Acupuncture - No Pain Equals Better Gain

The biggest turnoff for people when they are considering acupuncture is the thought of needles and the possibility of pain. In actuality, pain should not be felt when acupuncture is performed correctly. The needles used for acupuncture are very thin and in most cases the recipient feels very little at all. I can remember back to my first time getting acupuncture and like many other people, I was quite worried about that first needle going in.

How Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine can help with Diminished Ovarian Reserve (DOR)

While diminished ovarian reserve (DOR) is more common in women as they get older, it can be an issue for younger women as well. The reasons for DOR are numerous, including age, cysts, endometriosis, high body mass index, history of tumours or radiation, or family history. While many of these causes are a result of an identifiable situation, it is still true that at 37 years old, a woman will have about 25,000 eggs remaining, and at menopause less than 1000. This is compared with approximately 400,00 eggs at puberty.

Science confirms what all of our clients already know: Acupuncture controls stress.

In a recent study conducted on mice, it was revealed that acupuncture actually regulates the specific hormones associated with the biochemical reactions that take place in the body as a result of stress. It was not surprising to see that the pairing of points that performed the best included a point from the Liver channel. The Liver in Chinese medicine is most associated with the stress response and takes the most abuse under periods of chronic stress.

How Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine can help with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

A syndrome is defined as a group of symptoms that consistently occur together, and with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) the common symptoms women experience are related to hormonal imbalances, specifically, as Dr. Pentland says “the presence of multiple cysts on the ovaries, excess androgen levels (male hormones), irregular ovulation and menstrual cycles, and insulin resistance”.

As Awareness Around Endometriosis Grows, So Too Does The Use of Acupuncture For Its Relief

This past month you may have seen some yellow ribbons being worn and some events such as the Million Women March for “the invisible disease”. This particular yellow ribbon campaign is conducted to promote awareness for Endometriosis, the disease commonly referred to as “the invisible disease” or “Eve’s curse”. It is a condition that affects as many as 1 in 10 women of reproductive age, is present in 50% of women experiencing infertility and is now the leading cause of chronic pelvic pain in women.

How Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine can help with Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a hormonal and immune system disease in which cells similar to the endometrium or uterine lining, grow outside the uterine cavity, often on the peritoneum or surrounding abdominal organs. Common symptoms include pain and infertility, with pain often worse during menstruation and often with excess clotting. It may also be present around ovulation and during sex (dysparerunia).

Acupuncture for IVF in Vancouver

Women and couples come to me at various stages of their journey to conception. Sometimes they have been trying for years and others they are just starting out. While conceiving naturally is everyone’s first choice, alternatives that garner the same results; a baby, should not be overlooked. It is for this reason that I have written this blog.

Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) is a term used to describe the current western medical treatments available for women and couples having difficulty conceiving and desiring or requiring medical aid such as In Vitro Fertilization.

How Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine can help with Male Factor Infertility

Approximately 40% of couples who are having trouble conceiving will experience male factor infertility, creating a significant area of interest which is often overlooked by both couples and specialists. From a conventional medicine perspective, there are a several variables at play with respect to male factor infertility, including sperm parameters (morphology, motility, quantity and concentration), antisperm antibodies, varicoceles, and erectile dysfunction.

Breast Health: Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory, the root of all breast disease is stagnation. In its mildest form, this poor circulation is reflected as premenstrual breast distension, tenderness, or pain. At its most severe, it becomes the Stagnation of Blood & Qi with Toxic Heat of a malignant breast tumor. Benign breast lumps, cysts and / or pain lie somewhere on the continuum of stagnation, most likely involving the JueYin (Liver) and YangMing (Stomach) meridians.

How Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine can Support IVF

The reasons for choosing In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) or Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) are as diverse and numerous as are the patients themselves, but what people do have in common is a deep rooted desire to love and start a family. IVF/IUI can be challenging as people invest time, energy, and money into a process that is still mysterious and constantly evolving as new technologies are used and innovations in hormonal protocols are made.

