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Sports Injuries

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Headaches

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STRESS, ANXIETY & DEPRESSION

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Sports Injuries

It can be extremely frustrating when you are out of action due to a sports injury - Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine can reduce healing time and assist in pain management.

You can be sidelined by an injury from hurting your back, twisting an elbow or knee just by playing with children in the yard – it doesn’t have to be from a sporting arena. The point is that it hurts and you just want to get back to normal as quickly as possible.

Acupuncture is very effective in treating all types of pain and is wonderful for sporting injuries.

Acupuncture increases muscle flexibility, strength and mobility by reducing abnormal muscle tightness

Improves the healing time of an injured muscle by increasing the blood flow and improving soft tissue alignment

Reduces the strain, discomfort and stiffness sometimes associated with physical exercise

Helps to reduce recurrent or chronic pain

When treating your muscular pain, tightness and restriction of movement you will have the experience, professionalism and excellence with your Traditional Chinese Medicine treatment. One of the great and really interesting side benefits of acupuncture is its natural performance-enhancing ability. Acupuncture’s potential is enormous and its role in the sporting arena is being tapped by countless athletes and sports people anxious to get on with the activity or game.  A drug free alternative to pain you have been experiencing. Yet it’s so simple, and so effective!

Acupuncture for Sporting Injuries

For sports related and muscle and joint injuries, acupuncture works locally right at the site of the problem. Acupuncture helps your body make its own natural pain killers, natural anti-inflammatory and anti-stress hormones. The amazing thing about acupuncture is that it stimulates your body to get these processes moving which releases those natural, in-built, body chemical healers. This gives you less pain/more gain sensation. This is what gives you the ability to get back into your activities faster. It’s simple – the quicker you get your acupuncture started the less time you will be cooped up or sitting on the sidelines. When you commence your acupuncture the following things will happen:

Reduction of pain, swelling and inflammation

Lessens the effect of bruising

Increases the range of movement in the injured joint

Decreasing spasm and dispersing the caulking in muscles

Reducing the pain by a substantial amount with each treatment by breaking the pain/spasm cycle

Dramatically improving the blood supply to the affected area and dispersing swelling

Having acupuncture treatment for sports injuries maintains the natural free flow of energy through all of the muscles, blood vessels and vital organs of the body. This will leave you feeling great and decrease the healing time of your injury.

Acupuncture for Sporting Enhancement and Performance

Acupuncture has performance enhancing effects too.

This effect is drug free!

It is not an unfair advantage as it just accesses the potential in us all. Many athletes use acupuncture for the mental and physical stimulation and inner calmness that the treatment harnesses. Athletes can cross the pain barrier when enough endorphins, or “happy hormones” are released in the body. This leads to a feeling of euphoria and less pain. Acupuncture can create an enormous psychological advantage too. This can happen as a result of the relaxation of tight muscles and increased blood flow. Acupuncture’s performance enhancing potential is massive and helps countless sports people who are anxious to get on with the game. This can all be explained to you by your acupuncturist.

Questions your Chinese medicine doctor will ask

  • How and when did it happen?
  • What is the pain like?
  • How much pain are you experiencing, and how restricted is the movement of the affected area.

 

All the signs and symptoms of your sports injury will be examined, assessed and diagnosed by your acupuncturist and then a treatment plan will be discussed.

Please make sure your acupuncturist is accredited!

Women

Sally treats a variety of women’s conditions with acupuncture including infertility

IVF, Infertility and Acupuncture

Sally understands that for many people the quest to have a baby is often a difficult journey. Sometimes natural conception is not possible and assisted reproductive technologies such as IVF are recommended. Sally is experienced in providing treatment and support for couples and singles using fertility treatments such as IVF. Good preparation is extremely important prior to IVF to encourage a sustained pregnancy.

