Since retraining as an acupuncturist and Chinese medicine practitioner, Ellie Littler has found a new life in Reigate, where she treats physical and emotional issues at Chime, her practice on Church Street.
Being an acupuncturist isn’t something she’d always envisaged – her journey only began in 2016 – but Ellie’s previous seven-odd years in were simply not satisfying her soul.
So how did she make the jump from a globetrotting consultant to acupuncturist and Chinese medicine practitioner? On paper, it looks like a total 180, but dig a little deeper and you’ll find a natural pathway into her current profession.
As someone who suffered from epilepsy, Ellie saw the benefits of alternative treatments first hand. After she’d exhausted all the other options, someone suggested acupuncture and, to cut a long story short, Ellie hasn’t had an episode for almost 10 years.
Now let’s add in a little secret we’ve kept. If we tell you that Ellie’s consulting was often for health and wellness brands, it becomes simplicity itself to join the dots.
That past profession gave Ellie a valuable understanding of different people and cultures, with plenty of travel to far-flung destinations. So far she’s visited over 30 countries and even spent time living in Africa, Australia and, wait for it, Manchester. While the last might seem less exotic, it does reveal an openness to experience new things.
Born in Redhill Hospital, Ellie lived in Outwood for about 15 years before moving to Reigate at 16. After leaving just two years later, she thought she’d never see the place again, but the saying “there’s no place like home” rang true, and Ellie moved back in 2018 and is now well and truly settled with Chime.
When reflecting on the best parts of her job, it’s unsurprising that meeting different people from all ages and backgrounds comes top of the list. Patients range from 6-month-old babies to 92-year-olds: one minute she’s seeing a pregnant woman with carpal tunnel, the next it’s a 17-year-old teenager with trauma. No two days – or even two hours – are the same, and as well as seeing patients at Chime, Ellie treats cancer patients at the Macmillan unit at East Surrey Hospital in Redhill.
More than anything, she really loves most is the personalised health and the level of detail Chinese medicine explores: “A headache can have between eight and twelve variations, and Chinese medicine treats each one differently. It’s not just about treating the signs and symptoms – it’s looking at the root cause.”
People visit Ellie for all sorts of reasons. “Some wish to take a more naturalistic approach to medicine from the start, while others have failed to get the result they want from western methods. Then there are those who’d like to avoid medication altogether and get to the root cause of whatever is happening for them, and I also see people who simply can’t get a diagnosis. I do get a particular joy in helping someone when they feel like all is lost.”
It’s the most satisfying part of her job, and walking around Reigate, taking in local nature while on a hike, is the perfect complement to life as the (Chinese) medicine woman.
Second Floor (through the multi-coloured door)
1A Church Street
Reigate RH2 0AA