Some of you may remember the time when there was a national outcry about the so-called ‘post code lottery’ with the treatment on offer from the NHS varying dependent on where you lived.
Subsequently a new organisation, NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) was setup to take responsibility for authorising which treatments should be made available in the NHS. Those treatments approved were then to be made available by the NHS equally to everybody and thus put an end to the so-called post code lottery.
NICE thus has essentially total control of what the NHS can and cannot offer. Their published guidelines are broadcast by the press, radio and TV and as such the general public are influenced by the NICE recommendations. This in turn has an indirect impact on private healthcare providers, as the public perception on what is good, bad and ugly will align with what they see and read in the media.
Acupuncture In The NHS
Over recent years acupuncture acceptance in the NHS has generally been in decline, with some regions considering it quackery, using the NICE guidelines as support, while others still considered it a valuable treatment. Some of our own therapists who worked part time with us, and full time at the NHS, reported being banned from using acupuncture in the NHS and they came to us to retain their skills in what they considered a beneficial treatment.
Back Pain and Acupuncture
For a number of years NICE considered acupuncture as a Gold standard treatment for back pain. Then this decision was reversed, and acupuncture was considered as ineffective in treating back pain and this situation has persisted until recently. This was equivalent to swinging from the top end of a scale to the bottom.
New NICE Guidelines
On 3rd August 2020, NICE published a draft clinical guideline
“commonly used drugs for chronic primary pain have little or no evidence that they work and should not be prescribed. Instead it recommended that people with chronic pain should be offered supervised exercise programmes, some types of psychological therapy, or acupuncture”
Now this situation is nothing new. It has been known for years that the prescription of some drugs, such as opiates, are ineffective with chronic pain and yet have been overprescribed to the extent that it has caused an opiate dependency crisis. In the USA, the majority of drug addicts have been created by prescription drugs. Think about that for a minute. Ok, it is not so bad here in the UK, but the issues are the same.
Until the COVID pandemic hit us worldwide, the opiate crisis was very high profile and during that time Nicky was asked by 30 radio stations across the USA to speak and advise on other methods for treating chronic pain. In this she talked about the evidence of the inappropriateness of certain drugs on chronic pain and at the same time talked of the benefits and success she had seen when using acupuncture and even more so with dry needling. With over 13,000 patients and 30 years of treating, she had had a massive opportunity to see the evidence of the benefits of needling. So much so that we have quietly ignored NICE guidelines at her clinic.
NICE To Know We Were Right
So now NICE has done it’s second U turn and acupuncture is recommended again for chronic pain, something we have persisted with throughout our existence. Of course, it’s far too early to know what impact this will have on the NHS. While we would like it to be lifted out of the quackery branding, this will take quite some time, no doubt. That, however, is not our concern.
What Does It Mean For You?
For those who have been to our clinic for treatment, some travelling hundreds of miles or more, you will have most likely experienced our acupuncture skills. Some of you will have experienced and gained the benefits of dry needling.
For sure, the media is going to be talking about the benefits of treating chronic pain with acupuncture. That in turn is going to increase the demand for this type of treatment and raise the confidence level in the general public that this type of treatment can help them. This in itself is of tremendous importance as a positive mindset is so important to outcome.
Better yet, we can offer more effective treatments for chronic pain and at the very highest level available in the world.
Nicky Snazell is trained to the highest level in GunnIMS and worked directly with Professor Gunn, the forefather of todays dry needling. She has taught IMS internationally and is teaching her skills to the team at our clinic.
We have also recently added Jon Hobbs to our team. Jon is Chairman of the UK’s Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapists (AACP), the body responsible for setting the standards of acupuncture training for all physiotherapists in the UK, whether private or in the NHS. Jon is also one of the worlds’ leading acupuncture trainers and is passing his knowledge to our team during in house training.
The benefit to you is that you can be sure that our clinic has skills and knowledge which is at the very highest level in the UK. And now we have national support ………. again.
If you, or someone you know, is suffering chronic pain, then please contact us. We can help.
From an early age, Nicky has shown a keen interest in healing and helping others. During her teens, experiencing her mother’s suffering, set her off on a quest to resolve this.
Then started a 25-year program of studying alternative medicine, and studying, teaching and presenting this internationally.
She is the founder of 3 health companies and still treats 4 days a week embracing wholistic physiotherapy, IMS pain relief, shamanic reiki healthy living.
In her first book ’the 4 keys to Health’ she shared her extensive knowledge of how the public could improve their health through lifestyle changes. This goes into more depth in the Human Garage Trilogy.
