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Acupuncture for Fertility

acupuncture for fertility

Background on acupuncture for fertility

Before diving into acupuncture for fertility, first let’s address the terms fertility vs. infertility. Western medicine often focuses on a problem or disease. The United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Infertility FAQs state that “infertility is defined as not being able to get pregnant (conceive) after one year (or longer) of unprotected sex”. The CDC further states that infertility is a common problem that is experienced by 19% of women aged 15 to 49 years old with no prior births. Additionally, 26% of women in this group either have difficulty getting pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to term.

 

Acupuncture for fertility can be a complex topic. When I get calls from patients asking if I treat infertility, I make a point to talk in terms of fertility rather than infertility.  Words are important, and I believe that a positive attitude is essential for attracting what we want to bring into our lives. I choose to focus on fertility.

 

Fertility from a Chinese medicine perspective

Chinese medicine looks at the person as a whole and from an energetic perspective. There are a variety of things that can cause an energetic imbalance resulting in decreased fertility. For example, someone can be too hot or too cold. She can be energetically deficient with a lack of the vital substances necessary for conception and to nourish a fertilized egg. She may have stagnant energy which can result in endometriosis, cysts, or fibroids.

 

Sometimes, a patient can get pregnant yet then suffers recurrent miscarriages. This can be due to a different kind of energetic imbalance. In this case, it is important to help reinforce the patient’s energy in a way that the uterus is supported and nourished appropriately.

 

Every person is unique, and I make the time to understand a patient’s whole health history and background so I can determine exactly what might be hindering their fertility.  For example, someone who spent years as a competitive swimmer in cold pools might have very long menstrual cycles due to an excess of cold in their system.

 

Treatment options

Acupuncture and Chinese medicine alone can help improve fertility and result in a healthy pregnancy and childbirth experience. When a patient chooses this pathway of treatment, the first thing that is often done is to help balance the patient’s overall energy. Then, acupuncture treatments are timed and tailored to the patient’s cycle with the goal of achieving a balanced 28-day cycle though the following four phases:

  • Week 1: Period
  • Week 2: Pre-ovulation
  • Week 3: Ovulation
  • Week 4: Post-ovulation

In most cases, I include lifestyle advice in each treatment. This involves customized recommendations for diet, level of rest and activity, managing stress, and exposure to heat or cold.

 

Supporting Western medicine treatments like IVF

Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can be a great support to western fertility treatments like in vitro fertilization (IVF). In fact, more and more fertility clinics are seeing the value of combining eastern and western medicine. Many clinics recommend that their patients receive acupuncture treatments. There have been a number of studies showing the increased success rate of IVF when combined with acupuncture.  Examples include:

 

The male part of the equation

A thorough practitioner considers the male part of the equation as well. It’s important to make sure the male partner is also evaluated and supported in the fertility journey. Poor fertility impacts men in terms of a deficient sperm count, low motility, or even poor morphology (shape) of their sperm. Stress, overwork, diet and environmental factors can affect men as well as women. Men can receive acupuncture and Chinese medicine treatments to help improve their fertility.

 

Ear seeds for fertility

Ear seeds can also be very helpful for fertility. An ear seed is a small sphere placed on an acupuncture point on the surface of the ear. Adhesive tape holds the ear seed in place. It works by exerting a gentle pressure on the acupuncture point. There are specific points on the ear that correspond to the lower back. A patient can wear ear seeds for up to five days. They are a great way to continue treatment at home. Ear seed kits are also available for people who are afraid of needles. You can learn more about ear seeds in my blog about ear seeds.

 

Want to talk about how acupuncture and Chinese medicine can help you with fertility? I’d love to hear from you. Reach out and email me through our website or call or text 910-622-4269.

 

About the Author

Ericca Burke is the owner of HAVEN Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine where she provides acupuncture and Chinese medicine treatments in Wilmington, NC. Click this link to read more about Ericca. 

 

About HAVEN Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine in Wilmington, NC

HAVEN Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine is an acupuncture and Chinese medicine practice located in Wilmington, NC just minutes from beautiful Wrightsville Beach. Click this link for contact information and directions. Click this link for a listing and description of services offered.

 

Mast Cell Activation Syndrome and how Acupuncture can help

mast cell activation syndrome

Background on Mast Cell Activation Syndrome

Mast cell activation syndrome is also known as MCAS. The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) web page on Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS) explains that mast cells are cells in the body that are responsible for allergic reactions. Mast cells release molecules called mediators that cause allergic symptoms. These cells can act abnormally and release mediators when they normally wouldn’t. Mast cells can also mutate and produce populations of identical cells. MCAS occurs when someone experiences repeated high levels of mast cell mediators and resulting allergic symptoms that are not directly related to a specific allergy or any other known condition that would activate normal mast cells. Allergists and Immunologists diagnose MCAS with a blood test. Current treatment focuses on providing the patient relief.

