Complementary Health Therapies Acupuncture, Chiropody and Physiotherapy in Barnet, North London

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Acupuncture & Cupping

Rebecca Adlington, Olympic Gold Medal winner, uses acupuncture to help her shoulder injury...

A British Acupuncture Council video providing an insight into how Adam works and treats his patient John Joseph, who has suffered from back pain for many years.

The principle aim of acupuncture is to treat the whole person not just the title of disease and to recover the equilibrium between the physical, emotional and spiritual self.

This is achieved with a diagnosis based on information relating to, for example, past and present emotions, diet, life style and a health history starting as early as childhood.

Acupuncture techniques have been used for over 2,000 years. Although refined and adapted over the centuries, it has retained a simplicity which is still applicable today. This is possible due to the interpretation of signs (what the practitioner sees) and symptoms (what the practitioner is told).

Acupuncture was thought by the Ancient Chinese to alter energy flow through a system of channels or meridians which course through the body. The Chinese believe that the circulation of this energy or life force (‘Chi’) influences health and well-being. Although the precise mechanism is unclear, it is probable that Acupuncture exerts an effect through the central nervous system. By the stimulation of very fine nerves which run beneath the skin it is possible to modify nerve impulses to the spinal cord and brain. This may facilitate the release of certain chemical transmitters, thereby easing many symptoms for which Acupuncture can be effective.

Adam utilises cupping, which is a very old technique spanning the continents and was used in far eastern countries, Africa, north and south America and across Europe. It is recorded that the founder of the Royal Marsden hospital, Dr William Marsden, used cupping extensively during the 1930's. Adam has found cupping to dramatically help with conditions such as diarrhoea, constipation and abdominal bloatedness. Additionally, it is extremely beneficial for muscular-skeletal problems like back pain, frozen shoulders and tightness in thigh and calf. He has also found it very useful for those suffering from respiratory problems, facial paralysis (Bell's Palsy) and other complaints.

Adam uses the more traditional way to apply the cups, which requires a flame to be placed inside the cup (via a lit cotton wool bud soaked in methylated spirit) thereby burning away the oxygen which results in a vacuum . The cup is then quickly and strategically placed against the patient’s body, usually where a light dab of baby oil has been applied in order to assist the process of the cup 'sticking' to the body. The cups come in varying sizes and can be used on adults and children alike.

Another ancient technique Adam uses is Moxibustion. Moxibustion is a therapy that uses moxa, which comprises predominantly of a herb called mugwort. It comes in various forms, shapes and sizes but typically Adam uses it either in a stick form that resembles a cigar or as a small solid cone shape placed on the end of the needle. In either instance the herb is lit and provides a concentrated heat that is usually extremely comforting. This sensation may be localised or can spread superficially or deeper into the body. This technique is called 'indirect moxibustion' because it is not placed directly on the skin; where it is placed on specific acupuncture points on the skin is known as 'direct moxibustion'. Adam tends to use the Japanese technique for 'direct moxibustion' called Okyu. This treatment utilises tiny rice grain sizes of moxa. lit on strategic locations to maximise the benefit.

It is suggested that moxibustion was used before acupuncture with needling supplementing moxa around 200 B.C.E. One of the first books reportedly written about the specific use of moxibustion as a therapy was around 500 B.C.E. by Bian Que a famous doctor of antiquity and one of the first specialist in moxibustion. In Modern China the use of Moxibustion is now inseparable from Acupuncture. However some practitioners of Classical Chinese Medicine still only use Moxibustion as their way of treating illness, which is a testament to the effectives of this therapy. There are numerous studies into the use of Moxibustion and possibly the most popular and widely recognised use is its ability to, in some pregnant women, facilitate the turning of a breach babies, thus preventing the need for caesarean section.

Adam uses Moxibustion because from a TCM perspective it moves the qi and blood to clear obstructions and stagnation in the body; as moxa is warming it is Yang in its energetic quality and so when the body is affected by external pathogenic factors, especially cold it will help remove the restrictions that cold causes which results in the stagnation of flow of qi and blood. In Chinese Medicine, when qi and blood do not flow, it often leads to pain. Sometimes the qi and blood of the body will flow counter to its normal course, this can be the cause of many problems such as nausea, headaches and even panic attacks. Moxa [and acupuncture] can rectify the course of qi and blood. Furthermore if there is a lack of warmth or Qi in the body, symptoms such as weakness, lack of energy, poor circulation, body chills, poor digestion, frequent urination and/or bowel movement, infertility and other problems can result. The warming properties of moxa can help tremendously to restore vitality and energy.

A technique that has developed much more recently is electroacupuncture. This is a form of acupuncture that uses a low frequency TENS type machine providing an electrically stimulated sensation, through the needles, into acupuncture points to produce analgesia and anaesthesia to treat a vast array of painful conditions. Adam has found this therapy hugely helpful for numerous complaints including back pain, frozen shoulders, peripheral neuropathy, Bell's Palsy, knee and ankle injuries/pain and carpal tunnel syndrome.

According to David Mayor, an acupuncturist who started using electroacupuncture in the late 80's and who is Editor of Electroacupuncture: A practical manual and resource (Churchill Livingstone 2007). Electric currents have three effects: chemical, physical (or stimulatory) and thermal. These can influence the body at different levels: cellular, tissue, segmental and systemic. Adam has found that electro-acupuncture can have a profound benefit and positive outcome that may not be achieved by acupuncture without stimulation.

