There are two days in every week that we have no control over – Yesterday and Tomorrow. Today is the only day we can change.

Yesterday with all its mistakes, regrets, sorrow and pain is gone. However much we try, we cannot bring back Yesterday and we cannot undo what was said and done.

Tomorrow with all its promises, disappointments and burdens is not yet here. The only certainty about Tomorrow is that the sun will rise and if we’re lucky we will shine in its golden glow but if it is masked behind the clouds we will dance in the raindrops knowing the sun is lighting our way.

So we are left with Today and we can manage to get through one day. It is the overwhelming thoughts of Yesterday and Tomorrow that become too much for us. Don’t live in the bitterness of Yesterday or the dread of Tomorrow, but live in the moment of what Today brings. Be aware of your surroundings, acknowledge your emotions, remember to breathe and focus on moving forward one day at a time.

If you are feeling overwhelmed with the worries of Yesterday and Tomorrow, why not try acupuncture to help you feel more in the present moment? Book a five element treatment with Kathy Hitchens at Balancing Acupuncture in Truro.

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The way we deal with stress is like waves in the sea. When we are under pressure and feeling stressed, our body becomes alert as it prepares itself to go into fight or flight mode which is the top of the wave. When we feel safe again, our body releases the stress by going into rest and relax mode which is the bottom of the wave. So our body deals with stress as a continual wave cycle of peaks and troughs.

Stress develops into something more serious when lots of events happen in close succession keeping our body in fight or flight mode without any rest and relaxation. Constantly being ready for fight or flight at the peak of the wave can lead to anxiety. The stress becomes trapped in our body, making us overthink so we react to everything regardless of whether it is safe or a danger to us. We start to feel on edge, worried and panicky all the time, even when we don’t need to be.

As well as fight or flight, there is a third stress response which is freeze. This is similar to a rabbit in the headlights when it doesn’t know what to do to keep itself safe so it does nothing in the hope that the danger will go away. Freeze mode is like diving down into the trough of the wave where we can hide from the turmoil above. Constantly being in freeze mode can lead to depression. We start to feel overwhelmed and helpless and feel like we want to withdraw and disappear. Anxiety can also turn into depression because being on edge and worried all the time is exhausting and eventually our body will start to shut down. Acupuncture can help you feel more in control when a tidal wave of emotions threatens to overwhelm you.

Anxiety and depression are mental health challenges that are becoming more common in our fast-paced modern society. We are on the go all the time trying to find that elusive work-life balance. It is important to find a way to release the stress so that our body can rest, relax and recover. When did you last take some time for yourself to simply relax and be in the present moment without worrying about everything around you? There is no weakness in seeking help with this so why not try acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a relaxing treatment in a safe environment where you can release the stress that has built up in your body, reducing the triggers for anxiety and depression. Five Element Acupuncture brings the body, mind and spirit into balance to improve your health and wellbeing. Book a treatment with Kathy Hitchens at Balancing Acupuncture in Truro.


Stress is our body’s response to pressure, either physical or emotional, and is a normal part of everyday life. There are many different situations that can cause stress such as work deadlines, relationship troubles, financial worries or health concerns. We often feel stressed when we think a situation is out of our control. When we are stressed we might suffer from headaches, an upset stomach, a racing heart, or not being able to sleep.

Put a potato in hot water and it goes soft. Put an egg in hot water and it goes hard. Same situation, different reaction. How you react to a situation may be very different to the person next to you in the same situation. We all have a different threshold for the amount of pressure we can deal with. A little bit of pressure can be good in that it motivates us to achieve our goals. Too much pressure and everything comes tumbling down around us. We feel exhausted and lash out or withdraw. We can handle one minor event when it happens on its own but that same event can be the final straw at another time when lots of things are happening. It can feel like a waterfall raining down on us with no escape to the fresh air for a chance to breathe. 

In days of old, a stressful situation usually meant you were in danger or feeling threatened. Your body would prepare you to either fight or run away. The stressful situations we face today are often more emotional than physical but we still have this built-in fight or flight response that kicks in to try to keep us safe. Our heart rate goes up and digestion shuts down as there is a rush of energy to our arms and legs which mobilises us to fight the danger or run away. This burst of energy keeps us alert so that we can battle through whatever is causing us to feel stressed until we feel safe again. Once we feel safe we can start to relax and release the energy so our heart rate goes down, digestion resumes and breathing returns to normal. We need to be able to release this energy each time we feel stressed otherwise it becomes trapped and stored in our body which is when our mental health starts to be affected.

Acupuncture is a relaxing treatment that can help you deal with modern day stress. If you are struggling to cope with the pressures of life why not try acupuncture to help release the stress and heal any associated symptoms? Five Element Acupuncture brings the body, mind and spirit into balance to improve your health and wellbeing. Book a treatment with Kathy Hitchens at Balancing Acupuncture in Truro.

