Category: Case Studies

Acupuncture for Children and Teenagers

I’m constantly amazed at how well children and teenagers respond to acupuncture. I started treating children suffering from hayfever as young as 7 with auricular acupuncture (ear) a few years ago – with significant success. Parents were relieved that their children weren’t taking tons of medications, some of which no longer worked anyway.

 

 

Acupuncture for children is becoming an increasingly common treatment for headaches, hay fever, gastrointestinal issues, back pain, depression/anxiety, and many other frequent health concerns. It is particularly effective for nausea and vomiting.

This year, I have been treating two boys of 10 and 11, one with hay fever and the other with general allergies, a 13 year old girl with acute anxiety causing her to blush and feel self-conscious, a 15 year old boy with significant anxiety and exam nerves and an 18 year old with very bad hayfever and lung issues.

Without exception, all of them have responded incredibly well and in record time. The younger children were understandably nervous of the needles but after the first appointment have just taken it in their stride – I’m told they even enjoy coming! What’s particularly gratifying is that at this young age, acupuncture is already a credible holistic health system that they can continue to access as they get older.

Of course, as a parent, you want to know that acupuncture works and that it’s safe. Occasionally mild side effects happen such as light headedness or a numb feeling at the needle site, but acupuncture in the hands of a professional acupuncturist is very safe. A review of the evidence is below:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2518962/

Read Milly, Oscar and Jake’s success stories

 

Milly’s story

Milly’s mother, Diana, brought Milly for treatment because of her increasing anxiety particularly in social situations, at school, causing her to blush which made her very self-conscious. After the first treatment, there was a real shift and by the fourth, she was calmer and felt much more able to cope. Her anxiety was virtually gone and if she did feel it rising, she was able to calm herself in minutes.

My 13 year old daughter suffers from the occasional but ongoing anxiety issues. I chose acupuncture because anxiety is a delicate issue that traditional western medicine was not able to help much with. Someone who had seen Rita before recommended her.

We both noticed gradually, and after only 4 treatments, that my daughter felt more at ease in certain situations which in the past would trigger her anxiety issues and treatment seem to help take the edge off.

Rita is an exceptionally warm person and this was extremely important for my daughter so that she could open up fully and feel understood and supported. Also, treatment room is very warm, Rita seems to fill every corner of the space with her affection. I would like to add that Rita really seems to really put her patients first as she is very keen on recommending complementary treatments and giving ideas  which are outside acupuncture, just like a reallygood friend would, for example CBT and similar. My daughter and I appreciated this very much indeed.  Diana, Milly’s mum

 

Oscar’s story

Oscar was really struggling with exam nerves, his sleep was affected and he was experiencing panic attacks. Initially he was extremely shy with me, but literally within minutes he was fast asleep on the couch and didn’t even wake up as I took his needles out! He literally went from extreme anxiety around his exams to simply feeling a natural apprehension and appeared to sail through. His sleep improved and he became positive and chatty. He still fell fast asleep during treatment though!

The exam anxiety was kept in check throughout his GCSE’s. From hardly feeling able to go to school or sit through a full exam, he  managed to complete every exam and keep on top of his sleep and mood. Amazing. Rita is absolutely lovely. She is very relaxed and put my teenage son totally at ease (not easy when you’re sticking needles in someone) The clinic room is also lovely. A very nice environment.   Nina (Oscar’s mum)

 

Jake’s story

Jake was on permanent medication for general allergies that made him extremely uncomfortable: itchy, watery eyes, sneezing and runny nose. It made him quite miserable. He’s pretty much medication free now and just comes for top ups.

A huge shout out for our wonderful acupuncturist, Rita at Peachy Acupuncture.

My son has been suffering from awful allergies for years now which we’ve tried everything to cure. The doctors couldn’t help or advise and the specialists weren’t much better. Within a month of having acupuncture the symptoms have completely gone. All I can say is it’s a miracle and so is she!    Henrietta, Jake’s mum

 

 

 

Treating arthritis with electro-acupuncture – Marion and my mum’s story

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis in the UK, affecting around 8 million people. It predominantly affects women over 40. My 79 year old mother is one of them, as is one of my oldest friends, Marion.

