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Archive for March, 2010

How Can Acupuncture Help Fertility?

Acupuncturist Kathleen Fraser has been helping women increase fertility for over 10 years.  Her knowledge of the female reproductive system, western medical treatments and Chinese Medicine has created great clinical success for her patients.  By using acupuncture, a form of physical medicine that originated in China over 4000 years ago, very thin, sterile needles are inserted into specific points on the body, to manipulate and balance the flow of energy through the body. When we are balanced, our bodies function optimally: our organs function well, our sleep is restful, we are resistant to disease, we recover easily from injury, and our reproductive capacity is functional. For a variety of reasons this balance can become disturbed. Imbalance gives rise to symptoms, including infertility. Acupuncture aims to correct any imbalance, eliminating any and all symptoms that the imbalance caused. Acupuncture can boost your fertility and increase your chances of conception.

Acupuncture can help with all stages in the fertility journey from conception to delivery. Acupuncture can:

  • Regulate the menses and increase the blood flow to the uterus
  • Resolve painful, irregular, scanty or excessive menses
  • Resolve mood swings, depression and anger associated with PMS
  • Improve sperm count
  • Relieve stress
  • Regulate the hormones and increase ovarian response function
  • Reduce the side effects of hormone treatments
  • Increase and strengthen the immune system
  • Improve the success rate of IVF

Acupuncturist Kathleen is happy to answer your questions about fertility and to discuss your present health.   Call 703-312-7000 to schedule a free consultation or to schedule your first appointment.

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Pain is a common reason that patients seek acupuncture.  I have treated back, neck, and shoulder pain, leg pain, migraines, abdominal pain, foot and hand pain and more. Because the health of your body is dependent on the vitality of your blood and your body’s ability to circulate blood, whenever there is an inability of your body to perform these functions, you will experience discomfort.  On subtle levels, you may experience numbness, tingling, intermittent achiness, etc.  If left untreated, your body may begin to signal you with more intense symptoms such as sharp pain, weakness, inflammation, and stiffness.  Such symptoms give rise to a lack of mobility and a decrease in range of motion. 

Patients usually seek acupuncutre as a last resort.  Their pain has existed for quite some time.  Take for instance, Colleen.  In the winter of 2008, Colleen came to me with migraines.  The migraines occured daily and manifested as sharp pains that felt like an ice pick had been plunged into her right temple.  Nausea, vomitting and auras became a weekly event that prevented her from working regular hours.  She eventually lost her job which in turn caused more stress.  The lining of her stomach had eroded from acid reflux and her digestion was compromised.  By the time she had come for acupuncture treatment, she had lost 25 pounds and could not make it through the day without sleeping. 

I recommended to Colleen that she come for treatment twice weekly until we could get her digestion working properly and to alleviate the sharp pain in her right temple.  Initially, treatment focused on her stomach, spleen, liver and gallbladder pathways of energy.  The overproduction of bile by the liver was effecting her whole body.  Exess bile can erode the lining of the stomach and can cause an imbalance of the digestive enzymes created by the liver and the pancreas.  It can also cause inflammation of the digestive organs.  This imbalance caused a war zone from the chest, through the stomach and into the lower abdomen in Colleen’s body on a daily basis. 

 Acupuncture treatment served to relax the liver, thereby reducing the bile production, and to relieve the stomach, thereby healing the stomach lining and creating normal digestion.  Relief came in a domino effect.  With her digestive system balanced, Colleen was able to digest without issue.  Her body’s ability to absorb nutrients strengthened her. She gained energy and was able to bring her body to a normal healthy weight.  In fact, her migraines disappeared. No more pain, no more nausea, vomitting or auras.  She discontinued  her Imitrex (pain medication), Prilosec (stomach medication), and lorazepam (anti-anxiety) medications.  By the 4th week of treatment, Colleen was able to reduce her biweekly appointments to one time weekly.  This again was reduced to once every two weeks, then to monthly.  Presently Colleen remains symptom free and maintains one appointment every 6 to 8 weeks.