The lotus flower is often seen as a symbol of wellness, with resilience and strength through adversity giving hope that it is possible to rise from a dark place and thrive. This fragrant flower with exotic foliage has its roots in the mud and rises up through the dark, murky water to find the light. Unlike a waterlily which is content to float on top of the water once it reaches the surface, the lotus flower continues to grow upwards so that it stands proud above the water. This allows the maximum amount of light and warmth to reach the petals when the flower blooms. The lotus flower closes up at night and sinks back down into the muddy water ready to re-emerge into the light in pristine condition the next day. It does this for a few days before the petals fall away leaving a seed pod. Eventually the seeds are dispersed on the wind and water where they sink back into the mud for the growing cycle to start again. If you feel like you’re stuck in the mud or struggling to find your way through the darkness, acupuncture can help you find the right direction to reach the light and overcome life’s challenges so that you can bloom into a beautiful you. Book a five element treatment with Kathy Hitchens at Balancing Acupuncture in Truro.

Just like the lotus we too have the ability to rise from the mud bloom out of the darkness and radiate into the worldjpg

Movement is essential to life and health. A metal gate will rust in place if it is not opened and closed regularly. Our joints become stiff and painful if we sit for too long. Water becomes stagnant if it cannot flow. Qi (pronounced chee) is our life force energy which flows around our body in channels called meridians. When our qi energy is balanced and flowing freely around our body, we feel well and healthy. When our qi energy has become stuck somewhere, our body is out of balance so we get ill and pain occurs. Pain can be classed as physical such as a sore back or arthritis or a headache, or it can be mental/emotional such as stress or anxiety. During an acupuncture session, the needles encourage any stuck qi to start moving again so that balance is restored to your body helping to keep you healthy and pain free. Ready to make the first move? Book an acupuncture treatment with Kathy Hitchens at Balancing Acupuncture in Truro.

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Your health is your greatest wealth. It doesn’t matter how much money you have, or what car your drive, or how many holidays you go on, or whether you’ve found your dream job… nothing matters as much as your health.

Injury acupuncture targets pain in a specific part of your body. It is a natural alternative to taking over-the-counter pills to mask the pain and it encourages your body to use its own internal healing mechanism so that you recover faster.

Five element acupuncture is a holistic treatment for physical and emotional issues affecting your whole being. It helps your body, mind and spirit to regain its natural healthy balance. When your internal energy is balanced everyday activities are easier and you’ll feel like you can tackle problems without being overwhelmed by them.

Invest in your health today. Book an acupuncture treatment with Kathy Hitchens at Balancing Acupuncture in Truro.

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An ancient solution for a modern problem! Anyone who has been on holiday to a country with a different time zone to where they live will know the curse of jetlag, when your body clock seems out of sync with the time of day. The concept of using acupuncture to beat jetlag was established in the 1970’s with the ancient technique being used to overcome a modern problem. 

Our internal body clock works on a naturally balanced daily rhythm over 24 hours. The most obvious of these is our sleep/wake cycle which is connected to the sun’s light/dark cycle. When we travel across time zones we force our body to adapt to sudden changes in routine and our sleep/wake cycle becomes disconnected from the light/dark cycle, throwing off our internal body clock. This disruption to our daily rhythm can cause many symptoms including fatigue and insomnia. Have you ever returned from a relaxing foreign holiday to find that you’re awake half the night and exhausted during the day? Scientists estimate that it takes one day to recover naturally for each hour time zone crossed but it is easier to adjust when you fly west and gain time than when you fly east and lose time. 

The ancient concept of acupuncture is based on identifying disruption to energy flow in your body and rebalancing it, which is why it works for jetlag. Night shift workers can have similar problems with their body clock being out of balance with when they need to sleep or wake so it works for them too. 

Qi (pronounced chee) is your life force energy flowing through channels or meridians in your body completing one full circuit in 24 hours. There are 12 meridians relating to the five elements and different parts of your body.  During the 2 hours it takes for the qi to pass through each meridian, that meridian is at its strongest. This is your body’s energy clock. When you travel, your energy clock needs to be rebalanced to your current time zone so that your internal body clock with its sleep/wake cycle is once more in tune with the light/dark cycle. 

Acupuncture helps to rebalance your energy after traveling across time zones. It can also help your body adjust to irregular work patterns that don’t conform to the normal sleep/wake cycle. So next time you’re feeling out of sync with the time of day, why not try acupuncture?

Five Element Acupuncture brings the body, mind and spirit into balance to improve your health and wellbeing. Book a treatment with Kathy Hitchens at Balancing Acupuncture in Truro.


Insomnia is a sleep disorder that means you aren’t sleeping as well as you should be. Do you have trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep? Do you wake up early and then lie there wondering why you’re awake? Do you toss and turn at night or have dream disturbed sleep so you don’t feel refreshed in the morning when you wake up?

Sleep is important and most adults need around 8 hours each night. This means we spend approximately one third of our lives asleep. Sleep is vital for maintaining good mental and physical health.  Just as we need to breathe, eat and drink, we need to sleep well. Our brain can’t function properly without enough sleep, which affects our ability to concentrate and think clearly.

1 in 3 adults experience insomnia. Are you one of them? If so, you’ll know it can be a minor inconvenience or a major disruption depending on how it impacts your life. If you find yourself lying in bed wide awake and wishing you were sleeping soundly, why not try acupuncture? It’s more relaxing than counting sheep!

Insomnia is often caused by stress, anxiety or traumatic events that keep your mind active at night. Not getting enough restful sleep can lead to you feeling worn out during the day as well as attention and memory issues. This in turn can lead to worry about why you can’t sleep and so the cycle continues.

