Protect Your Lungs During CA Fires

We are heartbroken for those who’s families or homes are affected by the California fires.

As wildfires continue to rage, residents may be dealing with smoke for days or even weeks. We have some self-care tips for surviving the poor air quality that seems to be becoming a more frequent phenomenon here in the Bay Area. Protecting yourself is particularly important for pregnant women, kids, elderly and those who suffer from asthma, allergies or cardiovascular disease.

  • Firstly, try to stay indoors and reduce physical activity to lower intake of air pollutants. During exercise we take increase air intake by 10-20 percent.

  • Use a particulate respirator to protect your lungs while outdoors. It should have the word “NIOSH” and either “N95” or “P100” printed on it. You have to change them out every day if possible, so get a few per person in your family.

  • Avoid using an open window to circulate air, instead use a central air unit if you’ve got one, as it contains a filter. An air purifier for your home is also a good idea. HEPA filter air cleaners range in price but you don’t have to spend a mint. Here is an in-depth review by Wirecutter of the best air purifiers.

  • Cultivate house plants that naturally purify the air, such as english ivy, peace lily and bamboo palm.

  • Drink peppermint, chamomile or turmeric tea.

  • Nourish your lungs and clear inflammation with a delicious pear and ginger decoction daily:

    Cut up one pear and a thumb sized piece of fresh ginger. Cover with water in a pot and simmer for 20 minutes. It should develop a thicker, more syrup-like consistency.

    Strain and drink liquid. Eat the pear as well if you’d like.

  • Incorporate stress relief by using a free meditation app such as Insight Timer

  • If you are having allergy or asthma flare up’s, consider getting acupuncture and a customized herbal formula to help.

Self-Care in Autumn- A Chinese Medicine Philosophy

One of the more distinct qualities of Chinese medicine that is truly profound is that we don’t differentiate between an individual’s physical health and their emotional and spiritual well-being. Instead, we see the individual as one whole human whose mind, body and spirit work interdependently, and that no part of this trio works in isolation. This means you can rest in your Chinese medicine practitioner’s care to support you through all aspects of your wellness.

For example, we will consider a connection to what might be going on emotionally for a patient who is manifesting physical pain, or investigate the imbalances of the physical body when there is emotional trauma. In essence, the body, the mind and the spirit have a symbiotic relationship and often mirror one another with symptoms that outwardly manifest.

Chinese medicine associates Autumn with the lungs and large intestine. So on the physical level, if you are someone with a history of digestive challenges, or if you tend to catch frequent colds, this is the ideal time to keep these two organs in check. (Reminder: Chinese medicine is extremely effective in keeping seasonal colds at bay and strengthening the digestive system!)

In terms of the lung and large intestine connection to the mind, both environmental toxins and irregular elimination affect our mental capacities. Put another way, “stuck” energy in the body (i.e., for the lungs = congestion, for the intestines = constipation) can hinder a sharp and focused mind, and block a mind that attracts clear, productive thoughts. Likewise, our mental state can be reflected in its influence on the freedom of the bowels and ease in breathing.

Letting go of the old so that the new can be born is also at the core of Chinese medicine’s connection to Autumn, often leaving us with feelings of sadness and sometimes even depression. These darker feelings are naturally tied to Autumn and I always encourage my patients to honor and respect them as they naturally arise, just as they would respect any other “parts” of themselves. If we don’t, we run the risk of suppressing these emotions to a deeper, stagnant space only to arise more aggressively at a later time. To honor these emotions by letting them come and go without resistance allows for the whole person to fully process and transition into the next phase of their life, much like we see in the natural transition between seasons.

In returning to the connection between the lungs and large intestine and emotional well-being, we can put this concept to work in two actionable ways.

  • Use the breath intentionally to receive newness, openness and opportunity on the in-breath, and let go of whatever you are struggling to hold onto on the out-breath.

  • Receive the foods you conscientiously choose to consume with gratitude for its nourishment of the whole body, then surrendering to what no longer serves your being through healthy elimination.

My Podcast Interview! And Notes on Autumn

Hello Friends,

I recently had the pleasure to be interviewed by #girlboss Katina Mountanos, creator of the podcast Challenging the Collective as well as her website On Adulting. We talked about my path to becoming an acupuncturist, how to know when to take leaps in life and the intersection of Chinese Medicine and functional medicine. Listen on iTunes here or on the website here.

