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How to Balance the Phases of Your Menstrual Cycle to Get Pregnant: Advice from a Fertility Acupuncturist September 1, 2016

Posted by Dreamhealer in Acupuncture, fertility, Healing, Health.
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Written by Heidi BrockMyer

Just like nature cycles through four seasons during the course of the year, your body cycles through four phases during each menstrual cycle. As you tune into the changing seasons of the year, you eat different foods and switch clothing to support your body as it adjusts to the environmental changes. 

These adjustments are intuitive. You instinctively know to eat in-season produce, drink warm teas during the winter, and eat refreshing watermelon to stay hydrated during hot summer months. However you may not be as in tune with the needs of your body during each phase of your menstrual cycle. Supporting each phase helps you to maintain a regular healthy menstrual cycle, balance your hormones and sustain the health of your eggs and uterine lining.

In our culture, we aren’t taught much about our reproductive systems, let alone about the phases of our menstrual cycle. Many women don’t know what fertile cervical mucus is until they start learning to chart their cycles.

Most of us don’t know that a healthier cycle is the prerequisite for improving fertility and creating a healthy pregnancy. I compare it to tilling the soils to prepare for an abundant harvest. By gaining insight into the rhythms of your cycle, you can influence the health of your cycle and your fertility, which is where the wisdom of Chinese medicine has so much to offer.

PHASE 1-MENSTRUATION

MOVE BLOOD

Each phase typically lasts about seven days if you maintain a regular 28 day cycle. The first phase of your cycle begins with the first day of your period. Although you may only have flow for one to three days, this first week is considered the first phase.

The primary goal during this phase is to completely shed your uterine lining. Energy needs to be flowing in the right direction, which is down and out of your body. This is a delicate phase.  A lot of movement is taking place and so your body should rest and be allowed to do it’s thing.

It takes energy for the body to release the lining. If energy flow is weakened or disrupted, you may not fully shed the lining. Old stagnant blood can stick around and cause clots.

Acupuncturist’s Tip: Stay hydrated and drink additional electrolytes. If you crave red meat, you likely need the iron. Otherwise avoid eating heavy and greasy foods.

During your period, avoid exercising. Gentle stretching and light walking are acceptable.

PHASE 2-FOLLICULAR PHASE

BUILD YIN AND BLOOD

Phase two begins around one week after your period starts and lasts until ovulation.

The primary goal during the second phase is to rebuild blood and nutrients to nourish a healthy uterine lining and support the maturation of a healthy egg for ovulation.  As soon as your flow stops, you can begin nourishing your body to build up blood and fluids again.  

This is considered the yin phase (versus yang) of your menstrual cycle. Yin is the substance and fluid material of your body, while yang is energy that fuels movement and function.

Although it’s important during all four phases of your cycle to get a good night’s sleep, your body especially needs it during this time. By missing out on quality sleep, you may not replenish your blood supply adequately, which can affect the health of your lining and eggs, especially if this is a chronic habit.

Acupuncturist’s Tip: : During this phase, eat plenty of nourishing foods, like soups and stews, iron-rich cooked vegetables and organic animal protein to rebuild your blood supply and mature an egg for ovulation.

Avoid excessively sweating and overly vigorous exercise during this time. Get plenty of sleep.

PHASE 3-OVULATION

PROMOTE YANG (WARMTH AND MOVEMENT)

Phase three begins with ovulation and lasts for one week following ovulation.  This phase begins when the “yin” (blood and fluids) comes to a climax and transforms into yang as the body signals that it’s ready for ovulation.  

The yang phase embodies warmth and movement. This is why your basal body temperature should rise immediately after ovulating. The hormones released during this phase of your cycle warm up the body to promote the release of the egg-containing follicle.

The warmth encourages dilation and blood flow so that the egg can be released from the follicle and travel unobstructed down the open fallopian tubes. Yangenergy catalyzes the follicular shell to transform into the corpus luteum.

 Acupuncturist’s Tip:During this phase, keep your feet, lower back and abdomen warm.  Stretching the hips, lower back, and pelvic area can help increase blood flow and movement in the reproductive organs while relieving congestion.

Avoid cold foods, raw vegetables, and phlegm producing foods, like sugar and dairy during this phase as these can cause congestion and fluid buildup in your tubes and uterus. Congestion makes it difficult for the sperm to reach the eggs and for an embryo to make the journey down the tubes.

PHASE 4-IMPLANTATION OR PRE-MENSTRUAL PHASE

REGULATE THE FLOW OF QI (PREMENSTRUAL PHASE) OR PROMOTE YANG (IMPLANTATION)

This phase begins about one week after ovulation and ends the day you get your period or a confirmed pregnancy with the first day of your late period.

This phase sustains the warmth and movement of energy or “qi”. Your temperatures should continue to stay high during this phase and typically drop off right before you begin your period. If implantation took place (usually between 7-10 days after ovulation), then warmth and blood flow will continue to be the main priority as you nourish a growing embryo.

If you are not pregnant, the yang energy gathers to a peak then transforms back into yin with the onset of your period. Your hormones adjust before you start shedding the uterine lining. When this energy bottlenecks, it may result in a variety of PMS symptoms like moodiness, bloating, and headaches.

Acupuncturist’s Tip: During this phase to minimize stress, as it disrupts the flow of qi and can worsen the symptoms. Caffeine and alcohol should also be avoided, while exercise and stretching helps regulate the flow ofqi.  

Your body performs infinite miracles every moment of every day in every cell. The better you understand your body, the better you can support it. The more in tune you are with your cycle, the more you can till the soils of your fertility.

To book your appointment contact us today at 604-235-8068 or email info@yaletownnaturopathic.com for more information on how we can help you on your path to wellness.

Article Retrieved from: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/how-to-balance-the-phases-of-your-menstrual-cycle-to_us

The Importance of Energy Medicine January 27, 2015

Posted by Dreamhealer in Acupuncture.
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Every living organism has an energy field that is in constant interaction with other fields of energy belonging to other people and the environment itself. Energy healing involves the use of focused intentions which can help to re-pattern the patient’s energy field in order to accelerate healing of the body, mind and spirit. Energy medicine can be used effectively in conjunction with any medical therapy.

If a patient suffers from a disruption of their energy field, this can lead to disharmony of the physical body and the development of disease. Those disruptions can be addressed by proactively working with the energy. The goal of energy medicine is to use the energetic interaction between the practitioner and the patient in a purposeful manner to restore balance to the patient’s disrupted energy field.

Energy medicine works well for anxiety, improving muscle relaxation, aiding in stress reduction, chronic pain and promoting a sense of wellbeing. Research is beginning to show that energy healing is an effective tool that provides encourages healing on many different levels including the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual.

Contact us today too book an appointment to begin your healing journey with the Yaletown Naturopathic Clinic. Call us at 604-235-8068 or visit our website http://www.yaletownnaturopathicclinic.com

Dogs with arthritis may benefit from acupuncture treatments May 14, 2009

Posted by Dreamhealer in Acupuncture, Alternative medicine.
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Traditional Chinese veterinary medicine is most widely known for helping animals with arthritis. I can tell you about a couple of cases that demonstrate how effective acupuncture can be for arthritis in dogs and the importance of early treatment. The first case is a 14-year-old mixed-breed dog that had been diagnosed with lumbosacral instability syndrome and had severe degenerative arthritic changes in the spine on radiographs. The dog had been having arthritic problems for many years, and the problem was getting worse. Read More…

 

posted by Dreamhealer

Acupuncture beats aspirin for chronic headache March 14, 2009

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Acupuncture works better than drugs like aspirin to reduce the severity and frequency of chronic headaches, U.S. researchers reported on Monday. Read More… 

Traditional Chinese Therapy May Help Ease Eczema March 14, 2009

Posted by Dreamhealer in Acupuncture, Alternative medicine, Naturopathic Medicine, Naturopathy.
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Certain traditional Chinese medicine, including tea and acupuncture, may safely and effectively help treat chronic eczema, a new report finds.

