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.

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.