Oh and speaking of leaps, it’s that time already.
Happy Autumn!! It is a season of transformation, witnessed by the changing colors in foliage, weather and a decided dryness everywhere. Chinese Medicine theory describes autumn as related to lungs and large intestine and the emotions of sadness as well as that of courage. Many of our patients have been more stressed than ever lately. Acupuncture shines in it's ability to support our nervous system- moving us out of "fight or flight" mode and into "rest and digest" mode. Find our more about how Chinese medicine works and how I came to the field of acupuncture in this podcast interview by Challenging the Collective.  Consider coming in for an acupuncture support to help you adapt to the seasonal change and feel your best. Book online here or give us a call at 415-255-2252.

Warmly,

Christine

Longevity, Jing, and the Reproductive Clock

An advanced Chinese medicine practitioner will try to suss out where you’re leaking your Jing and try to patch the cracks in order to protect your vitality and prevent premature aging. Jing is often translated as “essence” and is an inherited substance that was gifted to you by your parents and declines as you age. There is an association with what we think of Jing and our DNA in modern medicine. Jing is also closely related to our reproductive abilities. We protect and replenish Jing to improve oocyte and sperm quality. Therefore, if you’re interested in protecting your fertility as your age, take interest in protecting your Jing.  

Jing is the most difficult substance for our body to replace, so protecting it is important for healthy aging. It was once believed that you’re born with the DNA that you have, and there is nothing you can really do about it. We now know, through the study of epigenetics, that our genes are dynamic and modifiable by lifestyle choices and environmental factors. Just as we are able to influence a more positive genetic expression in our body, we are able to protect and utilize our Jing more efficiently. 

For you info junkies and bio hackers out there, testing yourtelomeresmay give you a clue about the current state of your Jing. Telomeres are the little caps at the end of your chromosomes that keep them from unraveling. In short, the longer your telomeres, the better protection you have from cellular damage and cellular aging. Research suggests that short telomere length is associated with poor egg quality, sub fertile sperm, and poor IVF outcomes. Testing could be an interesting way to find out your “real age”, but could also be an unnecessary form of stress depending on your personality. If you are someone who finds yourself empowered by information, then it could be worth it. However, in my opinion, testing isn’t necessary because it turns out--the steps to protect and replenish your Jing, and keep your telomeres intact--are essentially the same.

What can we do? 

It should come as no surprise to you that the basics are important, we can’t underestimate the benefits of clean air, water, nutrient dense food and adequate sleep. If you want to step up your game, you and your Chinese Medicine practitioner can help protect your Jing by increasing your resilience to stress and lowering your inflammation

 

Re-route your stress and anxiety

I hate to have to bring it up again, but chronic stress or worry will drain our resources and shorten our lifespanIn a recent blog postI have mentioned that stress can increase inflammation, lower our immune system, and contribute to heart disease. When it comes to aging, studies have observed that chronic stress can decrease telomerase, an enzyme that counteracts the shrinking process of your telomeres. Additionally, any perceived stress releases glucocorticoids into your bloodstream, which are known to shorten our telomere length. 

While stress may seem unavoidable, it’s negative effects don’t have to be. If you have the feeling stress is stealing your Jing and shortening your reproductive clock the following tools have been shown to be helpful: 

Acupuncture

Acupuncture can help regulate and promote feel good neurotransmitters such as serotonin, GABA, and dopamine, creating a better sense of safety and ease in our brain and body. Our tiny needles stimulate the vagus nerve, promoting parasympathetic nervous system activation, thus turning on your relaxation response. Once you’re in this acupuncture-induced-bliss-state, you’ll be shocked that you’ve been functioning in the other paradigm for so long. 

Guided meditation

One study showed that Loving Kindness Meditationpractice was associated with longer telomere length in women. There are many ways to access guided meditation thanks to the wealth of mediation apps out there. My personal favorite, Insight Timer, has loving kindness meditations ranging from 5 minutes to 1 hour. 

Herbal Adaptogens

One of the coolest classes of herbal medicine is that of adaptogens. Adaptogens help your body to adaptto chronic stress by normalizing your cortisol output and increasing your stress resistance. Herbs in this category include Ginseng, Ashwagandha, Astragalus, and Licorice to name a few. Your acupuncturist could create a custom blend for your individual needs. 

