Chinese Medicine Bristol is run by Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine practitioner Sandra Arbelaez who offers tailored-made holistic care based on the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine. The aim is not only to provide treatment for existing symptoms, but also to find ways to prevent and manage the recurrence of symptoms, and to promote harmony and balance in body and mind.
I trained as a Classical harpist both in Colombia and England and was involved in music for over 15 years. In 1997, after two years of experiencing crippling symptoms that conventional medicine did not help improve, I started to explore touch and other healing techniques in the hope of finding something that could make me healthy again. I tried many different disciplines and found several inspiring practitioners, of Chinese Medicine and other disciplines, who not only helped me restore my health and take control of my own well-being, but made me passionate about sharing what I had learned with others.
I practise Chinese Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture, and I am also qualified in Massage and Reiki Healing. Since 2000, I have worked as a therapist with victims of domestic violence, terminally ill patients, cancer patients, and with people trying to overcome addictions as well as treating a variety of common ailments in clinics in Bristol and London. I have done additional training in ear Acupuncture which is an essential tool during the drug, alcohol, and tobacco detoxification process; and also hold a certificate on the practice of Complementary therapies on people with Cancer from the Penny Brohn Cancer Care centre, formerly known as Bristol Cancer Help Centre.
In 2011 I was awarded a Master's in Science with merit by the University of East London for a research project using Chinese Herbal Medicine for the treatment of M.E/CFS. In 2013, I was awarded a scholarship to study at the Heilongjiang University of Chinese Medicine in China where I spent two months deepening my knowledge of Chinese medicine and learning specialised scalp Acupuncture techniques to treat neurological illnesses. In 2019, I completed a two year training on the Jing Fang system of Chinese herbal medicine with the amazing teacher Dr Suzanne Rubidoux. This system is becoming increasingly popular in the West for its effectiveness at helping to relieve the symptoms of many chronic and incurable chronic illnesses, including neurological conditions. I have completed shorter courses also taught by Dr Rubidoux on the use of different types of moxibustion, scalp Acupuncture, and Yuan Qi Acupuncture which is a technique that can provide instant pain relief. As an eternal student, fascinated by the depth and wealth of knowledge found in Chinese medicine, I regularly take part in courses and webinars which would be too many to mention here!
I have much interest in exploring ways in which we can maintain our health and live happy, fulfilling lives, and I am always updating my knowledge with courses and reading on many subjects that may provide ways of improving my life-experience. As part of both my personal experience and my therapeutic practice, I have acquired extensive knowledge of nutrition and life-style options and consider them essential tools to achieve and maintain good health. I am always happy to answer questions and to give my time to those who want to find out more about my work and about Traditional Chinese Medicine in general. I believe Acupuncture and Chinese medicine knowledge belongs to all of us and that health is a right that we all have so do not hesitate to contact me even if you think treatment is beyond your means, I will strive to help you in any way I can.
Having suffered from ill health over a number of years, I understand the difficulties that illness can bring into our lives. This helps me empathise with every person I treat. I will listen compassionately and combine my knowledge and experience with my intuition to develop the best treatment plan for each person. I tend to use all the skills I consider necessary to achieve the best results. You may have an acupuncture treatment that also involves Reiki or massage; or both, or you may be offered herbs if your condition is chronic or deep-seated. I also consider diet, relaxation, and emotional balance integral parts of the healing process and always include them in the treatment plan. In my view, illness can present us with a unique opportunity for learning and growth, in which treatment can be the catalyst for true life changes and healing. I believe that my job as a therapist is not limited to facilitating treatments aimed to the improvement in symptoms, but that I can also provide ways to prevent the same symptoms from happening again and again. My ultimate aim is to offer every person I treat any necessary tools to help them become more aware, take control of their own health, and enable them to live happier, healthier lives. I am a member of the Association of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture (ATCM), the Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine (RCHM) and the Complementary Therapists Association (CThA). Since starting my work as a therapist in 2000, I have worked in the community giving massage and acupuncture at women’s refuges in London and Bristol; and at St Peter’s Hospice and the CAAAD project for alcohol and drug detoxification in Bristol. I have also worked at private clinics in both London and Bristol. I currently offer Chinese medicine treatments in Bristol and provide specialised Acupuncture treatment for Multiple Sclerosis at the West of England MS Therapy Centre.