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Case Study – Simon Brain

Patient card
Case Study – Simon Brain

Conditions

Stroke

History

Simon Brain was 48 when he suffered a devastating stroke during an army training exercise in the middle of the English Channel.

It happened just before 4pm on 28th August 2015 – the moment, he says, that his life changed forever.

The stroke, caused by a massive blood clot in his middle cerebral artery, left him completely paralysed down the left side of his body and requiring life-saving treatment.

Alongside conventional medical treatment, which included thrombolytic therapy, he believes acupuncture helped him to regain his life.

Simon, who is from Portsmouth, explains what happened on that fateful day three years ago: “I was on military exercise in the middle of the English Channel. My skipper kept asking me if I was alright. It turns out I had a very droopy face. Looking back, I don’t know why I didn’t notice that I had lost feeling in my leg and my arm. The next thing I knew I was being laid down on the deck.”

Thanks to the swift action of his military colleges Simon was very quickly airlifted to Ashford Hospital in Kent where he received immediate treatment. He spent the following 10 weeks in a rehabilitation facility. But on leaving the hospital he was facing life in a wheelchair with life-changing injuries.

He had also had to say good-bye to his 30-year career as a sergeant in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, which left him feeling very depressed.

Prior to his stroke, Simon had been receiving regular acupuncture from Sahar Hooti of the Acucare Clinic in Harley Street, London, who also runs a regular clinic in Portsmouth, for pain in his knees.

“The acupuncture was working very well for my knees so when I had my stroke Sahar began dealing with the problems associated with that too,” he explains.

“The stroke left me with a dislocated left shoulder, no feeling in my left leg and problems with my brain not working quite as well as it used to.”

Acupuncturist Sahar Hooti says: “I treated Simon with traditional acupuncture and lots of different modalities without the need for electric stimulation.

“When he first came to see me he was very depressed. We have managed to deal with that and he has also now lost lots of weight and is back in control of his life.

“He has a shoulder problem which surgeons have refused to work on but I have managed to keep the pain at bay for him.”

Simon visits Sahar three or four times a month for what he refers to as “a tune-up", but he admits he was not the most willing of patients initially.

“I was the worst patient you could possibly imagine for acupuncture,” he says. “The idea that some microscopic needle going into parts of your body is going to help you was unbelievable to me. I would never have thought that could work.

“But I have been converted. A lot of the people I went through the system with were on pretty severe medication for depression but I have managed to get through it without taking anything. I can only put that down to the acupuncture.”

Simon has regained feeling in his left leg but unfortunately his left arm still does not work, although he remains hopeful.

He has been able to return to driving and last year he attended trials for the Invictus Games. He was unsuccessful but says he has since risen to UK No.1 in his class for seated discus throwing so is confident that he stands a chance of getting picked for the games next time round.

He plans to continue with acupuncture on a regular basis.


Simon Brain was 48 when he suffered a devastating stroke during an army training exercise in the middle of the English Channel.
It happened just before 4pm on 28th August 2015 – the moment, he says, that his life changed forever.
The stroke, caused by a massive blood clot in his middle cerebral artery, left him completely paralysed down the left side of his body and requiring life-saving treatment.
Alongside conventional medical treatment, which included thrombolytic therapy, he believes acupuncture helped him to regain his life.
Simon, who is from Portsmouth, explains what happened on that fateful day three years ago: “I was on military exercise in the middle of the English Channel. My skipper kept asking me if I was alright. It turns out I had a very droopy face. Looking back, I don’t know why I didn’t notice that I had lost feeling in my leg and my arm. The next thing I knew I was being laid down on the deck.”
Thanks to the swift action of his military colleges Simon was very quickly airlifted to Ashford Hospital in Kent where he received immediate treatment. He spent the following 10 weeks in a rehabilitation facility. But on leaving the hospital he was facing life in a wheelchair with life-changing injuries.
He had also had to say good-bye to his 30-year career as a sergeant in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, which left him feeling very depressed.
Prior to his stroke, Simon had been receiving regular acupuncture from Sahar Hooti of the Acucare Clinic in Harley Street, London, who also runs a regular clinic in Portsmouth, for pain in his knees.
“The acupuncture was working very well for my knees so when I had my stroke Sahar began dealing with the problems associated with that too,” he explains.
“The stroke left me with a dislocated left shoulder, no feeling in my left leg and problems with my brain not working quite as well as it used to.”
Acupuncturist Sahar Hooti says: “I treated Simon with traditional acupuncture and lots of different modalities without the need for electric stimulation.
“When he first came to see me he was very depressed. We have managed to deal with that and he has also now lost lots of weight and is back in control of his life.
“He has a shoulder problem which surgeons have refused to work on but I have managed to keep the pain at bay for him.”
Simon visits Sahar three or four times a month for what he refers to as “a tune-up", but he admits he was not the most willing of patients initially.
“I was the worst patient you could possibly imagine for acupuncture,” he says. “The idea that some microscopic needle going into parts of your body is going to help you was unbelievable to me. I would never have thought that could work.
“But I have been converted. A lot of the people I went through the system with were on pretty severe medication for depression but I have managed to get through it without taking anything. I can only put that down to the acupuncture.”
Simon has regained feeling in his left leg but unfortunately his left arm still does not work, although he remains hopeful.
He has been able to return to driving and last year he attended trials for the Invictus Games. He was unsuccessful but says he has since risen to UK No.1 in his class for seated discus throwing so is confident that he stands a chance of getting picked for the games next time round.
He plans to continue with acupuncture on a regular basis.
Press

Notes to Editor:

  • For further information, case studies or interviews please contact: Katie Osborne on 07990 922615 or by emailing katie@osbornecomms.co.uk

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The British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) has a membership of nearly 3,000 professionally qualified acupuncturists. It is the UK's largest professional body for the practice of acupuncture. BAcC members practise a traditional, holistic style of acupuncture diagnosis and treatment based on a system developed and refined over 2,000 years. To achieve BAcC membership, practitioners must first undertake extensive training in traditional acupuncture (minimum three years full-time or part-time equivalent), which includes physiology, anatomy and other biomedical sciences appropriate to the practice of acupuncture.

Traditional acupuncture:

Traditional acupuncture as practised by members of the BAcC is based on Chinese medicine principles that have been developed, researched and refined for over 2,500 years. Traditional acupuncture is holistic, not focused on isolated symptoms. It regards pain and illness, whether physical or mental, to be a sign the whole body is out of balance. Western or medical acupuncture is a more recent development practised predominantly by doctors and physiotherapists, who use acupuncture techniques within their existing scope of practice on the basis of a western medical diagnosis

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Look for the letters MBAcC after the name of your acupuncturist to ensure:

  • extensive training – minimum three years degree level – with relevant western medicine including anatomy and physiology
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  • postgraduate study of special interests such as pain management and acupuncture for children

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