Reduce inflammation

Another surefire way to drain Jing is uncontrolled inflammation. Chronic inflammatory conditions are a constant pull on the body’s resources, so getting your inflammation under control will help to preserve your Jing and telomere length. While there are many ways to limit our inflammatory response, our dietary habits really ‘take the cake’ for being first and foremost in importance. 

Actually, my apologies, you can’t take the cake (at least not all the time) because eliminating or reducing sugar and processed foods is an important first step, but here are some other things you can do.  

Food Allergy  

Food allergies and intolerances can be a major source inflammation in your body. In Dr. Michael Ruscio’s new book Healthy Gut, Healthy You he states “the most important dietary change you can make is to avoid foods that you are allergic to or intolerant of”. Figuring out what these are can be an arduous task, but worth itif you suspect certain foods may be causing turmoil in your digestive track. We have testing options that can help you get closer to figuring it out, but the best way is still an elimination diet. Read more about following an elimination diet here.

Polyphenols

If you’re a patient with us at Double Happiness health, you’ve probably already been encouraged to adopt an anti-inflammatory diet. This is a diet that takes planning and intention to eat a wide array of vegetables, fruits (especially berries), nuts and spices. Polyphenols are abundant in these food categories, and contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds that are also rich in fertility friendly nutrients. Good news, matcha and dark chocolate also fall into this category.Top Foods With Polyphenols

Omega 3s

I think of Omega-3s as the cooling lubricant of our body. The best source is fresh-water fish. Flax, hemp and chia seeds are also high in Omega-3s which is why you see them taking over our health food stores. Consider taking a supplement if fish or flax are not regularly in your diet. 

Chronic infections

Chronic infections can be very tricky, silent sources of chronic inflammation. This may include gum disease, viral, parasitic or sexually transmitted infections and autoimmune conditions. This

is where regular check-ups with your PCP and dentist come in handy. You may want to ask your general practitioner to measure your CRP and ESR(markers of inflammation) the next time you do a blood workup. There is an emerging field of biological dentistry that pays close attention to the gut-gum connection, you can read more about the difference here.

 

 

Resources and further information: 

 Anderson , Katherine Alexander. “Telomeres and Fertility: How to Turn Back the Reproductive Clock .” Integrative Fertility Symposium, Vancouver, BC. 2018

Epel, E. S., et al. “Accelerated Telomere Shortening in Response to Life Stress.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 101, no. 49, Jan. 2004, pp. 17312–17315., doi:10.1073/pnas.0407162101. 

Gottfried, Sara. Younger: the Breakthrough Programme to Reset Our Genes and Reverse Ageing. Vermilion, 2017. 

Hoge, Elizabeth A., et al. “Loving-Kindness Meditation Practice Associated with Longer Telomeres in Women.” Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, vol. 32, 2013, pp. 159–163., doi:10.1016/j.bbi.2013.04.005. 

Keefe, David L., and Lin Liu. “Telomeres and Reproductive Aging.” Reproduction, Fertility and Development, vol. 21, no. 1, 2009, p. 10., doi:10.1071/rd08229. 

Ruscio, Michael. Healthy Gut, Healthy You: the Personalized Plan to Transform Your Health from the inside Out. Ruscio Institute, 2018. 

Teeguarden, Ron. “Replenishing and Restoring Jing.” All About Acupuncture, 1 July 2014, www.acupuncturetoday.com/mpacms/at/article.php?id=32900. 

Zhang, Hua, and Rong Tsao. “Dietary Polyphenols, Oxidative Stress and Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Effects.” Current Opinion in Food Science, vol. 8, 2016, pp. 33–42., doi:10.1016/j.cofs.2016.02.002. 

Zivkovic, Angela M., et al. “Dietary Omega-3 Fatty Acids Aid in the Modulation of Inflammation and Metabolic Health.” California Agriculture, vol. 65, no. 3, 2011, pp. 106–111., doi:10.3733/ca.v065n03p106.

