The University of York has reported that acupuncture is significantly effective for pain relief and depression.
Reviewers, under Professor Hugh MacPherson, analyzed the results of 29 high quality clinical trials focused on patients treated with acupuncture and standard medical care.
In the majority of these trials, patients with chronic pain treated with acupuncture and standard medical care were tested against those who were provided with standard medical care alone, such as anti-inflammatory drugs and physical therapy. The trials involved approximately 18,000 patients diagnosed with chronic pain of the neck, lower back, head, and knee.
The report, published in the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Journals Library, determined that the addition of acupuncture compared to standard medical care alone, significantly reduced the number of headaches and migraine attacks and reduced the severity of neck and lower back pain.
The analysis also found that acupuncture was cost-effective and reduced the pain and disability of osteoarthritis, which led to patients being less reliant on anti-inflammatory tablets to control pain.
The team also conducted a new clinical trial for depression, where acupuncture or counselling was provided and compared to the effectiveness of medication, such as antidepressants.
In a study of 755 patients with depression in the North of England, researchers showed that both acupuncture and counselling significantly reduced the severity of depressions and that these benefits were largely sustained for up to 12 months after treatment.
Here are what some of our patients had to say about their acupuncture treatment with us:
I contacted Caitlin when my chiropractor suggested acupuncture may help with pain relief. I had been suffering for nearly 6 months with sciatica and had chronic pain in my hip and right leg as a result. This made sleeping difficult and I was unable to stand, sit or lay down for any length of time.
I must admit I was sceptical at first but would have tried anything as pain killers were upsetting my digestion, and I worried about taking too many.
Caitlin was very caring and attentive. She made sure I was relaxed and I felt safe and at ease. After three sessions I felt a definite improvement, and now four weeks on I am sleeping through and getting on with my life. This week I am actually starting to take gentle exercise again which is wonderful. I would certainly recommend giving acupuncture a try for pain relief, and Caitlin is the perfect tonic. You couldn’t find a nicer welcome and more genuine concern.
I started my series of sessions at Caitlin’s practice with two very painful arthritic knees and no particular anticipation of success. After the treatment finished I can honestly say that the pain has totally been removed and my life has been improved considerably.
I have to say that acupuncture has really helped me with my anxiety and depression. Since my treatment I have had no panic attacks and the low moods that I was suffering from on a daily basis have disappeared completely. It has been a pleasure to work with you and I would definitely consider acupuncture an effective and safe alternative in the future. I have passed on your details to several colleagues and hopefully they will benefit from working with you. Thanks ever so much.
Happy Chinese New Year!
28th January welcomes in the New Year and the Year of the Fire Rooster. Remember what I said last year as we started the year of the Fire Monkey? “Expect the unexpected”! It was about surprises and unpredictability. The Yin nature to the Fire rooster brings more calm and relief from the shock, chaos and tension of last year. It’s not all plain sailing, but the issues will be felt in a smaller way and we could feel more grounded.
The Rooster charachteristics include honesty, a strong sense of time keeping, confidence, outspokenness, being responsible at work, attractiveness and being popular. Chickens show us how to live together in harmony, whilst recognising a hierarchy. So this year there is power in coming together and being in groups. New voices could emerge and demand to be listened to with new leaders coming forward. The Yin aspect empowers women and we are advised to follow our intuition and instincts. The Yin Fire Rooster brings clarity to unresolved issues. She offers us a wake up call and wants to be heard. It’s a time to step up and to take responsibility for our lives. Ask yourself “What do I want to change and how will I do this?”.
And for all of us, remember the traditions around the New Year: don’t clean your home with a brush at the start of the New Year as you will be brushing away good fortune. Likewise, don’t wash your hair as your good fortune will go down the drain. Don’t use scissors and try to placate crying children as the sound of the cries brings back luck to the whole family!
Read more about the year of the fire rooster here.
In my lovely yoga class today, my wise teacher, Bridget at Yoga Om, talked about ‘Moments of Being’ as described by Virginia Wolfe. She encouraged us to notice the space or pause between our breaths. What does it feel like when we stop doing?
Woolf calls the forgotten rush of everyday life “non-being,” and contrasts this unconscious state with memorable moments—the hum of bees as she walked to the beach as a girl—that are often mysterious for being so ordinary and yet remembered. In these flashes of time she was conscious of being conscious, instead of “embedded in a kind of nondescript cotton wool” in which human days typically pass. https://richardgilbert.wordpress.com/about/
As we are nearing the shortest day and Winter Solstice, we have the opportunity to embrace the Yin. In Chinese Medicine everything comes back to Yang and Yin and whether they are in balance. Yang is about activity, doing, energy. Yin is about rest and being. Yang is the light, Yin is the dark. The most Yin we can be is when we are dead!
When our Yin is depleted we can feel tired, look pale, have night sweats and feel thirsty. We age more quickly and attract more illness,
Most of us live very Yang lives, in a society that values goals and measures success by our activity. Many of us have a mantra around being ‘too busy’. Many of us are fighting to find our Yang- we don’t want to get up when it’s still dark outside. We struggle to get out in the evening to that restaurant, gig or evening class. Our instinct is to snuggle up in our warm beds, in comfy pyjamas, on the sofa, stroking the cat or dog and eating warm nurturing food like stews and casseroles. Following this instinct is not being lazy or unmotivated. It is embracing our Yin!
During shorter, darker days, we need to conserve our energy and look after our Yin. Leave the big plans and the salad leaves for the Spring!
Now please go and think about what you can do to nourish your own Yin and notice the space in-between the actions and activity and allow yourself to sink into that.
A new Cochrane review, printed in October 2016, considered the results of 22 trials and the experiences of almost 5000 people. The review concluded that “Acupuncture appears to reduce headache frequency with patients with episodic migraine more than usual care (medication) or sham acupuncture”.
We love treating migraine as we see such great results.
Here is what Penny had to say about her acupuncture experience with us:
Caitlin has helped me with migraine and chronic neck pain. After four months of treatment my headaches are much less frequent and rarely turn to migraine. The neck pain has eased considerably, and my energy levels are higher than they have been for many years. It is a painless relaxing treatment in a warm welcoming space.
If you want to find out more about whether we can help to eradicate or manage your migraine get in touch. We would invite you in for an initial consultation, in which we find out more about you, your migraines and general health. We then give you some acupuncture to try. It is usual that a course of sessions are recommended as the benefits build gradually. On average, this may be coming to see us for 6 sessions, once a week. We would hope to see improvements within that time.
I’ve just signed up to enjoy one of Barney’s brilliant breathing sessions. Fancy joining me?
“I’ll be running a gentle Breathing Space workshop on Sunday 27 November, 2 – 5pm, at Leeds Buddhist Centre.
Please come along if you can, and let me know as soon as possible to book yourself a place. We are limited to 10 people maximum.
Hope you can make it!
There will be three main elements to the afternoon, suitable for all comers:
1. Chi Kung exercises for flow and balance
2. T’ai Chi, an introduction to the classical Long Form
3. Body Meditation and Relaxation.
Each hour will have a short break built in, with an extended lie-down to finish.
It costs £15 per person. This session needs to be pre-booked and paid for in advance. Just email me, and I’ll book your place and give details of how to pay.
Have a look at my Facebook Breathing Space page for the event, too, and feel free to share!
07769 806 236
Leeds Buddhist Centre
Leeds Bridge House
Leeds LS10 1JN
The Tetley car park is about a hundred yards away. There are usually plenty of spaces and it’s not too expensive.”