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Nibali’s Secret to a Tour de France Win: Acupuncture - The Daily Fix - WSJ

Nibali’s Secret to a Tour de France Win: Acupuncture - The Daily Fix - WSJ | Acupuncture and celebrity endorsement |

VIERZON, France—The mere mention of one of Vincenzo Nibali’s secrets on his way to victory at the Tour de France on Sunday is enough to make any cycling fan nervous: Needles on the bus. Almost every day.

But these aren’t the kind of needles that have dented cycling’s credibility for decades. When Team Astana uses them to treat Nibali, nothing is injected, nothing is extracted.

We’re talking about acupuncture.

“It’s those little extra details that can help us,” Nibali said when he was asked about the treatment by a Belgian television station. “Maybe now others will also use this technique.”

This summer in France, Astana seemed to be the only team to bring its own acupuncturist to the Tour, a Belgian named Eddy de Smedt. For most of the year, he runs a private acupuncture practice and treats athletes outside of Brussels. But for the past three years, he has also worked for the Kazakh cycling outfit, including at last year’s Tour and last spring’s Giro d’Italia.

“There’s four doctors, two osteopaths, 10 to 12 physios, and then you’ve got me,” he said on Saturday

Throughout the Tour, De Smedt has visited with all of the Astana riders twice a day—once before stages in the soigneur’s room at the back of the team bus and once at night in the team hotel. Working quickly and carefully, he uses six to 10 needles about an inch long at key points along the riders’ legs, feet, hands and even their heads, he said, “to promote recovery and relaxation of the muscles.”

Once they’re in, De Smedt turns and twists the needles to stimulate those points, an image that isn’t for the squeamish. Although the cyclists didn’t take long to buy into it, especially Nibali.

As for the other kind of needles, Nibali has answered the inevitable questions about doping on most days during this Tour, especially as he racked up the most stage victories (four) of any champion since at least 2006. His directeur sportif, Team Astana’s Giuseppe Martinelli, insisted Nibali’s victory was clean.

De Smedt pointed out that acupuncture can’t cure anything structural — strained muscles stay strained, a broken collarbone stays broken. But it can work as a palliative measure. “If a rider has some pain, the goal is to keep him in the Tour,” he said. “Then after, a correct medical diagnosis should be done.”



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Cosmetic acupuncture: Younger skin

Cosmetic acupuncture: Younger skin | Acupuncture and celebrity endorsement |

Have you ever wondered how some of Hollywood’s hottest celebs maintain their youthful, glowing complexions? We want to let you in on one of their best-kept secrets. Cosmetic acupuncture has been used in Hollywood for years by celebrities such as Angelina Jolie, Sean Connery, Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow. We got the scoop from practitioner Dr. Monica Talebnia about how this procedure works and its associated beauty benefits.


What is cosmetic acupuncture?

Acupuncture treatments have long been used to alleviate and minimize pain, but this traditional Chinese medicine can also be used to achieve younger-looking skin. Also known as facial rejuvenation acupuncture, cosmetic acupuncture is a natural alternative to cosmetic surgery that provides many of the same skin-saving effects. Results should last for a few years, explains ChicagoHealers.compractitioner Dr.. Monica Talebnia, but this depends on other lifestyle habits that can cause wrinkles, such as smoking and sunbathing. Maintenance treatments are highly recommended.

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How does it work?

A holistic medicine practitioner places a series of ultra-fine acupuncture needles into and around wrinkles, facial muscles and pressure points. The placement of the needles increases collagen production and blood and lymph circulation to the face and scalp. With every needle insertion, the acupuncturist creates micro trauma causing the white blood cells to move to the area to repair the lines formed on the skin, explains Dr. Talebnia.


Getting results with cosmetic acupuncture

You should be able to some results right away, but 12 to 15 treatments are usually recommended to achieve full effects. It's generally recommended you go twice a week for six weeks, but this can differ for each person. Speak to your technician to determine your exact needs.

What are the beauty benefits?

Cosmetic acupuncture is known to help a variety of skin concerns including wrinkles, brow furrows, sagging skin, drooping jawline, age spots, acne and crows' feet, to name just a few. Beauty benefits include the prevention of wrinkle formation, minimization of fine lines and improvement in the process by which skin regulates its quality and appearance -- meaning improved skin texture and tone. Cosmetic acupuncture also accelerates anti-inflammatory activity and removes toxins from the skin, resulting in a youthful glow. This procedure also gives existing deep-set wrinkles a much smoother appearance.

What else can you expect?

The acupuncture needles cause more blood to circulate to the face, giving you a glow that no other treatment will, Talebnia explains. "One can feel rejuvenated in and out and look 10 to 15 years younger. The treatment not only improves skin imperfections, but also provides an inner sense of well-being," she adds. In the 10 years of her practice, Talebnia says she has consistently heard from patients how relaxing and soothing the treatment has been. "Patients often are stunned by the effect of this treatment and how great they feel."

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Celebrities that Use Acupuncture

Celebrities that Use Acupuncture | Acupuncture and celebrity endorsement |
Celebrities that Use Acupuncture
Published May 10, 2012 | By admin

Celebrities are known for having access to the best services available, and many A-list actors, musicians, and superstar athletes claim that their secret health and beauty tip is receiving acupuncture regularly. This ancient form of Chinese medicine has been widely used in the East for more than two millennia, and is becoming increasingly popular in the West as an alternative to invasive medical treatments. Celebrities are not the only ones with an interest in acupuncture; many respected scientific organizations have studied acupuncture and have found it to be effective in preventing and treating a number of ailments.

So what are celebrities using acupuncture for? Stars have reported using acupuncture for a variety of conditions, as well as a preventative measure to maintain good health. Some celebs swear that their great looks are the result of acupuncture treatments, while others prefer to use acupuncture as a way to improve the inner workings of their bodies.

