Information on COVID-19 and Staying Healthy

Information on Coronavirus / COVID-19
‘Coronavirus’ is a novel pneumonia infection that attacks the immune system. Doctors in China have identified four stages to the disease. The majority of those infected will be either asymptomatic or only experience the Mild Stage. Generally, only those with underlying health issues (particularly of the lungs and heart, as well as kidneys) will experience the Severe Stage. Please note that this is a simplified list (there are substages in each stage), and that not everyone will experience all symptoms:

  1. Mild Stage – Symptoms include fever with aversion to cold, and or aversion to heat, dry cough, dry throat, extreme fatigue, chest oppression, bloating / full feeling in stomach, nausea, loose stools.
  2. Early Stage – Fever with aversion to cold or heat, dry cough, dry throat, extreme fatigue, heavy or tight feeling in the chest, severe bloated / full feeling, nausea, loose stools.
  3. Severe Stage – Above symptoms plus severe shortness of breath and difficulty breathing (worse on movement), wheezing, phlegm, constipation and irritability. Loss of consciousness.
  4. Recovery Stage – Cold sensations, feeling hot at night, extreme fatigue, thirst, low appetite, loose stools or constipation.

China has an integrated medical system and has been using a combination of Western drugs (anti-viral medication) and equipment (respiratory assistance and ventilators) alongside herbal medicine.

From a Chinese Medicine perspective, the virus is a damp-cold pathogen which moves internally affecting the digestive system and lungs. It can then progress below, affecting the kidneys, and move upwards, affecting the sinuses, head and mind. As the disease worsens the dampness stagnates, leading to heat symptoms.

How To Protect Yourself At This Time
As we know that COVID-19 starts out as a damp-cold pathogen, there are several things we can do to protect and limit its effects, which are most pronounced on the lungs and digestive system in the early stages. See below for more detailed information. It’s also important to keep up with gentle exercise and to make sure to get out into fresh air. It’s, understandably a stressful time, so it’s also important to be mindful of this – being aware of the breath is really important. Remember to breathe deeply as much as possible!

Note: COVID-19 is a rapidly changing virus – this information is for those who are healthy or with very mild flu symptoms, similar to the ‘Mild Stage’ above. Consult NHS111 as soon as possible if you are concerned about any symptoms you are experiencing.

Tonify the Digestion
  1. Eat well and eat regularly!
  2. Foods such as root vegetables, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, whole grains, soups and stews, as well as a little good quality meat and bone broths will tonity the stomach and spleen.
  3. Stewed fruits, eaten warm with a little honey and cinnamon are a great way to warm and nourish at the end of a meal.
  4. Adding digestion warming herbs and spices, such as parsley, ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, fennel and cardamom will help warm and tonify the digestion.
  5. Avoid damp forming foods: sugar, fried foods, fatty foods, raw food, cold food. Avoid too much processed wheat, especially if you do not digest it particularly well, likewise dairy.

Protect the Lungs

  1. Keep dry and warm, and wear sufficient clothing, especially outdoors. Avoid getting wet and rained on and don’t go out with wet hair. Keep your house nice and warm!
  2. Use essential oils to strengthen the lungs and clear damp-cold and phlegm. These include pine, cinnamon, eucalyptus, ginger, juniper, rosemary, and atlas cedarwood. Clove and niaouli, as well as eucalyptus and pine are great anti-virals. Put a few drops of the oils into a burner and diffuse to fill the room.
  3. Practise Qi Gong and Tai Chi. Here are some videos you can follow at home if you’re unable to get to a class:

Quick & Easy Warming Smoothie

Golden milk

1 can of Coconut milk
1 + 1/2 glass rice or oat milk
10g fresh ginger
Black pepper (ground 5-7 seeds)
3 tsp turmeric
1-2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp honey
A pinch of salt
Warm & blend the mixture.
Drink while still warm.
It’s delicious!!

Herbal Medicine For Protection

Doctors in China have been using herbal medicine alongside Western drugs in the majority of cases. They have suggested two formulas for prevention. One for healthy people who have been in contact with those affected, the other for those who are showing symptoms such as aversion to cold, common cold, blocked sinuses, runny nose, muscle soreness, and headache.

