Category: Blog

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/

 

facial-rejuvenation1

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/

 

Ear acupuncture

 

Acupuncture & TCM: Body and mind

When I first had acupuncture many years ago, it made total sense to me that it worked equally on my physical body as well as my emotions. Body and mind. Mind and body. Of course they were interconnected….

 

As a simple example, if a client comes to see me for sore muscles then of course that’s what I will treat them for. However, if I look closer, I may find that they are also someone who worries and overthinks, which in Chinese medicine is a deficiency of the spleen. Which is responsible for muscle health. This adds another dimension to my understanding of their condition and therefore directs their treatment.

 

Western science however, tends to see them as separate. Yes, emotions can affect physical symptoms, but no, they don’t operate synergistically. However, there is a shift change among some scientists and doctors who recognise the need to understand why drugs may work on one person but not another with exactly the same condition. And from this develop drugs that work for individuals, not conditions. As such, phrases like ‘personalised medicine’ are starting to emerge. Which is good news for patients.

 

The principle of personalized medicine is intrinsic to the way we diagnose and treat clients. So when a client comes in with seemingly random symptoms, that don’t make much sense to their doctor, they will most often make complete sense to an acupuncturist!

 

It’s why we ask odd questions like whether you’re someone who feels hot or cold all the time, or what time you experience your headache, or whether you feel sad, or anxious.

 

Because we’re treating you. Not just your condition.

 

Read Michael’s story http://peachyacupuncture.com/2016/05/03/michaels-story/

Runners … will just keep on running

It’s hard to believe just how many people now choose running as a way of staying fit and working off stress. Training for marathons has almost become commonplace… I remember when the thought of running ‘cross country’ at school would fill us with dread (yes I am showing my age). Miles and miles running with what felt like a permanent stitch and pleading with the PE teacher to let us rest. Sprained ankles, muscle spasms and torn ligaments weren’t unusual leading to an avalanche of parent letters requesting little Susan be let off because of her ‘delicate disposition’.

 

London is literally teeming with runners and running clubs are massively popular all over the city.   I went through a period of running 5 times a week and I felt great – but like many people I had an injury that took ages to heal and really put me back in terms of training.  Eddie Izzard ran 27 marathons in 27 days for Sport Relief – I can’t imagine the state of his body when he finally stopped!

 

There are a number of potential injuries that runners might experience…. Achilles tendinitis, IT Band Syndrome, plantar fasciitis, knee cartilage and ligament issues, stress fractures, sprained ankles and pulled muscles. But these issues will often start as simpler strains or tightness. My experience of runners is that niggling symptoms are largely ignored, and they will continue running until they find they can’t walk, never mind run. Then they’ve got a real problem.

 

Runners need to be monitoring their bodies along with their run times and get treatment before small injuries turn into much larger ones. One small injury can result in other parts of the body compensating and before you know it, that tight achilles is preventing you doing what you love. Permanently. It seems crazy to run in order to be fit and healthy but not pay attention to what it might be doing to your body.

 

How can Acupuncture, TuiNa and Cupping help?

 

knee acupuncture

 

All these therapies increase blood flow and reduce inflammation and tightness. Many physiotherapists and osteopaths use dry needling now alongside their given approaches, because they find it works so well. But it shouldn’t be confused with acupuncture because they also happen to use needles. Dry needling works on trigger points or areas where the patient experiences pain, whereas acupuncture works on the entire musculo-skeletal and neurological system. I use both in my clinic.

 

TuiNa is a dynamic form of Chinese remedial bodywork that uses the same principles as acupuncture but applies quite different deep tissue techniques to that of western massage. Incredibly effective at releasing muscle tension, reducing inflammation and along with acupuncture, boosting the body’s own healing mechanisms.

 

Cupping draws blood to the surface of the skin, helps to eliminate toxins, enables lymphatic drainage and is also commonly used for massage. Clients love it!

 

These three complementary approaches serve to deliver a powerful, yet holistic punch.

 

Runners, I find, just want to keep on running…. Ideally, since prevention is better than cure, whether you run for fun or are training for a marathon, it’s worth getting regular treatment. See a practitioner, say, once a month to remain supple and mobile and nip those injuries in the bud.

 

But if you find you’re already in pain, then start receiving treatment sooner rather than later, or running up that hill might just be a step too far.

Tok Sen – Tapping The Body to Health

Tok Sen is a 5000 year old Northern Thai body therapy developed by monks. It is a rhythmic  method of tapping using a special wooden hammer and wedge (called a ‘Limb’ and ‘Khone’) combined with Thai acu-points that creates a healing vibration working deeply through the fascia and muscles of the body. It’s totally pain free and incredibly effective in relaxing body and mind, and reducing musculoskeletal pain and tension.

I discovered it during a recent trip to Asia. I travel regularly to continue my professional training but this particular journey to Thailand was a holiday. I came across it by chance, had a treatment and was immediately hooked. I was travelling to Chiang Mai where it originated and so immediately booked myself on a course to learn it.

Because it is also a form of energy therapy, it perfectly complements TCM: acupuncture and tuina massage. What’s particularly interesting and sets it apart from any other therapy I’ve come across is that it appears to work very deeply, much more so than any body therapy I’ve come across. Clients say that they feel it’s continuing to work after the treatment is finished and ‘opens’ the body in a way they’ve not experienced before.

It’s certainly a lovely experience to receive a treatment, the rhythm of the tapping is meditative, even soporific. Muscle tension is reduced without resorting to deep tissue work, yet you feel the muscles almost melt away and it’s altogether a very relaxing experience.

There are only a handful of people in the UK offering this treatment, indeed it isn’t widely available even in Thailand where it comes from. But it’s now here in Crouch End.

Here’s what people have to say about it:

“What a beautiful treatment! Relaxing, soothing and relieving. Made my day!” Nicolette
“Very relaxing – shoulders feel better than they have even after a massage!” Pippa
“a 10 minute blast of bliss!!” Eva
“Absolutely fabulous. I think I’ll have to go back for more!” Claudia
“What a treat, energising and invigorating. Perfect for a new mama with a heavy baby!” Nicky
“just had the most amazing treatment I didn’t even know existed – Tok Sen! I am still vibrating from the wonderful energy it has connected with” Lizzie
“Loved the vibration and the sound as well. I feel like it worked so well on so many levels” Danielle
“warming and relaxing – I feel lighter after just 10 minutes, feels very good.” Paul
Try it for yourself. Alone or with acupuncture and tuina. You won’t regret it.