When you know the causes of candidiasis, it is not surprising that people are more prone to have it here than in other countries.
There are a number of medications that promote the overgrowth of yeast cells, either because they kill beneficial bacteria, or because they interfere with normal hormone functions. These medications include: antibiotics; chemotherapy; hormone replacement; corticosteroids; and oral contraceptives. Improper diet, such as over-consumption of yeast products, sugar, or alcohol, also can promote yeast growth. In traditional Chinese medicine, these foods disturb the balance of the Spleen, produce Phlegm, and create the perfect environment for yeast overgrowth.
Those people with immune system or endocrine gland disorders are more prone to candidiasis, such as patients with AIDs, cancer, or diabetes.
In Chinese medicine, balance is the most important concept in maintaining health. Yin and Yang, the eternal opposites of the universe, also form the basic substance of our bodies. They must be in balance for us to be in good health. It is the same for the yeast cells and bacteria in our bodies: too many yeast cells, and a condition of candiadiasis results; too many bacteria, and infection can be present; when there is balance, we are in good health.
Edmonton mom credits Chinese treatment for helping her overcome infertility
Baby Sarah is growing fast. She eats carrots, squash, peas and bananas. She weighs 14 pounds. With auburn hair and bright grey eyes, she’s a miniature version of her mother.
“In school, I wasn’t the one saying ‘I want to be a teacher or a doctor,’ ” Dana Murphy says, tickling her eight-month-old daughter. “I wanted to be a mom. It was always the most important thing to me.”
Murphy’s motherhood dreams have been realized, despite the odds, and she firmly believes Chinese medicine deserves the credit.
The 35-year-old was diagnosed in her teens with polycystic ovary syndrome, a common endocrine disorder among women which can cause infertility and a host of other unfortunate symptoms, among them obesity, facial hair, thinning hair and acne.
Murphy knew PCOS would make it difficult, maybe even impossible, for her to have children. She and her husband, Chris, were up for the fertility challenges when they decided to become parents in 2008. Little did they know how frustrated they would get with conventional medicine, how desperate they would become.
“If someone said standing out in the street buck naked waving a rubber chicken over your head could get you pregnant, you’d do it,” she says.
Murphy took fertility meds at increasing dosages while waiting for a referral to Edmonton’s fertility clinic. The drug, Clomid, made her so emotional she dubbed it Clo-Mood. “You’d go from zero to explosion in a snap.”
After a year, Murphy was depressed and still not pregnant. That’s when she turned her sights to Eastern medicine.
“I was probably a bit of a basket case,” she says of the first day she walked into Cecil Horwitz’s clinic, Whole Family Health, in Edmonton’s Parkallen neighbourhood. Horwitz is a certified acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist who specializes in women’s reproductive health, including fertility enhancement.
“She had so many doors closed,” Horwitz recalls of Murphy when he first met her. “She needed encouragement. No does not mean no all the time.”
This week is Canadian Infertility Awareness Week, and Murphy and Horwitz want to get people talking about holistic reproductive therapies so other people trying for kids don’t give up hope. One in six Canadian couples of child-bearing age suffer from infertility, according to the Infertility Awareness Association of Canada.
“Fertility starts at home,” Horwitz says. “If you’re going to create life, the vessel within which you carry life has to be nourished. That means the mind and the body.”
Horwitz got Murphy started on acupuncture and a regimen of Chinese herbs, as well as moxibustion, in which sticks of ground mugwort are burned on a patient’s skin. Murphy struggled to convince her friends and family, even herself, that such treatments could improve her odds. “People were like, you’re gonna try what? They said, that’s bunk.”
In 2011, Murphy got into the Edmonton fertility clinic, and was pregnant after one intrauterine insemination. After a two-and-a-half years waiting, the news was surreal. She knows it’s Chinese medicine that optimized the environment for her to finally conceive. “There’s no doubt in my mind. If I hadn’t seen Cecil before and after, I wouldn’t be a mom today.”
“We were nourishing the soil before the seed was planted,” Horwitz said.
Think of Horwitz’s treatments as auxiliary health care, one that creates the ideal conditions for conception, be it natural or through assisted reproductive technology like IUI and in vitro fertilization.
Acupuncture is believed to boost a woman’s chances of getting pregnant significantly, which is why some fertility clinics in Canada offer acupuncture on site. And holistic centres like Vancouver’s Acubalance Wellness Clinic work with reproductive specialists to offers IVF support to couples.
In Murphy’s case, the treatments reduced her stress, regulated her insulin levels (a problem for PCOS sufferers), regulated her menstrual cycle and increased her uterine blood flow.
Chinese therapies can help improve male fertility, too, Horwitz says, and he recommend the couple both get treatment to give them the best chances.
Horwitz isn’t against conventional medicine. Rather, he sees the two as a team. “I need to have Western medicine on my side,” he says. “I will never go against what a doctor says.”
The therapies he practises see positive results again and again. “We have a 70 per cent success rate here at the clinic,” he says, clarifying that ‘success’ means a birth, and not just a pregnancy.
Sarah, who was born in September, offers one gummy smile, then a second one, as if she knows she’s the proof women stamped as infertile or subfertile can beat the odds.
“I hate using that word, infertile,” Horowitz says. “Until a doctor says, her tubes are blocked and she needs surgery, I’m a very hopeful person.”
Horwitz’s goal isn’t to score a bunch of new patients. His schedule is packed. What he wants to do is educate people about Chinese medicine so wannabe parents might consider it early in the game.
“We typically see people when they’re at the end of their rope. They come to us as a last resort, instead of a first resort.”
FERTILITY ENHANCEMENT PREGNANCY AND LABOUR
Current statistics state that one in five couples over the age of 30 have difficulty conceiving
after one year of trying. Many of these couples are turning to acupuncture and Oriental
medicine for a safe, effective and natural solution to have a healthy baby.
Oriental medicine has a long history when it comes to enhancing fertility for
both men and women. In fact, evidence that acupuncture and herbal medicine have been
used to aid fertility can be found in early medical literature dating back to 3AD.
but she found success from a source that surprised even her.
Regulates the menstrual cycle
Regulates hormones by reducing stress
Improves the thickness of the uterine wall lining
Reduces uterine contractions after the embryo transfer
Improves blood flow to the ovaries and uterus
Improves ovarian function – encourages the production of follicles
and enhances their quality
Enhances the immune system
Reduces the chance of miscarriage
Improves sperm parameters ( takes at least 3 months)
Improves quality of oocytes (takes at least 3 months
Acupuncture and Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART)
For the best results acupuncture should begin at least 3 months prior to
Generally treatments are given once a week. For optimal results a treatment is
given 12-48 hours before and after embryo transfer.
