Category: Case Studies

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:



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!




Michael Camp, Crouch End

Read more about how TCM views mind and body:

Dan’s Story – Running On Empty

I met Dan while I was doing a taster day at the Haelan Centre in Crouch End where I am an endorsed acupuncturist and TuiNa practitioner. He initially enquired about whether acupuncture could help him with his hands that were so cold he would regularly need to put them under a hot tap to warm them up. He was also going through a particularly stressful time, his work and home life were difficult and he often found that his brain was ‘on’ 24/7 – he literally never stopped. He was tired, stressed out and his mood was low at that time.

Dan’s first appointment was very significant in that he said that it was the first time in two years that he experienced that his mind stopped racing. It actually made him more aware of where he was in his life and that he needed to address his health. So he continued to come for treatment, weekly initially, and then monthly to keep him feeling well.

His initial health issues have all but disappeared and his improved wellbeing, energy and outlook have allowed him to step back and make decisions about what he wants to do in the future.

And… his hands are no longer cold!

Read about Dan’s experience:

Rita’s treatment worked symbiotically, addressing both my emotional and physical needs in tandem. The impact of my first treatment was immediate: I felt calmer, more balanced, and incredibly energised when I rose from the treatment table and I felt like an old piano that had finally been tuned. As I attended further sessions I found that Rita’s treatments became more specific focusing on local issues while balancing out the overall whole (for example there was one occasion when I had a severe respiratory issue which was alleviated miraculously quickly but not in isolation or at the expense of the causal factors which were also addressed.)

Having resolved many of the initial problems I presented with, I chose to continue having sessions with Rita that promoted a better sense of well being, balance, perspective and calm in my day-to-day life.

Practitioners like Rita are a rare and treasured find. Not only does she show great skill and knowledge within her fields of practice she combines it with a fantastic energy, a great sense of humour and a very personalised approach. It is so unusual to meet someone who can balance such an effortless lightness of touch with such a seriousness of intent. She is generous with her advice and clearly has a passion for her practice; you really get the sense that she is on the journey with you and that she will be as supportive and educative as the need requires.  To top it all off she has a lovely bedside manner, full of wisdom, kindness and consideration.

Dan, Crouch End




Living With Chronic Pain – Steph’s Story

When I first met Steph she told me that she was suffering with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome-Hypermobility type, a painful and chronic condition I had never heard of. She also had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, fibromyalgia, digestive issues & depression which appeared to be connected to the main condition. Although as acupuncturists we treat what we see, and diagnose according to traditional Chinese medicine, I did do some research about the condition and discovered that there was very little information about it, never mind treatments.

Steph was taking anywhere between 4 and 10 ibuprofen tablets every day. Her muscles and tendons were always inflamed and tight. Nevertheless she did a busy, full time job and by restricting her diet would manage her condition, both physical and emotional, as best she could.

Her first treatment was very difficult for her, as it is for many chronic patients. When you’re in pain, even a light touch hurts so she was particularly brave to seek treatment. However, her rapid improvement surprised us both.

Read about what Steph had to say:

The treatment  made all the difference, not only with treating specific trouble areas such as shoulder or lower back pain but in a general sense of wellbeing. I came to treatment in advance of a very busy & stressful time at work in the hope that I would be able to avoid a serious decline in my health during it. I could never have expected such quick and almost miraculous results. I have gone from taking 4-10 ibuprofen tablets a day to taking maybe 4 a week at most. I have even started running; something I didn’t think would be possible I also feel a lot calmer emotionally & mentally and more able to deal with stress.

Rita tailors each session to how I’m feeling that day and what kind of problems I’ve had during the week. She uses tuina, acupuncture and cupping (my favourite) depending on my needs. I feel totally safe with her and never worry that I’ll get hurt, which is something that has happened with massage before.

I’m a very anxious person but Rita makes you instantly comfortable & at ease. I can’t believe how much I laugh during our sessions and how much I look forward to my appointment each week. Seriously, thank you Rita, I cannot thank you enough for how much you have changed my life in the last 4 months! I’m almost unrecognisable.

Stephanie, Walthamstow


I heard from Steph recently, some 4 months after she finished treatment with me. She’s pretty much pain killer free!

I just did a 1 hour 80s aerobics class! I kept up with all of it and although I feel stretched out I am not in worrying pain!!! I couldn’t even have thought about this without you doing your magic at the beginning of the year! 








Frozen Shoulder – Justine’s Story

Justine came to my clinic after suffering from frozen shoulder on and off for four years. She finally sought help when she was unable to put her clothes on unaided. The pain in her shoulder meant she couldn’t sleep, raise her arm or take on basic tasks. It was totally disabling. She had been told it could take up to 2 years to treat with physiotherapy.

My treatment plan for Justine consisted of acupuncture, TuiNa medical massage and cupping. Acupuncture and Tuina massage are well established for treating musculo-skeletal conditions, but cupping is definitely something that I believe makes the difference. I’ve seen it work on even the most chronic shoulder problems in my clinic.

Acupuncturists use fire cupping (the application of a glass cup that creates local suction on the skin); which mobilizes blood flow and moves lymph in order to promote healing. We use cupping most often when there is ‘stagnation’ which is experienced as sharp, biting pain, in this case around the shoulder although it is also used as a form of massage. People who have had cupping will often have round red marks on the skin which look like bruising but do not hurt. The greater the stagnation, the stronger the colour. In very serious cases the colour can turn to a very dark purple or black. But the results can be quite dramatic in reducing pain in the area.

The combination worked well and she regained full movement in her shoulder and arm, completely pain free within 6 treatments. A year later and there’s been no recurrence of symptoms.

 Read about Justine’s experience:

When I had to ask my husband for help for the third time in a week to take my jumper off over my head I knew I had to find a proper fix for my shoulder. Enough was enough!

I’d suffered from frozen shoulder pain and reduced movement, on and off for around four years. Despite trying a variety of treatments over that time, steroid injections from the GP, painkillers, visits to the physio and osteopath included, I’d never managed to find the right kind of treatment to tip me over into the ‘thawing’ phase or full recovery. Until I found Rita.

After just two visits to Rita’s calm and welcoming clinic space, I had a significant reduction in everyday pain and my mobility and range of movement were vastly improved. Using a combination of acupuncture, cupping and TuiNa deep tissue massage, Rita managed to leave me essentially symptom free within five or six treatments. The relief of not having to live with everyday pain is not to be underestimated.

Rita combines her knowledge with a relaxing, easy manner and I’ve continued to see her on a regular basis for a ‘tune-up’ and to maintain a sense of well-being. I’d heartily recommend her to anyone, and have done so to a couple of friends who are now also happy clients.

 Justine, Crouch End

Find out more about frozen shoulder and treatment options: