Do’s And Don’ts During Pregnancy – Part II

Acupuncture

PREGNANCY Part 2

If you have read the blog entitled Do’s And Don’ts During Pregnancy – Part I, you will find the do’s of pregnancy. In this blog, don’ts of pregnancy have been highlighted. Have a look:

Pregnancy Don’ts

Don’t drink too much of coffee

There is no need for you to decaffeinate completely when you are pregnant. When consumed in moderation, caffeine does not cause miscarriage or preterm birth. However, this does not mean that whenever you yawn you take a cup of java. Limit your caffeine consumption to less than 200 mg every day. Remember one thing – you can get caffeine from other sources as well – a soda can, a cup of brewed tea and even chocolates.

If you smoke, stop

Although quitting is a hard job to do, but you should do it. This is because when you smoke, your baby smokes too. The nicotine as well as cancer causing drugs passes on to your baby and that leads to a lot of complications like premature delivery, low birthweight, miscarriage, birth defects or even still birth. Smoking keeps the baby from getting the much needed nourishment. If quitting happens to be a tough job for you then acupuncture treatment can really be helpful to you.

Say no to alcohol

Abstain from it. This is because it can cross the placenta & cause birth defects. If you have had it till 6 weeks after your LMP, then there is no risk. But make sure to completely take a break from it once you come to know that you are pregnant.

Seafood to avoid

Fish is a great source of lean protein and the ones like salmon have omega-3 essential fatty acids that are essential for brain development of the baby during pregnancy. But not all seafood are safe to have. Swordfish, shark, tilefish and king mackerel are high in mercury and should thus not be taken during pregnancy.

Certain substances you should not use and be exposed to

Avoid exposure to chemicals and toxic substances, which means stay away from items like cleaning solvents, mercury, lead, paint, paint fumes and some insecticides. Don’t change or clean the litter box of a cat as that may put you at risk for toxoplasmosis – an infection which may be harmful to foetus. Also make sure not to use scented feminine hygiene products. Avoid using avoid sanitary napkins, scented sprays & bubble bath. These products can usually irritate the vaginal area and increase the risk of yeast infection or UTI. Don’t use drugs as well. Inform your doctor if you’re using them. Cocaine, marijuana, heroin, barbiturates, speed and LSD are after all very dangerous for both the pregnant woman as well as the baby.

Don’t douche

Douching may cause irritation in the vaginal area, force air into birth canal & increase the chances of infection.

Don’t take hot showers

High temperatures may be harmful to foetus. It can even cause you to faint. So, avoid taking saunas or very hot baths.
Make sure to follow these do’s and don’ts during pregnancy. They can really be beneficial to you.

If you are aware of any more do’s and don’ts of pregnancy, then please feel free to add your points in the comments section below.

Do’s and Don’ts During Pregnancy – Part I

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Do's and Don'ts During Pregnancy – Part I
You can eat this but not that. You can do this but don’t do that. Pregnant women ate bombarded with do’s and don’ts. It’s really hard to keep it all straight.

Pregnancy do’s

  • Visit your gynaecologist routinely. Prenatal care will help keep you as well as your baby healthy. Your doctor may also be able to detect problems if anything occurs.
  • Taking folic acid throughout your pregnancy is very important. You should continue taking it. Women who are capable of conceiving need to get 400-800 micrograms of folic acid each and every day. Taking enough of folic acid actually lowers the risk of birth defects. Moreover, if you take a vitamin with folic acid, you can be sure that you’re getting enough. 
  • Eat a lot of healthy and nutritious foods. Include vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean meats, calcium-rich foods and various cooked seafood in your diet. Also take iron everyday. Getting enough iron will prevent anaemia. Tell your doctor to prescribe you a prenatal vitamin or iron supplement, which you should take daily. Drink a lot of fluids, especially water. 
  • Keep moving. Don’t sit and idle and sleep most of the time because you’re pregnant. Unless your gynaecologist advices you otherwise, physical activity is undoubtedly good for you as well as your baby. 
  • Visit a professional acupuncturist during your first trimester and ask for an acupuncture treatment. Acupuncture can really help with nausea, morning sickness, threatened miscarriage, tiredness and lack of energy. Make sure to continue it throughout your pregnancy period. It has proved to be the best treatment of pregnancy care in Northern Beaches. 
  • Gaining weight during pregnancy is good but if it is more than the recommended amount, chances of pregnancy complications may increase.Ask your doctor how much weight you must gain during pregnancy. 
  • Sleep for at least 7 to 9 hours every night. Rest on your left side as that will help blood flow to you as well as your baby & prevent swelling. Use pillows between your legs & under your belly to get comfortable. 
  • Health problems should be treated and kept very much under control. If you have diabetes, control it. If you have high blood pressure, closely monitor it. 
  • Make sure to wear a seatbelt. The lap strap needs to go under your belly and across your hip. The shoulder strap must go between your breasts & to your belly’s side. Ensure it fits you snugly. 
  • Ask your doctor before you stop to take any medicine that you have or take any new medicine. No matter whether it’s over-the-counter, prescription or herbal medicine – all can harm your baby. So, your doctor’s advice in this case is a must.