Acupuncture and Natural Conception
If you are attempting to become pregnant through natural means, acupuncture can
benefit you by balancing the flow of Qi (energy) and blood in the body. When Qi and
blood are not flowing smoothly clots, blocked tubes, premenstrual pain and
endometriosis can occur. Stress is a big factor in infertility and acupuncture can help
the body relax while stress management techniques can also be of benefit.
The clinic offers stress management therapists.Diet and Lifestyle
Diet and nutrition are of the utmost importance to both male and females for optimal results
in fertility. Dietary advice is given by qualified nutritional advisors throughout the course of
treatment, as required and a qualified stress management therapist can help with breathing
and relaxation techniques.Symptoms Acupuncture can treat in relation to Infertility
irregular Menstrual Cycle
Premenstrual Cramps, pain and clots
Lack of ovulation
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
Low Sperm Count
Poor Motility RatesAcupuncture During Pregnancy
Once pregnancy occurs, medication is usually prohibited therefore acupuncture is the ideal
tool to help with morning sickness, coughs, colds, headaches, back pain, constipation, tiredness
and the many afflictions the human body has to deal with daily. It can also be used to induce
labour and to turn breach babies if necessary.
Is acupuncture safe during pregnancy?
Yes, acupuncture is safe – and effective – during pregnancy.
Acupuncture is not a substitute for Western prenatal medical care. Instead, it offers complementary
care that has many benefits. And because acupuncture has very few side effects, many pregnant
women now seek this alternative to drug therapy for a number of common pregnancy complaints.
The modern practice of acupuncture is based on historical diagnostic theories, with roots for
treatment in pregnancy that go back for over 2,000 years. But its use today relies on modern,
evidence-based medicine and standards of safety. For example, acupuncture by licensed
practitioners has strict standards for needle sterility and safety.
Studies have shown acupuncture to be effective for stress, morning sickness, hip and
low back pain, breech position, mild to moderate depression, labor induction, and shortening the
length of labor.
In vitro fertilisation (known as IVF) is the name given to a technique where eggs are
fertilised with sperm outside the body, usually in a test tube. It is widely practised throughout
the world and has enabled many couples to successfully conceive and give birth.
IVF can be an emotional roller coaster for the people involved. It is physically invasive
and puts a mental and physical toll on the body. Success rates vary, but the average is 26%.
It is expensive, and more than one cycle may be required.
Acupuncture can enhance the IVF experience, and improve the success rates.
It is recommended by many professionals eg, Deborah Betts, Clane Fertility Clinic,
The British Medical Journal, Zita West, and the Dublin Acupuncture And Allergy Testing Clinic,
to name but a few.
Did you know that Traditional Chinese Acupuncture may increase pregnancy rates by 65%
when combined with IVFhttp://www.blueheronclinic.com/fertility/fertility-acupuncture-women /ivf/fertility-ivf-acupuncture-treatment.html http://www.irishhealth.com/article.html?id=3754
A recent study done by Paulus in Germany surveyed 160 women who had IVF treatment.
80 of the women had acupuncture before and after transfer of the embryo and 80 did not.
The group that did not have acupuncture were found to have a 26.3% success rate, while
the group that had the acupuncture had a 42.5% success rate. Success was determined by
those who had a successful scan confirming pregnancy at 6 weeks pregnant. This clinic
includes this protocol for those women undergoing IVF treatment. If you would like to
read more about this: PubMed
A randomised controlled clinical study on 225 patients was carried out. In group
one 116 patients received acupuncture, while in group two 109 patients received a
placebo. The pregnancy rates for IVF and ICSI in group one were double the rate of
group two. Conclusion: Acupuncture can be of great benefit to IVF and ICSI.
SUCCESS STORIEShttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GnhHsRjacTk&feature=related http://www.the-fertility-acupuncturist.com/ivf-and-acupuncture-success-story .html http://www.acuforconception.com/Main_Success_Stories.htm http://community.babycentre.co.uk/post/a726775/about_to_start_acupuncture _any_success_stories
Acupuncture promoting ovulation
We have selected a few research articles that show the success of acupuncture
in relation to treating lack of ovualtion:
Clinical observation on acupuncture for treatment of infertility of ovulatory
disturbance. If you would like to read more:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18257182?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2. PEntrez.Pubmed. Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum
Acupuncture in polycystic ovary syndrome: current experimental and
clinical evidence. If you would like to read more:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18047551?ordinalpos=2&itool=EntrezSystem2 .PEntrez.Pubmed. Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum
Advances of modern studies of acupuncture and moxibustion for treatment of
ovulation disorders. If you would like to read more:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17117581?ordinalpos=5&itool=EntrezSystem 2.PEntrez.Pubmed. Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum Acupuncture can reduce miscarriages
Acupuncture During IVF linked to lower ectopic and miscarriage rate. The retrospective
study included 131 women who were undergoing standard in vitro fertilization (IVF) or
intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). All of these women were considered good
prognosis candidates for IVF/ICSI and were given the choice of having acupuncture.
48 had acupuncture and 83 did not. In the group that had acupuncture the miscarriage
rate was nearly halved. 14% miscarriages in non acupuncture group versus 8% miscarriage
in acupuncture group. Ectopic pregnancies were 9% in non acupuncture group versus 0% in
acupuncture group. Live birth rate for non acupuncture group was 16% versus 21% in
acupuncture group.If you would like to read more:
A new study has found that pregnant women who consumed more than 200 milligrams
of caffeine a day, equivalent to about two cups of coffee, had twice the risk of miscarriage
as the women who consumed no caffeine at all. The findings are published in the Journal
of Obstetrics and Gynecology. If you would like to read more:
A study of 40 men with idiopathic oligospermia, asthenospermia, or teratozoospermia has
shown a general improvement of sperm quality, specifically in the ultrastructural integrity of
spermatozoa, after acupuncture. If you would like to read more:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16009169?ordinalpos=6&itool=EntrezSystem2. PEntrez.Pubmed. Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum
Another study of 19 men with semen abnormalities showed that acupuncture and moxa
techniques significantly increase the percentage of normal-form sperm in infertile patients
with oligoastenoteratozoospermia without apparent cause. If you would like to read more:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14695986?ordinalpos=8&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez .Pubmed. Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum
Another study of 22 patients was done to gague the influence of acupuncture on
idiopathic male infertility in assisted reproductive technology. It showed the The
fertilization rates after acupuncture (66.2%) were obviously higher than that before
treatment (40.2%, P < 0.01). There was no significant difference in sperm concentration
and general sperm motility between before and after acupuncture. The embryo quality
after acupuncture was improved, but the difference between them was not significant
(P > 0.05). Acupuncture can improve sperm quality and fertilization rates in assisted
reproductive technology. If you would like to read more:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12658811?ordinalpos=9&itool= EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed. Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCdIiLLF0vw&feature=related PCOS
is one of the most common problems affecting female fertility. At the clinic we treat PCOS,
with a combination of Acupuncture, Chinese Medicine, Diet and Lifestyle Changes.
Here are some interesting articles about PCOS.http://www.womens-health.co.uk/food-for-pcos-pregnancy.html http://www.annecollins.com/low-gi-diet-for-pcos.htm The effect of acupuncture on polycystic ovarian syndrome:
25 patients were treated with acupuncture. Result 20 patients recovered regular
menstruation. 10 of the 16 patients with sterility were able to become pregnant.Acupuncture can safely and effectively treat PCOS. http://www.aborm.org/research/RoleOfTCMwithOrWithoutAcupunctureOn ReproductiveMedicine.pdf MORNING SICKNESS
You don’t have to suffer from morning sickness!!!
Acupuncture offers safe yet effective help for every stage of fertility enhancement pregnancy and labour. http://www.daatc.com/acupuncture-for-labour/ http://www.acupuncturelabor.com/
Joanne Mc Govern – Dip Ac., Lic Ac., Dip. Chinese Herbs, Dip. Nutritional Advisor,
Dip Stress Management.
Natural Approaches for Heartburn
Traditional Chinese Medicine has been resolving
heartburn effectively for thousands of years. Acupressure and Chinese herbs can help not only reduce the symptoms of heartburn, but more important to help recover from the cause of GERD by adjusting the esophageal pressure, lowering gastric acid, and balancing the functions of the digestive organs. Because the Liver energetic organ system controls the direction of Qi (Chi) in the body, acid reflux is often associated with a Liver (TCM) imbalances and “Rebellious Qi” (which simply
means that the energy is flowing in the wrong direction).
The Liver is responsible for the smooth flow of Qi (vital energy)
in the body; when the Liver is not functioning at its optimal
capacity, Digestive issues may ensue. Additionally, when the
energy of the Liver becomes constricted, Liver Qi Stagnation
develops. Thus stagnant energy tends to create heat and
inflammation in the body.
Poor eating habits with the consumption of cold foods, fried foods, simple sugars and carbohydrates, juices, and too many raw foods or uncooked foods can damage the Spleen function in Chinese medicine and causeDampness and Phlegm creating further obstructions for the digestive process and a propensity for the Stomach to develop digestive disorders.
Look to Free and Easy Wanderer formula and Restore the Middle Way.
Acupuncture, there are also specific acupuncture points that are very effective in the treatment of Acid Reflux.
Lifestyle choices to reduce the occurrence of acid reflux:
Stress Management: Tai Chi, Qigong, Meditation and deep breathing techniques.
Diet: Avoid chocolate, tomato, peppermint, coffee, acidic fruit juices, sour, hot spicy, fatty and fried foods and alcohol.
Change your eating habits: Eat slowly and chew well. Avoid eating big meals. Do not over eat; only allow your stomach to be moderately full. Eat 5-6 small meals daily. Eat your dinner at least 3 hours before bedtime. Sit down in an upright chair and rest 20-30 minutes after eating prior to any activity.
Posture: When sleeping, elevate your upper body by 5 – 6 inches or try sleeping on your left side. Avoid bending from the waist or stooping just after meals.
Clothing: Avoid tight belts, clothing and bras that increase pressure on your stomach and chest.
Acid Reflux from the Western View
Acid Reflux and Heartburn are major symptoms of a medical condition called Gastroesophygeal Reflex disorder (GERD). More than 54 million adults in America are suffering from this frequent condition. Acid Reflux and Heartburn can have a burning sensation which radiates from the mid to upper chest, caused by acidic stomach contents which irritate the unprotected lining of the esophagus and throat. In healthy people, the lower end of the esophagus (lower esophageal sphincter) normally stays closed, preventing acidic fluid in the stomach from backing up into the esophagus every time the stomach contracts. In fact, the lower esophageal sphincter is not a distinct muscular valve but rather an area of relatively high pressure.
The high pressure keeps the esophagus closed off from the stomach and helps prevent stomach acid and food from traveling back up the esophagus. When the esophagus fails to function properly, the stomach acid backs up and heartburn occurs. Based on Traditional Chinese Medicine; the Liver, Gallbladder, Spleen and Pancreas work together to help the Stomach’s digestion. Once these organs function improperly, excessive stomach acid travels up to the esophagus and causes acid reflux or heartburn.
What conditions can contribute to acid reflux and heartburn?
Anything that decreases the lower esophageal pressure or irritates the esophagus might contribute:
Hiatal Hernia: A hiatal hernia is an anatomical abnormality in which part of the stomach protrudes through the diaphragm and up into the chest. This condition often occurs during pregnancy and if one is overweight.
Improper Diet: Consumption of fatty and spicy foods. Caffeine, chocolate, tomatoes and peppermint may also contribute to heartburn.
Eating late and overeating
Related symptoms and complications:
Other symptoms may include sore throat, voice change, nausea, anxiety, burning pain when swallowing, and a bitter or sour taste in your mouth, coughing and respiratory conditions such as, asthma, pneumonia and chronic bronchitis. If heartburn or acid reflux occurs frequently, it may cause complications in the esophagus, such as ulceration and Barrett’s esophagus, a pre-cancer lining of the esophagus. The inflammation of the esophagus may cause pain and bleeding during swallowing.
It is worth noting that pharmaceutical antacids suppress the natural digestive process and cause digestive disorders (Food Qi Stagnation) with habitual use according to Chinese medical theory. If food is not being properly digested in the stomach, many health disorders can develop over time; they can range from slow digestion to serious health concerns. This is why many prefer to utilize natural Chinese herbal therapy which can address acid reflux by addressing the root organ imbalances which cause acid reflux rather than suppressing stomach acid which is necessary for proper digestion.
Allergies and food intolerance’s can cause symptoms including, rash, itch, runny nose, sneezing, headache, red or dry eyes, inflammation, irritation, aches and pains, toxic overload, bowel and digestive upset, Flu like symptoms, low immune system, nutritional deficiencies, organ and system imbalances, raised PH levels and chronic fatigue. This can lead to illness or trigger existing conditions. We treat a wide range of conditions. The testing used is non-invasive and pain free. It incorporates Chinese medicine, bio-resonance muscle testing, Diet and Nutrition therapy
We test for a wide variety of foods, chemicals, and airborne substances.