Osteoarthritis initially affects the smooth cartilage lining of the joint, making movement more difficult than usual, leading to pain and stiffness and later the formation of bony spurs. When the cartilage has worn away, the resulting pain from bone on bone seriously affects their quality of life.

Anti inflammatories and corticosteroids are routinely used to help with pain and inflammation.

The most commonly affected joints are those in the:

  • hands
  • spine
  • knees
  • hips

 

Marion’s story

For more years than I can recall I’ve suffered with an arthritic hip which has slowly made me progressively hobble due to not being able to straighten it properly. This has in turn put pressure on my back giving me lower back pain as I try my best to walk straight! It’s frankly something I’ve tried my hardest to ignore as my doctors advice was simply pain killers and to get it x-rayed and the hospital in turn told me it wasn’t bad enough and I wasn’t in enough pain to be eligible for a hip replacement. Rita listened to all my problems and decided to treat me with tuina massage, cupping and electro-acupuncture which she gave me over two days.
 
What a difference it has made! The electro pulsing acupuncture has resulted in so much better movement of my hip joint, less pain and for the first time for nearly a year I’ve been able to move freely and to stand with both legs straight and with my weight evenly balanced. And this after just two treatments! It sounds excessive to say it, but I was almost in tears with the joy of it!
 

Mum’s story

I had an operation on one knee 15 years ago, but now i’m in permanent pain with it. The other knee is almost as bad. I’ve had steroid injections which only last a couple of months and a variety of anti-inflammatories which just upset my stomach. I love to walk but there have been times I couldn’t even get up from my chair and my legs would hurt even in lying in bed.
 
I don’t like needles but when my daughter said she could help me, I was in so much pain I agreed to try acupuncture. Although I still don’t enjoy the experience, it has made the difference between between existing and living. I can stretch out my legs in bed, walk for an hour and I’m no longer in continuous pain. I have a treatment once a week to keep me mobile and I feel so much better. My daughter says I’m her worst patient because I complain so much about the needles and the electro machine, but really I’m so happy!

 

 

 

Managing chronic pain with acupuncture – Kara’s story

Kara contacted me 10 days before she was about to start a new job, after 8 months of not working due to some serious and complex health conditions. Neurological pain is particularly difficult to treat and utterly debilitating.  In Kara’s case, her pain levels were pretty much off the charts and despite heavy medication, life was a real struggle. This inevitably affected her emotional health as well.

Kara has a chronic condition that needs regular management so that she can lead a fulfilling life; work, socialise, travel and have fun. So Kara comes every week, without fail, and is treated with acupuncture, TuiNa massage and cupping. Treatments significantly reduce her pain, keep her feeling balanced and support her general wellbeing. It is an investment in both time and money but she is committed to staying well. So much so that she hasn’t taken one day off work for illness.

 

Kara’s story:

I had a fully herniated disc (between C6 and C7) that caused paralysis of my right arm for 4 months when the disc crushed the nerve; this had to be surgically replaced with a disc implant.  6 weeks after recovering from that major spinal surgery, I developed an extremely rare form of shingles called Ramsay Hunt syndrome, which then took a turn for the worse when it spread to my spinal cord, entire central nervous system, and brain (this is typically fatal).  As my inner ear was affected by the shingles, in addition to excruciating pain I also experienced severe vertigo. In addition to this, I was offered my dream job, and was suffering from stress and anxiety about trying to start work when my body was going through so much and my pain levels were so high.

Choosing Peachy Acupuncture was the luckiest piece of fate I have ever been dealt by the Gods of Google; I rang Rita to see if there was any chance she could fit me in the following day for an emergency appointment, and was supremely impressed by her medical knowledge and very clear expertise during our conversation. Despite having multiple conditions that needed treatment, she knew so much about each and everything I brought up, it made it clear that she is exceptionally skilled.  I have seen other acupuncturists in the past, but have never felt as comfortable and confident in the person I was seeing as when I spoke with Rita.  And the first treatment did not disappoint – with wanting to sound like I am embellishing or exaggerating the effects of my treatment, it was genuinely life-changing.

