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Acupuncture | Nutrition
Massage | Reflexology

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Practising Natural Medicine since 1998


About me

I have been passionate about alternative medicine since the early 1980s when my stepfather, Dave, was diagnosed with motor-neurone disease. Western medicine offered Dave no hope – there wasn’t even any palliative support then; so my mum and Dave set about trying various approaches, from acupuncture, physio and massage to sprouted seeds and intramuscular injections of vitamin B12 in an attempt to find a cure themselves.117

They did not ultimately find a cure, but Dave far outlived his doctors’ expectations, both in time and in quality of life. Dave was told repeatedly that he was wasting his money having acupuncture, that it was ineffective and any perceived improvement on his part was entirely placebo. This was the 1980s, and although acupuncture is now well researched and Western medicine generally accepts that it has a therapeutic effect, back then it was derided by all but the most radical medics.

However, Dave was convinced that acupuncture helped – his general movements and fine-motor skills improved post treatment, as did his speech and most importantly, the constant lung congestion he suffered from eased and his breathing improved.

I was convinced too, and after a career in publishing I began training – first in massage, aromatherapy, reflexology and Reiki, later in acupuncture and, most recently, in nutrition.  

taking-pulseI find being trained in a variety of alternative therapies helpful when working with patients to resolve what are often complicated conditions. On a practical level, some therapies are just not suitable for everyone. On a clinical level, I believe that when used synergistically, alternative therapies are even more effective than when used in isolation. For example, a patient coming to see me with migraine might receive a shoulder and neck massage to relieve local muscle tension, acupuncture and/or reflexology to remove energetic blockages and by recommending a certain diet to support adrenal function and nutrients that aid muscle relaxation we can come at the condition physically, energetically and biochemically.

I adore my work and over the past 15 years have learnt so much from my patients that I often think of the Henry Higgins quote from George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion: “Happy is the man who can make a living by his hobby!”  I really am grateful that I have been fortunate enough to turn my passion into a vocation.


What is Acupuncture?

needle-insert1Traditional acupuncture involves the insertion of fine needles (about the width of a human hair) into the body at specific locations. The needles used are sterile, stainless steel and are incinerated after use. A thorough consultation is carried out prior to the first treatment using Oriental diagnostic skills, which include looking at a patient’s tongue and feeling their pulse. The acupuncturist asks many questions about the patient's health and lifestyle. This in-depth consultation is crucial in order to establish which aspects of the patient are out of balance and this in turn informs the treatment.

There are basically two different types of acupuncture, which can be confusing for patients. Some doctors, nurses and physiotherapists practise a Western-style treatment, using acupuncture needles, to achieve relief of symptoms. Traditional acupuncture is holistic in approach and therefore quite different. The theory that underpins traditional acupuncture takes many years to learn, but the overarching aim of acupuncture is to restore harmony within the body so that proper physical and psychological functioning will return to the whole body. Patients often report improvements in conditions they hadn’t mentioned in the initial consultation – conditions they thought were in no way connected to the complaint they wanted to resolve. This is due to the holistic nature of acupuncture which treats the individual rather than the symptom.

We know that acupuncture was being used in the East at the very least 2,000 years ago. I won’t provide lots of historical information as that’s probably not why you’re reading this website. If you are interested in the history and development of acupuncture then do have a look at the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) website:

Is Acupuncture safe?

needle-foot1Acupuncture is one of the safest medical treatments. Two surveys conducted independently of each other and published in the British Medical Journal in 2001 concluded that the risk of a serious adverse reaction to acupuncture is less than 1 in 10,000. This is far less than many orthodox medical treatments. One survey was of traditional acupuncturists and the other of doctors who practise acupuncture.

A total of 66,000 treatments were reviewed altogether, with only a handful of minor and transient side effects recorded. There are very few side effects from acupuncture when practised by a fully qualified practitioner of traditional acupuncture. Any minor side effects that do occur, such as dizziness or bruising around needle points, are mild and self-correcting.

Does Acupuncture hurt?

There is usually very little sensation as the needle is inserted because it is so fine. Upon insertion, the acupuncturist gently manipulates the needle which produces a sensation that people describe variously as: “a dull ache”, “tingling”, “like a slight electric shock”. Interestingly, my patients often say it doesn’t feel at all like a needle and they also say that the sensation feels deep within the body – which suggests that it is something other than just the needle being felt, since the needle usually only penetrates about 1cm.  Patients also report that the sensation can be felt in parts of the body other than where the needle is.

