Welcome to my blog

Acupuncture specialist for Fertility, Facial rejuvenation, Pain relief.
Based at Kensington and Harley Street Central London.Qualified as a medical doctor in Western medicine in China with a Medical degree from Beijing, China and a PhD degree from the UK. Many year research and clinical experiences

Doctor who is passionate about acupuncture

I love what I do, I am good at it and I am always there for my patients. If you come and see me, you will know why I am standing out.
This blog is to introduce latest development and research of acupuncture and offer a chance of awareness of more treatment options for your condition. The blog is for information purpose only.

About Me

My photo

My specialised areas include fertility, facial rejuvenation, acne, various pain conditions, chronic fatigue, menopause and hormone regulation with acupuncture treatment.

Practice contact for appointments and addresses 

Kensington: for appointments at Anamaya center Kensington (Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays) please call at 02030110355 or email at info@anamaya.co.uk
Address: 1 Adam and Eve Mews, Kensington, London W8 6UG
2 min walk from High Street Kensington underground station

Harley Street: for appointments  at Harley Street (Wednesdays) please call ALO clinic at 02076368845 or email at info@aloclinic.com
Address
Suite 3 Harmont House
20 Harley Street, London W1G 9PH
5 min walk from Oxford Circus underground station

My background: I became a qualified medical doctor in Western medicine  in China and was well trained in Western medicine together with Chinese medicine in the best Medical University in Beijing, China. Particularly I was trained with Dr Zheren Xuan--famous orthopedics expert and founder of soft tissue surgery in China. Furthermore I had training in dermatology and oral and maxilofacial surgery in China. I am dedicated to treat patients with acupuncture and am recognized as one of the world leading acupuncture specialists.

I obtained a PhD degree in the University of Leeds in the UK.

I had post doctoral training and worked as a senior researcher in St George's hospital, London, UK.

I had frequently presented my research findings in the top international conferences in the field.

I have many publications including ebooks and articles.

I have many year clinical experiences. Over the years of practicing, I have developed unique treatment approaches for infertility, skin aging, acne, vulvodynia, neck pain, headache, migraine, shoulder pain, back pain, fatigue, hot flushes, Parkison's disease etc to achieve best treatment results. My devotion and skills are highly praised by my patients. 


Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, adrenal fatigue and acupuncture

Stress causes changes of many systems in the body. In response to stress, the level of various hormones changes, such as glucocorticoids, catecholamines, growth hormone and prolactin. This allows the body to cope with stress situation. Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis consists of a serial of endocrine organs including hypothalamus, pituitary gland and adrenal glands. In response to stress, this axis is activated to promote survival. Stimulation of this axis results in hypothalamic secretion of corticotrophin-releasing factor (CRF). CRF then stimulates the pituitary to adrenocorticotropin (ACTH), 8-lipotropin and 3-endorphin. Plasma levels of these hormones can increase two- to fivefold during stress in humans. ATCH stimulates adrenal glands to produce glucocorticoids which are a class of steroids. cortisols stimulate the formation of glucose and activates antistress and anti-inflammatory pathways. Stimulation of the pituitary-adrenal axis is also related to release of catecholamines which increased cardiac output, skeletal muscle blood flow etc.

Two small adrenal glands are above the kidneys. These glands produce various hormones. As mentioned above, cortisol is one of them and it helps the body deal with physical and psychological stress. Adrenal fatigue is not a proven medical condition but a description. When you are stressed, your adrenal glands might not be able to work properly. This may cause you to feel very tired. However there is no evidence there is anything wrong with the adrenal glands and also there is no specific investigation or treatment for adrenal fatigue. Adrenal fatigue is a term applied to a collection of nonspecific symptoms, such as body aches, fatigue, nervousness, sleep disturbances and digestive problems etc. Acupuncture can help to improve these symptoms.

If you suspect that your fatigue is caused by adrenal insufficiency, you can get adrenal glands checked by blood tests. Adrenal insufficiency (Addison's disease) refers to inadequate production of hormones by adrenal glands. Signs and symptoms of adrenal insufficiency may include: fatigue, body aches, unexplained weight loss, low blood pressure, lightheadedness, loss of body hair, skin discoloration (hyperpigmentation).

Monday, 10 July 2017

Drowsiness and excessive sleepiness

Drowsiness refers to feeling abnormally sleepy during the day. People who are drowsy may fall asleep in inappropriate situations or at inappropriate times. Many conditions can cause drowsiness, such as, chronic pain, diabetes, insomnia sleep apnea underactive thyroid, depression, anxiety etc. Life style such as night shifts, not sleep long enough, alcohol abuse and stress etc can also cause drowsiness.

