Tag: sciatica

Volunteer acupuncture clinic in Gujarat, India

Charpada acupuncture clinic – November 2016

Thanks to donations from friends, family and clients I was able to volunteer with World Medicine as an acupuncturist in rural Gujarat, India. Over a period of two weeks, I worked with four other acupuncturists and did 960 treatments in a multi-bed clinic environment.

Our patients were impoverished farm workers predominantly suffering from musculo-skeletal pain – neck, shoulder, back and knee problems were severe due to the heavy manual labour they did every day.

It was a fantastic experience and one I hope to repeat.

Read my blog here:

http://www.worldmedicine.org.uk/index.php/news-events/blog

Prolapsed discs, back pain and sciatica – Steve and Jacki’s stories

Steve’s Story

Early in 2016, Steve suffered a second prolapsed disc in his lower spine and decided to look for an alternative to medication and potential surgery (which he’d had the first time around) and to subdue the resulting sciatica.

He had a lot of pain in his lower back, nerve pain in the right buttock and severe cramp like feeling in his right calf. Sitting for any period of time was very uncomfortable as was walking any distance. He was advised by his GP to refrain from surgery as long as possible whilst remaining on very strong medication. Although he persisted with medication (some with risk of addiction) he did not want to rely on them so sought an alternative solution.

Steve found me by reading Jacki’s testimonial (below) so contacted me to arrange treatment.

 

Read about Steve’s experience:

One of the side effects of herniated discs are that the back muscles go into spasm. Treatment with Rita helped alleviate these spasms which had the added benefit of a more positive mental outlook too as it was the beginning of ‘winning’ against the pain. The actual sciatica was finally reduced to the point it no longer really affects me at all.

An intense batch of treatments certainly helped and for me the acupuncture and tuina were initially the most effective. I have also subsequently found that cupping is effective at keeping the muscle tension under control.

From the outset Rita made me fell very comfortable and relaxed. She has an extremely friendly personality and is very knowledgable about her practices and has a very interesting career story to where she is now. The treatment clinic is very comfortable, clean and airy. The equipment Rita uses is in excellent condition.

I was lucky enough to have found Rita’s practice lived up to the testimonial that I read that persuaded me to give it a chance. In a relatively short period, considering the condition, I am in a position of activity and movement I was prior to my disc herniating.

I would definitely recommend Rita to others. In fact recently I passed her details on to a friend at mine from my Tai Chi class.

 

Jacki’s Story

When I first heard from Jacki, she was concerned she wouldn’t be able to walk from her home to my clinic (a matter of a less than quarter of a mile). She was hunched over and in considerable pain. She had two prolapsed discs which meant she had severe back pain and sciatica which also travelled down the side of her leg. Like many clients with similar conditions, she was very concerned about getting the right treatment as the condition can easily be aggravated.

Conditions such as this often go through cycles of crises and then bearable, but still chronic pain. Treating Jacki involved managing the current crisis then finding the right balance of therapeutic modalities to support her recovery. In these cases, practitioners can’t ‘cure’ a prolapsed disc, but we can reduce pain and disability so that clients can function and enjoy life without invasive surgery.

Electro acupuncture, TuiNa massage, cupping and TokSen were all appropriate treatments and her recovery has been stable and long lasting. She continues to come for maintenance once a month to ensure her back is kept healthy.

 

Read about Jacki’s experience:

I contacted Rita because I wanted to avoid major back surgery for as long as possible, and she had a good local reputation. I had severe lower back pain and sciatica caused by prolapsed discs for some years which had been unresponsive to a number of other therapies.

Rita resolved the sciatica within two sessions and my back pain is very much improved. I’ve responded well to all the therapies Rita uses, each chosen for individual and current problems. She’s very professional and I’m delighted with the results.

I can now enjoy playing and looking after my two small grandsons which would have been impossible before Rita worked her magic! I would definitely recommend her.

 

Read more about sciatica:

http://peachyacupuncture.com/2015/01/28/sciatica-a-right-pain-in-ae/

Tok Sen – Tapping The Body to Health

Tok Sen is a 5000 year old Northern Thai body therapy developed by monks. It is a rhythmic  method of tapping using a special wooden hammer and wedge (called a ‘Limb’ and ‘Khone’) combined with Thai acu-points that creates a healing vibration working deeply through the fascia and muscles of the body. It’s totally pain free and incredibly effective in relaxing body and mind, and reducing musculoskeletal pain and tension.

I discovered it during a recent trip to Asia. I travel regularly to continue my professional training but this particular journey to Thailand was a holiday. I came across it by chance, had a treatment and was immediately hooked. I was travelling to Chiang Mai where it originated and so immediately booked myself on a course to learn it.

Because it is also a form of energy therapy, it perfectly complements TCM: acupuncture and tuina massage. What’s particularly interesting and sets it apart from any other therapy I’ve come across is that it appears to work very deeply, much more so than any body therapy I’ve come across. Clients say that they feel it’s continuing to work after the treatment is finished and ‘opens’ the body in a way they’ve not experienced before.

It’s certainly a lovely experience to receive a treatment, the rhythm of the tapping is meditative, even soporific. Muscle tension is reduced without resorting to deep tissue work, yet you feel the muscles almost melt away and it’s altogether a very relaxing experience.

There are only a handful of people in the UK offering this treatment, indeed it isn’t widely available even in Thailand where it comes from. But it’s now here in Crouch End.

Here’s what people have to say about it:

“What a beautiful treatment! Relaxing, soothing and relieving. Made my day!” Nicolette
“Very relaxing – shoulders feel better than they have even after a massage!” Pippa
“a 10 minute blast of bliss!!” Eva
“Absolutely fabulous. I think I’ll have to go back for more!” Claudia
“What a treat, energising and invigorating. Perfect for a new mama with a heavy baby!” Nicky
“just had the most amazing treatment I didn’t even know existed – Tok Sen! I am still vibrating from the wonderful energy it has connected with” Lizzie
“Loved the vibration and the sound as well. I feel like it worked so well on so many levels” Danielle
“warming and relaxing – I feel lighter after just 10 minutes, feels very good.” Paul
Try it for yourself. Alone or with acupuncture and tuina. You won’t regret it.

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’.

Sciatica – a right pain in a**e!

Sciatica can be a right (or left) pain in the a**e. For those of you who’ve lived with sciatica (as I have), you’ll appreciate just how much.

Sciatica is a common type of pain caused by compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve. Sufferers will usually experience sciatica on one side of the body, in the buttocks and often extending down the back or side of the leg, down to the feet. At it’s worst its a particularly disabling and chronic condition which can vary in intensity from manageable to excruciating.

*Common symptoms of sciatica include:

– Pain in the buttock or leg that is worse when sitting
– Burning or tingling down the leg
– Weakness, numbness, or difficulty moving the leg or foot
– A constant pain on one side of the buttock
– A shooting pain that makes it difficult to stand up

Chronic lower back pain or disc herniation is the most common cause but unfortunately patients will often just be offered pain medication by their doctors, which isn’t a sustainable option.

Acupuncture has a good track record in treating back pain, and along with Tuina medical massage can help to reduce pain and inflammation, and significantly lessen the need for medical intervention or pain killers. Patients will usually experience some immediate relief even after the first treatment with follow up treatments necessary to successfully manage the condition. However the more chronic the problem, the longer it takes to repair.

Many people live with chronic pain and only seek treatment when they’re in crisis. Don’t wait til you can’t get out of bed. Get help and start to feel better fast.

*source: webMD

 

Read Jacki’s story:

http://peachyacupuncture.com/2016/07/25/prolapsed-discs-sciatica-jackis-story/