Tag: Weightloss

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





Stress free – six weeks to calm

I hold my hands up. I don’t manage stress very well at all. I changed career from being a pretty high level corporate film producer, a well paid job I had done and loved for over 20 years to being an acupuncturist in an area where there’s as many therapists as there are cafes.

Although I enjoyed my work, it would often mean working in a relentlessly pressurised environment. My sleep, appetite and anxiety levels were all affected and I would often wake up in the night thinking I’d forgotten a prop or not printed out enough scripts for the following day’s shoot. Hardly earth shattering events – but that’s what stress is all about – not coping with even minor problems.

So, we all live with stress, but not all of us manage it well. There’s a reason for this. When we are stressed it triggers a ‘fight or flight’ response. Fine if an elephant is charging towards us, but not if we’re worrying about whether our boss thinks we took 5 minutes longer at lunch. Stress releases physiological and hormonal responses that are often inappropriate for the actual event we are stressed about, leading to increased anxiety, disturbed sleep, fatigue and depression and other distressing symptoms.

No-one needs to live with that kind of stress, and yet many of us do, for extended periods of time.

Of course, there are many things that help with stress levels such as meditation, exercise, cbt, and yoga. But if you are gripped in a cycle of stress and anxiety, it can be really hard to motivate yourself so reaching for a couple of glasses of wine after work is often the way people self-medicate.

In my clinic, I treat people for stress virtually every day. I also run six, weekly auricular acupuncture groups of no more than six people specifically for stress relief, which is particularly useful in helping clients to manage their lives in a calmer way. The process takes around 40 minutes in all, with just five very fine needles placed in each ear while you sit and relax. No need to lie down or disrobe. It really couldn’t be easier and clients have been known to snore for the 30 mins the needles are left in! I measure how they have been feeling the previous week and throughout the six weeks in order to evaluate the results.

In my most recent group, there was over a 50% reduction in stress, anxiety and sleep issues, with significant changes in weeks 3 and 4 and these positive results maintained over the full 6 weeks. Clients felt they were coping better, responded less negatively to events that would normally stress them, and were generally happier. Plus they enjoyed coming once a week as it offered them some ‘me’ time where they could properly relax.

The protocol* I use is well documented, incredibly powerful and used all over the world in health clinics, at natural disaster sites and by the American military. It works for conditions such as addiction, stress and post traumatic stress disorder. So if you’re considering giving up smoking, drinking or drugs, this protocol will support you.

If you’re interested in signing up for six, weekly group sessions, then drop me a line. Cost is £90 for the full course of six sessions.

Begin the new year with a new perspective.

Ask when a new course is starting.

*NADA protocol

Read about Linda’s experience here:

Giving up…. with acupuncture

Many of us enjoy the odd harmless vice: chocolate hobnobs, a cheeky fag when you have a drink, or a couple too many pints when you’re out with your mates. Life would be terribly dull without them.

But as we know, vices can develop into long term addictions and you may eventually come to a point where you start thinking about giving them up. Lose some weight, stop smoking or drinking or detox from drugs… It’s a surprisingly hard decision to make as all these addictions serve an emotional as well as physical purpose in our lives. So giving up is challenging. But acupuncture really can help.

Auricular acupuncture (ear) is the gold standard for any kind of addiction. In 1972 a Hong Kong neurosurgeon discovered that auricular acupuncture could alleviate the symptoms of withdrawal experienced by addicts. This was further was developed by an American psychiatrist in 1974 working with addicts – needles were placed in five points around the ears whicmmh became known as the NADA protocol. By 1978, it had replaced methadone as the primary treatment for heroin addiction and is now recognised and used all over the world.

You may be thinking ‘what does heroin addiction have to do with me?’… Well, addiction is addiction, whether it’s to coffee or heroin, it still follows the same neurological and physical pathway. Of course detoxing from coffee will just give you a headache so it’s simply a matter of degree. But it’s thought that tobacco is as addictive as heroin which is why people have such difficulty giving up.

Over the past 40 years, targeted protocols for weight-loss, smoking and drinking have been developed with variations on the original five points. They help with the emotional impact of letting go, with stress, cravings, detoxification and in supporting the immune system.

Auricular acupuncture takes moments to apply while you relax, seated, for half an hour. A few treatments are needed to get through the 3 weeks it takes for nicotine to leave you’re body, but the effect is immediate.

Is it a miracle cure? Well like anything, success also depends on your mental preparedness. But I’ve treated many clients who say it’s been easier than any other method they’ve tried – painless even. No cravings and no stress so no problem. The needles are tiny and you barely feel them and people love the treatment too as it’s so relaxing.

So if you’re ready to give up, acupuncture will ease the ride.