Patients’ experiences

Sincere thanks to all my patients who have written about iStock_blossom000005962685XSmalltheir personal experiences of acupuncture.

I had experienced extreme period pain for at least 10 years, and for a minimum of two weeks out of every four I would be in pain. The impact it had on my life was extreme. I was lacking in energy, unable to maintain a healthy lifestyle and it had a significant impact on intimacy with my partner. I had tried all that conventional medicine had to offer: laparoscopy, an hormonal coil and Zoladex injections, none of which had even the slightest impact. After years of constant pain I was feeling desperate and hopeless, and really was at the point where it was affecting my mental health. From somewhere, I’m not sure where, I started to consider an alternative approach and decided to see if acupuncture might help. I remembered that a colleague who I had worked with many years before had left to pursue a very different path studying acupuncture. This is one of the few occasions when I have really been grateful for the Internet. I was able very quickly to find Justyna and after an initial conversation I was convinced that she would be able to help me.

I approached my treatment believing that Justyna would be able to help, I felt comfortable, relaxed and above all I trust Justyna. I was open to receiving the support that Justyna was able to provide in the healing process and it paid off. My period pain has completely gone and as well as addressing this issue we were able to work on other issues which has left me feeling generally healthy and it has given me renewed strength and energy, both physically and emotionally, which had been depleted significantly from years of pain. I have balance in my well-being which has been absent for so many years and with this I have found the strength to make some life-changing decisions. I continue to see Justyna on a regular basis. The treatment I receive is restorative, it has such a positive impact on my overall well-being and I value it greatly. I cannot thank Justyna enough for the difference she has made. Jacqueline, 49

I first came to Justyna because I had had two miscarriages, one year apart. My GP just told me to ‘relax’ (!) as the NHS will not do anything until you have had three miscarriages in a row. But doing nothing made me feel as though I was just waiting to have a third miscarriage. I had used various complementary treatments in the past but never acupuncture, but I knew it was often used for fertility issues. I chose Justyna because she worked at Neal’s Yard where I had always found practitioners to be very professional and because her previous clients described her as kind and down to earth, both of which are true. I initially asked Justyna just to help me relax as I was stressed over a house renovation. I felt that getting pregnant would just have to wait till I felt better in myself. Her treatments were wonderful, very calming and supportive. A session normally starts with talking about changes since the last session, general health, feelings etc and then moves on to the treatment. The needles barely hurt by the way so don’t be scared! She also gives advice on food and exercises you can do at home between treatments so you feel you are keeping up the good work. The treatments at first used to make me feel almost comatose (I think I needed to rest very badly!). Once Justyna put a needle into a “heart’ point (I did not know this at the time) and I had a rush of grief and wept before the feeling passed away. Justyna is always very aware of your reactions and monitors you very carefully and on that occasion she held my hand and comforted me whilst still letting me cry, which is a very special thing to be able to do. After working with her for a while I think the immediate reactions have become more subtle – now I feel quite alert and we often chat during the treatment. She got some astonishing results including things I didn’t think were possible, like adjusting some recurring dreams so that they were gentler versions of themselves. I had thought my periods were fairly regular (within 3 days or so) but acupuncture made them exactly 29 days apart, so much so that when I did get pregnant again, about five months after starting treatments with her, I knew on day 30 before I even did a test!

Once pregnant of course I felt very tense about the possibility of another miscarriage and being able to go to Justyna and feel she was working to support the pregnancy made a big difference to my state of mind. She did some lovely treatments for each trimester which felt very special. I had a lovely, easy pregnancy with only very minor symptoms of nausea. Justyna also offered invaluable advice for acupressure points for the birth and invited my husband along to a session so she could show him what to do. The points he pressed on my back literally halved the pain of each contraction and I made it to full dilation only on gas and air. He was also given a moxa stick to burn over my pelvic area to ‘warm’ me following the birth, which made the normal post-birth bleeding change from heavy to light overnight. I hurried back to her as soon as I could for support with energy levels (babies do take it out of you a bit!) and can already feel improvements. Justyna is so easy to talk to, very kind and gentle in both her manner and the treatments and often very insightful. I fully credit her with helping me get and stay pregnant and I hope to continue working with her for many years to come, just to keep me in good shape for the daily fun and games of life! Melissa, 35

I have had RSI in both my arms for the last 6 years and pursued a course of treatment with an osteopath on a monthly basis for the majority of that time. After a particularly bad flare up of the problem last year, a friend suggested I try acupuncture. It’s fair to say that I’m not the ideal candidate for acupuncture because I have a phobia about needles and I would do just about anything to avoid them! However, I said I’d give it a try. One year on and I cannot even begin to describe what a difference it has made to my life. I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have met Justyna and very lucky to be in her care. She has been so kind and understanding about my problem with needles and has helped to make the experience a lot less traumatic for me. The treatment I have received from her for RSI has made a huge difference to me. I have had no major flare ups of the problem in the last year, the RSI pain is in no way as severe as it used to be and my body seems to bounce back quicker from bouts of it. Justyna has also given me daily exercises and holistic advice which has made a huge difference to the way my body reacts to pain. Previously, I felt dominated by RSI and the pain from it at times really hampered my ability to function. Now, because of the care given by Justyna and the associated exercises, I never feel like it looms as large in my life these days, she’s given me the skill set to manage it and be painkiller free. I feel like I understand my body a lot more as a result of treatments with her.