Sleep is part of the natural rhythm of your body. Your internal body clock has a 24 hour sleep/wake cycle based on the light during the day and darkness at night. When the sun rises in the morning the yang energy in your body is dominant making you feel awake, active and alert. When the sun sets in the evening your body releases the hormone melatonin that makes you feel calm, relaxed and sleepy so that your yin energy takes over. Sometimes these two opposing energies can become confused which is why many people struggle in the winter months when the nights draw in and it is dark by 5pm because your body clock is telling you it’s time for bed. Hormonal changes when pregnant or during menopause can also affect this.

Sometimes simple lifestyle changes can make a difference to how you sleep. Avoid using computers or smartphones just before you go to bed as the blue light can delay or reduce the production of melatonin. Avoid eating a large meal before you go to bed as your body can’t relax while providing energy for digestion processes. Limit the number of caffeine drinks like coffee you have later in the day as they stimulate your brain preventing you from feeling sleepy naturally.

Medication to help you sleep is only for use on a short-term basis. Acupuncture is a natural alternative with no long-term side effects.  It calms a worried mind and rebalances the energy in your body so that you get a good night’s sleep and wake up feeling like you’re ready to tackle the day. Insomnia does not have to be something you just put up with.

Five Element Acupuncture brings the body, mind and spirit into balance to improve your health and wellbeing. Book a treatment with Kathy Hitchens at Balancing Acupuncture in Truro.

Our bodies are amazing healing machines. Acupuncture works to rebalance the nervous system so your body can properly function and heal itself. So it’s not the actual acupuncture that heals you, but rather your body heals itself and just needs a little extra boost sometimes. Your body needs to work in sync with itself. If part of your body is struggling, another part of your body will have to compensate for that weakness. This can have a knock-on domino effect until every part of your body is struggling. Help your body to regain its balance with acupuncture. Book a five element treatment with Kathy Hitchens at Balancing Acupuncture in Truro.

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Hay Feverjpg

Hurray! Spring has burst into action with a canopy of green leaves unfurling overhead in the trees, the flowers are blooming in a rainbow of colours and the grass is growing like there is no tomorrow. Rushing outside you take a deep breath of fresh air and… Achoooo! You suddenly sneeze, your nose is running and your eyes are watery and itchy. Welcome to hay fever season!

Allergic rhinitis, more commonly known as hay fever, affects 1 in 4 people in the UK. It is an allergic reaction to the pollen from trees, grass and weeds and is usually seasonal. Although the symptoms are similar to a cold virus, they can last for weeks or months, unlike a cold which usually disappears in 1-2 weeks. Tree pollen causes hay fever in the spring, grass pollen causes it in the summer, and weed pollen (ragweed) in early autumn. Other allergens such as dust, cat and dog dander, and mould can cause similar reactions all year round.

Hay fever is caused by pollen that is light enough to be airborne. This means it is carried by the wind not just outside but into your home through open windows and doors. Heavier pollen that bees collect from flowers does not tend to cause hay fever unless you have been in direct contact with the plant. 

Pollen is harmless but your immune system views it as a dangerous substance invading your body. When pollen gets into your eyes, nose and throat, your immune system tries to protect you by producing antibodies which release histamine into your system. Histamine inflames nasal passages, sinuses and eyelids causing the hay fever symptoms to occur which are meant to protect your body by expelling the allergen or causing swelling to block the allergen from entering your body. You are essentially being attacked by your body’s natural defence system. 

The symptoms can feel like a bad cold that goes on and on, draining your energy and disrupting your sleep. Over-the-counter antihistamine tablets are often used to counteract the hay fever symptoms as well as nasal sprays and eye drops. But why not try acupuncture? Acupuncture is a natural alternative that can effectively relieve a blocked nose and itchy eyes but it can also help to prevent hay fever symptoms from occurring in the first place. The holistic nature of acupuncture allows the whole person to be treated and not just the symptoms. Try it and see the difference it can make to your summer experience.

Five Element Acupuncture brings the body, mind and spirit into balance to improve your health and wellbeing.  Book a treatment with Kathy Hitchens at Balancing Acupuncture in Truro.

We are all unique. Two people can have the same symptoms but the cause of those symptoms is likely to be different for each person. For instance, two people suffering from insomnia may both take sleeping pills to help them sleep. This addresses the symptom but not the cause. According to traditional Chinese medicine, the insomnia could be due to a number of different reasons which need to be identified and addressed so that their sleep improves. Symptoms are your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong and action is needed. If you ignore the symptom, it could make things worse. If you treat only the symptom, you may be missing the reason the symptom occurred. Silencing a symptom does not always address the reason for the symptom in the first place. Acupuncture restores balance by treating the cause, not just the symptoms, so the person is treated as a whole, leading to a longer lasting level of wellbeing. Book a five element treatment with Kathy Hitchens at Balancing Acupuncture in Truro.

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We all know the symptoms. It starts with a sniffle or a sore throat, then turns into a runny nose, sneezing and coughing, along with headache, fever, chills and fatigue. Before you know it, you’re tucked up under a blanket surrounded by tissues and eating chicken soup.

The common cold is a respiratory virus that you catch from someone else. Antibiotics are not effective against viral infections so your doctor will not prescribe medication unless your cold has turned into something more serious. The symptoms occur because your immune system is trying to remove the invading virus from your body to protect you. Over-the-counter cold medication will help suppress the symptoms so they are less severe, which makes you feel better but doesn’t help cure you. A cold needs to run its course while your body fights it.