Idiopathic hypersomnia (unexplained daytime sleepiness) is a condition in which excessive sleep or sleepiness interferes with everyday life. There is no underlying cause found. People with this condition are sleepy throughout the day, despite sleeping for a very long time at night. They are struggling to stay awake during the day and are usually compelled to take frequent long naps. The excessive sleepiness may have a negative impact on the person's work, relationships and social life, and they may also have anxiety, depression, fatigue mood changes think or speak slowly poor memory and difficulty to concentrate etc. There are no medicines specifically designed to treat idiopathic hypersomnia. Why not try acupuncture?

Vitmain B12 deficiency and fatigue

Vitamin B12 (B12) is a water-soluble vitamin which means that it does not store in the body for long and is flushed away if there is excessive B12 in the body. Also the body does not make vitamin B12, it has to be obtained from food with B12, or from supplements. B12 is absorbed in distal small intestine called ileum after it is bound to a protein and a gastric intrinsic factor produced in the stomach. The richest natural sources of B12 are liver and kidney. Also B12 is presented in other animal products such as dairy products, eggs, fish, meat, and poultry. B12 plays a key role in the function of brain and nervous system apart from formation of red blood cells. Deficiency of B12 can damage the brain and nervous system. The symptoms include fatigue, weakness, lightheadedness, depression, poor memory, breathlessness, heart palpitations, headache, numbness, tingling, muscle weakness and problems walking, pale skin the smooth tongue etc. In some circumstances, one can have B12 deficiency. For example, with age, it can be harder to absorb B12; after stomach surgery (remove a part of the stomach), it disturbed B12 absorption; other conditions such as atrophic gastritis, small intestine problems can affect B12 absorption.

Vitamin D deficiency and fatigue

The main source of Vitamin D is produced by the skin when it is exposed to sunlight. Vit D is also present naturally in some foods such as some fish, fish liver oils, egg yolks, dairy and grain products. It is essential for strong bones by helping the body absorb calcium from the diet. Low vitamin D leads to bone abnormalities and worsens muscle strength. Fatigue is a common complaint and it is also described as tiredness or low energy. Most patients with fatigue have no obvious cause. The cause can only be found in 5% people with fatigue such as cancer, stroke, heart problems, respiratory conditions, liver problems, anemia, autoimmune diseases, infections etc. Low vitamin D can be the cause of fatigue. If you feel tired all the time, get vitamin D level checked out.

Folic acid deficiency and fatigue

Folic acid or folate is vitamin B9 one of the B vitamins. It is essential for the body to make DNA, RNA and amino acids; and it is essential to make red blood cells. The human body cannot make folic acid, it has to come from the food. It is important to eat food containing folic acid to get enough for the body need. Folic acid mainly contain in dark leafy vegetables, fruits, beans, peas, sprouts, dairy products, poultry, meat and liver. If you don’t take enough folic acid or you have digestive system problem which disturb folic acid absorption, you can have folic acid deficiency. The symptoms of deficiency include feeling tired, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, gray hair, mouth sores, poor growth, and swollen tongue, anemia etc.

Iron deficiency and fatigue

Iron in the human body forms complex compound with oxygen in hemoglobin and myoglobin. Hemoglobin is the iron- and oxygen-binding protein in the red blood cells and myoglobin is the iron and oxygen binding protein in the muscle cells. Iron is important in making red blood cells which carry oxygen around the body. Most people should be able to get all the iron they need by eating a varied and balanced diet. The food in rich of iron includes red meat, liver, beans, peas, leafy vegetables etc. Signs and symptoms of iron deficiency may include brittle nails, swelling or soreness of the tongue, cracks in the sides of the mouth, an enlarged spleen, and frequent infections. Iron deficiency can cause anemia. The signs and symptoms of iron-deficiency anemia depend on its severity. The most common symptom of all types of anemia is fatigue (tiredness). Fatigue occurs because your body doesn't have enough red blood cells to carry oxygen to its many parts. Anemia also can cause shortness of breath, dizziness, headache, coldness in your hands and feet, pale skin, chest pain, weakness etc.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

What do you know about the brain and acupuncture?

What do you know about the brain?

The brain is the central control organ in the body and is protected by the skull bones of the head. Though the brain function is not fully understood, it is known that it controls the activities of the body including processing, integrating and coordinating the information it receives from the sense organs and takes action accordingly, such as send signal to the body to react. Sensory nervous system is involved in receiving and processing sensory information, such as the skin is a sensory organ and senses touch, pressure, pain vibration and temperature. Motor system controls muscle function and body movement. Emotion and cognition are a part of the brain function. The brain is a big energy consumer and it receives 20% of total body oxygen and energy consumption and 25% of total body glucose utilization. The brain mostly uses glucose for energy, and deprivation of glucose causes loss of consciousness. Sleep can reduce brain oxygen and energy consumption and help restore brain energy supply.

