Holistic Centre for Body, Mind & Spirit

December 2009

Case study – Zoe

All of the case studies you will read here are the experiences of real Anam Cara clients. They have asked for their real names not to be used to protect their privacy but all of them wanted others to know that problems can be overcome, whatever they are.


I am a 45 year old mother of two teenage boys, fairly active, eat a good stable diet, drink alcohol in moderation, and am not over weight.

For as long as I can remember I have endured the constant pain, inconvenience and embarrassment of irritable bowel syndrome. It has at times ruined holidays and days out. After very bad attacks it leaves me feeling weak and de-hydrated and once resulted in a 5 day stay in hospital where appendicitis was suspected. Despite appointments and lengthy conversations with medical professionals, the outcome was always much the same in that there was no cure for it, the only medication available bringing short term relief, which at times I did take more for convenience than any other reason. To gain some respite I also assisted the symptoms by eating the correct foods and trying to minimise my stress levels, which in my case seemed to be the main triggers.

On two occasions earlier this year I discovered a small amount of blood in my stools and was subjected to my second colonoscopy. Thankfully the results were clear. This made me determined to do whatever I could to get this condition under control. If there was nothing medically wrong then there must be a way of eliminating the symptoms. I had been attending regular therapy sessions with Sonia Manning at Anam Cara and she suggested I try acupuncture.

The day I arrived for my first hour and a half session I was in acute lower right abdominal pain. This was a constant pain which I had learned to live with over the years which increased after bad bouts of diarrhoea. I had almost been late for my appointment as it was a particularly bad morning and I had spent most of my time in the toilet waiting for an opportunity to leave.

Anam Cara’s acupuncturist took a lot of medical and emotional history from me. She was very professional and very warm. I did not feel uncomfortable at all. She did some referencing to her notes and made decisions as to what areas she would target. I lay on the couch and she inserted just 3 needles in various parts of my body. She explained which part of my body each needle would be assisting and went into great detail about the way in which the energy flows around the body and how just one part of that flow can affect the rest. In my case my target areas were my bowel and my lower stomach ache.

I felt no pain from the insertion of the needs and thoroughly enjoyed the foot massage/reflexology she performed whist the needles were in. I was totally relaxed throughout and it made a rare treat to have a whole hour and a half devoted purely to me. The practitioner was more than honest with me. She told me she thought it would be possible to help me with my problems however it may not happen after the first session, but there was certainly no hard sell to get me to sign up for a string of appointments.

As I was driving home I realised that my abdominal pain had completely disappeared. Within twenty four hours there was an immeasurable improvement in my irritable bowel symptoms. In the last seven months since my first appointment the abdominal pain has only re-occurred possibly three times and as already stated this has been a constant ache before. I have had just three sessions and I can honestly say that it is very hard to recall just how devastating my life used to be before I undertook this treatment.

I now have regular and ‘normal’ bowel movements. I have no abdominal pain and the relief of being able to enter a place without first having to find out where the toilets are is simply indescribable. The very small amount of money I had to pay to get my life back has been the best money I have ever spent.

I simply cannot recommend the benefits of acupuncture highly enough.