What we treat

Pain can be the result of many underlying causes. Some of the conditions we treat are listed below. This is not an exhaustive list and you are encouraged to contact us if your condition is not mentioned. We will be happy to discuss with you whether acupuncture and/or SCENAR Therapy can help.

You can click on the conditions highlighted in green to read further information on how this condition is treated and the prognosis. Please note that progress and treatment outcomes where given are general, as in practice this will vary depending on the individual.

Conditions

Ankylosing Spondylitis

Your treatment will take into account different causal factors from a Traditional Chinese Medicine viewpoint. Often slow, prolonged and deeply penetrating warming moxibustion, combined with acupuncture, massage and exercise to promote the movement of energy will improve your comfort, enhance muscle healing and reduce inflammation. SCENAR therapy can be used to reduce pain, speed up the healing of muscles, balance the immune system and stimulate acupuncture points. SCENAR treatment will be required two times each week initially.

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Rheumatoid Arthritis

The treatment will depend on at what stage the disease has progressed to. The treatment of rheumatoid arthritis is especially complex. It involves different stages, which according to the circumstances, focus on treating the underlying cause or the symptoms. Acupuncture is often used as an adjunct to conventional medical treatment, permitting a lower dosage of drugs and thereby limiting toxicity and side effects. When acupuncture is combined with herbs and modifications to the diet followed; its therapeutic efficacy is then quite significant.

Osteoarthritis

Acupuncture and SCENAR therapy can be particularly good at alleviating painful flare-ups and to treat the chronic condition. Massage, liniments and herbs are useful adjuncts. Diet and exercise changes will enhance the treatment and prolong its effects. Chinese Medicine aims to improve circulation and joint movement to bring long lasting relief to sufferers. However as joint tissues are mainly connective tissue and often less well supplied with blood and nerves than other tissues, the repair is often slower and a greater number of treatments will be required. In addition, the structure of the joint means that by the time a joint produces any symptoms, the joint structure could have deteriorated significantly and this is more difficult to treat. In severe cases, where anti-inflammatory drugs are still appropriate, Chinese Medicine and SCENAR Therapy can reduce dosages needed and improve the overall result. As a general rule, the less severe the signs of degeneration on an x-ray, the more long-term relief can be given.

Repetitive Strain Injuries

Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI) such as carpal tunnel syndrome and hand, wrist, forearm tendonitis responds well to acupuncture, including electroacupuncture, SCENAR therapy, moxibustion and massage. Also herbal liniments can be used. RSI is often related to a person’s occupation or sport and it is important to seek early treatment, as this has the best prognosis, before it becomes debilitating and a threat to your livelihood or ability to do your sport.

Rest is important for recovery. Repetition of movements does not allow muscles, tendons, or ligaments sufficient recovery time and therefore can damage these structures. Fatigue of the tissue leads to micro-tears which become chronically inflamed as they are aggravated over and over again without adequate rest. Local ischemia (restricted blood flow) results in the accumulation of lactic acid and other metabolic wastes. The resulting inflammation causes damage as tissue is remodeled and scar tissue is formed and it can also activate pain reflexes. Muscle imbalance can occur as they either shortened or hypertonic, or conversely elongated into a weakened position, leading to overuse of other muscles. This can contribute to nerve compression and pain activation.

In RSI, stress at home and in the workplace or anxiety or depression can play key roles. These underlying issues can be addressed by Chinese Medicine as it takes a holistic view.

RSI treated:

  • Achilles tendonitis
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Tennis Elbow (lateral epicondylitis)
  • Golfers Elbow (medial epicondylitis)
  • Rotator cuff tendonitis

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Headaches and Migraines

Acupuncture has become a well-accepted alternative solution to headaches and migraines, even in cases where patients experienced little or no pain relief from medications or nerve blocks. Acupuncture effectively reduces the intensity and frequency of headaches and migraines. It is also safe, without the side-effects of medication or surgery, so that you can become pain free and remain stable over time. If you do not like needles, then SCENAR therapy is equally as effective, and may be more suitable for you.

Medications are often potentially more debilitating and harmful than the headache itself. Studies have shown that headache drugs can cause liver damage, ulcers or become addictive. Overuse of migraine drugs, for example, can cause rebound headaches. Rebound headaches are different from migraine headaches. They are usually triggered after pain medicine has worn off, prompting you to take another dose. Eventually you get a headache whenever you stop taking the drug. Steroid injections used as a nerve block carry the risk of complications and can not be used for prolonged periods of time. Surgical treatments for headaches and migraines can cause other neurological problems.

