The 3--Step Flourish Formula
1: Initial Asessment
Everything begins with you taking the time to talk and me taking the time to listen to your whole story. We spend 1½ hours talking everything through, encompassing not just the problem you want help with now, but a full and detailed health and lifestyle history. I'll ask you to send through any test results in advance so I can study them. You should also expect questions about your sleep, your nutrition, your bodily functions, your stress levels, your lifestyle. Sometimes finding the root of the problem takes some digging, so I help you dig. If we’re meeting face-to-face, I’ll also take your pulse, look at your tongue, examine various parts of your body (don’t worry, nothing scary) and take your blood pressure.
After you leave, I'll spend a further couple of hours weaving it all together. I spot gaps, I research, I find patterns, I make a plan and I tell you all about it in a written report including recommendations and next steps.
I have a potent range of tools to help you get on with your life.
Typically our work together will encompass a range of these tools – here is a selection
Safe and effective. I integrate two main styles of acupuncture to give you a truly comprehensive approach: Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is used for specific focus on particular groups of symptoms. Five Element Constitutional Acupuncture is used to assess and treat imbalances of body, mind and spirit. Together, they offer a powerful system to get to the root cause and get 'you' back - the real 'you' that is healthy, can grow and feel fully alive.
Being able to offer emotional support when needed is a vital component of my work. Weaving Mindfulness and Compassion techniques, exercises and practices into my work means that both your physical and emotional health are taken care of. Interwoven with acupuncture, you benefit from a tremendously powerful form of emotional support.
Blood tests give us vital information about you and your body and monitoring progress. I can tell you what you need and direct you back to the NHS or order tests for you (note additional cost). In some cases we will use finger-prick tests that, in other cases arrangements will need to be made for taking blood.
A personalised protocol of points may be taught to you so that you can apply gentle stimulation using fingers and thumbs. This helps reinforce the work we do with needles face-to-face. Please, no DIY though - this should only be carried out as instructed and under Judy's guidance and supervision.
A technique using the herb mugwort (moxa) to warm areas of the body and stimulate circulation. Especially useful for warming wombs and strengthening blood flow, and very pleasant and relaxing.
Placement of suction cups onto specific areas of the body to stimulate circulation and relieve pain.
Similar to cupping but this technique scrapes the skin with a massage tool to stimulate micro-circulation, increase blood flow and reduce inflammation.
A non-invasive method of gently stimulating specific acupuncture points using small adhesive magnets.
Remedial massage techniques using pressing, rubbing, kneading and pinching to bring your body back into balance.
The maze of lifestyle and self-care options can be bewildering and detrimental if taken too far. We look at sleep, nutrition, exercise, hormonal balance, minimizing toxins and a myriad of other things. The focus is always on knowing your root causes and doing what's best for you whilst also recognising that no-one can lead a perfect lifestyle all the time and that being 'good enough' is good enough.
I am a firm believer that knowledge is power, so knowing how your body works and understanding why we are doing what we're doing is a vital part of the process. So do ask questions, I love questions! They keep me motivated and inspired.
If I don't have all the answers I have access to some of the most amazing and experienced practitioners in the country via my carefully nurtured professional networks. I often recommend a course of herbal medicine - you will be directed to a qualified Herbalist for your prescription. I also frequently refer to medical consultants, ultrasound scanning, gynae physios, functional nutritionists and others. Whoever we need on your team, I'll help you find them.
3: Monitor and Maintain
Bodies, and the people in them, take time to change and heal and many of the people I work with are running on empty by the time they come to me. I often using a banking analogy to illustrate how health and energy can ebb and flow: in an ideal world, you would have a stable current account where money comes in and goes out but you're never running too low. You'd then have an overdraft facility you could dip into occasionally, but quickly dip out of it again without any problem. You'd then have your savings reserves for the big things, the rainy day and emergencies. By the time they come to see me, many people have used up the savings, are constantly dipping into the overdraft and their current account is instable. We work together to stabilise the fluctuations, but only once the overdraft and savings are well-establisehd again do you get long-standing, sustainable change, and that takes time.
That's not to say that we treat indefinitely - we monitor and review progress regularly, we adjust as necessary and we agree on a sensible way forward.
The goal above all is lasting, sustainable change, not a quick fix or a yo-yo-ing of symptoms getting better then coming back again.
This approach is not for those looking for the next quick fix. It's very likely I will suggest lifestyle changes and whilst I can recommend, explain, signpost, encourage, support and give a great pep talk, you have to be willing to play your part too.
How often will I need to attend?
Once I have the full picture of you and your needs from the initial assessment, I will provide an indication of how many treatments I think you will need. This is a guide only as it is impossible to know how someone will respond to treatment until we get started. We review on a regular basis, and you are never tied into a fixed number of sessions or a contract of any sort.
Typically a course of treatment is needed, on a weekly basis initially then spacing out as things improve.
For Optimising Fertility - Natural or Assisted:
A 3-4 month course of weekly treatment is strongly recommended (and the evidence supports this) in order to have a chance of influencing the entire process of folliculogenesis which takes roughly 100 days (the time for a tiny bunch of cells hidden deep in the ovary to develop, become hormonally activated, grow, and finally be ovulated (or collected in IVF)).
Preparation is the key: I am happy to work with women at any stage of their fertility journey, but just know that to fully optimise your chances, 3-4 months of preparation is the gold standard, regardless of age.
During an IVF cycle we tailor our work together around the various stages of the cycle and how you are responding, increasing and decreasing the frequency of treatment as needed.
A word about 'medical acupuncture'
In recent years, ‘medical acupuncture’ or ‘dry needling’ has risen in popularity. This is the use of needles by other healthcare professionals - such as physiotherapists, osteopaths, chiropractors - to treat a very limited range of symptoms (usually focussed on the musculoskeletal system) alongside their usual mode of practice. Practitioners offering medical acupuncture usually only have a few days training and do not have the same breadth of knowledge of acupuncture and Chinese medicine as a Traditional Acupuncturist. You should always check the credentials and experience of anyone you work with. If they are a Member of The British Acupuncture Council (with the letters MBAcC after their name) this means they have full degree-level training in Acupuncture with over 3600 hours of study.
For seeking Acupuncture for working on fertility, pregnancy and gynaecology, you should only work with a Traditional Acupuncturist with specialist training and experience in this area.