Tag: holistic

Anxiety and IBS. The Terrible Twins

Vicky first came to see me feeling uncharacteristically anxious. As a news editor, she did a stressful job but now she was finding things she would normally take in her stride had become anxiety inducing.  She started worrying about everything. Much of it was related to travelling; for example, whether she’d be able to go to the loo if she was out, but also having meetings with her peers which she had done a hundred times before without incident. She would work herself up to whatever the event was that she was concerned about, until she really felt quite bad. It was rarely how she imagined it, but this is the nature of anxiety and it’s not easy then to talk yourself down. As she was peri-menopausal, I wasn’t surprised by her symptoms and felt I could help her.

 

In addition to this she developed what could be termed as irritable bowel syndrome. She regularly experienced  diarrhoea which only added to her anxiety. 

 

Acupuncture is very effective at calming the mind and helping the gut to process food properly and transport that energy around the body. And with the anxiety in check, life is just much more manageable.  In Chinese medicine, worry and overthinking are linked to same meridian as gut issues, so as acupuncturists we often see them together. The terrible twins…

 

I think it’s always useful to take a fully holistic approach and in this case, that meant Vicky acquiring the tools to deal with the cycle of negative thinking. I therefore advised Vicky to get CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) alongside acupuncture. 

 

Vicky’s story 

I had been suffering from anxiety and stomach problems and a couple of friends had mentioned that acupuncture might help. I had only tried acupuncture once before to induce labour and I was quite sceptical about the whole thing.

 

I have quite a stressful job, probably don’t look after myself as much as I should, drink a bit too much and am also approaching the menopause. I had never really had any mental health problems before and I was worried about how debilitating it was. Feeling anxious was also giving me a bad stomach, I would often have diarrhoea or worried about needing a wee when I was out, and all this seemed to be getting into a cycle where the anxiety was making my stomach worse and then having a bad stomach was making me anxious!! The problems had been building up for at least a couple of months before seeing Rita,

 

Since I’ve been having acupuncture, I feel it has really helped, Rita really put me at my ease and she is so easy to talk to and empathetic I didn’t feel embarrassed telling her about how I was feeling. During my first session she had to take all the needles out after she’d just put them in because I suddenly needed the loo!!  I didn’t even really feel too embarrassed about that as she is such a warm and understanding person. 

 

Both my stomach and my anxiety are much improved, I worry much less about travelling and am having far fewer incidences where my stomach is bad. I actually look forward to acupuncture now and feel much less ragged and calmer after a session.

 

I’m so grateful and happy to have found Rita and she has given me really good advice even outside acupuncture about dealing with my anxiety, and for instance about CBT.

 

I have also already recommended her to a friend who is suffering with insomnia.

 

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

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

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.