Receiving a diagnosis of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is very scary and confusing for many women, especially when trying to conceive. PCOS is a syndrome—this means one size does NOT fit all. Classically, women with PCOS were overweight, had inappropriate hair growth and did not menstruate regularly. However, many of the PCOS patients I see do NOT fit that description. Some women have insulin resistance, acne, irregular periods or cysts on their ovaries. Or not. Traditional treatment for PCOS involves birth control pills, blood sugar regulating medications, low carb diet and exercise. When trying to conceive, all of those options are great—with the exception of birth control pills! [Read more…]
As a practitioner that specializes in the childbearing year, I treat a lot of couples going through the process of getting pregnant. I’ve found that across the board, the journey can be very stressful. From checking your temperature to taking medication to timed intercourse, it certainly takes the fun out of trying to get pregnant. One thing that can be helpful is being intentional of your mindset during the process. Patients often oscillate between trying to control the situation and feeling desperately out of control. Creating an intention for yourself can alleviate a lot of that anxiety, stress, and depression.
Creating an Intention for your Fertility
This practice is simply used to focus the mind, rather than letting anxiety and fear get the best of us.
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. Be sure NOT to intend things that are out of your control (like by when you will be pregnant, that it will be genetically yours, that you won’t have to do IVF, etc.) These thoughts generally arise from the ego and are our way of trying to control situations. In an ideal world, you want to be able to live into this intention no matter if you get pregnant or not. The “bigger” you create the intention (see numbers 3 & 4 below), the less likely it will be about trying to get what you want, and the more it will be about becoming the person you want to be in the world. Who we are for the world is the biggest gift we have to offer ourselves and others.
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 the 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 during 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. Overtime, your efforts to make a shift in your mindset will leave you with a sense of peace and optimism.
Monica Mae Leibson earned her Masters degree at the Santa Barbara College of Oriental Medicine (SBCOM), and is a NCCAOM Board Certified Acupuncturist. Monica has been trained in the treatment of physical and musculoskeletal injuries, working with alcohol and drug detoxification, as well as working with hospice patients. She has received extensive training in Chinese herbs, physical medicine and anatomy and physiology.
Monica has also obtained specialized training in Chinese Medicine and Infertility, studying under both Dr. Randine Lewis (author of The Infertility Cure) and Jane Lyttleton (author of Treating Infertility with Traditional Chinese Medicine). Monica and her infertility practice focuses on integrating Traditional Chinese Medicine with Reproductive Medicine.
Monica has been trained as a Birth Doula and Postpartum Doula. As a specialist, she educates clients about their options during birth. Through acupuncture and education, she supports a woman’s body during pregnancy so they are less likely to need induction or medical intervention. She also uses acupuncture and acupressure during birth to relieve pain and assist a smooth birth.
Her Postpartum Doula work includes educating women about breastfeeding, hormone regulation and infant health.
Monica is the past Treasurer and Membership Chair of the Michigan Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and uses Chinese Medicine to empower her clients to access their physical, emotional, and spiritual power. Monica combines her art of healing to express the divine creativity within all of us. When she’s not assisting patients in their healing, Monica spends her with time with her family, and also enjoys singing, dancing, and painting.
I am proud to announce that I recently became a fellow of the American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine (ABORM), the first in the state of Michigan. The ABORM is a group of acupuncturists that have extensive experience in treating infertility and work together with Western medical practitioners to create a level of professionalism and excellence within the field. Many long-time ABORM members are the leaders in the community of Chinese medical reproductive medicine. The ABORM was created to set a standard of excellence in treatment of Chinese medicine and infertility. Fellows must acquire a specific amount of continuing education credits in Chinese reproductive medicine and at least 2 years of practice before being eligible to sit for the ABORM certification exam. Fellows are only inducted after passing this examination. [Read more…]
Ask the Acupuncturist: For Couples Trying to Conceive
The infertility journey can be a long and confusing one. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine is a useful and important tool to use along the way. Many people have questions, don’t understand or want to learn more about acupuncture and Chinese herbs.
Join Julie Shindler-Cohen, MSTOM, Dipl. OM for an evening to learn more about Chinese medicine, ask your specific questions and gain support from others. These meetings are limited to a few couples per session, so RSVP soon!
When: Thursday October16, then
Every 1st Thursday of the month, 7-8pm
Where: MI Associates of Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine
7001 Orchard Lake Road #120
West Bloomfield, MI 48322
RSVP: (248) 737-7126
There is no cost to attend
Julie Shindler-Cohen, MSTOM, Dipl. OM, is a registered acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist. Julie earned her degree from the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in Chicago and completed an internship at the Zhejiang College of Medicine in Hangzhou, China. Julie has obtained additional training in infertility under Jane Lyttleton and pregnancy under Debra Betts. Julie has a passion for treating couples experiencing infertility and uses her knowledge and experience to assist couples during their journey.
