Now that you are pregnant . . .
Acupuncture, Chinese medicine and Chinese herbs can assist and support you throughout your pregnancy.
The beginning of your pregnancy is when a healthy foundation for pregnancy is laid by diverting resources to nourish and support the rapid growth of the foetus. During the first trimester, treatments are given to support your pregnancy, prevent miscarriage, and to resolve any early pregnancy symptoms like nausea, morning sickness and fatigue, to name a few. The use of acupuncture, Chinese herbs and/or massage can assist in the management of your discomfort during this stage.
The second trimester is the time you are able to enjoy pregnancy and pamper yourself. Pregnancy massages are ideal during this period. When the mother is calm and relaxed, the whole pregnancy is more likely to proceed smoothly. However, some women may continue to have morning sickness or other issues during their second trimester; in these cases, your Chinese medicine practitioner can work with you to develop a treatment programme to support you and your foetus, and to ease your symptoms.
The third trimester of pregnancy is a time when some expecting mothers may experience fatigue, lower back and hip pain, heaviness in the legs, trouble sleeping, reflux or heartburn. As the growing foetus now is filling the pelvic cavity, the increased weight tends to place more pressure on the mother and internal organs. Acupuncture is effective in the treatment and management of pain, and is used in managing other symptoms you may feel such as reflux, constipation, sleep disturbances and restlessness, to mention a few.
As you approach your due date, from 36 weeks onward, regular acupuncture treatments are recommended to help the mother prepare her body and the foetus for labour by increasing energy and boosting stamina. Acupuncture treatment and moxibustion are also able to turn a breech position or posterior position foetus. The use of acupuncture induction treatments can help to trigger the hormonal cascade that precedes the process of natural child-birth. In doing this, acupuncture can lower the rates of caesarian-sections, reduce the use of pain medications and shorten the duration of labour.
TOXOPLASMOSIS- Attention Pregnant Cat Lovers!
Toxoplasmosis is caused by a parasite that is spread via faecal matter of cats and is passed to the foetus via the placenta. It may cause brain damage, vision and/or hearing impairment or accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain. These signs or symptoms don’t necessarily appear at birth but may develop during later months. For this reason, all pregnant women are advised not to clean the kitty litter tray.
Treatment of Menopause with Traditional Chinese Medicine
Menopause is a natural process in a woman’s life when her body evolves from reproductive to non-reproductive. For some women, this hormonal transition involves symptoms that cause significant discomfort in their daily lives (eg. hot flushes, palpitations, increased sweating, dry mouth, mood swings, dizziness, difficulty sleeping through the night, vaginal dryness, and increased urination)
In Chinese Medicine, these symptoms associated with menopause are primarily caused by the natural decline of the Original Qi we are born with, plus an imbalance of the Yin fluids and the Yang Fire. Symptoms can vary in intensity for different women. Lifestyle and dietary habits can affect the menopausal symptoms experienced.
Some common causes of Yin fluids deficiency are emotional stress (like worry, anxiety and fear) plus working long hours (which often includes inadequate rest and irregular eating habits). Over time, these practices will deplete the Yin fluids leading to deficiency. When the calming, moistening and cooling aspect of the Yin fluids are deficient, the Yin can no longer restrain the uprising, warming and drying aspects of the Yang fire.
The treatment of menopause with Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture helps to nourish and replenish the Yin fluids, and to clear heat from the body. The underlying disparity is gently but effectively cleared, which restores the Yin/Yang balance, and thereby reduces menopausal symptoms.
The following diet and lifestyle changes will assist in managing menopausal discomfort:-
- Reducing heating foods: red meats, dairy products, alcohol, sugar, spicy foods and caffeine.
- Increasing cooling and fluid nourishing foods: wheat germ, mung bean and mung bean sprouts, string bean, seaweed, spirulina, millet, black beans, kidney beans, barley and black sesame seeds.
- Reducing stress and anxiety can also play a part in controlling symptoms, and cigarette smoke should be avoided due to its drying nature that can damage the body’s Yin fluids.
By uniquely treating each woman according to her specific symptoms, the combination of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine, plus lifestyle and dietary advice can be used to effectively amend the underlying imbalance and reduce the discomfort of menopause.
Shingles is a condition that Traditional Chinese Medicine can successfully treat.
This painful condition can be extremely debilitating, and manifests in many different ways depending on the person. It can lie dormant in the body for years and flare up when you are run down or under significant stress (always an inconvenient time to be ill).
Acupuncture and massage can speed up recovery time by boosting the immune system, and the exciting thing is that treatment can actually help your body eliminate the toxins that provoke it.
Sue was in her early 40’s and under significant stress at work. She saw us regularly for back pain, and came in one day with these painful lesions on her buttocks caused by an outbreak of shingles. Anti-virals weren’t helping much and her doctor had warned her that they could take months to heal, and would probably return. After 6 sessions of weekly acupuncture and massage, the lesions had healed, her shingles had passed, and her immune system was much stronger.
You might assume that you need to see a chiropractor to straighten your spine, but this is not necessarily true with Traditional Chinese Medicine. Acupuncture can stimulate or relax the muscles, and re-balance the flow of Qi energy.
Client Story: Angie and her husband are a regular clinic clients because they understand the importance of maintaining their health. The photo on the right was taken just after they returned from a month’s holiday overseas. With all the air-travel and walking her spine had twisted with acute and uncomfortable spasms. After one simple acupuncture session you can see the difference in the photo below! And she felt like a new woman.
Don’t laugh! Hiccups are no joke.
A hiccup occurs when the diaphragm involuntarily spasms. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine a hiccup can be caused by various disharmonies within the body, which cause different hiccup types, such as slow and forceful, or loud, clear and strong, or low tone, weak and intermittent. Continuous hard to stop hiccups may be associated with Qi energy stagnation and can be brought on by an emotional upset, anxiety or stress.
Mike came to see us with acute and violent hiccups (probably stress-induced). The attack had been going on for 10 days and his doctor had prescribed anti-epileptic drugs as the only possible solution. When Mike walked in he was hiccupping about 14 times per minute. After the first acupuncture session (targeting the relevant points) there was only a slight improvement (down to 10 times per minute). However, the following day he came in for a second treatment and the hiccups stopped… for about 5 hours. On day 3, Mike returned for a third treatment and all hiccupping completely stopped during the treatment and never came back.
Chinese herbal medicine formulas can also be useful for treating this disorder.