Make Way for Baby
When my husband and I were ready to start a family our life wasn’t, and we knew we were going to have to wait another year before we tried to get pregnant. Luckily, however, being the Acupuncturist that I am, I knew this was an excellent chance to work on my fertility so I spent the year getting regular Acupuncture treatments, ironing out some irregularities in my menstrual cycle through herbs and supplementation, working on stress management and improving sleep, and by golly when our lives opened up I was ready.
We conceived on our first try which is highly unusual - on average it takes a couple 3-6 months of actually trying to conceive (not “not trying” mind you). Certainly genetics play a role in this, but I firmly believe that my focused preparation did too.
Acupuncture has an excellent track record in improving women’s health, treating menstrual irregularities, improving fertility and increasing the success rate of IVF treatment especially. A study in 2002 showed a 50% increase in success rates for women undergoing IVF who included Acupuncture treatment before and after as compared to the women who did not. I have personally worked with many women undergoing IVF, IUI and trying to get pregnant naturally with great success!
Even without Acupuncture, however, there are simple steps you can take to improve your fertility and increase your chances of having a healthy successful pregnancy.
Improve Fertility with These Simple Steps
Supplements for Fertility
Through my fertility preparation and pregnancy I took a number of supplements, namely chinese herbs during preconception, then probiotics, DHA, vitamin D, a high quality prenatal multi, Standard Process whole food supplements to support ovarian and uterine health, and elderberry syrup for immunity. It sounds like a lot but I now have two beautiful healthy children to show for it and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Quality is very important when it comes to herbs and supplements for pregnancy. Here, therefore, is my short list of supplements to consider. All of these are available through my Virtual Dispensary online or in the office with consultation:
Ready to Make Way for Baby? Acupuncture Can Help!
I can say from both personal and professional experience that the combination of Acupuncture and specific supplements for fertility and pregnancy can improve your chances and increase your success as you seek to increase your family. Safe, natural, and easy these fertility supplements and acupuncture for fertility treatments do not interact negatively with any other fertility treatments or tools you might employ! If you or someone you know is trying to start a family and needs advice or help, think about sending them in for some Acupuncture and herbal consultation - I bet they’ll thank you for it!
Until Next Time,
A Different Way to Detox
I love Foot Reflexology. Its simple, effective, it feels great, it treats the entire body through the feet, and it is a powerful modality to support detoxification - an essential function that our bodies are always performing. Everything we eat, drink, breathe and put on our skin makes its way into our blood stream and even if you eat the healthiest diet on the planet, you are still encountering your fair share of toxins - even nature makes them!
Nightshade vegetables like tomatoes, eggplant, peppers - mildly toxic to much of the population. Pollens in the air? Allergens that even if they don’t affect you negatively, are still foreign particles your body must deal with and excrete. Hormones? Natural or otherwise, they must be broken down by the body using a similar detox pathway. In short, your body is detoxing all the time and the more we support this essential function, the healthier we will be. When your body isn’t detoxing efficiently you can experience Headaches, Digestive Upset, Bloating, Water Retention, Sluggishness and Fatigue to name a few common symptoms.
The feet have a direct relationship with circulation and detoxification. Through foot reflexology we can support the body and clear the way for detoxification to be even more efficient and successful. This makes foot reflexology an excellent addition to any cleanse or overall health regime. Furthermore, it does not have any negative interactions with medication or treatment. The only time foot reflexology is not indicated is for people with a history of pulmonary embolism or for someone with an active deep vein thrombosis.
Benefits of Foot Reflexology
Foot Reflexology has many benefits. Some of the most common are:
Many of these are directly related to the improvement in circulation and detoxification Foot Reflexology provides.
Foot Reflexology and Detox
So how are the feet connected to detoxification? Physically speaking, the feet (and the hands alike) represent the end of the circulatory loop, the hairpin curve in the road from the heart out to the lower extremities and back again. Like a hairpin curve on a long beautiful drive, you have to go single file and a little slow to make around the bend safely - it can become a traffic jam - and if the road gets jammed up there due to debris, an accident or slow traffic, everything has to wait and slow down behind it or take an alternate route home. The alternate route (your lymphatic system!) can be hard to find and indirect - not nearly as efficient as the main road - AND you can get stuck or lost.
