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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.

Chinese Medicine education goes public

To kick off the Legislative year, the Honourable Judith Guichon, the Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia, delivered the Speech from the Throne Tuesday, February 12. Within this speech there is a commitment by our government to begin work on creating the environment for a school of traditional Chinese medicine.

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.

Eggs don't have an expiration date

Before we are born, our developing ovaries contain all of the eggs we will have during our lifetime. When we are still only a 20-week old fetus in our mother’s womb, our number of eggs peaks at approximately four to six million. After this time, a natural process known as ooctye attrition begins where the number of eggs decreases. By the time we are born, we have about one million eggs left. At the time of our first period, we still have a few hundred thousand eggs. And when we reach menopause, approximately one thousand eggs remain.

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.

Recent study validates the use of N-Acetylcysteine in treating Endometriosis: a close parallel to the Chinese medicine approach for this same condition

Endometriosis is a condition that affects 8%–10% of women of reproductive age. Women with endometriosis can experience a range of little to no symptoms at all to extreme pain and infertility. It is estimated that between 30 and 50% of women with endometriosis have troubles with fertility. The disease is caused by the growth of endometrial cells outside of the uterus.

If you have Heat here's how to eat...

In China, the line between herbs and food is not quite so clear. Herbs are commonly added to soups and dishes for their medicinal qualities, not taste. Simple food cure principles are always used as an adjunct to medical therapy. If you seem to fit the general and gynecological features below (you only need to exhibit a few to be diagnosed with 'Heat') then pay special attention to the ‘avoid’ and ‘emphasize’ sections. Caution should be taken to not create direct correlations between TCM diagnostic terminology and western medical conditions.

Chinese Medicine treats the pain associated with Endometriosis

The prevalence of endometriosis is much more common than you might think, the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada report that 1 in 10 women of reproductive age have endometriosis and it was found to be present in at least half of the women who report experiencing chronic pelvic pain. For many women it may go undiagnosed until later in life when they experience fertility challenges. The most common symptom associated with endometriosis is pelvic pain that may range from mild to extreme and is directly related to the menstrual cycle.

Music that heals and the creativity of Medicine

The theories of Chinese medicine are deeply rooted in the underlying philosophy of ancient Chinese culture. Through the observation of the seasonal changes and the natural environment, the concept of the Five Elements was conceived. These are Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water. Each relates to a compass direction, a seasonal change and can be applied to many other natural phenomenon, including the human body. The theory of the Five Elements is utilized in Chinese medicine to explain relationships between the internal organs, their healthy physiology and also pathology.

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.

Seasonal Fluctuations in Gene expression

A recent research study was published that has discovered there are seasonal variations in the activity of our DNA. This may sound absolutely obvious to those that feel different during each season have always had a favourite season in which they feel their best. We now have the scientific evidence that backs this up. The research team reviewed annual gene expression patterns from ethnically and geographically diverse populations and compared data from both northern and southern hemispheres as well as groups at the ecuador and those closer to the poles. The trends were astonishing.

‘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?

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.

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.

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.

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”.

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).

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.

Accessible mindfullness: some tools for exploring yourself

A friend sent me the following link earlier this week and I have been absolutely engrossed in it. I wanted to share one of the most accessible summaries of Buddhism that I have experienced. I hope that you also find it to be a great introduction into the experience of a different perspective on how to approach the world.

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.

The other side of the ART equation

ivf vancovuer

As of a 2009 CDC survey, Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) births represented 1.4%of total US births, or 60,190 infants. It is now estimated that over 5 million births worldwide have been the result of medical reproductive intervention, a long way to come after the birth of the very first “test tube baby” in 1978. However, these advances have not come without their own concerns. In the same 2009 survey, it was also stated that 33.4% of ART births were born preterm, compared to a 12.2% rate found in natural births, and 47% were multiple births, compared to a general rate of 3%.

Do the phases of the moon have an influence on when you will have your baby?

At 8:05am (EST) Wednesday morning I became an uncle for the second time. This was a little bit of a surprise since this little guy was not due for another five weeks. This wasn’t the first time that my sister in law gave birth early and it just so happened to coincide on the new moon. Just over three years ago in May of 2009, I was still living in Victoria at the time and my wife had arrived from Vancouver to spend the weekend with me. I always keep a close eye on the lunar phases and noticed that it was to be a new moon on the Saturday night of that weekend.

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