 Acupuncture Face Lift

It’s a well-known fact that youth and beauty are valuable commodities in Hollywood, especially for women. A number of high profile celebrities are turning to acupuncture “face-lifts” in order to maintain a youthful appearance, while also reducing the formation of the fine lines and wrinkles that come with aging. Famous fans of this procedure include Madonna, Cher, and Gwyneth Paltrow. These ladies reportedly visit their acupuncturists once a week for the procedure, which involves the insertion of super-fine needles into areas of the face that tend to form wrinkles, such as frown lines and crow’s feet around the eyes.

 Acupuncture for Weight Loss

The rich and famous care just as much about their bodies as they do their faces. Being in perfect shape is important in Hollywood, and the city’s residents are experts in all types of diet plans. Acupuncture has become a popular method for losing weight. Jennifer Lopez accredited a 15 pound weight-loss to an alternative medicine regime which included acupuncture, and Jessica Simpson has also received acupuncture in the past to assist her in reaching her weight loss goals. Many Eastern medicine weight loss programs combine acupuncture with the use of various herbs and teas for best results.

 Acupuncture for Infertility

Many stars also swear by acupuncture to assist in conceiving children and maintaining good health during pregnancy. After years of infertility Celine Dion combined acupuncture with in-vitro fertilization (IVF) to successfully conceive twins. Dion passed this advice on to Mariah Carey, who attributes acupuncture in helping her conceive her twins in 2010 without having to resort to IVF. Actress Natalie Portman reportedly received acupuncture treatments throughout her pregnancy to reduce stress and promote physical well-being. It is said that “Titanic’ actress Kate Winslet relied on acupuncture to alleviate pain while she was giving birth.

 Acupuncture for Wellness

For a number of celebrities, acupuncture is a regular part of their health and wellness routine. Jim Carey has been quoted as saying that regular acupuncture treatments have “led to a marked change in my physical vitality and my general state of well-being.” Other fans of using acupuncture as a way to maintain health and energy levels include Lucy Lui, Sandra Bullock, and Matt Damon.

 Sports Acupuncture

The popularity of acupuncture is not confined to Hollywood. Many superstar athletes receive acupuncture treatments as a mean to recover faster from injuries.  The New York Yankees and the San Francisco Giants both have acupuncturists on staff to treat players. Dwayne Wade, star NBA player, relies on acupuncture treatments to soothe knee pain. Pro athletes, who need their bodies to be in optimal condition, swear by acupuncture treatments. In fact, there are now acupuncturists on site at both the Winter and Summer Olympics.

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Katy Perry has to have acupuncture twice a week for knee pain

Katy Perry has to have acupuncture twice a week for knee pain | Acupuncture and celebrity endorsement |


Katy Perry has to have acupuncture twice a week for knee painThe pop songstress struggles with recovery now she's 30 

Katy Perry reveals her “knees are giving out” after her energetic performances.

The Roar star just performed at the Super Bowl half-time with a highly-praised show and actually performed more than 100 shows in seven months last year, also claims her body can no longer handle a lot of alcohol now that she is 30.

The 'Dark Horse' hitmaker said: "My knees are giving out on me now. I do acupuncture every two to three days. I tour with a sage that goes from the front of the house to the back of the house with a triangle thrust that is a moving treadmill, [like] I think I'm some kind of Olympic athlete!

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Gwen Stefani looks laid-back following acupuncture appointment in LA

Gwen Stefani looks laid-back following acupuncture appointment in LA | Acupuncture and celebrity endorsement |
Gwen Stefani has been working hard as both a judge on NBC's hit show The Voice, and promoting her new single Spark the Fire.


Gwen Stefani has been working hard as both a judge on NBC's hit show The Voice, and promoting her new single Spark the Fire.

So on Wednesday the 45-year-old decided to treat herself to a relaxing day of acupuncture in Los Angeles.

She was spotted looking laid-back as she left the acupuncture appointment in a striped sweater, blue jeans, and red booties.

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Laid-back: Gwen Stefani looked casual sporting a striped grey sweater as she left an acupuncture appointment in Los Angeles on Wednesday 

Gwen wore a long-sleeved grey and black striped sweater, which was cropped to reveal a black T-shirt underneath.

She also sported dark wash denim jeans that seemed to be a bit baggy, along with a pair of red heeled booties. 

Gwen had a stripe of black in her platinum blonde locks, which were styled straight, and wore a green windbreaker tied around her waist.


Unique style: One section of Gwen's platinum blonde locks was dyed black as the singer stepped out on Wednesday

The previous night was a particularly thrilling episode of NBC's The Voice, as the final three was announced.

Unfortunately for Gwen, that top three did not include any of the members she had chosen for her team.

However, it was then announced that all of the previously eliminated contestants would return and compete for the wildcard spot to become part of the top 4.


Whirlwind: The last episode of Gwen's show, The Voice, proved to be particularly exciting and stressful

It's no wonder the Spark the Fire singer opted to grab an acupuncture appointment the following day after all of that excitement. 

And on Wednesday morning the Today Show announced which of the contestants America had voted to become the last member of The Voice's top four.

The winner was Team Adam's Damien Lawson, after his performance of Bruno Mars' Grenade on Tuesday night.


Treat yourself: Following the stress of the episode Gwen stopped off for an acupuncture appointment in Los Angeles


Wildcard: Damien Lawson of Team Adam won America's votes after his performance on The Voice on Tuesday and will be joining the top 4, as announced on the Today Show

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Celine Dion Used Acupuncture To Improve Her Chances Of Getting Pregnant- Acupuncture Blog Chicago

Celine Dion Used Acupuncture To Improve Her Chances Of Getting Pregnant- Acupuncture Blog Chicago | Acupuncture and celebrity endorsement |
Monday, May 31, 2010Celine Dion Used Acupuncture To Improve Her Chances Of Getting Pregnant 


Singer Celine Dion, 42, is pregnant with twins after years of trying to conceive, This was her sixth IVF attempt. I was happy to see that CNN reported she used acupuncture to improve her chances of getting pregnant. Not only a wonderful singer but also a smart lady! Combining acupuncture treatment with IVF is becoming increasingly popular due to the good results and continued positive research. For more information on acupuncture and IVF click here.
Congratulations Celine I hope your babies are happy and healthy.
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Gwen Stefani: Glowing & Growing

Gwen Stefani: Glowing & Growing | Acupuncture and celebrity endorsement |
Mom-to-be Gwen Stefani stepped out for her regular acupuncture appointment.


