Just before Christmas, I really was losing the plot. I was sufficiently frazzled and coping poorly enough to book a session of my very precious time with Silene Bricet, our acupuncturist at Kennington Osteopaths & Physiotherapy. It was on the recommendation of Pietro, whose friend had seen Silene for something and gave her a rave review (you see, even I am susceptible to word of mouth recommendations!!)
The external environment
You’ll remember that we weren’t fully locked down in December, but we were heading inexorably towards another lockdown and had just been locked down for the whole of November.
I have a toddler, who thankfully attended nursery four days a week so both my husband and I could work. But I was deeply anxious about looking after her on the fifth day of the week, entirely on my own, with nowhere to go, in increasingly bad weather. My anxiety verged on dread. And the guilt/worry that I was just being a bit wet compared with other mothers who were looking after infants, as well as home-schooling 4- and 6-year olds amplified my stress.
Despite doing regular yoga in the mornings before work and getting more or less enough sleep, and eating more or less healthily I could feel myself unravelling.
My main symptom was anger; about how the pandemic had knackered my maternity leave and enjoying being a new mother, about how I couldn’t get away for a break, about not being able to go out for dinner, and so on.
When I saw Silene, I apparently failed to mention that my digestion wasn’t great, that I was internally raging or felt constantly anxious about successfully entertaining and feeding my toddler. But I did manage to tell her that I felt like I wasn’t really coping that well with anything except work (which I find enjoyable and has the enormous benefit of face to face contact and getting me out of the house) and thus unable to sleep properly.
I’d always known that Silene was excellent but I wasn’t sure whether acupuncture itself would ‘do anything’. It was all just a bit too leftfield for my very rational brain.
I suspect many people who see an acupuncturist are in the position I was in – needing some help with vague, sub-clinical symptoms, that exercise didn’t alleviate and which a pill couldn’t fix, and a course of psychotherapy seemed a bit much…!
What I remember of that initial treatment was Silene’s calm compassion and understanding in the face of my tearful incoherence. And being able to just lie down, and not attend to anything at all. She inserted needles into several sites in my arms and legs and then after a while, did some Reiki over me. It was actually marvellous.
At my followup session, she recommended that I do what I needed to do for myself and not anyone else, without in any way directing me.
That initial session was SO helpful. Silene had got me emotionally into a place of calm and then encouraged me to listen to myself, believe in myself, and most importantly to make a change. I realised what I needed most for myself was not having to worry about entertaining my daughter on Fridays. I booked her into nursery for 5 days a week until the spring, or museums / Soft Play / and other toddler-friendly activities were unlocked, whichever came first.
I decided to have another top up session in February having reflected on the massive improvement in my wellbeing at all levels. I felt physically NORMAL. I hadn’t experienced any rage, and my sleep and digestion had both improved. I realised I had actually returned to myself physiologically for the first time in over 2 years. I recognised my internal self again.
What an incredible gift Silene’s acupuncture and Reiki sessions had given me. Clarity and empowerment to act, as well as a return to the reserves of health I had been used to… I’ve been able to incorporate some serious core strength exercise without feeling knackered, and find time to cook meals for the family do an online course and give my toddler (and even my husband) some of the affection that had been missing for months.
So, I’d highly recommend Silene for feeling like you’re losing the plot, rage and unhappiness (or poor sleep, poor digestion, and stress) You don’t need to understand how acupuncture works, how Reiki works, or even how you work. You need to give yourself a chance to find some quiet, some calm, and a physiologically and psychologically cleansing treatment with a highly skilled practitioner.
Written by Andrea Rippe
“If you would like to find out more about our acupuncture services and how we can help, please give us a call on 02077356813.”