Why More Than Acupuncture In Needed for Increased Fertility
Acupuncture and Chinese herbs can help regulate your hormones and support increased fertility outcomes, but these therapies must include healthy lifestyle choices. One of the most important lifestyle choices you can make is to reduce endocrine disruptors in your household and personal care products.
The video above was created by the Environmental Working Group–you may remember them because they put together the fantastic resource for us called the “Dirty Dozen” and the “Clean 15,” a shoppers guide to pesticides in produce.
What the Science Says:
Endocrine disuptors interfere with the body’s endocrine system by producing adverse developmental, reproductive (especially if you have been diagnosed with PCOS), neurological, and immune effects in humans, abnormal growth patterns and neurodevelopmental delays in children.
Here is the research (click on the highlighted links) showing the potential harm endocrine disruptors are creating in our health. These scientific studies strongly correlate endocrine disruptors with the rise in infertility in males, and infertility in females, cancer, and neurological disorders, to name a few.
Here are 12 of the worst hormone disruptors. Click on this pdf file to find out how they do their dirty deeds, and for some tips on how to avoid them. Here is the quick reference list of the endocrine disruptors we all need to avoid:
- PHTHALATES PERCHLORATE
- FIRE RETARDANTS
- PERFLUORINATED CHEMICALS
- GLYCOL ETHERS
3 Things Can We Do:
Is there anything we can do to help protect ourselves, our children, and our loved ones? YES! The first and most important step we can take is to inform ourselves, but here are a few more steps to empower you to take action.
- Read the research articles on the links above, and watch the video above too.
- Clean out your toxic household cleaning products, including your personal beauty products.
- Buy only safe, non-toxic natural products and avoid the toxic ones. Click here, or on the link above.
Yours In Good Health~
Congratulations, your new baby has arrived! The days, weeks, and months following the birth of your new bundle of love can be both exciting and joyful. It is also a delicate, and perhaps difficult, time for any new parent. In addition to adjusting to a new heartbeat and member of your family, there is also much postpartum recovery needed for you, the new mama. All of this adds up to a challenging time!
Chinese medicine actually views the postpartum period as the “fourth trimester,” a unique opportunity to restore and rebalance the health and hormones of the mother. In light of this, here are some tips to give you the support you need.
Help During Your Postpartum Recovery
Armed with evidence-based information and a healthy dose of Chinese medicine, new parents can have a quick recovery and a satisfying postpartum period. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs can be really helpful for women recovering after childbirth. We support mothers at Lotus Leaf Acupuncture & Wellness Center during the postpartum period for a wide range of conditions such as:
- lactation insufficiency
- postpartum depression (PPD)
- urine retention
- c-section recovery
- emotional overwhelm & stress
Postpartum Nutritional Support
A congee is traditional Chinese medicinal porridge made from rice. It is seen as a powerful therapeutic food for strengthening digestion, boosting energy and aiding in the recovery from illness.
A basic congee can be made from using ½ cup of rice to 3 cups of liquid.
This liquid can be water for a very plain congee, milk or nut milks (rice milk or almond milk) for a sweet rice pudding type of congee, or you can use vegetable or chicken stock for a savory congee. You may also prefer to use a ½ water ½ milk/stock mixture depending on your taste preferences.
- The amount of liquid you use will determine the thickness of the porridge, which can be thick like oat porridge or watery like a soup, simply adjust the amount of liquid depending on your preference.
- White rice is usually the grain used in China, however brown rice can be used to give a savory tasting congee.
- For a fast cook: Place all ingredients in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or a Dutch oven and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook at a lively simmer, stirring occasionally, until the rice has completely broken down and the mixture is creamy, about 1 hour.
- For the traditional slow cook (my personal preference) use a crock pot and cook overnight, about 8 hours on low heat. You will need to make sure you have enough liquid for this.
- For postpartum support I like to add Gou Qi Zi (Chinese Wolfberry Fruit/Lycium berries) and Da Zao (dates) to nourish Blood, strengthen digestion, and improve energy.
- Eat and enjoy~
Motherwarming for Postpartum Care
This is one of my favorite self-care treatments that can be done in the comfort of your own home. You can read about it here. For now, I will say it has also been one of the most frequently used recovery methods in China applied to the postpartum mother for centuries. Simply apply moxa to your lower belly for 5 -15 minutes a day and receive the benefits of:
- helping the organs of the abdomen recover after pregnancy
- increasing breast milk supply
- healing scars from cesarean sections
- decreasing abdominal pain after birth
- providing the mother with increased feelings of well-being, stamina and strength
Research: Acupuncture for Postpartum Recovery
The Lotus Effect
Have you ever seen a lotus leaf after a rainstorm? Often it will look like jewels of water are resting on the leaves. These “jewels”, or droplets of water, pick-up particles of dirt as they roll over the surface of the leaf, cleansing the leaf so that it can maintain its powerful process of photosynthesis, converting the sunlight into the energy it needs to thrive.
This is known as the Lotus Effect, and is how we envision our work with our patients, helping each person to turn obstacles into opportunities and nourish their destiny.
“I have noticed that people are dealing too much with the negative, with what is wrong. They do not touch enough on what is not wrong. . . . Why not try the other way, to look into the patient and to see positive things, to just touch those things and make them bloom?” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
Lotus Leaf Acupuncture & Wellness Center
909 Harris Ave., Suite 202A,
Bellingham, WA 98225
We humbly acknowledge we are gathered upon and occupy the ancestral and treaty lands of the Coast Salish People. This land has shown us the gift of community, connection, and reverence. May we continue to seek guidance from the elders and land-keepers who have been nurturing the biodiversity of this region for countless generations. We thank them for their stewardship of this land. We hope to be good guests.