Many patients suffer from not being able to fall asleep, waking up too early, or waking multiple times in the night etc. There are multiple solutions to help yourself get a more restful night of sleep and wake up the next morning feeling refreshed.
- Limit Caffeine 4-6 hours before bedtime: If you truly suffer from insomnia, it is best to avoid caffeine(coffee, tea, soda, energy drinks etc.) after lunchtime. Oftentimes, insomnia can create a negative cycle of needing caffeine to stay awake but that same caffeine makes you unable to sleep at night. Avoid the vicious cycle by cutting out caffeine as much as possible.
- Avoid Alcohol use 3-4 hours before going to sleep: Alcohol generates heat which disturbs sleep. Even though it relaxes you, it also creates heat which is not conducive for sleeping.
- Avoid eating too much at dinner and eating late at night: When you are sleeping, the blood should be nourishing the brain making it calm and relaxed. If you eat too much or too close to bedtime, your blood will still be supporting your digestive system which makes it harder to fall asleep. It is also easier to gain weight by eating too much or too late in the day since your metabolism slows after 4 pm.
- If you do need to eat at night, make sure it’s easy to digest: To elaborate on the above, stick with foods that are easier to digest i.e those low in oil or fat and small in portion.
- Keep a quiet, dark and cool environment in your bedroom: Have you ever wondered why it’s easier to fall asleep in the winter? Well, that’s because of the combination of the dark and cool environment that winter naturally brings. To achieve this same effect in warmer weather, set your thermostat to a colder temperature and pull blinds over the windows until you can barely see your fingers!
- Exercise earlier in the day, if you must exercise at night try yoga or stretching instead: Try doing your cardiovascular and strength training exercises earlier in the day. In fact, doing cardio and strength training in the morning right after you wake up will naturally stimulate you without the use of caffeine. If you lead a busy life and must exercise later in the day, try Yoga or stretching before bed since both will calm you down.
- Leave electronics in another room before sleeping: In this day and age, it feels like we go to sleep with our phone and wake up with it in our hands. Well, the blue light that electronics emit at bedtime is not conducive for sleeping so turn off devices and place it in a different room to get a restful night of sleep. All emails, text messages and social media can wait until the next day! Note, this also includes TVs.
Next time we will continue with six other ways to help yourself get a better night of sleep in Part II of this article. For more information on how Acupuncture can help Insomnia click here.
Women with autoimmune disease are clearly at risk for miscarriages and poor reproductive outcomes. Western Medicine often recommends blood thinners (Aspirin, Heparin and Levenox), steroids and intravenous immunoglobulin.
Chinese medicine has been treating autoimmune infertility for thousands of years. Treatments focus on achieving inner body balance such as:
- Clearing the heat and draining dampness to reduce inflammation.
- Helping circulation to move obstruction and stagnation.
- Reinforcing Yin energy to tonify Kidney Yin deficiency.
- Strengthening both Kidney Yin and Yang to prevent miscarriage.
- Reducing stress to prevent excess heat and Qi stagnation.
Based upon Chinese Medicine assessment, patients usually receive weekly acupuncture and herbs for their particular imbalance. They also will learn how to take care of themselves to avoid exhaustion and release stress by using meditations. Generally, we suggest patients stay away from processed foods, sweets, spicy foods, caffeine and non-organic meats. Other lifestyle changes such as moderate exercise and at least seven to eight hours of sleep each day.
If you suffer from recurrent pregnancy loss or been diagnosed with autoimmune infertility please contact us at 9726716688. For more information on how acupuncture can help with infertility in general visit our website.
The luteal phase is after ovulation has occurred, conception has taken place and the embryo is already in the uterus. During this period, we need to make sure that conditions remain favorable for an implantation and further growth of the embryo.
Patients that have Luteal Phase Defect are often frustrated when they are trying to get pregnant. I often see patients have shorter or unpredictable menstrual cycle, spotting several days before period, slow step like pattern of BBT graph and temperature rising less than 0.4 ℉ in the BBT chart. Even if an egg is fertilized patients still have a hard time getting or staying pregnant. However, Traditional Chinese Medicine focuses on Kidney Yang function which means keeping the womb-warm by nourishing blood and promoting Qi.
We use blood and Kidney tonic herbs to fortify endometrial lining and allow it to be thick enough, and also sufficiently secrete nutrients to nourish an embryo. In addition, acupuncture is successful in increasing the flow of blood to the uterus. Acupuncture also promotes Qi as helping the embryo binds to the endometrium and then burrows into the lining. Stronger Qi not only makes the uterine lining hold the embryo securely but also avoid miscarriages.
