Eric Goodchild shares his recent experiences of treating a patient daily for acute pain.
Last September, my wife and I took the car ferry to Santander in Northern Spain and drove home over the Pyrenees and up through France. En route, we had arranged to stay with some old friends in Southern France for a few days and knowing that Dick had been suffering from fibromyalgia I remembered to pack a box of 200 needles…more.
On the first morning as we were about to leave our Hotel in Pamplona, my wife twisted as she bent to pick up her case and screamed in pain. She had prolapsed a disc in her lower back and couldn’t move. I managed to support her to the car and make her comfortable and we set off over the mountains to our Friends house. By the time we got there she was pale and exhausted from the journey and very immobile.
Fortunately in our bedroom there was a sturdy table exactly the right height and dimensions to make an impromptu treatment couch so I was fully equipped to start a program of treatment. I treated her twice a day for the next 4 days and the results were spectacular. By the fourth day she was walking normally, able to get up from sitting without assistance and sleeping comfortably. She had made the sort of progress normally achieved in a month with acupuncture once or twice a week.
I continued on our return home to treat her each day for the next 10 days and she continued to make excellent progress until she “forgot’ about it and re-injured the disc moving heavy boxes around in the attic! Luckily it was not a severe aggravation and we were back on target within 24 hours.
It is a rare opportunity to be able to give very frequent treatments for acute pain conditions.
Because of the cost and time constraints it is far more usual for patients to opt for 1 or 2 sessions per week. This has therefore become the normal recommendation.
My experience of treating my wife has made me re-think this protocol. Much more frequent treatment allows much more speedy and complete recovery. I will be recommending this to patients in the future.
We are delighted that Alison Rodgers has recently qualified as a Foot Care Practitioner and is running a Wednesday clinic, here at Cheltenham Holistic Health Centre.
- Toe Nail Cutting
- Corn Removal
- In-growing Toe Nails
- Hard skin and callus removal
- Fungal Nail Reduction
- General Foot Care requirements
£28 per treatment. Book your appointment by ringing us on 01242584140, through out online booking tool or feel to contact Alison directly on 07450 808747,
By Katja Behrens
In my time of homeopathic practice I have met with many patients with anxiety problems and have realised the great efficacy of homeopathic remedies in cases of stress and anxiety.
Are you also experiencing at times how debilitating anxiety can be?!
You’re not alone. Anxiety or panic attacks affect everyone at some stage or another but homeopathy has remedies to help.
According to recent trials homeopathy is just as effective as diazepam (Valium) and benzodiazepine (Lorazepam or Ativan) at treating nervousness and anxiety disorders but without addictive or harmful side effects.In one small study by a professor of psychiatry, 60% of participants with major depression, social phobias, or panic disorders responded favourably to homeopathic treatment.
With the right homeopathic treatment, those living with debilitating anxiety can, over a bit of time, look forward again to enjoying a happier and worry-free life.
For more information on how homeopathy or mindfulness can help you please go to our website:
Heulluy, B, Essai Randomise Ouvert de L.72 (specialite homeopathique) Contre Diazepam 2 dans les Etats Anxio-Depressifs. Metz, Laboratoires Lehning.
van den Meerschaut, Lodewijk and Sunder, Andrea. The Homeopathic Preparation Nervoheel N can Offer an Alternative to Lorazepam Therapy for Mild Nervous Disorders. eCAM 2009 6: 507-515; doi:10.1093/ecam/nem144
Davidson, J, Gaylord, S, ―Meeting of Minds in Psychiatry and Homeopathy: An Example in Social Phobia, Alternative Therapies, July, 1995,1,3:36-43.
Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas and New Year! We are open for most of it, so if you are in need of any appointment over the festive season, just get in touch.
Reception is closed on 25/26/28/1st January but you can still make appointments using our online booking system.
Eating right for Winter
Keeping yourself healthy throughout the Winter becomes more difficult if you are or your kids are in a stuffy environment, surrounded by people coughing and sneezing. So how can we best protect ourselves?
Many factors influence the health of our immune system – stress, diet, quality of sleep and exercise. Additionally, gut health is incredibly important to our immune function, given that the cells which help us fight bacteria and viruses are located in our gut mucosa. Vitamin D levels too play an enormous role and catching colds and flu maybe be symptomatic of an underlying deficiency.
Some steps to good immunity
1) Add at least 5 portions of seasonal fresh fruit and vegetables a day. Vitamin C is a strong anti-oxidant, but it is also water soluble, meaning that you excrete it in your urine and so needs to be eaten every day – not just when you feel a cold coming on. Sprouts, broccoli and kale are all surprising sources of good levels of vitamin C.