 

How to Avoid Insect Bites and Enjoy Nature

Summer is almost here and most of us will be getting outside a lot more often. Spending time in nature has a vitalizing effect, boosting energy, lifting mood and lowering stress. Blame it on the warmer weather, but The NYT’s recently reported that incidents of disease borne by mosquitoes and ticks such as Lyme and Zika are on the rise. Good news- you don’t have to avoid spending time outdoors to stay safe.

Safety Tips:

  • Wear clothing that creates a barrier to your skin, especially around feet and ankles even if it’s hot.
  • Spray insect repellent (details below) especially around feet and ankles.
  • Pull your hair back and consider a hat.
  • Stay on the trail....avoid walking thru grasses or sitting on logs where ticks like to hang out.

Natural Insect Repellent: OLE!

If you want to avoid harsh chemicals like DEET, there is a healthier alternative.
One of the CDC recommended insect repellents is one containing
oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) as the main ingredient. This natural oil will act as your personal bodyguard, kicking pesky insects to the curb. Note that it has a strong scent and you should avoid allowing it to have any contact with your eyes.

The Consumer Reports most highly rated OLE based insect repellant is Repel Plant-Based Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent2  

Another tactic is to tick-proof your clothes using Permethrin, which is a synthetic and stable form of an insecticidal compound naturally produced by the Chrysanthemum plant. It is registered by the EPA and has a quick repel and kill effect on ticks...BuhBye. It is still a chemical, however, so inform yourself with this Permethrin Fact-Sheet

Once you are back from your frolic in nature, get naked and check for ticks. After a tick bites you, it takes about 24-36 hours for the pathogen to transmit into your blood. If you remove it early, you are probably ok.  Did you know ticks can be the size of poppy seeds? Here's how to check like a boss.

What if you find a tick? Here is a video on the correct and easy way to remove a tick. Hint: It is not by burning it out!

Not all ticks transmit disease, but if you do find a tick, consider sending it off to a lab to have it tested

If you do develop an expanding rash, fever or flu-like symptoms after a tick bite, don't wait, go and see a doctor. This is one of those rare times you will want to take antibiotics. The earlier you start treatment, the better your chances of an easy and full recovery.

Getting out in nature is very important for our sense of relaxation and well being. Be prepared so you can enjoy it safely!

 

 

 

 

The Relationship Between Emotions and Internal Organs

Which organ are you affecting by your current emotional state?

Hopefully by now, you’ve had many experiences in your life that have led to feeling the entire rainbow spectrum of human emotions. Maybe you’re currently feeling anxious about something in your life, grieving over the loss of someone or something, or you’re fearful about a situation that may come to be. These feelings can be perfectly useful and appropriate in the right time and place. When these emotions are unbalanced or prolonged, physical harm can ensue. Consequently, the reverse can occur; when your body’s internal organ systems are unbalanced, it can give rise unbalanced emotions, leaving you feeling out of control.

Take a moment and pretend you’re an actor doing research for a role…

Dig up some past experience that made you really angry…(I’ll wait for it).

Now, how do you feel? Did you warm up a bit? Could you feel it in your face? Your chest? Did it create a bit of extra energy?

Now let it go, it was in the past.

Let’s dig up something else. What in your life causes you to worry? That, if you let it, it would keep you up at night and occupy your every free thought.

How do you feel now? Where do you feel it?

Ok, now let that go too. It’s in the future and that cannot be seen.

If you were able to connect to those different emotional scenarios, you most likely felt them in different parts of your body. That’s because our internal organ systems don’t only help us process air and food in order to survive, they help us process our emotions. Unbalanced or prolonged emotional stress can stress our internal organs and cause harm. Therefore, gaining some control of our emotional state is a major key to protecting our health.

The Su Wen, the first text of the foundational doctrine in Chinese medicine, lays out the causes of disease. There are external reasons for disease related to the environment and pathogens, and internal causes that are related to our emotional health. They have been classified into the following categories, that when in excess or left ungoverned, hurt the internal organs.

The emotions and their related organs:

Anger----------Liver

Joy-------------Heart

Grief/Sadness-----Lung

Worry/Pensiveness---------Spleen

Fear------------Kidneys

Fright/Shock------Gallbladder

If it seems hard to believe, science may make this concept easier to understand. Current medical research is paying close attention to chronic stress and its negative implications to our health. Modern medicine is now recognizing the role chronic stress plays in the dysfunction of our immune, digestive, and hormonal systems.

