Tag: chronic

Looking After Number One – Men And Their Health

 

The first time I realised that I wasn’t invincible was when, doing seasonal work on a farm, I slipped a disc lifting heavy machinery. I was 21 and ended up flat on my back for 6 weeks.  After that, I started paying attention.

 

Most men of my age aren’t really focused on their health until it slaps them in the face and that being said there is still a reticence among men to see their doctor or a therapist. Why is that? Well it’s quite hard for men to talk about things like their bodily functions or their mental health and although the male stereotype is changing, we’re still not big on sharing. Thankfully there is more help available for younger men. They are more aware of their diet and keeping their bodies healthy. Education and social media has undoubtedly played a big part in that.

 

Men’s Health Forum report that men are less likely than women to acknowledge illness or to seek help when sick. Health is often socially constructed as a feminine concern. It seems that men tend to use the health service when a certain threshold of ill health has been passed. Additionally, there is a tendency to play things down and attribute signs to growing old.  ‘Being a man’ about things can have negative outcomes in that symptoms and feelings are often left or not even reported.  This means that during that time, and long before that threshold is reached, something positive could have been done.

 

According to Men’s Health Forum, the top five health issues facing men are:

 

1. Diabetes

1 in 10 men have diabetes with men 40% more likely to die prematurely of the disease than women.

 

90% of diabetics have Type 2 diabetes, due to lifestyle factors and diet. It’s estimated that an additional 1 million people in UK don’t know that they are living with Type 2 diabetes.

 

A change in diet, exercise and quitting smoking are the key to prevention. And lifestyle changes can actually reverse diabetes.

 

2. Loneliness

1 in 8 men across the UK have no close friends, according to a survey funded by the Movember foundation*. This amounts to 2.5 million British men with no friends to turn to for support during a crisis.

 

It’s a shocking statistic and one that relates back to the fact that men tend not to share their problems or develop supportive networks of friends. This can have a big impact on men’s mental health and overall wellbeing, especially if their romantic relationships break down.

 

3. Prostate Cancer

Earlier this year and for the first time in the UK, prostate cancer hit the headlines as the number of men dying from prostate cancer overtook the number of women dying from breast cancer

 

One in eight men will get prostate cancer in their lifetime and a total of 4 in 10 prostate cancer cases are diagnosed late making it more difficult to treat.

 

4. Heart disease

Heart disease is the leading cause of male death in the UK, with 119,000 men having a heart attack each year, compared to 69,000 women. Risk factors for heart disease include: smoking, being overweight, having high cholesterol or having diabetes.

 

5. Suicide

A massive 75% of suicide victims in the UK are male, with suicide the single biggest killer of men under 45 however it’s not just young men who are at risk.

 

Stress is one of those things that if left unchecked can be the cause of and a precursor to so many health issues. Our modern world naturally propels us into a fight-or-flight existence and we are constantly battling with the result of it – stress. You could argue ‘well everyone gets stressed’ but the long-term consequences of chronic stress are significant:

 

  • damages your immune system and heart

  • increases your chances of serious health problems

  • reduces life-expectancy

  • damages your sex life

 

Just as stopping smoking, drinking less, doing exercise and watching your weight are important factors in keeping you healthy, using alternative medicine also supports and helps to reduce stress. Taking a holistic view of your health means not waiting till you’re on your knees before getting help. Whether you’re in your 20’s or 60’s, being proactive in looking after your health now means you’re less likely to pay for it later.

 

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be blogging more about men and their health from a holistic perspective. Watch this space…

 

Andy Levy BSc Hons, MBAcC, LicTuiNa, MRTCM

Andy is Associate Acupuncturist at Peachy Acupuncture

 

  • Movember Foundation

 

 

 

 

Recovering From Chronic Migraines

Jacqui had suffered from Chronic Fatigue since the age of 11 and migraines. She came for treatment when she’d had daily debilitating migraines for three months.

Her neck, shoulders and back were incredibly tight due to being in constant pain and this in turn exacerbated her migraines.

Jacqui wasn’t able to work, had stopped going out much or seeing friends and felt very low about her situation. She was incredibly sensitive to light and just waking up would trigger a migraine. Her longstanding Chronic Fatigue meant she had little energy for anything.

Since her initial treatment, she just comes for monthly top ups to keep her migraine free.

 

Jacqui’s story: 

I saw Rita weekly for a few months. Prior to seeing her I was having daily debilitating migraines in which I felt like I could not function let alone work. 

Rita made me feel very comfortable from the start. She was warm, friendly, personable, professional, I was confident in her ability. The Clinic was clean and well presented.

She treated me with acupuncture, tuina massage and cupping.

I can now go weeks and not have a migraine, and I can work and socialize without having to worry about cancelling everything due to my headaches. I also suffer from Chronic Fatigue and Rita’s treatments gave me more energy allowing me to be more productive.

Rita has freed me from my prison of migraines and given me a new lease on life.