Finally it is worth noting that a recent, 2017, comprehensive review supporting the effectiveness of acupuncture has been collated in the 'Acupuncture Evidence Project', an 81 page document viewable online. There is a summary 5 page version which is also available online. The co-authors opinion is that 'it is no longer possible to say that the effectiveness of acupuncture is because of the placebo effect, or that it is useful only for musculoskeletal pain'. Adam's 21 years as a practitioner in North London (in addition to studying full time for 3 years) corroborates the authors view of acupuncture.

Practitioner: Adam Leighton
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Allergy Testing

An allergy is a reaction to a specific substance. These substances may include pollens, dust particles, molds, foods, latex rubber, insect venom, certain medications, animal hair, or even chemicals that are used in every day household products. When the immune system is working properly it is able to identify the substance and categorizes it as harmful or helpful. However when the immune system is not functioning properly all substances become “harmful” and a reaction then occurs.

Testing is done by the use of simple muscle testing to identify the substances to which you may have a sensitivity or allergy. Then homoeopathic preparations of these substances are used to desensitise your body to them.

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Feet are vital to your independence and an important aspect of overall health care. A wide range of conditions are treated from simple corns, callus and nail conditions to more complicated ailments, such as biomechanical dysfunction and the removal of painful ingrowing toenails under local anaesthetic.

Chiropody is the treatment of feet, addressing specific problems like corns, verrucas or nail care to other general problems like arthritis, leg pain, back pain, sports injuries and disabilities. Chiropody can help people of all ages especially the elderly or physically impaired, to maintain mobility and independence.

The foot is a highly complex structure which is used every day and can be put under high stress. Feet can develop problems themselves and cause problems such as bad posture leading to back or neck pain. Feet can also be affected by many general medical conditions. Chiropodists have a good working knowledge of the whole body, in order to assess the causes and general health implications of the foot problems facing them.

Mobility – and the freedom it brings – is essential to the quality of life and should not be considered a luxury. Unfortunately, immobility is very common due to painful feet and lower limbs.

Clinic visits cost £30.00 and home visits from £33.00.

Practitioner: Maurice Leane

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Many people find that they benefit from sharing their troubles with a trained counsellor. Being able to talk about thoughts and feelings, without fear of being judged or criticised, can be a tremendous relief.

To feel valued and accepted by the counsellor, and not to be given advice can lead to a new energy and acceptance of oneself. A trained counsellor can help to unravel old and new conflicts alike, help someone decide what they want for themselves, without feeling guilty or beholden to others.

Sometimes people need to re-visit past traumas, as a way of coming to terms with them and moving on. A counsellor might be able to help someone cope with bereavement or loss.

The aim of Integrative counselling is to create a unique therapeutic style of working to fit each client’s equally unique view of life and being in the world.  In our work together we would aim to help you implement positive changes in your life wherever and whenever possible, as well as help you build or strengthen your emotional resilience and ability to cope better with your situation. We may explore your early life experiences and their impact on the creation of the person you are today and their possible contribution to your current struggle, combining this with the focus on the ‘here and now’ of your issues; or perhaps examining your negative thought patterns and the associated behaviour that is causing the difficulties in your life.

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Craniosacral Therapy

Craniosacral therapy is a gentle yet powerful therapy which has evolved over the last century from the work of the osteopathic profession. The patient lies fully clothed on a couch while the therapist applies a very light touch to various parts of the body, mainly the cranium, the sacrum, and the back.

It is based is the idea that contrary to popular belief, the bones of the cranium are not fixed, but expand and contract with the gentle rhythm of the craniosacral fluid that bathes the brain and spinal cord. Because nerves go to and from the brain and spinal column to and from every organ, tissue, membrane, and cell of the body, the fluid reflects and is reflected in the state of every part of the body.

The implication of this is that the craniosacral therapist, in feeling fluctuations, asymmetries, twists, turns, stops and other anomalies in the craniosacral system can assess the energetic imbalances in the body . She can then prompt the system to correct itself. The therapist is the facilitator, the body is the healer.

Craniosacral Therapy can be beneficial for people suffering from a whole range of conditions. This therapy is suitable for any age group from newborn to the elderly. An assessment within two weeks of being born is highly recommended. Treatment is not recommended immediately following strokes, clots or aneurysms. This should be discussed with the practitioner.

Practitioner: Rachael Leffman
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Homeopathy is a holistic form of medicine developed by Samuel Hahnemann over 250 years ago. It is based on the law of similars, “treat like with like”. This states that any substance which can cause symptoms, whether physical, emotional or mental to appear in a healthy human being can restore to health an individual showing similar symptoms. Hahnemann named the practice homeopathy from the Greek homoios (the same) and pathos (suffering).

For example: If you peel an onion you may produce tears and your nose may run. When these symptoms are present in the common cold or hayfever, Allium Cepa (the homeopathic remedy made from onion) may be prescribed.

So in order to heal you a homeopath has to find the remedy that matches your symptoms.

The homeopathic medicines, or remedies, are made out of plants, minerals and other natural substances. These are highly diluted during a process called potentisation. During this process the remedy is succussed, or shaken, in order to trigger the reaction within the remedy which makes it so potent. The more a remedy is diluted and succussed, the more potent or powerful it becomes.

Homeopathy is a holistic form of medicine which means that it does not treat individual symptoms or a named diagnosis but rather a complete picture of the whole individual, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.

Practitioner: Rachael Leffman

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Hypnosis is an altered state of consciousness characterised by deep mental and physical relaxation. In this very pleasant, deeply relaxed state, our minds become more focused and we can access the unconscious mind allowing us to change patterns of unwanted behaviour.

Through Hypnotherapy you can effectively reclaim and re-balance your life in a secure, positive and fulfilling way.

Practitioner: Susan Curtin

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