This is the growth of great medicine

Women and couples come to me at various stages of their journey to conception. Sometimes they have been trying for years and others they are just starting out. While conceiving naturally is everyone’s first choice, alternatives that garner the same results, a baby, should not be overlooked.

How Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine can help with Miscarriage

Affecting over a fifth of pregnant women, there’s often little information available about what went wrong in the case of miscarriage. In Canada, this translates to over 100,000 in a single year and that is only including those from known pregnancies. Further statistics tell us that potentially 70% of all pregnancies could result in miscarriage, with either a failure to implant or implantation with a failed pregnancy. Clearly a miscarriage is always a difficult time, as it is a very real loss that will affect us physically, mentally and emotionally.

Acupuncture can reduce Cholesterol

Keeping an eye on our cholesterol levels is essential for heart health and overall blood flow. While cholesterol is essential for bodily functions, too much of the wrong kind is bad. It comes in different forms in our body: low-density lipoproteins (LDL), which are sticky and clog our arteries, and high-density lipoproteins (HDL) which are not sticky and actually help to reduce cholesterol levels. For more information, you can explore this page.

How Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine can Help with Stress

The role of stress and fertility is unclear, and it’s important to remember that stress itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It allows us to move faster, think clearer and is essentially a life-preserving response to external stimulus. Life without stress would be unusual indeed as even positive experiences and happiness will elicit a type of stress response in the body - most profoundly the release of the hormone cortisol. This hormone, released by the adrenal glands has a cascade of effects in the body, including but not limited to the following:

"I am 1 in 6" Infertility Awareness Week 2015: May 19th - 28th

Next week kicks off infertility awareness week. It will be the third year that Yinstill has been a part of this great cause. This year’s national campaign is entitled: “I am 1 in 6” The Infertility Awareness Association of Canada (IAAC) has launched this campaign for this year to really highlight just how many couples struggle with fertility challenges. The goal of the campaign is to empower more people to speak out about their fertility challenges and the experiences they have endured during their journey.

How to Live in Harmony with Autumn

Autumn doesn’t spring, rather it falls. Summer changes to winter and a crisp dry coolness creeps into the air somewhere between the extremes of the year. The days shorten as we adjust to less sunlight and cooler temperatures, and it is time to organize for the winter and prepare for a long hibernation ahead. For many of us, autumn is also a time for transition and renewal as we return to work or school after enjoying some summer freedom. There is a movement towards deeper thinking and reflection, and we tend to adopt a more sedentary lifestyle.

‘Qi’ Stagnation, not ‘cheese’ Stagnation

Chinese medicine can be difficult to decipher sometimes; the language and methods it uses only makes sense within the system itself and without any background knowledge it can be confusing and annoyingly esoteric. Imagine hearing these words from your Chinese medicine practitioner “Your kidneys are deficient” or “Your liver qi is stagnated” or “you are suffering from blood stasis and dampness in the lower jiao”. Huh? Should you run to the hospital for an MRI? Do I need dialysis? What is going on?

Supporting Follicular Genesis with Acupuncture and Self-Care

The egg you release this menstrual cycle has actually been in its final phase of maturation for the past 3 menstrual cycles. That is when the pre-antral follicle stage began; during this time the follicle grows from 0.2 mm to about 20 mm when the follicle is finally mature and the egg is ready for fertilization. Many follicles grow at the same time during the pre-antral stage. The follicles become “antral” once there is a fluid-filled sac which surrounds the egg.

Did you know acupuncture can increase your chances of pregnancy when used with IVF?

In an effort to promote some of the benefits of acupuncture, Yinstill posted this early in 2015… (in reference to the study: SEE: INFLUENCE OF ACUPUNCTURE ON THE PREGNANCY RATE IN PATIENTS USING ARTIFICIAL REPRODUCTION THERAPY).


