, autism, migraine, depression and multiple sclerosis.  It is not a miracle cure, but there are really promising case studies and research being done to help manage signs and symptoms.  I cannot wait to start including this powerful treatment within my acupuncture practice.

Hi, pen pal this week I have been evaluating my fledgling business.

 

  • Lots more money out, than in - TICK

  • Some of that money didn't need to be spent - TICK

  • Thinking "holy cow" at the petrol prices, as a mobile acupuncturist - TICK

  • Panic look into costs of electric vans - TICK

  • Realise I need to be a millionaire first to buy an electric van - TICK

  • Getting to 10 patients a week - TICK (my dream for 2022 was to be seeing 10 patients a week) 😃

But one of the nicest things I have done, since the start, is keeping a special folder of screenshots when patients have sent me feedback.

I brought this book for my kids and I am loving it!  The festival of Ostara is this Saturday (20th) and takes its name from Ostara or Eostre, the goddess of renewal and birth.  It is when the night and day are perfectly balanced in length.  Yin and Yang in harmony. 

I have been working on

  • Working on chronic pain numbers in my latest blog.  It is quite honestly scary stuff.  I am looking at whether acupuncture might help.

  • How to stop saying um.  If you watched my live presentation on chronic pain I want you to tell me how many times I said 'um' and I will send you a gift.

  • I am doing an Instagram Live next Wednesday 23rd March at 7 pm with Bec from Balance your Being.  We are talking about PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder) which I wrote my dissertation on.  Come and join us.

One (wo)mans rubbish

Talking about electric cars, I have been finding some absolute gems when it comes to being not spending money.  If you are in Hertfordshire, check these out, and please send any others my way.

 

  • Hertfordshire Waste Aware has some brilliant campaigns.  From sustainable swaps for period products, to composting 

  • Plastic Free Hitchin have loads of excellent stuff going on including repair cafes for electricals, bikes and clothes

  • Hitchin ReUse Project is a Facebook group where you can post items no longer wanted.  On a Wednesday you can do a wishlist request.  Last week, I was asking if anyone had a sewing machine going and hey presto.  It saved them taking it to the tip and it stopped me from buying new.

  • Best Before Cafe takes surplus food from supermarkets and offers it to the public for free/small donation.  They also do takeaway meals using that food.

I asked my local small business followers to share some of the awesome things they are doing this month.  You can find it below, and wow we have some really good stuff to look forward to.

Support for perimenopause

Ana is offering a free workshop tonight at 7:30, on Zoom.  It is called Pilability and it will help your body continue to move as we go through perimenopause/menopause; to regain confidence, co-ordination, balance, strength, suppleness, to acknowledge our bodies with kindness and regain peace of mind.

Yoga retreat

If you are feeling like retreating already then Cucumber Fields is the most beautiful space to do it in.  They have so many fabulous events lined up until April, but if you have time on the 14th of January come and spend a day enjoying yoga, eating delicious food and hearing me chat about acupuncture for pain!

Winter Wellness

Sam from Natural Edge coaching is hosting two events (14th and 28th January) to restore, rejuvenate and re-energise in nature with her forest therapy sessions.

Book club

My wonderful friend, Holly, is starting an online book club at the end of January (31st).  It is free to join.  I am hoping it will reignite my love for books. 

Other amazing things upcoming:

  • Yoga is starting back up with Carly (Zen Flow Yoga) on Mondays, in Letchworth.  She is an awesome teacher.

  • Looking for a different kind of movement?  How about belly dancing with Lana Celeste, on Friday mornings in Ware?

  • The doors to the Mama Hive are re-opening for small businesses to join.  Honestly, one of the best decisions I made in 2021 for my and my small business.  I even co-wrote a blog post with them called "the new year's resolutions your body will thank you for"

 
What has been happening on the health front?

Of course, C of the D is still front of mind.  But there is more to health than that.  Here are some of the stories that I have been following with interest.

Dementia

It is estimated that dementia cases will almost triple by 2050.  But it isn't inevitable.  Lifestyle changes we can make can help us.

 

Weirdly a year, almost to the day, I wrote this blog post about Alzheimer's and how prevention is better than cure.

Pinterest predicts

Do you love pinning stuff to Pinterest?  I know I do.

 

They put together a fascinating round-up of what they predict for 2022.  In terms of health, this includes mindful menstruation, rage rooms, higher frequency treatments (do you know I use tuning forks sometimes) and low-impact exercise (try qigong).

Chronic Pain

Due to long waiting lists, around 6 million people are waiting for operations, many of whom are in pain.  I cannot help people who need operations, but I might be able to help with pain relief.

I am back from my holidays and my mojo is BACK (it went missing for a while).