If anyone has Luteal Phase Defect or has uterine lining issues please contact us by email(firstname.lastname@example.org) or by calling us at 9726716688.
Last time, we discussed how Acupuncture and Chinese herbs help endometriosis. Today, we will discuss the treatment plan. Dr. Zhou recommends weekly treatments for three months, once the symptoms are stabilized and the treatment will be reduced to maintaining the results. For people wanting to conceive, weekly treatments will be six months or longer according to the severity. Chinese Medicine categorizes endometrial lesions into different patterns. Dr. Zhou will do assessment using the principles of Chinese Medicine according to the pulse, tongue, and symptoms. In each case, Dr. Zhou will devise a treatment plan that will address the symptoms using Chinese herbs, Acupuncture and dietary/lifestyle advice according to each individual’s patterns presented.
During the treatment process, Acupuncture and herbs tonify the activity of the Yang Qi which reabsorbed the endometrial lesions or at least slows down their development. It also breaks up blood stasis, removes inflammation by clearing the damp heat, and also moderates autoimmune reactions. Acupuncture reduces stress by quieting the mind and emotions which are important as part of pain management. Endometriosis is also related to hormonal imbalances. For example, in the case of estrogen dominance, it is important to relieve the body of excess estrogen by resolving Liver Qi stagnation.
In order to prevent further endometriosis from forming, Chinese medicine treatment is deeply rooted in improving the pelvic health and function. This is one of the major reasons Dr. Zhou emphasizes commitment to weekly treatments for those who suffer from Endometriosis. For more information please visit our website or give us a call at 9726716688 or email us using the form in the sidebar.
Endometriosis is the presence of endometrial tissue located outside of the uterine cavity. Most often, it is located on the ovaries but can also be found on any of the organs in the pelvic area. It leads to inflammation of the reproductive organs and causes pelvic pain, painful periods and infertility. Additionally, scar tissue in the pelvis can also occur.
For patients who struggle with endometriosis and are trying to conceive, western medicine may not be useful because many suppress ovulation which prevents pregnancy. Additionally, most reproductive endocrinologists don’t recommend surgery prior to IVF unless the patient suffers from advanced endometriosis.
Chinese medicine views Endometriosis as a weakness of Qi, or a deficiency in the immune system, which makes it more likely to develop endometriosis. While Chinese medicine doesn’t claim to cure endometriosis, it does show a history of providing significant relief and increasing the probability of conception.
Acupuncture and herbal medicine address the inflammation associated with autoimmune reactions as well as clearing the stagnant blood from the abdomen. A study indicates that Gui Zhi Fu Ling Wan reduces specific uterine IgM levels and clear the toxins. Some other herbs can also improve vital energy such as Kidney Yang and Spleen Qi. Strong Qi in the pelvic region will move the menstrual debris that shouldn’t be there and will allow it to be destroyed by a now functioning immune system.
For more information about acupuncture and Endometriosis visit our website for more information or give us a call at 9726716688.
Poor egg quality often refers to a mitochondrial or chromosomal issue. Mitochondria is an energy producing organelle that also contains DNA and majorly impacts egg quality. There is not much that Acupuncture and Chinese herbs can help with DNA damage related to age however as most of the genetic material was created decades earlier. Chinese herbs like antioxidants can often enhance the function of the Mitochondria. Specifically, Chinese herbs that invigorate the QI and Yang are helpful in this case. It appears that Chinese Medicine can influence certain aspects of the egg(if not the DNA). Since Qi and Yang are highly related to the mitochondrial energy metabolism, the use of these herbs has been found to enhance mitochondrial ATP generation(Source). Also, these herbs have also improved the ovary’s response to IVF. This could in part be due to the increased blood flow to the ovaries that Chinese herbs provide.
If your IVF doctor has told you that you have poor egg quality/High FSH/Low Ovarian Reserve then Acupuncture and Chinese herbs used three months before IVF can help increase your IVF success.
On our website, we have several testimonials from patients who have conceived with poor egg quality using Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine. Please give us a call at 9726716688 or visit our website for more information.
1.K.-M. Ko, T. Y. Y. Leon, D. H. F. Mak, P.-Y. Chiu, Y. Du, and M. K. T. Poon, “A characteristic pharmacological action of ‘Yang-invigorating’ Chinese tonifying herbs: enhancement of myocardial ATP-generation capacity,” Phytomedicine, vol. 13, no. 9-10, pp. 636–642, 2006.