Your immune system defends your body every day from viruses and bacteria which could cause illness. A weakened immune system will find it harder to fight off a cold. A strong immune system may prevent the cold from taking hold in the first place. We often catch a cold when we don’t look after ourselves properly, life gets busy and we start to feel a bit run down. There is never a good time to be sick with a cold but trying to carry on as normal can make us even more tired and stressed. Drinking fluids and getting enough rest will help your natural self-healing system.

We get sick when our body is out of balance. Acupuncture brings our body back into balance and helps to strengthen our immune system which prevents us from getting sick in the first place. Our immune system is our natural defence against illness and as prevention is easier than cure, it makes sense to ensure that our immune system is in tip top condition. Regular acupuncture once a month will help to keep your body balanced and your immune system strong. Book now to start strengthening your immune system in the fight against colds and viral infections.

Five Element Acupuncture brings the body, mind and spirit into balance to improve your health and wellbeing. Book a treatment with Kathy Hitchens at Balancing Acupuncture in Truro.

One of the amazing things about acupuncture is that you don’t need to wait until you are sick before having acupuncture. Many people use acupuncture to maintain a good level of health and wellbeing as a preventative measure so they don’t get sick. Acupuncture helps to strengthen your immune system, keeping you healthy. Book a five element treatment with Kathy Hitchens at Balancing Acupuncture in Truro.

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If you’ve ever suffered from a migraine, you know how debilitating it can be. As well as a throbbing headache which is typically just on one side of your head, accompanying symptoms often include feeling sick, being sick and having an increased sensitivity to light and sound. It can seriously impact your daily life and often lying down in a dark, quiet room until the symptoms pass is the only answer. A migraine will last from 4 to 72 hours and can leave you feeling tired for several days afterwards.

Five element acupuncture is an effective and natural approach to finding relief from intense and debilitating migraines. This holistic therapy treats the whole person – body, mind and spirit – and helps manage the symptoms and frequency of migraines.

The cause of migraines is not fully known. Common triggers include lights, smells, noise, weather, hormonal changes and emotional stress. Everyone has their own threshold for what affects them. Some people experience visual disturbances such as blind spots or flashes of light before the start of a migraine. These warning signs are known as aura. Other people have no warning before a migraine attack begins. Migraines can also cause anxiety – do you worry about when the next migraine is going to strike and where you will be when it happens? Acupuncture can also help you feel more in control so that anxiety is less overwhelming.

The frequency of migraines differs for each person, but sometimes it can feel like a continuous cycle of pain, nausea, vomiting and fatigue. Over-the-counter painkillers often come nowhere near to relieving the symptoms so prescribed medication is required, although side effects can occur from frequent or prolonged use.

Some people try acupuncture because they want to reduce the amount of medication they take for migraines. Some people try acupuncture when they are told they cannot take the medication that will help their migraine symptoms. Ladies…imagine the joy of finding out that you are pregnant and then being told that your usual prescribed medication for migraines would be harmful to your baby. How will you get through the next few months?  Why not try acupuncture?

Five Element Acupuncture brings the body, mind and spirit into balance to improve your health and wellbeing. Book a treatment with Kathy Hitchens at Balancing Acupuncture in Truro.

It has never been more important to look after your physical health and mental health. Everyone is talking about it but are you doing it? Acupuncture can help with all sorts of physical, mental and emotional problems. There are a wide range of ages coming into the clinic for acupuncture, both men and women, from 20-something to 80-something and every decade in between. It is a great excuse to have a little snooze during the day on the treatment couch while the needles do their work. Book a five element treatment with Kathy Hitchens at Balancing Acupuncture in Truro.

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Acupuncture is great for relieving and managing pain due to short or long term injury and illness. But do you know it can help with mental and emotional issues as well? Do you lie awake at night with insomnia? Do you suffer from debilitating migraines? Are your hormones causing chaos? Do you have problems with your digestion? Are you feeling stressed with work, family or life in general? Are you struggling to get over something that happened to you? Do you get anxious or have panic attacks? Why not try acupuncture? Book a five element treatment with Kathy Hitchens at Balancing Acupuncture in Truro.

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21st December 2022 is the winter solstice with the shortest day and longest night, bringing minimum light and maximum darkness.

Winter requires us to slow down and be patient while we replenish our energy reserves. It is a time of uncertainty and we seek reassurance as we wait for the light to return. We must summon more willpower to get through these cold months than in the carefree warmth of summer.

In years gone by, winter was a time to rest and reflect after a busy year of sowing, growing and harvesting crops. There were fears that the stored food may not last the long dark season and the return of spring, when crops could be planted again, seemed a long way off. Conserving energy meant food supplies lasted longer so the chances of surviving the winter were better.

Water is the element associated with winter and has many forms. It can be a gentle trickling stream or a powerful crashing sea. It can be a raindrop in a puddle or an iceberg in an ocean. It can be a delicate dewdrop on a blade of grass or a snowstorm weighing down tree branches.

Water can be difficult to contain and has a strong determination to find a way to flow freely around obstacles placed in its path. It has willpower and strength to not give up but sometimes it can become stuck and unable to find a way through.

