Japanese Acupuncture and Digestive Health Problems



Chinese medicine and the practice of acupuncture came over to Japan with Buddhism in the 6th century. For centuries, practitioners followed Chinese methods though from the Middle Ages home-grown techniques started to predominate, including the use of ‘guide tubes’ for needles in order to make insertion almost pain free.

Acupuncture has always placed an emphasis on treating the stomach and digestion partly because the stomach and spleen belong to the Earth ‘element’ and are central to the creation of Qi (energy or ‘ki’ in Japanese) and therefore central to immunity and acupuncture energetics, maybe also because China’s regular episodes of famine (generally coinciding with the political chaos associated with dynastic change) led to an obsession with food and digestion. Today in China, instead of asking if someone is well when you meet them, you will ask, “have you eaten?”

Whatever the reason, acupuncture has developed a range of treatments to help digestive issues and modern Japanese acupuncture is no exception. The type of treatment I use at The Vale Practice has been handed down by a modern Japanese master, Kiiko Matsumoto. She trained and worked with several post-war masters and developed a unique system of abdominal diagnosis and treatments based on her experience, studies and training.

Out of this, various protocols have evolved to treat:

  • Gastro-intestinal problems caused by stress (one of the most common causes of stomach problems is sympathetic nervous system dominance). These might include salivary and acidity issues along with ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and IBS; stomach or duodenal ulcers.
  • Excess gas and bloating.
  • Constipation and piles.
  • Problems in the mouth and gums.

Because of the digestion’s key function supporting immunity, digestive points will also be used for any case of inflammation.

On another level, acupuncture points on the Stomach pathway or ‘meridian’ are used to support the body’s structure, (it is viewed as something akin to a pillar keeping us upright), while more subtly we use digestive points to improve self-esteem, helping people ‘stand up for themselves’.

One famous acupuncture point you can try for self-help: Ashi no san ri. This is located one hand’s width below the knee (try the left first), and one finger width outside the shin. Massage this point for symptomatic relief if you are tired or suffering from any of the stomach issues mentioned above! A bruised or sore place will be most effective.

James Booth – MAcS


Winter Lockdown & Mental Wellbeing


The third winter lock down might be the most challenging yet for our mental health in comparison to the others. During these challenging times, it’s important that we implement tools and techniques that enable us to effectively manage our stress and anxiety.

A recommended technique is something called box breathing, which is also known as square breathing. So what are the benefits of box breathing and how do you do it?


Box breathing is a powerful stress reliever which also increases focus and performance. It is beneficial to everyone as it helps to regulate temperature, breathing and heart rate. Other benefits include alleviating tension and panic, thereby ensuing a general sense of calmness and peace to the body and mind. Below we’ve listed 5 simple steps to help you along the way:

  1. Close your eyes or soften your gaze and imagine drawing a box with equal sides in your mind.
  2. Slowly ‘Breathe in’ from the nose for the count of 4 (visualising drawing one upside of the square.
  3. Suspend or hold’ for the count of 4 (visualising drawing across the square)
  4. Breathe out’ from the nose for the count of 4 (visualising drawing down on the other side of the square)
  5. Suspend or hold’ for the count of 4 (visualise drawing across the bottom of the square)

Repeat this cycle for at least four times in one sitting to feel the effect of this exercise. You can do this several times in a day to calm your nerves and relieve stress. So, the slower and deeper you breathe, the more relaxed you will feel.

Written by 

Simrat Bhangoo- Cognitive Hypnotherapist & Coach

Note: Visualising a box and hearing the numbers helps to provide an anchor for your attention. It allows you to maintain your focus on the exercise.

BrainTree Performance Coaching



Coronavirus Update Via Public Health England

Coronavirus information for the UK

 Nine patients in England have tested positive for coronavirus. Chief Medical Officer for England Professor Chris Whitty, has shared a statement. If more cases are confirmed in the UK, it will be announced as soon as possible by the Chief Medical Officer of the affected country.

Based on the World Health Organization’s declaration that this is a public health emergency of international concern, the UK Chief Medical Officers have raised the risk to the public from low to moderate. This permits the government to plan for all eventualities. The risk to individuals remains low.

Based on the scientific advice of SAGE the UK Chief Medical Officers are advising anyone who has travelled to the UK from mainland China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau in the last 14 days and is experiencing cough or fever or shortness of breath, to stay indoors and call NHS 111, even if symptoms are mild.

These areas have been identified because of the volume of air travel from affected areas, understanding of other travel routes and number of reported cases. This list will be kept under review. Our advice for travellers from Wuhan and Hubei Province remains unchanged from the below.

The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, has announced strengthened legal powers to bolster public health protections against coronavirus. The regulations have been put in place to reduce the risk of further human-to-human transmission in this country by keeping individuals in isolation where public health professionals believe there is a reasonable risk an individual may have the virus.

