Our newest nutritional supplement is here! Here’s a healthy pack-a-day to help your honey do his part on the journey to family. Read more about this customized supplement pack below. You can order online here or visit one of our centers. Use code HOLIDAY12 and get 10% on orders in December!
Pulling Down the Moon began as a yoga class for women trying who wanted to improve their chances of conception. As our classes grew in popularity we added acupuncture, massage and nutrition counseling to our specialty programming. I had a recent experience with a private yoga student that draws me back to these yoga roots and is prompting this blog. Yoga can be so helpful for fertility – in the community and teachings that are part of our classes – but also as a one-on-one therapeutic experience.
So, how do we approach a private yoga session? First, the instructor will check if the client is involved in any of the other treatments we offer at Pulling Down the Moon. If so, she will touch base with the practitioners who have treated the client and get as much information about the treatment plan as possible. Next we speak with the client directly to get their input on their objectives for practice. Once we have all the information in hand we will put together a yoga practice that takes all of this information in to consideration.
A typical private yoga practice includes three key things: 1) pranayama (breathing techniques) 2) asana (postures) and 3) intention. Here is an example of a recent session.
The client, who I will call Annie, is a regular acupuncture patient who was nearing IVF egg retrieval. She was responding well to meds and had a good number of nearly mature follicles. The concern was her uterine lining, which had been thin in the past, and was measuring at about 5 mm. When I spoke to her TCM practitioner I learned that this client would benefit from further work to harmonize the energy flow in the upper and lower sections of the body. Annie’s objective was to support the uterine lining and to reduce anxiety about her upcoming cycle.
From a yoga perspective this is something we commonly see in women who are struggling to conceive. It can be read in the body as an imbalance between apana and prana energy vayus, two of the mail energy currents in the body. Prana vayu is located in the area of the lungs and heart and provides us with energy, speed and motivation. It can become unbalanced when we are “obsessed” with something, anxious or mentally overactive. Apana vayu is a downward current of energy that is important for optimal function of the reproductive organs as well as the ability to release waste from the body. It was possible for me to choose breathing and postures that could help to harmonize these forces.
At Annie’s session we began with breathing exercises to help her become aware of the anatomy of her breathing and how breathing into different parts of the abdomen elicited different physiological and emotional responses. We then moved on to a gentle posture practice that first gently stretched her shoulders and chest to release anxiety and then moved on to deeper hip opening postures to help move energy downward towards her feet. Throughout the practice I would explain to her the intention of each posture. At Pulling Down the Moon we say energy follows intention and adds to the efficacy of the work. At the end of the session we talked a bit about what came up during practice, how she felt and how she could use this practice in the days leading up to transfer. Annie left with stretches she could do on her own in the days leading to her retrieval as well as some practical suggestions such as heating her feet with a hot water bottle each night.
I was thrilled when Annie came in for treatment 3 days later and shared that her lining had increased to 8+mm. While we can’t know for sure that yoga contributed to the difference it was still very exciting news. While our Yoga for Fertility classes bring many benefits as well as engage a healing community private yoga is specific and therapeutic – what we do with one woman is very different from what we would do with the next, and practice can also change in response to your ART cycle. If you are curious about how private yoga can be integrated into your fertility treatment plan please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 312-321-0004 (Chicago) or 301-610-7755 (DC Metro).
Pulling Down the Moon gift certificates make a great gift – and with our 10% online discount you can save big!
by Ann-Marie Vigano, RYT
Work, relationship, personal and physical challenges. Especially around the winter months and the holidays, we crave reconnection, coziness, love of friends and family, and warmth. What we experience in our relationships and our environment does not always feed that craving. Holidays are notorious for bringing up stress and emotional and physical challenges, including overindulgence. Family gatherings are notorious for triggering some of our most touchy personal issues.
Sometimes a yoga class is just what we need, but not always what we make time for in our busy lives. Yoga gives us an opportunity to balance ourselves, inside and out. Kundalini yoga combines postures, breath work, hand mudras, and internal focus, creating a full mind-body-spirit experience. According to ancient wisdom, these elements combine to stimulate pressure points in the brain and the body, balancing energy channels, as well as the circulation of blood to the organs and hormones throughout the body. On the mind and spiritual levels, Kundalini yoga takes us out of the time and space in which we are interacting with other people and in our physical environment, and into a time and space where we connect with ourselves. We feel calmer and more balanced.
Just taking time out of our daily schedules can allow us to experience a profound shift, even as first time practitioners. This is because Kundalini yoga is not about what we physically can or cannot do. It is about who we are, in the present moment, and in the moment we walk into the yoga studio. Sitting down on our mats, in our personal, sacred yoga space, everything that is not us is allowed to fall away, gracefully and freely. Everything that is truly us comes forward to be greeted with the love and gratitude with which we would greet our deepest love or our best friend. The deepest and most profound connection that we so fervently seek outside of us, is found, inside, where it always has been. The craving is satisfied, and peace and love flow outward and touch every person we encounter. This is the greatest gift we can give ourselves, and the greatest gift we give to others.