Acupuncture for IVF and other assisted reproductive technologies:

There is growing evidence that Acupuncture may increase the chances of success with IVF.  Many studies have now been conducted into various aspects of IVF Acupuncture support suggesting it can enhance the bodies functioning during this treatment.  Results are very positive suggesting IVF Acupuncture support may:

Increase blood flow to the uterus and ovaries

Increase pregnancy rates and live births when performed before and after IVF embryo transfer

IVF Acupuncture Treatment in the beginning of your IVF cycle:

You have completed your preconception Acupuncture preparation phase and now you are feeling ready to commence your IVF or ART cycle.  IVF Acupuncture treatment can be used in conjunction with your IVF cycle with a goal to:

Promote blood flow to your vital organs especially the uterus and ovaries

To alleviate some side effects of medication and help you feel comfortable

To calm the mind and promote relaxation

Reduce stress

IVF Acupuncture in the days prior to your embryo transfer:

The first phase of your IVF cycle is complete or maybe you are doing a Thaw IVF cycle.  In the days prior to your IVF embryo transfer Acupuncture treatment is advisable:

If you have undergone oocyte collection (egg pick up) and are feeling bloated, sore or unwell.

If you are feeling stressed or anxious I am here to help you calm your mind and relax

If you are feeling generally unwell or sick

IVF Acupuncture at the time of embryo transfer:

Many clinical trials have now been conducted into the use of Acupuncture done before and after the IVF embryo transfer.  There have been many positive results suggesting increases in pregnancy rates and live birth rates when Acupuncture is performed before and after the embryo transfer.  Sally is experienced at providing Acupuncture treatment before and after your IVF embryo transfer.

IVF Acupuncture before your embryo transfer:

Your IVF Acupuncture consultation before the embryo transfer can be a wonderful opportunity for you to relax and settle your mind. Treatment is tailored to meet your specific needs with a goal of preparing your body and mind for the reception of your embryo. Commonly acupuncture points that relate to promoting blood flow and relaxing the uterus are used prior to your embryo transfer.

IVF Acupuncture after your embryo transfer:

With your IVF embryo transfer complete you can breathe a sigh of relief.  Your post IVF embryo transfer acupuncture may be a time of deep relaxation as you lay comfortably and relax.  Acupuncture points are used to support your body and mind with a goal of reducing uterine contractions (discouraging miscarriage) and encouraging the process of embryo implantation.

Acupuncture during the “Two week wait”:

After your IVF transfer or ovulation if you are trying to conceive naturally comes a time of waiting.  For many this is a time of waiting and wondering “will I be pregnant? am I pregnant?” We understand how difficult the dreaded two week wait can be, we are here to support you.  Acupuncture treatment should be continued after the IVF transfer or from mid-cycle with a goal of

encouraging implantation

supporting energy

calming the mind

addressing individual symptoms

Fertility and Obstetrics conditions commonly treated

  • Infertility (difficulty in falling pregnant)
  • Unexplained infertility
  • Habitual miscarriage
  • Morning sickness
  • Inducing labour
  • Difficult labour
  • Foetal malposition (breech, posterior, transverse)
  • Post partum problems (fatigue, mastitis, lack of milk)
  • Urinary problems
  • Male infertility (low sperm count and/or motility

Acupuncture and Pregnancy

Pregnancy is an exciting time in your life but also a period where your body undergoes some intense physical, hormonal, and psychological changes. Many pregnant women are understandably reluctant to turn to pharmacological options as a way to treat their symptoms, but that doesn’t mean they have to suffer. Acupuncture can be an extremely efficient way to treat a wide range of conditions and symptoms which women may suffer from whilst pregnant, as well as assist in the healthy growth and development of the foetus.

What Can Acupuncture do?

Acupuncture has been proven to be extremely effective when it comes to maintaining the health and welfare of both mother and baby during pregnancy. Family is one of the most important institutions in traditional Chinese culture and of this, a great deal of Chinese medicine practices focus on the well being of an expectant mother and her unborn child. Traditional Chinese medicine is incredibly adept at addressing an expansive range of conditions that women can suffer from during pregnancy. Acupuncture is a natural way to treat pregnancy related conditions such as:

  • Heartburn
  • Stress
  • Morning sickness
  • Haemorrhoids
  • Back ache
  • Mood changes
  • Fatigue
  • Ligament pain
  • Premature cervical ripening
  • Preeclampsia
  • Constipation
  • Dermatitis
  • Abdominal pain
  • Insomnia

Assisting in Growth and Birth

What Can Acupuncture do?

