By: HeJoo Yu, Licensed Acupuncturist, Arlington Heights
Supporting egg health is important for every woman who is preparing for conception, naturally or with ART (Assisted Reproductive Technology). There are many things you can do to help support and protect your egg health, but not many people know Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs may help. One of the most common issues for infertility is poor Egg Quality. In this case, other signs can be present such as poor circulation, cold hands and feet, low energy, and feeling cold. In Oriental medicine, this can be due to the Kidney energy deficiency. The Kidney is the root for the reproductive system, and works with the heart to produce ovulation and menstruation. It is the same concept like Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Ovarian axis to regulate the body’s natural hormonal production.
Women are born with a set number of follicles which contain immature eggs. We call “Kidney essence” the material basis for the formation of life. Women’s eggs do not have an “expiration date.” They respond to their surroundings just as the rest of our body system. However, they are less responsive with a hormonal fluctuation, not age. If you can create a better condition, like enough nutrients and blood flow to your reproductive system, the quality of the egg can change. The cycle of the egg’s journey toward ovulation is around 90 days, and during this time, many factors may impact the health of eggs: weakness of the reproductive system, environmental factors, and emotional stress, etc. Understanding what causes the body’s energy to be depleted or hormonal decline can help restore youthful energy, and essence.
Therefore, a different pattern of Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs can help the maturation of your eggs, and increase blood flow to the ovary and uterus which can be a better environment. The egg’s maturation process is continuous, and only one dominant follicle ovulates each month, so you can start acupuncture at any time and it will be beneficial.
So, how you can have a positive impact from the Acupuncture and Chinese Herb?
1. For increasing egg quality, you can support the maturation of your eggs with acupuncture and Chinese Herb for at least 3 months.
2. Eat a nutrient dense diet with supporting supplements such as antioxidants, multivitamin, CoQ-10, Myo-inositol, L-Arginine, DHEA, EPA and DHA. These egg quality supplements with acupuncture and Chinese Herb can increase blood circulation to the reproductive system.
3. Reduce stress and increase sleep quality with acupuncture can benefit the autonomic system to balance the hormone, and better the quality of eggs.
By: Lexi Hagenson, Licensed Acupuncturist, Chicago
During challenging times it is easy to acutely focus on the negative and ignore the aspects of our lives which we are grateful for. What’s interesting is that the simple attitude switch from negative to positive thinking in and of itself is healing.
Gratitude is a powerful emotion that, several studies show, increases happiness and life satisfaction. Acupuncture is a wonderful tool to help open ourselves up to feeling gratitude in our current situations. Amidst any long health struggle, if you are able to come in for regular acupuncture sessions you can be grateful for that very opportunity to rest, heal and re-balance. And during these therapeutic acupuncture sessions it is the perfect time to reflect on a few good things currently in our lives.
Acupuncture is a great way to promote healthy circulation in the body- circulation of blood, qi, oxygen and even emotions. By opening ourselves up to positive, healthy thoughts we enable ourselves to feel peaceful. There will always be challenges in life, but at the same time, there is also always something to be grateful for.
Now that this is my second time experiencing what it’s like to be postpartum, I wish to emphasize the importance of taking care of your health at this stage of life. Recovery can be more difficult after the birth of your second baby, as the body typically takes longer to heal. Organs such as the uterus, bladder, and intestine will tend to prolapse a bit more easily.
Your energy is especially low when taking care of your older child, baby, and yourself with the little amount of sleep you get having a newborn in the house. Being so fatigued along with the adjustment of the hormones does not bode well for your mental emotional state either. Our Postpartum Program at Pulling Down the Moon offers an excellent way to restore and strengthen your body and mind after an intense event like childbirth.
It uses the following modalities, acupuncture, massage, yoga, and nutrition to rebuild the mother back to a state of normalcy. All of these therapies have been adapted by an expert in each of the respected fields to specifically address recovery during this period. Please feel free to email us or call with any questions you have about out Postpartum Program or to make an appointment.
There are many causes of infertility and just as many different types of treatments. From conventional to complementary, women choose a variety of options to increase their chances for conception. Fertility massage can also be a holistic therapy for those women who do not have any known fertility problems but want to consciously prepare their body for conception.
Massage can be a powerful adjunct treatment to those undergoing IUI or IVF or it can be used as a standalone treatment. Acupuncture and fertility massage are particularly effective when used together. The massage works to enhance the overall health of the woman. It combines craniosacral techniques for overall deep relaxation with reflexology for toning the reproductive organs. Abdominal massage helps to break up adhesions or scar tissue and increase overall circulation to the pelvic region. During the session the practitioner may make lifestyle suggestions (sleep, diet, herbs and vitamins) as they pertain to increasing fertility.
Regularly receiving fertility massage provides many benefits for the reproductive system. Some of the benefits are:
•Helps to reposition a tilted uterus
•Promotes hormonal balance
•Massage helps to break up scar tissue
•Helps to bring fresh blood to the uterus
•Helps to reduce stress & stress hormones
•Increases circulation to the uterus & cervix
•Improves endocrine system communication
•Encourages the liver to get rid of excess hormones
•Promotes hormonal balance by strengthening the hormonal feedback loop
•Helps the body to rid itself of old stagnant blood and tissues
Anyone who thinks of mothers or the possibility of becoming one realizes the importance of being in the utmost health to carry, care for and bring another being into this world. Therefore, we encourage anyone beginning this journey to begin acupuncture treatment a minimum of 3 months prior to conception. Specific to fertility, the egg selection process happens about 120 days prior to ovulation; the sperm regeneration cycle is every 90 days. Thus, nourishing the mother and father prior to starting a cycle is very important for good quality egg and sperm production.
TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) is known to improve arterial blood flow to the ovaries thereby enhancing ovarian environment to be properly nourished. Any time you improve blood flow to an organ system, the organ will function better. Chinese medicine increases the thickness and quality of the lining of the uterus and both Chinese herbs and acupuncture can influence blood flow to the uterine lining in the hope of encouraging implantation. Other ways in which TCM enhances fertility is by regulating menses, supporting a viable pregnancy through the early stages if there are signs the mother’s body is weakening and of course, reduce stress.
“One final reminder: you are creating a health environment to welcome and nourish a new life within you. This new life needs every ounce of your support – physical, mental, and emotional. But one of the best ways you can support yourself and your child is to relax. Do what you need to do in terms of exercise, massage, supplements, diet and herbs – but also think of the kind of mother you want to be. Remember your goal. Think of holding your sleeping child in your arms. Relax into the love you will share. Then hold that image and love in your heart….that is the most welcoming environment you can create in your body and womb.”1
1 Lewis, Randine MD. The Infertility Cure.
By: Nicole Holovach, MS, RD, LDN
When someone says the word metabolism, what comes to mind? For most people, it’s weight loss. They think of metabolism in terms of “fast” or “slow” and being able to down a pint of ice cream without gaining weight. But the ability to lose/maintain/gain weight easily is only a small part of what the word metabolism actually means.
Metabolism: the sum total of all hormonal and metabolic processes within the body that are involved in maintaining life.
Or in layman’s terms, how efficiently your body is functioning at a cellular level. Is your body producing enough energy to function optimally?
So how do you boost your metabolism? Both for weight loss and in order for your body to function like it should?
Eating enough is key. The body needs fuel as calories. I think that there is a common pattern, especially for women, to try very low-calorie diets in an effort to lose weight. The weight often comes back, often more so. Then they diet again. This “yo yo” pattern is especially hard on the metabolism. Weight loss should be slow and healthy habits maintained for life.
In addition to low-calorie dieting, here are some other prime ways to slow your metabolism:
At Pulling Down the Moon, our fertility nutrition programs promote clean eating – nutrient-dense foods, healthy carbohydrates, and healthy fats. First Line Therapy for Fertility (FLTF), our weight loss program, promotes these same concepts along with slow weight loss. You won’t be hungry or feel deprived with any of our programs. In fact, you might be eating more that you’re used to!
The dietitians at Pulling Down the Moon can help you find that food/calorie “sweet spot” that helps your body function optimally and if weight loss is desired, helps you lose weight in a manner conducive to fertility.
Nutrition consultations available in person and via phone/Skype. Call 301-610-7755 to book your session in DC Metro or 312-321-0004 in Chicagoland.