In practicing traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), there is a wide variety of methods to create a diagnosis. Perhaps the most obvious to our patients is asking questions. Many patients find that when they come in for their first acupuncture treatment, we (the acupuncturist) ask many questions pertaining to the “chief complaint” as well as other aspects of well-being. For the acupuncturist, the answers to the questions give us our first clues as to which energetic channels are out of balance and where the pathology is located. Next, palpating (feeling) the pulse and observing the tongue are more objective methods in supporting (or not) our preliminary diagnosis. [Read more…]
I was a patient at Acupuncture Healthcare after the birth of my second child. I was experiencing low milk supply after many efforts to prevent it, both pre-nataly and post-nataly. I went to great efforts to boost my supply including; Lactation Consultant visits (pre and post natal), herbs (pre and post natal), relaxation techniques, massage therapy, nutrition, hand expression, pumping, support groups, and most other recommendations I have come across. I had a low supply with my first child and was determined to give my second child only breast milk. I had a wonderful home birth with no complications. I had lots of love and support after birthing and really focused on feeding my baby. Even with all my efforts I was still coming up a little short on fulfilling the babies’ needs. My Lactation Consultant, Barbara Robertson, suggested seeing Monica Leibson at Acupuncture Healthcare. I had had acupuncture in the past, but never committed to consistent sessions. I started seeing Monica every week. After the first session I felt less stressed and had more of an “ok! I can do this!” kind of [Read more…]
Happy Thanksgiving! The significance of Thanksgiving is different for everyone. For some, it’s a time to eat and spend time with family and friends. For others, it is simply a day off work and time to relax. No matter how you celebrate Thanksgiving, it is an opportunity to stand back from our busy life schedules and reflect on gratitude. However, it is unfortunate that we only consider gratitude and thanks-giving for one day out of the entire year! Having daily feelings of gratitude is good for both the body and soul. [Read more…]
It’s happening. Kids have been in school for less than 2 months and already the bugs are beginning to fly—the stomach flu, the common cold, etc. And it’s barely even October! But don’t worry, it’s not too late to support your immune system. In fact, by adapting certain dietary and lifestyle practices we can reduce or avoid getting sick at all!
In Chinese medicine (CM), immunity is strongly related to digestion. Immunity has to do with the state of energy (qi) in the body—the more qi, the stronger the immune system. Qi is created via digestion and thus, food choices are critical in boosting the body’s immunity. Specific foods have the ability to support (or take away from) overall immunity. Take a look at some of our favorite immune-supporting foods and dietary tips! [Read more…]
Department of Research, Lutheran Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY 11220, USA. CCitkovitz@lmcmc.com
The objective of this study was to assess clinical effects and logistical feasibility of acupuncture given during labor and delivery in a U.S. hospital setting.
A case-control pilot study was conducted with 45 parturients receiving acupuncture during labor and delivery alongside standard care. Primary outcome endpoints were incidence of cesarean section, amount of parenteral opioids used, use of epidural anesthesia, and duration of labor. Secondary endpoints included patient satisfaction and nursing staff acceptance as assessed by postpartum questionnaire, maximum flow rate of oxytocin, incidence of instrumental delivery, Apgar score, and incidence of adverse event.
Forty-five (45) patients receiving acupuncture were compared to 127 historical controls matched for maternal age, gestational age, parity, and use of oxytocin (augmentation and induction were matched separately). Acupuncture patients underwent significantly fewer cesarean sections (7% versus 20%, p = 0.004). No significant differences were noted in other clinical endpoints. Seventy-eight percent (78%) of nurses reported a subjective perception of improvement in patients’ comfort with acupuncture, while 83% reported that the acupuncturists’ presence never interfered with their work. Eighty-seven percent (87%) of patients reported that acupuncture had helped them.
Acupuncture during labor and delivery is well tolerated by patients and medical staff. It should be further evaluated for its promise in potentially reducing the incidence of cesarean section.
- [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]
- Acupuncture Therapy*
- Analgesia, Obstetrical/methods*
- Analgesics, Opioid/therapeutic use
- Anesthesia, Epidural/utilization
- Anesthesia, Obstetrical/utilization
- Attitude of Health Personnel
- Case-Control Studies
- Cesarean Section/statistics & numerical data
- Cesarean Section/utilization
- Delivery, Obstetric*
- Infant, Newborn
- Labor, Obstetric*
- Patient Satisfaction
- Pilot Projects
- United States
- Young Adult
What was your primary concern that brought you in for acupuncture treatment?