I’d definitely recommend Rita

 

Definitely

When You’ve Hit Rock Bottom… Recovering With Acupuncture

Leigh came to acupuncture at rock bottom (her words). She was in physical and emotional pain and had lost faith in herself and her body and felt completely overwhelmed. She tried her GP but her health issues were varied and complex and although there were medical options, she didn’t feel this would address her needs.

I treated Leigh with a combination of acupuncture, electro-acupuncture, tuina and cupping.

Read Leigh’s Story…

When I came to Peachy, I was a mess.  I was constantly “too hot” and never able to feel comfortable temperature wise.  I could hardly stand up straight without feeling like I was carrying another person around. I would go to bed at night with back pain and wake up unable to get out of bed without help and additional pain.  My arms would regularly fall asleep at night and fingers felt stiff and numb throughout the day, I had been dealing with tennis elbow for about 6 months that was no longer responded to pain relievers and was hardly able to lift a glass of water.  I was experiencing painful menstrual cycles for the past 9 months, and dealing with PCOS/infertility for a decade.  Headaches and the feeling of “something in my ear” was a daily battle.  Beyond the physical issues, on the inside I was so emotionally and mentally constipated that I overwhelmingly upset & angry all the time, frequently forgetful, inattentive and unmotivated.

I regularly “just didn’t feel well”, nothing seemed to make a difference.

Treatments with Peachy Acupuncture has changed my life.  After the first session of acupuncture and Tuina, my posture improved, I was able to and preferred to sit up straight and by the 3rd session, my lower back wasn’t an everyday issue and now it’s very rarely even after standing or walking around all day.  With the back relief, I wasn’t waking up in pain and my days began to improve. I am able to walk comfortably again. I went from barely able to achieve 350 steps a day to easily and comfortably doing 6-8,000 steps daily.

For my ear issues, one session of acupuncture and the uncomfortable feeling was gone and I don’t seem to have as much ear wax and water in my ears anymore.  Sinus issues and headaches seemed to become less frequent after the ear annoyance was resolved.

Rita has worked on my tennis elbow with acupuncture, she’s also focused on my shoulder/neck area with Tuina and cupping.  After 6 sessions, I feel it’s close to normal.  My finger stiffness is gone, and I don’t have issues with my limbs falling asleep frequently anymore. She’s been able to reduce my menstrual cycle pain to a very manageable inconvenience that no longer keeps me from being able to go about my day.

After each session, I’m overall a happier and more relaxed person.  I feel like I am able to process my feelings and emotions better.

I felt comfortable the moment I met Rita. Unlike traditional medicine, Rita really made me feel like my concerns were heard and my feelings/experiences were valid and important. Her space was calm, comfortable, and relaxing. I continue to look forward to my appointments as a place where I regain control of myself.  She’s given me the life I had over a year ago back and motivated to take better care of myself.

Lots of different health issues? Acupuncture is brilliantly versatile….

If you’re suffering from lots of different health issues then you’ll find acupuncture is a versatile treatment to relieve pain, improve mobility and increase energy.

Some patients see me for a specific health problem, but others present with a whole host of them. It’s very common that people seek the help of an acupuncturist and Tuina therapist because their symptoms appear to be disparate: anxiety alongside IBS, migraine and shoulder pain, persistent cough and a sore back, or if you’re a gym bunny, then perhaps multiple injuries.

I love acupuncture for its versatility. There are few conditions that I can’t do something that will help. Add Tuina remedial massage, fire cupping, guasha and energy healing then I literally have an eclectic toolbox to draw upon.

Because many people continue treatment to maintain their health, it means we can pick up on anything that comes up and manage it before it becomes chronic.

Helen first came to me with achilles problems and as an avid gym goer and runner, she would regularly present with a variety of injuries.

Read Helen’s story:

I initially went to Rita for treatment of my Achilles pain (which Id had for a couple of months) and also long term persistent pain in my right shoulder and neck.  I do a lot of exercise so over time Rita has also treated my knee, hip/piriformis, lower back and hayfever!

My achilles was painful every day and I was scared of exercising in case of further pain/damage. Rita’s acupuncture and massage treatment has significantly eased the pain and tightness and I’m now able to exercise however I like.  I know that if it starts ‘twinging’again, another treatment will get me back on the right track.

I have suffered with neck and shoulder problems for nearly 30 years.  Whilst I know that there are underlying skeletal issues that acupuncture can’t resolve, Rita’s treatments have been very beneficial for unlocking the tightness, easing my pain and keeping me moving!

The electroacupuncture treatment has been particular effective in treating my knees, hip/piriformis and when I have a flare up I know this will sort it out.

Whilst I haven’t had a full course of hayfever treatments, Rita treated me on and off during the season and it considerably eased my symptoms and I took far fewer hayfever meds as a result. 

I have also brought my son (Will) multiple times for treatment of long-standing hayfever, which has been very effective.  Not only is he now off all daily hayfever medication but the acupuncture seems to have also had a positive impact on his general demeanour and he seems more relaxed.

Rita is positive, bubbly and always happy to treat multiple issues with different techniques, which is great for me where I present every time with a range of conditions.

The treatment room is always clean and relaxing. 

                                                                                                                                                           Helen F

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!