Tag: Drugs

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





Sciatica – a right pain in a**e!

Sciatica can be a right (or left) pain in the a**e. For those of you who’ve lived with sciatica (as I have), you’ll appreciate just how much.

Sciatica is a common type of pain caused by compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve. Sufferers will usually experience sciatica on one side of the body, in the buttocks and often extending down the back or side of the leg, down to the feet. At it’s worst its a particularly disabling and chronic condition which can vary in intensity from manageable to excruciating.

*Common symptoms of sciatica include:

– Pain in the buttock or leg that is worse when sitting
– Burning or tingling down the leg
– Weakness, numbness, or difficulty moving the leg or foot
– A constant pain on one side of the buttock
– A shooting pain that makes it difficult to stand up

Chronic lower back pain or disc herniation is the most common cause but unfortunately patients will often just be offered pain medication by their doctors, which isn’t a sustainable option.

Acupuncture has a good track record in treating back pain, and along with Tuina medical massage can help to reduce pain and inflammation, and significantly lessen the need for medical intervention or pain killers. Patients will usually experience some immediate relief even after the first treatment with follow up treatments necessary to successfully manage the condition. However the more chronic the problem, the longer it takes to repair.

Many people live with chronic pain and only seek treatment when they’re in crisis. Don’t wait til you can’t get out of bed. Get help and start to feel better fast.

*source: webMD


Read Jacki’s story:


Giving up…. with acupuncture

Many of us enjoy the odd harmless vice: chocolate hobnobs, a cheeky fag when you have a drink, or a couple too many pints when you’re out with your mates. Life would be terribly dull without them.

But as we know, vices can develop into long term addictions and you may eventually come to a point where you start thinking about giving them up. Lose some weight, stop smoking or drinking or detox from drugs… It’s a surprisingly hard decision to make as all these addictions serve an emotional as well as physical purpose in our lives. So giving up is challenging. But acupuncture really can help.

Auricular acupuncture (ear) is the gold standard for any kind of addiction. In 1972 a Hong Kong neurosurgeon discovered that auricular acupuncture could alleviate the symptoms of withdrawal experienced by addicts. This was further was developed by an American psychiatrist in 1974 working with addicts – needles were placed in five points around the ears whicmmh became known as the NADA protocol. By 1978, it had replaced methadone as the primary treatment for heroin addiction and is now recognised and used all over the world.

You may be thinking ‘what does heroin addiction have to do with me?’… Well, addiction is addiction, whether it’s to coffee or heroin, it still follows the same neurological and physical pathway. Of course detoxing from coffee will just give you a headache so it’s simply a matter of degree. But it’s thought that tobacco is as addictive as heroin which is why people have such difficulty giving up.

Over the past 40 years, targeted protocols for weight-loss, smoking and drinking have been developed with variations on the original five points. They help with the emotional impact of letting go, with stress, cravings, detoxification and in supporting the immune system.

Auricular acupuncture takes moments to apply while you relax, seated, for half an hour. A few treatments are needed to get through the 3 weeks it takes for nicotine to leave you’re body, but the effect is immediate.

Is it a miracle cure? Well like anything, success also depends on your mental preparedness. But I’ve treated many clients who say it’s been easier than any other method they’ve tried – painless even. No cravings and no stress so no problem. The needles are tiny and you barely feel them and people love the treatment too as it’s so relaxing.

So if you’re ready to give up, acupuncture will ease the ride.