Our next blog will have a list of pregnancy don’ts. So, stay tuned to our blog space to know about the don’ts during pregnancy!

Hypothyroidism, Its Effect On Fertility & TCM Treatment

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Hypothyroidism
In the context of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), thyroid is believed to perform functions similar to that of the kidney instead of being recognised as a specific organ. Hypothyroidism is a condition that commonly affects women aged between 40 and 50 years. Nowadays, however, it is increasingly being found in young women as well. And the condition is having a significant impact on their ability to become pregnant.

Practitioners of TCM claim that the primary cause of hypothyroidism is stress. This is because emotional stress creates a blockage in the path of Qi and prevents it from moving freely. Due to the disturbance, all organs fail to perform their functions as effectively as they should be. Besides that, the Stomach, Spleen, Heart and Lung Qi do not descend properly, rather stagnate at or near the throat and ultimately affect the thyroid.

Hypothyroidism is generally characterised by a wide variety of symptoms and discomforts. Some of them are quite conspicuous, while others can easily be mistaken as mild problems:

  • Tiredness
  • Cold intolerance
  • Weight gain
  • Forgetfulness
  • Brittle and dry hair
  • Puffy eyes
  • Goitre
  • Muscle weakness
  • Reduced mental capabilities
  • Dry and coarse skin
  • Anaemia
  • Oedema
  • Constipation
  • Oligomenorrhea
  • Poor libido

Now coming to the effects of hypothyroidism on the ability of a woman to conceive, the condition prevents the Kidney Yang from providing the warmth that a body needs for growing a fetus. Kidney Yang is the metabolic warmth or energetic fire human beings need for each and every activity inside the body. Deficiency of this energetic fire triggered by hypothyroidism slow down the development of foetus in women, often leading to miscarriage during the 1st trimester. The same problem can also be responsible for recurring miscarriages. It is being cited as a major problem of womens health in Northern Beaches.

Fortunately, Traditional Chinese Medicine can effectively treat hypothyroidism. It has been found that acupuncture,herbs and moxibustion have helped in treating hypothyroidism. These three modalities of TCM can in fact help in warming the kidneys, thereby increasing the internal warmth and fire. This in turn calms the inflammation of thyroid and eliminates all symptoms, reducing stress and enhancing the chances of getting pregnant.

In addition to getting TCM therapy for hypothyroidism, one should also avoid cold drinks and only eat foods that can be digested easily such as broths and soups. This is because with this one would have to use only little bit of energetic fire to digest the consumed food.


Common Health Issues Affecting Women Part-1

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If the most common health issues existing in the world today are considered, it would be seen that a majority of them affect women. The female community all over the world suffer from various problems such as clinical depression, malnutrition, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, body image issues, etc. more than men. Although it is true that women live relatively longer than men, they tend to have a poorer health for a major portion of their lives.

Given below is a list of the common problems primarily affecting women all over the world. Have a look:

 Body Image Issues

Body Image IssuesEven in the 21st century, women are trapped in a sick circle of beauty standards set by the society. People generally expect women to look youthful, vibrant, slim and smiley. These expectations can have an emotional detrimental impact on those women who are obese or “not pretty” according to society. It can make them underestimate themselves and give in to feelings of worthlessness. The control that society exercise over them through unnecessary expectations causes a tangible decline in their physical health. There are various ways to get rid of body image issues, the most effective ones being counselling, natural therapy, exercise and “self-confidence”.

  Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian Cancer_Womens health

Over 200,000 women get diagnosed with ovarian cancer every year, and it is responsible for more than 3% of all reported cases of cancer among women. Studies have found that Caucasian females have higher chances of getting affected by ovarian cancer than those of any other race. The symptoms of this disease generally include frequent urination, abdominal or pelvic pain and bloating. However, if ovarian cancer is detected in its early stages, a woman has high chances of getting cured and leading a normal, healthy life.

Pregnancy Complications

placental-abruption

From premature birth to miscarriage, women suffer from a wide range of pregnancy complications. Although it is not very common, the complications can sometimes even lead to death. Maternal deaths are caused due to various factors like cardiovascular disease and obesity. However, people are now adopting different alternative therapies for ensuring safe pregnancies and resolving complications. For example, many women are resorting to TCM clinics in Northern Beaches that offer natural treatment for women’s health.

Besides the above mentioned issues, there are many other problems cardinally affecting women every year. Some of them are have physical impact, others leave behind a deep emotional effect.