WHAT IS AN ALLERGY???
An allergy is sensitivity to a substance which usually does not cause any harm. The immune system views the allergen as if it was a dangerous infection releasing a surge of histamine. This can cause an array of symptoms some mild while others can be severe and last for periods of time. Eg. inflammation, irritation, fluid retention, itching, fatigue, digestive upset, pain, flu like symptoms, weight loss/gain , mood swings, Premenstrual Syndrome, hormonal imbalance, Candida, nutritional deficiencies, toxic overload, organ imbalances, disruption in ph balance and insomnia. . In severe cases an allergic reaction can lead to Anaphalactic shock.
Allergies can affect almost any part of the body and be caused by an ever increasing range of natural or artificial substances eg chemicals, airborne substances like dust mite, food and drink, animals, environmental, preservatives and additives. Allergies can be the sole cause of illness or act as a trigger to existing conditions.
Allergy testing and treatment
The consultation and testing used are non-invasive and
pain free. We incorporate Traditional Chinese medicine
bio-resonance, muscle testing, nutrition therapy, herbal
medicine, acupuncture, and stress management, etc.
(CLICK ON THE LINKS FOR MORE INFORMATION)
ON YOUR FIRST VISIT TO OUR CLINICS, A DETAILED ASSESSMENT IS CARRIED OUT. THIS INCLUDES, CHINESE TONGUE PULSE AND FACIAL DIAGNOSES, PAST AND CURRENT MEDICAL HISTORY, NUTRITION DIET AND LIFESTYLE ASSESSMENT. AN ALLERGY/FOOD INTOLERANCE TEST MAY ALSO BE ADVISED. DEPENDING ON THE DIAGNOSIS, A SPECIFIC INDIVIDUALISED TREATMENT PLAN WILL BE ADVISED. ALL CONSULTATIONS ARE PRIVATE AND BY APPOINTMENT ONLY.
WHAT CAN TCM DO?
Acupuncture has been shown to be a safe and effective way to combat the symptoms of seasonal allergies. In 2004, a study published by Allergy: European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology showed that patients treated with acupuncture for six weeks and given a Chinese herbal medicine formula to take daily saw improvement in their allergy symptoms, higher energy levels and improved emotional well-being. The study was covered, along with tips about how acupuncture can be used to treat allergies in this Seattle Post-Intelligencer article.
In acupuncture, there are seven key pressure points that can help bring relief to seasonal allergy sufferers. By focusing on these points, an acupuncturist can help relieve and reduce symptoms like runny nose and sinus pain or headache. Six of these points are found on your face and the seventh is on your left foot. To get started, you can even stimulate these pressure points on your own – here’s a recent Huffington Post health blog post that tells you how.
Chinese herbal treatments can also help. I have worked with patients for years to not only treat the symptoms of their seasonal allergies – which in Traditional Chinese Medicine are sometimes referred to as the “branches” – but also to strengthen their overall systems throughout the year – or the “root”.http://www.bergencountyacupuncture.com/paramus-nj-acupuncture/treat-allergies-with-acupuncture-paramus-acupuncture/ http://www.philadelphia-acupuncture.com/ahhhh-choo-acupuncture-and-seasonal-allergies ALLERGIES SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
The most common are dermatitis, eczema, urticaria (nettle rash/hives) and psoriasis. Symptoms can include itching, redness, pain, swelling, sores, pustules, rashes, and acne. Causes can include allergies to certain foods, drugs, perfumes, chemicals and animals, poor diet, stress, nutritional deficiencies and organ imbalances.
Eye and ear allergies
Allergies can cause the eyes to water swell become sore red and irritated. The ears can also be affected causing itching internally and externally, fluid can also build up inside the ear causing pressure a ringing sensation and temporary deafness.
Some common nasal conditions which are caused or triggered by allergies include rhinitis, sinusitis and hay fever. Symptoms can include sneezing, nasal discharge, headache, stuffiness, flu like symptoms and congestion. Chest conditions can manifest with symptoms such as coughing with or without phlegm, susceptibility to colds and flu, sensitivity to drafts or chills
attacks can be brought on by an allergic reaction to foods and airborne substances. Symptoms can include wheezing, shortness of breath, difficulty in breathing, coughing and chest tightness.
Food allergies and food intolerances
The list of symptoms of food allergies is endless they include digestive upset, skin rash, organ imbalances, delayed immune response, mouth sores, mood swings, toxin build up, weight gain or loss, stress, headache, poor absorption of nutrients and irritable bowel syndrome. Food allergies can upset the natural balance between good and bad bacteria leading to fungal infection. They can also interfere with the bodies’ natural ph levels.
Candida and allergies
Candida is one of the most frequent conditions seen in the western world. It often manifests itself as vaginal infection in women. Causes can include allergies, poor diet, stress, nutritional deficiencies, poor immune system and antibiotic use. Symptoms are wide and varied. For example, thrush, nail infections, gas, bloating, constant hunger, bad breath, anal itching, severe dandruff, itchy flakey scalp, toxic overload, digestive and bowel upset, weight gain / loss and poor concentration.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
IBS affects many people. It manifests with severe pain, bloating, belching, stomach upset, constipation, diarrhea, cramps, indigestion, spasm, anal itching, frequent and urgent bowel motions. This condition can be very stressful, which in itself makes the condition worse. Causes can include food allergies and food intolerances, stress, nutritional deficiencies and organ imbalances.
PH balance / acid balance can be altered by food allergies and equally allergies can be caused by over acidity resulting in disorders such as gout, acne, aches and pains, indigestion, psoriasis, red itchy skin, cellulite, heartburn, constant fatigue and illness.
In Chinese medicine, allergies can cause disruption in the natural balance between yin and yang, smooth flow of Qi/energy and harmony amongst the organs. For example, disharmony of earth and wood (spleen and liver). Clinical indications of this may include indigestion with gas, cramping, nausea, constipation / diarrhea, Premenstrual Syndrome with sore breasts, bloated abdomen, irritability and fatigue, headaches, mood swings, erratic appetite, irregular / painful periods, craving foods, cold hands and feet, unstable blood sugar and poor concentration. Other causes include stress low immune system infections poor diet and lifestyle and nutritional deficiencies. It is important to identify and treat these imbalances as soon as possible to avoid illness.
Stress and allergies
Allergies can put huge stress on almost any part of the system. Equally stress, can interfere with the immune response, resulting in allergies. It is important to keep stress at manageable levels so that the system can function properly. A well balanced diet, regular aerobic exercise and continual water intake are essential to reduce stress. Just as there are certain foods and drinks which raise stress levels there are also an array of supper foods that help to de-stress. It is important to decrease stress inducing foods and increase de-stress foods.