This week I am looking at women's health stories (please note a trigger warning for baby loss) and I have a workshop that I hope you will like.

 

Have a lovely long weekend (we are off to the beach tomorrow)!

 

Love Andrea

Here for the women's health?

 

  • Why is there an HRT shortage?  This story reports on women having to "borrow" HRT in Northern Ireland, however, I have seen people in England saying they have struggled to get it from their local pharmacies.  Have you heard this?  Have you struggled to get HRT? Diane Danzebrink is a good resource for finding out more.

  • Gynaecology wait times have gone up by 60%.  As they said in the report "Why it is that the waiting lists of the only speciality that caters just for women have grown the most of all specialities since the start of the pandemic?"

  • Miscarriage and PTSD: it is estimated that as many as 45,000 women (each year), who lose their babies then go on to suffer from PTSD.  It is because they are not given the psychological support that they need. If you know someone who might need support please look for Dr Rebecca Moore or Birth Trauma UK

  • Finally!!!!! "The [contraceptive] pill is used as therapy for things it does not treat".  A brilliant podcast episode about whether PCOS should be treated as a hormone imbalance.  I have a blog post here about PCOS and acupuncture.

I feel really aggravated that women's health isn't treated as important. 

 

Your signs and symptoms.  Your problems.  Your health is important, and I want you to know that you're not alone and I am listening.

 

It might not be with acupuncture, but I am always here.

Is this the end?  This week starts with a goodbye.

Hiya email pal the time has come to finish at Cucumber Fields.  I had to do the right thing for my small business and I will finish my last appointment there on the 31st March.

 

But never fear this is not a goodbye for this part of Hertfordshire. I have been hassling the councils to make sure I get my mobile licenses for Broxbourne, St Albans & Harpenden and Stevenage.  I am EXPANDING!!

 

Keep a lookout for me! Beep, beep.

 

Love Andrea

If you are here for the Herts and Beds stuff

Last week I joined Dave from Nothing Like Wood, in Haynes (Bedfordshire), to make a butter knife & spoon.  He runs sessions monthly and if you would like to spend a day outside, with wonderful people, have beautiful creations at the end and feel muscles you never knew existed in your arms then I HIGHLY recommend this experience.  Go to the bottom to check out start to finish 👇🏻.  

I should have been making a spring flower wreath with the gorgeous Lucy from Rooted Wild last Sunday, but alas my poorly daughter had me with her at the Lister Hospital*.  Go give Lucy a follow as she holds these wonderful flower circles around Hertfordshire. *thankfully all was fine eventually with my youngest daughter.  The NHS is problematic but I couldn't be more grateful today for the people working there.

If you are here for the health stuff

  • Why we should respect recovery.  I have far too many conversations with patients who have the negative COVID test but are trying to resume a normal pace.  Please listen to your body.

  • Why am I reading my Menopausal Vagina?  Come find out next week.

  • Why am I teaching myself to listen properly?  An important skill and it isn't just the words.

  • Why menopause is finally getting the attention it deserves.  The latest Zoe study (which did a lot of data behind COVID) shows metabolism changes during menopause might not be inevitable.  Interesting read, but a word of caution, Zoe is a personalised nutrition company, so I always read with a note of cynicism about their interest.

  • Why sports science is failing women

Spring-zine

I have finally got around to updating the download for when people subscribe to The Local.

 

And I do not want you to miss out.

 

The Spring-zine is a 14-page download on:

 

  • Transitioning from Winter to Spring, according to Chinese medicine

  • Nettle tea

  • Spring colouring

  • Eight wonderful local (Herts and Beds) events that will allow you to spend time with Spring

What has been happening on the health front?

HRT over the counter

Unfortunately, there was lots of excitement (and misleading headlines) that hormone replacement therapy was going to be available over the counter.  There is going to be a public consultation about allowing one (Estradiol) to be available.  See how Chinese medicine regards Second Spring here

Fertility Factors

Some interesting notes about the factors which are affecting fertility here.  Factors such as:

 

  • Infradian rhythm disruptions

  • Exposure to environmental chemicals

  • High stress

  • Diets

Day trips

I am off to Leamington Spa in a couple of weekends time to do an advanced course on treating musculoskeletal pain with acupuncture. 

 

Have you ever been to Leamington Spa?  Any tips for whilst I am down there? 

 

Any podcasts/books you think I should take down there?  I would love your tips.  I have one blissful night away in the camper van to enjoy it all, so please send your suggestions back.

Ashwell: I did the most glorious walk, starting at Ashwell, a place that until then I had never visited.  I had considered making the walk even longer and heading to Wimpole for not only their beautiful surroundings but also a cup of coffee.  But then I remembered my 2022 resolution that I cannot buy coffee when I am out of the house and so I hot-footed it home to go and get one.  Have you got any beautiful walking suggestions?  Just send me back a reply. I love an adventure.

