Dysphagia… swallowing issues

I recently came across a patient who complained of the sensation that something was stuck in his throat. I say recent, because in my years of practising and the thousands of patients I have assisted I have never come across this – this was a strange symptom which my lecturers spoke about during my undergraduate degree.

My patient expressed he had been suffering from this sensation for the past 4 years. Initially he reduced the discomfort by making sure he chewed his food properly, then he became more selective about the textures of the foods he ate and then reduced meal portions to avoid it. He was a guy who liked working out at the gym and playing social football on weekends, but over this period he lost weight and his energy levels were impacted not able to consume the nutrition he required for his active lifestyle.

After 3 years, as it had become progressively worse and the steps he had taken had not improved his situation. He decided to seek assistance and investigations requesting X-rays and MRIs, but they provided no indication of what the cause of the uncomfortable sensation was. There was no physical obstruction or anatomical abnormality or change which appeared in the scans.

He was drained and had lost hope and it was only through his new found girlfriend who discussed his complaint with her friend – a Chinese Medicine practitioner, that he came in for a consultation to work on the globus (sensation of lump in the throat) and dysphagia (difficulty swallowing).

It has been quite a remarkable transformation, following a thorough review of his daily rhythms during consultation and in just 1 month of commencing weekly acupuncture treatment and herbal medicine he was pleased to report that this sensation that had plagued him for 4 years had completely resolved.

Alopecia… hair loss and bald patches

Alopecia (hair loss) is another condition which not only affects our appearance but a persons self esteem. There are many types of alopecia, the main one which I have treated multiple times successfully is Alopecia Areata where hair loss occurs in patches on the scalp. For people subject to this condition, this generally occurs during periods when the are going through of high stress. There is a higher occurrence in women than men and it is classified as an auto-immune condition.

Using acupuncture and also chinese herbal medicine, I have witnessed complete hair regrowth with hair follicles in these bald patches regrowing in as little 1 month to 3 months – across a variation of age groups 30-75yrs of age

Depending on the extent of the hair loss, how long it has been and how one responds to treatment… this will provide a much more accurate view of the actual treatment period.

Pregnancy and Anti-phospholipid Syndrome

This is yet another story with a happy ending, but this one took more time… I was flying back from Japan, only to find crazy messages from an old friend who was reaching out for help. She had suffered multiple miscarriages over the last few years, and told me that after her last miscarriage just a few months earlier that the doctor had ordered blood tests which found she had a condition called Anti-phospholipid syndrome.

This condition essentially caused her blood to be sticky and congealed which would result in miscarriage, finally it presented facts around her miscarriages. On top of that massive news, a few days later she also found out she was pregnant naturally with twins and was 7 weeks pregnant. I researched this condition in depth to understand what the effects are, how modern medicine addresses it and at what stage was most dangerous which allowed me to determine the best treatment approach and schedule for her going forward.

We essentially decided how effective acupuncture would be to stimulate the blood enough to avoid coagulation and it would work side by side with the medications she was required to take. Iron infusions were a necessity due to having twins and extreme shortness of breaththis resulted in massive constipation. Each week we would have a wonderful catch up, tackle the changes and challenges together. At week 15 we looked at the blood work which even indicated that the condition no longer even existed… amazing stuff.

She is now, living happily with her partner and her twinsshe was so fortunate to have both a boy and a girl!

It certainly was exciting to work with her and go on the journey. I have worked with many women with their pregnancies, which raise enormous physical and emotional challenges… it goes without saying that each persons fertility journey is so unique!

Psoriasis… dry itchy, scaly skin

Tis the season, come the spring season patients have walked through the clinic door for not only hay fever but actually psoriasis. Psoriasis is a dermatological condition that some people live with throughout their lives. Of the cases I have treated, it has caused them so much anguish… some put up with it for 5 yrs, others over 20 yrs.

The thought of exposing skin with summer dresses or wearing their hair up was just out of the question for the young women. The dry itchy, scaly skin over their arms, legs and in the hairline was just the start of it. For some it also worked its way to their face where it just couldn’t be hidden.

Using prescribed steroid creams initially provided some relief, however over time their skin soon returned to an uncomfortable state and the creams no longer provided any result.

Psoriasis is an auto-immune disease, and acupuncture is very effective in treating auto immune conditions. So it is worth keeping in mind that acupuncture is able to significantly assist in management of these dermatological conditions.

*Lifestyle and dietary changes can also assist in reducing flare-ups.

Constipation… healthy bowels

Following the festive season I saw an increase of patients who required assistance for their bowel movements. It seems, the complaint of sluggish bowels impacted many due to over indulgence of days or for some weeks of festive gatherings. The digestive system suffered from eating rich cured meats, little fiber from fruits and vegetables, reduced fluid intake and lack of exercise and we got a bit backed up.

For some patients, this resulted in irritability and discomfort and for others it was much more extreme resulting in pressure on the sciatic nerve and pain in their legs. Which in itself caused problems, with a cycle of taking pain killers to relieve leg pain which resulted in further constipation.

Relief was provided with just 1 acupuncture treatment to get everything moving in many and others were assisted further with herbal medicine. What was apparent in these cases, were that these issues really impacted a range of large group of the population whom had pre-existing digestive gut issues – their ages ranged from those in their 30’s to 60’s.

For patients who were looking for a better understanding of their health, I have worked with them to address issues such as gas & bloating, iron deficiencies, haemorrhoids, diverticulitis and irritable bowel syndrome.

Insomnia… asleep just like that

Asleep just like that… Yes it was in fact actually only 2 acupuncture sleeps ago from when my patient for the past couple of years had slept well through the night and woke up all refreshed.

My patient had never experienced acupuncture before, but thought he would make the most of his health fund extras and decided to come in to see if acupuncture could do to help with his poor sleep and low energy levels.

After his 1st acupuncture session he reported that he had instantly been sleeping well, and then after just 2 acupuncture sessions at his 3rd treatment (Each treatment a week apart) he reported that he had not only been sleeping extremely well, but had also begun waking before his alarm and feeling much more refreshed.

He was so pleased with the experience and outcome, he had a happy snap with his needles to post on Fb to share with his family and friends.