In some instances, acupuncture can also be used to stimulate growth in a foetus which is abnormally small. This is achieved by increasing blood flow to the womb. An increase in blood flow means more nutrients and hormones are provided, boosting the rate of foetal growth.

Turning a Breech Baby

By relaxing the muscles in the abdomen, and regulating the womb, acupuncture can be used to treat breech presentation. This is a completely safe procedure done between 32 and 36 weeks and is successful in turning the baby to the correct position around 70% of the time.

Inducing Labour

Helpful in instances of overdue pregnancies, acupuncture can be used to trigger the labour process. Unlike western medicine treatments for this condition which can result in uncomfortable labour, this acupuncture induced labour tends to be smooth and relatively comfortable for the mother.

PMS

If you have the misconception that period cramps, irregular bleeding, period pain, heavy bleeding and absence of periods are all quite normal, forget it! Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS), breakthrough bleeding, tiredness and headaches associated with your period don’t have to be conditions that you need to suffer through either.

PMS relates to the physical and emotional symptoms that some women have in the one to two weeks before their period. PMS may be due to changes in hormones that occur during the menstrual cycle, combined with life’s tensions. Physical symptoms may include:

  • Aches and pains
  • Fluid build up (e.g. bloated abdomen, swollen ankles)
  • Weight gain
  • Headache
  • Tiredness
  • Sleeping problems
  • Skin problems (e.g. acne, pimples)
  • Food cravings
  • Tender, swollen breasts
  • Constipation or diarrhoea

Emotional symptoms include:

  • Mood changes
  • Change in libido
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Less interest in social life and work

MENOPAUSE

Traditional Chinese medicine is extremely effective in managing many of the discomforts experienced during menopause. Herbal medicine, along with acupuncture, is wonderful for menopausal symptoms.

For every woman menopause can be a time in their life which they dread, hearing about hot flushes and all the associated symptoms. Though it is a natural part of the ageing process this doesn’t mean it has to be unpleasant.

For most women – around the age of 47 they notice their periods becoming lighter and their cycles getting longer. Some can develop minor hot flushing during this time whilst others don’t develop symptoms until their periods have stopped entirely. In Western Medicine it’s a time when your ovaries stop producing eggs, which slows the release of oestrogen into the blood. This is what slowly stops your menstrual cycle and causes hot flushing, night sweating etc due to the imbalance in the hormones. For some women these symptoms can be quite severe and debilitating, whilst others have very mild or no symptoms at all. It’s amazing how many women you hear say “I’m past menopause”, when in actual fact it is a process which never stops, only the symptoms disappear. Menopause should only occur to a women in her late 40’s although some cases may be diagnosed in the mid 30’s.

In Chinese medicine, the symptoms associated with menopause are considered to be a result of the natural decline in the Kidney energy of the body. The most common symptoms are:

  • Hot flushes
  • Night sweats
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia

These symptoms can be extremely debilitating and uncomfortable for a woman. A combined approach of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine is always recommended when treating menopause.

Again, the severity of the symptoms will be key in deciding how many treatments are necessary. The more severe the symptoms – the more treatments are generally required. Your Chinese medicine doctor will be happy to answer all your questions.

Headaches

ACUPUNCTURE FOR HEADACHES

There are several different types of headaches and many different causes. Headaches are one of the most common problems in society today, and acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment in the case of many headache types.

Most people get headaches occasionally, but some people will get them often. A headache, particularly the recurring kind, shouldn’t be taken lightly.

A headache can be a symptom of an underlying imbalance or deeper problem. Frequent use of pain relieving medicines for headache and migraine can cause a “medicine overuse” headache. Prolonged use of medication can cause long term side effects.

Some common headaches are

Tension headache

Migraine

Sinus headache

If you’re suffering from headaches it could be the result of any one or a combination of some of the following problems.

Certain things trigger headaches for some people but the triggers are not the same for everyone.