Is Acupuncture effective?

needle-foot1The effectiveness of acupuncture is now well-established in Western medical literature. Thousands of peer-reviewed articles have been published over the past few decades. However, the mechanism by which acupuncture exerts its effect is very much open to debate. Oriental medicine describes a life-force or Qi (pronounced ‘chi’) as inhabiting every living organism and states that any disruption or blockage of Qi will eventually result in illness. Acupuncture aims to restore the flow of Qi and thus restore balance and health within the individual. Western medicine argues that the effect of acupuncture is due to stimulation of the nervous system by the needles and that it is this stimulation that causes the various physiological and psychological improvements.

Acupuncture received the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) accreditation for persistent, non-specific low-back pain in 2009, which means that GPs can refer a patient to an acupuncturist for treatment of this condition. However, acupuncture is a complete system of medicine in its own right and has been shown in clinical trials to be useful for the following ailments (please see the BAcC website for links to the research):

  • Allergic rhinitis
  • Anxiety
  • Back pain
  • Bell’s palsy
  • Childbirth
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome (ME)
  • COPD
  • Cystitis
  • Depression
  • Dysmenorrhoea
  • Eczema and psoriasis
  • Endometriosis
  • Female fertility issues
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Gastrointestinal tract disorders
  • Headache
  • Herpes
  • Hypertension
  • Insomnia
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Male infertility issues
  • Menopausal symptoms
  • Migraines
  • Nausea & vomiting
  • Obesity
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Premenstrual syndrome
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sciatica
  • Sinusitis
  • Sports injuries
  • Stress
  • Substance misuse
  • Tennis elbow
  • Tinnitus
  • Type-2 Diabetes
  • Urinary incontinence

Will my health insurance cover Acupuncture treatments?

The following health insurance schemes cover acupuncture treatments: Allianz / BHSF / Cash4Health / HSA / HSF / Westfield / WHA / Foresters / BCWA / Groupama / Norwich Union AVIVA / CIGNA International / Pru Health / Standard Life

 *Safety note

It is important to eat a snack (not a heavy meal ) before a treatment as patients can feel light-headed afterwards. It is therefore sensible to not plan a stressful or demanding activity immediately after a treatment, particularly if you are a new patient.



What is Aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy uses volatile plant oils, known as essential oils, to improve physical and physiological health. In the UK massage is the most common means of introducing the essential oils and this is the method I use.  

A consultation is carried out at the first treatment to establish which aspects of the patient are out of balance, which particular areas of the patient’s body to focus the massage on and which oils are most appropriate.

An aromatherapy massage is primarily a relaxing massage – particularly useful for combating stress-related conditions. Generally speaking, a patient is massaged on the back, legs, feet, arms, shoulders, neck, face and head using a vegetable oil mixed with the essential oils. This can, of course, be varied – in the case of a patient who dislikes having their feet massaged, for example!

The strokes used are long and flowing – aiming to physically relax the soft tissues, increase circulatory and lymphatic flow and also to encourage deep emotional relaxation in the patient.

The deep, friction-type strokes used in remedial massage are generally avoided. However, as an acupuncturist, I often use some acupressure (applying pressure with the thumbs or fingers) to increase the therapeutic benefit of the treatment.

Is Aromatherapy safe?

There are contraindications for certain oils – pregnant women and people with epilepsy must avoid certain oils, certain oils are phototoxic (react to sunlight) and certain oils can be skin irritants for sensitive skins. The oils are extremely concentrated and should never be used without strict instructions from a trained aromatherapist. However, when used correctly, aromatherapy is very safe.

Is Aromatherapy effective?

There is certainly evidence of specific oils having been used medically many hundreds of years ago – lavender, frankincense and myrrh in particular.

There are increasingly well-designed studies that attest to the effectiveness of aromatherapy.

  • The International Federation of Professional Aromatherapists monitors research:, as does the The International Journal of Clinical




  *Safety note

It is important to eat a snack (not a heavy meal ) before a treatment as patients can feel light-headed afterwards. It is therefore sensible to not plan a stressful or demanding activity immediately after a treatment, particularly if you are a new patient.


green-veg“You are what you eat” is not just a metaphor, it is an actual, physiological truth. What we eat today becomes our body tomorrow. Food is broken down by our digestive process (depending on our digestive health – and there’s a huge amount we can do to improve this!), it is absorbed via our intestines where it is then transformed by a myriad of processes into all the different tissues that we continually need to repair, all the hormones that we need to maintain our endocrine system and to keep our brain and mood working properly, not to mention all the thousands of chemicals we need to keep all our body systems functioning smoothly.

