Posted by: corneliadavies | February 17, 2015

Salt of the earth              salt of the earth

Salt: eating a certain amount is essential to our bodies’ fluid balance. Too much is harmful. How much to add to your cooking or food depends, largely, on whether you eat mostly home-prepared food or shop bought ready-made food.

How much salt to we need? According to most conventional dietary advice once we’re over 11 years old we need approximately 6 grams of salt daily. That’s about 1.2 teaspoons.

Considering all the advice we’ve had over the years that sounds a lot, doesn’t it?

If you eat a ready meal from a supermarket it’ll have a fair amount of salt in it to preserve it, and probably to make it seem more flavoursome than a competitor’s ready meal. You could have a look at the pack and see how much salt it has in it.

If you eat homemade food it will most likely have some salt in it, but a lot less than the ready meal.

As long as your taste buds haven’t become “addicted” to salt you should know whether or not to add salt to a meal. However, if you’re a junk food or salt “addict” you probably need to cut down. All those things like crisps, instant soups, baked beans, ready-made pizzas, salted peanuts etc have added salt in them. Generally it won’t be good, wholesome sea salt or rock salt either. It’ll be the cheaper table salt, produced in a factory, and less recognisable for your body’s absorption process.

So, some final points, don’t add the whole teaspoon and a bit… you certainly won’t need to. Don’t add any if you eat more than a tiny amount of ready-made food. But don’t deprive yourself of salt, either. And DO use natural sea salt or rock salt, both of which are more nutritious.

Be discerning and check several internet sources for advice on salt, and do check the ingredients listed on ready meals and snacks.

Posted by: corneliadavies | September 25, 2014

Acupuncture Insights

Acupuncture Insights…

In acupuncture, tongue and pulse diagnosis give such an accurate view into the body-mind-spirit that sometimes when I ask people questions based on what I’ve identified they think I’m psychic, and that I can see the workings of their very minds. Luckily I’m not, and I can’t read their minds! However, the findings from tongue and pulse help enormously when planning effective treatment strategies.

Acupuncture Kingsbridge Cornelia Davies 2014

This is really true. Frequently, after I’ve taken someone’s pulses I’ll consider what I’ve felt, and I’ll ask something like, “Do you get indigestion or heartburn?” and they’ll answer with a slightly surprised affirmative. Or I may ask an affable, friendly person, “Oh… what’s your temper like?” and they’ll sheepishly admit that things can get a bit fiery for their loved ones. They’ll ask me how I know and I’ll say, “I felt a certain quality on a particular pulse that relates to anger and frustration, and I wondered whether it meant you can have a slightly short fuse…“ Usually this produces a bit of embarrassed laughter. We then set to with specific acupuncture points that, over a period of time, can help wind down frustration.

Then there are the people who hide their tiredness very well, and don’t mention this when they list their symptoms. I may look at someone’s tongue and be shocked at how lacking in energy it is compared to how they present themselves to the world. “Hold on, I’ll say, just how tired ARE you?” “Exhausted,” they’ll reply, but they’re so used to covering it and carrying on that they can look deceptively alert.

One of the things I like most about these insights into the inner workings of individuals is that they flag up problems that people become so used to that they forget to ask for help in solving them. In fact, usually, people don’t think there are possible solutions to these things that are so deeply entrenched. I wouldn’t claim that we can “cure” everything with acupuncture, but it’s amazing how many “side” issues begin to resolve while we’re working on the main problem someone came to acupuncture with.

Just to reiterate, I’m NOT psychic: acupuncture diagnosis is a beautifully worked-out and logical system.

Posted by: corneliadavies | June 4, 2014

Scalp Acupuncture

Scalp Acupuncture

Photo goes with previous blog on scalp acupuncture. Scalp acupuncture treatment in progress.

Posted by: corneliadavies | June 4, 2014

Scalp Acupuncture

Scalp acupuncture

I’ve recently been on a post-graduate course in scalp acupuncture. While most of us acupuncturists use points on the scalp, scalp acupuncture is a different discipline, which uses joined-up zones on the scalp, and which has a different theory behind it. As is the case for many acupuncturists, some of the theory was covered during my TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) training in China, but no practical was included. I’ve wanted to do a hands-on scalp acupuncture course for ages, as I’ve had a growing suspicion that it would enhance the treatment I can offer to a specific handful of people in my practice. However, there aren’t often scalp acupuncture courses available in the UK, so this was an exciting opportunity.

