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Needles that bring life balance and better sleep

Five Element Acupuncture is an ancient system of healing that supports the natural healing from deep within the body, mind and spirit. It manipulates the flow of energy in the body, restoring balance, removing blockages and increasing energy where needed for better sleep, without the potential side effects of some Western drugs. So no sleeping pills needed under the Five Element treatment.

Aaron Deemer is an amazing American Five Element acupuncturist (LicAc), co-director and co-founder of the Source Clinic – a centre for health and wellness in London. He’s a member of the British Acupuncture Council (MBAcC) and became passionate about acupuncture and healthcare while working and living in Beijing from 2003 to 2008. Aside his work as a therapist of Five Element acupuncture, Aaron also teaches meditation, practices Qi Gong and is the trustee and founder of The Glow Fund– a UK charity that helps Chinese orphans and Tibetan children with severe disabilities receive life-changing orthopaedic surgeries.   

His busy studio in Marylebone receives many Londoners seeking relief and cure for physical and emotional diseases, stressful lifestyle, depression, skin and sleeping problems. So we’ve asked him:

Could the Five Element Acupuncture really improve our sleeping problems?

Ah yes, the magic bullet, if only it were so simple… Acupuncture is really good at balancing the flow of energy through the body, and stabilizing the flow of energy in the mind.  This physical balancing helps us relax into our bodies, and stabilizing the flow of energy in the mind is essential for calming down the patterns of over-thinking and over-analysing. The two combined, a relaxed body, and a calm mind, are great starting points for sleeping better. Other lifestyle changes like changing our eating habits, to be having dinner earlier in the evening, eating lighter foods can also help. Drinking less alcohol and caffeine and disengaging from entertainment and work earlier can help set us up for an evening that is more conducive to calm and quiet.   

As far as the number of sessions I would expect to work with someone really depends on how out of sync the patient is with their sleep patterns, how long they’ve been struggling, and how engaged they are in their own healing process. For some it could be three or four treatments, for other, it could be 10 or 15, and with other’s it may never happen. Everyone comes in with their own history, their own journey and their own struggles, and it’s my job to work with them in whatever capacity they feel they need.

Why there are so many people choosing alternative treatments to destress and to solve sleep related issues? What are normally the roots of the problem?  

It feels like we are becoming more aware of how much actual control we have over our own health and well-being. The more we look after ourselves, often-times the better we feel, and the deeper we sleep.  It’s pretty clear, that if we spend too much time in stressful situations, or work at a job that makes us unhappy for too long, or remain in unhealthy relationships, we know at some point it’ll catch up with us and we’ll feel it both physically and emotionally. These are often the times when we need our rest more than ever, and of course these are also the times that our sleep is most disturbed. When we need it most, we get it least.

How bad sleeping habits and lack of downtime impact our body, mind and our flow of energy? What are the consequences in the long run? 

The more time I spend practicing acupuncture, the more I see how everyone is different. Some people can live off 6 hours sleep, with McDonalds and beer and feel fine, while others need 10 hours, and a very strict diet to feel ok. So less and less do I see this as a one size fits all, as far as habits and consequences. With that said, as a general rule, the better we take care of ourselves, in a physical sense but also in a mental and emotional sense the better we will feel in the long run. And that means all areas of our lives, from the support and care of the people we spend time with, to the movement and exercise we get, to the way we work, and the way we rest.  It is a full life experience of living life with love, laughter, balance and ease.  

What’s your method to help people to achieve a balanced happy and healthy lifestyle? Is it possible to be at peace living in a big and busy city?

Again, I think it’s really about the individual, and working with each person in a supportive and non-judgemental way. Everyone needs something different in finding balance and ease, so for me it’s about listening, and adapting the techniques that I’ve learnt to fit each person.  

And yes for sure it’s possible to live in a big city and still find peace. Often the struggle is so much louder and more chaotic inside ourselves than it is out on the streets. If we’re going through anxiety, grief, confusion or sadness, it’ll be there in Oxfordshire as much as it’ll be there on Oxford Street. Finding peace and ease wherever we are is the key to deep sustainable balance.

How can busy people create time to learn and be with oneself? 

Everyone has their own journey, and everyone must decide what they are willing to do to achieve whatever levels of balance they aspire towards.  It’s just a decision everyone must make for themselves. We all hold the potential for experiencing peace in every moment, so whether you’re busy or your still, there is that opening for being at ease. It just takes practice. And like learning anything new, the more you practice, the more natural it will feel.

What’s your sleeping ritual? If you don’t have one what do you do to fall sleep easily? 

Ah, I knew I’d have to come clean at some point. Of course every day is different, depending on if I have family in town, or seeing friends etc but as a general rule of thumb, I stop engaging with work or computers at about 5pm. I love baking bread, so I’ll typically start preparing a loaf of bread about then, while I make dinner, which is usually a vegetable soup. We tend to eat about 6 or 6.30pm. After dinner we’ll usually read for an hour or so, and then take a bath, and get into bed about 8.30 or 9pm. We’ve been up since about 5.30am, so we’re usually asleep by 9.30pm. And again, this is not a hard and fast routine. When we go out at night, or have dinner out, of course everything is later. The key for my own balance is having the early evening routine be my norm, of say 5 nights a week, and the other late nights only be one or two nights a week. One without the other wouldn’t be feasible, but the balance of the two works great. 


Aaron Deemer

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