Archive for the ‘Acupuncture’ Category

November 17, 2014 · by Sean Heneghan · Acupuncture, Cognitive Hypnotherapy

“I first started seeing Sean for acupuncture treatment in 2010 on the recommendation of a chiropractor who worked at the same clinic as Sean. I needed treatment to help alleviate some debilitating symptoms I was experiencing. As an ‘invisible’ illness it is almost impossible to find a practitioner who can fully understand the varying range and degree of symptoms and how to treat them. I immediately found Sean had a great understanding of the symptoms and his gentle listening approach made it easy for me to explain the severity of the symptoms I was experiencing and how they impacted on my life.

I was already familiar with acupuncture and I was sure it would help but I was totally amazed at the speed at which the symptoms disappeared – even after the first treatment. No more pacing myself in case energy levels plummeted, and the pain lowered to the level that allowed me to get a full night’s sleep.

However, during the course of the acupuncture treatments, various other life events occurred that that had a huge emotional impact on me – car accident, house move, bereavements to name a few! I was starting to feel unable to move forward with my life and generally felt overwhelmed with a huge sense of grief and sadness that would appear as tears and sobbing at any given moment. Not a great way to be when you are trying to work and maintain a professional head on your shoulders!

It was at this time that I began having Cognitive Hypnotherapy with Sean. Initially I was reluctant to try it, I had heard of hypnotherapy and wasn’t sure how it could possibly help. Sean explained to me how Cognitive Hypnotherapy works. When having this deeply relaxing form of therapy you are never asleep, in a trance or at any moment not in complete control and I decided to give it a try.

I am so glad I did – I cannot believe how much it has helped me. It was a revelation. During the sessions the grief and sadness that had been holding me back were gently resolved. However, this was just the start of a journey to full recovery. I didn’t realise how many other areas of my life it would help me with too. As a result I am now more aware of how I react to situations and how to manage those reactions. It has given me new life skills that enable me to live my life in a more positive, forward thinking way. A mind makeover would be a great way to describe it!

Sean is the consummate professional; showing kindness, compassion, and integrity throughout the therapy and I can honestly say, thanks to his expertise I have my life back now.”

Liza Chapman, Buckinghamshire.

August 6, 2014 · by Sean Heneghan · Acupuncture, Cognitive Hypnotherapy

” I wish I had the courage to approach therapy the first time I heard of it from a friend. It took me nearly a year. I was looking at Sean’s site and reading other’s testimonials helped me to make one of the best decisions in years. I wish to share my experience so far if it helps to motivate others, just like it has motivated me, as well as share my thanks to Sean for his care and support. If only I made the call sooner I could have faced my now silly but then huge insecurities, anxieties and worries earlier. Originally all I wanted was help with weight loss – working out my relationship with food and trying to understand why “am I the way I am”…. believing that I was “faulty”.

Being fairly successful and respected in my business career, I still doubted my abilities, and never mind any success or promotions, I still considered myself an underachiever and a failure.The most eye opening thing about acupuncture with Sean was the release of positive energy, and the positive motivation to continue this journey to get back to the happy and confident me that I have left somewhere behind in my teens.

Charged with new levels of energy and curiosity, I began discovering how my mind works, how it has affected my self-belief and self-confidence and I began to see my self through my own eyes, rather than worry about how others must see me or judge me. I laugh now that I look back as I cannot believe how I have created these assumptions in my head, how I felt I had to constantly please everyone in order to be loved or popular. Trust is very important for me and from day one I felt that Sean was not there to judge me, but was there to help me to understand “me”. There is one word that pretty much sums up the process of cognitive hypnotherapy with Sean – purifying . Through talking, and thinking, and a little bit of homework, the overall process of my therapy with Sean has been simply a cleansing of my mind – filtering the things that made me feel bad about myself for no reason that I can understand now when I look back, and enhancing and bringing out the positive that I could not see before.