The success rate of treating infertility with Chinese medicine can be hard to determine since acupuncture’s treatment of infertility is a cumulative one. However, in 2008 studies were done to show that Acupuncture may increase IVF success rates by 65%. While these numbers only show a quantitative increase, acupuncture also focuses on the overall well-being of a person. It’s not just the number of eggs produced, it’s the quality of the eggs produced. Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine seeks to nourish and stimulate the eggs to grow. Acupuncture is also found to improve the thickness and quality of the endometrial lining(enrich the blood flow).
As we have mentioned before, the optimal time to start acupuncture treatment is three months before the beginning of the IVF cycle. This will help ensure that your eggs and sperm are of the best quality that they can be. It often takes about 3 months for the eggs and sperm to mature. Those three months are also used to make sure that the periods function well with no cramps and clots, no dark red flow. Additionally, Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine will address any underlying issues such as PMS, Endometriosis, PCOS, ovulation issues, High FSH etc. So, it is these months of regulating the reproductive system that gives you a much higher chance of success with IVF/IUI.
It is common to have higher stress during the IVF cycle and the possibility of side effects from drugs. Acupuncture can help reduce stress and side effects during IVF cycle.
If you are about to start an IVF/IUI cycle or just failed a medicated cycle, please contact us at 972-671-6688 or visit our website for more information on what we can do. Additionally, we have testimonials from IVF patients who used Acupuncture to conceive.
Menstrual flow is all about shedding the uterine lining. The health of your menstrual flow can significantly influence embryo implantation. The orderly shedding and rebuilding of the uterine lining is important to stop any stagnation.
Pain is the main indicator for poor menstrual health which includes stabbing pain and cramps. Other main indicators include color and quality of the menstrual flow. If the menstrual blood is dark and black, this can indicate blood stasis. Likewise, if the flow is scanty or clotty this too can indicate poor menstrual flow.
Ideally, the menstrual flow should start and finish cleanly without any dark or clotty spotting before and after a period. The blood should also be a bright red, with no clots and not too thin or thick. There should also be little to no cramps or pain and should run relatively smoothly. This is the ideal menstrual flow that Acupuncture can help you restore. Therefore the previous cycle’s uterine lining should be completely shed so that a smooth base is provided for the healthier new lining to be built for the next cycle.
If you exhibit any of the above symptoms, or have a thin uterine lining and failed several frozen embryo transfer cycles please call our office at 9726716688 or visit our website.
As discussed in previous posts, bad blood circulation to the ovaries and uterus can cause infertility. Today we will discuss how to know if you have poor blood circulation to your reproductive organs.
Below are some signs that could indicate that you have a blood circulation issues particularly for fertility:
- Menstrual Cramps
- Ovulation Pain
- Varicose or spidery veins
- Menstrual blood clots
- Dark brown menstrual flow
- Cold hands and feet
- Breast lumps
- Diagnosed with endometriosis or uterine fibroids or uterine polyps
- Dark spots on tongue
- Blood clotting disorder
In Chinese medicine, the signs above does mean you have blood flow issues if you do have a few of the symptoms listed above and you are trying to conceive please give us a call at 9726716688 to discuss treatment plans to help improve pelvic blood circulation
Our previous topic was why is blood flow important to fertility, today we will focus on how Acupuncture helps blood flow for fertility patients.
Acupuncture increases blood flow by deregulating(slowing down) the nervous system which in turn causes the blood vessels to dilate. When the blood vessels are dilated, they release more nutrient rich blood to the ovaries and uterus. When you improve blood flow to the ovaries, it increases estrogen rates and lowers FSH which will ultimately help you conceive. Increasing blood flow to the uterus will also help make the uterine lining thick which makes implantation easier. Poor egg quality can also be attributed to decreased circulation to the ovaries and uterus. In that case, Acupuncture can help increase blood circulation and flow thus improving egg quality.
A study published in Human Reproduction showed that after 8 acupuncture sessions uteral blood flow increased greatly. Those treatments combined with an acupuncture session before embryo transfer resulted in significant increases in pregnancy rate. (StenerVictorin E, et al Hum Reprod 1996; 11:1314-1317. Human Reproduction).
If you suffer from poor blood flow please visit our website at www.acupunctureofdallas.com or give us a call at 9726716688. Next time we will discuss how to know if you have poor blood flow.