Simply stunning.

An expectant Gwen Stefani stepped out for her regular acupuncture appointment in Los Angeles, Calif. on Friday (January 24). Dressed in dark colors, the No Doubt frontwoman, 44, wore her signature heels and red lips for the afternoon outing.

Already mom to sons Kingston, 7, and Zuma, 5, with husband Gavin Rossdale, 48, the singer-songwriter recently revealed that she’s expecting another son.

MORE: Celebrity Moms Who Gave Birth at 40+

“I was ready to hand over the crown,” she captioned an image of herself wearing a bejeweled headpiece. “But I guess I am still queen of the house. #itsaboy #surroundedbyboys.”

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Robert Downey Jr. Honored for TCM Advocacy

Robert Downey Jr. Honored for TCM Advocacy | Acupuncture and celebrity endorsement |

In the last two decades, movie star Robert Downey Jr. has achieved good health and he credits it all to Traditional Chinese Medicine. Downey spoke about his gratitude for the ancient medicine while being honored for his advocacy with the Robert Graham Visionary Award in March.

The award was presented by Yo San University founders Daoshing Ni and Mao Shing Ni in a small ceremony at the Malibu home of philanthropist Lilly Tartikoff.

The emcee for the event was Brenda Strong, an actress who was on Desperate Housewives, and is currently in the new Dallas series.

Downey, who has starred in countless blockbuster hits including most recently Sherlock Holmes, Iron Man and The Avengers, has become and advocate for TCM which he says has had a profound impact in all areas of his life for many years.

During his award presentation, Downey entertained a crowd of 200 people with wit and humor while receiving the award.

Yo San University Co-Founders Dr. Daoshing Ni and Dr. Mao Shing Ni with Robert Downey Jr."[When they called to tell me about the award] I thought about it and I said, well wow, 'Do I really qualify for this?' and it only took a second for me to say 'Robert, you deserve this as much as anyone,'" joked Downey.

"I confess, that I am as close to being a Chinese-American as any Caucasian ever could be in his life. I awoke to my Qi Gong practice this morning, Guarding the Eight Treasures, I did some Mook Jong wooden dummy drills in preparation for my black belt grading at the LA Wing Chung Kung Fu Academy, and I then took my, get ready, my herbal formula, and then ate a seasonally appropriate meal. And all before 1:30 PM."

Jokes aside, Downey went on to speak highly of Traditional Chinese Medicine and the difference it made in his life.

Truth be told, every discipline that I have employed that has its roots in the Chinese tradition has worked, and that's what I'm really drawn to, it's the way is the way is the way, and when things work, they are really worth putting your time and energy behind," Downey said.

"It's contributed to making me a more tolerable father, and son, husband, co-worker, and according to the title of this award, visionary. "

The Robert Graham Award is named after the late Robert Graham, a dedicated trustee of the university and advocate of traditional Chinese medicine.

Dr. Mao Shing Ni who has treated Downey said there was no question about giving the award to Downey, who has been a great example of what Traditional Chinese Medicine can do.

"What he has done as a spokesperson for Chinese medicine and from the perspective of where he was health wise to where he is today, it has been very positive for him and that is why he is here to support our event," said Dr. Mao Shing Ni.

In the spirit of honoring Downey, the event featured an auction of several unique items, some of which were used in many of Downey's movies.

There was a pipe and an auction paddle, which he used in Sherlock Holmes, and a racing suit with a helmet from Iron Man 2, among other items. All proceeds went to benefit various programs at Yo San University, a non-profit organization, focused on the spiritual and professional growth of TCM students. The programs at the school provide the community with an integrative medical care model and services.

Patricia's curator insight, July 7, 2014 5:09 PM

Well done Robert! 

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Beauty special: the no-Botox facelift | The Times

Beauty special: the no-Botox facelift | The Times | Acupuncture and celebrity endorsement |
Can facial acupuncture be as effective as surgery? Deborah Ross has an appointment with Ross Barr, the beauty editors’ go-to practitioner
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Ear acupuncture is the latest celebrity fad but does it work?

Ear acupuncture is the latest celebrity fad but does it work? | Acupuncture and celebrity endorsement |
The celebrity set (including Cherie) swear by it to beat everything from stress to weight gain. So what is the truth about ear acupuncture? We tried it out


Forget cupping or crystal healing, auricular acupuncture is the most fashionable therapy in town and any celebrity worth their salt is wearing the tell-tale ear pin showing they're having treatment.

Kate Moss is said to be using it to combat cocaine addiction, Cherie Blair turns to it to relieve stress and most recently Chelsea FC boss Roman Abramovich was pictured with a needle in his ear, reportedly to help him lose weight. But does it really work?

Nick Dalton-Brewer practices auricular and general acupuncture at London's renowned Hale Clinic, and is convinced that it works.

"It may be the latest celebrity fad," he says, "but auricular acupuncture has, in fact, been used for thousands of years in traditional Chinese medicine, and is hugely helpful in treating all manner of problems, from addictions to insomnia, joint pain and fertility.

There are as many as 200 acupuncture points on the outer ear, each point named generally after areas of our anatomy - liver, heart, mouth and so on.

"The outer ear acts like a switchboard to the brain and each point triggers electrical impulses, from the ear, via the brain, to the area of the body being treated.

"After a lengthy consultation to build up a comprehensive picture of their general health, lifestyle and associated problems, patients are treated with needles - up to ten per ear - which are left in for between ten and 45 minutes.

