Some tea with your qi?

You may have noticed that we’ve been a bit tea obsessed lately here at Corinium Acupuncture.

Visitors to our new premises in Dyer Street, Cirencester will have already discovered that as well as offering acupuncture we now offer two other healing arts from the Far East in the form of Qigong with Roland Lewis and Shiatsu with Danni Heath, and that we now have our own shop.

The shop (unofficially known as Corinium Eastern Teas) developed from some of the teas Sarah and Roland have been using in their clinic. These teas are known as ‘living teas’ and are grown organically, preferably wild, and used to support the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. We originally started with the idea that the shop would stock things that would support the practitioners, but somehow the tea took over and is now the main feature in the shop.

Tea and acupuncture

There are many reasons for this, not least of which is that we all enjoy a good cuppa, but did you know that tea was discovered by the same person who founded acupuncture? It became part of traditional Chinese medicine being used to regulate internal body temperature and as an aid for maintaining focus during meditation. Even when it appeared in Europe in the 17th century tea was being used as a digestive aid and a tonic.

Tea and health

There are over a thousand studies a year into the health giving properties of tea and these show that there are many reasons tea is still a ‘cure-all’. Next to water, tea is the healthiest thing to drink. It is an excellent stress buster as it contains polyphenols, which regulate the flow of caffeine giving a slow, steady boost rather than the caffeine high you get with coffee.

Despite the caffeine, tea is as hydrating as water. The same polyphenols can help protect the memory and learning centres of the brain thereby reducing the risk of degenerative disease. All types of tea contain polyphenols and they give a rich supply of flavonoid antioxidants. Flavonoids, in turn, can help protect the heart from cardiovascular disease and the antioxidant properties can help with repair and renewal of skin cells.

Tea health heroes

In terms of health heroes, there are three tea superstars: green tea as you may know, is the big, shining light of healthy tea. This is because green teas are relatively unprocessed. The leaves are picked in spring, briefly withered (dried in the sun), and very quickly fired to prevent any oxidation, which would turn them brown. This process retains the fresh colour and some of the health giving properties of the plant which may be lost during oxidation. In particular, green tea is known to contain L-theanine, a unique amino acid which increases alpha-waves relaxing and soothing the mind, so very good to take during periods of stress. It also has been shown that green tea may reduce high blood pressure, stimulate metabolism and burn calories.

The calorie burning crown of tea goes to unsung hero of the tea world, Puerh or dark tea. These teas contain many probiotic properties as they are steamed after processing and formed into bricks or cakes and then aged or fermented. This tea is a really good digestive aid, and because of those probiotics is often sold as a ‘fat burning’ tea. Tea can make you hungry, so be careful how you use it. Make sure you have a balanced diet and exercise regularly, as well as drinking Puerh.

Our last tea health hero is Oolong. This one is the gentle giant made from semi-oxidised leaves. It is so chock full of fluoride, it can help strengthen teeth and bones and again is really good for digestion.

Tea has everything in it to keep us in tip-top condition, so it makes perfect sense that we would have a tea shop. Come along and try for yourself in the shop or at one of our tea events.

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