• Walk to Health and Happiness

    We are lucky in South London to have great natural spaces to explore and walking is a gentle way to tone up, strengthen your back and help your fitness. It is something most of us can easily fit into our everyday lives and it’s free. It can be a source of peace and quiet relaxation, brisk and invigorating or something more sociable. I will often take a stroll in the park if I want to think. There is something about moving at a walking pace that I find helpful in nudging thoughts along and encouraging creativity.

    If you want a cardiovascular workout then brisk walking for 30 minutes a day is recommended at a pace where you can still talk but not sing! But if you can only manage 10 minutes then any exercise is good and you can build up to more as you get fitter.

    As well as helping you get toned and fit, it also helps to lift mood and boost concentration, with a positive influence on blood pressure, immunity, circulation and digestion. If you make it a regular thing, you'll enjoy a multitude of health benefits. A gentle walk in the park or the woods is a relaxing way to let nature feed your soul.

    On our doorstep we have with varied delights of Brockwell Park, Crystal Palace Park and Norwood Park. For local nature walks head for Dulwich Woods and Nunhead Cemetery. If you'd like something more social there walking groups with scheduled walks covering London, the whole of the Southeast and beyond.

    So however, wherever and with whoever you like to walk - happy walking!

    Local Walks

    The final section of the Green Chain Walk is a short 1.2mile walk from Crystal Palace to Nunhead Cemetery. This walk can be extended with a detour into Dulwich Park and through Nunhead Cemetery. www.tfl.gov.uk/modes/walking/green-chain-walk

    If you fancy something longer take a look at www.walkingclub.org.uk/book_3/walk_137 , a varied 8 mile walk from Crystal Palace to Forest Hill taking in several parks, woods, Dulwich Picture Gallery and the Horniman Museum.

    For more walks, activities and events along the Green Chain which extends all the way to Thamesmead, visit www.greenchain.com

    Social Walks

    For something more social you can hook up with other people via groups like Inner London Ramblers and The Walking Club. The walkers club also have information on traffic free cycling and areas of interest mainly in London and the South East.

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  • Acupuncture and Lifestyle to support fertility

    Having a baby should be the most natural thing in the world but for many people it is not always that simple. It can be very stressful and create feelings of desperation and despair but there are things that you can do to help.

    A Healthy Lifestyle

    Firstly, a healthy lifestyle for both men and women is vital to enhancing your fertility in both natural and assisted cycles. It is based around moderate exercise, a nourishing wholefood diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and avoidance of substances that affect ovulation and egg and sperm quality like alcohol, nicotine and environmental toxins some of which are commonly found in household products and cosmetics. Body weight is also important, even being a few points above or below normal BMI (19-25) can reduce your fertility.

    Taking time to relax and switch off will help to activate the more nourishing and nurturing ‘rest and digest’ aspects of your metabolism. Yoga, meditation and mindfulness practices can be particularly effective at helping with stress but pursuing hobbies and leisure activities that you find enjoyable can also help. Your lifestyle is important but these ideals also need to be balanced by not giving yourself a hard time when they are hard to achieve.

    Although you are born with all your eggs, the final maturation stage takes 3-6 months. For sperm, maturation takes around 3 months. The environment in which they mature has an impact on their quality, which in turn can impact on all stages of fertility from ovulation, conception, implantation to pregnancy and ultimately the health of your baby. So good preparation in the months leading up to conception through diet, lifestyle and supportive treatment can make all the difference, so make positive changes and seek help sooner rather than later.

    Acupuncture and Fertility

    Acupuncture is particularly effective in fertility healthcare because it has few or no side effects and improves your overall health. It doesn’t replace the medicines and surgery that may be needed in certain cases but it can certainly play an important role.

    One of the most potent and widely recognised effects of acupuncture is to help with stress by releasing endorphins. This has a cascade of beneficial effects throughout the body, similar to the effects of deep relaxation and exercise. In the realm of fertility, acupuncture helps to regulate reproductive hormones and improves blood flow generally, including to the ovaries and uterus, helping to ensure they are well nourished by all the good food you are eating.

    Acupuncture supports ovulation by helping to regulate reproductive hormones. It can also improve the thickness and evenness of the uterine lining which assists with implantation of the embryo and its subsequent nourishment and survival. For women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) acupuncture can counteract the effects by reducing the number of ovarian cysts, stimulating ovulation and helping to regulate the menstrual cycle.

    Acupuncture and IVF

    Many of the top IVF clinics recommend having acupuncture to support treatment and a study in 2016 showed that it can double the chance of success. Treatment can be aimed at improving the number and quality of your eggs during the stimulation phase, helping to achieve a healthy uterine lining in preparation for implantation and reducing stress.

    Acupuncture around the time of embryo transfer can help you to feel relaxed and may help the embryo to implant successfully by reducing uterine contractions. There are other stages in the IVF process where, for some women, acupuncture may be beneficial and it may also help to deal with some of the side effects of the medication used.

    IVF can be a demanding rollercoaster of a journey, often with little time for emotional support at the IVF clinic appointments, although clinics do now offer counselling. Acupuncture sessions allow time for you to share your experience from your perspective and to feel supported through the various stages. I work alongside a network of fertility specialists and can refer you on to other people where appropriate.

    Next Steps

    Everyone is different so if you would like to find out more about how acupuncture may be able to help, just call me or drop me an email.

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Appointments 07941 674792

flip.summers@btinternet.com
www.psacupuncture.co.uk

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