"They can then be left with 'ear seeds' (as seen in pictures of Kate Moss and Cherie Blair), to stimulate the acupressure points and allow them to enjoy the effects of acupuncture after they leave the clinic.

"The seeds can be anything hard, from mustard seeds to gold-plated press studs or coiled pins, held against the ear with surgical tape.

"In more severe cases, needles can be left in place - as with Abramovich - but this is invasive and there can be problems with infection if they're not kept clean. The patient can rub these studs or seeds when they feel a re-emergence of their symptoms."

Many conventional medical professionals may be nonplussed by this type of acupuncture, dismissing it as merely mind over matter. But what happened when we challenged three celebrities to try it out?

Carol McGiffin, 46, co-presents Loose Women on ITV, and a Sunday morning radio show on LBC. She is single and lives in London.

I'm A huge sceptic where complementary medicine is concerned. People are always running off to have wacky therapies because they need to stop smoking or give up sugar, but I've always been a great believer in the fact that if you really want to do something, you'll do it.

I'm not a great advocate of using something as a crutch to help you - unless it's a glass of wine!

Having said that, sometimes you really need to make a leap of faith. So despite my better judgment, I decided to give auricular acupuncture a shot to see if it could do anything about the dreadful headaches I've been experiencing for the past few years.

I know they are associated with drinking, because they tend to turn up on the Monday after a heavy weekend of socialising, but unlike the usual hangover headache, which might last the morning, these can last until Thursday, which is very debilitating.

I don't consider myself a really heavy drinker - I don't drink at all during the week - but I do indulge in regular weekend drinking; Friday night in a pub and then boozy dinners on Saturday nights and a pub lunch on Sunday. I'd probably be all right if I carried on drinking all week, but as it is I suffer a mini cold-turkey session every week.

I wasn't particularly anxious to start the treatment, however, because the last time I had a pin stuck in me was in needlework class at school. The first thing the acupuncturist asked was: "What can I do for you?" To which I replied rather flippantly: "I don't know, what can you do for me?"

But then I figured if we were going to get anywhere, I should probably drop the attitude and at least give him a chance, so I told him about the headaches. I said I'd quite like to feel less groggy in the mornings and he said he could work with that, and explained the headaches were a result of me overworking my liver.

My immediate thought was that this would be obvious to anyone with the most rudimentary grasp of the workings of the human body, but I have to say I was impressed by his thoroughness when taking my patient history.

I wish regular doctors would spend half the time he spent finding out about my lifestyle. He then stuck three giant pins in my right ear, including in the 'liver point' - which is supposed to help repair liver damage - and something called the 'sympathetic point', which he said promotes the body's release of endorphins to help with pain relief.

When he'd finished, he taped three small metal balls into my outer ears. As I left the clinic, I suddenly realised I no longer had the headache I'd gone in with. I don't know if this was psychosomatic, but who cares? What a relief.

That night, a friend came round for dinner. I had my hair tied up after a visit to the gym and she spent half the night staring at me with a repulsed expression before asking when I'd last had a wash.

It turned out the balls had fallen out - probably in the sauna - and the heat had melted the tape glue, so I was left with clumps of yellowish matter which apparently looked just like earwax. Not a good look - even on Kate Moss.

All in all, it was a positive experience. My headache didn't return for the rest of the week, although I'll have to continue having treatment if I want to see longterm benefits. At the very least it made me realise I do need to address my drinking if I'm having such a dramatic effect on my liver.

Ross Burden, 37, is resident chef on BBC2 series Ready Steady Cook. He is single and lives in London.

I used to be a model, so looking good was a job requirement, but since my career change, keeping in shape has become increasingly hard work. When you're in the kitchen all day, the last thing you feel like doing is cooking, so you end up eating out and you start having to take more care of yourself.

Look at Gordon Ramsay - he runs marathons to prevent the paunch. I, on the other hand, have been rather slack at getting to the gym of late.

As the saying goes: 'No pecs, no sex' - so when I saw the pictures of Roman Abramovich and read that he was using the treatment to try to shift the pounds, I thought I'd give it a go.

I have a background in science - I did a degree in zoology - so although I've always been really sceptical about many therapies like homeopathy, which I think is a load of bunkum, I can see the logic in acupuncture as it taps into the 'electricity' running round the human body. I had it done a few years ago to alleviate my eczema and it really helped.

I tripped off to the clinic, feeling vaguely excited about the boundless energy and the motivation to go to the gym I was going to find.

I was a little perturbed, therefore, when the acupuncturist said he couldn't actually make me want to get on the treadmill.

He did say, however, that auricular acupuncture can help suppress appetite, although this is usually used to treat the severely obese. So I lay down and let him do his worst.

He loomed towards me with several huge pins - each of which, from where I was lying, seemed about the size of a javelin - and proceeded to stick them in and around my ear. He said there was a point called 'the mouth' under the crease at the top of my ear that would do the trick.

It was bizarre, because as they went in I could almost feel them hitting the spot and felt twinges in my stomach. It was strangely relaxing and I felt myself drifting off and dreaming about an impending trip where I'll get to taste the wines of new producers, with some delicious cheese and bread to accompany it. No, no - this wasn't good at all.

Before I knew it, the session was over and Nick explained he was going to insert some studs into my ear. This was the part I'd been most anxious about, because in the photos of Abramovich his ear looked red and sore.

But Nick explained that these pressed pins were like ear studs without the piercing part. They were held in place with tape.

When leaving the clinic I felt self-conscious and wondered if anyone would notice the pins, but I was also feeling a bit peckish, so gave one a rub - obviously I was too vigorous as it fell out and rolled into the gutter. No matter, I still had a couple left.

Disappointingly, however, these fell out in the shower the next day - I'm not sure how Kate et al manage, maybe they just wash in the sink.

I have to say I haven't really noticed any change in my appetite and I definitely haven't woken up aching to go to the gym. However, I did enjoy the session and would definitely book a course for more serious ailments because I have no doubt it can work.