To know about more such problems, stay connected to our blog.

Treating AIDS With TCM

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Treating AIDS With TCMAIDS is caused by a virus called called HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus). It has a long latent period providing great opportunity for TCM to treat it. Studies conducted using acupuncture and Chinese Medicine indicates that TCM does have some effects on the aspects like improvement of the AIDS patients’ immune & survival quality, extension of the survival time and relief of the clinical symptoms.

The clinical manifestation is quite complicated & includes night sweats, fever, appetite reduction, weight loss, asthenia, skin rash, problem in breathing and extensive lymphangoncus. If infected with HIV, your body will try fighting the infection. It will also make several antibodies for fighting the virus, which may present several defects as well as abnormalities in your immune system.

Although there isn’t any reliable method of controlling this virus there are many ways to improve the immune system invigorating qi & blood, strengthening the constitution & preventing diseases by using elongated needles, finger-press therapy, moxibustion etc.

Acupuncture

Needles_icon_

Needling du and ren channels is the primary way of adjusting yin & yang. Main points on ren channel include ren 4,6, 12, 17, 20, 22 and 23 whereas the main points on du channel include du 3,4,6,7,9,12 and 14. This treatment procedure may nourish yin & yang, regulate the viscera, dredge tri-jiao & improve the appetite. If symptoms present include diarrhoea, four points around belly button about 1” away needs to be needled. Other points like shu/back points with mu/front points, & points on the limbs, may even be needled.

Chinese Herbs

Chinese Herbs

This may contribute to nourishing qi & blood, regulating the viscera, strengthening the resistance & eliminating the pathogens. A number of Chinese herbs have proven to be functional in improving the human immune system. Furthermore, the herbs to prevent and treat AIDS are available in more than thirty various prescriptions like xiao chaihu tang, ginseng tang, guipi tang and others. Chinese herbs need to be used in quantity and their strength are to be determined by clinical symptoms. Some of the herbs like bighead atractylodes rhizome, Chinese cassia tree, can be made into fine powder and be put on bellybutton for improving the immune function.

Abdomen Massage

Abdomen Massage

Abdomen is the place from where all diseases come in. Abdomen may make qi of middle jiao flow very smoothly sending up lucid & sending down turbid, promoting the flow of tri-jiao, regulating middle jiao & restoring qi, relieving depressed liver & enlivening the spleen. Thus, it’s very essential in full management of conditions related with AIDS. Areas for massage include lan men, lymphatic points, ren 6 and 11 and a few others.

How Can Acupuncture Be Used for IVF Support?

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With the growing popularity of acupuncture for improving women’s health in Northern Beaches, now it is also being seen as an effective means for providing support during an In Vitro Fertilisation cycle. Studies have proven that acupuncture administered on the same day as embryo transfer within an IVF cycle can improve rates of implantation, reduce stress and increase blood circulation to uterus.

Acupuncture can be safely used and is very effective during an IVF cycle. Most couples are now resorting to acupuncture for increased chances of conception. For maximum efficiency, many practitioners consider the administration of acupuncture three months prior to the commencement of the IVF cycle. It offers a natural means to optimize the conditions necessary for fertilisation. A preconception program of acupuncture for IVF can ensure that the woman’s body is in the best state to conceive. Acupuncture sessions once a week till egg retrieval and during embryo transfer are also recommended.

To provide IVF support in Northern Beaches with acupuncture treatment, a monitored protocol is followed for a month before the IVF cycle so as to prepare the body for transfer of embryo. Evidences collected from research show that acupuncture increases the rate of success of IVF by:

  • Improving the flow of blood to uterus and the ovaries
  •  Improving quality of endometrium
  • Increasing endometrial receptivity
  • Enhancing reaction to hormonal stimulation
  • Decreasing the potential side effects of medications taken for fertility
  • Improving the density and diffusion of blood to the lining of uterus
  • Relaxing the uterus to prepare and provide for implantation
  • Promoting relaxation and alleviating stress
    The day embryo transfer takes place, an acupuncture session before as well as after the transfer is highly recommended, both of which should be conducted observing a distinct protocol. Treatment with acupuncture before embryo transfer reduces tissue trauma and inflammation. Women treated with acupuncture for IVF are 42.5 per cent more likely to conceive. After successful implantation of the embryo and positive test result for pregnancy, weekly sessions of acupuncture treatment till 12-13 weeks should be conducted for they will help to stabilise and also support the pregnancy appropriately. This is extremely crucial for women who have had miscarriages in the past and with pregnancies achieved using IVF. Some women complained about cramps in abdomen after egg transfer. Acupuncture not only helps to subside this problem, but also any abdomen or ovary swelling.
    Acupuncture for IVF

How can Acupuncture be Beneficial during Pregnancy?