As of Thursday 13th February at 14:00 GMT, a total of 2,521 people have been tested in the UK- 9 of which are positive.

We have been working in close collaboration with international colleagues and the World Health Organization to monitor the situation in China and around the world.

The Department of Health and Social Care will be publishing updated data on a daily basis on their website.

How To Have a Super Ski Season

Are you hitting the slopes this season? With ski season well and truly upon us, the Vale Practice practitioners have put together a Ski guide for information on the most common injuries and how to prevent them. 

The most commonly injured areas are knees due to the prolonged flexed position adopted when skiing, combined with the forces of changing direction and consequent twisting motion. This can put huge pressure on the ligaments, cartilage and muscles that support the knee.

Click image for source

Click image for source

In the event of a fall when your boot fails to release, you catch an edge on a bump or, as is often the case, someone else skis in to you, excessive torsional load is put through the knee as it rotates outwards. This can result in ligament and cartilage injury, commonly the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), medial collateral ligament or the cartilage (meniscus). Or, if you are unlucky, all three. This unfortunately is usually the end of your skiing for the holiday. Skiing can also cause pain on and around the knee cap (patello-femoral pain). This is generally caused by overuse and lack of quadricep strength before hitting the slopes for a week but is less likely to cause long term dysfunction. 

Whether you’re a seasoned skier or new to the slopes, everyone is bound to fall at some point. Sometimes falling can cause a neck whiplash injury, so of course it is extremely important to wear a helmet at all times! Lower back injuries are also common for the unwary, or just unlucky skier, usually as a result of trunk rotation in a fall, or even just getting up after a fall. Skiers are also prone to low back pain just through overuse associated with technique and poor core stability. 

Commonly, ski injuries associated with falls happen either at the beginning of the week as your technique and reactions may be a little rusty or at the end of a days skiing when you your legs are fatigued and therefore your reactions and control are not 100%. Of course the fitter you are prior to your holiday the better, but try to resist the temptation of getting the last lift at the end of the day for ‘one last run’ as it may turn out to be your last of the week if you are fatigued. Don’t forget there is less oxygen at altitude so you will fatigue earlier. 

As we have hinted at, physical preparation is important before going skiing, as this will help to prevent injury and enhance your experience on the mountains. As the most force goes through the knees, quadricep strengthening is essential and  wall squats, normal squats and lunges are great ways to improve this. Just remember though, strength is less protective if there you have limited flexibility which is why it’s also important to stretch the calves, hamstrings, quads and hip flexors to ensure good flexibility and range of motion in the lower limb.  

9B2160E3-72D9-40A4-90A2-270006400715Core stability is also very important when skiing as maintaining good control of your movements and your form are key to preventing accidents on the slopes as well as helping to improve your technique. Using a wobble board for a few minutes  at various points throughout the day combined with a pelvic tilts, superman pose and abdominal crunches, if you are feeling good, will help keep you stable and improve your movement transitions when skiing. 

Finally, avoid alcohol during the day.  The effects of alcohol can make people clumsier than usual, making it easier to have an accident while on the slopes, plus there is the altitude to contend with which increases the effects of alcohol. So ideally try and avoid it until you have finished for the day! 

If you’re concerned about an old or current injury, make sure you get it checked out by a professional. Our osteopaths and massages therapists at the Vale Practice are trained to assess injuries, treat them  and recommend rehab to get you fighting fit and ready to either hit the slopes or return to post Alpine life with confidence.

Couple counselling


Couple counselling can offer a safe and objective space where both partners can be open to one another. Exploring together how they might bridge the gaps in their communication and carve out time to care for and protect the relationship from the general stresses of everyday life.

Couples’ therapy can help to create new ways to communicate and rebuild the relationship towards staying together, if this is something you both decided you want.

However, if you expressly wish to separate then relationship therapy can also help you achieve that amicably.

Usually there is a way forward with couple counselling, but it does require an effort from both partners and an acceptance that sometimes it can be a long and difficult process.

I offer you both an opportunity to gain perspective and understand and identify these problems.

We will explore what’s behind the scenes as well as keeping focus on what is happening in the relationship.
I will help you find effective communication, encouraging an understanding in a safe confidential space and building on the strengths of your relationships.

I will provide you with the necessary tools and skills to make changes in your relationship inside and outside the therapy room.

If you feel this relates to where you are in your relationship please contact Laura on 07834 409 933

Baby Massage with Claire King 5th June-3rd July

Claire King’s famous baby massage courses are 5 weeks long and held throughout the year here at the Vale practice.

The course is baby led, very relaxed and a fun way to learn a new skill.
Claire King has been teaching baby massage since 2011.