If it's good for stress I might try it when Jean-Christophe Novelli, Aldo Zilli, Paul Rankin and I reform to sing as The Chefs from Celebrity X-Factor on Children In Need later in the year.

It's such a nerve-racking experience; I'll take any help I can get.

AMANDA LAMB, 33, presents A Place In The Sun on Channel 4. She is single and lives in Middlesex.

My mum is trained in the reiki technique - a Japanese hands-on healing process - so I grew up with alternative therapy and don't find it in the least strange or bizarre to see photos of Kate Moss or Cherie Blair with acupuncture pins in their ears.

I've previously tried reflexology - a complementary therapy which works on your feet - and acupuncture helped me give up smoking, but I wasn't sure whether it could help for something as difficult to pin-point and all-encompassing as stress.

Still, I was desperate to give it a go, as the past six months have been one of the most difficult periods of my life.

I've moved house, which is always a nightmare because it involves so much packing and sorting, and when I finally got into my new home - the point at which most people would breathe a huge sigh of relief and sit down with a cup of tea - I had to leave everything in chaos and fly off abroad to film the latest series of A Place in the Sun.

Several months down the line, most of my things are still in boxes because I've been away so much.

So, when Femail offered me the chance to try this treatment, I jumped at the opportunity.

I arrived late for my appointment at the clinic due to a delayed train and as usual my mobile phone was ringing off the hook with work-related calls, so I was even more flustered than normal.

But from the start Nick put me at ease.

After talking to me about my symptoms, he asked to see my tongue and said he could tell that my stomach and spleen were shot to bits, because my tongue was swollen and quivering.

This was troubling news, but Nick explained it was easily rectifiable - these symptoms simply meant my internal system was overworked. I'd told him I used to smoke and he suggested the cigarettes had been my way of relieving stress.

The problem is that once I stopped, I began to get really stressed, and it made my stomach ache.

He also felt my pulse and said he could tell I have a sluggish digestive system - perhaps not surprising given that I haven't had a home-cooked meal in months - because the quality of my pulse wasn't good. Apparently it felt 'empty and slippery' rather than strong and solid. I know it sounds rather weird, but I suppose he knows what he's talking about.

I lay down and he inserted five or six needles in my right ear. I must admit I was dreading it, particularly as I had my ear pierced at the top when I was younger and it was hideously painful.

So I was amazed when it hardly hurt at all. All I could feel was a slight sting as the needles went in. Obviously, I couldn't see what he was doing, but he explained that he was targeting something called the 'shenmen' or heart point of my ear, which supposedly calms the mind.

The needles were left in for 15 minutes and Nick talked me through what he was doing and approached a couple of times to twiddle them.

Then he took them out and said, to feel long-term benefit, I'd have to come back several times over the next few months.

When I left, I was still feeling stressed, as I had to get across town in rush hour and then pack for a trip, so I wondered if the entire thing had been a waste of time, particularly as I couldn't have the ear seeds left in because they'd show on screen.

However, after I got to Gatwick airport to fly off for filming the day after the recent terrorist scare to find the whole place in chaos and my flight horrendously delayed, I suddenly realised how calm I felt.

Usually I would have been extremely stressed - bouncing around, looking at my watch and asking hundreds of questions about when we might expect to fly.

But instead I just thought: 'I'll get there eventually.' That was a complete turnaround for me, and that feeling has stayed with me since.

I've also noticed that my stomach, which previously felt sore and bloated, has settled. That must be the physical side of the stress relief.

I'm a total convert and I'll definitely be booking a course when I get back.

An hour with Nick Dalton-Brewer costs from £50. For an appointment, call the Hale Clinic on 0845 009 4171.

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14.01.2012 - BBC1 Breakfast News - 09.52 hrs on Acupuncture YouTube

British Acupuncture Council Member Maureen Cromey on BBC Breakfast talking about using acupuncture to treat insomnia. She is joined by Dr Sarah Jarvis, GP.
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Helen Smallwood talks acupuncture and mental health on 3 Counties Radio

Helen Smallwood talks acupuncture and mental health on 3 Counties Radio | Acupuncture and celebrity endorsement |

2 February 2014.


Shaftesbury Clinic's very own acupuncturist, Helen Smallwood speaks on 3 Counties Radio with Toby Friedner and Chetna Kang about acupuncture for Mental Health: and in particular depression.


She speaks about the compelling research that has been done, and the scientific evidence of changes in the nervous system and brain that acupuncture can have, which support its use in depression, anxiety and other mental health issues.


Toby Friedner and Chetna Kang present "Shrinkwrapped" on 3 Counties radio every Sunday 12:00 - 14:00, a show about disability and mental health.  On this occasion, they were discussing the use of complementary therapies.


Listen to it here:


 Shaftesbury Acupuncture Clinic was founded in 2008, and is an acupuncture clinic, based in Bedford, serving Bedfordshire, Milton Keynes and North Hertfordshire.   All our acupuncturists are all experienced Members of the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC)


Please see our main website for more information on what we do.


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My ten-year menopause agony is over, says Julie: Actress speaks of huge relief after enduring as many as 15 hot flushes a night: acupuncture helped her

My ten-year menopause agony is over, says Julie: Actress speaks of huge relief after enduring as many as 15 hot flushes a night: acupuncture helped her | Acupuncture and celebrity endorsement |
Julie Walters has revealed how liberated she feels after at last coming through a near ten-year battle with the menopause.


Miss Walters came through the menopause tunnel two years ago and credits acupuncture and avoiding alcohol for helping her manage. 

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Minnesota Timberwolves' Shabazz Muhammad enduring needling to keep ankle healthy | FOX Sports

Minnesota Timberwolves' Shabazz Muhammad enduring needling to keep ankle healthy | FOX Sports | Acupuncture and celebrity endorsement |

MINNEAPOLIS --Shabazz Muhammad hates needles.

So before Timberwolves director of athletic therapy Mark Kyger started pressing some into the left side of his calf, Muhammad stopped him.