Use of Erka Shizheng Herbal Tea, a bath additive, creams and acupuncture over eight months greatly reduced the severity of the itchy, red skin condition and improved the quality of life of 14 atopic dermatitis (eczema) patients studied by researchers at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. The patients received the treatment at a Manhattan center for natural health.

All but one patient saw at least a 60 percent improvement in eczema severity, based on standard rating scales to measure disease activity, after a little more than three months of treatment. All but one also experienced a 50 percent increase in a quality-of-life questionnaire after about two and a half months of treatment.

The use of steroids, antibiotics and antihistamines by the patients also greatly decreased within 3 months of starting the traditional Chinese medicine. No abnormalities of liver and kidney function were observed.

Despite such positive results, which were expected to be presented in Washington, D.C., at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology’s annual meeting, the researchers said people should still discuss using any complementary or alternative medicines with a physician before starting treatment.

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about eczema.

Dreamhealer website: http://dreamhealer.com/

Acupuncture improves the success rate of IVF treatment February 14, 2008

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An analysis of seven scientific trials has shown that acupuncture increases the chance of success during in vitro fertilization (IVF).

In a study by researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the VU University Amsterdam it was found that acupuncture applied at the same time the embryo was placed inside the womb during an IVF procedure more than doubled the chance of the woman becoming pregnant.

The analysis involve 1,366 women of different ages who had difficulty conceiving; some of the women underwent acupuncture, while others were given fake needle treatments or no therapy.

The researchers found that those who received acupuncture increased their chances of conceiving by 65 percent.

While the study does not clearly explain how the acupuncture aided fertility, experts suggest it could be due to the relaxing effect of acupuncture on the extremely stressful IVF procedure.

When compared with repeated expensive fertility treatment cycles acupuncture therapy offers a cheaper and more successful alternative.

Australia has unlimited government reimbursement for IVF and in Australia about 3 per cent of births are through IVF, three times the level in the U.S. and the UK.

This year 10,000 IVF babies will be born, and 4 per cent of all births in 2007 were IVF; one in six Australian couples experience infertility along with 80 million couples worldwide.

In the UK one percent of births or 11,000 babies out of 32,000 IVF procedures are born every year.

Lead researcher Eric Manheimer from the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s Center for Integrative Medicine, says acupuncture has been used in China for years to boost the fertility level of women and is now being taken more seriously in the west.

NOTHING TO FEAR FROM NEEDLES December 11, 2007

Posted by Dreamhealer in Acupuncture.
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One of the most popular and well-established forms of complementary medicine in the UK, acupuncture is a branch of traditional Chinese medicine where any illness – physical or psychological – is thought to arise from an imbalance in your vital energy, or Qi (pronounced (chee). Inserting fine needles at key areas on the body is said to restore the balance.

One of the aspects I like about complementary therapists is that they begin any treatment with a full and detailed consultation.

Acupuncturist Katy Henry asked me about my physical health and state of mind. It has been a tumultuous few months because of a family bereavement. Add the daily stresses of juggling family life and work, Christmas preparations and those dreary winter days into the equation, I’m hardly on top form.

We run through my diet, how much fluid I consume, my sleeping habits, family life, how I see myself and how my friends would describe me.

The next question made me blush….”Do you still have good sex?” asked Katy.

Well, I’ll leave that between the two of us….but Katy explains that 50% of her clients have fertility problems.

She said: “You’d be amazed at the number of people trying for a baby who don’t have regular enough sex.”

Katy, who has been practising for five years, specialises in fertility problems and some of her clients have had recurrent miscarriages or are going through IVF.

Other clients include workmen like joiners and welders, who are suffering pain in their shoulders, back and elbows.

While acupuncture won’t necessarily solve the problem, it can relieve the symptoms.