Aside from the treatment for RSI, Justyna has also helped with other health issues to do with circulation and digestion. I never would have imagined that acupuncture and the invaluable advice she has offerred on many occassions could be so helpful, interesting and make so much sense. Most importantly, as a client of Justyna’s you feel genuinely cared for. She really listens and empathises with you and helps you understand the ethos behind the treatment and the connection between mind and body. I am incredibly grateful to her for all the benefits she has brought to my general wellbeing.Regina Kelly

I think I was born with a weak digestive system, I’ve had IBS-like symptoms since I was young, although doctors found no specific problems. Symptoms such as stomach pain, nausea, diarrhoea etc. got much worse as I got older. I was hospitalised three times although again nothing was diagnosed and I was discharged without a clue about my condition. I kind of decided to live with this problem and started getting used to it. The only thing I couldn’t cope with was the terrible fatigue. It was so overwhelming I even suspected MS at some point. Then, one morning I woke up with an acute pain in my stomach and had to call an ambulance. This time, at last, the doctor diagnosed me with Colitis. I had to stay in hospital for two weeks and was given a steroid drip every day. The side effects of steroids were horrifying. The treatment calmed down the pain and diarrhoea, but somehow I felt even more ill! Colitis seems quite a tricky illness and regardless of any treatment the doctor gave me, it kept coming back again and again. Eventually the doctor told me that Colitis could develop into cancer after 10 years. This got me into a panic. I thought about my own death for the first time and it really shocked me. I couldn’t let this happen, I had so many things I wanted to do! Then, out of the blue, I bumped into an old friend in the street. She was carrying a lot of DIY goods, about to decorate her entire flat, all by herself. She looked so energetic to me. I told her about my lack of energy and other problems and asked her where she gets all the energy from? She scribbled a telephone number on a piece of paper, saying “call her, she’ll sort you out”. That’s how I started acupuncture treatment with Justyna. Treatment was mainly targeted on my Colitis but at the same time other problems, such as headaches, back ache, feeling low and stressed etc, were also treated. Basically, my body was looked at holistically. Justyna also gave me a lot of tips for a healthy life and diet. Two years later when I had my annual hospital check up, my intestines were almost totally clear of Colitis apart from a few small ulcers. I don’t know how acupuncture works but to me it’s just like magic! Mieko, 49

I was a complete acupuncture novice when a friend recommended Justyna to me. I initially went searching for help with lower back pain, but also suffering from city life and its tensions and stresses: all those things that I had been “putting up with” for many years – poor digestion, lethargy, anxiety, stress and frustration. I often got run-down and had mouth ulcers frequently. I had been on anti-depressants and still found it hard to escape the mood swings that seemed unavoidable in such a stimulating city.
I found the holistic concept of acupuncture fascinating. Justyna was calm and patient, never judging and always positive. She provided practical advice on diet, lifestyle and exercise which worked wonders. Whilst the treatment itself yielded real changes in my body, Justyna made me realise that the well-being of my spirit was just as important and I believe that the positive energy which she gave to our consultations allowed me to reach a new place. With a new balance in my life, I felt strong enough to leave a 9-5 ‘secure’ job to try a new career as a freelance singer and, one year on, I have never looked back. I do not hesitate to keep spreading the “good news” of acupuncture, and get glowing reports from friends who also receive treatment from Justyna. Kathy, 31