"You're certified to do this, right?" the mild-mannered, ultra-aggressive forward asked Kyger. "I don't want you hurting me."

Kyger is, of course, a well-trained physical therapist. And the work he's carried out to alleviate pain in Muhammad's left ankle has kept the second-year pro -- and his team -- afloat lately.

Nursing a sore ankle since late last month, Muhammad is averaging 16.4 points on 52.4 percent shooting and five rebounds in his past seven games. The pain is severe enough that, in a normal situation, he would have sat out the Wolves' games against Houston, San Antonio, Golden State and/or Portland in the past week.

But these are not ordinary times at the Target Center. With five players out due to injury, Minnesota can't afford to lose any more personnel.

So in the needles go. And on goes Muhammad.

"It hurts a lot," he said Friday morning at the team's shootaround. "It's got me screaming sometimes -- well, not screaming, but like, 'ah.'"

Timberpups Tracker: Dec. 10 edition

Acupuncture stimulates specific points in the skin as a means of relieving pain. Muhammad, 22, had never had it performed on him before, but says within 24 hours of treatment, his ankle feels somewhat right again.

It tends to wear off or tighten up in the middle of games, he said. In Wednesday's win against Portland, he scored all 11 of his points in the first half.

But he wasn't fully himself, missing a handful of dunks and faltering down the stretch. "I couldn't get that extra . . . lift. I was disappointed. I can't wait till this ankle gets right. It's just sore, though."

An MRI taken Monday afternoon came back negative. Trainers have told Muhammad he can't injure himself any worse by playing.

And when he's at full capacity, he's one of the league's most improved players.

After barely getting off the bench last year under Rick Adelman -- Muhammad averaged 7.8 minutes, 3.9 points and 1.4 rebounds in 37 appearances -- Muhammad has been the top performer among crop of youthful talent, coach and president of basketball operations Flip Saunders said. With a motor that never stops and a slimmed-down body that can run longer and jump higher, Muhammad averages 11 points, 3.4 boards and 17.8 minutes per game in his second NBA campaign.

"He's been our most efficient young player," Saunders said.

And Kyger's work has helped. Muhammad's gone through it four times so far, with hopes more than a one-day break between games will give the ankle time to actually heal. The Wolves host the Lakers this Sunday and travel to Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, so rest will continue to come at a premium.

"Hopefully, we can string up a couple days where we can get off, but right now, I'm just trying to show that I can play despite injury," Muhammad said. "That takes a great mindset to do."

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Which Celebrities love Acupuncture?

Which Celebrities love Acupuncture? | Acupuncture and celebrity endorsement |


Everywhere you turn; there are stories about celebrities getting acupuncture.  

Supermodel, Elle Macpherson, recently said in an interview with UK tabloid, News of the World, "I have acupuncture regularly and I see a Chinese doctor who treats most common ailments with herbs." 

When asked how she maintained her health and well being, Elle answered, "I do choose to look after my body from a Chinese medicine perspective, which promotes and maintains wellness rather than treats illness."

Elle is not the only celebrity that seems to have become "star-struck" with this traditional form of health care that is touted as being able to treat everything from anxiety to a torn rotator cuff.  Gwyneth Paltrow, a longtime advocate of the benefits of acupuncture and Oriental medicine, once said that having acupuncture had guided her to a "new level" in life, helping her to find love with her husband and giving her the strength to cope with the death of her father. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Gwyneth Paltrow said, "I have been a big fan of Chinese medicine for a long time because it works."

So what other celebrities are up for being a voluntary pin-cushion?  Dr. Maoshing Ni, an acupuncturist in Santa Monica lists Jim Carrey and Helen Hunt as two of his many famous clients.  In a testimonial, Jim Carrey said "Undergoing [acupuncture] treatments with Dr. Mao at [his acupuncture clinic] and following his nutritional advice has led to a marked change in my physical vitality and my general state of well-being."

Celebrities have embraced acupuncture so whole-heartedly that they even schedule regular acupuncture treatments for their pets.  Sarah Michelle Gellar of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame, has been spotted in Los Angeles taking her pampered pooch, Tyson, in for his acupuncture treatment.

Acupuncture is becoming more and more respected by conventional medicine, so much so that there were acupuncturists on-site for the athletes at both the Summer and Winter Olympics.

How it works
Is there any evidence to back up this rapid growth in the popularity of acupuncture?  Besides the 2000 years of clinical evidence, there are a multitude of studies to substantiate that acupuncture has a measurable affect on the body.  One study on how acupuncture works to relieve pain, published in theJournal of NeuroImage, used brain imaging technology to prove that acupuncture affects the brain's long-term ability to regulate pain.  In the study, researchers were able to show that acupuncture increased the binding availability to opioid receptors in the brain in much the same way that opioid painkillers, such as morphine, codeine and other medications, are thought to work 

The U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have declared acupuncture effective for more than 200 other conditions including, respiratory, eye and mouth, gastro-intestinal, neurological and muscular disorders. Because of acupuncture's ability to speed the healing process, bring down swelling and inflammation, relieve pain, and help to restore normal range of motion, it is especially effective at treating musculo-skeletal disorders.  

"The purpose of acupuncture is to trigger your body's innate ability to self heal. " Says licensed acupuncturist, Diane Joswick, L.Ac.

"When someone comes in for treatment, we take all of their symptoms into account and aim at balancing the energy within the body to optimize health.  Treatments are tailored for the individual.  That is why it is important to talk with an acupuncturist to see how acupuncture will be able to help your specific and unique case."

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Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge: Hyperemesis gravidarum- harsh realities of extreme morning sickness -

Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge: Hyperemesis gravidarum- harsh realities of extreme morning sickness - | Acupuncture and celebrity endorsement |
As Kate Middleton is treated for hyperemesis gravidarum - an extreme form of morning sickness - Aoife Stuart-Madge talks to the experts about this 'debilitating' condition.


