Tag: health

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

 

 

 

 

Things are changing at Peachy….

New Year, New Practitioners, New Services

Peachy is expanding…

Now in its 6th year, the Practice has steadily grown, thanks to continuing support of my many Crouch End patients – and few that actually travel from South of the river.

One of the things that patients appreciate is the variety of treatments they receive; acupuncture including facial cosmetic, tuina, tok sen (Thai meridian tapping), fire cupping, guasha, moxa and energy healing. But I am just one person, so it feels like time to expand the Practice, the practitioners and the services that Peachy provides. The idea is that we become more of a multi-disciplinary holistic health clinic.

Did you know that there are many styles of acupuncture? Microsystems such as scalp, auricular, stomach, hand and facial all treat the body from one specific area. But there are also entirely different systems such as Japanese acupuncture and Master Tung. Master Tung works completely differently to TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine). The needles are always place away and distal to the problem and often the opposite side. Very few needles are used but the impact is incredibly powerful and it is known for its immediate reduction in pain.

 

 

New Associate Acupuncturist

I’m delighted that Andrew Levy, who is a TCM, Master Tung acupuncturist, and Tuina practitioner is joining Peachy. He primarily uses Tung acupuncture but also merges the two. Andy’s father was an acupuncturist so he has been immersed in Chinese Medicine and healing all his life. He gained his degree in acupuncture in the UK, went on to learn Tuina medical massage and visited China to complete his training.

Andrew is a great acupuncturist; professional, empathetic and effective (and an all round nice guy). He delivers real results for his patients particularly for musculo-skeletal problems and pain of any kind.

 

New Thai Oil Masseuse

After Tuina, my favourite massage is Thai. Kung was trained in Thailand and has worked there and in the UK as a masseuse for 10 years. She’s a highly professional and knowledgable practitioner and her massages are consistently excellent. Whether you are suffering from musculo-skeletal injuries such as back, shoulder, neck pain or sciatica or you just need a good deep tissue massage, this treatment is incredibly effective.

Kung is a lovely lady and surprisingly strong but her treatments while firm, are not painful. Incredibly relaxing and enjoyable.

 

Hay fever Clinic

Last year was pretty bad for hay fever symptoms among adults and children, so this year we’re hoping to start a dedicated hay fever clinic. Watch this space….

 

Get in touch…

With the new year ahead, perhaps you’re thinking of addressing your health issues? If so then please get in touch.. Bookings can be made by calling Rita on 07961346822 or emailing at rita@peachyacupuncture.com.

 

Thanks for all your support and looking forward to welcoming you.

 

 

 

 

 

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

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