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We love nothing more than hearing our customer stories, sharing CBD experiences, as it helps us gain knowledge we can share with others that may be in similar circumstances. We’re very lucky to have Samina as one of those very customers. We’ve been talking alot about anxiety throughout this lockdown, from our own perspective, but also reflecting on the pandemic that is not only Covid-19, but anxiety, and through both our businesses have seen a huge rise in people suffering.

I wanted to share with you some of Samina’s wisdom, and she thankfully agreed to let me interview her. But not only has she let us interview her (following a fabulous response from our CBD), she also sent over her ‘LITTLE BOX OF CALM‘ which included some 24 carot gold Ear Seeds – and nope, they’re not jewellery, although I think they look pretty cool and rather beautiful when stuck in place! They’re tiny round balls of gold which you stick onto specific acupunture points. But more about that later…

Samina’s Little Box of Calm, available on her website

Samina has been using the Tonic CBD on and off for a while now. But “After a recent bereavement, both my mum and I found ourselves experiencing difficulties in sleeping and general aches and pains. My mum was also experiencing very itchy skin that worsened at night which subsequently disrupted her sleep further. I decided on the 1% muscle balm for mum and the 8% oil and CBD tea for me and I am so pleased with my choices. Mum’s itching has completely gone away and is sleeping so much better which is great and since taking the 8% my sleep has really improved with less disruption and less generalised aches and pains overall.”

Loss and grief during the Covid crisis

Samina’s ‘recent bereavement’ was her father, Dr Syed Zishan Haider, who lost his life to Coronavirus on March 25th. He was a committed GP of 50 years, still working aged 79 until his passing. On losing a relative during the covid crisis, Samina wrote “Losing a parent during the Covid pandemic has been devastating. If the shock of losing a loved one wasn’t difficult enough, not being allowed to be with them at the hospital, to see them one last time, hold their hand and say goodbye was heart-breaking and is something that will stay with me forever.” Please take a moment to read about Syed Zishan Haider here and there is a wonderful obituary for all the brave and selfless NHS victims in the Guardian.

Samina’s father was her inspiration to become an acupuncturist

“Having been brought up in a medical household (my dad was a GP, homoepath and acupuncturist and mum was a dentist), you can kinda say health-care was in my blood. Having experienced the benefits of acupuncture and homoepathy from my father, I was already a convert, but I was increadibly headstrong and creative and was desperate to forge a career path away from my parents shadow, so found my way into the world of film and advertising. As much as I loved the world of film, the stress and long hours, took a massive toll on my health in the end and I knew I had to change things up, otherwise things would just continue to deterioate. During this time, my interest in health and wellbeing never left me, so it was a bit of a no-brainer to choose a new career path, that I had personally benefitted a great deal from.”

What was your study programme like and who are you qualified with?

“I studied at the College of Naturopathic Medicine in London for 4 years part time whilst still working in the film industry and obtained my qualification in Acupuncture and in Naturopathy in 2016. It was a very intense degree, full of theory behind the mechanics of Chinese medicine and it’s application, but had a huge practical component, with over 400 clinical hours, which is obviously the fun stuff. Sticking pins in people. No seriously. It was when all the theory came to life and began working. It was a wonderful moment. My Naturopathy diploma, qualifies me to use and advise patients on a number of adjunctive therapies, that are proven to help and support a patient’s health and wellbeing. These include supplements, herbal medicine, lifestyle methods, dietary advice and support and I will often make recommendations to my clients, so that they can continue working on their wellbeing, in between acupuncture sessions. My clients really like this, as they feel empowered, by taking charge of their own health and wellbeing. “

Do you think CBD and acupuncture can support eachother and if so, how?

“My approach is to use a multi-disciplined approach, that will enhance and support the work i do as an acupuncturist, so often recommend the use of CBD with my patients. Acupuncture is very powerful as it looks to address the root cause of a patients problem and looks to stimulates the body’s own healing mechanisms. Sometimes alone – this is enough, but occasionally more is needed or not everyone can commit to weekly sessions be it practical or financial reasons. Wellbeing and good health is not linear. More often than not, people need even their traditional health care regimes to consist of a few modalities. For example if you receive a cancer diagnosis, you don’t just recieve care from the oncologist, you may receive care for mental health support teams to help with someone coming to terms with the diagnosis too. We need to be able to adapt our healthcare model, so that we provide most appropriate healthcare plan for our patients, for the best outcomes.”