Does this sound like you? Does your fear and worry of what's to come sometimes hold you back? Do you feel like some days you can tackle any problem life throws at you and other days you get so bogged down trying to resolve problems that you go nowhere fast? If so, perhaps your Water element is out of balance.

“In the confrontation between the stream and the rock, the stream always wins…

not through strength, but through perseverance.”

H. Jackson Brown Jr

Five Element Acupuncture brings the body, mind and spirit into balance to improve your health and wellbeing. Book a treatment with Kathy Hitchens at Balancing Acupuncture in Truro.


Shoulder tendonitis is an inflammation of the rotator cuff tendons and/or biceps tendon. Tendons connect muscle to bone and can often become pinched and irritated from repetitive movements. The rotator cuff connects the upper arm bone (humerus) to the shoulder blade (scapula) and consists of four shoulder muscles that stabilise and move the shoulder joint and the tendons that attach the muscles to the bone.

Shoulder tendonitis is often associated with sports injuries when the shoulder is used in a repetitive overarm action such as in tennis, swimming or baseball/softball. Heavy lifting and occupations that have repetitive overarm movements such as painting, as well as everyday activities like gardening and scrubbing or cleaning may also cause tendonitis. Tendons become less flexible as we get older and so are more susceptible to injury.

It can cause swelling and tenderness in the front of the shoulder, and you are likely to feel a dull ache around the outside of your shoulder. Initial symptoms include pain when lifting your arm, especially above shoulder height and with forward reaching movements. As the problem progresses, reaching your arm behind your back becomes more painful so simple tasks like brushing your hair and putting on your coat become difficult. Lying on the affected shoulder hurts and the pain can worsen at night keeping you awake. After a period of time you may start to lose strength in your arm.

Rest is required to avoid continued aggravation of the tendons and gentle exercise helps to maintain movement and prevent frozen shoulder. Acupuncture can reduce the pain and inflammation caused by shoulder tendonitis and it also increases the blood circulation and qi (energy) flowing to the tendons, allowing your body to heal itself faster. Frozen shoulder is when the tissue covering the shoulder bones and rotator cuff muscles and tendons tightens and thickens on the shoulder joint causing severe pain, stiffness and immobility.

A trapped nerve in the back of your neck can also cause shoulder pain but this is a more intense sudden pain than the persistent dull ache from tendonitis. Shoulder pain from a trapped nerve in your neck usually occurs when moving your head and neck, rather than the shoulder pain from tendonitis that occurs when moving your arm. A trapped nerve in your neck can lead to a tingling and numb feeling going down your shoulder and arm to your hand and you should seek advice from your doctor if this happens.

Acupuncture for pain management helps your body to feel better which in turn uplifts your mind and spirit bringing a greater balance to your enjoyment of life. Book a treatment with Kathy Hitchens at Balancing Acupuncture in Truro.

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There are three main nerves in your arm that run from your neck to your hand – the median, ulnar and radial nerves. Acupuncture can reduce the pain and swelling caused by nerve entrapment and it also increases the blood circulation and qi (energy) flowing to the area, allowing your body to heal itself faster.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is due to pressure on the median nerve in the wrist where it passes through the carpal tunnel. The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway surrounded by bones and ligaments on the palm side of your hand. A broken wrist or arthritis in the wrist joint can narrow the carpal tunnel space. The median nerve can also be damaged by repetitive flexing of the wrist causing swelling that puts pressure on the nerve. Typing on a keyboard or using a computer mouse while resting your wrist on a hard surface can increase pressure on the nerve.

Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome are numbness and tingling in your thumb, index, middle and ring fingers that comes and goes to begin with and may be worse at night if you sleep with your wrists bent. Over time you may lost thumb dexterity and start to have difficulty gripping things with your fingers or doing simple tasks such as buttoning a shirt. Pain or tingling may travel up your forearm from your wrist. Acupuncture can help to relieve the pain, tingling and numbness. 

Cubital tunnel syndrome is when the ulnar nerve on the inside of the elbow becomes inflamed, swollen and irritated due to compression or stretching. The cubital tunnel is a narrow tunnel of tissue under the medial epicondyle which is the bony bump on the inside of your elbow. The ulnar nerve is most vulnerable where it goes through the cubital tunnel. When you hit your funny bone and feel a shock-like sensation in your arm, this is the ulnar nerve being pinched on the inside of your elbow. Many people suffering from golfer’s elbow also experience cubital tunnel syndrome. 

Initial symptoms of cubital tunnel syndrome are numbness and tingling in your pinky and ring finger that comes and goes. Someone who leans on their elbows a lot with their arms bent may experience this due to the pressure on the nerve. If you sleep with your elbows bent, you may find that your pinky and ring fingers are numb when you wake up because the nerve has been stretched around the bent elbow. The cubital tunnel can also be narrowed by arthritis of the elbow joint or by an injury. Over time these symptoms can become more persistent along with an aching pain on the inside of your elbow and muscle weakness affecting the arm and hand. Acupuncture can help to relieve the pain and discomfort.

Acupuncture for pain management helps your body to feel better which in turn uplifts your mind and spirit bringing a greater balance to your enjoyment of life. Book a treatment with Kathy Hitchens at Balancing Acupuncture in Truro.