For example:

·      Stress lowers SIgA, our main line of immune defense in our gastrointestinal system, leaving us more vulnerable to bacteria and other pathogens.

·      Stress increases our risk for cardiovascular disease: A heightened emotional event was shown to be correlated the timing of heart attack. Stress can trigger an inflammatory response that encourages the buildup of fatty plaque inside artery walls.  

·      Increased cortisol levels due to chronic stress increases our risk of metabolic syndrome.

·      A stressful event can change the microbiome in our gut, decreasing our good bacteria and increasing harmful bacteria.

·      Gut bacteria manufacture up to 95% of the body’s supply of serotonin, our feel-good neurotransmitter.

Most of us are exposed to daily stressors and we go through times in our lives that are substantially more stressful than others. How we deal with this stress, and how it is expressed, plays an imperative role in our overall wellness. Moreover, caring for your physical health can improve your emotional responses to stress.

Get closer to the root of your emotional imbalances by learning your Chinese Medicine diagnosis and start taking steps to heal at a deeper level.

Links and resources to learn more:

https://www.aarp.org/health/healthy-living/info-2014/stress-and-disease.html

https://www.amymyersmd.com/2017/02/stress-damaging-gut/

https://www.stress.org/stress-research/

https://www.pacificcollege.edu/news/blog/2014/09/05/emotions-and-traditional-chinese-medicine

http://www.apa.org/monitor/2012/09/gut-feeling.aspx

 

 

Year of the Earth Dog

Happy New Year! It’s the year of the yellow earth dog.

Doesn’t that just sound like a relief compared to the fire rooster?

We are all pretty familiar with the nature of dogs- loyal, protective, loving.

Dogs run like to crazy then plop down and rest- so the year may have lots of starts and stops. It’s important to listen to your body and honor it’s cycles- especially your need for rest. This is an earth on earth year so there may be more natural disasters like earthquakes so **get your earthquake kits together**!

The earth element is also about digestion. Take care to eat healthy seasonal, local foods and steer clear of refined sugar, additives, and inflammatory polyunsaturated oils like sunflower, safflower, canola, soy and corn oils.

If you have chronic digestive hormonal or immune issues, please come in for a visit and let us help you get to the root cause and resolve it.

At DHH, we are passionate about the synthesis of classical Chinese medicine and modern functional medicine. We utilize classical Chinese diagnostic tools to look at what is going on with the whole person in front of us- physically, emotionally and energetically. We also utilize functional medicine testing as needed that gives us data about things like a comprehensive look at the gut, the sex and stress hormones.  The synthesis of these two views allows us to get to the root of issues in the way of our patients feeling their best and achieving goals like healthy pregnancy, sound sleep, mood stabilization, freedom from pain and great digestion.

We create a customized treatment plan for each patient that outlines our treatment goals, and our suggestions around acupuncture, diet and lifestyle. It’s a sort of roadmap to health. We then meet each patient right where they are and make the tactical changes that will have the biggest impact.  Make your health a priority- we want you feeling sexy, vibrant and balanced so you can fully enjoy the year ahead!

 

Warming the Uterus

Is your Uterus Cold?

 

Chinese medicine has been paying attention to the importance of body temperature regulation and homeostasis since the beginning. Warming a Uterus that was “Cold” was an essential treatment for improving fertility and pregnancy. Jane Lyttleton author of Treatment of Infertility with Chinese Medicine tells us that in Traditional Chinese Medicine “the warmth of the uterus refers to its metabolic activity, actively manufacturing the secreting nutrients and maintaining a highly nurturing home for a fetus”. In the luteal phase, or second half of a menstrual cycle, progesterone produce by the corpus luteum raises the body temperature in preparation for potential implantation. Could an inadequate body temperature rise and/or lack of proper circulation be contributing to issues with your fertility?

 

When observing women with unknown fertility issues or recurrent pregnancy loss, Kidney Yang deficiency is one of the most prevalent patterns. Kidney yang deficiency has a correlation with low progesterone levels and include symptoms such as feeling colder than those around you, cold hands and feet, low libido, back pain with menses, fatigue, frequent urination, and low BBT readings. (Note that when Kidney yang deficiency is combined with other disharmonies it may present differently).