Stimulation of acupuncture points change brain network function

Acupuncture is widely used worldwide, and its theory is based on meridian in Chinese medicine. Scientists try to study the mechanisms of acupuncture based on current science development. Guo L et al used a new technique magnetic stimulation at acupuncture point to provide a new method for studying the theory of acupuncture. They stimulated acupuncture points PC6 and recorded electroencephalograph (EEG) signals. The signals were analysed and compared between quiescent and stimulated states. They found that the network connection was increased after PC6 stimulation. Also the efficiency of information transmission was improved.

Acupuncture altered brain activity and releases low back pain

Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is a new technology that is used to study brain. Pain stimulus could induce extensive activations in the limbic system [anterior cingulated cortex (ACC), periaqueductal gray (PAG), prefrontal cortex] and somatosensory system (thalamus, primary somatosensory cortex (S1), secondary somatosensory cortex (S2), posterior parietal cortices, insula, supplementary motor area, striatum, and cerebellum) areas as well as the pain matrix (S1, S2, insular, frontal lobe and parietal lobe). The pain matrix showed a strong relationship with pain, which plays an important role in the conduction and communication of pain. This can be seen changes on fMRI. Low back pain (LBP) is one of the most common clinical syndromes and affects 80–85% of people at some point in their life. Most LBP is nonspecific which does not have a definitive cause.

In a recent study, an experimental acute LBP model and fMRI was used to study the neural mechanisms of acupuncture analgesia. All LBP subjects first underwent two resting state fMRI scans at baseline and during a painful episode and then underwent two additional fMRI scans, once during acupuncture stimulation (ACUP) and once during sham stimulation, at the BL40 acupoint. They found that acupuncture induced more deactivations and fewer activations in the brain. Acupuncture can alter brain activity and this contributes to mechanism of analgesia of acupuncture to LBP.

Acupuncture response is not associated with needle sensations

Needles stimulate nerves at acupuncture points and have been used to treat illness. During the application of needling, people are experiencing different sensations. There was a study that investigated the sensations of the transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation over acupuncture points (acu-TENS) and the changes of the sensations related to changes in autonomic nervous system activity. There were 36 healthy subjects who were in three groups experimental group which was given acu-TENS on right LI4 and LI11points, control group which was given acu-TENS to bilateral kneecaps, or placebo group (sham acupuncture on right LI4 and LI11 points). There were significantly physiological changes in experimental group and control groups which were given acupuncture at different sites. There was no physiological change in placebo group which was not given active acupuncture. There was significant difference between the groups. There was no association between sensation intensity and physiological responses in any groups. From this study, we can see that even if people experience different sensation during acupuncture, they all have physiological responses to the needling.

Why different people have different sensitivity to acupuncture?

Acupuncture is used to treat variety of conditions worldwide. This is a safe intervention and effective treatment for many people, but different people have different sensitivity to acupuncture. Everyone is different, but why is that? Researchers found a scientific explanation for this. Li LM et al in China studied effect of acupuncture stimulation of Zusanli (ST36) on cerebral regional difference in healthy subjects with different acupuncture analgesia sensitivity using MRI techniques. There are 45 healthy subjects with different sensitivity to acupuncture. These people were divided into three groups: insensitive group, normal group and sensitive group. The pressure pain threshold (PPT) of the Zusanli ST 36 region before and after acupuncture stimulation at the point was assessed. And two weeks later after acupuncture stimulation, resting-state fMRI images were obtained using MRI scan to assess the cerebral regional homogeneity (ReHo). They found that there was significant increase in PPT levels in the normal and sensitive groups after acupuncture at ST36 point, while there was no change in insensitive group. In normal group there was a significant increase of ReHo in the regions including left brainstem, the right cerebellum posterior, right parahippocampa gyrus, right fusiform gyrus, left angular gyrus, temperal lobe and the left frontal lobe; and a significant decrease of ReHo in the regions including the occipital lobes and the right superior temperal gyrus after acupuncture at ST36. In sensitive group a marked increase of ReHo was found in the regions includig the left brainstem, bilateral cerebellum posterior lobes, left inferior temporal gyrus, basal ganglia, the left insular lobe, anterior cingutate, frontal lobe, inferior parietal lobule and the right supplementary motor area; decrease ReHo was found in the regions including the bilateral occipital lobes, fusiform gyrus, posterior central gyrus, the right posterior cingutate, the left temporal lobe and the left paracentral lobule. While in the insensitive group, only a significant decrease of ReHo was found in the regions including the left fusiform gyrus, left inferior temporal gyrus, bilateral postcentral gyrus, and left anterior central gyrus. So brain constitution associated needling sensation may be an important factor for acupuncture analgesia effect. Brain react differently in different people which is responsible for different sensitivity to acupuncture.