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Elbow tendonitis is more commonly known as tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow. They are repetitive strain injuries that occur when the tendons attaching the forearm muscles to the bony bumps (epicondyles) on the outside and inside of the elbow become inflamed due to overuse and repetitive motions, leading to small tears in the tendon.  The tendonitis often occurs in your dominant arm, so if you are right-handed it is more likely to develop in your right elbow.

The forearm muscles allow you to grip, lift, rotate and flex your wrist, and these actions may become difficult or painful. Pain is felt on the outside or inside of your elbow and it may radiate along your forearm to your wrist. Your elbow may become stiff and you might have weakness or tingling in your arm or hand.

Rest is required to avoid continued aggravation of the tendon and gentle exercise helps to maintain movement. Symptoms may slowly get worse over time if the injury is not allowed to heal. Acupuncture can reduce the pain and swelling caused by elbow tendonitis and it also increases the blood circulation and qi (energy) flowing to the tendon, allowing your body to heal itself faster.

Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) causes pain on the outside of the elbow.  The name comes from the arm motion when hitting a backhand in tennis, putting stress on the back of the wrist and the tendon connecting the forearm extensor muscles to the outside of the elbow. Tennis elbow affects the muscles used to bend the wrist backwards and straighten your fingers. Pain is felt when lifting objects with your palm facing upwards.

Golfer’s elbow (medial epicondylitis) causes pain on the inside of the elbow. The name comes from the arm motion when swinging to hit a golf ball (and similar to hitting a forehand in tennis), putting stress on the front of the wrist and the tendon connecting the forearm flexor muscles to the inside of the elbow. Golfer’s elbow affects the muscles that flex your wrist and close your fingers into a fist. Pain is felt when lifting objects with your palm facing downwards.

However tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow does not just happen with sports. Many people with manual jobs recognise the tendonitis pain as repetitive strain injury from repetitive arm motion making plumbers, carpenters and painters susceptible. Everyday activities can also put repetitive stress and strain on your forearms such as lifting and carrying heavy bags, small hand and wrist movements when typing on a keyboard or knitting for several hours, and twisting your wrist when using a screwdriver or opening a jar.

Acupuncture for pain management helps your body to feel better which in turn uplifts your mind and spirit bringing a greater balance to your enjoyment of life. Book a treatment with Kathy Hitchens at Balancing Acupuncture in Truro.


The Achilles tendon in the back of the leg connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. It is the largest and strongest tendon in the body and allows us to raise our heels and push with our toes to walk, run and jump. It is under a lot of stress and pressure every day and is susceptible to damage.

Acupuncture can reduce the pain and swelling caused by damage to the Achilles tendon and it also increases the blood circulation and qi (energy) flowing to the tendon, allowing your body to heal itself faster.

The term ‘Achilles heel’ is used to describe a weakness or vulnerability in an otherwise strong person which can lead to their downfall. In Greek mythology, Achilles was a mighty warrior of the Trojan War. When he was a child his mother dipped him in the waters of the River Styx making him all but immortal, with only his heel remaining vulnerable where she had held him. He died in battle after being shot with an arrow in the heel. Acupuncture needles are much more beneficial!

Achilles tendonitis is a repetitive stress injury that occurs over time from repeated stress and pressure on the Achilles tendon.  It often happens when we push our body to do too much, too quickly, such as when running or playing high impact sports.  The tendon becomes irritated and inflamed and there is usually a gradual onset of pain and discomfort.  The pain is worse after periods of inactivity such as first thing in the morning or after sitting for a while. There are two types of Achilles tendonitis. Small tears can occur in the middle of the tendon during sports activities, or small tears and bone spurs can occur in the lower part of the tendon where it meets the heel bone in active or inactive people. Rest and gentle exercise that does not put too much stress on the Achilles tendon is often recommended. Recovery can take several weeks.

Achilles tendonitis causes pain at the back of the heel and pain tends to get worse with activity. In contrast, plantar fasciitis (inflammation of the plantar fascia which is the band of tissue on the sole of your foot connecting the heel bone to the toes) causes pain on the bottom of the heel which tends to get better with activity.

An Achilles rupture is when the tendon tears suddenly due to being overstretched. Usually a popping or snapping sound is heard and you feel a sudden, sharp and severe pain in the back of your leg, which eventually settles into a dull ache. You may have difficulty walking or not be able to put your full weight on the affected leg or stand on tip toes. Immediate medical attention should be sought and surgery may be required. Recovery can take several months.

Acupuncture for pain management helps your body to feel better which in turn uplifts your mind and spirit bringing a greater balance to your enjoyment of life. Book a treatment with Kathy Hitchens at Balancing Acupuncture in Truro.

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23rd September 2022 is the autumn equinox when once again day and night are equal, light and dark are balanced. We say goodbye to carefree summer and abundant late summer and turn towards autumn when we start to slow down and take stock of what is needed to get through the colder, darker months. It is a chance to release the past and move forward with clarity. The trees have a colourful patchwork of leaves before they tumble through the crisp air to create a carpet that crunches under our feet. The leaves eventually become nutrients that are stored in the tree roots over the winter.

Autumn is a time to let go of things we no longer need or have lost, so that we can accept change and make room for new things.  Letting go allows us to realise what is most important to us so that we recognise what we still have and can decide to move forward with it. Letting go is part of the grief process which some people try to avoid because they don’t want to experience its pain, or they associate grief with weakness.