Over the last 20 years, we have become more aware of the many challenges couples face in getting pregnant. Individuals are marrying later in age and couples are waiting longer to have children. In addition, Environmental toxins and our own diet can have direct impact on our health and trying to conceive. From a western medical viewpoint, advanced age and ovulatory dysfunction, PCOS, thyroid issues as well as male fertility can all play a part in having difficult conceiving.
There are many ways to take care of our bodies and support a successful pregnancy. During these times, many couples turn to integrative medicine as an alternative or in complement with western medicine.
Acupuncture has many benefits for women trying to conceive including increasing blood flow to and relaxing the uterus, improving egg quality and quantity, and increasing the thickness of the uterine lining. A study done in Germany found that acupuncture can increase the chances of pregnancy for women undergoing and IVF cycle. When we are under stress from dealing with fertility, our nervous system activates the “fight or flight” response and can cause a myriad of health issues. Acupuncture is very effective in calming and balancing the sympathetic nervous system.
Nutrition and Supplements
The essential fatty acids in flax seed has been known to lengthen the follicular phase and delay early ovulation, increase the frequency of ovulation in women who do not ovulate regularly. L-Arganine, an amino acid, taken in high doses, has been shown to improve fertilization rates in women who had previously failed cycles. Bee Pollen and its close friend Royal Jelly are both rich in nutrients, vitamins and minerals and have also shown to increase fertility. Antioxidants such as OPC’s (which are bioflavanoids) stimulate our body’s own natural antioxidant defense and clean free radicals from the blood stream. [Read more…]
Ask The Naturopath…
Aubrey Organics, Ava Anderson Non Toxic, Babo Botanicals, Badger Balm, California Baby, Elemental Herbs, Babytime by Episencial, Goddess Garden, Juice Beauty, Marie Veronique Organics, MyChelle Dermaceuticals, Raw Elements, Thinkbaby, True Natural
Summer is a time to grow and expand. We see trees blossoming and the sun shining radiantly. We can match our internal energy too by waking early in the summer, playing in the garden, and exploring the natural world around us. Traditional Chinese Medicine places great importance on eating right for the season. Eating less and eating light foods on hot days is a natural way of being in tune with the rhythms of the summer months. There are also specific foods that keep us in balance during this time.
These foods are sure to keep us hydrated so that our bodies can handle the heat of summer :
Fruits: apples, watermelon, lemons, lines
Fresh Foods: salads, sprouts, cucumber, tofu
Teas: chrysanthemum, mint, chamomile
4 Cups cooked brown rice
1 green onion, chopped
2 teaspoons parsley, finely chopped
1 Cup peas, slightly cooked
2 Tablespoons umeboshi vinegar, 1 Tablespoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoon olive oil (optional)
1 Tablespoon sesame seeds (toasted) or pine nuts
Mix ingredients together, toss gently with dressing, marinate for several hours
Let marinate several hours
Recipes from Healing with Whole Foods by Paul Pitchford
A few moments with Eran Reznik
Q: Tell us a bit about your background and how you got into massage.
I knew for quite some time that I wanted to help people through practicing some kind of holistic medicine. Living in Israel at the time, the most serious training program was Traditional Chinese medicine. I studied to be an acupuncturist. I also wanted to be able to connect and help people through touch so I joined a Shiatsu program
Q: What makes your massage unique?
I believe touch is an essential tool in healing and have always been told I have gifted hands!. When I graduated from TCM school I wanted to expend my tools and went to study massage therapy.
The treatments I do are very different from the average massage. I combine techniques from massage, shiatsu, the use of acupressure points and the vast knowledge I have received in my Chinese medicine training. I look at the body as a whole and make the connection between the emotional and mental state to the physiological condition and the way the body is aligned.
Q: What type of conditions do you see in your practice?
I see many orthopedic issues involving lower back or hip pain and lots of shoulder and neck tension that are accompanied by chronic headaches and migraines. Most of them are inner connected to emotions that, when aligned, allow for the proper movement of energy in the body.
Julie Shindler-Cohen, MSTOM, Dipl. C.H., Dipl. Ac.
In Chinese medicine, the impact of seasonal allergies are related to the qi energy of the lung. The lung’ qi is our “defensive qi” and thereby prevents environmental factors from invading the body. Whenever the body is affected by any outside influence (like weather, mold, cats, dogs), this is a sign that the “lung qi” is not strong enough to protect the body. This is why there are two treatment strategies for seasonal allergies!