Nicky is a thrice award winner; 2017 pain clinic of the UK award, two were personally awarded for excellence in patient care, unrelenting commitment and her outstanding cutting-edge approach to treating, and presented internationally at seminars, radio and writing about health.
The key to healthly exercise is just that.Let’s take another look at why we should exercise so we can hold a green fitness key.Today I find that humans are far too sedentary, all too
often sitting in front of a computer by day, followed by
sitting in front of a TV at night. This lack of physical
activity causes emotional and physiological imbalances,
but we can change this by looking at how we exercise; improving your
fitness changes your chemistry, acts as a powerful antidepressant, promotes
mental clarity, and reduces the likelihood of cancer.
If you’re not happy with either how you look or feel about your weight,
then with correct guidance, you can break out of inactivity and be rewarded
by smiling at yourself whenever you see your reflection. I will guide you towards 4 green keys to health and tonight is fitness.
You can learn more about how and when you should
exercise, as getting the correct mix can extend your life.
When I am working at my clinic, I hear echoing around the walls: I am too
old to exercise, too old to work. Are you too old to exercise? Well, no one told
Jiroemon Kimura (born 1897) that he was too old. He passed away recently
at age 116, farming until he was 90 years old. Remember the Carry On films?
Well, did you know that Barbara Windsor carries on exercising in her late 70s?
You can find her in her gym wear keeping fit outside in Hyde Park.
Over 450,000 people in the USA and over 70,000 people in the UK risk total
knee replacement every year. Want to talk pain? Then talk TKR. What’s
worse is that it is unsuccessful 10% of the time, and you can even die from
having total knee replacement. Furthermore, the age for TKR is constantly
dropping. Why? Anybody want to hazard a guess? That’s right: obesity.
Now, this isn’t proven yet, but it is most likely the biggest cause.
So, what happens when you get fat? Ladies, take the ‘C’ off chips and you
know what you get! Guys, you put it on around the waist and lose sight of
your favourite toy! What you probably don’t know is that your knees are
loaded with up to four times your weight, so every extra stone (14 lbs) is
an extra four stone (56 lbs) on your knees – that’s why knees are so often
the first casualty with OA. If you want to know why the four times multiple
occurs, it’s because of leverage. Now, you are intelligent people, and you are
surely interested in health or you wouldn’t be here. So, why have you made
the decision to get arthritis? Made the decision to get lots of pain? Made
the decision to risk surgery and even death? It’s because much of the pain
associated with the pleasure of eating too much is too far away, and anyway,
going to the gym is a pain for most. We need to change the way we think
about exercise, and hopefully this chapter will go some way to doing that
Here’s some more cheery news: an in-depth study into retirement found
that men in their sixties are every bit as good at driving business than those
physically and mentally in their prime. In later life, prescriptive exercise is
more effort than swallowing a pill, but it is well worth it; in a nutshell, you get
less senility and less pain. Exercise weaves its magic, strengthening the heart,
releasing more neurotransmitters for cell communication, boosting BDNF
for improving neural connections in the brain, aiding metabolism, improving
blood flow, stimulating toxic disposal systems, and strengthening bones.
This next fact gets me out running in howling gales and rain: current research
in Sweden shows that exercise alters the way genes work in the tissue that
stores fat, and changes in adipose tissue storage sites were measurable even
with just two workouts a week. Epigenetics has always fascinated me since
studying biology, and this is the study of how chemical alterations will
change how genes work in a cell. This allows us to fine tune our body to a
Exercise alters this process in muscle cells and improves how sugar is
processed. Furthermore, adipose tissue (fat cells) is an organ in its own right, producing active chemicals that have profound effects on the body. In
this tissue, 18,000 markers were found on 7,663 genes! This is leading to a
greater understanding of why exercise helps fatty tissue do its job properly,
which means that as we get older, we don’t have to have such a lumpy,
bumpy body. This smooth body needs a good structural support.
The 4 keys to health is all about investing in the healthiest happiest future you could wish for with sound scientific knowledge and big spoonfuls of commonsense and experience.Tonights blog is for nutrition week. The traffic lights approach to healthfor the 4 keys to health gives one point for every yes answer.
0 – 3: RED.
3 – 6: AMBER.
6 – 9: GREEN.
Scores: Now count up your scores – are you red, amber, or green for this key?
Once you’ve read the chapter and implemented any changes, take the
questionnaire again to see how much you’ve improved.This questionnaire is in 4 parts.
Diet and Blood Sugar Levels
• Is your weight good for your age and height?
• Do you have lots of energy and do you like to exercise?
• Are you free from joint pain?
• Do you rarely feel like dozing in the day and feel alert after eating?
• Do you hardly ever get stomach ache or bloating?
