Pain

Acute pain is usually the result of injury.  Whether it be the sporting field, the garden or running to catch that train. None of us are immune from injury.  Tennis elbow, ankle strain and lower back pain are all examples of acute pain.  But remember there are other types as well.  The sudden onset of digestive, period or nerve pain can also be very debilitating.  It’s important to recognise when you are in pain.  Adjust your regular activity accordingly and allow the healing mechanisms in your body to kick in.  Seek the right advice from your health practitioner about how to manage your acute pain. Otherwise you increase the risk it may stick around and turn into a chronic problem.

Chronic Pain

Chronic pain in our body can present in many different areas and with varying intensity. It is common for chronic pain to be the result a specific injury. Such as a lower back disc trauma or arthritis, causing debilitating back and sciatic pain. The computer has a lot to blame for chronic pain developing in the neck and shoulders. This often promotes headaches and migraines.  This type of postural pain can be both sharp or dull and severely impact our productivity and life quality.

Alternatively, chronic pain may be the result of a specific treatment, like chemo or radiation therapy. Peripheral neuropathy (needle-like pain in experienced in the hands and feet) is a common side effect of such treatments. But much of the chronic pain people experience in the clinic is idiopathic. Meaning it has no obvious cause. A migraine is an example of a condition difficult to bio-medically explain, and therefore treat.

A Chinese medicine perspective

When dealing with chronic pain, a Chinese medicine practitioner will not only pay close attention to the traits of the pain. They will also evaluate the overall constitutional health of a person. Pain is often associated with what is known as blood stagnation.  Essentially free flowing oxygenated blood around the body represents good health.  The reasons as to why blood may block or stagnate include stress, physical trauma, diet, environment and many more. Often the potential causes of pain may seem quite random. When addressing the body holistically signs, symptoms and history start to form a clearer picture. For a Chinese medicine diagnosis to be made, certain diagnostic tools are used. These included looking at the tongue, feeling the pulse, palpating an area and discussing the nature of the complaint.  Once the causative feature of the pain is recognised, a comprehensive strategy can be developed to help.

Women’s health

Menstrual health and hormonal balance is a crucial component of wellbeing for women. 60% of women are on the oral contraceptive pill (the pill) often for reasons other than contraception.  Often as a result many women experience unpleasant symptoms and conditions, often unnecessarily. Women go on the pill for many reasons such as irregular cycles, amenorrhea (no periods), skin outbreaks, mood swings, painful periods, heavy periods, endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome.  If these symptoms are ongoing it is always best to check with your GP or specialist.

For some tips on tailoring your exercise program with your menstrual cycle to improve your health click here.

The pill can help manage some symptoms but does not get to the root of the problem and it can cause complications later in life if and when we decide to start a family.

From our first menses through to menopause and beyond, what each woman experiences, is our own unique journey. It can feel quite isolating, month after month, year after year having difficult symptoms and problems to manage. We offer emotional support, lifestyle advice to assist with correcting any hormonal balance and the stress associated with it.

To read about keeping hormones in balance with food click here.

Fertility

Starting a family is not as easy as we thought for some of us. This is due to a combination of factors which means it is now harder to conceive naturally than ever before. Fertility rates are on the decline.

What should be a time of deep connection with our intimate partner, can become a very stressful time. Fertility problems can cause a huge strain on any relationship.

We offer support along your journey with advice on pre-conception supplements, optimal time of your cycle to conceive, nutrition and healthy living advice. Understanding the implications of test results is important. As part of our support to you we will make sure these are discussed and understood. Checking all investigations have been undertaken is a big part of our support. We also include in our suggestions an early sperm analysis for men. This means that any issues with motility, morphology or sperm count can be identified and measures can be put in place to increase the sperm quality. We find it’s much more likely to get the outcome you want when everyone is on the journey together. We offer support and advice to all singles and couples interested in fertility.

 

IVF

For some of us, natural conception is not an option after we have sought all appropriate medical advice. For others who are single or a same sex couple, they don’t have many choices but to embark on a very time consuming and expensive process (or multiple processes).

Whatever your situation, we have years of experience and up to date training to support and guide you step by step through your IVF journey. We work together with IVF specialists to achieve the best outcome. Continuing research suggests acupuncture can be a supporting service to all IVF treatments.  Speak to your specialist.

It can be a physically and emotionally overwhelming journey. It seems to be a full time job just keeping on top of the appointments, medication and scans. We are here to support you during this stressful time.

Pregnancy

It’s true some people associate pregnancy with a beautiful glow.  However often in reality you may be faced with; morning sickness, reflux, fluid retention, headaches, varicose veins, insomnia, to name just a few! It’s no wonder some woman find this time very challenging. As the body is changing and carrying more weight, pelvic pain, hip pain and back pain are all common, especially if you had pre-existing back pain. This pain can make daily tasks difficult and sleep a nightmare.

We understand how difficult a time this can be and offer emotional support during the different stages of pregnancy along with the stress of preparing for birth and beyond.

Click here to read about acupressure for labour pain.

Post-Natal Care

With so much focus on the pregnancy and birth, it’s important to be supported during the post-natal period. Not only can you become depleted due to giving birth but your new mum lifestyle is full of challenges.  Common problems include difficulties breastfeeding, mastitis, post-natal depression, relationship stress, insomnia and “Mummy Thumb”/De Quervain’s syndrome.  Along with your GP, we can assist you with any issues that arise with practical advice and support.

Menopause

It is roughly estimated that over our lifetime, women have 450 periods. Towards the end there is a gradual decline.   Due to hormonal changes at this time, in particular a reduction in estrogen, menopause can be accompanied by symptoms such as hot flushes, insomnia and irritability. It can be an very extremely challenging time that affects your relationships, work efficacy, and all over life quality.

During menopause, it’s really important you get support and guidance to help minimise the impact this time can have on your life.  By preparing for the transition and managing its onset through discussion, diet and lifestyle advice, we can help.