Please let us know via email at if you would like more information.

Herbal Medicine For General Health

For the foreseeable future we are unable to carry out acupuncture appointments, in light of the current situation, and as the Old Fire Station has closed to the public. In the meantime, we will be offering reduced rate herbal medicine appointments.
Herbs can be great for muscle tightness, stress and anxiety, digestive issues, insomnia, and more. We’ll be sending another newsletter out soon with full details including price etc, but please don’t hesitate to contact us if you’d like more information.

Stay healthy everyone!
Sam, Sara and Andrew
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Price Change from November 2016

At Bright Room Community Acupuncture our aim has always been to provide the best possible treatments at a price that everyone can afford. Our sliding scale payment system is a reflection of this, and we set the bottom end of this scale as low as we possibly could.

We’ve been open for over four years now, and in that time our overheads have gradually crept up, in all areas of our operation. Despite this, we’ve tried to keep our original prices for as long as possible. Unfortunately, the time has now come when we have had to increase our minimum treatment price, to reflect the overall increase in the cost of running Bright Room.

So, from the start of November, 2016, we will have a new sliding scale for our treatments:

£20 – £40

We believe that this still represents incredible value for money, and remains the cheapest price for treatments of this kind in London, if not in the United Kingdom as a whole.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about our new prices.

The Bright Room Team

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Affordable Qi Gong Class at Bright Room Acupuncture

Affordable Qi Gong Class in Stoke Newington, London

Come to our Qi Gong class, every Thursday evening from 8pm to 9.15pm. The cost of the class is on a sliding scale from £5 to £10 – you pay what you can afford from the scale.

Health Qi Gong, 養生氣功, is a health cultivating breathing exercise to strengthen internal organs to increase oxygen intake and improve blood circulation efficiency.
Sam is a qualified Qi Gong and Tai Chi instructor and also Chinese medicine practitioner.
Students will learn all movements in great detail and their related medical principles including Yin Yang 陰陽, 5 Elements 五行 and Organs 臟腑 theories.

Please view the videos below for an example of the routines you will learn:

Eight Silk Brocade 八段錦

Five Animal Folics 五禽戲

Changing Tendon Cannon 易筋経

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New Clinic Opening Hours for 2014

We’re changing our opening hours at Bright Room Community Acupuncture

From January 2014 our clinic hours at Bright Room Acupuncture will be changing slightly. We’ll be opening from 2pm on Thursdays, which will allow us to stay open later in the evening. We’ll also be open longer on Saturdays. We hope this will mean that more people are able to come to the often fully booked late evening and Saturday times.

New Opening Hours:
Thursday: 2pm – 9pm
Saturday: 9am – 2pm

Isabelle Grosjean

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Online Booking Now Available at Bright Room Acupuncture!

We’re very please to finally be able to offer online booking via the website. It should make booking an appointment at the Bright Room Acupuncture Clinic much faster and easier for you. The booking chart displays all the available appointments, and you can book your slot simply by clicking on a free time and then filling in some basic details (name and contact details) on the booking form. We’ll then send you a confirmation email to let you know you’ve taken that slot. Easy!

Follow this link to go straight to the booking form: Online booking at Bright Room Acupuncture Clinic

Our sincere thanks go to our lovely volunteer, Jane, without whose help this wouldn’t have been possible. Thanks Jane!

If you have any problems with the form don’t hesitate to get in touch via phone or email.


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Bright Room Closing for Summer Break

Summer Picture

Luc Viatour /

Bright Room Community Acupuncture Clinic will be closing for a couple of weeks well earned summer break. We won’t be opening from 15th August to 24th August inclusive. As we’re fully booked on Saturday 9th August, the next available appointments will be on Thursday 29th August, from 12 noon.

It’s been a fantastic first year for us at Bright Room Community Acupuncture. We’ve been busier than we could have hoped and have had some great results and feedback from patients.

We hope you have a great summer, wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, and we look forward to seeing you at the end of August!