Katy, a member of the British Acupuncture Council, uses a branch known as five element acupuncture which works on several levels: the body, mind and spirit.

She said: “The beautiful thing about acupuncture is we don’t see you as a bunch of conditions or symptoms but a whole person and bringing balance to you.

“In winter we are using our reserves of energy to keep going and perhaps that is why sometimes people feel down.”

After the lengthy consultation, it is time for me to hop on the couch.

When she shows me the needles that are to go in my ears, they are so fine I can barely see them.

There was a slight sting as the needle was inserted on the right but I didn’t feel a thing on the left.

Katy also uses moxa, a dried spongy herb, which is rolled into tiny cones and burnt down on my abdomen to get the blood and Qi flowing smoothly. It was warm, aromatic and relaxing.

Finally, needles are inserted straight in and out of both sides of my wrists.

Clients are normally treated each week for a month and they’ll know within that time if the treatment is having an effect. I only had a short taster session so I don’t know if it would make me feel better after more treatments but I can honestly say, if you’re afraid of needles, it doesn’t hurt.

The beauty of tradition November 7, 2007

Posted by Dreamhealer in Acupuncture, Alternative medicine.
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ascupunctureDozens of needles pierced Zhang Xing’s belly. In just a few months, the young man’s waistline has  shrunk  about 50 centimeters thanks to traditional acupuncture treatment.

Like Zhang, many people nowadays are looking to Chinese medicine practitioners for natural solutions to their beauty issues, such as weight and skin problems.

For three years, 26-year-old Zhang felt ashamed of his body and hated being photographed. Even walking had become difficult for him.

Reluctant to go on a diet or do any extensive physical exercise, Zhang started regular acupuncture slimming treatment at the TCM department of Tongren Hospital in Beijing.

The most obvious change Zhang found was that he did not feel as hungry as before. Also, before, it was common for him to be constipated for two or three days, but since the treatment, he was regular.

The acupuncture adjusted Zhang’s disturbed neural control of appetite and hunger, sped up his intestinal movements and boosted his metabolism, says Wang Hong, a TCM cosmetology practitioner at Tongren Hospital.

According to Jiang Zaizeng, president of the World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies’ Specialty Committee of Cosmetology, TCM is becoming increasingly popular in the beauty industry.

TCM beauty services are now available in many of the country’s large hospitals. The treatments have also spread to Japan, South Korea, Australia , Brazil and European countries.

In fact, beauty services have been a part of Chinese medicine for thousands of years, sought after by emperors and the upper-class.

Among the TCM practitioners’ beauty treatments are acupuncture, moxibustion, herbal formulas, food therapy and massages.

“Compared to chemical beauty products, all these measures are safe, natural and without side effects,” Jiang says.

To a TCM doctor, how you look on the outside reflects the condition of your insides. They believe that health issues manifest externally. For example, a spleen deficiency will make the body store more water, leading to weight problems.

“Through identifying and adjusting the inner problems, TCM doctors can help beautify one’s appearance,” says Wang.

Skin care, particularly targeting acne, is another important application of TCM in cosmetology, according to Wang.

TCM views acne and other skin rashes as a result of the obstruction of the flow of blood and qi (energy of life), which can be caused by stress, lack of sleep or a high-fat diet. Sometimes, abnormal menstruation and contraceptives can also play a role.

Wang combines blood-letting punctures and moxibustion in her clinical treatment of acne.

Blood-letting puncturing uses a needle to prick a superficial vein on particular acupoints on the back, cupping on it and letting a small quantity of blood out. The method can adjust qi and blood circulation of the corresponding channel and promote healing.

In addition, applying moxibustion on the affected areas of the face can help diminish inflammation.

According to Wang, most patients who had already tried ineffective Western medicines, such as antibiotics, see their acne improve after this treatment.

Acupuncture is also effective in alleviating eye twitching, hair loss and allergies, she says.

(China Daily November 7, 2007)

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