Nutrition and allergies
Over time if allergies are left untreated nutritional deficiencies will occur. To maintain good health it is important that we are getting adequate nutrition on a daily basis to support our lifestyle. Nutrition is required for all of the bodies systems and functions. It is important that we are eating the right foods, that these foods are being broken down properly, and that the nutrition from these foods is properly absorbed. Symptoms of deficiency or mal-absorption of nutrition are numerous and need to be identified and treated ASAP.
Our systems are bombarded with toxins every day. For example, air pollution, drugs, heavy metals, excess salt and sugar, preservatives and additives, chemicals and fumes. Allergies can cause toxin levels to rise within the body. Equally toxins can leave the body hyper sensitive to intolerances and allergies. Many toxins are fat soluble and are stored in the fatty parts of the body. Symptoms can include allergy reactions, Premenstrual Syndrome, weight gain, joint pain, bad breath, headaches, constipation, digestive upset, premature ageing, poor concentration, fluid retention, Candida, gallstones, acne, bad breath, body odor, erratic blood sugar levels and M.E. Toxins can be stored in many parts of the body. It is therefore important to do a complete systems detox, to avoid toxic overload.
Many people are unaware of how they breathe. Breathing is life we cannot survive for longer than a few minutes without air. Correct breathing filters and warms air which helps to reduce invasion of wind, cold, damp, airborne allergies and toxins. When we breathe incorrectly we can have a tendency to over breathe or hyperventilate causing many symptoms including wheezing, asthma attack, stress, panic attacks, insomnia, snoring, palpitations, light headed feeling, anxiety, stress, low immune system, fatigue, poor concentration and headache. We need to concentrate on breathing correctly no matter where we are or what we are doing. Simple breathing techniques which can be done by anyone and incorporated into everyday living can have a dramatic effect on health and energy.
Where deficiencies have been found, diet changes and in some cases nutritional supplements will be recommended. Specific nutritional supplements can also be used to improve the immune system, treat stress, balance ph and intestinal flora (good bacteria). All nutrition recommended will be fully licensed.
Diet and lifestyle
Where needed, simple lifestyle changes that can make a big difference to your health will be advised. Particular attention will be given to increasing intake of foods that heal and decreasing intake of foods that harm. Regular exercise, depending on your health, and adequate water and sleep. Stress management may also be advised.
can be used to diagnose and treat most conditions. It can successfully treat the signs and symptoms associated with allergies. It is the largest drug free healthcare system in the world, and can be used in conjunction with western medicine. It can restore balance between yin and yang, smooth flow of Qi/energy, and harmony between the organs.
Auricular acupuncture (needle free) is simple, pain free and safe. It can be used to treat a variety of conditions. For example, allergies, insomnia, stress, fears and phobias, fertility issues, stop smoking and weight loss. It is suitable to use on children and older people.
have been used for hundreds of years. Specific herbal formulas can be used to successfully treat most conditions. For example, allergy symptoms (sneezing itching burning stinging pain), increase absorption of nutrition, improve the immune system, stress, Candida, asthma, IBS, fatigue, digestive conditions, detox the system, skin conditions, oedema, and weight gain or loss. Any Chinese herbs that are recommended will be fully licensed.
JOANNE MC GOVERN Dip. Ac., Lic. Ac., ITEC., Dip. Chinese Herbs, Dip. Stress Management., Dip. Nutritional Advisor.,MAFPA., http://acupunctureandallergytesting.blogspot.com/2012/02/joanne-mc-govern-chinese-herbalist.html
is one of the most common problems affecting female fertility. At the clinic we treat PCOS, with a combination of Acupuncture, Chinese Medicine, Diet and Lifestyle Changes. Here are some interesting articles about PCOS.
PCOS is a hormonal imbalance found in women which causes a variety of problems including infertility, menstrual problems, heart disease and diabetes. It is seen in approximately 5-10% of all women. PCOS appears to run in families. It is quite common to finds that a patient with PCOS has a sister or mother with a similar clinical picture.
What are the common symptoms/associated problems?
- Infrequent or absent periods
- Excessive dark hair growth on the face, back stomach, thumbs or toes
- Weight gain or obesity
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Insulin resistance or Type 2 diabetes
PCOS causes the associated problems because polycystic ovaries are unable to produce the normal levels of hormones required to release one egg at ovulation each month. Multiple cysts start to develop as normal at the beginning of the cycle, but none of them reach the critical size needed for ovulation. Therefore progesterone is not produced and a bleed does not occur. The cysts formed also produce excessive amounts of male hormone.
PCOS is diagnosed in different ways. Your doctor will take a medical history and perform an examination. She will check your blood pressure and Body Mass Index (BMI). A pelvic ultrasound may be indicated. Blood test to determine male hormone levels, as well as fasting cholesterol and blood glucose may be required.Treatment of PCOS
There is no cure for PCOS, and there is no one treatment plan for PCOS. The appropriate treatment depends on what the patients goal is – control of symptoms, optimising your fertility or prevention of diabetes and heart disease.Combined oral contraceptive pill
This is used for women who have no desire to conceive at the time. It controls the irregular bleeding pattern and reduces the excessive hair growth. However it only masks the symptoms of PCOS which will recur when the pill is stopped.Diabetes medications
A drug traditionally used in diabetes has proved useful in the management of PCOS. Metformin (Glucophage) lowers testosterone levels by changing the way insulin affects glucose levels. This slows hair growth and ovulation may resume after a few months. It has also been shown to reduce body mass in some studies.Fertility medications
Absence of ovulation is the main reason for the infertility problems associated with PCOS. Clomiphene citrate (Clomid) is most commonly used but is associated with a risk of multiple pregnancies. Sometimes clomid is used in conjunction with glucophage and this can allow lower levels of clomid to be used. If treatment with clomid is unsuccessful then patients may be offered IVF.Medication to lower male hormones/reduce hair growth
Drugs which lower male hormone levels are called anti-androgens. Aldosterone (Aldactone) reduces acne and hair growth. Anti-androgens can also be combined into oral contraceptives such as Dianette.