I am genuinely at a loss as to how to express the life changing difference that Rita has made.  Before my first session with her, I was barely able to walk due to severe vertigo, and pain had crippled me.  I rarely left my bed, and was not able to work or socialise at all.  Tasks as simple as washing a dish or bathing were things that I truly struggled with every day due to my high pain levels, and I was sceptical that she would be able to help but thought ‘What have I got to lose?’  I had been to countless specialists on the NHS as well as privately, and had been on every form of medication to try and help with nerve pain, but nothing was working. I sat up at the end of the first session and my vertigo was gone; I have no idea how one session was able to do that, but I went home and genuinely cried tears of joy.

When cupping and tuina are combined with Rita’s acupuncture, I feel like I leave as a new person.  My pain is gone, my neck and back are free, I can move easily, and I cannot stress how much relief I feel from having my chronic, daily pain evaporate in just one short hour.  I have been put on every form of medication under the sun to try and help me with acute nerve pain and various medical complications, but this is the only thing that truly works.

Since then, I see Rita once a week for additional treatments and it is the only thing that keeps me going.  Despite starting a new job with so many physical ailments, she has made me feel a level of serene peace that I have never previously experienced; after a treatment, I feel connected to the world and like I can manage my life.  But the biggest improvement has been my pain levels.  Although I still experience pain, she has given me my life back.  I can leave my house, work, socialise, and actually enjoy being alive – I no longer live in blinding pain.

Rita’s clinic is such a wonderfully soothing place, I feel like I am visiting a spa run by a member of my family every time I stop by.

The best thing about Rita is that she does not believe in treating a condition, she treats the person.  She will meet with you, talk to you about your body, your life, your mental health, and then decide on the appropriate treatment(s) for you.  She really works against the idea that there is a ‘one-size-cures-all’ approach.  I appreciate this so much because it means that she truly listens to me and my body, and does what is in my best interest.

 

Kara Webster, Crouch End

Acupuncture for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) – Tim’s story

Treating IBS is notoriously hard. Western medicine offers some respite but most of the people I treat with the condition, still suffer the symptoms. This is often a chronic condition although symptoms can flare up and recede after a few days.

*There is some evidence in clinical trials to show that acupuncture, electro acupuncture and moxibustion do have an effect on reducing symptoms. This is reflected in my own clinical experiences although some IBS can be intractable.

 

The most common symptoms of IBS are:

As is often the case, people have more than one pressing health concern that leads them to try acupuncture. Tim came to me with a couple of issues including limited shoulder range following a surgical procedure years before that also left significant scar tissue. He also wanted to relieve his IBS symptoms. He was somewhat nervous having never experienced acupuncture before but actually had no problems with it.

I used a combination of acupuncture, tuina massage and cupping for his shoulder plus guasha (skin scraping!) to break down the scar tissue.

 

Tim’s story

I wanted to try something different, acupuncture always interested me, but it seemed a little scary! I asked the Crouch End Appreciation Society Facebook page from suggestions in the local area, and they overwhelmingly recommended Rita.

Acupuncture, specifically for the IBS provided some good relief – a definite improvement, particularly if I keep up regular sessions.

On my arm which was an open fracture fix,  my range of movement improved and Rita has managed to flatten the keloid scaring dramatically – a much reduced scar line.

Rita’s great, very friendly and approachable – very modern environment, did fear it would be a bit too ‘new age’ for me – but it’s totally the opposite.

Rita’s a great practitioner and an active member of the local community, you see her around and she’s always smiling and wishing you well – would definitely recommend.

 

*http://www.atcm.co.uk/acupuncture-treatment-for-irritable-bowel-syndrome

 

 

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