Best wishes

The Bright Room Team


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Join the Team at Bright Room Community Acupuncture!

Would you or anyone you know like to work with us at the Bright Room community acupuncture clinic, in exchange for free treatments?

We’re looking for friendly and enthusiastic volunteers to help out on Saturday mornings at our busy multibed acupuncture clinic. We need someone to help out with the administration, answering the door and greeting patients, and taking bookings. Our clinic is open from 9am to 1pm on Saturdays, and we’d like someone to help us for around three hours. In return we can give you free acupuncture or tuina massage treatments.

If this is something that you’d like to be a part of please get in touch by emailing us at or calling us on 07711 955 411. Alternatively just drop by when we’re open, meet the team and have a chat!

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Treating Bruised Eyes: A Case Study

Recently we saw a patient who had been involved in an accident. She had suffered quite a severe blow to the forehead and bridge of the nose, which had caused a large amount of bruising and pain. There was also swelling and puffiness around the eyes, particularly over the eyelids. When she came to see us, there was some discomfort, but a more pressing matter for her was the persistence of the dark purple and yellow patches of bruising around her eyes (see picture below).

Bruised Eyes - Before Treatment (Open)

The large amount of deep purple, blue/black and yellow bruising can clearly be seen around the patient’s eyes. This picture was taken before treatment took place.

Treating problems of bruising and swelling around the eyes is more complicated than similar problems on other parts of the body. The eyes are delicate, so normal massage techniques are not appropriate –  any strong pressure could cause further damage and pain. Additionally, the sensitivity of the mucous membranes that cover the eyes and inner eyelids means that liniments cannot be used either.

The solution is to use a hard-boiled egg, wrapped in a cloth (such as a tea-towel). The soft, warm surface that the egg creates is perfect for providing gentle, safe pressure to the eyes and surrounding areas. You can see from the picture below how effective this can be – after one week and two treatments the swelling and puffiness is no longer present, and the bruising has almost completely disappeared. Some slightly darker patches remain, but the intense purples, blue/black, and yellow patches have gone. This is a technique often used in homes in China, Vietnam and other Asian countries to treat bruised eyes. It’s part of a set of techniques known as Gua Sha. We’ll post a full description of the technique with a video demonstration soon.

Bruised Eyes One Week After Treatment

This photo shows the same eyes one week after the first treatment took place. Two treatments were performed in total. The swelling has disappeared, and the bruising is virtually all gone.

We also used acupuncture on distal points on the arms and legs to help speed up the healing process. As you can imagine, the patient was very happy with the results, as were we! Here is her assessment of the treatment:

“I was really taken aback by the way the Bright Room Team dealt with my black eyes and bump on my forehead. The treatment involved acupuncture, traditional Chinese eye massages (with warm hard boiled eggs) and massages of the bump with an ointment. In the space of one week the bruising of the eyes and bump were hardly noticeable and after two weeks they were completely gone. Hard to believe but true!”

If you would like to know more about how to treat bruising and swelling around eyes, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at the Bright Room Community Acupuncture Clinic.

The Bright Room Team.

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How Do Community Acupuncture Clinics Work?

Community, or multibed acupuncture clinics are a relatively new development in the UK. Although there are now more than fifty in England they have received little attention, and as a result many people who are interested in acupuncture have not heard of these clinics, or are unsure about how these clinics work.

The following article gives a brief overview of what community acupuncture clinics are  and how they work. For a more comprehensive view, please take a look at an article by the Charlotte Stone, founder of the Association of Community and Multibed Acupuncture Clinics; Multi-bed Acupuncture clinics: a new model of practice.

The treatment of more than one patient by a practitioner, in a room where other patients are also being treated is common in China and other countries in the east that have traditionally used acupuncture as a form of health care. In England, however, the first multi-bed clinic was set up in Lambeth in 1990, by John Tindall. This clinic, know as the ‘Gateway Clinic’, was funded by the NHS and allowed up to 400 patients to receive acupuncture treatment each week.