Happy Holidays, indeed.
Please join us for our next Kundalini Yoga workshop for rebalancing… conveniently scheduled in the midst of holiday season.
Rebalance Your Hormones
Saturday, December 15, 2012, 10:00-11:30AM.
Depression is a serious condition that can affect both the mind and body during the stressful holiday season. Gift buying, family gatherings, cooking and parties can add additional strain when someone is already experiencing the challenges of infertility. Acupuncture can assist with promoting relaxation, soothing anxiety and treating many of the physical symptoms that can be concurrent with anxiety and depression.
Acupuncture treatments which are done in the TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) style take into account both the physical conditions and emotional symptoms that are affecting a patient. The treatment of the mind and body together is especially helpful for depression and anxiety, since each acupuncture session is designed to take both of these into account. People are often attracted to acupuncture as a treatment when they begin to realize the connections between their physical and emotional well being.
When you are experiencing unhealthy levels of stress around the holidays, it can be challenging to find ways to relax. Acupuncture can serve as a natural, safe treatment for the holiday blues on its own, or as a supplement to medical interventions for depression and anxiety. During your treatment session, the practitioner may add an electric pulse to assist with relaxation or rotate the needles to stimulate the flow of energy. Improvements in mood may be experienced immediately following your first acupuncture session or may begin to take affect gradually over a period of a few weeks with consistent treatments.
Many people are beginning to embrace acupuncture as an acceptable therapy for depression during the holidays and during other times when stress may be prevalent in their lives. To book an acupuncture appointment this holiday season, please contact Pulling Down the Moon at 312-321-0004 (Chicago Area) or 301-610-7755 (DC Metro) or book online at www.pullingdownthemoon.com.
by Beth Heller, MS RYT
Doesn’t everyone wish that their loved ones will be happy, healthy and realize their dreams in the new year? You may not automatically consider Pulling Down the Moon when you think of holiday shopping but we think you should. We have a whole bunch of great gifts – from stocking stuffers to jewelry to gift certificates – that will help you and your love ones have a healthier and more peaceful New Year. Gifts are available through our online store and in our Centers. Shop online and save 10% with the coupon code HOLIDAY12. Here are our top suggestions:
Anointed Body Care products are lovingly handcrafted with the finest all natural ingredients and make great stocking stuffers. Only pure vegetable oils, pure water, pure essential oils, natural preservatives and natural emulsifiers are used. All of their products are crafted for superior performance from earth-friendly and animal-free ingredients to refresh and invigorate your soul. Anointed Body Care products contain NO synthetic dyes or fragrances, NO laboratory-derived preservatives or emulsifiers and NO detergents. Each label clearly identifies the product’s contents and scents. Available in-store and online. Read more about detoxification and fertility here.
Self-Care Massages (Non-Fertility)
Our 30 minute Breathe Better and Treat the Feet massages are great for anyone who struggles with the winter and/or sinus pain. Everyone knows someone who crabs about the weather and or is plagued by nasal drama. A great gift for the person who takes care of everyone else but themselves!
$40 for the 30 minute session or $105 for a 3 session package.
Handmade Fertility Intention Bracelets Custom-Created for Pulling Down the Moon by SheBeads.
Pulling Down the Moon announces a special partnership with renown bead maker and founder of She Beads, Sandy Rueve. She Beads are individually hand-rolled, clay bead jewelry sold at high end retailers all over the world. Sandy Rueve, with the help of experienced astrologer Barbara Shermer, are now creating Fertility Intention Beads exclusively for Pulling Down the Moon. Barbara has given to Sandy astrologically auspicious times to conceive and, during this time, Sandy has rolls beads for a limited number of special and unique Fertility Intention Bracelets.
These bracelets are in limited supply as Sandy only rolls 5-6 at a given astrological transit. Read more about this beautiful jewelry here.
Gift Certificates for Any/All Pulling Down the Moon products and services including the following:
Initial Acupuncture Gift Certificate
Fertility Enhancing Massage (FEM) Gift Certificate
Private Yoga Gift Certificate
ENTER COUPON CODE HOLIDAY12 FOR A 10% SAVINGS ONLINE!
And there’s much, much more. From aromatherapy to prayer box necklaces to relaxation music and CDs. Let us help you wish a happy and healthy holiday season to the people you care about. And if you yourself would like a gift from Pulling Down the Moon, feel free to forward this link to friends and family. They can always call us at 312-321-0004 (Chicago) or 301-610-7755 (DC Metro) and we will be happy to assist!
by Margaret Wertheim, MS, RD, LDN
The holidays are upon us once again, and it seems like no matter where you go the world is full of sweets, candies and cookies. All the sweets can leave you feeling sluggish, cause you to pack on extra pounds and can often do a number on your digestion. The after-math sends many running to the gym or starting a new diet when the New Year rolls around. The New Year feels like a new beginning and a fresh start, which is always very motivating. But I wonder whether we can find a way to still eat well during the holidays instead of throwing in the towel until January 1st.
Can we find a way to not let the holidays de-rail our health goals or leave us feeling less than vibrant and energetic? Can we strike a balance and enjoy the holidays – really savor and experience one delectable chocolate truffle instead of feeling the need to over-indulge? We will all eat some sweets during this time, and they should be enjoyed and savored on special occasions without guilt. It’s important to remember that healthy eating and living isn’t and shouldn’t be about achieving perfection. Instead it’s about helping you to be your best self – not depriving nor overindulging nor giving up or berating yourself after you overindulge. You just have to start over at the next meal or snack. It’s about having a goal in mind – something that motivates you. Losing weight, having more energy, improving your digestion, improving your fertility, preventing chronic disease, achieving optimum health. Choose something that motivates you, and go back to that motivation when you feel challenged.
I would encourage you to start your journey to improving your health and fertility now, instead of waiting until January 1st. The sooner you start incorporating the principles of healthy eating into your life, the better for your overall health and fertility. If you need to lose weight, now is a great time to start our FirstLine Therapy for Fertility program. One month from now, you’ll be so glad you started today.
Book your nutrition appointment now online here or call 312-321-0004 in Chicago or 847-472-9550 in Arlington Heights or 301-610-7755 DC Metro area. Phone and Skype consults are also available.
Whether you’re treating yourself to a much-needed day of relaxation or stuffing stockings with a special surprise, Pulling Down the Moon can help with three new massage treatments from our Winter Warm Up Menu!
Healthy Holiday Massage Bring a little merry and bright to the season with a Healthy Holiday Massage. This 60-minute treatment focuses on relaxation and physical, mental and emotional wellbeing by indulging all your senses with seasonal delights. Each massage session features your choice of a holiday essential oil blend, warm hydrotherapy to soothe and melt tension, soft holiday lighting, classical music and a steaming cup of hot cocoa or cinnamon stick tea. This session will be available until January. Purchase one session for $95 or 3 for $255.
Breathe Better Treatment A cold or cough can make a Scrooge out of anyone during the holidays. Clear your head with a 30-minute Breathe Better Treatment. This session targets the face, head and neck area to relieve tension and sinus pressure and incorporates cedar eucalyptus oil to open airways. The crisp and woody oil blend clears sinuses and lungs, enhances energy, supports adrenal function and promotes clarity of mind. This session will be available through March. Purchase one session for $40 or 3 for $105.
Treat Your Feet Winter weather can be rough on your feet and not to mention all those holiday errands! Take a load off with a 30-minute Treat Your Feet session. This treatment focuses on melting away foot and ankle discomfort with massage, mobilizations and heated towels. A warming blend of cinnamon and clove essential oils helps to increase circulation and ground your spirit. This session will be available through March. Purchase one session for $40 or 3 for $105.
Purchase your Winter Warm Up massages today! Contact Pulling Down the Moon at 312-321-0004 (Chicago Area) or 301-610-7755 (DC Metro) or book online at www.pullingdownthemoon.com.
When getting ready for your baby, it’s so natural to think only about your baby and hardly at all about yourself. The irony is that one of the best ways to take care of your baby is to make sure he/she has well-nourished parents! (Ideally, they would be well-rested too, but hey, we are not magicians!)
In addition to getting the nursery ready and stocking up on baby gear, take some time to think about making sure you have a plan for eating nutritious, tasty food. Here are some tips I learned the hard way:
- Stock up on easy-to-eat, nutritious, filling snacks. Eating three square meals a day is not a realistic expectation for a while. The truth is, you’ll be eating a lot on the go and at unconventional times. You may have to take quick advantage of the 5 quiet minutes your baby is happily playing by him/herself at 3:30pm to eat lunch! Pick up some trail mix, granola bars, nuts, and baby carrots with hummus.
- Make sure you have the right food in your freezer. For breakfast and lunch, there are lots of good-for-you options that are easy to eat and prepare available right in your grocer’s freezer. For breakfast, waffles are a great option (try to get some made with whole grain rather than the super-sugary varieties). Plus, these are great if you have an older child at home. For lunch, try enchiladas, mini calzones, mini quiches or anything else that is easy to eat while holding your baby.
- Make the right kind of food in advance. I’m sure you’ve already been told to make some lasagna and freeze it. That’s nice, but not a very realistic food to eat while holding your baby (heavy, messy foods tend not to be…). Plus, because you have to defrost the entire pan, you’ll be eating it for a while! Here’s the solution: convert your favorite casserole into muffins. Instead of making a huge pan of macaroni and cheese, bake it in muffin tins. That way, you can defrost only what you need and, it will be much easier for you to eat! (Extra bonus: you can feed this to an older child if you have one at home!)
I hope these tips help you as you prepare for this exciting time!
Now is the perfect time to get yourself some meals or to give a gift to a mom you know! Moment for Mom is pleased to announce a special offer to Pulling Down the Moon customers! Purchase a Day of Meals Package, get a FREE upgrade to Day of Meals + Dinner for Partner ($15 value). To redeem, purchase a Day of Meals at momentformom.com through Paypal and where it asks “Is this a gift (YES/NO)?”, write “MOONGIFT” if it’s a gift and “MOON” if it’s for you. Valid on your first purchase only.
Merav Benson is the founder of Moment for Mom, a meal delivery service for new moms in Chicagoland. Our menu was developed with a registered dietitian to focus on the nutritional needs of a new mom and we offer lots of options that are easy to eat even while holding a baby! Our meal packages are great for you and also perfect as a gift for a new mom (you choose the meal package – and mom chooses what she wants to eat and when she wants it delivered!) Check us out at www.momentformom.com
by Hena Shomali, L.Ac.
What is Postpartum Depression?
The birth of a baby not only causes excitement, joy, love, fear and anxiety: Chemical changes may occur that can also cause depression after birth.
Many new moms go through an emotional phase. This phase can include anger outbursts, mood swings, crying and mild depression. Some new moms have emotions that run much deeper for a longer period of time. Depression that lasts for an extended period of time after birth is called postpartum depression.
Many people may feel that postpartum depression is a character flaw or a mental weakness. On the contrary, postpartum depression is caused by the extreme emotional and chemical changes that occur during or after childbirth. Women who have postpartum depression typically need medical care for least a short time. This medical care is focused on correcting the chemical imbalance in the brain caused by childbirth.
Acupuncture may also be helpful in treating the symptoms of postpartum depression. Before we explore that, let’s have a look at some of the things that may cause postpartum depression.
Causes of Postpartum Depression
Physical changes. After childbirth a woman’s hormones fluctuate rapidly and her body cannot always adjust to these changes immediately. The main hormones involved are estrogen and progesterone. The thyroid also may not produce hormones the way it typically did before birth. These things can leave the mother feeling tired, sluggish and depressed. Other physical changes that occur may include loss of blood volume, lower blood pressure, lowered immune system response and changes in metabolism.
Emotional factors. Emotional struggles can be caused by a number of things including sleep deprivation and feeling overwhelmed by all of the new changes in your life. During this time you are happy about your newborn but possibly feeling less attractive, struggling with your identity, and sometimes feeling like you have lost control of your life.
Lifestyle influences. There are many lifestyle factors that can cause postpartum depression. On one hand, your baby is demanding attention in addition to attention you may need to give to older siblings or other people in your environment. On the other hand, you may be juggling exhaustion, a lack of support from your spouse or partner and possible financial adjustments that are necessary with the birth of a baby.
Genetics. Some women are genetically predisposed to be more vulnerable than others to receiving a diagnosis of postpartum depression. This is similar to being genetically predisposed to developing typical depression symptoms throughout life.
Acupuncture for Postpartum Depression Symptoms
Acupuncture can be extremely beneficial in addressing symptoms of postpartum depression. With acupuncture treatment, the body’s natural hormonal balance may be regained in a much shorter amount of time. Many of the emotional symptoms of postpartum depression have been shown to improve with continued acupuncture treatments. It has even been suggested that acupuncture may help to prevent the onset of postpartum depression.
Developing postpartum depression does not mean you are a bad person or a bad mother. Medical help is available. Talk to your family doctor or obstetrician to find out more about treatment of postpartum depression. Don’t wait until it’s out of control to seek help. If you feel angry at your baby, or are not able to care for your baby because of frustration or sadness, ask a friend or relative to keep an eye on your child until you are feeling better.
While it is recommended that you seek medical care in case of an emergency (such as if you feel like you may harm yourself or your baby) acupuncture is recognized as one of the most successful natural treatments for postpartum depression and depression symptoms in general. If you are experiencing symptoms of postpartum depression, or feel you may be at risk for developing such symptoms, please don’t hesitate to contact one of Pulling Down the Moon’s licensed acupuncturists or to schedule a treatment at one of our centers.
Click here to book an acupuncture appointment online. You may also contact our Chicago office at 312-321-0004 or our DC Metro office at 301-610-7755 to get more information.
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