Author: Rita

Prolapsed discs, back pain and sciatica – Steve and Jacki’s stories

Steve’s Story

Early in 2016, Steve suffered a second prolapsed disc in his lower spine and decided to look for an alternative to medication and potential surgery (which he’d had the first time around) and to subdue the resulting sciatica.

He had a lot of pain in his lower back, nerve pain in the right buttock and severe cramp like feeling in his right calf. Sitting for any period of time was very uncomfortable as was walking any distance. He was advised by his GP to refrain from surgery as long as possible whilst remaining on very strong medication. Although he persisted with medication (some with risk of addiction) he did not want to rely on them so sought an alternative solution.

Steve found me by reading Jacki’s testimonial (below) so contacted me to arrange treatment.

 

Read about Steve’s experience:

One of the side effects of herniated discs are that the back muscles go into spasm. Treatment with Rita helped alleviate these spasms which had the added benefit of a more positive mental outlook too as it was the beginning of ‘winning’ against the pain. The actual sciatica was finally reduced to the point it no longer really affects me at all.

An intense batch of treatments certainly helped and for me the acupuncture and tuina were initially the most effective. I have also subsequently found that cupping is effective at keeping the muscle tension under control.

From the outset Rita made me fell very comfortable and relaxed. She has an extremely friendly personality and is very knowledgable about her practices and has a very interesting career story to where she is now. The treatment clinic is very comfortable, clean and airy. The equipment Rita uses is in excellent condition.

I was lucky enough to have found Rita’s practice lived up to the testimonial that I read that persuaded me to give it a chance. In a relatively short period, considering the condition, I am in a position of activity and movement I was prior to my disc herniating.

I would definitely recommend Rita to others. In fact recently I passed her details on to a friend at mine from my Tai Chi class.

 

Jacki’s Story

When I first heard from Jacki, she was concerned she wouldn’t be able to walk from her home to my clinic (a matter of a less than quarter of a mile). She was hunched over and in considerable pain. She had two prolapsed discs which meant she had severe back pain and sciatica which also travelled down the side of her leg. Like many clients with similar conditions, she was very concerned about getting the right treatment as the condition can easily be aggravated.

Conditions such as this often go through cycles of crises and then bearable, but still chronic pain. Treating Jacki involved managing the current crisis then finding the right balance of therapeutic modalities to support her recovery. In these cases, practitioners can’t ‘cure’ a prolapsed disc, but we can reduce pain and disability so that clients can function and enjoy life without invasive surgery.

Electro acupuncture, TuiNa massage, cupping and TokSen were all appropriate treatments and her recovery has been stable and long lasting. She continues to come for maintenance once a month to ensure her back is kept healthy.

 

Read about Jacki’s experience:

I contacted Rita because I wanted to avoid major back surgery for as long as possible, and she had a good local reputation. I had severe lower back pain and sciatica caused by prolapsed discs for some years which had been unresponsive to a number of other therapies.

Rita resolved the sciatica within two sessions and my back pain is very much improved. I’ve responded well to all the therapies Rita uses, each chosen for individual and current problems. She’s very professional and I’m delighted with the results.

I can now enjoy playing and looking after my two small grandsons which would have been impossible before Rita worked her magic! I would definitely recommend her.

 

Read more about sciatica:

http://peachyacupuncture.com/2015/01/28/sciatica-a-right-pain-in-ae/

Anxiety and overthinking: when you worry about everything…

Are you the kind of person who always anticipates a worst-case scenario, overthinks an event or conversation, or can’t sleep because your mind won’t switch off? Anxiety comes in many forms.; sometimes fleetingly, and at other times picking away at your emotional and physical health.

 

A certain amount of anxiety or apprehension is quite normal; before an exam, moving house or starting a new job. But usually, those feelings will disappear once the event has passed.  More worrying is when those feelings escalate, and you’re unable to sleep, everything seems out of control and you may even experience panic attacks. The fight or flight response is literally on overdrive.