Baby massage benefits baby by:

  • helping sensory development
  • calming baby
  • helps with bonding and reading baby’s cues
  • helps baby settle and sleep better

Courses are 5 weeks. Approx. 75 minutes per class. Baby must be at least 6 weeks old.
Includes; Neals Yard organic grapeseed oil, class handouts and illustrated certificate on completion.

Check out our https://www.facebook.com/thevalepracticeed/ for latest updates on the next course dates.

Next course date June 5th-3rd July


20th Birthday Celebrations

This month The Vale is proud to be celebrating it’s 20th Birthday!

We would like to extend our gratitude to all of our clients by offering an amazing 10% off treatments during the month of May.

All osteopathy 10% off!

Massage 10% off!

Acupuncture 10% off!

Hypnotherapy 10% off!

Now the daylight is increasing again (hourray) here are three easy steps to ensure you have a good night’s sleep from leading nutrition expert Dr. Marilyn Glenville.

Health Tip from Dr Marilyn Glenville
3 easy things to try if you’re struggling to sleep
Poor sleep can have a detrimental effect on your health and wellbeing. These simple tips may help:
  1. Avoid all stimulants in the evening: these include chocolate, caffeinated soft drinks and caffeinated teas and coffee. The effect will be to rev you up when you want your body to calm down ready to switch off for the night.
  2. Keep your bedroom comfortable and restful: pay attention to the temperature in your room and make sure it’s not too warm and not too cold. Cooler is better than warmer. Keep the room restful; a quiet, dark, cool environment sends signals to your brain that it is time to wind down.
  3. Have a bath: a warm bath can help you feel more relaxed. Adding some essential oils like lavender, chamomile, marjoram and bergamot to your bath can aid the feeling of relaxation. A few drops of these oils can be sprinkled on your pillow; lavender is especially good for this.


Hydration Smoothie Recipe!

  • Peel aloe Vera fruit, remove the skin and put it into the blender. (Please use fresh Aloe Vera juice if you are unable to access plant)
  • Don’t throw aloe Vera skin away it’s a beneficial hydrator and lotion, rub it into your hands as a moisturiser.
  • Squeeze 1/2-1 lime to make lime juice or peel lime carefully and put it into the blender.
  • Take 2 pinches of Icelandic flake salt (recommended but you can use other natural salts) and place in the blender.
  • Use spring water or coconut – water keep in separate jug.
  • Put Macuna into the blender (used as stimulant not necessary but recommended) www.znaturalfoods.com › Herb & Root Powders
  • Add some honey into the blender.
  • now pour water/coconut water into the blender with all the ingredients.
  • Blend smoothie together.

A little about Systematic Kinesiology

Amy_Stark - Kinesiology

Hello, I’m Amy, the Systematic Kinesiologist working at the Vale Practice.

What is Kinesiology, and what are its benefits?

Kinesiology is a fantastic and truly holistic therapy.  It focuses on rebalancing your bio-chemical, structural, emotional and energetic health – it’s not all about allergy testing which is what it is commonly associated to…

We use muscle tests, all over the body to test how well the nervous system controls its muscle functions, this method helps us find what muscles are reacting normally.  This could be a problem with the nervous system, lymphatic drainage, a nutritional excess or deficiency, a structural issue, an imbalance in the meridian system (energy) or an emotional issue.  We use muscle tests to determine the correct ‘fix’ to use, and then various treatment methods can be applied to restore balance and engage the body’s natural healing mechanisms.

If you are living with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or other digestive illnesses, feeling run down and stressed, battling with allergies, aches or pain Kinesiology is a great tool to find out what is at the root of your symptoms and it will get you back on the road to optimum health.

If you have never tried a Kinesiology treatment it can be hard to understand – it’s also hard to pronounce!  This is why I am happy to answer any questions you might have about Kinesiology, and how it could work for you.  Please ask at reception to arrange a conversation either via email or on the telephone.

What do I love about my work?

I love Kinesiology, it’s a fascinating therapy to work with on clients, no one treatment is ever the same as another, reflecting the fact that no person is the same as another, everyone is different.  Kinesiology enables me to use these differences and really help people back on their journey of improved health.

Amy Stark, Systematic Kinesiologist

The Vale Practice, East Dulwich

You can book an appointment with Amy by calling or emailing us on 0208 29909798/ info@thevalepractice.co.uk
Amy works at The Vale Practice on Mondays from 12.30 – 3.30pm

Put a Spring in Your Step with 10% off Acupuncture & Hypnotherapy in March

This March our therapy focus is on Hypnotherapy and Acupuncture, we are offering 10% off any treatment for the whole of March to existing and new clients.

Acupuncture appointments are available Monday 4–7pm, Tuesday 2-9pm, Wednesday 1-8pm & Thursday 2-9pm.

Hypnotherapy appointments are available Tuesday 6.30-9pm & 6.30-9.30pm.