  • Emotional – caused by emotional stress, worry and anxiety lead to an increase in tension in the neck and shoulder muscles.
  • Hormonal imbalances – such as pre-menstrual syndrome and pregnancy.
  • Working/Occupational conditions – From sitting in the one position for too long with poor posture, working conditions common for students and office workers, physical overwork leading to tightening of the neck and shoulder muscles.
  • Physical trauma – which may damage the structure or connective tissue of the neck. Also – arthritis and disc degeneration leading to pinching of the spinal cord. 
  • Poor eating habits – intolerance, allergies, irregular eating habits and constipation.
  • Some other causes are liver malfunction, weather conditions, genetics, high blood pressure, over-acidity of the stomach and sinus complaint. If you describe the region of your headache your acupuncturist will know the difference between a headache that occurs in the temporal region and one that occurs in the back region of the head.

Acupuncture treatment for headaches

Acupuncture is highly effective for migraine, cluster, period related, tension/stress, and muscle tension headaches.

The great thing about acupuncture for headaches is that it works in a preventative capacity too.

Acupuncture works in both a preventative and therapeutic manner by re-harmonising your body’s imbalances. Treatment can begin without the patient actually even having a headache – prevention is better than cure.

Acupuncture is drug free pain relief – and if you like it can be pain free too! A drug free alternative to the pain. It is simple and highly effective. Acupuncture works via putting your system back on track and by correcting your body’s energy imbalances. Plus – it has been proven over thousands of years!

Your acupuncturist will be happy to explain and answer all your questions.

So please, if you have persistent headaches see your acupuncturist and start to treat your condition as soon as possible.

Headache checklist

How long do they last?

Where is the pain?

What type of pain is it?

What makes it better or eases it?

What makes it worse?

When do you get them?

Stress & Anxiety

We all live in a busy modern world full of pressure and difficulties and can face times where we feel overwhelmed or unable to cope.

Stress from too much pressure at work or home can lead to excessive bad mood, anger, anxiety, worry or depression.  If we allow negative emotions to overly affect our lives we end up on the path to unhappiness, relationship challenges, substance abuse, and even internal illnesses. 

After surgery or childbirth the road to recovery can at times be slow. Post-natal depression can also be a problem.

If you push yourself too hard or are pushed beyond your tolerance level, you’re suffering stress.

We all need help and support from time to time and Acupuncture treatment aims to rebalance your body putting everything back in tune and restoring the natural balance of your mental, physical and emotional functions.

Generally, after a treatment, you’ll feel much calmer, more relaxed and aware of the improvement in your sense of well-being.  

ACUPUNCTURE FOR ANXIETY

The symptoms of anxiety are often not so different to those of when you are stressed, but more severe. A key difference is when you still feel the symptoms when the stress has passed, and often occurring at random times.

Often anxiety is caused by prolonged stress, and the body simply hasn’t been able to re-balance itself.  The symptoms often affect you at night when you are trying to rest which leads to sleeping disorders and insomnia. There are many causes of anxiety and they are often triggered by family problems or stressful jobs. While the body and mind can cope with these for short periods, over a long period of time it can lead to what we call “Heart Qi deficiency” in Chinese medicine. As our Heart houses our ‘spirit’ (what makes us unique), it can become weakened by prolonged emotional strain. Common symptoms seen in clinic are:

  • Palpitations or a feeling your heart is racing
  • Inability to cope at work
  • Crying easily and uncontrollably
  • Tight chest and inability to take deep breaths
  • A feeling of a lump in your throat
  • Trouble sleeping and night sweating
  • Constant feelings of worry
  • Lethargy and even depression

 

All these signs point to a Heart which has become weak and then the mind lacks nourishment, which can also lead to concentration issues and poor memory. These last two symptoms point to the digestive involvement in anxiety, which also becomes weakened from excessive emotions. Often patients have been battling anxiety for many years, and are on medication for it. People want to stop having to rely on medications and wish to find a more natural alternative. Though sometimes necessary, medication should not be the only therapy offered to people with anxiety. Please note that being a Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner we don’t give any advice in regards to medication. This is a conversation you are encouraged to have with your GP. 