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Acupuncture and Pregnancy
In the modern times, acupuncture is popularly used as a conjunctive therapy to provide relief from pre and post-partum discomforts which are normally associated with pregnancy. Treatment with acupuncture has not only been proven to cure a lot of problems during pregnancy but also complex conditions such possibilities of miscarriage and bleeding.

Receiving acupuncture from a reputed acupuncturist is absolutely safe for women who are pregnant and can spell a number of benefits for the mother as well as the baby. Nowadays most women during their pregnancy in Northern Beaches resort to acupuncture to get rid of various pregnancy-related issues.

Acupuncture Helps Relieve Stress During Pregnancy Stress is a common condition seen in many pregnant women. Stress during pregnancy can reduce the immunity of the body and constrict blood vessels, which can be harmful for both mother and child. Acupuncture increases the flow of blood, reduces inflammation level within the body and boost the immune system, which collectively promote peaceful of mind.

Acupuncture Can Treat Morning Sickness, Heartburns and Nausea While being in the first trimester, it is quite natural for a pregnant woman to suffer from morning sickness, followed by heartburns in the later stages due to improper digestion. Acupuncture helps improve digestion causing the food intake to go where it should.

Back Pain, Body Pains and Other Discomforts During Pregnancy Can be Reduced With Acupuncture –
Pregnancy can give rise to a lot of conditions in the body including back pains, cramps, haemorrhoids, constipation, insomnia etc. Taking medications such as pain relievers, sleeping pills or laxatives can cause complications in the pregnancy. But with the help of acupuncture, the body can produce natural pain killers such as endorphins and promote conditions for sleep.

Turning a baby breech –
In most pregnancies, the baby’s position is such that his/her head faces upwards inside the womb, which is known as the breech position during the final 3 months. Acupuncture accompanied by moxibustion can be very effective in manipulating the movements of the mother’s womb and create ideal conditions for the baby to turn from the breech position to a cephalic position. The treatment usually wonders if administered from the 32nd week.

Depression During Pregnancy Can Be Soothed Using Acupuncture
Some women while they are pregnant go through a period of major depression due to the changes occurring with hormones inside the body. Antidepressants, if taken to alleviate the depression, are likely to cause side-effects. However, administration of acupuncture is a safe means to mitigate depressive episodes.


Acupuncture is Useful For Promoting Labour As Well As Lessening Labour Pain –

Acupuncture is a great way to promote appropriate conditions for the body to get ready for labour. An acupuncture session once a week during the final weeks of pregnancy can help the woman to focus her energy on the labour. It also reduces the amount of time spent in labour.
acupuncture in pregnancy

Acupuncture May Help Relieve Hot Flushes Among Menopausal Women

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menopause

Hot flushes, also called hot flashes, are sudden feeling of heat over body parts or all over the body. They can even cause redness on neck and face, red blotches on back, arms and chest, and cold shivers and heavy sweating. A lot of health conditions may cause hot flushes. However, they are very common among women who are undergoing a menopausal phase.

A very effective treatment for the hot flushes include hormone therapy- the use of medication, which contains progesterone or estrogen. But such a treatment may increase the risk of health conditions like heart disease, stroke & cancer.

The researchers in Northern Beaches, Sydney, wanted to know how acupuncture affected the severity and regularity of hot flushes, which a woman generally experiences when undergoing the natural menopausal phase.

Acupuncture is after all a form of alternative medicine, which is more than 3000 years old. It incorporates the number of processes, which stimulate the anatomical points on body as form if healing. A very common form of acupuncture involves use of metallic, thin needles, which penetrate into the skin. This technique is mainly used to help treat the chronic pain. However, past research has shown it can even reduce the inflammation and can boost weight loss.

The research that was conducted recently assessed acupuncture’s effectiveness. The women who were included in the research work underwent different forms of acupuncture like laser acupuncture, acupressure, ear acupuncture, electroacupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine acupuncture.

The researchers found out that women who went through acupuncture experienced reduction in severity & frequency of the hot flushes for up to three months. Moreover, the treatment seemed to have a beneficial effect on the hot flushes irrespective of the number of sessions, doses or duration of treatment received. But the researchers have noted that the sham acupuncture reduced frequency of the hot flushes as much as a true acupuncture in women who were undergoing the stage of menopause in Northern Beaches.

However, the researchers were unable to explain why this therapeutic treatment helped relieve hot flushes among the menopausal women. They only hypothesize that acupuncture can trigger a reduction in concentration of a neuropeptide that’s found in cells of peripheral and central nervous system (beta-endorphin)-in hypothalamus of brain. According to them, the lower levels of these neuropeptide can activate release of the calcitonin gene-related peptide that regulates the temperature of the body.

Acupuncture for hot Flushes_north side acupuncture