If you have any questions about Hypnotherapy & Acupuncture or would like to chat with a practitioner regarding a specific issue then please call us or drop an email across. 0208 299 9798/ info@thevalepractice.co.uk


The Vale Practice ​is offering a 10% discount on all massages for the month of February

The Vale Practice ​is offering a 10% discount on all massages for the month of February:

Deep Tissue Massage​ – penetrates into the deeper layers of muscle to release chronic patterns of tension in the body and is excellent for people who train regularly.

Sports Massage – is perfect for people who enjoy a deeper form of massage leaving the body feeling like it has had a fully body workout.

Aromatherapy Massage – uses pure oils extracted from the seeds, roots, flowers or leaves of fragrant plants (essential oils).  A specialised massage technique which relieves tension, drain lymph fluid and improves circulation, rejuvenating the body and promoting balanced good health.

Pregnancy Massage – reduces stress and promotes relaxation.  It increases the flow of blood and lymph around the body and can help with muscle and joint pain such as back ache and cramps.

Reflexology – Reflexology is a massage system based on working on reflex points of the feet, activating the body’s own healing mechanisms, improving circulation, increasing the removal of wastes and toxins and induces a state of deep relaxation.

Reflexology & Massage Combination – Massage and reflexology  go hand in hand.  Massage of course has a systemic effect, showering the body with relaxation, homeostasis and overall stress reduction. Massage also offers physical benefits, helping to reduce muscle tension and pain created by repetitive strain or general physical overload.

Reflexology has more of a systemic than physical effect. Yes, your feet will feel wonderful and light after a session but the ‘inner’ effects are far greater than we may realise. Reflexology works with a very powerful effect on the nervous, lymphatic and endocrine systems and the therapy allows the internal organs find a place of equilibrium so that great healing can begin to take place.


Indian Head Massage – is based on the traditional Ayurvedic principles of balancing energy, this stimulating massage of the head, neck, shoulders and face using specific massage strokes and pressure points releases tension and restores energy levels.

Holistic Massage – maintains our general health and fitness, compliments traditional medicine in the treatment of specific conditions and symptoms, and offers relaxation.


Running & Sports Injury Clinic for 2016

Taking place every month at the DLC, this is one in a series of video and gait analysis work that we offer to educate gym goers on training safely.  Our sports therapists will be on site to aid you in adjusting technique, offering advice and tips on getting started, maintaining your fitness and improving your performance.  Whatever your aim, there are always areas to improve.    

Come Along for FREE video analysis, biomechanical assessment of your running technique & FREE injury consultations
Next Clinic Tuesday 15th March 7:00pm – 9:00pm


CAMexpo clinic of the year finalists

We are very pleased to say we were one of the 4 finalists in the CAMexpo clinic of the year awards 2015. Unfortunately we didnt win, but still consider this a great achievement as we were up against some great clinics from all over the UK. Were so proud of our team here at The Vale, well done everyone!

Super Saturday Smoothie Recipe

fruit graphic





Our nutritionist Alexandra Rock, has shared one of her favourite smoothie recipes with us. Alexandra says ‘Great for a Saturday morning pick me up, it’s taken from from Dr. Mark Hyman’s Book 10 Day Detox Diet. I highly recommend this book, this recipe is packed with nutrients and fibre, tastes good and will keep you feeling great’

If you are interested in finding out more about nutrition or what Alexandra can offer then please get in touch info@thevalepractice.co.uk

Dr. Mark Hyman’s Whole-Food Protein Shake
75g frozen blueberries/strawberries/blackberries/cranberries

¼ Lemon with rind

1 tablespoon of almond butter

1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds

1 tablespoon chia seeds

1 tablespoon hemp seeds

2 raw walnuts

2 raw Brazil nuts

¼ avocado

½ tablespoon extra-virgin coconut butter

120ml unsweetened almond milk

120 ml water.

  •  Blend all ingredients in a high power blender (a NutriBullet works brilliantly) and serve immediately. The nuts and seeds can be blended first so that they are creamy rather than crunchy Enjoy!
  • To activate the enzymes in the seeds and the nuts in any smoothie recipe for easier digestion you can soak the ahead of time in water and then blend as per the recipe. Soak preferably overnight.
  • Fruits, nuts and seeds in the recipes may be substituted for other varieties. The greater the variety in our foods the greater the array of nutrients.

Alexandra Rock Nutrition.

The Vale Practice 020 8299 9798


Open Day

Saturday 12th September 2015

9.30am – 5.30pm


Chair massage – £10 for 15mins (book in or come along on the day!),,

Free injury consultations, spinal checks and postural advice.

 Hypnotherapy advice/consultation

Ear Acupuncture and Reflexology!

Games and competitions for the little ones!
Refreshments to wet your whistle!

Come along and find out more about the practice and what we have to offer!