Anxiety often causes secondary problems to develop as the underlying problem has never received treatment, this is where Acupuncture can be helpful.

Acupuncture as an anxiety treatment

In a similar manner to how stress is treated, all your symptoms are considered so as to find the underlying cause behind your anxiety.  Every case is different but often the organs of the Liver, Spleen and Heart are involved. Mind calming points are then used to try and reduce the initial flare ups whilst re-balancing the underlying cause.

The first priority is often to correct your sleep, as rest is when the body can repair itself and re-energise.  Realise that with chronic conditions such as this, the treatment plan lasts for months, not weeks.  Anxiety does not develop overnight, it develops slowly and in the background, until you don’t realise how far things have gone.  

Don’t be ashamed to ask for help! We all need it sometimes!

Acupuncture for depression

Depression is much more than feeling in a low mood after a sad or stressful event. Depression is a serious mental and physical illness that changes how a person thinks, feels and behaves. People with depression need professional help and acupuncture and Chinese medicine are extremely beneficial.

Depression is very common with about one in five people having it during their life. 

Signs and symptoms

  • Loss of interest and enjoyment in life
  • Thinking and feeling sad, hopeless, helpless, worthless, in despair
  • Feeling irritable, anxious, moody and angry
  • Problems sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Appetite and weight changes
  • Feeling tired, low energy levels
  • Trouble thinking, concentrating and making decisions
  • Problems with sex or less interest in sex
  • Headaches, body aches and pain
  • Drinking more alcohol or using more drugs

All the symptoms focus around excessive negativity, which does more than change your mood, but your whole attitude towards daily life.  This can lead to not just poor health, but loss of job and disconnection from your friends and loved ones.

What causes depression according to Chinese medicine

In Chinese Medicine theory, Depression is called a ‘constraint syndrome’, meaning the free flow of Qi (your vital energy) has become blocked or knotted.  This disrupted flow stops your Liver from performing its role to regulate the flow of Qi.  This causes your emotions to become stagnant, leading to many of the symptoms listed above.  Because of this blockage, there other symptoms you may be feeling which are as follows:

  • A tight feeling in the chest
  • Pain in the ribs
  • Constant sighing
  • Feeling of heaviness in the body
  • A feeling of a lump in your throat

These are all additional symptoms of constrained Liver Qi, that not only aid diagnosis, but help indicate which areas of your Qi flow are being more affected.  This is because Depression can also lead to other pathologies in Chinese Medicine called blood stasis, phlegm retention and internal fire, which all cause their own symptoms on top of the Depression.

Excessive emotions are the most common cause of your Qi to become knotted, which if not rectified can continue to worsen and causes disharmonies in other organs.  The failure of Qi to flow is what causes the lack of energy and poor concentration. As the digestion lacks nourishment, you lose your appetite, and as you Heart (spirit) becomes malnourished, your mood and attitude declines.  This can also cause insomnia and palpitations.

Depression can also be caused by chronic illness which not only weakens your body but also blocks the Qi flow, which triggers off the emotions and causes further constraint.

USING ACUPUNCTURE TO TREAT DEPRESSION

The role of the Acupuncturist in clinic is to ensure the patient’s Qi flows smoothly. Many organs’ Qi can be involved in constraint besides the Liver, such as your heart, lungs and kidneys.  

As each diagnosis and treatment plan is uniquely tailored, your practitioner will also include points to address the root cause of your associated symptoms. Treating Depression is neither quick nor easy, the treatment plan can go for several months. Ongoing maintenance is advised to help prevent the symptoms of constraint returning. It is important though, that the client have lifestyle plans in place to help cope with daily stresses. Some of the following will help:

  • Learn about depression and its treatment
  • Ask for help. Depression is an illness, not a weakness
  • Let family and friends know how you are feeling. They may not fully understand what you’re going through, but they can provide additional support
  • Some people find it helpful to write down their thoughts and feelings
  • Learn and use relaxation techniques to relax your body and mind
  • Look after yourself. Do some things that you enjoy
  • Devise a plan to follow when you see a pattern of negative thoughts developing so you can break the cycle immediately

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