Tag: muscular skeletal

Hypothyroidism, Clinical Anxiety, Insomnia and…. Fertility

 

Many patients come to acupuncture with more than one health issue, and as treatment continues, other priorities come to light. Health, as in life, is rarely a linear process and recovery is often a journey that can take a somewhat circuitous route to its destination.

 

Phillippa came to see me a couple of years ago. She’d been diagnosed with hypothyroidism a couple of months before and had started taking Thyroxine to control it. It was the first time she’d ever really been ill and this had a profound effect on her mental as well as physical wellbeing.

 

Despite taking medication, her hormones were all over the place, the anxiety became so severe she had to stop work and the stress meant she carried a lot of tension in her muscles. She also developed insomnia which understandably made everything more challenging.

 

A clinical diagnosis requiring ongoing medication can be difficult to accept, and this then may elicit other distressing symptoms. So using Chinese medicine to complement the Western approach helps to manage not just the initial problem but all the other symptoms around it. This may also lead to a reduction in medication (under medical supervision) which can only be a good thing.

 

After Phillippa’s initial health issues were brought under control, she continued having acupuncture, TuiNa, cupping and moxibustion on a maintenance programme. Once she was fully recovered and back at work, we concentrated on improving her fertility.

 

Phillippa’s story:

 

I came to Rita with a number of health problems that had culminated in severe anxiety. It took everything I had to attend that first consultation, but it was the best thing I ever did. This was the first time I’d experienced clinical anxiety and I was really scared of it.

 

Having acupuncture treatment has made a complete difference. My anxiety has receded, and I am perhaps better than ever before. My thyroid hormone levels (which were a big driver behind fluctuating emotions) have remained in the normal range for nearly a year, with minimal drug intervention. 

 

What can I say about Rita? Whenever I visit, I feel her energy, her care and her genuine love for what she does. She’s become a master of her craft. But it’s everything she does on top of this that really makes her special. She gave me some great advice during my recovery and would always go beyond the call of duty. She became a friend and confidante to me, and I’ll forever be grateful for that.

 

My husband and I finally fell pregnant after several years of trying and Poppy was born in May 2020.

 

Phillippa, Crouch End

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 Hobbs, N8 

Back pain, Sciatica and Disc Prolapse

Chronic back pain and Sciatica due to disc issues are frighteningly common. I see patients in a great deal of pain, unable to get comfortable or sleep, in some cases unable to work. Sufferers will sometimes opt for cortisone injections which can work for a limited time, spinal surgery and of course physiotherapy. Many people I see are on high doses of NSAIDS and opioids as other alternatives haven’t worked for them.

 

When Jacquie first came to see me with back pain, pins and needles in her legs and sciatica, she had decided against surgery. She was extremely motivated to keep her weight down, work with a PT to exercise safely and commit to regular treatments of Acupuncture and TuiNa medical massage. This has undoubtedly played a big part in her recovery.

 

She responded very well to electro-acupuncture and TuiNa, coming every week for treatment. Jacquie is now pretty much pain free and her general wellbeing much improved. She was also sleeping badly and this has now been resolved. 

 

Acupuncture is known for reducing pain. In the US there is evidence that it is helping in the fight against opiod addiction. TuiNa is a highly effective remedial massage that complements acupuncture and relieves muscle pain and tension.

 

In addition, Jacqui also sees Kung, Peachy’s Thai oil masseuse, to manage general muscle tightness, improve blood flow and aid relaxation.

 

Jacqui’s story

After suffering severe back pain I was diagnosed with a burst disc and slipped disc in L4/L5 region. I was medically treated with an epidural hydrocortisone treatment. The consultant said I also needed to have physio and non-impact exercise as part of my rehab. After a few months of weight loss and exercise I still had residual pins and needles in my legs, dull ache in my buttocks and lower back, and generally was not sleeping well.

 

The pins and needles have completely gone. I went back to see the consultant who was hugely impressed with my speed of recovery. Since the initial diagnosis I have also been suffering from a taut IT band which has now been resolved through acupuncture

 

The acupuncture has been a godsend in speeding up the recovery process for the back problems I had. Rita is fantastic and the set up is friendly, informal, clean and peaceful.

 

Jacquieline O’Donnell, Highgate

 

 

 

Migraine and Back Pain in Pregnancy

Ella came for treatment when she was 12 weeks pregnant. She had always suffered from severe migraines but they had become more frequent and intense since becoming pregnant. She had chronic neck, back and rib pain and was also experiencing the kind of symptoms usually associated with pregnancy such as gut issues, leg cramps and heartburn.

Ella has a busy job as a nanny, with regularly long hours. Her sleep was affected due to the chronic pain, and she was really struggling to function. The constant pain meant her muscles tightened in response which only increased the pain she was in. It was a vicious circle.

Treating pregnant women while completely safe, does require appropriate training to ensure the points that are used aren’t contraindicated. Consequently there are some limitations on what treatment protocols can be used.

Acupuncture and TuiNa remedial massage were the most appropriate techniques and her migraines almost immediately decreased significantly. Reducing her general emotional and physical tension meant that day to day life became much more manageable.

 

Ella’s story

I have suffered from chronic pain, headaches and migraines for over 15 years and have tried everything under the sun. I needed something to help me as it worsened significantly through pregnancy and I was finding it very difficult to work. I did try acupuncture a few years back in Australia but did not find I had good results. 

I found Peachy on Google and Rita’s response time was great and she fitted me in on short notice.

Rita has treated me for pregnancy symptoms such as indigestion, leg cramps, and constipation. Furthermore I had 15 plus years back pain, neck, headache and migraine.

It’s made such a significant difference!! I had my first consistent relief from migraines ever!  I think Tuina combined with Acupuncture is so beneficial to me as I hold a great deal of tension.

Rita is lovely and warm and the clinic is comfortable and clean and it’s easy to park – I would absolutely recommend her! She is very good and listens well, I have noticed incredible differences in my health and pain.  I am incredibly grateful for all her assistance and her advice.

 

Ella Hayes, Highgate

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