Posts Tagged: Women’s Health

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Eating Seeds? Yes! Seed Cycling? Not so much.

What is Seed Cycling?

I remember first hearing about seed cycling over 10 years ago as a new acupuncturist. The idea of seed cycling is that you can eat different seeds at different parts of your cycle to optimize your hormone balance. Which seed depends on the unique micronutrients in each one, with certain seeds thought to balance estrogen in the follicular phase (before ovulation) and balance progesterone levels in the luteal phase (after ovulation). The concept of being able to truly use your food as medicine and take control of your own health is really appealing of course! Who wouldn’t want a DIY answer to things like irregular cycles, painful periods, or other hormonal symptoms like premenstrual bloating and acne? Not to mention a little help with fertility?

Seed cycling seems to have surged in popularity on social media, so I wanted to take some time to really dig into the research to see if this is worth doing. Also, as a practitioner of East Asian Medicine (TCM), I am excited to discuss our medicine’s view of seeds and how they’re used, as well as some information on how our medicine would approach hormonal health at different phases of the cycle. Read more

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How The Wisdom of Chinese Medicine Can Help You Optimize Your Cycles

When your hormones are functioning and coordinating really well, you know it. Your skin is great, there’s no bloating, your periods come on time and are not a big deal. But when things are off balance? It can impact you in a big way.

Below, I’ve outlined what I feel are the most important concepts for helping your hormones to hum along like a well-oiled machine. None of these concepts are particularly groundbreaking, but they are each absolutely vital. Pick one or two suggestions from this article (not everything at once- too overwhelming!), focus on them for a few months then see how it feels. Last of all, show yourself compassion when you’re trying to make shifts in your habits- nobody expects you to adhere to these concepts 100% of the time, and remember that when making changes it’s NORMAL and EXPECTED not to! Shoot for 80% of the time and this will still be a huge change.

Know Your Cycles

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Labor Induction Acupuncture: A New Approach

It’s a situation I’ve encountered many times: a woman calls me up because she’s been told that if she doesn’t go into labor on her own in a few more days, she’ll be induced.  Of course she wants to avoid this, and she has read about trying a “Labor Induction” acupuncture session.

After over 10 years of practice in women’s health and two years of an intensive perinatal acupuncture certificate program, I’ve learned there’s a better way to approach this issue, and it’s backed by studies as well as advice of medical practitioners. Read on to find out what I think is much more effective and relaxing than just this single “Labor Induction” session. I’ll also discuss the situations in which a labor induction treatment might be helpful. Read more

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You Can’t JUST Get Rid of Your Hot Flashes: Why A Holistic Approach Is Better During Perimenopause

When I set out to write this article, I intended to pick one symptom of perimenopause and give tips on managing it. But then I thought, “You can’t just pick one symptom and  get rid of it alone. What women need is help with minimizing hormonal fluctuations so that ALL of the symptoms improve”.

So that’s what I’m doing in this article. It’s not a totally exhaustive guide to all herbal remedies or possible treatments, but I’ll give you ideas that are easy to implement, that are backed by studies and that will help you now as well as 5 years down the road. Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is always an option from your doctor, but for some women it doesn’t make sense and others would prefer to avoid medications.  These ideas are a holistic approach to hormone-balancing and can help you feel like yourself again. Read more

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What Nobody Talks About During Pregnancy: Your Postpartum Health

Prenatally, we tend to focus on mom and how she can optimize her health for her benefit and the benefit of the baby. However in the postpartum period, our culture seems to completely focus on baby and mom’s well-being is forgotten. This attitude is also reflected in postpartum medical care in the USA. Generally, the baby goes for their first pediatrician visit just a few days after birth, but mom’s first visit with her OB isn’t until a whopping 6 weeks after the delivery!

Thankfully, recently there has been more media attention to this problem (see this great guide in the New York Times). The American Academy of Pediatrics has even recommended that new moms be screened by their child’s pediatrician for postpartum anxiety and depression. In my and many others’ opinion, this is a positive step, but more support for new moms is needed. Until healthcare systems in the USA begin providing appropriate levels of support to new parents, you must develop a plan for your postpartum health during pregnancy. After the baby is born it will likely feel much too overwhelming. Read more