In the age of food allergies, Sandra Beasley’s Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from An Allergic Life is a fascinating read for those of us who cannot imagine living with such food restrictions. Beasley tells her life story of dealing with severe food allergies and how she has learned to adapt her life around her extreme food sensitivities. Her food allergies are so severe that she rejected her mother’s breast milk as an infant. Over many years, doctors were able to determine that she is allergic to dairy (including goat’s milk), egg, soy, beef, shrimp, pine nuts, cucumbers, cantaloupe, honeydew, mango, macadamias, pistachios, cashews, swordfish and mustard; she is also allergic to mold, dust, grass, tree pollen, cigarette smoke, dogs, rabbits, horses, and wool. (Can you imagine?) However, the discovery of her allergies also involved countless anaphylactic shock episodes and trips to the emergency room before the correct offender could be identified. [Read more…]
For women going through IVF, it’s a very emotional time. And it seems sometimes easier for the human psyche to worry about the negative rather than create a positive future. Now if having a baby were as easy as “creating a positive future,” we wouldn’t need IVF! This practice is simply used to focus the mind, rather than letting anxiety and fear get the best of us.
Step 1. Release the past.
If our mind is cluttered with memories of yesterday or anxiety regarding tomorrow, we cannot truly create from a blank slate.
Breathing in, I allow myself to come into this present moment.
I choose to consciously release the past at this moment. I internally declare that the past has no power over me and I release and let go. (Deep sigh of relief).
Step 2. Create an intention
With an intention, you begin by stating your desire. Be sure to use juicy adjectives like loving, nurturing, and fully self-expressed. You want your intention to feel like it really resonates with why you desire to have a child.
The flow of the intention can go something like this…
- I would love the opportunity to be a loving mother to a healthy child.
- My intention at this time is be a nurturing mother in a beautiful family with a child.
- Who I am is the possibility of peace, love, and joy.
- I am a stand for loving families on our planet.
Step 3. Release and let go.
Oftentimes this is the hardest part. But just practice it and see how your heart opens. You can speak your intention with love and gracefully follow it with a releasing meditation.
“I have shared my intention with the universe and know that it has been received. With that knowing, I release and let go. I release the attachment of my intention and choose to stay focused on who I am being, rather than what I am asking for.”
“I choose to have faith in this life. I know it is not always easy but regardless of the outcome, I choose to have faith in my journey.”
Step 4. Rinse and repeat
I recommend writing down the intention you’ve created and include the releasing meditation. You can carry it around with you in your wallet. You could put it on the mirror in your bathroom. The honest truth is that you might need to say it a lot in each day. Worry and anxiety can be so familiar to our brains that it becomes our automatic thought process. This will truly be a lesson in consciously creating your thoughts. Enjoy!
Feng shui is an ancient art developed in China over 3,000 years ago. Its goal is to balance the energies of any given space to assure health, wellness and good fortune to those who inhabit it. Like acupuncture, feng shui is based on the principle of qi, an energy that fills our spacesand makes it feel “alive”. You may have heard the expression that the space has “good feng shui” or even walked into a space yourself and had a good or bad feeling when you did. One of the objects of feng shui is to create a free path for the qi to flow throughout your home. Picture qi as a gentle stream flowing through your home. By doing a simple walk through your home you can see where the stream flows smoothly and where clutter and objects get in its way. [Read more…]
For so many women, pregnancy is filled with preparing for birth. Taking classes, reading books, and practicing relaxation techniques are just a few of the many things that keep a pregnant woman busy. So for an expectant mom to hear that her baby is in a breech presentation, it can be very disappointing.
The inability to fall asleep at night can be very frustrating. Although we may feel tired, we can lay in bed for hours without being able to fall asleep. Instead of relaxing into sleep, we become more agitated that we cannot fall asleep—it’s a vicious cycle, to say the least. Sometimes all that is necessary is a formal way to calm the mind. Try this meditation, a modification of the “microcosmic orbit”, which helps to relax both the body and the mind. [Read more…]
As many women know, menstrual cramps can be quite painful and disruptive to daily life. The constant aching and pain that may last up 7 days can really take a toll on a woman’s quality of life. Of course, there are plenty of medications on the market that can ease the pain but do not treat the root of the problem. From a traditional Chinese medical standpoint, menstrual cramps are the result of energy (qi) and blood not able to flow freely. (We call this qi and blood stagnation) There are many different ways to help promote movement during this time of the menstrual cycle that really help with painful periods. [Read more…]
Mainstream medical treatment is beginning to shift towards a more holistic approach. Major hospitals around the country are starting to offer “alternative health” services to their patients in addition to conventional care, including acupuncture, naturopathy, homeopathy, massage and nutritional therapies, to name a few. For many people, it may be confusing to determine which services to use and how one modality affects another. (For example, many of our patients ask if they can get massage the same day as acupuncture.) [Read more…]
As women prepare to become mothers, those last few weeks can often feel like the most stressful. It’s common for women to have gotten to the point where they truly believe that they will have a baby on their due date. Women know rationally that it’s very unlikely, but they’ve said that date so many times to themselves, to others, heard it from doctors, and written it in their diaries. Over the course of the pregnancy, it seems to gain a lot of significance.
So when women do pass by their due date, they can start to feel very anxious. They themselves feel “ready” for the baby, often times are uncomfortable and have difficulty sleeping, and are receiving daily phone calls from friends and family who want to know when the baby is coming.
