Treat's Rebecca Geanty spoke to an audience of journalists and members of the British Acupuncture Council at an event on 15th of November at the Shard to celebrate World Acupuncture Day.
She focussed on the amount of work done at Treat with patients suffering chronic health conditions and the capacity of the clinic to help reduce surgery workloads dealing with chronic conditions known to respond well to acupuncture
Rebecca was accompanied by two patients who also faced the press to tell their stories - which they kindly allowed us to use today.
I broke my neck, damaged nerve roots, have degenerative disc disease, have CRPS, peripheral and general neuropathy, prolapsed disc, sciatica, muscle spasm, headaches, sleep problems and CMP in my right knee. This was all caused by injury in-service with the Royal Air Force and poor rehab management on the RAF medics part.
I came to Acupuncture after my GP advised me to look to alternative therapies as my treatment by the NHS had run its course with no noticeable difference over time (there had been short term benefits from injections, but only in the order of 2 to 4 months). I saw a new multi-bed being advertised as starting up in Norwich and went to their first session. There was no magic bullet and I was told it would take several treatments for there to be any effect. As an engineer, I need proof that something works, blind faith does not cut it for me, so I had some healthy cynicism towards it. The lightbulb moment was about 6 week into treatment, I went into severe neck, shoulder and upper back spasm just before treatment and walked into the clinic hunched up and clearly in a lot of pain. After 90 minutes of Chinese cups and electro-acupuncture the spasm had gone and residual pain was minimal. I was almost back to normal pain levels for me. What a relief!
I decided to give it a real commitment for 6 months, to see if it had longer term benefits and after 6+ years, I’m still seeing Rebecca at Treat Norwich on a monthly basis. The longer-term benefits are that it has stabilised my condition, my flare-ups are a few a year, not a few a month and set-backs are not the 3 or 4 a year that they were, I’ve had 1 in the last 3 or so years. It’s become an integral part of my long-term pain management strategy, makes the difference in being able to hold down a high pressure full time job. Helps to keep the meds at reasonable levels, again helping me stay functional in a job that requires lots of brain power.
It is not a magic bullet or wonder cure, my condition is still getting worse more generally, but it is making it much more manageable, more comfortable than would otherwise be the case and making my standard and quality of life much the better for it. I have no medical evidence for this but my opinion is that it has slowed the progression of my condition and would have probably had to take ill-health retirement a few years ago, whereas I’m looking to remain working for the foreseeable future, as well as contributing to my community as a local councillor or giving back by serving on the board of a local disability charity and being a husband and father to 2 university students.
I have suffered from back pain since I was 12 when I had to give up ballet. My father also suffered all his life. He and I were both tall people, my father was 6’3” and I am 5’11”.
All my life I was told the pain was because I was tall, no treatment was really offered at all except for pain medication. When I had knee problems 3 or 4 years ago I had an MRI on my knee. When I saw the consultant for my results I asked if I paid for an MRI privately would the NHS pick up any treatment necessary. He was horrified that I should pay and put me forward to an MRI on my spine. As a result I was told I had 5 bulging discs lower back and two vertebrae with no disc between. I was given steroid injections which did not work.
At this point I visited Rebecca at Treat for multi bed acupuncture and since then have been in much less pain, with more flexibility, and have been able to reduce my daily 6 x tramadol that I was having to take.
As a pensioner I cannot afford to go as often as I may but am managing to maintain the relief and Rebecca is very helpful and runs a very efficient practice and is very knowledgeable.