Vaniqa cream is successful in reducing hair growth in some women. Other measures such as electrolysis or laser can also work well in women with PCOS.Surgery
This is often used as a treatment option when medication has failed to induce ovulation. Laparoscopy is performed under anaesthetic, usually as a day case. Small holes are drilled into the surface of the ovary and this temporarily reduces male hormone production.Lifestyle changes
Obesity is commonly associated with PCOS. Alteration of the diet and exercise are vital parts of trying to tackle this difficult problem. Processed foods and high sugar content foods should be replaced with whole grain foods, fruit and vegetables, and lean meat and fish. This reduces blood glucose levels and improves the way the body handles insulin, reducing male hormone levels. Research has shown that even a 5-10% reduction in body weight can restore regular periods and therefore ovulation.Other health problems associated with PCOS
Women with PCOS have greater chances of developing certain serious diseases than women without PCOS
- 50% of women with PCOS will have developed diabetes or pre-diabetes before 40 years of age
- Women with PCOS are 5 times more likely to develop heart disease
- They are more likely to have high cholesterol
- They are more likely to have high blood pressure
- The risk of cancer of the womb is greatly increased in women who are not having periods due to the imbalance of hormones brought about by PCOS
It is important to try and control PCOS at a younger age to prevent the development of future problems. It is important to treat all the symptoms and not just focus on one such as trying for a baby. Regular diabetes testing should be done. The importance of a healthy diet, regular exercise and not smoking can not be underestimated in trying to prevent the above mentioned problems.
Diet is one of the key elements in the fight against PCOS.
What can Acupuncture and TCM do?
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine are designed to stimulate the body’s own natural production of hormones and regulate the menstrual cycle by gently correcting underlying deficiencies and/or eliminating disruptions. For example, when applied they can
- restore reproductive energy in the kidney system which represents the reproductive endocrine system to normalize the production of hormones that regulate ovulation.
- balance the liver system which controls smooth flow and distribution of blood to remove obstruction or constriction of blood circulation in the pelvic organs, which might be caused from living with high stress, consistent anger, frustration and/or anxiety.
- build an adequate supply of blood to sustain a normal menstrual cycle, nourish the eggs to be revitalized, and support a healthy pregnancy.
- help dissolve the thick, waxy coating found on the surface of the ovaries to improve ovarian function, enhance egg quality with the use of Chinese herbal medicine.
- soothe the sympathetic nervous system to relax the body, reduce stress and influence healthy ovulation.
While there is much research into acupuncture and fertility, recent studies have shown that acupuncture and electro acupuncture can help to reduce the symptoms of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Other benefits of acupuncture for PCOS are that it has been shown to reduce testosterone levels, regulate the female hormones which leads to a more regular menstrual cycle, and it can aid weight loss and waist measurement – all of which can help to increase fertility in women with PCOS. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2nH2vwBn1nw&feature=related
Joanne Mc Govern – Dip Ac., Lic Ac., Dip. Chinese Herbs, Dip. Nutritional Advisor, ITEC, Dip Stress Management Consultant.
Another study of 19 men with semen abnormalities showed that acupuncture and moxa techniques significantly increase the percentage of normal-form sperm in infertile patients with oligoastenoteratozoospermia without apparent cause. If you would like to read more:
Another study of 22 patients was done to gague the influence of acupuncture on idiopathic male infertility in assisted reproductive technology. It showed the The fertilization rates after acupuncture (66.2%) were obviously higher than that before treatment (40.2%, P < 0.01). There was no significant difference in sperm concentration and general sperm motility between before and after acupuncture. The embryo quality after acupuncture was improved, but the difference between them was not significant (P > 0.05). Acupuncture can improve sperm quality and fertilization rates in assisted reproductive technology. If you would like to read more:
Besides getting the woman ready for pregnancy, there is also acupuncture treatment for the male to improve total sperm count, motility and morphology. It also benefit those with low morphology and doing ICSI (intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection) which surgically deliver the chromosomes directly into the eggs seemly independent of total sperm count, motility and morphology. But a successful pregnancy requires more than a successful fertilization. Survivability is highly depended on the quality of the sperm. A better sperm will generally have a better morphology (shape) which reflects how well the chromosomes are packed in the head of a sperm. In general, a better shaped sperm will have better physiological functions and expressions than a poorly formed or shaped sperm. It logical to assume that a good looking sperm will be have better DNAs and will result better embryos. Less miscarriages. The main contributing factor to infertility from male is the sperm quality and quantity. High quality of sperm is extremely important for those couples who are trying on their own or with artificial insemination (IUI). Even if one uses ICSI , having a large pool of high quality sperm implies that the environment in which the sperms were developed are more favorable, thus it can improve the chances of having the best sperm to be chosen for injection.
There three major factors in analyzing the sperms quality are: Total count, Motility, and Morphology.
The total count should be greater than 40 to 60 million; Motility greater than 50%; Morphology greater than 30%. WHO. (>14% Strict).
With acupuncture, Dr. Lee has helped many male patients to improve the total sperm count ( from 1m to 10 million in 12 acupuncture treatments), sperm motility (up 72 % in two months), sperm morphology (up 37 to 50% in 2 to 4 months).
Jan. 2005, a 50-yr-old male, with total sperm counts ranging from 4 million to 9 million, came for one month of acupuncture for male infertility treatments with Chinese herbs. His sperm count increased to 33 million following just one month of acupuncture for male infertility treatments.CASE HISTORIES Here are some case study reports on Acupuncture for Male Infertility from China
(please note fertility labs in China consider a total sperm count of less than 110 million/ejaculation to be abnormal.)
Case Study #4.
In a group of 160 patients, all have over a year history of infertility due to sperm deficiency. Tests showed that their sperm count was less than 60 million, motility less than 60%. After acupuncture treatments for infertility, 125 patients considered cured, with a sperm count of over 60 million and motility over 60%. In 33 cases there was marked improvement with an increase in sperm count and motility. In 2 cases there was no change. All in the first group were considered cured. 74 women are pregnant.
Journal of Chinese Acupuncture 1984
Case Study #8
One male 25 years old, married for 4 years with no child. Sperm analysis showed that there were 800,000/ml, motility 40% . He received acupuncture, after 2 weeks tests showed that his sperm count has increased to 84 million /ml. Four months later his wife was pregnant.
Oriental Medicine in Fu Jian Province 1986
Case Study #12
There were 248 patients who have male infertility. After acupuncture treatments for infertility, 89 were cured, 77 made major improvement and 85 cases no change.
Journal of Chinese Acupuncture 1987.
Case Study #13
In a study of 45 patients, After acupuncture treatments for infertility, 22 were cured, 13 improved, minor improvement in 6 cases, and 4 cases no change.
Journal of Chinese Medicine in Tin Jing 1988
Case Study #17
145 of male infertility received acupuncture. 96 cases improved with a sperm count of 70 million/ml with motility greater than 60%, amorphous of less than 15%. 35 made improvement and 14 patients had no change.