I originally came in to see Monica Leibson for Fibromyalgia symptoms such as intense joint and back pain, exhaustion, and depression.
What were the benefits you experienced from acupuncture, expected and unexpected?
Relaxation; allergy, cold, and asthma relief, pain relief; more energy; ability to accomplish more in a day with little to no pain.
What were some of your misconceptions about acupuncture before you began treatment?
I was worried it would not work. I was afraid it would not be able to help with my chronic pain.
What would you tell people who have never had acupuncture?
I did not believe this kind of relief was possible. If I see anyone with pain or a lot of stress they should definitely try acupuncture with Monica Leibson. It has made my life 100 times better and my family sees the relief I get as well.
– Rebecca K.
White Lake, MI
Pictures of Acupuncture during Birth
Recently I had the amazing experience of giving birth at home to our beautiful baby boy. I could not have done it without the wonderful people there to support me. One person stands out as having made a major difference throughout the last year and a half. Monica Leibson, Acupuncturist and Doula, was an incredible person to have as part of my team throughout my preconception, pregnancy, labor, and delivery experience. I began seeing Monica for acupuncture because we were not getting pregnant as quickly as I would have liked. Within a few months of seeing her, through her acupuncture treatments and advice on other aspects of my health, we got pregnant!
During my pregnancy Monica continued to treat me with for hyperemesis (excessive vomiting). The first twenty weeks of my pregnancy I was constantly vomiting and one of the very few things that relieved my symptoms were the acupuncture treatments from Monica. Then in the latter part of my pregnancy when I was uncomfortable with general issues like sore feet and back pain, she was able to help relieve those as well.
Acupuncture During Labor
Monica performed acupuncture on me during my labor and it made an incredible difference for me. I remember feeling completely [Read more…]
Good health, according to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is dependent on four major foundations. These include diet, exercise, adequate rest and relaxation, and a good mental attitude. Acupuncture reaches it’s full and lasting effect when lifestyle changes are made where all four foundations are attended to. Diet, while not more important than the other three, contributes mightily to many health related issues. The following article shall discuss Damp and its relationship to digestion and health.
In TCM the energies (qi) of organs are paired in a yin and yang fashion. Very briefly, yin and yang are distinct entities yet dependent on each other, with yang found in yin and yin found in yang. Qi, the life force, is found in every organ and in the body overall. Diseases and digestion are therefore a result of excessiveness or deficiencies in qi, as related to the yin and yang organ pairs. This principle is the foundation of TCM. The goal of Acupuncture is then to restore the balance of the organ pairs within the body. [Read more…]
Research: The Relationship Between Stress and Infertility
A Synopsis for Harvard Medical International and their Centers of Excellence and Constituents
Alice D. Domar, Ph.D.
The Mind Body Centre for Women’s Health at Boston IVF
Infertility has been defined by the World Health Organization as “the inability of a couple to bring pregnancy to term after a year or more of regular unprotected intercourse”. Approximately 10-15 percent of couples of childbearing age experience infertility. The psychological impact of infertility can be profound and depressive symptoms are more common in the infertile population than in matched fertile women.Approximately 10 percent of infertile women meet the criteria for a major depressive episode, 30-50 percent report depressive symptoms, and 66 percent report feeling depressed after infertility treatment failure. The majority of infertile women report that infertility is the most upsetting experience of their lives. Infertile women report equivalent levels of anxiety and depression as women with cancer, HIV status or heart disease.
Recent research indicates that psychological distress may impair fertility and that depressive symptoms may reduce the efficacy of infertility treatment. Several studies conducted within the past three years support the theory that psychological distress can have a significant adverse impact on successive rates in vitro fertilization (IVF). In one of the studies, women with depressive symptoms were half as likely to conceive as women who were not depressed, and in the most recent study of 151 women scheduled to undergo an IVF cycle the chance of a live birth was 93 percent higher in women with the highest positive-affect score. Researchers have concluded that the success rates of high-tech infertility treatment can be adversely affected by psychological stress.