 

Symptoms of Mast Cell Activation Syndrome

A patient experiencing MCAS will have repeated episodes of anaphylaxis symptoms. This commonly includes a rapid heart rate, low blood pressure, and the patient may also pass out. The patient may develop a rash, hives, red skin, itchy skin, or swelling. Breathing issues can present with wheezing, shortness of breath, or swelling of the throat. Also, gastrointestinal tract symptoms may occur including abdominal pain with cramps, diarrhea, nausea, and / or vomiting. In addition, WebMD has detailed information about symptoms in their article What Is Mast Cell Activation Syndrome?

 

Potential triggers

Dr. Nader Soliman of the Soliman Wellness Center in Maryland is a pioneer in MCAS treatment. Dr. Soliman identified a number of potential triggers for MCAS. Here are some of the many potential triggers he identified:

  • Environmental: Mold, dust, heavy metals, animal dander, pollen, extreme temperatures, sun exposure, barometric pressure changes, insect bites, insecticides, fungicides, pesticides.
  • Physical: Exercise, stress, pressure or vibration on the skin, make-up, dyes.
  • Foods: any food high in histamines,  alcohol, milk, eggs, fish.

 

The Soliman Auricular Allergy Treatment (SAAT)

Dr. Nader Soliman created and patented a groundbreaking technique called the Soliman Auricular Allergy Treatment (SAAT).  SAAT is a simple technique. This technique has been proven to bring relief to allergic symptoms as well as MCAS. The treatment utilizes a small needle retained in the ear with medical adhesive tape. Then, after the treatment, the needle stays in the ear for a period of 3-4 weeks.  Dr. Soliman employs this technique with great success for over 15 years now.

 

We are very excited to offer the SAAT treatment at HAVEN Acupuncture. SAAT became popular as a treatment for the alpha gal allergy.  Similarly, it is a great treatment option for MCAS. Want to talk about your specific needs and how acupuncture and Chinese medicine can help you? We’d love to hear from you. Reach out and email us through our website or call or text us at 910-622-4269.

 

About the Author

Ericca Burke is the owner of HAVEN Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine. She studied SAAT directly from Dr. Soliman, and she is a certified SAAT practitioner. Ericca sees patients at her office in Wilmington, NC. Click this link to read more about Ericca. 

 

About HAVEN Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine in Wilmington, NC

HAVEN Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine is an acupuncture and Chinese medicine practice located in Wilmington, NC just minutes from beautiful Wrightsville Beach. Click this link for contact information and directions. Click this link for a listing and description of services offered.

HAVEN Acupuncture & Chinese medicine is moving!

chinese medicine

We’re moving!

HAVEN Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine is moving at the end of this month. As of April 1st, our new address will be 4020 Oleander Drive Suite #102 in Oleander Office Park. The new location is between Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. We are right behind the First Citizens Bank. The cross streets are Lincoln Road and 41st Street. Our phone number is 910-622-4269.

 

We look forward to seeing you at our new location!

The azaleas are in full bloom here at Oleander Office Park. We look forward to seeing you soon! Also, be on the lookout for April’s blog on staying healthy this spring!

 

About the Author

Ericca Burke is the owner of HAVEN Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine where she provides acupuncture and Chinese medicine treatments in Wilmington, NC. Click this link to read more about Ericca. 

 

About HAVEN Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine in Wilmington, NC

HAVEN Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine is an acupuncture and Chinese medicine practice located in Wilmington, NC just minutes from beautiful Wrightsville Beach. Click this link for contact information and directions. Click this link for a listing and description of services offered.

How acupuncture and ear seeds can help you lose weight

lose weight

Can acupuncture and ear seeds really help you lose weight?

I often get calls from people who are wondering if acupuncture or ear seeds can help them lose weight. Many have tried a variety of diets over the years, and haven’t found lasting results. Some people feel stuck and have plateaued with their efforts. Others are newly inspired to lose weight and are looking for support. Every person is unique, and I find that a tailored approach is most effective to helping people lose weight.

 

How do acupuncture and ear seeds help someone lose weight?

It’s important to look at each person as a whole and understand their history. Acupuncturists take time to do a thorough intake and health history review with every patient. This enables us to identify any energetic imbalances and potential underlying issues that may make it difficult to lose weight. In an acupuncture treatment, an acupuncturist inserts small needles about the width of a hair into the skin to stimulate acupuncture points. Points are chosen to address any energetic balances. For example, a point commonly used in a treatment to help weight loss is the “craving control” point found on the tragus of the ear.