For anyone suffering anxiety, what are your top 5 tips?

1: Less time on social media. For businesses like ours, it’s a vital form of communication with our community, but the ideals of perfection on platforms such as instagram, can fuel unnecessary anxiety, so if you think you spend a lot of time on it, maybe set a deadline of say 9pm to put your phone down. The light from screens and phones can also play havoc on your brain signals and disrupts the sleep-wake cycle, so may contribute to poor sleep too.

2: Avoid or reduce stimulants – like coffee and alcohol. Especially in the later part of the day, as they can adversely affect the heart rate and give rise to palpitations and anxiety.

3: Exercise is really important. Exercise is known for its positive effect on our mental health, due to the increase in endorphins and serotonin levels. But make sure you combine mindful exercises like yoga, meditation or qi gong which helps ground and relax the mind, alongside your more aerobic exercise – which tends to be more energising.

4: Remember to breathe. Sounds silly, but so many of us breathe incorrectly from our upper chest. Practising techniques such as diaphragmatic abdominal breathing, can really help increase oxygen levels circulating around the body and brain and can help relax the mind.

5: Lastly – get your-self some acupuncture of course. Acupuncture works on regulating the parasympathetic nervous system, which gets overstimulated during intense periods of stress and anxiety, leading to increased levels of adrenaline and cortisol in the system. Acupuncture regulates this feedback mechanism, promoting it to return to it’s natural para-sympathetic state. I often use ear-acupuncture in my treatments for anxiety, also known as NADA protocol or battlefield acupuncture, as is used successfully in the treatment of anxiety and PTSD as a result of addiction or trauma.

How do you see the acupuncture and other hands on therapies looking like as lockdown unfolds? And how different will it be in a year from now? 

“The health and wellbeing industry is facing its biggest challenge right now. Even though lockdown is easing, the increased strict working guidelines, social distancing rules and use and expense of mandatory PPE, required by those in face to face health care settings like myself, is creating it’s own challenges, to the point where some practitioners feel it’s not worth their while to re-open until corona-virus is no longer a threat. The irony is, that now more than ever is the time where we can really make a difference and help, especially to those who are recovering from CV, where coventional recovery plans post CV infection, are pretty basic and not as well-informed.”

“As we make a cautious return back to work, I really feel that there is more opportunity to work remotely and bring the treatment process online. As acupuncturists, we obviously can’t use needles, but there is so much we can do and work with in the virtual space (acupressure, nutrition, herbal medicine, supplements, lifestyle advice, breathing techniques) as well as being an incredibly flexible platform to work with. You can literally have a treatment with your therapist from anywhere in the world, or just from the comfort of your own home.
So much of the wellbeing industry is moving online right now and putting in the ground work into making it an invaluable resource, I really do think that this will turn the industry on its head, especially if anything like this was to happen again in the future. We need to safeguard our industry and I truly believe that the online virtual platform, maybe the way forward. “

Samina’s online clinic is now open, and I urge you to get in touch is you need any advice or guidance during these uncertain and stressful times.

And as for the gold ear seeds, I’m loving them. They are a reassuring and calming addition to my daily wellbeing routine. As I type I’ve been twiddling with them, which stimulates the acupuncture point and encourages them to work their magic. Give them a go!

Big love and thanks to Samina for taking the time with us, Kate & Michelle x

Samina Haider
Acupuncturist & Naturopath LicAc, MBAcC, Dip.Ac, Dip.Nat, AFN

T: +44 7380 804 565

W: www.saminahaider.com

About the author

Kate is an experienced Mountain Biker and Wild Swimmer and has found CBD the ultimate, natural solution to injury recovery, fitness and health maintenance including deepened sleep and staying calm. But more recently, relies on CBD to balance out those hormones and symptoms of the peri-menopause.

As Kate’s exposure to CBD has grown, so has her passion and belief in the product and her desire to create a community around CBD and set the wellbeing revolution in motion.

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