If you suffered hyperemesis gravidarum in your first pregnancy, like Kate, it's likely you will get it in your subsequent pregnancies, while your mother having the condition can make you more likely to get it too, and having a multiple birth also ups your odds. "Morning sickness is linked to the HCG pregnancy hormone - the same hormone that is picked up when you do a pregnancy test - which comes from the placenta," explains Paula. "With a twin pregnancy, the hormone levels are higher and the mother can really be sick."

And while morning sickness typically eases off after the 16-18 week mark, for some, the symptoms can persist throughout the duration of the pregnancy. According to Paula, who has seen countless women with the condition, the impact of morning sickness shouldn't be underestimated.

Shaftesbury Clinic Bedford's insight:

Studies show #acupuncture can benefit HG very safely, e.g.


Minerva Ginecol. 2005 Aug;57(4):471-5.Acupuncture versus pharmacological approach to reduce Hyperemesis gravidarum discomfort.Neri I1, Allais G, Schiapparelli P, Blasi I, Benedetto C, Facchinetti F.Author information AbstractAIM:

Several reports have suggested the use of acupuncture as a useful treatment for hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), in particular the effects on nausea intensity was underlined. The aim of this study was to compare the efficacy of acupuncture sessions plus acupressure with a metoclopramide/vitamin B12 treatment.


In this study we randomized 88 pregnant patients suffering from HG to receive either acupuncture sessions plus acupressure (acupuncture group) or metoclopramide infusion (metoclopramide group) supplemented by vitamin B12 complex. Somatic symptoms and the ability to achieve the daily routine activity (functioning) were evaluated. Acupuncture sessions were performed at the hospital twice a week for 2 weeks according to the traditional Chinese medicine criteria. Acupression was applied for 6-8 h/day. In the metoclopramide group, patients received at hospital metoclopramide infusion (20 mg/500 mL saline for 60 min) twice a week for 2 weeks. An oral supplementation with vitamin B12 complex (30 mg/day) was also prescribed.


Both treatments reduced vomiting episodes and then nausea intensity with a consequent improvement in the rate of food intake. The effect of acupuncture seems to be progressive, increasing at the end of treatment whereas pharmacological approach has a prompt effect in responders remaining stable thereafter. Moreover, acupuncture was significantly more effective than drugs in improving functioning.


In our study for the first time acupuncture, applied accordingly to Chinese formula, was compared to drugs demonstrating the same effect of both treatments on HG symptoms. Interestingly, functioning was significantly improved just by acupuncture. Even if the effect of acupuncture on HG discomfort remains to be confirmed, the reports on the effect of acupuncture on psychosocial variables could represent a further advantage of acupuncture application and provide an incentive to widen the base of the research.

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Oscar Winner Sandra Bullock Makes Acupuncture Part of the Set

Oscar Winner Sandra Bullock Makes Acupuncture Part of the Set | Acupuncture and celebrity endorsement |

From Acupuncture Today
November, 2002, Vol. 03, Issue 11

Celebrities are renowned for the free gifts, or “perks,” they have written into their contracts before going on tour or starting work on a new movie. Actress Sandra Bullock, the star of movies such as “Speed” and “Miss Congeniality,” has taken the idea of perks to a new level. According to an interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation, one of Ms. Bullock’s requirements is that before she signs up for a motion picture, she will be provided with an on-site wellness center that includes licensed acupuncturists and massage therapists.

“It’s kind of fun just to see what you can get,” Bullock told the BBC. She also admitted that while she tries to get as many benefits as possible from a studio, she makes sure the rest of the crew gets to enjoy the benefits of acupuncture.

“Now actors get such ridiculous perks that you might as well make some of those perks something that benefits everybody,” she said.

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Toyah Willcox on coping with insomnia using acupuncture - YouTube

Toyah Willcox has suffered from insomnia since her teens, and has turned to British Acupuncture Council member Catherine Ann Quinn to help alleviate the symp...
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Paula Abdul Uses Acupuncture For Pain Relief - Acupuncture Blog Chicago:

Paula Abdul Uses Acupuncture For Pain Relief - Acupuncture Blog Chicago: | Acupuncture and celebrity endorsement |

Well it's down to the wire for the popular show American Idol. In a recent interview Paula Abdul not only talked about who she thinks will win, but also mentioned her use of acupuncture!

Check it out...


Paula Abdul On Adam Lambert's 'Idol' Chances & Getting Herself Off Medication 
Access Hollywood - May 5, 2009

Paula also took time to talk to Billy Billy Bush about her recent interview on "Nightline" with Cynthia McFadden, which the "Idol" judge says was edited heavily, especially with regards to the question of whether she drinks or does drugs.

Paula said the only drugs she takes are prescription ones dealing with nerve regrowth, related to her severe spinal cord injury. Other than that, she sticks toacupuncture, which she undergoes several times a week.

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Dave Grohl having acupuncture. | Acupuncture | Pinterest

Dave Grohl having acupuncture. | Acupuncture | Pinterest | Acupuncture and celebrity endorsement |

Dave Grohl is a guitarist who has been in the bands Nirvana, Foo Fighters, and Queens of the Stone Age.


Apparently he is also a fan of acupuncture!

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Acupuncture Blog Chicago: Oscar Winner Sandra Bullock Makes Acupuncture Part of the Set

Acupuncture Blog Chicago: Oscar Winner Sandra Bullock Makes Acupuncture Part of the Set | Acupuncture and celebrity endorsement |

From Acupuncture Today
November, 2002, Vol. 03, Issue 11

Celebrities are renowned for the free gifts, or "perks," they have written into their contracts before going on tour or starting work on a new movie. Actress Sandra Bullock, the star of movies such as "Speed" and "Miss Congeniality," has taken the idea of perks to a new level. According to an interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation, one of Ms. Bullock's requirements is that before she signs up for a motion picture, she will be provided with an on-site wellness center that includes licensed acupuncturists and massage therapists.