What is remarkable, is that our bodies continue to work so well for so long on a diet that is often suboptimal. Our wonderful bodies really are designed to maintain health, but often our lifestyles work against them. Yes, there are factors over which we have no control – our genetic make-up, for instance, but this is considered to have far less influence over our risk of degenerative disease that was believed a decade or two ago. Moreover, our diet can play a crucial role in whether certain genes are expressed or not – the study of epigenetics is based on this knowledge. Likewise, pollution in our environment and toxicants we have been exposed to during our childhood can all have a bearing on our health, but our diet can hugely mitigate the effects of such exposure.

The World Cancer Research fund states that 40% of cases of breast cancer could be avoided by following a healthy diet, drinking less alcohol, keeping to the right weight for your build and taking regular exercise. Research from the School of Medicine in Puerto Rico have found that women who take long-term multivitamins and mineral supplements reduce their risk for developing breast cancer by almost 30%. Recently, the George Mateljan Foundation found that eating raw cabbage two or three times a week significantly reduces your risk of bowel cancer.

With more than 500,000 positive research papers attesting to the benefit of a healthy diet and supplements, you might think that we are all healthier than ever, but sadly this is not the case – far from it. Cardiovascular disease kills 200,000 people annually in the UK alone and costs the NHS £15 billion annually. One in three people will develop cancer at some point in their lives and this is projected to rise to one in two in the next couple of decades; 50 years ago, this figure was one in 27!

Obesity is reaching epidemic proportions, one in five adults are obese and one in three children in the UK is overweight or obese by the time they leave primary school. This has triggered an explosion of what was called ‘late-onset’ diabetes or type-2 diabetes. However, given that we are now seeing patients as young as 15 developing this metabolic condition, it can hardly be called late-onset. The cost to the NHS for treating type-2 diabetes is more than £11 billion, which is a huge proportion of the overall NHS spend.

Adrenal fatigue and sub-clinical hypothyroidism are also reaching epidemic proportions – these are metabolic conditions not recognised by the NHS, but have a devastating effect on people’s lives – unexplained exhaustion, brain fog, depression, digestive disturbances, weight gain or loss amongst many other symptoms.

These conditions are preventable and, in many cases, much can be done to reverse them with diet and lifestyle changes. When we think about the complex web of factors that influence our risk of degenerative disease, nutrition is one variable that we can absolutely control – it is our powerful ally. For many conditions that patients seek help for, from anxiety and depression, insomnia, migraines, obesity, chronic fatigue, to arthritis, diabetes, hypertension, irritable bowel syndrome and many more besides, a nutritional intervention can make a huge improvement. 

But ‘good nutrition’ is so much more than just being disciplined about consuming all the minerals, vitamins and co-factors that we need. It is about feeling joyful about the food we eat, knowing that we’re eating food that hasn’t cost the earth in terms of its sustainability, choosing local where possible, maybe even growing some of our own, connecting with the bountiful earth and in doing so, with our own nature, enjoying preparing delicious dishes that we know sustain our health and yes, it’s also about knowing which snacks to choose and how to eat if we’re busy and don’t have time to prepare a meal. It’s about having the knowledge to enable us to choose wisely.

As a naturopathic nutritionist, I work in a holistic way – I use my Chinese medical background, as well as a Western analysis of signs and symptoms and I sometimes recommend functional tests to patients to generate the most useful picture of what is causing their condition. Often patients have some knowledge of certain nutrients or foods that may be helpful to them, but how to turn that into food they would want to eat themselves, never mind if they have a family, is beyond them. I like to provide patients not only with a specific dietary protocol, which may include supplements, but also detailed dietary support even down to meal planners and recipes. In this way, I find that patients can make the necessary changes.

The Gerson Therapy


The Gerson Therapy is not well known in the UK, but Dr Max Gerson began developing a naturopathic approach to degenerative illness in the 1930s. The Gerson Therapy is a well-documented approach to treating many debilitating chronic conditions – including adult-onset diabetes, heart-disease, arthritis and, most famously, cancer.

The Gerson Therapy involves consumption of many organic vegetables and raw juices and detoxification which aims to restore correct intracellular balance, increase metabolic function, restore a functioning immune system, thereby restoring the body’s ability to heal itself.

In brief, a Gerson therapist will carry out a lengthy consultation with the patient which must include analysis of complete blood results and any scans or other diagnostic tests that have been carried out. Follow-up consultations are carried out on a monthly basis (sometimes more frequent if necessary) which again involves blood work being analysed by the Gerson therapist along with changes in symptomology, which will inform changes to the revised protocol.