References
Shi Y et al Evid Based Complement Alternat Med (2015) 2015:210120. doi: 10.1155/2015/210120. Epub 2015 Jun 16.
Guo L et al Biomed Mater Eng 2014 24 1063-9 doi:10.3233/BME-130904
Yu DT et al Acupunct Med 2013 Nov 1.doi10.1136/acupmed-2013-010428
Li LM et al Zhen Ci Yan Jiu (2013) 38:306-13

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Lack of concentration, acupuncture can help

Most people have experienced a periodic event of difficulty concentrating. This is often accompanied with tiredness and stress. Many medical conditions can cause lack of concentration such as insomian, chronic pain, brain trauma, stroke etc. Psychological conditions can also interfere with concentration such as anxiety, depression, emotional trauma, and stress etc. However in most of cases there are no medical reasons found. Prolonged lack of concentration and feeling tired can be very frustrating. People often turn to stimulants like sugar and coffee to help.

There are many things that you can do to help to improve your brain concentrating.

Diet. Consequence of poor diet does not provide enough nutrients to the brain and this would affect brain function. Healthy diet such as nuts with high proteins is good for the brain.

Exercise. Exercise improves circulation and stimulates brain.

Vitamins. Vitamin B12 is needed to make blood cells and maintain healthy brain and nerve function and helps with memory and concentration Vitamin B12 is found in animal products such as meat, shellfish, milk, cheese, and eggs. Make sure you get enough B12 from these foods. Vitamin D also helps to maintain memory and concentration. Vitamin D is created in the skin by the natural sunlight. Make sure get enough sun shine.

Reduce stress and balance hormones. Stress and imbalanced hormones can affect brain function. Acupuncture can help reduce stress and balance hormones, improve concentration and make mind sharp.

Feeling tired, low energy? acupuncture can help

Fatigue is a very common complaint. 36% of fatigue in the general population is associated with unhealthy lifestyle or the coping skill. Recently a study from Germany investigated the relation of fatigue and perceived stress. 2483 people participated this study. 9.7% of individuals reported substantial fatigue lasting six months or longer; 25.9% of male and 34.5% of female respondents reported fatigue during the last 6 months. This study has shown that women have a higher risk of fatigue and higher rates of stress perception. The elderly (over 61 years) had the highest risk of fatigue. Marital status is significantly correlated to both fatigue and stress perception; being divorced or separated increases the probability of both. Employment status contributes only substantially to stress perception not to fatigue. Respondents with a lower socioeconomic status have significantly higher risk for fatigue than those from middle or high social classes. Poorly rated health is strongly associated with both a high stress perception and fatigue. If you feel exhausted, you are not alone. Fortunately it is not anything physically wrong at most of the time. Psychological tiredness is far more common than that caused by a physical problem. It is usually linked with mood and the accumulation of lots of little stresses in life. However before you reach a conclusion, you need to exclude physical reasons that make you tired. Many conditions can cause tiredness, such as anemia, underactive thyroid gland, diabetes, insomnia and many more. Inflammation could be the cause of your excessive tiredness. It may surprise you that you could have a problem with inflammation without knowing it. When there is fatigue, chronic inflammation is usually present somewhere in the body. It could be associated with or without chronic pain. Chronic inflammation is different from acute inflammation. Acute inflammation is characterized with heat, redness, swelling, and pain while chronic inflammation is low grade sometimes unnoticeable. Recent research has shown that the inflammatory markers such as C-reactive protein (CRP), cytokines etc. are linked with excessive fatigue, such as chronic fatigue syndrome and general fatigue. Inflammation also interacts with a part of the brain called basal ganglia and lower basal ganglia activity which makes you tired. Inflammation can affect immune system causing stress response of the body and this makes you feel tired.