This pressure can make it difficult for a mother to relax, which is actually the best thing she could be doing for herself after 40 weeks. The more rested she is before she goes into birth, the better she will be able to cope with the process.
Both Endometriosis and Fibroids are influenced by hormones. Endometriosis is the result of abnormal growth of endometrial tissue outside of
the endometrium (the inner wall of the uterus). Uterine Fibroids are muscular tumors that grow in the walls of the uterus. Although these tumors are benign,
they, as well as endometriosis can cause many problematic symptoms for women throughout the menstrual cycle. The most common symptoms include: painful
cramping, excessive menstrual bleeding and clotting, painful intercourse and infertility. These symptoms can dramatically impact a women’s quality of life.
There are a number of theoretical causes of endometriosis and fibroids. [Read more…]
Here is exciting new research that proves acupunctures efficacy in reducing labor pain. This study “included 13 trials with data reporting on 1,986 women. Less intense pain was found from acupuncture compared with no intervention. One trial increased satisfaction with pain relief compared with placebo control. Reduced use of pharmacological analgesia was found in one trial of acupuncture compared with placebo. Also, Fewer instrumental deliveries from acupuncture were found compared with standard care.” See complete results below.
Acupuncture or Acupressure for pain management in labor – Smith CA, Collins CT, Crowther CA, Levett KM
Acupuncture or acupressure may help relieve pain during labour, but more research is needed.
The pain of labour can be intense, and may be worsened because of a woman’s tension, anxiety and fear affecting their labour and birth experience . Many women would like to labour without using drugs or invasive methods of pain management, and turn to alternatives to manage the pain. The review of 13 trials, with data reporting on 1986 women, found that acupuncture or acupressure may help relieve labour pain. Single or limited numbers of trials reported less intense pain, increased satisfaction with pain relief and reduced use of analgesic drugs with acupuncture compared with placebo or usual care. Acupressure also reduced pain intensity. Acupuncture involves the insertion of fine needles into different parts of the body to correct the imbalance of energy in the body. The intervention was administered at term as individualised treatment (six trials) or at standardised acupuncture points in the majority of trials but with wide variation in the mode of stimulation, duration of needling, number of points used, depth of needling and duration of the trial.
This is a Cochrane review abstract and plain language summary, prepared and maintained by The Cochrane Collaboration, currently published in The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2011 Issue 7, Copyright © 2011 The Cochrane Collaboration. Published by John Wiley and Sons, Ltd.. The full text of the review is available in The Cochrane Library (ISSN 1464-780X).
This record should be cited as: Smith CA, Collins CT, Crowther CA, Levett KM. Acupuncture or acupressure for pain management in labour. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2011, Issue 7. Art. No.: CD009232. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD009232
Editorial Group: Pregnancy and Childbirth Group
This version first published online: July 6. 2011
Last assessed as up-to-date: February 2. 2011
Many women would like to avoid pharmacological or invasive methods of pain management in labour and this may contribute towards the popularity of complementary methods of pain management. This review examined evidence supporting the use of acupuncture and acupressure for pain management in labour.
To examine the effects of acupuncture and acupressure for pain management in labour.
We searched the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group’s Trials Register and The Cochrane Complementary Medicine Field’s Trials Register (October 2010), the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (The Cochrane Library 2010, Issue 4), MEDLINE (1966 to October 2010), and CINAHL (1980 to October 2010).
Published and unpublished randomised controlled trials comparing acupuncture and acupressure with placebo, no treatment or other non-pharmacological forms of pain management in labour. We included all women whether primiparous or multiparous, and in spontaneous or induced labour.
Data collection and analysis
We performed meta-analysis using risk ratios (RR) for dichotomous outcomes and mean differences (MD) for continuous outcomes. The outcome measures included pain intensity, satisfaction with pain relief, use of pharmacological pain relief, relaxation, caesarean section rate, augmentation with oxytocin, length of labour and anxiety.
We included 13 trials with data reporting on 1986 women. Nine trials reported on acupuncture and four trials reported on acupressure. Less intense pain was found from acupuncture compared with no intervention (standardised mean difference (SMD) -1.00, 95% confidence interval (CI) -1.33 to -0.67, one trial, 163 women). One trial increased satisfaction with pain relief compared with placebo control (RR 2.38, 95% CI 1.78 to 3.19, 150 women). Reduced use of pharmacological analgesia was found in one trial of acupuncture compared with placebo (RR 0.72, 95% CI 0.58 to 0.88, 136 women), and compared with standard care, however, there was significant heterogeneity (RR 0.68, 95% CI 0.56 to 0.83, three trials, 704 women). Fewer instrumental deliveries from acupuncture were found compared with standard care (RR 0.67, 95% CI 0.46, 0.98, three trials, 704 women); however, there was significant heterogeneity. Pain intensity was reduced in the acupressure group compared with a placebo control (SMD -0.55, 95% CI -0.92 to -0.19, one trial, 120 women), and a combined control (SMD -0.42, 95% CI -0.65 to -0.18, two trials, 322 women). No trial was assessed as being at a low risk of bias for all of the quality domains.
Acupuncture and acupressure may have a role with reducing pain, increasing satisfaction with pain management and reduced use of pharmacological management. However, there is a need for further research.