Metal is the element associated with autumn, cutting through life’s clutter and debris allowing clear and precise thought processes to give us order, structure and precision, as well as a sense of purpose and self-esteem.  In years gone by, autumn was the time when abundance was past its peak and people had to be sensible to make supplies last over the coming months. It was important to be level-headed and keep on top of things.

Metal likes to maintain boundaries and values traditions but can become opinionated if it tries too rigidly to stick to a principle. Goals are assessed and then pursued to perfection. However this desire for perfectionism can make it difficult to let go, leading to a lack of motivation, depression and despair. The structured order turns to chaos.

Does this sound like you? Are you a perfectionist? Do you feel easily overwhelmed if everything isn’t perfect? Is your house immaculately clean and tidy, or is it cluttered and full of things you no longer use? Are you holding on to memories of something that happened in the past which is stopping you moving forward? Has life lost its purpose and you have a feeling of hopelessness? If so, perhaps your Metal element is out of balance.

 “The trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let things go.”


Five Element Acupuncture brings the body, mind and spirit into balance to improve your health and wellbeing. Book a treatment with Kathy Hitchens at Balancing Acupuncture in Truro.

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Late summer is a turning point between the yang seasons of spring and summer and the yin seasons of autumn and winter. The warmth of summer is still in the air but the mornings are getting cooler and the daylight is gradually becoming shorter in the evenings.

Late summer is when we are happy and content with what we have. It is a time of being busy and sociable, centred around a relaxed calmness, making people feel safe and cosy. In years gone by, late summer was the time of harvest and giving thanks for everything the soil had produced. Bringing in the harvest was hard work but it was done with relaxed contentment, knowing that it meant full store cupboards. A poor harvest led to worry and people knew they would have to adapt.

Earth is the element associated with late summer giving us a feeling of stability. It allows us to think clearly and transform ideas into action. However if we become too comfortable and content we have less of a desire for change and can become indecisive and uncertain. Earth loses its stability and thoughts churn in an endless spiral. Nothing is achieved, leading to worry and anxiety.

Earth is generous during times of abundance, and thrifty during times of need. It makes the most of what there is but always has something to give without expecting anything in return. It has the ability to make something out of barely anything when necessary. But if there is nothing left to give, Earth will start to feel sorry for itself and seek sympathy, which turns into insecurity and neediness.

Does this sound like you? Do you find that you are always rushing around trying to help everyone else but never have time to look after yourself? Do you struggle to say ‘no’ and keep taking on more and more? Do you find that you think about things too much, not able to make up your mind, which leads to more worry? If so, perhaps your Earth element is out of balance.

 “Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are.

When you realise there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.”

Lao Tzu

Five Element Acupuncture brings the body, mind and spirit into balance to improve your health and wellbeing. Book a treatment with Kathy Hitchens at Balancing Acupuncture in Truro.

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21st June 2022 is the summer solstice with the longest day and shortest night, bringing maximum light and minimum darkness. The wheel of life has turned from spring to summer.

Summer brings us feelings of lightness, happiness and openness. In years gone by, summer was a time for celebrating and relaxing when maximum growth was nearly complete after a busy spring. Crops had grown and everyone could enjoy themselves before harvest time arrived.

Fire is the element associated with summer giving us warmth, passion and vitality, whether it’s a crackling campfire, a romantic candle or the light of the sun. It allows us to love, to be spontaneous, and to live in the moment and feel alive.

Fire allows a person to communicate, make connections and develop relationships. It thrives on social interaction and attracting attention. It is colourful and extravagant. Fire is driven by fun, with sparkling eyes full of joy and enthusiasm. It wants you to join in the excitement, the smiles and laughter are contagious.

Fire is hot and active, quickly rising upward and outward, speeding things up and promoting activity and transformation. Fire creates heat which is essential to life and growth but too much heat can destroy life, withering and burning crops. If the Fire gets out of control, a charismatic personality turns fanatic, always laughing and partying, constantly seeking joy, needing more and more each time. Too little heat and life falters, growth is limited and crop yield is low. An undernourished Fire seems cold and distant, with a lack of spark, craving connection but being incapable of nurturing it. If a person lacks the fire of enthusiasm they become inhibited which leads to insecurity, and the passionate fire is suffocated by doubt and worry. Does this sound like you? Are you feeling a bit out of control and burnt out, or feeling like you’ve lost your spark and your get-up-and-go?  If so, perhaps your Fire element is out of balance.

 “Set your life on fire, seek those who fan your flames.”


Five Element Acupuncture brings the body, mind and spirit into balance to improve your health and wellbeing. Book a treatment with Kathy Hitchens at Balancing Acupuncture in Truro.


Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis are the two most common types of arthritis. They both cause damage in different ways but both lead to painful, swollen and stiff joints which can make life harder and affect simple, everyday activities. Acupuncture around the affected joint can help to relieve the pain caused by arthritis. I have had successful results in the clinic in treating arthritis pain, particularly in hands to benefit finger dexterity. If you suffer from arthritis, why not give acupuncture a try?

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis and affects millions of people. It is a degenerative disease that gets worse over time due to wear and tear on a joint, reducing the amount of protective cartilage between bones and causing swelling and bony spurs to form. Severe cartilage deterioration can result in bone rubbing against bone which can lead to the joint changing shape.