As you will appreciate, this therapy is very labour intensive and few people can manage the demands of the therapy without adequate support at home. However, if you would like more information on the therapy please feel free to call or email me. Alternatively, you can go to the Gerson Therapy website at: There is also a British-based charity, the Gerson Support Group, that provides help and advice to individuals wanting to do the therapy:

Remedial massage


What is Remedial massage?

Remedial massage is a specific form of soft-tissue massage, often associated with sports-related injuries, although it is equally effective for non sports-related injuries, e.g. whiplash, low-back pain, frozen shoulder, migraine and general upper neck/shoulder tension & pain. Remedial massage can be used to prevent injury as well as heal injury. When patients receive regular massage their muscles are more relaxed and therefore more elastic; their circulation and lymphatic drainage is also improved, making subsequent muscle tension and spasm far less likely.

Unlike an aromatherapy massage, remedial massage is not aimed primarily at relaxing the patient. It is not uncommon to experience some discomfort during the treatment. Remedial massage treats muscular dysfunction and some skeletal dysfunction; Massagedamaged tissue may be in spasm, there may be adhesions within the muscles and these are often tender. In manipulating these tissues the therapist uses her hands, fingers, thumbs (sometimes fists and elbows on large muscles) to break down the adhesions and stiff muscles in order to improve blood and lymph circulation in the area, which will promote healing of the tissues.

Although the main aim of remedial massage is not relaxation, patients often report feeling relaxed after a remedial massage and say their sleep is better. Patients generally experience greater mobility, better range of movement and less discomfort in the area concerned post treatment.

What are the Benefits of Remedial Massage?

Short term effects are:

  • to increase the blood flow, both in the area being massaged and generally
  • to increase the lymphatic flow to and from the area treated, reducing pain, swelling and inflammation and speeding up the body's own healing process
  • to relieve stress and tension, factors which are known to hinder healing or slow it down, and cause problems of their own
  • to reduce muscle tension, thereby improving the blood supply to an area
  • to increase muscle tone

Long term effects are:

  • improved general circulation
  • balance of the muscles and joints, leading to a better state of health
  • breaking down of scar or fibrous tissue, restoring elasticity to the joints
  • greater mobility within the joints of the body
  • overall relief of stress
  • greater immunity to further injuries of the same area

What can Remedial Massage treat?

Remedial Massage has been shown to be beneficial for the following:

  • sports injuries
  • fibrositis
  • muscular tension
  • circulation problems
  • headaches
  • back pain
  • whiplash injuries
  • sinus problems
  • frozen shoulder
  • neurasthenia
  • post-stroke
  • arthritis
  • paralysis
  • tennis elbow
  • nervous exhaustion

For research on remedial or sports massage look at the General Council for Massage Therapists' website:



 Safety notes

Patients may sometimes experience tenderness for a couple of days post treatment, but this invariably disappears by the third day after treatment. It is important to eat a snack (not a heavy meal ) beforehand as patients can feel light-headed after a treatment.



What is Reflexology?

Reflexology involves the therapist applying pressure to the patient’s feet using the hands, fingers and thumbs. Reflexologists feel for ‘gritty’, inflamed areas on the feet and manipulate these areas in order to break down what are believed to be deposits of chemicals, laid down in a crystalline form under the skin’s surface.

There appears to be a connection between certain parts of the feet and the body as a whole – as though the foot represents a simplified ‘map’ of the body. I can certainly say from my own experience, having massaged many backs and observed the areas of inflammation and tension therein, these areas of tension always correspond with the ‘reflex zones’ on those patients’ feet.

Is Reflexology effective?

This massaging of the feet and consequent breaking down of the gritty areas seems to have a therapeutic effect on the body. The reality is that nobody can explain the mechanism behind the apparent effect of reflexology.

There are many pseudo-scientific claims by reflexologists as to this mechanism, but I will not state any of these here as nobody knows what causes the effect.  There is, however, plenty of research attesting to the effectiveness of reflexology. If you are interested, go to:  or

Reflexology has been shown to be effective in treating:

Abdominal pain
Cerebral palsy
Chronic fatigue syndrome (ME)
Circulatory conditions
Facial palsy
Hypertension (high blood pressure)
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
Kidney-related issues
Low-back pain
Lung conditions – Bronchitis, COPD
Multiple sclerosis
Muscular dystrophy
Motor neurone disease
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
Stress-related conditions

*Safety note

It is important to eat a snack (not a heavy meal ) before a treatment as patients can feel light-headed afterwards. It is therefore sensible to not plan a stressful or demanding activity immediately after a treatment, particularly if you are a new patient.