The course was great: we covered theory, and we also spent some happy practical time working out how to locate the zones, measuring each other’s heads, and finally, carefully and gently, learning the needling techniques, which are slightly different from regular acupuncture ones. So I had my head zones needled as well as trying it out on my fellow work-shoppers. (Don’t ever let me hear you say I don’t practise what I preach!)

One of my colleagues, a lovely man called Paul had the “right” sort of haircut (shaved!) and, inevitably, he went home with felt pen lines drawn on his head, which he encouraged us all to photograph and film. Our lecturer, Dr Liu, was worried about marking up Paul’s head: “But you’ll go home with marks showing on your head…”  “It wouldn’t be the first time,” answered Paul with a genial smile, “Acupuncturists always want to draw on my head!”

Scalp acupuncture was pioneered in the 1970s by various Chinese doctors. One of these, Dr Jiao Shunfa, was a doctor of neurology who developed scalp acupuncture as a further method of benefitting brain function.  Because of his neurological expertise, he was able to identify specific area of the brain that he felt might benefit from the insertion of acupuncture needles close by, though on the outside of the scull, in the scalp. All Chinese doctors study both Western medicine and TCM during their training, which puts them in a strong position when it comes to combining knowledge of both disciplines.

Nowadays, scalp acupuncture is used in Chinese hospital departments, particularly ones working in the fields of neurological problems, such as stroke rehabilitation and Parkinson’s disease.

Not all Western acupuncturists use scalp (zone) acupuncture, as there are all sorts of different post-graduate training opportunities open to us each year, and we each make our own choices on how best to advance our professional skills.

For the majority of patients TCM alone is a very, very good option. However, I’m beginning to experience that the addition of scalp acupuncture is useful with certain people with specific, mainly neurological issues.

If you’d like to read more about scalp acupuncture you could try googling and see what comes up, or try this link:

Posted by: corneliadavies | May 3, 2012

Update on ‘Oetzi’ the acupuncture iceman

Here’s an update on ‘Oetzi’ the 5,300 year-old man found in an Austrian glacier. Oetzi has acupuncture points tattooed on him. These points are in the same positions as ones that could be used in modern times to treat the sort of degenerative bone issues that showed up on scans of Oetzi’s mummified body. This is interesting as it shows that there was knowledge of acupuncture points as early as 3,000 BC.  Ancient stone acupuncture needles have been found in Mongolia, dating from 7,000 years ago, but this is the oldest body showing such marks.

Scientists are still examining his body and have recently discovered that he didn’t die immediately from an arrow wound that was previously thought to have killed him and they’ve managed to identify traces of blood around the wound.

Posted by: corneliadavies | April 19, 2012

Here’s a link …

Here’s a link to an interesting research pilot study on acupuncture and depression from the University of York. Results so far show that GP referral patients are as likely to choose acupuncture as seeing their GP in cases of depression, and are more likely to choose acupuncture than counselling. A full research study is likely to follow now that these results are out.

Posted by: corneliadavies | April 6, 2012

Tai Chi is good for the heart and circulation

Here’s a short article about a piece of research that’s shown tai chi is a good exercise to keep the heart healthy in elderly people:

Posted by: corneliadavies | March 13, 2012

Acupuncture’s positive effect on mystery illnesses

Here’s a link to an article about good research results in a study on the use of acupuncture in the treatment of people with mystery illnesses.


Apart from the benefits to the patients in the study, the author points out the benefit to the healthcare budget, as people with mysterious illness generally cost the healthcare system more than people with more easily diagnosed illnesses.

Posted by: corneliadavies | October 21, 2009

My New Book Is Out!


This past few weeks, I’ve been so busy with the details of my book publication that I had failed to mention in my blog that it was even on the way!

The book is called Acupuncture: The Limericks, and it’s what it says and more. If you’ve ever wanted to find out about acupuncture, the easy way, this is it. You can read about what patients feel about treatment, diagnoses, acupuncture used for specific illnesses, cosmetic treatment, yin and yang and so much more… and each tiny chapter is summed up in a couple of limericks.

More about this soon, but meanwhile here’s one about a sports’ enthusiast:

Young Elizabeth’s damaged her wrist,

Squished at squash… hit too hard… wished she’d missed!

Then she let out a yelp,

Called Doc Pins for some help…

And the gist? “Help this twist to desist!”

Posted by: corneliadavies | August 22, 2009

Hello world!

Hello. Welcome to my acupuncture blog.

I am an acupuncturist working in Loddiswell and Kingsbridge, South Devon, UK. I am a member of the British Acupuncture Council. I trained in the UK in the early 1980s and have upgraded my skills frequently, including during an extended training in China.

I am widely known as Nini.

Here’s a link to my website:

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