In addtion to relieving her symptoms, Colleen came to understand that she had to learn HOW to take care of herself.  As a career woman, wife and mother of two teenage boys, Colleen had put her needs aside to the point her body could no longer function.  She had experienced serious life threatening issues that forced her to reevaluate how she approached life.  Colleen and her husband renewed their marriage vows.  As a couple, they recognized that they were both just getting by and not paying attention to their own needs, each other or to the needs of their family.  Yes, the bills were getting paid, events were scheduled, holidays happened and life moved on.  What is different now is that Colleen and her family united as a team with health as a priority.  

If you are suffering from discomfort, consider acupucture. The White Lotus Acupuncture clinic offers free 20 minute consultations, so that our licensed acupuncturist can review your history and answer your questions. 

May the Best of Health be Yours,

Kathleen Fraser, L.Ac., Dipl. Ac., C.Ht.

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Congratulations!  By reading this blog, you are obviously interested in eating healthy and either losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight.  Many of my acupuncture and hypnosis patients are often confused about what to eat, how often to eat and in what portions of carbohydrates, fats and proteins.  Having been in the health field for over 20 years, I have heard it all.  Chinese medicine has the healthiest approach to eating well and for your body type.  It’s philosophy is that your body is 100% organic therefor it can effectively process food and drink that is 100% organic.  Yes you can ingest chemicals, processed food, rancid food, toxins and other materials, but your body will struggle to process it.  Over time, this struggle will create a sluggish digestion (the organs and internal tissues associated with digestion are becoming worn out with their attempt at processing the unnatural) AND will lower metabolism.  All calories, depending on their source organic or not organic, are not created equal because the body’s ability to process them are different.  By working with patients, I have discovered the following guidelines.   They are the first steps in creating the attitude and behaviors required for healthy eating and maintaining your normal weight: 

1. Never Overeat – the digestive system is elastic and it has a peristalsis effect (it massages the food down through the tissue and organs); when we habitually overeat, we compromise this system and this decreases our ability to breakdown food, absorb nutrients and pass waste.  Under these conditions, the body tends to store substances as fat instead of processing it.  The outcome of this may be low metabolism, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, acid reflux, belly fat, ulcers, yeast build up, diverticulitis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, pockets in the colon wall and other digestion related disorders.  After all that, is that 2nd helping really worth it?

2. Eat only organic food and drink.  I realize this may be impossible but do your best.  Your body was not meant to digest food all by itself.  You need enzymes from food to do this. Live food such as vegetables and fruits have enzymes that help in digestion.  Did you know that your favorite spices stimulate enzyme production in your mouth and gut?  Basil, oregano, thyme, and rosemary are just a few of the enzyme stimulating herbs with which you can spice it up!  Make sure your food/drink is fresh and it’s clean.

3. Eating is a Conscious Investment of your Time, Attention and Value System.  For some, this is a hard concept to accept because it is a change in lifestyle.  This means grocery shopping, cooking, sit down to eat, taking your time, and doing the dishes! Unless you are fortunate enough to have someone grocery shop, cook and clean for you.  This can be a major lifestyle change and you may want to do it in steps that create a gradual transition instead of one that creates so much change, you are setting yourself up for failure.

4.  You need good carbohydrates, good fats and good proteins in moderate portions.  I repeated good because hopefully by now, we all recognize there are good and bad forms of carbs, fats and proteins.  Loading up on one or the other, isn’t going to be good for your body.  To much protein hurts the kidneys, to many carbohydrates creates imbalance in the pancreas (secrets insulin), and to many fats will collect in your system unprocessed.  To little of any of these will cost you required nutrients and will imbalance your system as well. Your body can only absorb so much so moderate portions allow for optimum absorption. Check out the National Institute of Health’s web site at www.nih.gov  for additional information and scientific research on how your body digests food effectively and how imbalances in your diet adversely effect your body and your mind. 

6. Eat breakfast, lunch & dinner with a healthy snack mid-morning and mid-afternoon.  Living healthy requires one to prioritize eating well.  For some, skipping meals, eating quickly, or eating large meals that keep you full for hours may seem convenient but the health risks involved are not convenient.  Your body is always in a state of self-regulation.  Eating regularly and in small to moderate portions helps your body regulate your metabolism, energy levels, blood sugar levels and more.  

These are a few of the guidelines.  As I said before, eating healthy is a lifestyle that requires certain behaviors and the right attitude.  If you need help transitioning your thoughts and behaviors around food and drink,  give us a call.  We offer a free 20 minute consult that lets you know if we can help you achieve your goals towards better health.

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