Contact me


My Address

Lisa Rutter

10, Derwent Square,
High Peak,
SK23 6BH

Tel: 07710 233156


  • I really look forward to my sessions with Lisa. This is my monthly treat to myself. Lisa is a very talented complementary therapist who uses a variety of methods such as acupuncture, massage and reiki. Her talent is that she instantly makes you feel at ease and is a very good listener. This all helps me to feel relaxed and tension free. I feel uplifted and my sense of well being is improved. I thoroughly recommend a session with Lisa.

    Joanne Kerr, Lecturer Adult and Child Health, The University of Manchester,
  • I regularly have acupuncture treatment with Lisa. This has helped significantly with my sleeping and eating habits – and reduced my stress levels. Lisa is warm and friendly and I feel comfortable and confident in her company. I would highly recommend Lisa for any holistic treatments.

    Lucy Davidson, Colorectal Specialist Radiographer,
  • As a climber, runner and mountain-biker I have pulled various muscles over the years as well as damaging my rotator cuff (shoulder) muscles.  I also run my own business and suffer from regular shoulder and neck tension which can be debilitating.

    During the past seven years Lisa has given me massage for various complaints – tight quads, hamstrings and calf muscles after endurance events; pre-event massages which do seem to help reduce stiffness afterwards; low-back tension; tight, painful shoulder and neck muscles; tight achilles tendons. Last year I was suffering with severe tension and pain in my right elbow which was diagnosed as tennis elbow. Lisa realised that this was being caused largely by tension coming from the shoulder and by treating the shoulder girdle as well as the arm the condition resolved quite quickly, allowing me to continue biking.

    Aside from massaging my various and regular pains, Lisa has made suggestions for stretches and exercises to help alleviate my complaints.

    I would strongly recommend Lisa to anyone with muscular complaints.

    Mark Krassowski, Chinley,
  • I would wholeheartedly recommend Lisa, having visited numerous times over the past 7 years.
    Lisa often uses a combination of massage therapy and acupuncture to great effect. Her treatment is very intuitive.

    I have used Lisa’s expertise for all of the following:

    ·         pre race preparation
    ·         post race massage  
    ·         stress/tension relief
    ·         sports injury treatment- muscles and joints
    ·         psoriasis prevention/relief
    ·         birthday treats – 2 hour candle-lit relaxation massage (this is the best one!)

    I particularly benefit from Lisa’s holistic approach to assessing the need, and using her knowledge and skills to respond effectively.  

    Lisa prepares thoroughly for your visit, is welcoming, puts you at ease, listens carefully, and spends time thinking through your treatment between appointments.

    Confidentiality is guaranteed, and you’ll always feel the benefit of time spent on Lisa’s couch!

    Hayley Lever, MD Community Sports Trust,
  • Lisa has been my therapist for over 11 years.

    My job is office based and I spend my day sitting at a computer.  This means I suffer with stress in my neck and shoulders.  I also have issues with my back, my hips and have suffered several bouts of very painful sciatica.

    I visit Lisa on a regular basis and through various massage techniques, she has helped me manage my problems and I feel almost 100% better with her help.

    Lisa is an extremely diligent, caring and empathic person and I would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending her services.

    Lisa is not only my therapist, I now proudly count her as one of my dearest friends.

    Jo Johnson, New Mills,
  • I have suffered with shoulder problems for several years now; both have been “frozen” (adhesive capsulitis).

    I have had several massage sessions now with Lisa, and they helped more than I could imagine, really loosening up the shoulders, increasing mobility and freedom of movement and reducing pain.

    Much more than a pampering session, I was a new woman coming out of her therapy room!

    Lisa is very caring, competent, confident and professional and I felt that I was in very safe hands. She also does reflexology (delightfully relaxing) and several other therapies.

    I am happy to recommend her.”

    Dr Janet Winter (PhD), Buteyko Practitioner, Breathing Remedies,
  • Lisa is uncannily intuitive and always seems to figure out exactly what’s wrong. Her treatment of an Achilles problem allowed me to keep training through the winter and complete the Edale Skyline 21 mile fell race.  At the moment she’s helping me recover from a sprained ankle after a mountain biking fall.  And I’m in her debt for regular back/shoulder massages without which I wouldn’t be able to carry on my dress-making business.  

    Not forgetting her acupuncture has rescued me from many a migraine.  When my Mum comes up from London to visit she always books in for 2 hours of treatment with Lisa. And on top of all that, she’s such a genuinely lovely person that you end up feeling like you’ve had a free counselling session thrown in because the world is always put to rights by the time you go home.

    Lissa Cook, Dress designer and creator of Peak Princess,