2) Add at least 3 portions of probiotic foods a week. A good balance of beneficial gut flora can boost your immune system. You may improve your levels naturally with probiotic foods, such as natural live yoghurt, kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut or kombucha, and if you are dairy free, then you will find there is also coconut kefir or live coconut yoghurt.
3) Add prebiotic fibre to your diet daily. Prebiotic foods are those which supply the indigestible fibre for our good bacteria to feed upon, thereby ensuring that they thrive. Onions, garlic, bananas, leeks, asparagus, cabbage and legumes all have good levels of prebiotic fibre.
4) Add spices – ginger, garlic and turmeric all have anti-inflammatory properties which can aid your body in its fight against infection.
5) Get your vitamin D levels checked. Sub-optimal levels of vitamin D levels will significantly impair your immune response, potentially making you far more susceptible to contracting colds, flu, and other respiratory infections. Exactly why adults absorb and process vitamin D so differently is still somewhat of a mystery, so the only way to know if your vitamin D level is therapeutic and nontoxic is by having your blood tested. A simple £32.50 test can tell you if you need to supplement and at what level.
What is the menopause?
The menopause is a natural part of a woman’s life cycle. With the ageing process, our oestrogen levels decrease and periods become less frequent until they stop altogether. Oestrogen is the hormone that regulates a women’s periods. This process can take many years and symptoms may appear gradually. This gradual change is called the peri-menopause.
When does it happen?
The menopause usually occurs around the ages of 45 to 55. The average age is 51. In some cases, it might start as young as young as 30. This is known as a premature menopause
Signs and Symptoms
Some women will pass easily through the menopause, but most will experience some of the symptoms to a greater or lesser degree. Symptoms arise because of the loss of oestrogen, which happens with the ageing process. Symptoms may also be affected by diet and lifestyle.
It is also thought that the more out of balance the body is, the worse the symptoms will be. These imbalances may have occurred due to diet, exercise and lifestyle.
Here are some of the most common symptoms:
- Changes to periods: The flow and frequency of your periods may change.
- Hot flushes: This is the most common symptom and occurs in about 3 of every 4 women going through the menopause. Some women say that the description of ‘hot flush’ doesn’t do justice to what happens. Many liken the experience to being placed in a hot furnace. In some women, this can occur many times throughout the day. Sometimes these hot flushes occur at night and are known as night sweats.
- Insomnia: This may be as a result of night sweats which disturb sleep.
- Vaginal dryness: The lack of oestrogen means that the skin and support tissues of the vagina become thinner and less elastic, and also for the vagina to become dry. This can cause irritation and itchiness. There may also be discomfort during sex.
- Low mood, anxiety, irritability: Oestrogen can also affect the brain, which has an effect on emotional well-being. Symptoms such as mood swings, anxiety and irritability may occur. There may also be difficulty in concentrating and forgetfulness.
The most common treatment is Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). This can take the form of tablets, cream or gel, a skin patch or an implant. It works by replacing oestrogen and so relieves the symptoms that are caused by decreasing levels of oestrogen.
However, the side effects of HRT include weight gain, breast tenderness, nausea, headaches and mood changes. It is not recommended for women with a history of stroke or deep vein thrombosis, breast or endometrial cancer, or severe liver disease.
There is conflicting evidence as to the long-term safety of HRT. Some studies suggest an increase in the risk of breast cancer and heart disease. Other studies show that it is safe and that these results are over-estimated.
Menopause should not be seen as a loss of youth but rather as the potential gaining of wisdom and spiritual power. Flaws B (2005)
Acupuncture and the Menopause- How can I help you?
Many women are looking for alternative ways to help them with the symptoms of menopause; acupuncture is a natural way that many are choosing. Acupuncture works with the body. I look at where there are patterns of imbalance and work to address these by inserting needles into carefully chosen acupuncture points. In this way, we bring about balance to the body which enables the body to heal itself, alleviating the symptoms you may be experiencing. You may also feel more positive and able to embrace the journey that you are on!
Ideally you would make changes to your diet and lifestyle and start a course of acupuncture prior to this stage of your life, before the symptoms arise. Prevention is always better and we look to create balance, putting your body in the best possible place for an easy transition through this phase of life.
What can you do to help yourself?
Diet and Lifestyle
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet: Avoid sugary processed foods that causes your blood sugar to spike. Keeping insulin levels stable can prevent or alleviate some of the symptoms.
- Exercise: or simply move more! A sedentary lifestyle can have a very negative impact on your health and well-being. There are many apps and devises, such as step counters, that can track your movement throughout the day.
- Rest and relaxation: Our modern lifestyle can be very stressful. We are constantly available. Giving time, even 10 minutes a day, to some sort of resting activity such as mediation or mindfulness exercises can have a really positive effect on health and well-being. You will then be in a better place to deal with the stresses in your life. Again, there are many apps available to help you with this.