 

Kidney Yang deficiency combined with Blood stagnation is an even more common disharmony. The metabolic activity of Kidney Yang is not sufficient enough for proper blood circulation and therefore the transforming and rebuilding of the uterine lining is less than optimal, leading to conditions from dark clotty periods to endometriosis. Insufficiency of Kidney Yang is often and underlying cause of cold Uterus, further complicated by blood stagnation. A cold Uterus can stand alone (referred to as Full-Cold), although I don’t often see this presentation in the modern clinical setting.

 

 

What can you do?

 

Diet for a Cold Uterus

 

Unfortunately, those daily lunch salads may not be helping. Chinese medicine physicians have long observed that the environment around us, and what we consume on a daily basis will alter the temperature inside us. Therefore, for women trying to conceive with any sign of cold in the body should not be consuming raw-cold foods or drinking cold beverages. Here’s how to work around it:

 

·      Keep salad or raw vegetables as side dishes only. Instead choose warm, cooked foods whenever possible. Although salads are wonderful for increasing our intake of vegetables (which we should continue to do) think of veggie laden soups, stews, curries, and stir-fry-like meals as the main course and keep lettuce greens on the side.

·      Avoid icy cold drinks. Skip the Frappuccinos and find an herbal tea you enjoy to stay hydrated and warm. Ask your acupuncturist if there is a specific herbal tea that fits your constitution and make the most out of your daily beverage intake.

·      Some spice can be nice. Cinnamon and ginger are fantastic additions to drinks, oatmeal, smoothies and can help warm up a cold condition.

 

 

Nourish Yin and Promote Ovulation

 

Yang cannot exist without yin. (I imagine you’re already thinking “ok, but what does that mean about my fertility!?”) Let me explain, because the menstrual cycle is such a perfect example of how things must be properly balanced for optimization.

 

Let’s go back to prior mention of how the corpus luteum is responsible for maintaining progesterone levels after ovulation. It takes a healthy egg to create a healthy corpus luteum. Therefore, focusing only on supplementing the deficient, Yang, part of the cycle isn’t enough. We must also support Yin. The Yin phase of your cycle is the first half, when the follicle is being prepped and nourished for ovulation. If you’re familiar with Basal Body Temperature (BBT) charting you already know that the first half of your cycle is when your body temperate is the lowest.

 

Nourishing yin (including the ripening follicle) during this phase sets you up for a healthier and warmer second half of your cycle. Do this by eating yin and blood nourishing foods (omega 3’s such as chia, flax, fish oil, spirulina, eggs, bone broth, beets, leafy greens), getting enough rest, and taking your herbs.

 

We’re not off the hook yet! If that juicy, ripened follicle doesn’t ovulate we won’t have a luteal body to sustain progesterone levels, and therefore we will not get the full benefits of the warming half of the cycle. It seems to be a somewhat common phenomenon that our bodies will decide not to ovulate on any given cycle. A study done on a random general population in 2015 by Jerilynn C. Prior et al. showed that a third of women with normal cycle lengths did not ovulate on a given month!  So just because your period is regular, it doesn’t mean we can bet that you’re ovulating regularly. The women in this study did not differ in factors such as age*, BMI, parity or smoking. Stress is a more likely reason why the body decides to skip this step. Increases in cortisol due to an emotional, physical, or nutritional threat can inhibit the process of ovulation.

 

That means it is extra important to avoid stressful situations around ovulation time. (“Sorry I can’t this week”- At least you’re off the hook here!) Do whatever you can to put relaxation in the forefront. This is a terrific time for acupuncture. Acupuncture is great at reducing the stress response and treating hypothalamic and ovulatory disturbances. Also try things like gentle flow yoga, aromatherapy, listening to more music, deep breathing, more time with friends--or fill in your personal stress diffuser.

 

*The mean age of women in this study was approx. 41 years old. It’s important to take into account this is higher than the age of most women trying to conceive. Age was most likely a factor in why lack of ovulation was found so high.

 

 

Use moxibustion, heat packs, and a good pair of socks.

 

Moxibustion is a therapy of dried mugwort, heated and used to stimulate acupuncture points. Mugwort has been used for centuries both topically and internally for fertility and menstrual disorders, and used in moxibustion therapy to expel cold and stimulate proper flow of Qi and Blood.