Typical symptoms are joint pain and stiffness with problems moving the joint. It often affects the hands, knees, hips or spine but any moving joint could be damaged. Causes are age, injury, family history or obesity and it is more common in women than men.

Osteoarthritis cannot be cured but the pain can be managed. Regular gentle exercise will help keep joints moving, while maintaining a healthy weight will help reduce stress on joints. Over-the-counter painkillers or prescription medication can help with pain relief. Acupuncture is an effective alternative treatment for pain relief.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system targets healthy joints leading to pain, inflammation and stiffness. It mistakenly attacks the tissue forming the outer covering of the joint which causes painful swelling and eventually it can lead to bone erosion and joint deformity.

It commonly affects smaller joints first, such as in the hands and feet before moving on to larger joints and it is usually symmetrical, affecting the same joints on both sides of the body. Symptoms come and go in ‘flare ups’. Other symptoms apart from painful swollen joints may affect the body such as fatigue and fever. Causes are genetics (family history), hormones (it is more common in women than men) and smoking.

Rheumatoid arthritis cannot be cured but early treatment with medication can slow the progression of the disease to prevent it getting worse. It should be diagnosed and treated by your doctor in the first instance. Over-the-counter painkillers or prescription medication can help with pain relief, but once again acupuncture can help ease the symptoms.

Acupuncture for pain management helps your body to feel better which in turn uplifts your mind and spirit bringing a greater balance to your enjoyment of life. Book a treatment with Kathy Hitchens at Balancing Acupuncture in Truro.


Sciatica is pain caused by the sciatic nerve when it becomes inflamed or trapped. The sciatic nerve starts in your lower back at the lumbar region of your spine and spreads out towards your hips, over your buttocks and down the back of your legs to your ankles. The pain is often felt as a constant dull ache in your lower back which can become a sharper stabbing pain in the upper leg with a tingling pins and needles sensation radiating down to your knee and sometimes as far as your ankle. Usually only one side of the body is affected. Occasionally pain can be felt in the front of your upper leg and groin. Simple tasks like putting on your socks and shoes or getting in and out of a car become difficult and painful.

Sitting in an upright position with your back supported often feels the comfiest, however the pain and discomfort can increase with sitting for too long in the same position, such as when watching tv or driving, and you find yourself fidgeting around every few minutes trying to find a new comfier position. Standing up will sometimes help but again, standing for too long (especially in one position) will create more pain and discomfort, in which case sitting down can help. And so the cycle of pain continues.

The cause of the sciatica may be temporary or permanent depending on what has irritated the sciatic nerve. The pain is often managed by over-the-counter painkillers or stronger prescription drugs if necessary. In some cases, surgery may be a last resort.

Acupuncture is very good for managing the pain from sciatica and provides an alternative for many people to popping pills all the time.

I have successfully treated sciatica in the clinic, including my husband who has a degenerative lower back condition which has trapped his sciatic nerve, causing him constant pain and forcing him to leave his job. He has acupuncture treatments every 2-3 weeks to help manage the pain and discomfort which allows him to reduce the amount of over-the-counter painkillers he takes. I know when he is in pain and ready for another acupuncture session because he is constantly shifting his position trying to get comfortable. For him, acupuncture will not cure the sciatica but it relieves the pain sufficiently to allow him to lead a relatively normal life. If you or someone you know is suffering from sciatica, why not give acupuncture a try.

Acupuncture for pain management helps your body to feel better which in turn uplifts your mind and spirit bringing a greater balance to your enjoyment of life. Book a treatment with Kathy Hitchens at Balancing Acupuncture in Truro.

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20th March 2022 is the spring equinox when day and night are equal, light and dark are balanced.

Yin and yang are complimentary opposites where one cannot exist without the other. The balance of yin and yang forms nature’s continuous cycle of change and transformation. Yin is dark, cold, slow, inwards, contraction. Yang is light, hot, fast, outwards, expansion. As we emerge from winter and turn towards spring, we start to become more active as the daylight lengthens and the temperature rises.

Spring involves movement and growth, with the energy of new life bursting forth. In years gone by, spring was a time of hard work, ploughing and sowing, that had to be done without question. There would be no harvest later in the year without planting now. Standing still was not an option.

Wood is the element associated with spring when plans are made and turned into actions. It is constantly moving forwards, upwards, outwards, like a seed pushing new green shoots out of the ground. Wood needs space and freedom to grow and expand without being confined. If something gets in the way, pressure builds until an angry explosion occurs. It needs to be flexible to change and adapt to get around obstacles so it can continue to move forward to reach its goal.

Does this sound like you? Do you feel like you are hopelessly stuck, rigidly following the same plan with no flexibility to form new plans to move forward? Or perhaps you have so many plans that keeping them under control is difficult and they’ve turned to chaos. Do you quickly lose your patience if something stops you from doing what you had planned to do? If so, perhaps your Wood element is out of balance.

“Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still.”

Chinese proverb

 “The bamboo that bends is stronger than the oak that resists.”

Japanese proverb

Five Element Acupuncture brings the body, mind and spirit into balance to improve your health and wellbeing. Book a treatment with Kathy Hitchens at Balancing Acupuncture in Truro.