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Mountain West Wellness Health Tips, Issue #028
April 01, 2015
April or it is known in our clinic - stress month - is here. We want to keep our newsletter a little short this month. First we want to let you know that we are having a special this month. For only $25 you can come in and get an Acugraph Electronic Meridian Evaluation and a stress relief acupuncture treatment. To learn for about Acugraph click here. This offer is for everyone - new, old, and current patients are all welcome to take advantage of this. We also have a couple of great little articles about irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and acupuncture for fertility. Enjoy the issue.
$25 Acugraph Evaluation and Stress TreatmentIf your April is filled with too much stress and you are having trouble with your digestion, sleep, mood, or muscle and shoulder pain try coming in for the Acugraph electronic meridian evaluation and a stress acupuncture treatment. It is only $25. Just call and schedule it anytime this month.
Acupuncture and FertilityInfertility is an all-too-common problem among couples looking to conceive. According to Resolve, the National Infertility Association, approximately 1 in 8 couples struggle to get and stay pregnant. Couples in this scenario often resort to spending tens of thousands of dollars on expensive fertility medicine and treatment that yields no tangible results. However, a more effective solution may come from the ancient practice of acupuncture. What Is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a form of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that involves the placement of thin needles in specific points of the body. While the exact methods have evolved since the practice was first used during the Shang Dynasty (1600–1100 BCE), the underlying principle remains the same: to stimulate the body's life force (Qi) by correcting blockages.
Acupuncture is often used in conjunction with other forms of TCM such as moxibustion and cupping. Incorporating these practices into acupuncture strengthen its ability to stimulate the body.
The human body contains a total of 12 meridians through which Qi flows. Normally, it travels through these meridians unrestricted. There are times, however, when a blockage prevents Qi from flowing, at which point it grows stagnant and begins to adversely affect our organs and vital systems. Traditional Chinese Medicine is based on the belief that restoring the body's Qi can alleviate various symptoms and diseases.
How Acupuncture Can Help Couples Conceive
So, can acupuncture increase your chances of conceiving? It really depends on what exactly is causing your infertility. However, acupuncture – when performed by a licensed acupuncturist – can restore your body's life force and potentially correct problems associated with infertility.
Fertility clinic researchers recently performed a study to determine the effectiveness of acupuncture as a fertility treatment. 160 patients who were undergoing assisted reproduction therapy were split into two groups: one group received embryo transfer with acupuncture, while the second group received embryo transfer without acupuncture. Of the 80 patients in group one who received acupuncture, 34 became pregnant (42.5%). In the second group, just 21 patients became pregnant (26.3%).
This is just one of many studies attesting to the power of acupuncture for couples looking to conceive. If you're struggling to become pregnant, schedule an appointment with a licensed acupuncturist to see if it works for you. Who knows, this centuries-old practice could be the missing element to your new family.
Give me a call today to learn how you can get back on track to better health!
5 Ways to Boost Your Fertility#1) Manage Your Weight
Being either underweight or overweight can significantly reduce your chances of getting pregnant. One study involving the analysis of 2,112 female participants found that women with a body mass index (BMI) of 25-39 required twice the length of time to become pregnant as women with a healthy BMI of less than 19.
#2) Eat More Liver
Some people might turn their head at the thought of eating liver, but it's actually a delicious dish that can prove helpful in boosting your fertility. In fact, a report published by the Weston A. Price Foundation found liver to contain more nutrients, gram for gram, than any other food. Whether it's beef or chicken, liver contains vitamin A, vitamin B, protein, folic acid, iron, purines (precursors for DNA) and more.
#3) Eat More Seafood
Seafood – fish, oysters, clams, mussels, lobster, crabs, etc. – are an excellent food for boosting your fertility. They contain large amounts of zinc, iron, selenium, vitamin A, vitamin D, omega fatty acids (the good type of fat), and other essential nutrients, many of which are directly linked to the body's reproductive system. When choosing seafood, however, it's recommended that you opt for smaller-sized fish to minimize your consumption of mercury. Because of its large size, tuna carries a heavy dose of the toxic chemical mercury, and therefore should be consumed sparingly.
You might be surprised to learn that acupuncture can improve your chances of conceiving. Back in 2002, a team of German researchers performed a study to determine the effects of acupuncture on fertility. Researchers split 160 women who were trying to conceive into two groups: one group received acupuncture, while the second group did not it. They concluded that 42% of the women who received acupuncture got pregnant, whereas only 26% of the control group got pregnant. Does this mean acupuncture will guarantee a pregnancy? Not necessarily, but this form of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is proven to help couples conceive in less time.