The Traditional Chinese diagnosis will take a holistic approach based on your headache or migraine aetiology, physiology and emotional wellbeing. We can help relieve the symptoms of a tension, cluster or sinus headaches. Stress is often a factor in both headaches and migraines and acupuncture is very effective at helping you relax and recover quickly from stress. The other benefits of this include less neck pain, reduced anger, anxiety, irritability and more stable moods. For women who suffer migraines related to their hormonal cycle, we can help regulate your hormones.

For migraines more intensive treatment is sometimes required. Twice weekly visits for a couple of weeks may be required, reduced to once a week for 3-4 weeks, with follow up treatment as needed. Adherence to the treatment plan and maintenance regime is needed in order to change the various underlying causes and fully succeed with the treatment. Lifestyle changes may be necessary to prevent further headaches or migraine attacks.

Before coming for a treatment you may want to keep a headache or migraine diary, recording your symptoms and any associated links: stress, tension, emotion, foods, alcohol, tiredness, sleep and so on. This will help identify trigger factors and be a useful reference to monitor the effects of the treatment.

Acupuncture and SCENAR therapy can significantly improve your ability to ward off migraine and headache, and put you on the road to the healthier pain-free life you deserve.

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Back Pain

Back pain is one of the most common reasons people seek medical attention. Over time, many factors can put great pressure on the spine and its supporting muscles. Common causes of back pain include disease, accidents, poor posture and over-exertion (e.g. sports/occupational). The back extends from the bottom of the skull to the tip of the tailbone. However, the majority of backache sufferers complain of pain in the lower back and the second most common site of discomfort is the base of the neck.

The dysfunction of the back can be due to a variety of causes including:

  • Facet joints - The Facet joints are situated at the back of the spine, with one on either side of the spinal column and have a rich nerve supply. These joints dictate the movement of the spinal column and can become irritated due to poor posture and or over-use, this can cause painful symptoms.
  • Discs - The discs between the vertebrae can also be a cause of back pain. These discs perform the job of shock absorbers. Certain conditions can cause the soft centre of the disc to bulge or herniated (“slipped disc”), putting pressure on the delicate nerves, this often causes pain in the limbs. This can be caused by trauma such as heavy lifting but it can arise due accumulative stresses and general wear and tear.
  • Muscular - Much back pain is muscular in nature. Muscle pain perpetuates what is known as the pain cycle, a phenomenon of which the back is particularly susceptible. In the pain cycle, pain causes a muscle to spasm, which may distort the discs, joints and nerves of the spine. This spasm leads to further pain, leading to further spasm, which compounds the original problem. If the nerves are irritated enough, it may cause pain to radiate down into the leg, similar to pain experienced via a herniated disc.

Acupuncture and SCENAR Therapy can play an important role in the reduction or elimination of back pain by reducing recovery time and preventing a chronic condition from developing. Treatment relieves muscle spasm which helps to restore normal movement to the joints of the spine, which is vital to hasten recovery. It can also reduce inflammation and so allowing normal blood flow to be restored much quicker and hasten the healing process.

Research has shown that acupuncture causes the body to produce natural steroids and promote the production of natural endorphins. Steroids decrease inflammation, while endorphins relieve pain. Both substances can play an integral part in the breaking up of the pain cycle.

By reducing acute back pain, acupuncture may also reduce the chances of chronic back pain from occurring. It can help avoid the need for costlier and more invasive surgical procedures. Furthermore, if back pain can be significantly reduced with acupuncture, it also lowers the need for painkillers or other medications that can either cause unwanted side effects or prolong a patient's condition.

The number of treatments required and prognosis will depend on the type and severity of your condition as well as duration; with more chronic problems being generally more difficult to treat. Acupuncture techniques and SCENAR Therapy will be used as necessary (read more about the benefits of these techniques). Acupuncture can be used along side other therapies to enhance recovery: physiotherapy, chiropractic and osteopathy. Sometimes these practitioners use ‘dry needling’ (often taught as a weekend specialism) which should not be confused with acupuncture. The difference is in the theoretical approach and understanding of disease and how it is treated. In short, traditional acupuncture offers a holistic approach.

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