 

Heat packs can also be used for this purpose. If you are doing a 3-month program to improve your fertility (and therefore not actively trying to conceive) you can use these therapies all month long. If you are currently trying, use a heat pack on the lower abdomen for 20 minutes 2 times per day from menstruation to ovulation only.

 

If you are using moxibustion therapy, see our Moxibustion-A-How-To-Guide. Use moxa the same way you would use a heat pack. 10-20 minutes 1-2 times per day from menstruation to ovulation, or all cycle long if you are prepping to conceive.

 

Keeping your feet warm is also a good practice while trying to warm your Uterus. Chinese Medicine has long thought that cold feet equate to a cold Uterus. Meridians that start in your feet connect to the reproductive organs. Therefore, avoid sabotaging your efforts by wearing warm socks, especially in colder months, and avoid walking on cold floors barefoot.

 

Take herbs that warm Kidney Yang, expel Cold and move Blood.

 

Mugwort is just one of the many botanicals that are used for warming a cold uterus and regulating the menstrual cycle. I highly recommend seeing a trained herbalist who specializes in fertility to find the right herbal formula for your own personal needs.

 

 

 

Sources:

Prior, J. C., Naess, M., Langhammer, A., & Forsmo, S. (2015). Ovulation Prevalence in Women with Spontaneous Normal-Length Menstrual Cycles – A Population-Based Cohort from HUNT3, Norway. Plos One, 10(8). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0134473

 

Lewis, R. A. (2005). The infertility cure: the ancient Chinese programme for getting pregnant. Boston, MA: Little, Brown.

Moxibustion- A How-To Guide

Using Moxibustion Therapy at Home

Moxibustion (Moxa for short) is another method of stimulating an acupuncture point. Moxa is a compressed herb (Artemisia Argyi Folium) rolled into a stick that is lit and held over the acupuncture point. This stimulates and warms the acupoint to create a more tonifying experience than needling. It is easy to do at home with a little instruction and perfect to use in colder months. This therapy is used for (but not limited to) preventing colds and flus, strengthening the digestive system, and is well known for treatment for a breech presentation baby.

 What you will need:

·      Moxibustion stick (given to you by your acupuncturist)

·      A candle for lighting

·      Receptacle for ash-ing, such as an ashtray or ceramic dish

·      A glass, screw-top jar for extinguishing the stick (best when filled with a little rice)

 How to go about it:

LightMoxa3.gif

Light one end of the moxibustion stick over a candle. It takes a while to light the stick therefore using a candle is easier than using a lighter.

BlowOnMoxa.gif

You’ll know it’s ready when you can feel the warmth of the stick. NEVER let the moxibustion stick make direct contact with the skin. Gently hold the end of the stick near the back of your hand to feel if it’s warm, or gently blow on the stick to see if it is glowing.

PointLocation.gif

Now that it’s lit, find your acupuncture point of choice (or directed by your acupuncturist).

Stomach 36 is found by measuring the four fingers of your hand directly below the knee. Once you’re there, the point is one finger-breath from the hard tibia bone on the front of your lower leg.

MoxaSt36.gif

Hold the stick a few centimeters about the skin and over the acupuncture point. Direct the heat by using a pecking motion. If at any time if the point is feeling too warm, take a break for a few seconds.

MoxaUB67.gif

Repeat on each leg for 5-10 minutes total. Ash the stick as needed to ensure that no moxa ash falls onto the skin.

UB 67 is the acupuncture point used to turn a breech or posterior positioned baby. The therapeutic time for this treatment is 20 minutes on each toe, 2 times per day.

ExtinguishMoxa.gif

When you’re finished with your moxibustion treatment place the stick in the glass jar and screw the lid tight to extinguish.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in our Double Happiness Health family!! We are so very grateful to work with each one of you- it is an honor to be trusted with guiding you back to balance when you need it. This year has been a tough one for so many. We have helped babies come into the world, eased hormonal imbalances, reversed pain, nurtured deep restful sleep, conquered eczema, eased anxiety, dodged colds and have had many other health adventures by your side. I cannot imagine a more fun and satisfying career. I certainly cannot imagine more inspiring patients- thank you for choosing us as your health care providers. We look forward to being there to help optimize your health in the year to come. 

With Love,

Christine