What You Need to Know About Male Infertility

As our cultural and medical understanding of sperm health and male fertility grows, our sperm quality and quantity declines. A study published last year ( found a hefty decline in sperm counts between 1973 and 2011, a 50-60% drop in this time; dramatic to say the least. Most disturbing is there are only theories and notions as to what is the actual cause of this steep decline. Sperm production is a complicated biochemical process and to assess the variables that are in play in it’s healthy production is difficult. Usually studies will look at one or two chemicals or variables to see how they affect sperm health. These types of studies will often show concrete correlations between phthalate exposure and sperm health (, or stress levels and lower testosterone ( However, to have a full picture of the situation is extremely difficult, and all we can do now is investigate trends and specific factors that may be contributing.

Naturopathic Medicine and IVF: How a holistic approach can help improve your chances of success

IVF or In Vitro Fertilization is now responsible for 1% of all births in North America. This assisted reproductive technology is definitely on the rise and is something I come across everyday in practice. Patients seek support at Yinstill Reproductive Wellness because there is something missing from their treatment regimen at the fertility clinic. Often times women come into Yinstill wanting to know how they can complement their upcoming IVF, FET (frozen embryo transfer) or IUI (intrauterine insemination) cycle with natural treatments.

Chinese Medicine and Painful Periods

Many women experience painful periods, or dysmenorrhea. This pain can be debilitating while interrupting work, family and social life, as well as increasing our reliance on conventional pain killers such as Advil and Motrin. Here at Yinstill, we successfully treat painful periods by examining the quality and timing of the pain, as well as details of the menstrual history, menstrual blood and other related symptoms. These details allow us to diagnose the cause of disharmony and to choose the best acupoints to attain balance.

Am I running out of time to have a baby? Natural Solutions for Advanced Maternal Age

It’s no secret that women these days are making the decision to conceive much later in their lives than they were, say, 30-40 years ago. In my opinion, this is a wise decision in many ways as we are giving ourselves the opportunity to build up both financially and emotionally in preparation for nurturing a new life. The downfall here is that nature created us so that we as women have this “biological clock” that everyone talks about. So what does that really mean?

How Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Can Help You Get Pregnant

In the modern context of reproductive medicine and fertility, Acupuncture and Chinese medicine are finding their place and becoming an integral aspect of men’s and women’s reproductive health. Alongside these modalities, a conventional medical diagnosis is an essential way to understand the body and correct treatment often relies on accurate information regarding our hormones, blood levels, and an array of other details.

How Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine can help with Unexplained Infertility

From a person’s perspective, ‘unexplained infertility’ is a frustrating assessment. After testing, time and examination by specialists it has been determined that there is no physiological reason pregnancy is not taking place. According to the government of Canada infertility can be traced to either the man or woman, or a combination of both, and approximately 20% of infertility is unexplained.

Acupuncture for headaches during pregnancy

It is fairly common during pregnancy to experience headaches. This is true regardless of whether or not you were prone to headaches before you fell pregnant. Your hormone levels are flooding, your blood flow is being shunted from its regular course to the developing contents of your uterus, and your overall blood volume is increasing. This can produce a significant change in the circulation of the fluids and the energies of your body. And as the TCM saying goes, “Where there is pain; there is no circulation. Where there is circulation, there is no pain”.

How Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine can help with Advanced Maternal Age (AMA)

The term ‘advanced maternal age’ (AMA) is misleading, as women of ‘advanced age’ are in reality quite young, usually in their late 30s or 40s. Strong, confident, capable women who have already lived a full life or two and are now ready to consider expanding their family and having a child. The term ‘advanced maternal age’ is relative though, and it is known that the chances of falling pregnant decrease as we move into our late 30s, and it is accepted that maternal age plays a significant role in egg quality and ovarian reserve.

6 Lessons We Can Learn From Eastern Chinese Medicine

chinese medicine

Written by Leana Wen, M.D. - We should recognize there is much to learn from Eastern medicine, including what it means to be a physician to really care for our patients.

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