As a driver on the circulatory system highway, is in your best interest, therefore, to stay on the road. This means that the more the road at these hairpin turns is clear and smooth, the more successful your trip will be.
This is part of what Foot Reflexology does to improve your detoxification pathway. Heavier particulates such as calcium and uric acid can actually settle out of the blood stream and deposit in the feet making little crunchy bumps. You may not feel them when you walk, but if you get a foot massage or pedicure, you will feel these little crunchy things in various parts of the foot - especially around the arch. Foot reflexology actually breaks up these deposits, which then get picked up by the lymphatic system (part of the circulatory highway) and then removed by the Liver and Kidneys as part of natural detoxification. Debris in the road, cleared!
Furthermore, Foot Reflexology manually squeezes the muscles in the feet providing myofascial release which relaxes them improving circulation, and causes expansion and contraction of the tissues assisting the muscles in moving blood and lymph along further encouraging smooth blood flow. Clear path and flowing traffic? You betcha!
Lastly, Foot Reflexology works energetically to improve your overall Qi circulation. In Chinese Medicine pain in particular is considered to be a blockage in the local area coupled with underlying constitutional factors. Foot Reflexology is a powerful Qi and Blood moving treatment to reduce pain because the channels in the feet include the Liver, the Kidneys, the Spleen, Stomach, Bladder and Gall Bladder - all essential organs in digestion, Qi generation and detoxification. Combine that with the power of the Reflex Zones on the feet to energetically treat the whole body and you have an extremely strong method for supporting overall health and vitality.
In Short - Everyone Needs a Little Love for their Feet
I truly believe that foot reflexology is one of the best simple non-needle methods for improving overall health. That’s why I include it in almost all my Acupuncture sessions because it is such a powerful tool. If you haven’t considered adding some foot reflexology into your regular health regime I highly recommend it - we’re all encountering toxins all the time and the better you body can handle them, the better you will feel.
Until next time,
Keywords: Foot Reflexology, Benefits of Foot Reflexology, Foot Reflexology and Detox, #Detox, #FootReflexology, #Reflexology
An Answer for Women's Health
Once I was taking my mom for a doctor’s appointment and we ended up on a shuttle from one part of the large hospital complex to another. The driver was an older man, very sweet, who said something I’ll never forget. We were talking about health and he said,
“Yeah, my health is pretty easy to manage but my wife, she’s kind of like an old car. Always needing a tune up, an oil change, something rattling, squeaking, needing repair. Yeah, she’s always in the shop.”
Women's Health - Chinese Medicine View
In Chinese Medicine, women are a joy to treat. Our menstrual cycles, while sometimes a nuisance to deal with in our modern world, give SO much information about your health. In Chinese Medicine we pay attention to length of cycle, specific PMS symptoms including presence or absence of, duration of bleeding, blood flow, color and consistency. Each of these things give clues to your overall health, not just your menstrual cycle and fertility issues, making women much easier to diagnose and treat!
Standard Course of Treatment for Women's Health
In China, a standard course of treatment for any health issues is 10 acupuncture treatments in 10 days and then you reassess. In the US we find this virtually impossible and largely unnecessary. Furthermore, when it comes to women’s health especially for PMS, PMDD, Fertility, Infertility and hormonally related Migraines and Insomnia, I typically see patients once a week for 4 weeks and then 2x a month around ovulation and menstruation for 3 months thereafter.
Since our hormones cycle once a month, it takes more time to assess the success of treatment and to make lasting changes. Its more of a course correct than a quick shift and over several months, the effects of our treatment can be seen. The longer you have been suffering from a problem, the longer it can take to treat as well - so a women’s health issue that has been present for 6 months or less can often easily be treated in 3 months total. An issue that has been present for 5 to 10 years? Could take 6 to 12 months of regular treatment to truly change. I generally ask patients to give me at least one month for every year that they have been suffering from something when using natural medicine to create lasting change.
Chinese Herbs are also very important when treating menstrual and menopausal issues. When you are still menstruating, it is possible to alternate herbal formulas in 2 week cycles to help regulate menses and treat migraines and insomnia. When you are into Menopause, Chinese Herbs are highly effective at controlling the night sweats, hot flashes and irritability if taken regularly!