 

It is estimated there were 8.2m cases of anxiety in the UK in 2013.*

 

Women are nearly twice as likely to experience anxiety as men, and people of both sexes under 35 are more likely to be affected than older people, according research that combined evidence from 48 previous reviews of studies into the condition. Research also found that those suffering from chronic diseases including cancer, stroke and multiple sclerosis have a higher chance of experiencing symptoms of anxiety than healthy individuals.*

 

Sufferers could experience any of the following:

 

  • Physical symptoms, such as palpitations and sweating
  • Cognitive symptoms, causing negative thoughts
  • Behavioural symptoms, which may include uncharacteristic aggression or avoiding social interaction
  • Emotional symptoms, such as fear and dread

 

Living with anxiety can be very distressing and whether your anxiety is mild and short-lived or more entrenched, acupuncture can really help. Acupuncture is able to jump-start your body’s own natural healing processes, and stimulate the part of the brain that controls emotions. It can also slow the body’s production of stress hormones, calming the mind and supporting better sleep. The calming effects may be felt after just one treatment.

 

There is still a stigma around experiencing any kind of mental health issue, but it’s no different from other health problems. With an empathetic practitioner you trust,  acupuncture can complement any conventional medication or therapy you may be undergoing, or work as a standalone treatment.

 

Ask for the help you need and enjoy a good night’s sleep again.

 

*Source: The Guardian

 

Read J’s experience of acupuncture for anxiety:

http://peachyacupuncture.com/2016/05/29/js-story-acute-case-anxiety/

 

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J and Belinda’s stories – Coping with anxiety

J’s Story

J is a bright, successful woman in her 40’s who was clearly very distressed when we first met. She was sleep deficient, very anxious and felt quite out of control.

 

She came to see me while struggling with a very painful, emotional and life changing difficult situation. She’d struggled through 4 weeks of anxiety, feeling sick, disorientated, unable to sleep or think clearly. She had tried conventional medicine, and was starting on sleeping tablets and seriously considering anti-depressants.

 

Read about J’s experience:

I cannot over-state the impact even just the first treatment made. And I honestly don’t know how I would have managed to cope with things without it.

 

Immediately, within minutes, I was able to think more clearly, breathe more easily, and over time, deal with high stress situations with more calm and perspective. Physical symptoms (sickness, panic, sleep issues) were eased, and mental stability and clarity were substantially improved, with effects lasting long after treatment.

 

Being calmer, better able to see past the emotional stress was absolutely critical in working through the most difficult days, and make reasoned and rational decisions. That wouldn’t have been possible without Rita’s expertise.

 

I don’t quite know how to say this – I’ve had acupuncture before, and found the effects calming and soothing. BUT, what Rita does is just so much stronger, impactful, it’s a genuine treatment for your symptoms. I’d say to anyone, no matter how serious the problems – physical or emotional – don’t under-estimate this form of Acupuncture’s ability to help you.

 

Rita is a wise, warm, practitioner. But what stands out for me is her absolute focus on understanding and treating you.

 

J, Crouch End

 

Belinda’s story

Belinda was preparing to get married but experiencing anxiety and stress particularly in relation to preparing for her wedding. This was making her feel down and affecting her energy levels. Organising a wedding can be challenging at the best of times and many people find the stress of it can be overwhelming.

 

Read about Belinda’s experience:

I really wanted to try acupuncture as I had heard positive things and Rita was local and came highly recommended on Crouch End Facebook group.

 

Rita has a home-based clinic which is very private, comfortable and relaxing. I started feeling positive effects after my first session and felt a combination of the acupuncture treatment and the tuina massage was very effective in helping me to relax. I continued to do weekly sessions with Rita and I have been so much more relaxed as a result. I am sleeping better, my skin feels great and most importantly I feel great too.

 

Rita is so professional. There is a natural apprehension that comes with having acupuncture for the first time but Rita really puts you at ease. She has a calm, gentle manner and is very sensitive to placing the treatment needles. Rita is also very intuitive and works very holistically, if you mention any other symptoms or problems you might be having she works them into her treatment. I have been raving about her treatment and the benefits I felt from it to friends and family.

 

I am hoping to continue with a monthly session as I have found it so beneficial to me.

 

Belinda, Crouch End

 

Read more about anxiety:

http://peachyacupuncture.com/2016/06/03/anxiety-overthinking-worrying-everything/

 

Priscilla and Myles’ Stories – Hay Fever and Allergic Rhinitis

Priscilla’s only experience of experience of acupuncture was 10 years ago when her GP recommended it as a way to manage carpal tunnel syndrome in her wrists that occurred during her pregnancy. She returned to acupuncture for her hay fever.

 

She’d been suffering from hay fever for many years. It had become worse in the last three to four years, getting to a point where she would wake up at 3 or 4 in the morning wheezing. Her eyes would be so itchy she had to sleep with a damp flannel on them, use lavender water to wipe her face, and take antihistamines, which made her sluggish. It made Spring a difficult season to enjoy.

