Category: Case Studies

Giving up smoking

Acupuncture for Women

Acupuncture is particularly well-suited to women’s healthcare. From fertility to endometriosis, emotional wellbeing to menopause, women require a holistic approach in managing key stages in their life.

Women’s lives have changed dramatically; we work longer hours, have children later, juggle home and work, and experience more stress than ever before. Our hormones play havoc with our mood and a greater percentage of women now experience anxiety. Being female brings its own challenges and medication isn’t a sustainable way to maintain our health or our peace of mind.

Women, generally, are more aware of their health, although men are slowly waking up to the fact that they need to take more care of themselves. Women are more likely to seek help, talk to a therapist or alter their diet to support their own wellbeing. They are also more likely to commit to ongoing treatment, and that’s really important in maintaining good health.

Female patients come to acupuncture because it works for so many of their health issues without treating them as separate individual problems. In Chinese medicine, we look at the whole person – as three-dimensional, multi-faceted individuals not simply a collection of random symptoms. In fact symptoms that appear random to a doctor and would be treated individually, often make total sense to an acupuncturist.  I’ve had patients referred from neurologists for migraine* and gynecologists for infertility* and menopause* as these conditions have been approved by NICE. *

Sometimes we are able to treat a patient so that the problem they present with completely disappears, and other times it’s a matter of treating patients so that their condition is managed without resorting to drugs. Often they remain on ‘maintenance’ coming once a month to stay well. That way we pick up problems before they get worse and nip them in the bud.

Kaylee came to me convinced that acupuncture would make no difference! But as she said ‘I’m desperate’.  I treated Kaylee predominantly with acupuncture and occasionally with TuiNa. But acupuncture has undoubtedly been the most effective for her. She now comes for treatment monthly to keep everything in balance.

Here‘s Kaylee’s story:

‘I was reluctant to try Acupuncture. I have a medical background and thought it was all a bit mind over matter “hocus pocus”, however, I was feeling that that the GP wasn’t really listening and couldn’t offer any medication or suggestions that worked without side effects. I had tried to manage my symptoms with exercise, healthy eating and herbal remedies but the added stress I was feeling from my work was making me very unwell. My colleagues said that acupuncture helped them and if anything I’d said I’d go so that I could say I tried it.

I have Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) which was the main reason for most of my symptoms. I have suffered from the below since puberty;

Water retention, chronic period pain, bloating, constipation, irregular periods, fluctuating mood, poor digestion and just general fatigue. All symptoms fluctuated and were exacerbated by the consumption of food and my irregular period cycle. 

I had weak ankles and they became sore when I was running. I also had a back injury caused by my crossfit exercise class. It was painful to sit and tender to touch when went for my first treatment. My overall physical health contributed to general anxiety but I was under a lot of pressure at work and was unable to manage my stress levels. 

All of the above symptoms have reduced significantly. 

When I first started to go, following each session I would feel immediate benefits. I felt more relaxed, my ankles and fingers (water retention) felt less puffy and my digestion improved. 

The most significant change was my period pain. The pain used to be so bad that I would have to dose myself with a concoction of 3 types of strong painkillers every 4 hours for 2 3 days. They made me drowsy but if the pain started at work I would not be able to make it home because the pain was immobilising. Now I take a maximum of 6 mild painkillers over 2 days. Close friends and family started commenting how much more relaxed I was. 

For a non-believer this has been a humbling experience. I think that this ongoing treatment has helped me physically and mentally.

Rita is kind, she listens and she understands. Id definitely recommend her.

*https://www.nice.org.uk

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/

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/

 

 

Michael’s story: Joining the dots

Michael came to see me mainly because of recurring tension in his upper back and shoulders that had been going on for about four years. He would also feel light headed when he became stressed.  He would sometimes get emotional and short tempered which also troubled him. Michael has a good diet and is a regular gym goer, but still found that this wasn’t enough to manage his stress levels.

He came for a short course of treatment of electro-acupuncture, TuiNa massage and cupping after trying various other therapies and now comes once a month for ‘maintenance’ to ensure he keeps on top of any health issues.

 

Read Michael’s story:

Not only have I experienced a physical difference in the tension or stress I feel in my body, I have also realised that this tension was due to other underlying emotional issues that were being expressed physically in my body. Rita has helped me to be a calmer and happier person and to let go of things that may be upsetting or troubling me a lot sooner than I may have been before.

Before I would have sought treatment for emotional and physical issues/ tensions separately but Rita has shown me that the two aren’t really separable. I don’t fully understand how some of the treatments she does on me work, but I have realised that it doesn’t matter! As long as I feel a happier and better person, I don’t really need to understand rationally.

I think Rita is one of the best therapists I have been to see. She makes me feel completely at ease and listens at each and every appointment I have with her, making sure she is treating me according to each specific time, rather than just rolling out a template for treatment. And the treatment clinic is just perfect!

 

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Michael Camp, Crouch End

Read more about how TCM views mind and body: