• Acupuncture: Our team approach

    Acupuncture: Our team approach

    By Stacy Dunn, Acupuncture Director

    If you’ve seen multiple acupuncturists, you know that techniques among practitioners can vary greatly. But why is there so much variation and what effect does that have on your treatment?

    Acupuncture enjoys a rich tradition, with a history spanning several thousand years. During this time acupuncture has spread geographically, techniques have evolved, and different acupuncture styles have emerged including Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Classical Chinese Medicine (CCM), Japanese Acupuncture, Five Element Acupuncture, Auricular Acupuncture, and Balance Method Acupuncture.

    At Pulling Down the Moon our acupuncture team is diverse and our acupuncturists use a combination of these styles and techniques. While point selection and needling style may vary slightly between practitioners, they each share the same level of clinical ability and success. Each practitioner draws upon their own unique skill set developed through their education, clinical experience, and mentorships.

    We embrace this diversity at Pulling Down the Moon because it exposes our patients to an even broader skill set, bringing a breadth of experience and knowledge that cannot be experienced from one single practitioner.

    Our acupuncturists are highly educated with extensive experience and skill in the field of reproductive acupuncture. And they are truly passionate about helping our patients achieve healthy, happy, and successful pregnancies. We encourage you to take full advantage of this incredibly talented team. Try scheduling with multiple practitioners and embrace all they have to offer!

  • Increase the Nutrient Density of Your Diet with Fall Harvest Vegetables

    Increase the Nutrient Density of Your Diet with Fall Harvest Vegetables

    by Margaret Eich, MS, RDN

    When we talk about a fertility friendly diet, we emphasize the importance of nutrient density – in other words, maximizing the vitamin and mineral content of your diet. What does that mean for your diet? It means eating whole and real foods and minimizing refined and processed foods, which have had most of their nutrients removed. The fall is an excellent time of year to practice focusing on nutrient density, as there is such a wide variety of produce in season. Here’s a sampling of what’s in season now, and what fertility friendly nutrients they contain:

    Butternut squash, pumpkin, carrots, and sweet potatoes

    These orange vegetables are rich in beta-carotene that gives them their orange color. Beta-carotene is the plant form of vitamin A, which acts as an antioxidant and may be helpful for neutralizing free radicals that would otherwise damage eggs and sperm. You may have heard that vitamin A can be toxic at high levels during pregnancy. This is true, but does not apply to beta-carotene. Only pre-formed vitamin A from animal products and certain supplements has the potential to cause birth defects when intake is too high. Beta-carotene is better absorbed from food when served with fat. Roasted vegetables with some fat or drizzle olive oil over steamed vegetables.

    Leafy greens

    As the hot summer days give way to cooler temperatures, leafy greens become more widely available again at farmer’s markets. These include spinach, chard, and kale. These leafy greens, like the orange vegetables, are a great source of beta-carotene. You can’t see the beta-carotene, because the orange is masked by the green chlorophyll. These greens are also a great source of vitamin C, which is a potent antioxidant. Vitamin C may also help support progesterone levels in those with low progesterone. Vitamin C may also help prevent DNA damage to eggs as they mature.

    Leafy greens are also good sources of folate, important for preventing neural tube defects. Leafy greens also provide magnesium. Magnesium deficiency has been linked to infertility in some studies.

    Cruciferous vegetables

    The cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and kale are also in season in the fall. These vegetables are a good source of magnesium, folate, and indole-3-carbinol, a phytonutrient that may help balance estrogen levels. Cruciferous vegetables are best eaten cooked. Try roasting broccoli in the oven, or sauté kale with mushrooms for a savory side dish.

  • Hands on Women’s Wisdom: Just Breathe!

    By Meredith Nathan, LMT

    One of the most profound self-care exercises I’ve seen to enrich the health of the abdominal and reproductive organs is also the simplest. We’ve all been doing it since we exited our mother’s womb, and we will keep doing it till the day we die. But we haven’t always understood the full breadth of what a full breath can do for us.

    Other than keeping us alive (no small task!), a deep, belly breath has a host of other benefits for the body! When you breathe from your diaphragm (an organ below your ribcage), the diaphragm pushes down onto the liver, intestines, uterus, ovaries, etc., effectively giving your abdominal organs a massage from the inside out! As fluid churns, lymph moves, and oxygen-rich blood passes to your viscera, your chi and vitality get a beautiful boost! Furthermore, belly breathing is like your tummy’s secret gym, creating muscle tone and strength, while helping prevent adhesion and stagnation.

    And then there’s the mind-body connection…shallow chest breathing reminds your body of panting, which reminds it of running, which automatically turns on your sympathetic nervous system, an ancient fight-or-flight response. Adrenal and cortisol flood your body, creating stress and robbing your hormones of receptor sites. A full belly breath does the opposite – it engages the parasympathetic nervous system, creating full body relaxation and an environment that fosters good digestion, hormonal balance, and healing.

    There is a big difference between breathing to stay alive and breathing to create health. Looking to find the difference? Lie on the floor with your knees bent, place your hands on your abdomen, and just spend 60 seconds focusing your breath into your diaphragm, into your back, and into your low belly…your body will thank you!

  • Understanding the Link Between Myoinositol and Fertility

    What is myoinositol?

    Myoinositol (MI) is a form of inositol, which is a member of the B vitamin complex. MI is naturally found in foods including whole grains, beans, nuts and fruit. Myoinositol is also available in supplement form. In the body, MI performs several important functions related to cellular communication, particularly in response to hormones.

    Why Myoinositol for fertility?

    For PCOS: Decades of research support the role of MI in improving cells’ sensitivity to the hormone insulin. Specifically, in women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), treatment with MI has been shown to lower circulating insulin levels, reduce symptoms of hyperandrogenism (acne and excess hair growth), and promote ovulation.

    For Poor Responders : Interestingly, research conducted looking at the impact of MI supplementation in women with PCOS undergoing IVF revealed that women who took MI prior to IVF had better egg and embryo quality, and were less likely to experience ovarian hyperstimulation.

    The encouraging findings in women with PCOS have prompted researchers to take a closer look at MI in non-PCOS populations. Low levels of MI in the follicular fluid is associated with poor egg quality. At the level of ovary tissue specifically, scientists believe MI may play a critical role in FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) signaling, which drives egg maturation. Several studies show that poor responders pre-treated with MI prior to IVF demonstrate improved sensitivity to ovarian stimulation drugs.

    Bottom Line: Clinical Use of Myoinositol:

    Supplementation with MI is becoming part of clinical practice for both women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and IVF poor responders. At Pulling Down the Moon we recommend myoinositol supplementation for three months prior to ART cycles for women with PCOS, poor responders and/or unexplained infertility.

    Sources :

    Caprio et al. Journal of Ovarian Research (2015) 8:37.

    Lagana et al. Metabolism and Ovarian Function in PCOS Women: A Therapeutic Approach with Inositols. International Journal of Endocrinology. Volume 2016,

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