Summertime and the living is easy…
…or so sang Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald on their 1950s sultry jazz tune Summertime
For the majority of us summertime is a time to enjoy. For the unfortunate minority the onset of longer, hotter days can bring misery. For the folk suffering from the conditions below, living may be far from easy.
Hayfever, otherwise known as allergic rhinitis, affects up to one in five people. An overactive immune system reacts badly to pollen causing sneezing, runny nose and itchy eyes. Whilst neither life-threatening nor painful, hay fever can make sufferers feel irritable and can seriously diminish enjoyment of life.
Traditional treatment involves everything from steroid nasal sprays which reduce inflammation and swelling, to anti-histamines which can prevent an allergic reaction from occurring in the first place. Approach anti-histamines with care. First generation anti-histamines such as chlorpheniramine and diphenhydramine have been tentatively linked to increased risk in Alzheimer’s onset.
Acupuncture can help with hay fever. It is thought to work through a number of mechanisms. These include reducing inflammation, increasing local microcirculation which aids in the dispersal of swelling and potentially enhancing natural killer cell activity.
PRIMARY URGE INCONTINENCE
Over 3.5 million people suffer from urinary incontinence in the UK according to the Department of Health. Urge incontinence is a leak preceding or coinciding with the need to urinate. It occurs when uncontrolled pressure in the bladder exceeds the resistance provided by the urethra. So what has this got to do with summertime misery? Well if you’re incontinent every trip out can become an anxiety fuelled lottery of finding a toilet in the nick of time. Incontinence can curb your desire to be outside enjoying life and summer to its fullest.
I’ve used acupuncture many times in my clinic to treat urge incontinence. It is thought to work through two main mechanisms.
1. Reducing stress and anxiety. Acupuncture is thought to engage the parasympathetic nervous system pulling the body out of fight or flight states of anxiety and stress.
2. Relaxing smooth muscle in the bladder, thereby increasing bladder capacity.
Up to 70% of women in Western countries will experience unpleasant menopausal symptoms including hot flushes and night sweats. Con-ventional treatment involves Hormone Replacement Therapy of oestrogen and progestogen. Survivors of breast cancer are denied this conventional treatment. Instead they are frequently prescribed gabapentin, an anti-epileptic drug typically used to treat pain, migraines and epilepsy.
Exciting recent research at the University of Pennsylvania has suggested that acupuncture is better than gabapentin for treatment of hot flushes post breast cancer. The best part is that acupuncture offers almost no side effects in comparison to gabapentin’s list of, amongst others, nausea, visual disturbances, depression and tremor.
So, if summertime is causing you discomfort why not give me a call or drop in to my clinic in Uplands for a chat.
www.goweracupuncture.co.uk 07764 254881