PRESS: Hygge Studios come for Acupuncture. Read their Blog.

From anxiety to sleep problems, look to acupuncture for a spring boost


Photograph by Regan Cameron for Harper's Bazaar

A patient of mine recently took the brave and brilliant step of following her dreams. Read here in her blog article how she is finding the balance to embrace the new, exciting changes ahead.


{ Namaste } Carli Humphries August 10, 2016 I have a bit of an all or nothing approach to yoga. Either I'm kitted out like I live in yoga leggings, clutching a coconut water and bouncing up to three classes a week, or I completely check out, barely drag my ass out for a run, let alone put it in tight lycra, and remember how much I hate coconut water.


At the moment I'm trying to bring, in true yogic style, a bit of balance to my life and wellbeing. My relatively new life as a freelance writer and brand consultant means I am setting my own schedule, which is yet another area where I'm all or nothing: in pyjamas working for 14 hours, or wondering if watching three episodes of the West Wing and going out for coffee constitutes appropriate 'thinking time'.


A plus point of freelance life is the lack of office hours, which means I have more flexibility to attend daytime classes at my favourite yoga studio, Triyoga, on the King's Road. Now depending on where your threshold for 'smug and unbearable' is, you'll either find your new Mecca among the juice bar, 'mobile-free zone' and Neom products, or it will be a (zen) step too far and you'll end up eye-rolling during your Om.


I love the serenity of the studio space. I like that everyone moves respectfully and with grace, and I like that the changing rooms smell of incense, not feet. I also love the various instructors, who welcome you in rather than raising an eyebrow at the fact your last class was well over three months ago.


Although it might sound a bit 'Eat, Pray, Love', I found strength and peace in yoga during a particularly stressful break up a couple of years ago, which was also the same time that I found acupuncture. As with yoga, I find friends falling into two camps on acupuncture, those who can't wait to discuss it, compare notes and ask questions, and those who think it's nothing short of witch-doctoring and don't fancy being a human pin cushion even for the sake of curiosity. For me, acupuncture was a revelation. I ostensibly went for the first time to try and work out why my legs had started to seize up even on the shortest of runs, and to try and find a way to get a better night's sleep, at a time when I was veering dangerously close to all-out insomnia.


My acupuncturist, the brilliant Kate Winstanley, spent almost half the first session asking all kinds of questions – about my thoughts, my sleep, my eating habits, my work life, my routine, etc. As with most acupuncturists, Kate is looking at my health and wellbeing holistically, and trying to understand how she can use the power of the needles to best support my digestion, immune system, fatigue levels and even my mental strength.


Without exaggeration, after only one session I felt a sensation of lightness, after three or four I was sleeping soundly. After one particularly intense session with the needles in new places, I felt the urge to cry for most of the afternoon, before feeling light and peaceful in the following days. To be honest it does seem a bit like witch-doctoring, tightness in the shoulders and painful swelling in leg muscles is alleviated without massage or manipulation. The sensation of the needles going in is not painful, but sometimes a small twist elicits a strange internal and localised discomfort like a twinge, but it's over in a second.


The reason I'm mentioning my acupuncture and yoga together is that recently I have started to feel a bit off-centre again, probably because of a busy and mentally demanding few months finishing at my full-time job and setting up my new career. I still run, but it's only taking the edge off, it's not quietening my busy mind. And when my mind overworks it leaves my body feeling highly strung, and I know I need to return to both yoga and acupuncture to smooth it out once more. In yesterday's class I couldn't hold any of the back bend poses, something I'm usually good at. Each time I started to bend a powerful feeling of nausea overwhelmed me, until I admitted defeat. In yoga, backbends are not only practiced for flexibility and spinal stability, but they encourage us to open emotionally, stimulating an energy flow within that can sometimes overpower the body. One instructor told me that she's seen men and women spontaneously cry after a backbend, and that we should all embrace the release it brings.


Wellbeing is a hot buzzword online and particularly on social media at the moment. It's often associated with clean eating, the fitness movement or mindfulness, but I believe that each of us can find our own particular ways to support and protect our own wellbeing, and that the most important thing is that we do it without judgement of others or ourselves. There is no point pushing to get headspace, or embarking on a juice cleanse, or whatever trend currently has the biggest bandwagon, if it's not something that nourishes and nurtures our spirituality and our soul. And if this type of language has you rolling your eyes then do excuse me, I blame the backbend. And as for any remaining incredulity? I recommend you try acupuncture for that.


http://www.hyggestudios.com/blog/2016/8/10/-namaste-