I love working with athletes. This week I have helping a runner overcome his achilles tendon injury and after 2 treatments he is over 80% better!
Here is a great video clip of the acupuncturist who works with the Tour De France Team and has devised acupuncture protocols for recovery and relaxation that each team member receives regularly during the Tour.
I have talked before about the importance of Vitamin D in trying to conceive. Zita West has been discussing this for the past 2 years or so and collecting data on women accessing her clinic. She found a very high rate of women trying to conceive were Vitamin D deficient. The importance of Vitamin D for many health functions has only started to be explored in the last year or so. In terms of pregnancy, it is thought that low levels of Vitamin D may be associated with delayed conception, miscarriage, IVF failure and pregnancy complications. A study just out has confirmed that women who are Vitamin D deficient are only half as likely to conceive using IVF.
If you are concerned about your own level of Vitamin D you could ask your GP to test your levels. Zita West has just launched her own ‘at home’ Vitamin D finger prick test which is a great price of £47. Supplementation of Vitamin D should be monitored so if you are deficient involve your GP or talk to Zita about how to check your levels.
Yesterday I had a great meeting with Tony Rutherford, consultant at Leeds RMU. Tony has generously been giving me time for a number of years now, allowing me to ask questions and keep abreast of the service they offer at Leeds RMU and sharing his opinions on developments within the IVF field. At his suggestion I recently presented at the Northern Fertility Nurses Conference, raising awareness of the role of acupuncture within IVF. It looks like our link could be becoming stronger in the future- more to follow later but I’m very excited and honoured to be shown support from such a great team at Leeds.
Today a patient asked me what my day was like as she was interested in the variety of what we as acupuncturists do. So I thought I would share with you and paint a picture of the diversity of my professional life.
Before I started clinic I received a phone call from a patient who has been trying to conceive, and I was delighted to hear that she is pregnant. We booked her in to receive weekly acupuncture to support the pregnancy in its early stages. I also answered an email enquiry from a potential patient who is struggling with her IBS and feeling bloated and lethargic. Acupuncture is great at balancing digestive health and we often see results within a couple of weeks.
In clinic my first patient was a 70 year old runner who had damaged his achilles tendon whilst running last weekend. We talked through the things he could be doing to help heal the injury such as using hot and cold and how he could psychologically manage not running for a while. He mentioned his arthritis in his left hand so I also treated that using acupuncture needles and moxabustion (a dried herb that can be lit and held over the pain point and can be used to warm the area and alleviate any pain condition). He text me later to say his hand had never felt so good!
I saw a woman in her 50′s who has a history of neck pain causing migraine and headache. She’s done brilliantly with treatment and now comes once a month to maintain her good health and keep the headaches at bay.
I then saw a couple who have been trying to conceive for 18 months with no success. We talked through their fertility journey and discussed ways in which they could maximise their natural fertility. This included the man making some dietary changes and reducing his alcohol use and looking at ways in which they could bring some romance back into their relationship to counter the forced feeling of baby-making. Both left the session saying they felt it was the first time they had had an opportunity to talk and the woman booked in for acupuncture next week to help regulate her menstrual cycle.
After some lunch and picking up and responding to messages and texts from patients, I saw a young woman who struggles with insomnia. It was her 4th session and already her sleeping pattern has normalised. She previously was having about 3 nights a week with no sleep at all, and the other nights it could take her up to 2 hours to fall asleep and then be broken after 2am, waking often and just dozing. She had slept well for 6 of the last 7 nights and the only night that she struggled, when she did awake at 2am she got back to sleep within 15 minutes. We decided to make her next session in 2 weeks rather than 1 to see if the benefits of the acupuncture would keep her sleep pattern this good for longer. If she is struggling she will ring me to come back sooner.
I was really looking forward to me next patient who was now 38 weeks pregnant as I hadn’t seen her since she was 10 weeks. She had come for acupuncture to support her IVF cycle, got pregnant and had weekly acupuncture until she was 9 weeks, which we recommend in early pregnancy. She was now due to have pre birth acupuncture – 3 sessions prior to her due date. The research suggests that this makes it more likely that the woman will have a natural labour and avoid interventions (many of our patients manage labour just on gas and air), spend a shorter time in the first stages of labour, and that the baby is less likely to be overdue so thereby lessen the risk of medical induction.
My last patient of the day was a woman in her 30′s who has had breast cancer. She has been receiving chemotherapy and we fit the acupuncture around her chemo plan so she feels well enough to come and the acupuncture can help support her energy, lift her spirits and help her legs feel stronger. The acupuncture helps to deal with the negative side effects of the chemo.
Lastly, I had a telephone call with an acupuncturist that I supervise and mentor who is starting a new place of work next week. She wanted to talk through some of the issues that may arise and look at how to best manage her time.
Now for a cup of tea!
Finally some good news being reported about becoming a mother at an older age! Older women trying to conceive are quickly criticised in the media for having ‘put their careers first’ and are ‘leaving it too long’ to conceive.
This recent study has found that a huge benefit from having children older (after the age of 33) is that you may live longer! The proposed theory is that women who conceive naturally later on, may also have a slower aging process being mirrored in other parts of their body.
Apparently women who gave birth to a child after the age of 40 were four times more likely to live to 100 than women who had their last child at a younger age!
Read more here.