First, when symptoms are severe, the treatment strategy is to release the pathogen from our body. Acupuncture is the #1 way to accomplish this. Most patients notice an immediate difference in their allergies after acupuncture.
The second treatment strategy is to support the lung qi so that allergy symptoms will be reduced or eliminated in the future. Acupuncture, along with Chinese Herbal Medicine and diet can make a significant difference! This is a strategy that we work on as maintenance treatment before allergy season begins!
Acupuncture and Fertility Study
“Doctors with expertise in reproductive medicine have recently published that acupuncture and herbs are useful in the treatment of infertility, complications related to childbirth and for several other gynecological concerns. The doctors cited research stating that acupuncture and herbal medicine improve the success rate of in vitro fertilization. Pregnancy rates are improved in subfertile women undergoing IVF and in women with PCOS wherein ovulation may be restored using acupuncture. In the latter, acupuncture is noted as a treatment option for both reproductive issues and endocrine disturbances for women with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome).”
According to Reproductive Medicine Specialists from Penn State University, University of Gothenbery and Heilognjiang University
Make this a happy & healthy Summer.
Don’t take a vacation from your health.
Call for an appointment today.
JULY Office Specials!
Naturopathic Medicine Consultation:
$20.00 off your consultation with Dr. Diana Quinn!
$55.00 for new patients first massage with Eran Reznik!
Whenever I visit a reproductive medical office, it boggles my mind that couples would undergo infertility treatment without incorporating acupuncture and Chinese medicine. The entire process of infertility treatment can feel like an emotional rollercoaster and acupuncture is a healing modality that can benefit both the mind and body. There are countless studies coming out that show the benefit of integrating acupuncture with traditional medical treatment but, as a practitioner, I have come to realize many more benefits that are not so obvious.
First, healing touch is missing from Western treatment. Women often go through a battery of tests and procedures that are very personal but there is no human to human contact that provides any sort of healing. The power of human touch is often underestimated in its ability to affect treatment outcomes. It is a means of connecting a person’s mind with the body and to forge a deeper relationship within themselves. Especially in the treatment of infertility, this connection between the mind and body will greatly affect a woman’s experience and ability to get through treatment with less stress and more peace.
Another benefit of acupuncture for our patients is having a “guide” through the emotional and physical changes. All of the acupuncturists in our office have experience with working with women and infertility. In addition to understanding of the process as it relates to procedure, we also have a significant amount of emotional insight that we share with our patients. We spend an entire hour with each person, which allows us to talk AND listen. We learn from our patients just as much as they learn from us and we always support them physically and emotionally. Also, many women who undergo infertility treatment keep it as a “secret” and don’t share with others. Coming in for acupuncture provides a safe place for women to talk about their experience in a safe setting.
Finally, acupuncture and Chinese medicine can also increase a woman’s response to fertility medications and treatment. We have had many women come to us after failed infertility cycles who, after sessions of acupuncture and Chinese herbs, have increased response and better outcomes upon returning to traditional treatment. Chinese medical treatment focuses on each person’s unique energetic landscape. Whether it be regulating the menstrual cycle or treating chronic insomnia, Chinese medicine addresses the entire body and all of its systems. Continued treatment allows for balance of energy and to remove any pathology that block healthy outcomes. I often tell my patients who are preparing for IVF that acupuncture treatment beforehand helps to “clean up the landscape” and prepare the body for better response to the medication.
Experiencing infertility can be so difficult to emotionally deal with. I am always speaking with patients regarding how they are doing emotionally and what they can do to bring themselves to a brighter place. One patient of mine (as well as many others) has always inspired me in terms of how she deals with her infertility struggles. She is authentic when things are hard but she does not let herself stay in that place. Rather she focuses on gratitude and enjoying her life just the way it is as she moves forward in her fertility journey. When she told me that her and her husband had started a blog, I knew I would want to share it with all of my clients. I am sure you will enjoy their honesty and humor as much as I do.
Most of us eat foods because they are pleasurable and we enjoy their smell, taste and textures.
Eating is a very personal experience as it is both a source of nutrition as well as a tool for social gathering. Most of us are also well aware of the
nutritional value of food. Eating whole grains (vs. enriched white flours), fresh (vs. canned) vegetables and healthy fats (vs. trans fats) are
cornerstones of many diets. It is also valuable to look at our bodies, the importance of the temperatures and flavors of foods, and the best season to eat them
in. [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…]