MSc, BSc Hons, DipMedAc, MISCP


Simon holds a Master of Science Degree in Physiotherapy and is a member of the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists. A post graduate Diploma in Medical Acupuncture entitles him to accredited membership of the British Medical Acupuncture Society. Simon specialises in the integration of medical acupuncture techniques with manual therapy and therapeutic exercise for the treatment of musculo-skeletal pain and dysfunction.

Tension Headaches, Trigger Points and the best Treatment

I recently came across a nice piece of clinical research by Cescon et al., 2019 (1) who looked at the prevalence and characteristics of myofascial trigger points (MTrPs) in the head and neck, frequently found in people with tension-type headache (TTH).

Research and clinical experience suggest that MTrPs are implicated in the development of tension-type headache (2). The MTrPs may act as a muscular source of nociception (potentially pain-inducing stimuli) which in turn can, over time, trigger the central sensitisation phenomenon common in chronic headache sufferers.

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COVID-19 Recovery Phase Acupuncture

acupuncture 2983713 640 CopyI am writing this after reading about medical acupuncture in the treatment of COVID-19 in a very interesting blog by Dr Mike Cummings, Medical Director at the British Medical Acupuncture Society.

Mike reminded me that the influence of acupuncture is in many cases, homeostatic. In other words, acupuncture can help normalise our body's internal physiological milieu which, depending on how far from 'normal' the body was operating, can have quite profound effects. These homeostatic effects can influence pain, sleep, mood, cognitive function and behaviours, usually very positively.

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Acupuncture role in Cancer treatment

cancer 389921 640Most of my clients are struggling with a musculoskeletal pain issue and find medical acupuncture as part of an integrated approach to treatment very beneficial.

 

Some of my clients may also be undergoing treatment for cancer and have reported the acupuncture they receive from me has also helped them in other ways, related to their cancer diagnosis and treatment.

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Acupuncture to reduce Opioid Dependency

The overuse and over prescription of medications which contain opioids for pain is a hot topic and has been receiving more media attention of late.

Opioids, sometimes called narcotics, include strong prescription pain relievers. Examples of opioid medications include oxycodone, hydrocodone, fentanyl, and tramadol. The illegal drug heroin is also an opioid. Some opioids are made from the opium plant, and others are synthetic (man-made).

According to a research paper by Chen et al. (2018), we are still dealing with the aftermath of opioids' use in the US civil war and that 'acupuncture is colliding with the opioid crisis not by accident but by necessity'. 'It is time to optimise our tactics and make sure that our therapies are not misaligned.'

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The Problems with Acupuncture

Acupuncture works for many pain conditions; this is a fact, not opinion.1

There a significant amount of research evidence to support a neurobiological basis for acupuncture.2 

These neurobiological effects are specifically related to the insertion of acupuncture needles. However, where the needles are inserted may be less important for certain patients and conditions. For example, a sensitive patient with a condition such as migraine, a disorder of the central nervous system, may respond as well to needles inserted away from the site of pain and while avoiding any ‘acupuncture points'.3

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