• Do you concentrate easily with a clear memory and few
• Do you hardly ever need sweet food or caffeine fixes?
• Do you jump out of bed, raring to go?
• Do you rarely feel dizzy / irritable / have mood swings in
gaps between meals?
• Do you rarely have thirst / dry mouth?
• Do you rarely get headaches?
• Is your urine a mild (not dark) yellow colour?
• Are your skin and lips moist, not dry?
• Do you have regular bowel movements most days?
• Do you have less than two glasses of alcohol a day?
• Do you have five helpings of fresh fruit and vegetables a day?
• Do you have several glasses of fruit water / juice / herbal
teas a day, even if resting?
• Do you avoid having too many salty snacks?
Healthy Low Homocysteine Levels (repairing DNA
and building nerves / cartilage)
• Is your weight satisfactory and stable?
• Are you a clear thinker with a good memory and rare
• Do you eat healthily with green veggies, seeds, and nuts,
but aren’t vegan?
• You are not an alcoholic, smoker, or heavy coffee drinker?
• Do you have little joint pain?
• Do you have great stamina without weariness?
• Is your cardiovascular system and blood pressure normal?
• Do you sleep well?
• Are you rarely angry, irritable, or down?
• Do you have healthy hair?
• Do you have flexible, pain-free joints?
• You are not taking painkillers?
• No arthritis, asthma, or eczema?
• No diagnosed cardiovascular problems?
• Do you spend more than thirty minutes a day outside in
• Do you eat healthily with oily fish, about four eggs a week,
seeds and nuts most days, and fewer than two alcoholic
drinks a day?
• Do you have a good memory, learning abilities, and
• You don’t get down, anxious or unnecessarily angry?
Anti-Ageing, Anti-rot, Antioxidants
• Are you a quick healer?
• Are you younger than middle aged (40)?
• Do you have healthy skin?
• No diagnosis of cancer or cardiovascular disease?
• Don’t bruise easily?
• Do you live in quiet, clear air, healthy countryside, not
near major roads?
• Do you eat healthily with five lots of fruit and veg a day,
raw seeds / nuts, and at least two oily fish a week?
• Do you take antioxidant supplements?
• Do you exercise and raise your heart rate five times a
week?If you got a red key read my blogs or get a copy of my book,through www.thepainkiller.co.uk,www.painreliefclinic.co.uk, or amazon.
Using food as medicine to stay out of pain.The Wrong Food Feeds Pain
Most of us eat too much of the food that enhances pain, and too little of the
food that reduces pain. Soil nutrients are not what they used to be, as they
have more additives, more are being processed, and more have a longer
shelf life. Our cells depend on good food and water for creating healing, energy
and cleansing, but because of the poor food we eat (which has additives
and is heavily processed), we have persistent inflammation contributing
to musculoskeletal pain, arthritis, diabetes, heart attacks, strokes, cancer…
you name it. Refined grains, omega 6 fats, too much sugar, and too much
dairy – especially milk – all stress the system out, and pain due to too much
inflammation damages nerves beyond any injury, and also causes tissue
pain in the tendons, ligaments, and joints.
Our ancestors were hunters and gatherers who lived on a planet with a
relatively low population, where the soil was rich in nutrients with hardly any toxic chemicals. They ate good food medicine, fresh fish or meat, berries, roots (therefore, a lot of
healthy omega 3 oils), and fruit and vegetables high in antioxidants. They
had no processed foods, no wheat, no trans fats, no excess sugar or omega 6
and no processed dairy. Even if you eat some of these foods yourself, pulling
some fresh vegetables out of your garden – from well fertilised soil – is a
small start. For our ancestors,using good food as medicine helped to control chronic
inflammation, something which pervades the modern day Western lifestyle.
We are becoming increasingly obese, including our children. We are a
fat nation, and because of this, we find ourselves in a major health crisis.
This extra fat not only strains our joints, but these engorged fat cells fire
off inflammation. Organ fat is crawling with immune cells, prolonging
inflammation and damaging the surrounding tissue. Living longer means
that these days, a lot more of us are over 35, and around this age, our
natural pain blocking anti-inflammatories (proteolytic enzymes) dry up.
We are, essentially, rotting, as these are the guys that usually help to shut
the pain gate in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord. Our next generation
is not going to live longer than us, and this is the first time in history that
this has happened – it says a lot, doesn’t it? Due to needing more help in
order to control our body and not getting it, we make too much fibrin,
causing too much scar tissue in our tendons, skin, and joints. This then
causes arthritis, fibromyalgia, artery narrowing, and poor healing all round.
I now have ground breaking technology at my practice that puts the clock
back on joints, however, cells still need a healthy environment in which to
flourish in the first place.