"It's kind of fun just to see what you can get," Bullock told the BBC. She also admitted that while she tries to get as many benefits as possible from a studio, she makes sure the rest of the crew gets to enjoy the benefits of acupuncture.

"Now actors get such ridiculous perks that you might as well make some of those perks something that benefits everybody," she said.

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Abramovich uses acupuncture to stablilse weight

Abramovich uses acupuncture to stablilse weight | Acupuncture and celebrity endorsement |

By TOM BRYANT, Daily Mail

Last updated at 22:00 26 July 2006


As one of the world's richest men, Roman Abramovich might be expected to lead a more carefree existence than most.

But it seems that even an £11billion fortune does not insulate you from worrying about your weight.

Arriving for a business meeting in Moscow, the 39-year-old Russian owner of Chelsea Football Club was spotted with an inch-long silver needle protruding from his left ear.

The strange accessory suggests he is undergoing auricular acupuncture, a Chinese treatment where needles are inserted to alleviate a range of conditions, most notably drug addiction and stress.

However, in Mr Abramovich's case, health experts believe that the needle's position on his ear could be there to stabilise his weight.

"Looking carefully at the picture, it seems to me that it could be used for suppressing his appetite," said Pauline Ronson, of the Society of Auricular Acupuncturists.

"There's a much smaller chance that it could be for nasal problems or high blood pressure, but taking into account its position, I think it could be safe to say it is for controlling weight.

"It's quite strange because it's normally placed on the ears of much larger men, whose eating is more of a problem, and Mr Abramovich seems of normal size."

Mrs Ronson said that there were more than 200 acupuncture points on the ear, each related to different parts of the anatomy.

And she admitted that the type of needle that Mr Abramovich was using was highly unusual.

"If you look closely, you can see a little hook at the end, and it might be that the needle has magnetic properties and that he uses an instrument to attach to his ear to make it work," she said.

"But I must admit that in my 25 years of administering acupuncture, I haven't come across such a needle, which makes me think that he had it done abroad."

While he did suffer a weight problem as a young man in Russia, the billionaire is known to keep trim with state-of-the-art gyms at all his homes and on his fleet of yachts.

And at the business meeting, he was seen wearing a Polar M61 cardio-activity monitor on his wrist, which allows him to see how many calories he has used and how much fat he has burned.

Mr Abramovich, who has five children with his wife Irina, a former air stewardess, would not have worried about the acupuncture treatment making a lasting dent in his bank balance.

With a session only costing £40, it is one of the more affordable treatments increasingly favoured by public figures and celebrities.

These include Cherie Blair, a long-time convert to alternative therapy who has had acupuncture sessions with London-based holistic therapist Bharti Vyas for more than ten years.

And supermodel Kate Moss was recently spotted with plasters covering up needles in her ear, reportedly to help her fight cocaine addiction.

Princess Diana also had regular acupuncture sessions, often wearing up to four needles in her left ear. The tiny coiled pins were used to help her stay calm, help her depression and keep her eating disorders in check.

Other conditions which can supposedly benefit from sessions are food cravings, depression, hyperactivity, PMS, asthma and allergies, hepatitis and migraines.

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The Benefits of Acupuncture to Treat Pain

Actress Penelope Cruz has been seen sporting gold acupuncture pins in her ear. Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist Dr. Andrew Ordon explains that the treatment may help relieve her back pain.
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BMJ Acupuncture in Medicine on the debate over "what acupuncture can be promoted for"

BMJ Acupuncture in Medicine on the debate over  "what acupuncture can be promoted for" | Acupuncture and celebrity endorsement |

This journal is careful about the image of acupuncture that it presents to the world, and about any claims made for acupuncture.


Ethical practitioners are equally cautious in what they promote. This is no place for a discussion on what conditions can and cannot be claimed as treatable by acupuncture, though it might start by noting that it's patients that are treated, not conditions.


That distinction seems to be ignored by the ‘authorities’ who have decided what can and cannot be claimed, at least in the UK. Bishop and colleagues had a good look at the information leaflets produced by 629 clinics; most were excellent, though there were a few examples where claims were not evidence based.


Ref: In this issue -- White 31 (4): 349 


Via Shaftesbury Clinic
Shaftesbury Clinic's curator insight, December 30, 2013 5:47 AM

Recent controversy has surrounded how acupuncturists can promote themselves, and the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) have been examining this in detail.


As White says in this article, it is not conditions that acupuncturists concentrate on, but patients.  We look to advise patients as to what acupuncture may realistically offer them, in the light of our experience, training, and research available to us.  


It is for this reason that these research pages are provided, to allow those interested in finding out more about acupuncture, the opportunity to find information and track back to origininal sources, to help them to carry out their own informed ressearch and to make an informed decision about whether to use acupuncture.


I also recommend speaking to an acupuncturist, if you are considering acupuncture, as most will offer a free consultation to allow you find out more, before deciding on whether to go ahead with treatment.  


Helen Smallwood 


Bedford, UK 

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Acupunturist Zita West: "How my amazing mother inspired Call the Midwife"

Acupunturist Zita West: "How my amazing mother inspired Call the Midwife" | Acupuncture and celebrity endorsement |

How my amazing mother inspired Call the Midwife: She was a cross between kind Nurse Jenny and Sister EvangelinaZita West's mother Ita Devanney was a midwife in the FortiesHelped to delivery hundreds of babies every yearHated being made to retire in 1984 aged 60Worked in a care home right up until her death



PUBLISHED: 01:54, 24 December 2013



"It was while working in a hospital in Warwick in the Nineties that I started using acupuncture alongside mainstream obstetrics to help women suffering from morning sickness.


I later moved to the Hale Clinic where Princess Diana was a patient, and then as my client base grew I decided to open my own clinic in Harley Street."

Via Shaftesbury Acupuncture Clinic, Shaftesbury Clinic Bedford
Shaftesbury Acupuncture Clinic's curator insight, December 28, 2013 10:20 AM

This is an interesting article, Zita is a well known acupuncturist and midwife.