I used to think that I could face my issues by talking to friends. But they would only comfort me, and not find a solution. It would be only a very short term comfort. The difference in talking to Sean, and working through the layers of feelings, emotions, memories, is not to push them away short term, but to work them out. My previous experience with a therapist involved feeling a lot of pity for myself and somewhat patronised. Not with Sean. I have always felt in good care and confident that he cared, and I have a great respect for his knowledge and experience with people in similar situations. I have been through a fair amount of boxes of tissues before I met Sean. I used to have sleepless nights, I had zero energy, I felt exhausted all the time, I had no creativity or motivation at work. Now I have no problems sleeping, and after the acupuncture I feel I have a lot more energy -  positive energy that has made all the difference for me. It seems that I really only reach for a tissue now when I have a cold. It has been such a great and motivational experience. And it still continues to be.

I can only highly recommend Sean to anyone who doubts their own self. The boost in confidence and energy that I have experienced is, I’m not scared to say, … life changing.”

 

Michaela, Tring

September 30, 2013 · by Sean Heneghan · Acupuncture, Research

New research into acupuncture and counselling for depression from Dr Hugh Macpherson at The University of York has led to some interesting conclusions by research scientists on the value of adding acupuncture to the standard care of patients suffering with depression.

The researchers recruited 755 patients who had consulted their doctor about depression within the past 5 years and who fell into the category of having moderate to severe depression.

302 patients were randomized to receive up to 12 weekly sessions of acupuncture plus usual care, another 302 patients received up to 12 weekly sessions of counselling plus usual care, and 151 patients received usual care alone. Both the acupuncture protocol and the counselling protocols allowed for some individualization of treatment. Usual care, including antidepressants, was available according to need and monitored in all three groups.

According to the researchers, compared to usual care alone, there was a significant reduction in the average depression scores at both 3 and 6 months for both the acupuncture and counselling interventions. The difference between the score for acupuncture and counselling was not significant. In addition the researchers noted that at 9 months and 12 months, the scores between all groups evened out so that acupuncture and counselling were no longer significantly better than usual care.

All of this led the researchers to conclude that this was the first study to rigorously evaluate the clinical and economic impact of acupuncture and counselling for patients in primary care, and that their research showed that acupuncture versus usual care and counselling versus usual care are both associated with a significant reduction in symptoms of depression in the short to medium term, without being associated with serious adverse effects.

The research received wide ranging media coverage from The Daily Mail’s article on acupuncture for depression, to Reuter’s coverage of the article here, and the original research piece on PLOS medicine can be found here:

Acupuncture and Counselling for Depression in Primary Care: A Randomised Controlled Trial

 

 

 

 

 

 

September 17, 2013 · by Sean Heneghan · Acupuncture, Research

In this month’s issue of Acupuncture in Medicine, recent research from Brazil into the effect of acupuncture on the symptoms of anxiety and depression in patients with premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) has led to some interesting results.

The researchers conducted a trial of acupuncture  using a single blind randomised controlled trial. 30 volunteers with PMDD were assigned to either group 1, which received acupuncture, or group 2 which received sham acupuncture. Symptoms of anxiety and depression were assessed using the Hamilton Anxiety and Hamilton Depression scales, and participants received acupuncture twice a week for two menstrual cycles so that each participant received 16 acupuncture treatments in total.

Before the intervention the anxiety and depression scores did not differ between groups. Following the intervention, the researchers reported that symptoms of anxiety and depression were reduced in both groups; but that the improvement was significant in group 1 compared to group 2. There was a mean reduction in anxiety scores of 58.9% in group 1 and 21.2% in group 2. The reduction in the mean depression scores were 52.0% in group 1 and 19.6% in group 2.

You can find full details of the trial here:

Acupuncture for premenstrual anxiety and depression

September 7, 2013 · by Sean Heneghan · Acupuncture, Research

Researchers at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College’s Division of Graduate Education & Research have conducted a systematic review for non-pharmacological interventions for sleep and insomnia during pregnancy.

The researchers conducted an electronic search of multiple online databases from inception up until March 2013. Of 160 articles screened, 7 met the inclusion criteria. 3 trials were prospective randomised controlled trials, one was a prospective longitudinal trial, one experimental pilot study, and two were prospective quasi-randomized trials.