Chinese New Year: I adore practising acupuncture, not only for medicine but also for the traditions and heritage.  As I mentioned above we have just entered into the Lunar New Year of Water-Tiger.  The tiger symbolises bravery and confidence and if you are interested in the forecast for the year I really recommend this video.  Since I am a Monkey, this year is going to be tough.  I have survived the last two years, so let's bring it on.

Hello lovely email pal.  In 42 years I've had all sorts go right and I've had all sorts go wrong!

 

But as I have got older (maybe wiser) the mistakes are really an opportunity.  And I am learning to listen to my own intuition.  Mistakes teach me something.

 

Love

 

Andrea

Menopause and acupuncture

I was a guest on Clarissa's podcast Thriving Thru Menopause.  We talked about acupuncture and menopause.  It is an hour-long, so grab a drink and listen in here.  Please let me know what you think (I cannot bring myself to listen back because I hate the sound of my voice).  

 

We talked about:

  1. Understanding and listening to our own bodies. No one will know us like we know ourselves.

  2. Biomedicine is amazing - but there are also alternatives

  3. We can make changes in our 30s, 40s and 50s.  Any change can help

  4. Track everything.  It really helps us understand our triggers

  5. DO WHAT IS BEST FOR YOU!

 

Acupuncture for menopause has some great clinical evidence of efficacy.  From helping with hot flashes to brain fog, to mental-emotional, to sleep.  

 

I also have a blog post here about Second Spring which is how Chinese medicine regards this time of life.

 

Migraines and acupuncture

Another new blog post about migraines.  I had the blessing of a current patient to use her words (below).

 

Migraines are a debilitating condition that can come on with no warning and take people out for days.  It affects the person and their quality of life.  It also impacts their family.  

 

Again, acupuncture is not a miracle but it might be an option for people experiencing migraines.

Hi, de hi local pal my most popular Instagram story and poll with over 700 responses was....

Would you rather parallel park for the rest of your life OR be stopped at every red light for the rest of your life?

 

 

Which would you rather? 

Click the picture, with your answer, to see if you are correct (which is absolutely subjective as I decide who is right) 🤣 and you might win a prize!

Still here for the health?

  • Bec and I finally caught up on PMDD and acupuncture but it was really a chat about all things including menopause, social prescribing, accessibility to health care.  You can listen back here.

  • I treated a lady this week, who is 34 weeks pregnant and has a breech presentation.  She messaged yesterday to say that the scan has shown the baby is now in the correct position.  Read about moxa for breech position here.  Fascinating stuff.

  • Did you know that the Hertfordshire population has an above-average propensity for Diabetes Type 2?  In new research Diabetes Type 2 is linked to a higher incidence of 57 long-term illnesses including kidney disease, liver cancer, eyes problems and digestive problems.

 

Ever tried forest bathing?

The RSPB is holding forest bathing sessions at Sandy Lodge, Ashridge Estate and Rushmere Country Park.  Click here for the full details and to book your space.

 

Forest bathing is the practice of bathing all of the senses whilst taking in the forest atmosphere, it is a slow practice, guiding you through a series of gentle exercises designed to restore you both mentally and physically. Regular forest bathing has been shown to lower blood pressure, reduces stress, improves empathy and creativity and can help to boost your immune system

Ukraine

I have donated a proportion of my treatments this week to donate to Humanitas. It will not change what is happening, but it is a way my small business has been able to help.

 

Thank you to all the patients that booked with me this week I was able to donate £45*

*for every follow-up treatment, I have donated £5 (7 treatments).  For every initial appointment, I have donated £10 (1 treatment).

Safeword

I am now offering patients the chance to communicate if they feel unsafe in their home or relationship.  A patient can identify themselves as a person at risk by writing their initials in the top corner of the consultation forms.  I cannot and will not share your details with anyone else but I can get you resources and a space to consider your choices.

 

I hope no one ever needs it, but it is there.

Good things come to those that shop local

 

David's Bookshop

Games nights are back.  Every Thursday at 7:30

River Ivel

Can you support the team with the River Ivel?

Sunday Sanctuary with Zen Flow Yoga

Join Carly on 3rd April in Ickleford for yoga, a sound bath and delicious food from Bite Around the World

Dr Rangan Chatterjee live at Cucumber Fields

Join Dr Chatterjee as he talks about his new book, Happy Mind, Happy Life, on the 31st of March.

Acupuncture for pain

If you missed my presentation about acupuncture for pain you can now access the full recording, pain tracker and presentation notes here.  If not you, do you know someone that might benefit?  Please feel free to share far and wide.