Energy resources of the body

Where is energy coming from? It comes from the food we eat. This becomes general knowledge that our body’s energy comes from food we eat. There are three resources of food that provide us with energy: carbohydrates such as sugar and starch, protein, and fat. Carbohydrates are the body’s preferred and principle source of energy and they break down into glucose which is an immediate source of energy or fuel for the body especially for the brain and muscles. Fat is the storage of the energy and is the body’s most concentrated source of energy, providing more than twice as much potential energy as carbohydrate or protein. Protein is used to build, maintain, and repair body tissues, as well as to synthesize important enzymes and hormones. It is only used as small percentage of energy source. In some situations when the glycogen reserve is depleted such as when we eat too few calories daily or not enough carbohydrate, as well as during latter stages of endurance exercise, the body will sacrifice to break down protein to keep constant energy supply.

The brain is a large energy consumer. Although the brain constitutes only 2% of the body mass, it consumes 50% of total body glucose utilization. The brain does not store energy and it needs constant energy supply. On the contrary, the muscles can store energy and use it later on during exercises when more energy is needed.

How much energy does one need? This depends individually. In this case the energy is balanced. What food and how much you eat is a key step to get balanced energy. Healthy diet gives you balanced energy.

Energy balance and acupuncture

Energy balance of the body is the balance of calories obtained through eating and drinking (energy in) compared to calories burned through physical activities (energy out). Weight watch is simple and effective way to know how much energy you need and get balanced energy. If you eat food with more energy than you need, the excessive energy will turn into fat and store in the body and you gain weight. If you eat food with less energy than you need, the body will burn existing body fat to make up for the difference and you lose weight. If you eat the food with energy that equals to what you used, your weight will remain unchanged.

Many people are focusing on what they eat and how much calories are taking in from the food. What you eat is important to get balanced energy. However this is only one aspect. There are many aspects that are equally important as well. For example, food absorption of the body, this is related to digestive system function. If your digestive system is functioning well, all the nutrients can go into the body. Otherwise, the nutrients you eat just pass through without entering the body, in the case of diarrhea, for example. Blood circulates throughout the body and brings the energy to the cells to function. It is also a key step to get balanced energy. If blood circulation is poor, the nutrients will not reach the cells which need energy to do the work. You will see symptoms of blocked energy. Fatigue is a typical symptom of lack of energy.

What is detoxification?

In physiology, detoxification is a process of removal of toxic products in the body. This task is mainly carried out by liver and kidney. There are many metabolic products in the body are toxic to the body if they are accumulated. For example, free radicals reactive oxygen species are generated from normal essential metabolic processes in the body or they can be obtained from external sources such as exposure to X-rays, ozone, cigarette smoking, air pollutants, and industrial chemicals. If free radicals are accumulated in the body, this causes oxidative stress to the body and adversely alters lipids, proteins, and DNA and triggers some many illnesses. A balance between free radicals and antioxidants is necessary for proper physiological function.

Acupuncture improves body energy supply and detoxification by increasing blood circulation

System circulation is the part of the cardiovascular system. Microcirculation is blood circulation in the smallest blood vessels which comprise arterioles, capillaries and venules. Arteriole wall is made up of smooth muscles, while there are no smooth muscles on the capillary and venule wall. Lymphatic circulation consisting of lymphatic capillaries also contributes to the microcirculation function. It carries oxygenated blood away from the heart through the arteries, capillaries to the tissues of the body. It provides the functional blood supply with oxygen and nutrients to the cells to all body tissue. It picks up carbon dioxide and waste products and returns deoxygenated blood through veins back to the heart. Circulation is the key for body function. It provides energy that body needs and detoxifies the body. If some part of the body or whole body circulation is compromised, the body will not function well and illness will occur.

Acupuncture improves blood circulation and this was proved by scientific research. For example, Sandberg et al investigated the effects of acupuncture on skin and muscle blood flow. Blood flow recordings were performed intermittently from 10 min prior to the intervention to the end of the trial. They found that skin and muscle blood flow increased after acupuncture stimulation. Another example Kuo et al also studied the effect of acupuncture on skin blood flow. After acupuncture treatment skin blood flow and skin temperature increased. By increasing blood circulation, acupuncture improves body energy flow and helps with detoxification of the body. Why you are very tired? No medical causes found. Poor circulation is contributing to the fatigue. If microcirculation is poor, the organs don’t get enough oxygen and nutrients and the toxins accumulate in the organs, this could make you tired all the time. Acupuncture improves digestive function and blood circulation to help the body obtain energy and get rid of the tiredness.


References

Sandberg et al Eur Appl Physiol (2003) 90:114-9
Kuo et al Am J Chin Med (2004) 32 :117-29
Fehm HL et al Prog Brain Res (2006) 153:129-40
Kocalevent RD et al BMC Res Notes 2011 Jul 20;4:238. doi: 10.1186/1756-0500-4-238.