Category Archives: Acupuncture

How Acupuncture Can Heal Your Broken Heart


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Ah…Valentine’s Day. It’s a very special day to honour the people you love today. Hopefully, you have been doing your best to do this each and everyday! For some, it may also be a very difficult day that brings painful memories to the surface. If you have suffered a significant loss or breakup, a day like today seems like a pretty good one to avoid. Which is totally acceptable and understandable. A broken heart is a very difficult thing to take care of. But what do you do when you’re ready to move forward and learn to love with an open heart again?

I’m generally a pretty content person. There have been a few times that have really brought me into a period of deep-seated sadness. The loss of my father after battling crazy cancer is one of them. Realizing that you have lost someone who has been a constant in your life is an indescribable feeling. While the initial raw feelings will eventually transform into a more “refined” sense of loss, they leave an indelible print…one that can eventually strengthen or uproot you. These periods of loss and change are times when support from family, friends and your health team are very much in order. For those who have a hard time expressing their emotions verbally with a counsellor and/or friend, Chinese medicine and acupuncture can be very helpful to release you from the incredible sadness that is weighing you down.

Acupuncture serves to unblock stuck energy in the pathways of the body, also known as “meridians”, that are closely connected to the nervous system, immune system, and circulatory system. By using specific points along the affected channels, the body responds by physically relaxing tight, contracted muscles, increasing blood flow to the local and adjacent areas, warming up the torso, limbs and extremities, and calming the mind. The little pins that are inserted are hair-fine in thickness and glide smoothly under the skin. Most people experience an initial mosquito bite sensation followed by a warm / cool tingling sensation around the points. The complete state of deep relaxation that follows is something that not only offers immediate physical and emotional relief, but can help reset long-standing holding patterns and behaviour.

When someone suffers from a broken heart, there may be accompanying symptoms of shock, fear, anxiety, insomnia, poor appetite, low energy, and long-standing grief. Acupuncture can help you address these concerns as well.

In Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), it is said that the Heart (心, pinyin: xīn) is the “Monarch” of all the other organ systems and the whole body. It governs the blood and vessels and stores the Shen (mind). Without the heart, the brain could not function. When the heart is working properly, there is a brightness in the eyes, a sharp memory with a clear and open mind, and a joyful heart. When you look at someone with healthy Shen there is a general feeling of the whole body and spirit being vibrant, healthy and happy. This person radiates such energy and spirit that it is hard to resist them!

Whatever your association with February 14th, let it at least serve as a reminder to take the time to really nurture and care for yourself, whether it be with acupuncture, meditation, prayer, exercise, a nourishing meal, a walk with a friend, a hug from someone you love, or all of the above. After all, you have been gifted with this body and soul that makes you unique. There is no one else like you! So take the time to figure out what you need to help create the best, happiest version of YOU that you can send out into the world.

Natural PMS Cures: Part II


In my last post, I addressed the Top Ten Ways To Relieve PMS Symptoms Naturally

Dr. Mark Hyman, also addresses some of the points I listed and why they affect our monthly cycles in his article in the Huffington Post titled, Eliminate Suffering From PMS in Five Simple Steps

Dr. Christiane Northrup also has some excellent tips accompanied by footnoted research articles to back up her claims on natural relief strategies for Premenstrual Syndrome

She also is a proponent of acupuncture for PMS relief and offers dietary recommendations for PMS which also relate to menstrual cramps and pelvic pain here

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Acupuncture for Delayed and Slow Labour: A Conversation Between a Midwife and an Acupuncturist


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One of my close friends, who happens to be a midwife was commenting the other day whether all the techniques women try to bring on labour truly make a difference, or whether their labour would normally happen without all the ‘extras’ (e.g. acupuncture, massage, eating certain types of foods, doing specific types of exercises, having a cervical sweep done, etc.). She was also concerned that some women try to do too much before their body is truly ready to deliver. I agreed with her on this point.

In Chinese medicine, we do not give treatments for labour until the woman is due or past her due date as promoting an earlier birth does not necessarily provide any real benefit to mother and child and can in some cases cause more problems. We can however, prepare the body several weeks before a woman’s due date to encourage cervical ripening and ensure a smoother delivery. I mentioned that while it is true that a woman will in most cases go into labour without any intervention or additional procedures, the actual experience of labour can be quite different depending on what you do to prepare your body for it. The analogy I used was that of a person who has slow moving bowels. While it is true that someone who is constipated will eventually pass their stools (due to the nature of gravity!), it will most likely be quite painful and uncomfortable if no remedy is taken to soften the stool and help it move through the intestines more efficiently. Similarly, for some women, labour can sometimes be frought with stops and starts, slow movement and (dare I say it…pain!).

Treatments such as acupuncture are ideal for delayed and slow labours since it can help relax the mother, and initiate a proper physiological response in the body for labour to begin and continue towards a safe, natural and healthy birth. And while very few women can honestly say their labours are pain-free, acupuncture might just be the needed treatment ‘extra’ that sets the ball rolling and helps take the edge off of labour!

For more information on how acupuncture and Chinese medicine can be used to treat pregnancy, labour and beyond, please visit my practice site at: http://www.acupao.com

 

Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine for Postpartum Recovery


The following are just some of the many conditions that acupuncture, moxibustion and Chinese Medicine can be used for treating women postpartum:

Immediately following natural labour or Caesarean section:
-Pain due to episiotomy and/or tearing of perineum, surgical scarring after C-section, spinal headache, coccyx pain due to injured/broken tailbone (Note: acupuncture and Chinese Medicine can be safely used with pain medication in many cases and also to help reduce dependency on pain meds. Please consult a qualified health professional with experience in this)
-Hemorrhoids
-Blocked ducts in breast, breast engorgement, mastitis
-Insufficient lactation
-Incontinence of urine or feces
-Constipation
-Postpartum cramping (after pains)
-Prolapse of uterus
-Postpartum anxiety, depression
-Carpal tunnel syndrome

The sooner the conditions are addressed, the better. However, good results can still be achieved when treated for the first time several weeks postpartum and well into the first year post partum.

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Acupuncture Awareness Week February 27-March 04, 2012


Acupuncture Awareness Week February 27-March 04, 2012

“The first ever Acupuncture Awareness Week in the UK, supported by the British Acupuncture Council, aims to dispel the myths surrounding acupuncture, what conditions it can help and give members of the public/you all the information you need about treatment.

If you have a burning question about acupuncture you will find here a host of independent expert advice and answers including: Ask the Experts and video testimonials” – Acupuncture Awareness Week website