Want to Know More? Contact Rebecca!
If you want to know more or have questions about acupuncture and women’s issues, please feel free to comment here, contact me via email or book an appointment online! I look forward to hearing from you!
Until next time,
Keywords: Women's Issue Treatment, #Fertility Treatment, #Infertility, #Acupuncture and Women's Issues
An Ancient Tradition of Health
Chinese Medicine is truly an ancient tradition of health, and when I say “ancient” I truly mean it! The oldest texts referring to Chinese Medicine date back to the Zhou Dynasty (1100-220 B.C.E.) and arguably, Chinese Medicine had been a mainstay in China since 3,000 B.C.E. Yet here in the West, when we hear the term “Chinese Medicine” we are often a little perplexed - what is the difference between Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture? Why are there different terms?
The answer is simple - Acupuncture is actually a part of Chinese Medicine and the term “Chinese Medicine” encompasses the whole of the medical theory and practice that Acupuncture is a piece of. It would be much more accurate in the United States for Licensed Acupuncturists to be called Chinese Medicine Practitioners or Chinese Medicine Doctors, depending on their training and degree, but that is a topic for another conversation.
What Is Chinese Medicine?
Chinese Medicine is a holistic approach to health that addresses whole body, mind and spirit wellness. This includes treatment for active acute symptoms and conditions as well as preventative care to maintain health and wellness once achieved. In total, Chinese Medicine includes:
Chinese Medicine Addresses the WHOLE You
Chinese Medicine takes an energetic approach to the body - diagnosis is based on total symptom picture across all body symptoms plus tongue and pulse picture to assess the body’s energy or Qi. A Chinese Medicine practitioner is looking for patterns that represent the overall state of each energetic channel and system in the body, and there are 12 main meridians in question. They are :
Each organ and meridian system has a job to do and it is critical for overall health and wellness that they are each doing their job optimally. This energetic diagnosis might be something like Spleen Qi Deficiency or Liver Qi Stagnation. These diagnosis do not mean that anything is physically wrong with the organ - if you went to the doctor your Spleen or Liver might test out just fine - but they represent an energetic imbalance that is either making you feel sick or creating a state where illness is likely to occur if the imbalance is not corrected or addressed with care.
These energetic channels traverse the entire body - from inside your internal organs out to your skin, hair, muscles, connective tissue and all the way out to your fingers and toes. In short, the physical body and energetic body are intimately intertwined. This means that where one goes, the other will follow and vice versa. Chinese Medicine works on the principle that if we bring the energetic body back into line, the physical body will follow suit and the system will heal.
Because the entire body is traversed with channels, and individual channels often run from the top of the head to the tips of the toes, we cannot divorce any part of the body from another in Chinese Medicine. You have pain in your back? That channel tranverses all the way down to the ankle - we have to treat not only the back but the feet for ultimate success. You have a cold? The Lung channel goes out to the fingertips and the wrist!
Each channel is also associated with different emotional states and mental states of being - adjusting the energy of any given channel can help clarify the mind, focus attention, direct will and smooth unruly emotions.
For this reason, Chinese Medicine always takes the whole body into account and will treat many parts of the body and many organ systems, from a Western perspective, to correct balance, heal illness and create a state of wellness. This whole body approach also gives Chinese Medicine a strong ability to detect illness early and therefore maintain wellness long term. Combine this holistic approach with the many tools and modalities available to the Licensed Acupuncturist or Chinese Medicine practitioner, and you can see how Chinese Medicine can be highly effective in creating and maintaining health and wellness.
Questions? Comment or Contact Rebecca
If you have questions or want to know more, please don't hesitate to leave a note in the comments section below and I'll do my best to answer. You can always email me or book an appointment or consult online 24/7. Chinese Medicine is an amazing, holistic and quite complete approach to health that can result in powerful healing and long term health and wellness.
Until next time,
Rebecca M H Kitzerow is a Licensed Acupuncturist practicing in La Center, Washington. With over a decade of experience she has won 10 Nattie consumer choice awards from Natural Awakenings Magazine since 2014.