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Pains and Needles

October 1st, 2023
Hello! My name is Jonathan, owner of Hawthorn Veterinary Surgeries, and for the quite a few years, I have been publishing my musings with a loose veterinary connection in some other local publications. I’m pleased to have been given the opportunity to share them in the Steyning magazine as well.

Cricket. It’s more complicated than marmite because it’s not just about love or hate, it’s also about understanding what the point of it is. Even when you think you understand that, it still doesn’t always make sense. For example, why do Australia get to keep the Ashes when they drew the series 2-2? My enjoyment of cricket has grown steadily over the years – especially since our two boys have very much grasped the point of cricket and this summer has been dominated by the sport (when it hasn’t been raining!)

There have been plenty of practice sessions in the garden, and like many a father, I found myself reminiscing about the good old days of schoolboy cricket as I sent some loose deliveries down to a slightly disappointed 11 and 9 year old. However, unexpectedly, dreams became reality when I idly mentioned my whimsical aspirations whilst in the beer garden of the Royal Oak in Wineham. Having called my own bluff, I ended up in a pre-season net-session – the one opportunity to prepare for the list of compelling pub vs pub fixtures over the summer. After a 2 hour evening session of batting and bowling, I felt that I had roughly remembered what I was about and went to bed dreaming of the time I bowled out Andrew Long in an U12 match.

Many years ago, I got whiplash when someone drove into the back of the 50cc scooter that I was riding to work. When I woke up the morning after the net session, all thoughts of the “yorker” to Andrew Long evaporated and were replaced by a general sensation of pain which made the previous whiplash feel more like a gentle massage. To boot, all the muscles between my ribs ached to the point where if could have opted out of breathing, I would have happily done so!

It turned out that my body was somewhat behind my brain when it came to re-living my youth and despite taking a load of pain relief, I found myself walking around like an inflexible version of Frankenstein. I was thinking a trip to the osteopath may be in order, when my wife, Annelise suggested some acupuncture. To be honest, if she’d told me that sticking a leach in my right ear and purging myself with castor oil would have helped, I probably would have done it; and given that practice on humans was part of her veterinary acupuncture training, I was more than prepared to give it a go. Despite being a wimp with needles, I can testify that it doesn’t hurt a bit and thankfully I felt some near instant relief as a result.

This brings me neatly onto the fact that our veterinary surgeon, Rebecca East, has recently completed a course in veterinary acupuncture, so we are very pleased to be offering this service again both at the practice and also as part of our discount home visit service - if you would prefer Rebecca to come to you. Acupuncture is defined as the insertion of needles into specific points on the body to produce a healing response. It works by stimulating the body’s repair mechanisms, regulating inflammation and causing the release of natural endorphins and opiods. It’s most common indication is the relief of pain and muscle spasms, but there are many other indications such as gastrointestinal disease, skin problems and epilepsy to name a few. It is very safe in animals and has all the same benefits as it does in humans. It can be performed in the conscious animal and is excellent to help manage pain – particularly in arthritic pets. Feel free to contact us if you are interested or would like more information.

As for me, other than a slight issue putting my seatbelt on the next day, I was nearly fully functional, although cricket was off the menu for a week!
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