 

Read about Priscilla’s experience:

Well what I can say but MASSIVE DIFFERENCE. Just as the Spring season started I made an appointment to sort this out. After the first treatment, things seem to improve. My eyes didn’t water as much and while I had a slight cough, I didn’t feel as if I was suffering. By the second, my nose didn’t itch, my eyes never watered and by the third session, when Spring sprung and the pollen count was HIGH (I used to dread that) ….. NOTHING. I slept through the early mornings when the flowers shot pollen into the air. I woke up rested. I sniffed around the flowering trees and NOTHING. This is the first Spring in many years I haven’t felt awful and I am enjoying it.

 

The clinic was an island of calm. Rita is a great practitioner. She is straightforward, honest, compassionate and all in all great company, especially if you’re particularly squeamish about needles (like me). I have full confidence in her.

 

Now I would pretty much go up to anyone who sneezed, ask if they have hay fever and then recommend acupuncture.

Priscilla, Crouch End

 

Myles was my youngest client, and probably the bravest, given he was only 8 when his mother Marcia brought him along for a treatment during another awful Spring where his eyes were horribly red and itchy and his nose permanently congested. To say he was frightened would be an understatement, but I fortunately have a special tool that pops the smallest needles around the ear so fast, the brain doesn’t register it at all. Pretty much guaranteed pain-free and therefore perfect for children (and a few adults too).

 

Understandably, Myles still hated the idea of any needles even though it didn’t actually hurt, but persevered as his symptoms reduced week on week. Further inducements included playing his favourite music artiste (Gregory Porter) and giving him a foot massage! I saw him for about 3 or 4 sessions by which time he was able to get on with his very active social and sporting life.

 

ps: extra foot massage only available to 8 year olds!

 

Hear from Myles’ mother, Marcia:

I wanted to say a big ‘Thank You’ to you Rita. You’ve helped my son survive the summer with your acupuncture treatment. It was never going to be easy showing an 8 year old boy needles, but your patience, calm yet fun demeanour really helped to settle his nerves. The best thing of course is that IT WORKED!!!!! We were able to reduce the mountain of medication he’d been taken and really enjoy outside activities. My only regret is not finding you sooner to start the treatment earlier in the season. A lesson learnt for next year.

 

Myles’ mum, Marcia

 

Find out more about acupuncture for hay fever and allergic rhinitis:

http://peachyacupuncture.com/2016/05/15/acupuncture-hayfever-allergic-rhinitis/

 

 

Acupuncture for Hay fever and Allergic Rhinitis

Runny nose, itchy, streaming blood-shot eyes, wheezing, heavy head and interminable sneezing? Yes the hayfever season is well and truly here. Symptoms usually start in February and for some people may continue until October. It can be pretty miserable. Astonishingly anywhere between 10 and 40% of the population worldwide are affected.

 

I’m a sneezer. Loud and repetitive, much like a croaking machine gun that frightens those around me. Attractive it’s not. But I consider myself quite lucky, I’ve seen clients whose lives during the season are almost intolerable.

 

I remember a boy at school, whose hayfever was so bad he had to be put on steroids just to be able to get through his exams. Nowadays, modern anti-histamines or steroidal nasal sprays may reduce the worst of the symptoms but it does mean you have to take drugs all the time to keep it at bay. Whereas acupuncture can work incredibly quickly in reducing or completely eradicating symptoms.

 

The British Acupuncture Council reports the following:

“Recent randomised controlled trials have found that acupuncture used as an adjunct to routine care for allergic rhinitis has clinically relevant and persistent benefits (Brinkhaus 2008) and is cost effective (Witt 2009). Such trials have also found that acupuncture is effective in the symptomatic treatment of perennial rhinitis (Xue 2007) and that active acupuncture is more effective than sham acupuncture in decreasing the symptom scores for persistent allergic rhinitis and increasing the symptom-free days (Ng 2004).”

 

Auricular acupuncture, where tiny needles are placed around the ear, is the most effective treatment, but, this is often supported by body acupuncture and/or Chinese herbs.

 

It can take as few as two or three treatments for a significant change to take place, and if you start before the season you could avoid it that year. It may even go permanently.

 

Start enjoying Spring instead of sneezing your way through it.

 

Read about Priscilla and Myles’ experiences:

http://peachyacupuncture.com/2016/05/15/priscilla-myles-stories-hay-fever-allergic-rhinitis/

 

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