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Self-Care: Why It Must Be the #1 Mindshift in Your Fertility Journey

Jun 27, 2019

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...

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Basal Body Temperature: an Acupuncturist Guide

Jun 08, 2019

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.

Importance of Basal Body Temperature

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...

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Nourishing the Body Post Period

Apr 12, 2019
 

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.

So what is Yin anyway?

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...

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5 Secrets to a Pain Free Period

Feb 18, 2019

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

Avoid cold (temperature or raw) foods or drinks about a week before your period!!!

What I mean is, let your lunch warm up on the counter or put some warm...

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An Acupuncturist's Guide to Spring

Jan 01, 2019

Spring has finally arrived and I could not be more excited! But, wait. Why am I irritated? Having digestive issues? Catching a spring cold?

Hmmmm.

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...

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Boosting Fertility with Matcha

Jan 01, 2019

I admit that I am late to the party but, MATCHA?!

There are so many health benefits to super beverage. One of the reasons it is superior to ordinary green tea is that matcha is the whole tea leaf ground into a powder. The fact that it is the entire leaf means it has a higher concentration of EGCG, which is a powerful antioxidant.

This makes matcha an especially wise option for women trying to conceive because it reduces the formation of free radicals because of the catechins (like EGCG) it contains and, as a result, helps to protect the DNA of our cells which means it is protecting egg supply.

It has also been stated that green tea may be effective in reducing sperm abnormalities so it is a great choice for men who are trying to improve their fertility as well. Not to mention it still has some caffeine (about 25-50% less caffeine than coffee or espresso) which makes it a nice substitute for those who can't live without their daily dose. According to Mayo Clinic, caffeine intake...

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Ashitaba Tea

Jan 01, 2019

Celery juice- everyone is all hyped up about it…

In Chinese medicine, we use celery leaves as a food therapy to help lower blood pressure, but it’s really a pretty mild herb overall and does have slight health benefits.

Here at Acupuncture in Del Ray, we have patients sauté the leaves in sesame oil and eat them daily. It’s also a delicious and crunchy snack with very few calories. Throw on some nut butter and it’s a great pick me up. I agree with the experts, there really aren’t huge health benefits to this plant that folks are claiming. Also, juicing it removes fiber and makes it really hard to digest if you have a weak or overworked digestive system.

But it really got me thinking-thanks to my dear friend Katie for asking this question…

So as I sat thinking about celery leaves because really that’s where all the nutrients really are located and it reminded me of another plant---ASHITABA leaves. What???! The Latin translation means...

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Helpful Tips for a Healthy (and Cool) Summer!

Jan 01, 2019

As we enter the hottest months of the year, something that tends to be at the forefront of the mind is how to keep cool.

Obviously, we want to enjoy these warm months of abundant sunshine, but we need to make a conscious effort to stay hydrated and healthy so we aren’t quick to succumb to Fall and Winter illness. One thing I recommend to patients is easy to incorporate, as we all need to eat- food therapy.

Even Hippocrates was aware of diet’s importance in healthy living: “Let thy food be thy medicine, and thy medicine be thy food”. Proper nutritional intake combined with lifestyle recommendations will keep you and your family on the right track for a happy and healthy summer.

Not surprisingly, in Chinese medicine, summertime is governed by the element of Fire (and its associated organs: the Heart, Pericardium, Small Intestine, and Triple Burner). We learn that because of this, the Fire energy is abundant in the summertime. Therefore, it is recommended that...

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Dive into this Udon Noodle Dish, Nourishing to the Last Drop!

Jan 01, 2019

Every food has a color, quality and an organ that it helps support. This dish is a simple example of how to nourish yourself with delicious flavors. It combines miso, asparagus, organic eggs, udon noodles, tofu, mushrooms flavored with seaweed, sesame seeds and orange peel.

Miso

A delicious fermented paste from soybeans. It comes in white, brown and red. Different colors are used at different times of year. In spring and summer we use white miso as it is lighter in color.

Tofu

Also from soybeans and they are both cooling in nature. Though soy is an incomplete protein, having it on occasion is alright. If you have a thyroid condition, please make sure not to consume too much in your daily menu.


Asparagus

Is slightly neutral/bitter and is good to strengthen the spleen and drain dampness.

Organic eggs

Support the kidneys which are the power house of the body: in charge of the endocrine function, bones, knees and back as well as the brain. Ultimately, fertility is supported by the...

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Summer Essential Oil Blends

Jan 01, 2019

Since summer is here in full force there are specific seasonal trends that we see frequently in the clinic. Heart, Small Intestine, Pericardium and San Jiao (3 jiaos being chest, digestion, and lower abdomen & the movement of the energy between them.) are the organs of summer.

Fire is the element of summer- naturally, and its nature is to rise up and out ie, which creates symptoms in the mind, head, chest, and the tongue which is the sprout of the heart and saliva is the fluid of the heart. Think about-dry mouth and excess thirst, headaches, anxiety, and restlessness at night.

Because the olfactory nerve directly enters the brain, it is one of the best ways to support the body through essential oils.

Using Essential Oils

Essential oils can be used in a number of ways- diffuse into the air, directly on the skin, for massage, and internally. My favorite usage is adding the oils to a carrier oil like sesame, coconut or jojoba. Applied topically applied directly to select...

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