 

Ear seeds are a great addition to a treatment, and can also be used on their own. An ear seed is a small sphere. It stimulates an acupuncture point on the surface of the ear. Ear seeds attach to the ear with adhesive tape that looks like a band aid or clear surgical tape. They work by exerting a gentle pressure on the acupuncture point. In addition, patients can press their ear seeds for more stimulation. Patients can wear ear seeds for up to five days.

 

Ear seeds are also a standalone treatment for people who are afraid of needles or who are not able to see an acupuncturist. Ear seeds are a lower cost option for people who cannot afford acupuncture treatments. For example, a weight loss ear seed kit can be purchased for use at home. The kit contains the ear seeds, an application tool, and instructions. You can read more about ear seeds in the All about ear seeds and auriculotherapy blog.

 

Research studies on acupuncture, ear seeds and weight loss

There have been a number of research studies showing that acupuncture and ear seeds can help people lose weight. The company that created the ear seeds weight loss kit has identified five great research articles on this topic:

 

How long does it take?

People often ask how long it takes to see results from an acupuncture treatment. This is a difficult question to answer because every person is different, and it really depends on their individual response to the treatment. Additionally, it is often necessary for people to consider lifestyle changes to support weight loss. Eating healthy foods and getting exercise are essential to a healthy lifestyle and weight. Mindfulness practices like meditation can also be very effective. In addition, getting restful sleep every night can help curb cravings. Generally, people can reasonably expect to see results after about 6 to 10 treatments. After that, they will typically start noticing other benefits, like feeling more relaxed or improved sleep, much sooner than that.

Want to talk about how acupuncture and ear seeds can help you lose weight? I’d love to hear from you. Reach out and email me through our website or call or text 910-622-4269.

 

About the Author

Ericca Burke is the owner of HAVEN Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine where she provides acupuncture and Chinese medicine treatments in Wilmington, NC. Click this link to read more about Ericca. 

 

About HAVEN Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine in Wilmington, NC

HAVEN Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine is an acupuncture and Chinese medicine practice located in Wilmington, NC just minutes from beautiful Wrightsville Beach. Click this link for contact information and directions. Click this link for a listing and description of services offered.

How acupuncture and ear seeds can help IBS

What is IBS, and how can acupuncture help?

I often get calls from potential patients asking if acupuncture can help IBS. IBS, or irritable bowel syndrome, can significantly impact people’s lives. Many people struggle with IBS for years and find that Western medicine does not help them get the relief that they need. As a result, many manage IBS with diet, stress management, and making sure they are constantly near a bathroom.

 

IBS is a disorder that manifests in the Large Intestine. Generally, there are three main types:

  • IBS-D: IBS with diarrhea, and may include abdominal pain, gas, and frequent urges to have a bowel movement.
  • IBS-C: IBS with constipation, and may include bloating, abdominal pain, gas, fewer bowel movements, and straining with bowel movements.
  • IBS-A: IBS with alternating constipation and diarrhea. This is also called IBS-M where the “M” stands for mixed.

 

I have found that acupuncture can help the various types of IBS. For example, In my treatments for IBS, I typically use a combination of acupuncture needles, ear seeds, and a far-infrared TDP lamp. I find that patients love the gentle soothing heat on their abdomen.

 

Research studies on acupuncture and IBS

There have been a number of research studies showing that acupuncture can help IBS. Here are a few examples from the past few years:

 

How ear seeds can support acupuncture to help IBS

Ear seeds are a great addition to an acupuncture treatment. An ear seed is a small sphere. It stimulates an acupuncture point on the surface of the ear. Ear seeds attach to the ear with adhesive tape that looks like a band aid or clear surgical tape. They work by exerting a gentle pressure on the acupuncture point. Patients can wear ear seeds for up to five days. I love to use ear seeds because they are a great way to continue the treatment at home.

Ear seeds have even gotten attention in the Western medical world. An article was published in the Gastroenterology Nursing Journal titled “Effects of Auricular Acupressure on Women With Irritable Bowel Syndrome”. The study found that ear seeds were effective in decreasing loose stools, abdominal pain and discomfort, stress and heart rate variability.

In addition, ear seeds are great as a standalone treatment for people who are afraid of needles or who are not able to see an acupuncturist.  You can read more about ear seeds in the All about ear seeds and auriculotherapy blog.

Want to talk about how acupuncture and ear seeds can help your IBS? I’d love to hear from you. Reach out and email me through our website or call or text 910-622-4269.

 

About the Author

Ericca Burke is the owner of HAVEN Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine where she provides acupuncture and Chinese medicine treatments in Wilmington, NC. Click this link to read more about Ericca. 

 

About HAVEN Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine in Wilmington, NC

HAVEN Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine is an acupuncture and Chinese medicine practice located in Wilmington, NC just minutes from beautiful Wrightsville Beach. Click this link for contact information and directions. Click this link for a listing and description of services offered.