It's that time of the year again, Friends. Whether we are students or not, I think that a lot of people still think of fall as the beginning of the year in a way...a time to get back to business after the loosy-goosiness of the summer. It is also a time when many fruits, vegetables, and grains are harvested. This time beginning in mid-August and ending in mid-to September is considered one of the five seasons in Chinese Medicine.
To most of us, especially those living in hot sticky climates like DC, this time also
coincides with the “dog days of summer.” The dog days used to occur more around July and the beginning of August but now it seems like they stretch all of the ways into the beginning of September.
Self-care is more important than ever because, with our ever-changing climate, we need to make sure that we are transitioning gracefully from one season to the next sometimes with some modifications.
Do you know what the largest organ in your body is?
What have you put on your skin today? Have you ever really thought about that, everything that touches you or your skin all day. Even things that you didn’t plan on touching your skin.
Household cleaners, pesticides, and fertilizers on your plants, cosmetics, soaps, paints and everything else that you probably don’t realize touches you every single day.
Most people don’t think twice about the things that touch them every day. That’s what our skin is for right? To protect our sensitive inner tissues from the outside world. But while skin is great at blocking bacteria and viruses from entering your body, it soaks in a lot of other things as well. Especially when we touch or put them on our skin repeatedly.
Grab a piece of paper right now. And write down everything that has touched your skin today. What makeup did you put on today? Fragrance? What did you clean with today?
Essential oils are amazing at supporting our bodies naturally. They work with our bodies to maintain wellness and help tip the scales back when our bodies are out of whack. Essential oils can uplift your mood and support you through the rough emotions of the day.
There are two main ways to use essential oils in everyday life; by diffusing or applying topically. For on the go and everyday applications, I prefer using roller bottles and applying the diluted oils directly to my skin. At the end of this post, I’ll share one of my favorite roller blends to use to help through the emotions of your trying to conceive journey and to balance hormones.
Stress can make your hormones go crazy. Adding in a few essential oils that lower your stress levels are key to helping your body find more balance. It also helps support getting a good night's sleep to help your body.
Geranium works with your adrenal...
I ask myself these questions often; What are my triggers? Where is stress showing up in my body? What can I do at this moment to stop the cycle of stressing out even more?
Because ladies, your stress tells us a lot about what’s happening inside your body. Sometimes it is very subtle and other times it is so big and awful, you cannot ignore it! It’s a clear cry for help and for a re-examination of your daily life.
For me, it’s not having healthy boundaries with others, not communicating my own needs and skipping self-care. Wow, that’s pretty clear now but I can tell you, it’s been a long road with lots of lessons and many of them variations on the same pattern. I do too much with too little in my tank. When this happens, I don’t exercise enough, my body gets tense and...
The number one thing that I see in my patients who are trying to conceive is that they are in a sense at odds with their body and the fact that they don't have control over their hormones, how they feel or the timeline they place on their journey.
It's hard watching your friends, relatives and practically everyone around you have to ease at conceiving-it feels like everyone has an easier journey than yourself. But I think that deep down, we all feel that it's hard, unknown and that our bodies aren't on our side.
I know, from my own experience and listening to countless women what the struggle is real and very, very lonely.
And I also know what works for my patients is to listen to their own truth. Really listen and slow down and notice all the amazing things that are happening inside of you. Hormones shifting, follicles growing to the right size released at just the right time. It's precise. It's complicated, to say the least, and there are so many, many things that are in your...
Basal Body Temperature (BBT)
If you have started your fertility journey this is a term you may have heard of or be curious about or wondered if it is for you. There are many ways to track fertility throughout the month; BBT, ovulation predictor test kits, cervical mucus changes, Ava bracelets and more.
It can be a stressful thing to be asked for so early in the morning to reach out and grab a thermometer and take your temperature, note it and not move or pee or anything. But it’s a daily task that gives your provider so much information so please bear with me and let me explain why it so important.
For me, as an acupuncturist, the data from the BBT chart is the best because it shows us trends through all four phases of your cycle and in doing so, we can see what part of the cycle needs to be addressed the most and what changes have occurred over time. There are subtle patterns in your basal body temperature chart that we as...
Now that your period is over…
It is the ideal time to nourish yourself as your body is now preparing a new follicle for your next cycle. Specifically, we need to boost yin during your follicular phase from cycle day 3 to ovulation, which is ideally between cycle day 13 and 15.
Well, It’s probably a term that you’ve heard before in close correlation with Yang. In Chinese medicine, Yin is the physical substance of the body and Yang is the physiological function. For example, Yang moves the blood through the heart which is Yin and causes the contraction of the muscle.
More importantly, Yin is the general term to include all bodily fluids including blood. And for those of you working on a cycle with Intra-Uterine Insemination (IUI) or In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) or trigger shots this is even more important for you as your body maybe trying to mature multiple follicles at once. This is a big job and we need to honor our bodies and support...
As a fertility acupuncturist, and as an adolescent who suffered from painful periods, I can tell you that they don’t have to be painful, all-consuming or something to dread. Periods can be just a time of the month. Really! Isn’t that so exciting??
I for one, have been working towards helping my clients reach this life-changing experience. Our bodies are amazing and the pattern of hormones, changes in our physiology can, with little adjustments, be more comfortable. Of course, reducing pain and discomfort is important but really, it’s just the tip of the iceberg. The real magic happens when we look at the whole body and start to heal so that the body can transition from having a period, releasing a follicle to building up the lining again without stagnation or blockages.
Okay so here is the first BIG on
What I mean is, let your lunch warm up on the counter or put some warm...
Spring has finally arrived and I could not be more excited! But, wait. Why am I irritated? Having digestive issues? Catching a spring cold?
Well, it's because even though spring is an awesome season replete with flowers, outdoor activities, and baby animals, it is still a season like any other. And, all seasons have the potential for causing disharmony in our bodies if we are not prepared.
In Chinese Medicine, every season is governed by one of the yin energetic organs and spring is governed by the Liver. Oh, the Liver. The thing about the Liver is that it is responsible for the free flow of Qi. If it is out of balance, which it has the potential to be during the spring, it can be quite the bully to the other organs. The Liver will overact on other organs like the Spleen and Stomach, which govern digestion, causing issues like indigestion, bloating and constipation. The Liver is sensitive to stress, alcohol, and overeating which constrict Liver qi so it is fair to say that...
Do you have a headache right now? Perhaps you have been having trouble sleeping, or your stomach has been upset.
If these symptoms seem like a typical day to you, you may be chronically stressed. People deal with this stress in different ways. Some may overeat, drink more alcohol or stop exercising. Most people don’t make healthy choices when their bodies are stressed out.
However, to relieve the symptoms of stress, you have to take care of yourself. Exercising regularly and making an attempt to relax can reduce some of the tension. Sometimes, though, making time for socializing and hobbies still doesn’t seem to stop the headaches or stomach churning. Then it may be time to try some alternative methods of improving your physical health to help manage stress: acupuncture treatments and improved sleep health.
How Acupuncture Affects Stress
Although Chinese medicine has known the effects of acupuncture on stress for years, Western medicine has just begun to probe...