Tag: Frozen shoulder

Repetitive strain and musculoskeletal injuries: Carpal Tunnel, Tennis/golfing elbow, neck pain

Much of my work is helping to relieve pain: whether it’s migraine, arthritis or frozen shoulder. But there are a number of injuries predominantly due to overuse: carpal tunnel and lateral and medial epicondylitis (tennis/golfers elbow), are the most common but no less painful.


I used to see this mainly in office workers who spend most of their time in front of a computer and use a mouse. Poor posture, neck strain, stress and repetitive movements were often the cause. But now I’m increasingly seeing people who do a lot of yoga (including yoga teachers), or go to the gym. Positions such as downward facing dog put a lot of strain on shoulders and wrists, headstands compress the neck and repetitive lifting of weights can cause elbow pain. Technique and repetition is usually the underlying reason, but the root issue is actually neck position and tension.


Tamsin was recommended to come and see me by her Yoga teacher suffering from a long term carpal tunnel issue in both wrists, and more recently, tennis elbow. Although she really enjoyed yoga, it was exacerbating her symptoms.  She also suffered from neck pain. I recommended she paused doing yoga or computer work until we were able to get her symptoms under control.


I saw Tamsin twice using electro-acupuncture, tuina massage and fire cupping, and Kung, our Thai oil masseuse treated her too. We concentrated on releasing her neck and reinstituting good movement, and treating her upper back, arms and wrists.  But then we went into lockdown – so sadly had to close the clinic. She recently contacted me to let me know how much better she was.


Tamsin’s Story


I had been suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome for approximately seven years on and off and more recently tennis elbow. I really wanted to avoid a steroid injection or surgery, as my doctor had suggested.


My yoga teacher recommend Rita at Peachy. Rita was very knowledgeable about her subject and she instilled absolute confidence right from the off, and I knew I was in good hands


Symptoms for both have all but vanished after two intensive treatments and one massage, all from Peachy therapists. My carpal tunnel used to flare up on a nightly basis, but I have hardly had it at all since visiting Peachy. My symptoms are 95% reduced. 


Kung’s massage was incredible: relaxing but also she has this ability to tune into my pain and my tension which alleviated it in perfect tandem with the treatments from Rita. All of the treatments from Peachy have been effective as they all feel very holistic and joined-up in their approach to treating my condition(s). 


Thank you so much, you have not only improved conditions which have been giving me extreme discomfort for a number of years, you have shown me that there is a far better, natural approach to resolving  such matters which do not require surgery or injections of drugs. I look forward to continuing my relationship with Peachy on an ongoing, long term preventative approach to my physical health.


Tamsin, N8 

Fit over 40 – Men and Sports Injuries

Something changed for me at 40 that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. Finally the light bulb moment occurred and I realised I needed to change the way I related to my body. After not thinking much at all about it, I needed to give it a bit more respect and time to recover from life’s small (or large) knocks.


As we age our bodies grow and mature but this slows to its peak at between 25-30 years old and in hindsight the thing that I couldn’t put my finger on was a change in my physicality. At around 40 our bones start to lose mass quicker than we can build it which means that we are more susceptible to stress and fractures. Muscles lose mass too especially if you work in an office and don’t move much. Smaller weaker muscles are more likely to injure as the larger muscles take priority of the circulating blood. Cartilage and tendons become drier and are prone to wear and tear. Ligaments are less elastic and this sort of connective tissue becomes less flexible. All this points to the fact that things are slowly…. drying out.


So the most frequent injuries once you hit 40 are tennis elbow, stress fractures, lower back problem, sciatica, rotator cuff, hamstring tears, ACL, meniscus tears and knee problems, plantar fasciitis etc. The possibilities are endless! Working at a desk, overtraining, poor posture and age are what drive these injuries. I’ve had a few of them


And we see them at the Peachy Clinic all the time. Some are relatively easy to fix, others if they’ve been allowed to become chronic take more time, there are conditions that we can support while you’re going the medical route, or improve the quality of life for those living with multiple or complex conditions. You don’t need to live with it.


How does Chinese Medicine help? Acupuncture is seen to stimulate points close to nerves, muscles, and connective tissue. The stimulation increases blood flow, while at the same time triggering the activity of the body’s natural painkillers. TuiNa is a dynamic remedial massage ideal for musculo-skeletal injuries. It is also useful in reducing stress, encouraging relaxation, and deepening sleep. Chinese medicine has quite a toolbox and your practitioner may include fire cupping and guasha. These oriental therapies increase blood flow, move lymph and reduce pain, tightness and inflammation. Athletes, tennis players and Olympians are increasingly turning to these therapies to keep them injury free.