Mind/body treatment of infertility patients has been shown to both increase pregnancy rates as well as reducing psychological distress. In a recent study conducted at the MBMI, 185 women who had been trying to conceive for one to two years were randomized into either a 10 week mind/body group, a ten week support group, or a routine care control group. The birth rates during the one year follow up period were as follows: – Mind/body 55%, support 54%, and controls 20%. In addition the mind/body patients reported significantly greater psychological improvements than the support or control patients. Patients in the clinical Mind/Body Program for Infertility show benefits as well; in four published studies on several hundred women with an infertility duration of 3.5 years, 42 percent conceived within six months of completing the program and there were significant decreases in all measured psychological symptoms including depression, anxiety and anger.
Infertile women report elevated levels of psychological distress and this distress may reduce their chances of conceiving. Mind/body treatment has been shown to be effective in both significantly increasing pregnancy rates as well as reducing psychological stress.
Hiring a Doula: A Husband’s Perspective
July 5, 2009
BY ED REESE
This guest post was written by my husband Ed Reese and it represents his views and opinions.
I was struck by Cara’s Wright’s comments in last Friday’s blog post about the reservations fathers-to-be have abouthiring a doula. As a husband that had doubts about it myself, I thought I’d share my experience and hope you find it helpful. In my opinion, men’s resistance to hiring a doula comes from three factors.
Money, Privacy, and Control
We don’t like paying extra. We also know childbirth is very expensive. To many fathers-to-be, a doula just isn’t needed. It’s the equivalent of buying the warranty—and we never get the warranty. You want someone to come with us to the hospital on this special day? Someone crashing our private family moment? Someone telling us what to do? Cara is right, many husbands don’t want to pay for that lack of privacy and control.
We hired my wife Tine’s prenatal yoga instructor Katie Louderback as our doula. In addition to being experienced and knowledgable about the childbirth process, she made us feel immediately at ease. I didn’t realize how much time we would actually spend together prior to delivery. I enjoyed taking time to get to know her, ask questions and learn more about what was ahead of us at our own pace.
False Alarms – The Importance of Experience
About a week before Tine’s due date we were at a restaurant with some good friends. Toward the end of the meal Tine started having contractions. As I was prepping the car for a hasty get-a-way to the hospital she called Katie to talk about what she was feeling. Katie quickly determined that it wasn’t time yet. Sure enough, the contractions stopped after about an hour and we were able to spend one last Saturday night playing cards with our friends before Mac was born. Her insight kept us from going to the hospital too soon.
What Do Father’s-To-Be Have To Offer, Anyway?
Here’s what’s crazy to me: we are expected to somehow support you with no real-world experience whatsoever. We don’t have a baseline as to what’s normal. We don’t know what expressions to look for in your face to know it’s go-time. We don’t know what danger signs to look for, either. It’s not realistic to expect us to do much more than hold your hand, offer encouragement, and say we love you. Then again, maybe that is exactly what our role should be and no more. Beyond that, we’ve got zilch, nada, nunca.
Game Day – The Real Importance of Experience and Support
The contractions came early on the morning of the 31st. After timing them and feeling pretty confident that this was in fact D-Day, she called Katie to get consensus. Yep, this sounded legit. So Katie came over and stayed with us for most of the day. It was much more relaxing for both of us with her there. She had assisted with dozens of births and we were confident in her guiding us through it all.
At 3pm Katie looked at Tine and said it was probably time we head to the hospital. Without a doula, we would’ve left hours earlier and likely been turned away, which could’ve stalled her labor. As it was, Tine was only three centimeters dilated when we arrived and they nearly sent us packing. However, Katie talked to the hospital staff and confidently let them know that it was in her best interest to stay. This was the first of many times that Katie stepped up and worked with the hospital staff on our behalf. This was so incredibly valuable!
As I mentioned before, we men have no baseline for normal. A doula does. Without that experience, it would’ve been tough to question a doctor, nurse, or other hospital staff regarding decisions about the delivery. We were able to make several requests (with Katie’s help) that made labor and delivery more comfortable for Tine, and ultimately helped her achieve a natural birth. It also took a huge weight off of my shoulders. I was able to and offer love and support to my wife without worrying about other details because Katie had them covered. I know hiring a doula might be considered “extra,” but I highly recommend taking that step. It’s well worth it.