I’d had tension headaches as the result of a bad back for years and had tried a chiropractor and a cranial osteopath, both of whom had failed to get their treatments to help me long term. The cranial osteopath asked had I considered acupuncture, as he felt that my lifestyle was contributing to the fact that my body couldn’t keep hold of the treatment he was giving me and that acupuncture may help with this. He recommended Justyna and I’ve never looked back.
For the first time, someone looked at me, my life, how I was living and what I was putting my body through. This wasn’t an intrusive process, it just felt like a great chat; like someone was really listening to me and considering all aspects of my problems, instead of leaping to the solution. Talking in this way, (and Justyna has a lovely, gentle and encouraging approach) over a course of sessions, made me look at my life, reflect and acknowledge that the way I was living was the cause of my problems, and my back tension/pain a mere symptom.
Acupuncture has gone way beyond helping my bad back (which was eased within a few sessions and was totally managed within a few months). It has helped me look at and improve all aspects of my health, which are inevitably linked: reducing stress, regulating my menstrual cycle (I got pregnant immediately after years of erratic periods), improving my diet and digestion.
And what has been even more valuable, that I never expected to take away, was an awareness of my own health and how to help myself feel good. It’s helped me remember to listen to my body and give it what it needs, whether this be through rest, exercise, food, how I sit etc.
For me, the treatments received during acupuncture create both short (immediately easing back pain, bringing on late periods etc.) and long term improvements, but really are the tip of the iceberg. I think the truly all-encompassing approach that goes beyond just ‘needles’ helps you learn to look after yourself and it is this aspect that means the benefit of the treatments you have in the therapy room stay with you when you leave. I’d recommend it to anyone and frequently do!Jennifer, 34

Just a quick note to thank you for all your hard work and efforts in helping us to get pregnant last year. As you will see from the front of this card, everything turned out happily in the end and baby Gregory was delivered on the 21 February this year on my birthday. He was a good weight at 8 pounds 1 oz, and was delivered over term, in the end by C-section. I really don’t think we would have got here without the wonders of your acupuncture! Not sure how we will find anyone half as good here in New Zealand to try to reproduce the effect!! I will always be an absolute fan of acupuncture for the rest of my life!! KR & baby G.

About five years ago I began to suffer from terribly bad skin, middle aged acne! I had consulted a G.P. who confidently had assured me that this was due to my age. A friend mentioned that she knew an acupuncturist who may be able to help me and I went for my first consultation with Justyna. Within just a few weeks my skin began to clear up and more than that I began to ‘feel’ much better, more balanced, calmer and altogether more positive. This apparently untreatable and inevitable condition was responding very quickly to the acupuncture.
Since those first consultations I have been a regular visitor to Justyna whose treatment of various aspects of my health and well being have been equally effective. I can best describe it as giving me a balance. I recommend her to many friends and colleagues who have had equally beneficial experiences of her work. And I continue to visit on a very regular basis. SO, 49, female

I have been visiting Justyna for acupuncture over a period of 3 years. Initially I wanted some support with the PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) which I had struggled with for some time, but which I had only recently had diagnosed. My menstrual cycle meant that I was having my period every 21 days and within 2 sessions of acupuncture this had regularised itself. Justyna was quick to diagnose and explain within the Chinese medicine beliefs that I have low kidney energy. Whether this is right or not, symptoms such as water retention which I had suffered with for some time, but had not considered acupuncture a potential fix for, have been much improved through acupuncture. On a couple of occasions I have also had treatment for back pains or strains which have been helped greatly by acupuncture. I cannot explain how or why any of this works and frankly have given up trying, but instead try to accept and enjoy the benefits. Amanda, 40

I have been receiving acupuncture treatment for nearly two years now and it has helped me immensely with a number of ailments: depression, shoulder pain and digestive problems. What has been so beneficial about my treatment is the fact that I feel as if I am working with my body as opposed to working against it in the ‘one treatment fits all’. 
The treatment sessions that I have with Justyna leave me with optimism and are a chance to hear about my individual progress – I certainly feel listened too and feel that I am working towards the betterment of my health.
Acupuncture is for anyone who is seeking a true healthier lifestyle. Razia

I have had a weak and problematic digestive system for as long as I can remember. It was never properly diagnosed, and I spent years being incredibly frustrated about it and having allopathic doctors act like I was insane and obviously exaggerating my symptoms. Two years ago, during a very stressful period in my life, my digestion took a turn for the worse and I was having blood in my stools. At this point, I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. Now the allopathic doctors no longer told me that my disease didn’t exist, they told me that I had a horrible illness that would completely ruin my life. I was put on medication that seemed to make no difference.
It was at this point that I turned to acupuncture and started seeing Justyna. With the help of the acupuncture, dietary advice, and herbs, my symptoms slowly subsided. The blood disappeared, and I grew stronger. During the very difficult six months of my Crohn’s flare-up, acupuncture helped me relax and accept my body in a way that was incredibly difficult when it seemed that every time I ate, my body violently rejected the food. I believe that this contributed greatly to the reduction of my symptoms, and to their eventual disappearance. Justyna has also counseled me in how to eat in order to help control my symptoms, according to traditional Chinese medicine. This has been incredibly useful. The herbs I have taken have helped resolve my symptoms and have helped with other health complaints, such as my hay fever. I have learned to listen to my body, and to make changes in my diet and behaviour, and I believe this has helped me keep my Crohn’s in remission without drugs.
Acupuncture makes me feel incredibly relaxed and happy. I usually fall into a very restful state of half-sleep, and I feel rejuvenated afterwards. It does not hurt one bit, and the movement of energy that I feel it unleashes in my body is actually quite amazing. I would definitely recommend acupuncture, as it has helped me so much. DEBRA, 28