The researchers concluded that exercise, massage, and acupuncture may be associated with improved sleep quality during pregnancy, but that due to the low quality and heterogeneity of the studies yielded, a definitive recommendation could not be made. Further higher quality research was deemed necessary.

You can read full details of the systematic review here:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23997252

August 14, 2013 · by Sean Heneghan · Acupuncture, Research

Pelvic pain and back pain are common in pregnancy with two thirds of women experiencing low back pain, and almost 20% of pregnant women experiencing pelvic pain. During the advancing stages of pregnancy pain can severely impact sleep, mood, and quality of life.

The esteemed Cochrane Collaboration have conducted a review of trials to assess the effects of interventions for preventing and treating pelvic and back pain in pregnancy. This review included 26 randomised trials comprising results from 4093 pregnant women.

The researchers note that for pelvic pain there was moderate-quality evidence that acupuncture significantly reduced evening pain better than exercise; both were better than usual care and acupuncture was significantly better than sham acupuncture for improving evening pain and function, but not average pain. Evening pain relief was the same following either deep or superficial acupuncture. Acupuncture improved pain and function more than usual care or physiotherapy and pain and function improved more when acupuncture was started at 26- rather than 20- weeks’ gestation. Ear acupuncture significantly improved these outcomes more than sham acupuncture.

Overall the authors concluded that moderate-quality evidence suggested that acupuncture or exercise, tailored to the stage of pregnancy, significantly reduced evening pelvic pain or lumbo-pelvic pain more than usual care alone. Acupuncture was significantly more effective than exercise for reducing evening pelvic pain.

Acupuncture was more effective than physiotherapy at relieving evening lumbo-pelvic pain and disability and improving pain and function when it was started at 26- rather than 20-weeks’ gestation, although the effects were small.There was no significant difference in evening pelvic pain between deep and superficial acupuncture.

For full details of the trial, click here:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23904227

July 24, 2013 · by Sean Heneghan · Acupuncture, Research

Acupuncture researchers in Brazil have been investigating acupuncture and fibromyalgia, and particularly the action of needling the multiple tender points which characterize the condition. Fibromyalgia is a chronic rheumatic disorder characterized by a multitude of symptoms such as muscular skeletal pain, numbness, tingling and stiffness, and often fatigue and disturbances in sleeping. Often there can be co existent bowel and bladder problems and anxiety or depression. Around 2-4% of the population suffer with fibromyalgia with females far outweighing males and considerable variation in how each individual manifests the symptoms.

This small study aimed to assess the effect of using acupuncture specifically at the tender points of the condition, and eight female patients were assessed for pain tolerance, depression and anxiety scores and quality of life measurements over the duration of the treatment. The women received a two month course of acupuncture for fibromyalgia.

The researchers note that by the end of the study (details of which you can find here) they observed a reduction in the pain threshold and sensitivity, and improvement in the areas of anxiety and depression and quality of life. This study was reported on at the about.com’s page on Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue which also contains lots of other useful information.

The British Acupuncture Council also produce a fact sheet on Fibromyalgia detailing research regarding traditional acupuncture and the condition. The British Acupuncture Council are the primary governing body for the practice of classical or traditional acupuncture in the UK. All members of the British Acupuncture Council (of which I’m one) have had an extensive training in traditional acupuncture to degree level.

If you’re curious about what acupuncture could do for you, feel free to telephone me on 07717 515 013 or email me at sean@seanheneghan.com

 

 

 

 

July 15, 2013 · by Sean Heneghan · Acupuncture, Research, Sean's opinion

Researchers in Brazil have been investigating the effects of acupuncture on sleep parameters, quality of life measures, and symptoms of depression in post-menopausal women.

This study was a double blind, placebo controlled randomized controlled trial and included 18 women aged 50-67 years old. The participants were not using hormonal therapy, anti depressants or hypnotic medications and the groups were randomized into two groups: those receiving ‘real’ acupuncture and those receiving a ‘sham’ form. The researchers then performed ten sessions of acupuncture over a period of 5 weeks.