The ‘Dragon Clinic’ in Brighton was one of the first non-NHS funded community acupuncture clinics, opening in 2003. Many more community acupuncture clinics have opened since, following this model.

Logo of the Association of Community & Multibed Acupuncture Clinics

The Association of Community & Multibed Acupuncture Clinics is the UK’s organisation for community acupuncture clinics. It aims to support the provision of affordable acupuncture treatment in multibed clinics.

Although there are differences across these acupuncture clinics, they all have one thing in common: acupuncture treatments are given to more than one person at once in a community space. Sometimes, but not always, treatment spaces are separated by screens. Other community acupuncture clinics are completely open plan. Community or Multibed Acupuncture has therefore been defined as acupuncture clinics where “a practitioner treats more than one patient per hour in the same room, with the aim of making acupuncture treatment more affordable”. Charges are often made on a sliding scale basis, where patients choose the amount that suits their budget from a range of prices. Some clinics treat patients on massage tables, others use recliners.

Concerns have been raised regarding the level of privacy in community acupuncture clinics. Far from being a problem, however, the open plan environment has been reported as having a positive effect on people and enhancing their acupuncture treatment. A survey was conducted by One Space Acupuncture to assess patient attitudes to the space and the treatment:

“After the first year we conducted a survey amongst our patients to get some feedback that might be useful for us. The response was very positive, and a number of people reported that, contrary to their expectations, they enjoyed having acupuncture with other people being treated around them. They liked the atmosphere, the music and being tucked up in a blanket.”

A regular patient at a community acupuncture clinic noted:

“There’s a kind of collective feel about getting treatment in a room with other people. And it is that sense of … that it’s a clinic that’s dedicated to the welfare of a wider community, in the same way that a doctor’s surgery is, you kind of feel a part of something bigger.”

Logo for People's Organization of Community Acupuncture

The People’s Organization of Community Acupuncture (POCA) regulates community acupuncture clinics in the USA, and has begun working closely with ACMAC in recent years.

Of course there are people for whom community acupuncture clinics are not the ideal environments to receive acupuncture treatment. Those who have very sensitive issues that they feel they need to discuss with the acupuncturist, or those who do not feel comfortable around others may be better off seeking one-to-one acupuncture treatment. There will always be a place for private acupuncture, of course.

Although many people are initially drawn to community acupuncture clinics because of the price difference, patients can be surprised at other benefits that these spaces bring, such as feelings of community, a sense of perspective of their own problems, and being part of a positive movement.

Both private and community acupuncture clinics will continue to thrive side by side in the UK, as they have their own advantages and strengths.

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Stoke Newington’s Affordable Acupuncture Clinic Opening Soon!

After what seems like months of meetings, organising, discussing, searching out equipment and suppliers, designing posters, and taking photos, we are finally ready – almost!

Picture of the Old Fire Station, 61 Leswin Road, Stoke Newington

Bright Room Community Acupuncture will run from a lovely, calming space in the Old Fire Sation in the heart of Stoke Newington, London.

The opening date for Bright Room Acupuncture, Stoke Newington’s affordable acupuncture clinic has been set for the 26th July. It will be located at the Old Fire Station on Leswin Road, just off Stoke Newington High Street. The room we are using is a lovely, quiet and airy space with a really calm feel – we’re sure it will be perfect to create a healing environment.

Please drop us a line if you would like to know more about the clinic or would like to chat about how acupuncture might be able to help you.

The Old Fire Station offers the community a wide variety of rooms and halls for short and long term hire, in our historic building in the heart of Stoke Newington. It has provided long-term space for the voluntary sector, not for profit & charitable organisations, and community groups since 1982. Other organisations that operate from this space are the organic food co-operative ‘Growing Communities’ (a social enterprise run by local people in Hackney, working to create a more sustainable food system), the Fire Station Community Nursery, and the Anika Patrice Project (an organisation for people for people with learning disabilities, parents and carers from the African, Caribbean, Asian and Turkish Communities).

Old Fire Station Entrance

The Old Fire Station has been providing a community space for residents and workers of Stoke Newington since 1982.

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