Journal of New Chinese Medicine 1988DIET FOR A HEALTHY DAD
- plenty of wholegrain, starchy foods (carbohydrates)
- some protein (lean meat, fish and pulses)
- some low-fat dairy produce (such as semi-skimmed milk and yoghurt)
- plenty of fruit and vegetables
- 2/3 pints of water throughout the day
You diet should be every bit as balanced, varied and nutritious as a mum-to-be’s diet. Eat a wide variety of foods from all the food groups, which means:Check if you’re achieving the right balance of foods with the government’s eatwell plate. Following these guidelines will ensure your diet includes nutrients which may help to improve your fertility. Some vitamins and minerals may play a part in helping conception. However, there isn’t a lot of strong evidence for this. The best way to get these nutrients is from your diet.Zinc and selenium
Both zinc and selenium play an important role in conceiving. Low levels of zinc and selenium have been linked to poor sperm quality and a reduction in the sperm’s ability to move (motility). Selenium supplements may improve the quality of your sperm, but experts are unsure about how much the dose should be. Food sources of zinc include extra-lean minced beef, baked beans and dark chicken meat. And selenium can be found in brazil nuts, bread, fish, meat and eggs.Vitamin D
One study has shown a possible link between vitamin D levels and how mobile your sperm is. The study showed that men who were deficient in vitamin D had less mobile sperm. But more research is needed. Our bodies make vitamin D in response to sunlight. We also get it through eating foods containing vitamin D. Oily fish, and foods fortified with vitamin D such as margarine, and some breakfast cereals, contain vitamin D.Folate
Folate (vitamin B9), is important for men to make healthy sperm and is the naturally occurring form of folic acid. There’s a small amount of evidence linking a diet rich in this vitamin to higher sperm counts. You don’t need to take a folic acid supplement as a dad-to-be, but it won’t do you any harm to eat plenty of folate-rich foods. Folate-rich foods include green vegetables such as broccoli, spinach and sprouts. Folate can also be found in pulses, potatoes and oranges. So a jacket potato with baked beans or homemade spinach dal is a good way of incorporating folate into your diet. Many breakfast cereals are also fortified with folic acid.Antioxidants
Antioxidants may improve the quality of your sperm by decreasing the number of free radicals that can cause cell membrane damage. In some studies, men who ate a diet low in antioxidants were more likely to have poor-quality sperm. Antioxidant vitamins include vitamins C and E and betacarotene, a form of vitamin A. Eating a wide range of fruit and vegetables will give you plenty of antioxidants. Make it easy by keeping a bag of apples in the fridge at work or a bunch of grapes on your desk. There’s even some evidence that if you’re taking longer than the usual time to conceive you may benefit from antioxidant vitamin supplements. This may increase your chances of making a baby and of your partner carrying the pregnancy to term. However, there needs to be more research in the area of male fertility and supplements for us to be sure.Weight and Alcohol
Maintaining a healthy weight is essential for keeping your sperm in good condition. You can do this by having a healthy, balanced diet and exercising regularly. Being overweight can affect your ability to conceive a child and can influence the quality of your sperm. This effect is greatest in men who have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher. If your BMI is higher than 30, losing weight before trying for a baby may improve the quality of your sperm. It’s fine to keep drinking coffee and tea. There’s no strong evidence that caffeine can harm your fertility as a dad-to-be.
A study looking at couples who were undergoing IVF treatment showed that drinking caffeine as a dad-to-be didn’t have an effect on how well the IVF worked.
It’s best to cut back on alcohol if you drink regularly, if you want to improve your baby-making chances. There is no evidence to suggest that moderate drinking (up to three to four units of alcohol per day) will affect your fertility. But it’s easy to underestimate how much you’re drinking. Experts agree that drinking excessively will impair the quality of your sperm. Heavy consumption of alcohol affects your hormone levels, in particular your testosterone levels. It also affects the ability of your testes to mature the sperm properly. This leads to lower sperm counts and more abnormal sperm.
If you commit yourself to a few months of clean living and healthy eating, and a safe (though admittedly tamer) lifestyle, you’ll be in top shape to father a child.
In Chinese Medicine Qi and blood need to flow unimpeded within the meridians. Disruption in this process can cause stagnation. It can also allow wind, cold and damp etc, to invade the channels. The result is blockage, which leads to pain, discomfort, limitation of movement, inflammation, and impairment.
What can Acupuncture and TCM do?
Increases the flow of qi and blood to the site of pain / injury.
Improves range of motion.
Speeds up recovery time.
What can we treat?
Arthritis, Back pain, Muscle and joint problems, Rheumatism, Sciatica, Sports injuries, Gout, Frozen shoulder, Sciatica, Tennis elbow, Fibromyalgia, Fasciitis, Tendinitis, Osteo arthritis, Trigeminal neuralgia, Sprain, Post operative pain, Pain of all sorts.
Rheumatoid Arthritis - A chronic inflammatory disorder which effects the lining of the joints. It is an autoimmune disorder. Causes are unknown, but genetic factors may have some bearing. Acupuncture can reduce pain and inflammation, improve the immune system, and help prevent further progression.
Shin splints – Acupuncture has a 72% success rate in the treatment of shin splints.
Osteo Arthritis - Caused by the cartilage in the joints wearing away. Acupuncture can reduce the pain of Osteo arthritis in the knees, by 40% and increase mobility by 40%.
Tennis elbow – Acupuncture can reduce the pain of Tennis elbow by 70%.
Shoulder pain – Acupuncture is an effective treatment for chronic shoulder pain.
Plantar Fasciitis – Inflammation of the layer of the tissue which supports the arch of the foot. An area that is prone to injury especially amongst runners. Acupuncture can heal this injury.
Neck pain – 1753 people with chronic neck pain were randomly chosen to receive Acupuncture treatments, over 3 months. Results showed significant improvement in pain and quality of life.
Celebrity athletes are using Acupuncture to treat a variety of injuries.
Back pain – Many people have suffered with back pain. It can be both painful and debilitating. A study involving over 14,000 people with low back pain, showed greater success with acupuncture treatments, compared to standard medical treatment.
Acupuncture consultation and treatment
The initial visit involves a comprehensive consultation. This includes, tongue, pulse, and facial diagnosis, diet, nutrition and lifestyle assessment, past and present medical history. Depending on your diagnosis a treatment plan will be devised for you.
Chinese Herbal Formulas
Have been used to treat painful conditions for thousands of years. Depending on your diagnosis, a specific formula may be valuable to your recovery. Here are some examples -
Xiao huo luo dan
Used to treat fixed or migrating pain in the bones and joints, with limited mobility.
Fu yuan huo xue tang
Treats pain due to traumatic injury.
Du huo ji sheng tang
Alleviates pain and stiffness, especially in the lower back.