• The key is to remember that you need to pace or alter your exercise regime and recognise that the older you are, the more susceptible you are to injuries.

• Keep on top of small injuries before they escalate into larger ones by seeking remedial treatments. We often see someone who started with a bit of lower back pain, who later develops sciatica or knee problems because they’ve not addressed it early enough.

• Remember you’ll take longer to recover, so don’t go straight back to running 10k after an Achilles injury.

• Drink lots of water

• Get regular maintenance treatments, say every month or six weeks to iron out any issues and keep you well.


My go to is obviously acupuncture, TuiNa medical massage and cupping. I am regularly treated with Chinese medicine and I treat people with it. It’s a wonderfully diverse and effective holistic health system – particularly for musculo-skeletal issues.


I’m keen to get men thinking more about their health. Look at alternative ways of staying healthy and keeping injuries to a minimum. Whether you’re a regular gym goer or a marathon runner, work hunched over a computer, or would like to start a maintenance programme to stay well, then I’m always happy to chat about how acupuncture can help.


Andy Levy BSc Hons, MBAcC, LicTuiNa, MRTCM

Andy is Associate Acupuncturist at Peachy Acupuncture

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:


TuiNa – Chinese Medical Massage

What is TuiNa?

TuiNa (pronounced ‘tweenah’) is a therapeutic, Chinese medical massage that is an integral part of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) which comprises of acupuncture, herbs, TuiNa and Qi Gong. There are few practitioners in the UK but it’s reputation and availability is growing.


TuiNa is a strong and dynamic form of remedial bodywork, which can have a significant therapeutic effect. Many clients say they feel energized by it and feel significant improvements within a relatively short period of time. It is more akin to osteopathy or physiotherapy in it’s purpose, although it’s referred to as a massage.

In China, it is seen as a primary therapy, comparable in effectiveness as acupuncture and herbal medicine in treating a range of health issues. When I was training at a Chinese hospital, there was a entire department dedicated to TuiNa including a gentler form for paediatric care. Unlike many hands on massage techniques, which support relaxation and help with deep tissue strain, TuiNa practitioners aim to treat more than musculo-skeletal conditions, and also look at other health issues they can resolve.

Clinical trials in China have shown that Tuina is effective for a wide range of problems of a musculo-skeletal and neurological origin, such as tension headaches, stiff neck, frozen shoulder, back pain, sciatica, RSI and arthritis. It is also helps with hypertension, asthma and many abdominal problems such as IBS, especially where tension and stress are causative factors.

Tuina medical Chinese massage

TuiNa Techniques

TuiNa practitioners use a number of different techniques: deep tissue work to release fascia, and enhance the flow of blood and lymph, pressing on specific acupuncture points and additionally joint mobilization and stretching. TuiNa does not require you to disrobe as you are treated through clothes or with a sheet over you. You may also be treated when you are seated as well as on the treatment couch depending what the issue is.

In my practice I also combine acupuncture with TuiNa because they complement each other so well. I may also use cupping (the use of glass cups to provide suction) a technique that looks awful but feels great as many of my clients (and many celebs) will attest – it isn’t at all painful!


The great thing about TCM is that it offers a variety of therapeutic tools to support wellbeing, each of them complementing each other. As a practitioner, that means I can help my client feel better, sooner.

As a client of mine said to me ‘once you’ve had TuiNa, its hard to go back to any other kind of massage’.

What I’ve been treating this month….

It’s been a busy month at my clinic in Crouch End with a run on frozen shoulders, a particularly chronic case of migraine and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) among the conditions my clients have required treatment for.

But as is often the case, people rarely have one thing they are suffering from but perhaps a range of seemingly unrelated health issues, one of which is bothering them the most. Acupuncturists are trained to diagnose the whole person, and will often find that someone’s symptoms are a reflection of a more systemic problem (in terms of Chinese medicine). So the symptom is not directly treated but the patient still recovers.

It’s also the case that acupuncturists treating say a neck problem, may needle an acu point on the ankle and on the hand rather than the area where the pain is most acute. The patient still recovers.

Chinese medicine regards emotions with equal importance to physical symptoms and certain emotions are often found alongside specific conditions. For example, IBS is a problem of the spleen, and anxiety is the emotion connected with the spleen. I’ve yet to see a case of IBS without anxiety being present in some form. When you treat the spleen and it’s partner organ, the stomach, both symptoms, anxiety and IBS, improve.

So while most of my clients will leave my clinic feeling their main complaint has been addressed; they can move their shoulder at last or they haven’t had a migraine for two weeks, they’ll also find that they’re sleeping better, that niggly cough has gone, and they have more energy. Those are the positive side effects of treating the person, not just the symptoms.