I went to Justyna on the recommendation of a publishing colleague. I had heard that acupuncture was good for insomnia, but I had tried it before, and it hadn’t made any difference. My friend insisted that Justyna was different and I should give it a go. Having suffered for several years with waking at 4am and not getting back to sleep I felt I had nothing to lose. First of all, I was delighted by the deft way Justyna used the needles – they really did not hurt at all. Next, it was good just talking things through with her. It took some time for the two of us to finally track down what was causing my inability to sleep, but we did and my life has been transformed! I no longer have that edgy nervous feeling and am able to go to the theatre and opera without nodding off. And, of course, I love my treatment and in today’s very stressful climate my visits to Justyna are pure pleasure – I feel so much better afterwards, and I have a lovely counselling session as well!
 A very grateful patient, 
Brenda Gardner

I initially came to Justyna for my anxiety disorder and, possibly related, IBS symptoms. After feeling better about these things, we now work on my menstrual symptoms and how they relate. Although, I’m still a bit up and down, I have definitely felt improvement. I rarely have IBS symptoms, my anxiety attacks have decreased profoundly and my migraines during my menstrual cycle have disappeared. 
I visit Justyna generally each fortnight and some of the herbs she has prescribed seem to be very beneficial.
 Going to see Justyna is like therapy for me coupled with a relaxation session, I always feel totally relaxed after a treatment, ready for a nice long sleep. Justyna gives off such a positive energy and has a great sense of humour which I believe also helps. She always takes her time and makes me feel as though I am her only client until I get to the reception and try to book my next appointment and realise how much she is in demand!
 M BRIGGS, female, 37

I first sought acupuncture from Justyna shortly before Christmas 2008. So why did I seek help and why acupuncture? In essence, a series of major life events had led to a sense of exhaustion manifesting in the classic symptoms of anxiety, erratic sleep patterns and poor concentration. Over a four-year period, my wife and I had lost our child and several close family members. Also, I have a demanding job and major changes in the workplace had led to uncertainty about the future. So, not a good combination overall! 

I had previously benefited from acupuncture some years ago following a bout of glandular fever and associated fatigue. So I was already a convert! I found acupuncture to be an effective therapy, both as complementary to mainstream medicine but also, this time around, as a stand-alone treatment. Acupuncture is not entirely painless but the discomfort is momentary and does not last. During treatment, I feel relaxed to the extent that I sometimes start to fall asleep! After the treatment, I feel quite calm. 

In terms of the benefits I received, the effects of acupuncture are undoubtedly cumulative. All of the symptoms described above gradually diminished and finally disappeared; I have, for some months now, been sleeping well, concentration is good and I am coping with day-to-day demands without too much effort. After three treatments, I noted a tangible difference. After six I wanted to run the Marathon – well not quite! Now I feel energised, body and mind are in harmony (that may sound corny but it’s true), I am taking a real interest in hobbies and am relishing our recent arrival – a baby boy! OK, so there are some sleepless nights, but for different reasons!! Whilst I still attend for top-up treatment, the frequency between consultations has reduced. 

I would have no hesitation in recommending Justyna; she is professional, friendly and treats the patient with utmost respect, listening to my concerns and explaining everything carefully. I am very grateful for the help she has given to me and the real and lasting difference the course of treatment has made. 

R.D., male, 47

My hair was falling out slowly but steadily for about 10 years. When I became totally desperate I went to see Justyna for advice. Over the period of the past three years I have seen a great recovery not only from my initial hair loss condition but I have also have noticed a general improvement with other health issues. My energy levels have gone up, my sleep pattern is better, I’m calmer and happier. I still go to acupuncture on a regular monthly basis as I feel that Justyna’s sessions make me stronger and help me protect my body and mind. I would definitely recommend Justyna’s acupuncture treatments. She is intuitive, understanding and gentle which may be a particular concern for people who are worried about any treatment with needles. Elizabeth Hughes

For many years I have been familiar with several alternative medical treatments but I took to acupuncture during the menopause. I wanted to see what my own body could still achieve without HRT and other medication. I WAS VERY HAPPILY SURPRISED! The periods were “regulated” into “nothingness” in a comfortable way and the dreaded hot flushes became less severe. I felt supported and my body managed with less stress. Justyna also tells me about foods that are “unsuitable” for me.
I also had some bad falls, injuring my back and, later, my ankle. Acupuncture worked wonders for me. I can also help myself with acupressure points and specific massages shown to me by Justyna. This helps a lot for my “restless leg syndrome” and sciatica, as well.
We like, respect and trust each other – hence the good results! THANK YOU JUSTYNA!”