The researchers report that comparison of the groups post acupuncture treatment revealed that those treated with ‘real’ acupuncture showed significantly lower scores on the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, and showed better improvements in quality of life than the group treated with the sham form of acupuncture.

For me as I’m sure is the case for many acupuncturists, double blind trials of acupuncture cannot be performed without compromising the quality of acupuncture delivered in the trial, which is one of the many pitfalls in assessing acupuncture in the context of research. So what is interesting in this trial is the positive result despite that what is delivered in the trial is likely to be a less than optimal form of the treatment.

You can find all the details of the trial here:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22943846?dopt=Abstract

 

I provide acupuncture in Berkhamsted at Berkhamsted Chiropractic Clinic and you can reach me on 07717 515 013 if you have any questions about acupuncture and it’s suitability for you.

 

 

July 10, 2013 · by Sean Heneghan · Acupuncture, Research

Researchers at The Jaseng Hospital of Korean Medicine have been investigating acupuncture for back pain and comparing the use of medication versus a novel approach to acupuncture called motion style acupuncture treatment (MSAT). This particular variation on acupuncture involves patients engaging in stretching exercises while the acupuncture needles are situated in areas used for treating pain. The researchers compared this kind of acupuncture with injections of diclofenac, a drug commonly used for pain relief.

A group of 28 patients who received the motion style acupuncture reported a reduction of  pain levels of 46% on average in 30 minutes, while the other 28 patients who had the drug injection had their pain level drop 8.7% in the same amount of time. The level of physical disability in the group treated with acupuncture was also reported to be lower.

At six months post treatment the pain levels were equal among both groups, but patients treated with the drug were hospitalized for a longer period of time.

According to the researchers, the study has shown the effectiveness of motion style acupuncture treatment for acute low back pain patients with severe disability, and can reduce the treatment period in the short term. It is the first study of Oriental Medicine for pain relief that has received international recognition through the PAIN according to the website Acupuncture Today which reported on the study.

In the UK The National Institute of Health and Clinical excellence currently recommend doctors consider a course of ten acupuncture sessions in the management of patients with early non specific lower back pain. If you suffer with low back pain and are curious how acupuncture could help you, please feel free to ring me on 07717 515 013 or email me on sean@seanheneghan.com

I’m a member of The British Acupuncture Council and am based full time at Berkhamsted Chiropractic Clinic.

 

July 8, 2013 · by Sean Heneghan · Acupuncture, Cognitive Hypnotherapy, Hypnotherapy, Research

In many countries the use of complementary and alternative approaches to healthcare is increasing. Researchers recently distributed a questionnaire to all GP’s registered within the Liverpool Primary Care Trust to determine the referral patterns and attitudes towards the various complementary medical approaches among GP’s. This survey was a follow up to questionnaires collected in 1999.

The researchers reported that the most popular complementary therapies are still acupuncture, hypnotherapy and chiropractic, with the least popular being aromatherapy, medical herbalism and reflexology. GP’s felt most comfortable with acupuncture and expressed a greater desire for it to receive NHS funding than for other therapies.

In recent years acupuncture has received an increased level of endorsement from NICE – The National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence, which currently recommend the use of acupuncture in the short term management of lower back pain, tension headaches and migraines. NICE set the recommendations and treatment guidelines for doctors and medical professionals in the NHS regarding the treatment of patients.

The British Acupuncture Council is the main regulatory body for the UK’s 3000 traditional acupuncturists. All it’s members, of which I’m one have had an extensive training in Acupuncture to degree level involving a training that typically lasts 3-4 years.

I have had extensive experience and training in Acupuncture, Chinese Medicine and hypnotherapy and provide traditional acupuncture and hypnotherapy at my clinical base in Berkhamsted.

If you’re suffering with a physical or emotional problem and you’re wondering what acupuncture or hypnotherapy could do for you, then please feel free to ring me on 07717 515 013 or email me at sean@seanheneghan.com.

 

You can find details of the research into GP’s attitudes toward complementary approaches here:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23574689

 

 

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