Whatever choice of treatment you make, I would always suggest that you look at all of the evidence, weigh up the pros and cons, and make an informed decision that is right for you.
Please contact me if you would like any further information or if you would like to book an appointment.
TeenYoga: A class especially for our young adults
TeenYoga provides a place for our young adults to get away from the pressures of school, friends, family and phones. Each one-hour class incorporates movement, breathing techniques and meditation. A time to release stress in the body through stretching and moving which feels so good; learning to understand the rhythms of the breath and use these to influence our feelings; a time to meditate, have stillness – a time to rest.
Yoga movements and postures (asanas) are the main part of the class. Moving the body into certain shapes can make us feel more alive and confident whilst other shapes can help us calm. The idea is to notice these feelings and be OK with them – this can help us begin to understand the root cause as to why we feel a certain way. When we can understand why we feel a certain way, start to be comfortable with being challenged in yoga asanas and begin to foster the patience to practice within the safe environment of a yoga class, we can start to use these techniques outside of the class – in school and home. Yoga is great for sporty teens as a form of cross-training for other sports. It’s also a beautiful way to be active in a non-competitive environment for the not-so-sporty.
“I enjoy going to teen yoga because it helps with my stress. I also try and practice some of the moves at home too because I’m trying to get my splits. It’s helped a lot with improving my flexibility and keeping myself calm in hard situations (like the breathing exercises we do).”
The classes also focus on breathing techniques. Some yoga breathing techniques are taught with particular attention to stress relief – a bonus for those with exams coming up. Breath powers each asana. In some asanas it is more difficult to breath as the body may be twisted, or in a backbend. We can use awareness to refine how we need to breath to be comfortable in a position; again these challenges can be translated off the mat and into life!
So many of the young people I teach always ask for more meditation. The meditation we do in this class is the yoga nidra meditation. Nidra means sleep! Whilst people really do sometimes fall asleep, the real meaning is the sleep of the body. The meditation, done lying down, includes a body scan to fully relax the body. Once completed there are simple breathing meditations and sometimes visualizations. Yoga nidra is a real gift of ease and time-out for our teens.
“It’s really nice to go after a day at school and just forget about everything. I enjoy learning different poses and feel more flexible now after doing yoga for a year. The best part of the class is the meditation (sleeping…!) at the end.”
Summary of benefits of yoga
- develops strength, flexibility and stamina
- reduces tension, stress and anxiety
- raises self-esteem and promotes self-efficacy
- improves motivation
- develops clarity, focus and concentration
- creates awareness of emotional responses
- encourages self-management of behaviour
- promotes social, mental and emotional health
“It’s been a safe place to unwind and de stress. Best thing ever for teenagers.”
Katie currently teaches yoga at a local grammar school and a local girls’ school.
She runs a TeenYoga class each Tuesday during school term time at Cheltenham Holistic Health Centre.
Katie also runs adult vinyasa, hatha and restorative yoga classes at the centre.
Restorative Yoga with Katie Maughfling (Yoga with Katie)
Restorative yoga is a relatively new style of yoga. It was developed in 1937 by B.K.S. Iyengar to help students release into yoga asanas (poses) without stress or strain and so has the benefit of assisting in recovery from injury or illness.
Restorative yoga is a deeply relaxing style of yoga. Each asana is held anywhere from 2-20 minutes, depending on the pose and the student. During this time you are supported by blankets, bolsters or pillows and blocks. The asanas are based on those found in a regular hatha or vinyasa class and there is a special sequencing of the poses as in a regular yoga class, whilst being held and supported throughout.
In all yoga we aim to let go of the ego, and even more so in restorative yoga. Holding these supported asanas for minutes at a time can be mentally challenging as we learn to watch the mind as the body stills.
Yoga with Katie is now offering Restorative Yoga classes at the Cheltenham Holistic Health Centre. We have here a number of mats, blocks, blankets and bolsters, however do bring your own if you have them.
These restorative classes will be 90 minutes long and will have the additional benefit of a yoga nidra meditation at the end.
Cost £12 per person, per session. Bookings essential. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and booking.
Katie also runs weekly vinyasa, hatha and teen yoga classes at the centre.
Yoga with Katie
email@example.com / 07581861906
What people say about these classes:
“Bliss. Beginning with seemingly small movements to encourage your body to release tension. Using props, such as bolsters and blankets for comfort, very much guided by your own bodies’ needs. Surprisingly powerful poses culminating in a period of calming meditation. Katie expertly guides you through this so there is no need to be nervous for those joining for the first time! Really beneficial and great to take time out to restore and relax. Snoring optional.”
“The class was very gentle, but surprisingly effective. I felt a lot more relaxed and peaceful afterwards and it freed me from the stiffness I usually feel in my neck.”