Tag: muscle

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

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

J and Belinda’s stories – Coping with anxiety

J’s Story

J is a bright, successful woman in her 40’s who was clearly very distressed when we first met. She was sleep deficient, very anxious and felt quite out of control.

 

She came to see me while struggling with a very painful, emotional and life changing difficult situation. She’d struggled through 4 weeks of anxiety, feeling sick, disorientated, unable to sleep or think clearly. She had tried conventional medicine, and was starting on sleeping tablets and seriously considering anti-depressants.

 

Read about J’s experience:

I cannot over-state the impact even just the first treatment made. And I honestly don’t know how I would have managed to cope with things without it.

 

Immediately, within minutes, I was able to think more clearly, breathe more easily, and over time, deal with high stress situations with more calm and perspective. Physical symptoms (sickness, panic, sleep issues) were eased, and mental stability and clarity were substantially improved, with effects lasting long after treatment.

 

Being calmer, better able to see past the emotional stress was absolutely critical in working through the most difficult days, and make reasoned and rational decisions. That wouldn’t have been possible without Rita’s expertise.

 

I don’t quite know how to say this – I’ve had acupuncture before, and found the effects calming and soothing. BUT, what Rita does is just so much stronger, impactful, it’s a genuine treatment for your symptoms. I’d say to anyone, no matter how serious the problems – physical or emotional – don’t under-estimate this form of Acupuncture’s ability to help you.

 

Rita is a wise, warm, practitioner. But what stands out for me is her absolute focus on understanding and treating you.

 

J, Crouch End

 

Belinda’s story

Belinda was preparing to get married but experiencing anxiety and stress particularly in relation to preparing for her wedding. This was making her feel down and affecting her energy levels. Organising a wedding can be challenging at the best of times and many people find the stress of it can be overwhelming.

 

Read about Belinda’s experience:

I really wanted to try acupuncture as I had heard positive things and Rita was local and came highly recommended on Crouch End Facebook group.

 

Rita has a home-based clinic which is very private, comfortable and relaxing. I started feeling positive effects after my first session and felt a combination of the acupuncture treatment and the tuina massage was very effective in helping me to relax. I continued to do weekly sessions with Rita and I have been so much more relaxed as a result. I am sleeping better, my skin feels great and most importantly I feel great too.

 

Rita is so professional. There is a natural apprehension that comes with having acupuncture for the first time but Rita really puts you at ease. She has a calm, gentle manner and is very sensitive to placing the treatment needles. Rita is also very intuitive and works very holistically, if you mention any other symptoms or problems you might be having she works them into her treatment. I have been raving about her treatment and the benefits I felt from it to friends and family.

 

I am hoping to continue with a monthly session as I have found it so beneficial to me.

 

Belinda, Crouch End

 

Read more about anxiety:

http://peachyacupuncture.com/2016/06/03/anxiety-overthinking-worrying-everything/

 

Michael’s story: Joining the dots

Michael came to see me mainly because of recurring tension in his upper back and shoulders that had been going on for about four years. He would also feel light headed when he became stressed.  He would sometimes get emotional and short tempered which also troubled him. Michael has a good diet and is a regular gym goer, but still found that this wasn’t enough to manage his stress levels.

He came for a short course of treatment of electro-acupuncture, TuiNa massage and cupping after trying various other therapies and now comes once a month for ‘maintenance’ to ensure he keeps on top of any health issues.

 

Read Michael’s story:

Not only have I experienced a physical difference in the tension or stress I feel in my body, I have also realised that this tension was due to other underlying emotional issues that were being expressed physically in my body. Rita has helped me to be a calmer and happier person and to let go of things that may be upsetting or troubling me a lot sooner than I may have been before.

Before I would have sought treatment for emotional and physical issues/ tensions separately but Rita has shown me that the two aren’t really separable. I don’t fully understand how some of the treatments she does on me work, but I have realised that it doesn’t matter! As long as I feel a happier and better person, I don’t really need to understand rationally.

I think Rita is one of the best therapists I have been to see. She makes me feel completely at ease and listens at each and every appointment I have with her, making sure she is treating me according to each specific time, rather than just rolling out a template for treatment. And the treatment clinic is just perfect!

 

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Michael Camp, Crouch End

Read more about how TCM views mind and body:

Runners … will just keep on running

It’s hard to believe just how popular running is – as a way of staying fit or working off stress – it’s quite addictive. In towns and cities, in parks and countryside, runners and running clubs are massively popular. Even training for marathons has almost become commonplace… Wasn’t always that way. At school, I would do anything to avoid running, as sprained ankles, muscle spasms and torn ligaments weren’t unusual.

 

As an adult, I got back into it and went through a period of running 5 times a week and felt great – but like many people I had an injury that took ages to heal and really put me back in terms of training.  Eddie Izzard ran 27 marathons in 27 days for Sport Relief – I can’t imagine the state of his body when he finally stopped!

 

There are a number of potential injuries that runners might experience…. Achilles tendinitis, IT Band Syndrome, plantar fasciitis, knee cartilage and ligament issues, stress fractures, sprained ankles and pulled muscles. But these issues may start as simpler strains or tightness and if your post run stretching isn’t adequate things can get more entrenched. My experience of runners is that niggling symptoms are largely ignored, and they will continue running until they find they can’t walk, never mind run. Then they’ve got a real problem.

 

Ideally, runners need to be monitoring their bodies along with their run times and get treatment before small injuries turn into much larger ones. One small injury can result in other parts of the body compensating and before you know it, that tight achilles is preventing you doing what you love. Permanently. It seems crazy to run in order to be fit and healthy but not pay attention to what it might be doing to your body.

 

How can Acupuncture, TuiNa and Cupping help?

 

knee acupuncture

 

All these therapies increase blood flow and reduce inflammation and tightness. Many physiotherapists and osteopaths use dry needling now alongside their given approaches, because they find it works so well. But it shouldn’t be confused with acupuncture because they also happen to use needles. Dry needling works on trigger points or areas where the patient experiences pain, whereas acupuncture works on the entire musculo-skeletal and neurological system. We use both in the Peachy clinic.

 

TuiNa is a dynamic form of Chinese remedial bodywork that uses the same principles as acupuncture but applies quite different deep tissue techniques to that of western massage. Incredibly effective at releasing muscle tension, reducing inflammation and along with acupuncture, boosting the body’s own healing mechanisms.

 

Cupping draws blood to the surface of the skin, helps to eliminate toxins, enables lymphatic drainage and is also commonly used for massage. Not painful and clients genuinely love it!

 

These three complementary approaches serve to deliver a powerful, yet holistic punch.

 

Runners, I find, just want to keep on running…. Ideally, since prevention is better than cure, whether you run for fun or are training for a marathon, it’s worth getting regular treatment. See a practitioner, say, once a month to remain supple and mobile and nip those injuries in the bud.

 

But if you find you’re already in pain, then start receiving treatment sooner rather than later, or running up that hill might just be a step too far.