In most painful conditions there are varying degrees of inflammation. Foods which increase inflammation should be avoided, eg, sugar, sweets, cakes, biscuits, saturated fats , full fat dairy produce. Food allergies / intolerance’s can also trigger pain and inflammation. A food allergy / intolerance test may be advised. It is also important to maintain a healthy weight. Excess weight puts pressure on the joints etc, slowing recovery. The anti inflammatory diet is weight friendly. Foods which help inflammation include – oily fish, fresh fruit and vegetables, peppers, sweet potatoes, etc.
Exercise decreases inflammation. It also improves health and well being. Find something you can do that will not aggravate your condition, eg, water aerobics, walking, stationary bike, etc.
Nutrition and Herbs
It is important that your diet contains the right amounts of nutrition, to maintain good health. Depending on your condition, specific nutrition, herbs, and food supplements can improve painful conditions. Examples include -
Omega 3 – Reduces inflammation throughout the body. Reduces pain and stiffness. Improves stamina and mobility. Alleviates muscle and joint soreness.
Vit D – Is deficient in many diets. Known as the sunshine vitamin, it is difficult to maintain adequate levels in climates like Ireland. Low levels of vitamin D are associated with chronic musculoskeletal pain, limb pain, and low back pain.
Vit B3 – Improves joint mobility and reduces inflammation.
Glucosamine and Chondroitin – Maintain joint health, renew and repair joint cartilage, and maintain the lubricating properties around the joints. They are widely used in the treatment of arthritis conditions.
Willow Bark – An antioxidant, which works in multiple complex ways, to reduce pain.
Boswellia – A plant medicine, which effectively reduces pain and inflammation.
Bromelain – Reduces edema and inflammation.
For further information and contra indications etc, click on the link below.
Written by Joanne Mc Govern – Dip Ac., Lic Ac., Dip. Chinese Herbs, Dip. Nutritional Advisor, Dip Stress Management Consultant.
Difficulty conceiving ???
Current statistics state that one in five couples over the age of 30 have difficulty conceiving after one year of trying. Many of these couples are turning to acupuncture and Oriental medicine for a safe, effective and natural solution to have a healthy baby. Oriental medicine has a long history when it comes to enhancing fertility for both men and women. In fact, evidence that acupuncture and herbal medicine have been used to aid fertility can be found in early medical literature dating back to 3AD.
Fertility treatments were first recorded by Zhang Zhong Jing, a famous physician from the Han Dynasty, in his discussion of diseases in women in theJin Gui Yao Lue or Essentials of the Golden Cabinet.
How Acupuncture Can Enhance Fertility
According to the principles of Oriental medicine, a person’s health is determined by the quality of Qi, the vital life energy, and blood circulating through the body. When Qi and blood are circulating properly, the body is properly nourished and functioning optimally which, in turn, enhances fertility.
Researchers have confirmed its benefit in the following areas:
- Regulate menstrual cycle.
- Improve sperm count and motility.
- Reduce stress and anxiety associated with infertility.
- Normalize hormone and endocrine systems.
- Improve blood flow in the uterus.
- Decrease chance of miscarriage.
- Increase the chance of pregnancy for women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF).
Fertility treatments vary from person to person, but are usually scheduled for at least three consecutive cycles (twelve weeks). Treatments can include acupuncture, customized herbal therapy, stress reduction and dietary counseling. Treatments work alone but are an excellent addition to any Western intervention.
Please call an acupuncturist near you for more information of to schedule a consultation. The best place to find a qualified and licensed acupuncture practitioner is on Acufinder.com.
Acupuncture Increases IVF Success by 65%
Women undergoing IVF were 65 percent more likely to become pregnant when they combined the procedure with acupuncture, a recent study has shown.
The remarkable success rate occurred across seven acupuncture trials involving 1,366 women in a systematic review and meta-analysis published in a February, 2008 issue of the British Medical Journal.
Acupuncture was delivered either just before or just after embryo transfer – a step in the process of in vitro fertilization (IVF) whereby one or several embryos are placed into the uterus.
The research was carried out by scientists from the University of Maryland in the United States and the VU University of Amsterdam in Holland.
It is thought that acupuncture stimulates the neurotransmitters that trigger the production of gonadotrophin-releasing hormone, which controls the menstrual cycle and a woman’s ovulation.
Acupuncture is also thought to stimulate blood flow to the uterus and boost the production of endogenous opioids, inducing the body to relax.
Acupuncture Improves Sperm Quality
A study published in the July 2005 issue of the journal Fertility and Sterility found that acupuncture helped infertile men by apparently helping improve sperm quality in their semen.
In the research project, 28 men received acupuncture in addition to traditional infertility treatments, while another 12 men received only the traditional treatments. All of the men were diagnosed with infertility of unknown origin.
Acupuncture was associated with fewer structural defects in the sperm of men who received it, although it had no effect on other abnormalities, such as sperm immaturity or premature death.
Previous studies have shown a link between acupuncture and improved sperm production and motility.
Foods for Fertility
“Your body is like a garden… As in all gardens, the seed we hope to plant in our bodies grows best when we cultivate the ground and plant and nurture the seed in harmony with the laws of nature. You wouldn’t put a tender plant in clay soil without first tilling and amending the earth – at least not if you wanted to give that plant its best start. You wouldn’t plant in the dead of winter, or in the dry season without water, or in a sunless place. Likewise, if we tend our bodies, minds, and spirits with an awareness of the laws of nature, we improve our chances of welcoming the gifts of Quan Yin, the fertility goddess.” Angela Wu, L.Ac., author ofFertility Wisdom.
According to Oriental medicine, the energy of the Kidney system is important for reproduction and fertility enhancement often starts with the Kidneys. A good example of a food that nourishes the Kidneys and promotes fertility is black beans.
Health Benefits of Black Beans
From an Eastern perspective, black beans are warming in nature. They are thought to tonify the Kidney Qi and nourish Yin and Blood.
From a Western perspective, black beans are an excellent source of protein, folate, iron and fiber and are rich in antioxidants.
Loaded with Antioxidants
Worlds Healthiest Foods reported on research published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry indicating that black beans are as rich in antioxidant compounds called anthocyanins as grapes and cranberries, fruits long considered antioxidant superstars.
When researchers analyzed different types of beans, they found that, the darker the bean’s seed coat, the higher its level of antioxidant activity. Gram for gram, black beans were found to have the most antioxidant activity, followed in descending order by red, brown, yellow, and white beans.
Overall, the level of antioxidants found in black beans in this study is approximately 10 times that found in an equivalent amount of oranges, and comparable to that found in an equivalent amount of grapes or cranberries.