#5) Cut Back on Processed Foods
Many women who struggle to conceive eat far too many processed foods. While a fast food burger and fries may seem appetizing, it forces heavy amounts of saturated fat, sodium and even sugar into your body while offering little-to-no real nutritional value. Fertility experts say women should focus on a more natural diet if they want to conceive.
Give me a call today to learn how you can get on track to better health.
Acupuncture and Irritable Bowel SyndromeDo you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)? According to the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD), an estimated 25-45 million people in the United States have IBS (source). This all-too-common disease is characterized by chronic stomach pain, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, excess gas, and irregular bowel movements. While there's no known cure for IBS, however, acupuncture may offer relief.
A recent study conducted by researchers in the U.K. found acupuncture to offer relief of IBS symptoms. For the study, researchers split 233 IBS patients into two groups, one of which receive acupuncture plus the usual care, while the second group strictly received the usual care.
"Acupuncture for irritable bowel syndrome provided an additional benefit over usual care alone. The magnitude of the effect was sustained over the longer term. Acupuncture should be considered as a treatment option to be offered in primary care alongside other evidenced based treatments," wrote researchers in the study's conclusion.
So, how is this Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) able to treat IBS? Traditional Chinese belief states that our bodies have an active energy force (Qi) which connects our organs and vital systems. Normally, Qi flows without obstruction, traveling along defined paths known as the meridian system. When a blockage occurs within the body, blood becomes stagnant and systems are vulnerable to disease and illness, which is where acupuncture comes into play.
Acupuncture involves the placement of thin needles in specific areas of the body, rightfully known as acupuncture points. While the exact number of acupuncture points has fluctuated over the years, TCM practitioners give the ballpark figure of roughly 2,000, all of which are spread across 12 major meridians and 8 secondary meridians. The primary function of acupuncture is to restore Qi by correcting blockages in the meridians. When Qi begins to flow, diseases and health conditions such as IBS correct themselves.
Will acupuncture cure your IBS? There's no enough evidence to definitively say that it's a cure for IBS. However, numerous studies, including the one cited above, attest to the healing power of acupuncture. Whether you experience minor or severe symptoms as a result of IBS, you should consider seeking acupuncture. It's a safe, painless and highly effective way to treat a wide variety of diseases, only of which is Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Foods to avoid for IBSIrritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a condition that's digestive condition characterized by chronic stomach pain, bloating, irregular bowel movements, diarrhea and/or constipation. It's estimated that upwards of 15% of the United States population suffers from IBS, many of whom do not even realize it. While there's no known cure for IBS, individuals can prevent symptoms from occurring by avoiding the consumption of certain foods.
Although they are loaded in beneficial nutrients like vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin B6, folate, manganese and fiber, Brussels sprouts should be avoided by people with IBS. This fun-sized vegetable can worsen the symptoms of IBS by promoting excess gas and abdominal pain. While each and every case of IBS is unique, most people report adverse symptoms after consuming Brussels sprouts.
Another food that you should avoid is broccoli. This crunchy, stalky vegetable is high in fiber and it promotes gas – two elements that can worsen IBS symptoms. It's important to note, however, that cooking broccoli may eliminate some or all of its negative effects. So if raw, uncooked broccoli triggers a bout of IBS, try steaming or sautéing it. Doing so may allow you to reap the nutritional benefits of this vegetable without irritating your digestive system.
The truth is that any high-fiber vegetable may cause digestive issues in people with IBS, so don't assume that broccoli and Brussels sprouts are the only culprits.
You may want to think twice before eating a milk-filled bowl of cereal for breakfast in the morning, as it can worsen IBS symptoms. Normally, the small intestines do a pretty good job at breaking down lactose. If there's no enough enzymes to perform this operation, however, some of it will travel to the large intestines where the it's fermented. Not only will this cause gas, but it can also cause bloating, cramps, spasms and diarrhea.
It should come as no surprise that beans is on our list of foods for IBS sufferers to avoid. Beans (legumes) contain a special type of sugar known as oligosaccharide, which the body is unable to break down. Since they aren't broken down in the same manner as other sugars, oligosaccharides pass through the small and large intestines, at which point bacteria converts them to gas.
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