Balham physiotherapist acupuncture

Balham physiotherapist uses acupuncture to resolve back pain, neck pain and tennis elbow. Many other physiotherapists use acupuncture for pain relief and to reduce muscle spasm as an adjunct to other physiotherapy modalities such as joint manipulation and exercises. Acupuncture is the insertion of fine needles into certain points in the body, be it Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) acupuncture points or other points such as trigger points, which are sore spots in the muscles.

It is believed that about 70-80% of patients respond to acupuncture favourably with a reduction in pain and symptoms, clinically I would suggest this is a little higher at around 80-90%, however it doesn’t “work” for everyone.

Contra-indications to acupuncture

Before you receive acupuncture your physiotherapist will ask certain questions to make sure you are suitable for treatments. These include:

• Metal allergy
• Needle phobia
• Pregnancy (during the first trimester)

If any of these apply to you, you should not receive acupuncture. Your physiotherapist will also look out for:

• Infection at or near the needle site
• Open sores

Care must also be taken using acupuncture during the second and third trimester of pregnancy, and I typically do not use at all on pregnant women.

Is acupuncture painful?

The needle may be slightly painful on insertion as many of the body’s pain receptors are located in the skin. This is why something as innocuous as a paper cut can be quite sore. Your physiotherapist will firmly tap the needle into the skin to get it quickly passed these pain receptors. Sometimes the needle does pass through one of these receptors and it can feel quite sharp in the skin. If this is the case the needle can be taken out and a fresh needle can be applied close by.

When the needle is inserted and pushed into a muscle or connective tissue the physiotherapist may rotate the needle or piston it up and down. What they are trying to do is elicit what is known in TCM as the sensation of “De Qi”. This is a sensation of dull ache, soreness, heaviness or pressure that denotes that the acupuncture is having an effect. Sometimes the physiotherapist can piston the needle into the muscle to elicit what feels like sharp twitches or jolts in the muscle, this again can be a little uncomfortable and oftentimes the little jolt can catch you of guard, but it isn’t excruciatingly painful and denotes a treatment effect.

How does acupuncture work?

There are many theories about how acupuncture works – both Western and Eastern philosophy. The Eastern philosophy doesn’t always seem to fit with how we think and view the body in the 21st century, however there is now some good “Western” scientific research to suggest how it might work.

In TCM pain or disease is caused by a blockage of the flow of energy through channels in the body called meridians. Using acupuncture in certain places along these meridians can stimulate the flow of energy again and begin to resolve the symptoms.

In Western medicine we know from research that acupuncture causes our brain to release natural pain killing chemicals out into the nervous system. These natural chemicals bind on to pain receptors in the brain and can block some of the pain messages, much like how a painkiller would work. We also know that the insertion of needles into the body will cause an increase in blood flow to that area, bringing in oxygen and nutrients and removing waste, which can stimulate healing. We also know that when the acupuncture needles and manipulated they can create a whorl of tissue around the needle / tissue interface that stretches the connective tissues radiating out from the needle site, creating a subtle mechanical stretch that can decrease tension in muscles and connective tissue.

What conditions respond to acupuncture?

A TCM practitioner may use acupuncture and herbs to treat conditions such as PCOS, insomnia or arthritis, however physiotherapists, unless trained in TCM, will only really use acupuncture for pain relief and muscle spasm.

The following conditions respond well to acupuncture:

• Low back pain
• Neck pain
• Tennis elbow
• Sciatica
• ITB syndrome

How many treatment sessions are required?

Everyone will have a unique experience with acupuncture, however most people will feel a difference with 2 or 3 treatments. If this is the case acupuncture use should be continued along with other types of physiotherapy until you feeling better or have a management strategy to complete your rehabilitation at home.


Acupuncture can make you feel drowsy so driving more than a few miles home might not be wise. Also acupuncture can make you feel a little sore for 24 hours. So if you get home or wake up the next day after a treatment and you feel a bit sore – don’t worry. The chances are that the physiotherapist has not made your symptoms worse; you are just having a natural response to the acupuncture. That pain will wear off in a day or so and you should also feel slightly better, especially if you are also following the advice and exercises that your Balham physiotherapist gave you.

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London weight loss workout

This London weight loss workout is a great workout to lose a few pounds from those unsightly areas especially as summer is approaching and we all want to look good on the beach.

Do these exercises in the following order moving from one exercise to the next in a circuit, resting 10 seconds or so between each exercise.

Front kettle bell squat x 15 reps

Rest 10 seconds

Narrow grip push up x 15 reps

Rest 10 seconds

Medicine ball squat push press x 15 reps

Rest 10 seconds

Band bent over row x 15 reps

Rest 10 seconds

Medicine ball crunch x 15 reps

Rest 2-3 minutes

Now repeat this circuit another 3-4 times for a great 20-30 minute fat busting workout.

This weight loss workout uses the whole body so you are going to be burning calories for hours after you have trained.

Simply do this workout 3 to 4 times a week for a few weeks before changing to a new workout and you’ll start to see (and feel) muscles you didn’t know you had and you start to fit into that bikini or those skinny jeans again.

These types of weight loss workouts are used on our bootcamp locations in PeakXVfitness Reading and PeakXVfitness London and will be used extensively during our 30 day Bikini Blitz.

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Reading Gym in the Park

As the summer approaches many people are searching for the opportunity to get outside into the fresh air and the new Gym in the Park sessions run by Peak XV Fitness as just what people are looking for. The sessions which are set down on the river in Caversham are attended by a hard core group of followers.


The workouts try and replicate all the benefits of a run of the mill gym with the appeal of the outdoors. Many of the group members love to exercise in the fresh air and greenery offered by the park environment. Reading Gym in the Park instructor and Peak XV Fitness Director, Chris Hines, says, “We’ve been running these park gym sessions here in Caversham for over a year now and they are very popular. Even in the middle of winter when it’s dark and cold lots of people want to get out into the fresh air and exercise.”


Hines goes on to say, “The summer is obviously the most popular time of year as the weather is generally at its best and people have holidays and weddings on their mind.”


The sessions consist of traditional boot camp style exercises like running and jumping drills along with body weight exercises. There is also an emphasis on flexibility and core exercises. Most of the people come to the sessions with weight loss in mind but enjoy all of the other health and fitness benefits that come with it.


A sample workout includes 10 minutes of dynamic stretching often done in small groups. This warms the body up and gets the specific muscle groups ready for the main exercises to be performed. Then there is a circuit training component which is where the instructor put the group through a series of kettle bell exercises, medicine ball exercises and body weight exercises such as push ups and sit ups.


After this the group are put through a series of running drills sometimes short sprints and other times medium length runs around the park. The sessions always finish with a cool down and stretch again often times in pairs to end the session. People really enjoy a gentle wind down on the grass after a hard workout and group members share their experiences and achievements in this section.


Peak XV Fitness are recruiting more willing participants to their Reading Gym in the Park sessions in Caversham and are offering anyone who is interested the chance to come in for a free two week trial to sample the workouts. Hines says, “Most of our members are outdoor types, who enjoy being social and are generally outgoing in nature. So we’re looking for more people like this who’ll interact well with the group.”


If you’re interested in taking them up on their offer of a free trial then you can contact Chris Hines directly on 07879 646969 or visit their website at


Don’t miss this great opportunity to get outdoors and get healthy this summer by joining Reading Gym in the Park down in Caversham.

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