Women with Period Pain, Please Stop Eating Acai Bowls, here’s why…

Women with period pain, please stop eating Acai bowls…

A major cause of period pain in Chinese medicine is cold. Our bodies are designed to work best when warm. This means eating warm foods and keeping warm.

Your metabolic energy – the energy required for your body to function relies on this warmth. Kind of like a steam train relies on warm coal. Imagine putting ice in the engine firebox instead of coal.

Eating cold foods, being cold, not wearing clothes to cover your feet, back and low abdomen all contribute to reduced pelvic blood flow and pain.

Cold causes the body to constrict blood vessels and slow blood movement. When your period is due to start and this blood needs to move, it’s like the blood is ‘stuck’ and causes pain when it starts to move.

If you find putting a hot water bottle or a wheat heat bag over your abdomen helps with period pain, you mist likely have some type of cold stagnation in your pelvis.

We don’t notice this cold in our abdomen during the rest of the month because blood doesn’t need to move as much in the pelvis…until your period is due.

Imagine it like a delayed ice-cream headache…but in your pelvis. 

One of the worst ‘health crazes’ is Acai bowls. I seriously think they are a serious risk to women’s menstrual health. I cringe every time I see a young women sitting out the front of a popular Gold Coast cafe in winter with ugg boots on and a jumper….and eating an Acai bowl.

Do you know, that the main ingredient in Acai bowls is actually sugar filled sorbet? You are literally eating ice cream (plus some frozen berries) for breakfast. Not only are they incredibly high in sugar, but the cold is having an impact on your health.

If you suffer from period pain, you really need to stop eating these, especially in winter. You need to look at warm porridge, cooked eggs, warming broth, even soup for breakfast. Try this for a few months and you could notice an improvement in your period pain.

I wonder if a craze of warming breakfasts could take over the Gold Coast…

In Chinese medicine, I use acupuncture, moxibustion (a type of warming herb) and heat lamps to remove this cold and warm the pelvis to help with period pain as well as improve fertility.

Remember, a baby doesn’t want to grow in a cold environment either. It needs warmth.

So eliminate Acai bowls and any cold breakfasts and see how your menstrual health and your fertility changes.

I always love hearing from you, so if you want to let me know how you went with making these changes, please let me know!

 

Registered Acupuncturist and Owner of The Point of Wellbeing, a Gold Coast acupuncture clinic focused on improving women’s health, fertility and pregnancy…naturally.

Acupuncture Support in Early Pregnancy

Acupuncture support in early pregnancy can be a great alternative to ‘waiting and seeing.’

So you’ve just found out that you’re pregnant. Congratulations! You might only be 4 weeks along with your embryo no bigger than a chia seed.

You may have waited for years or months or it’s a complete surprise.

You’ve might have had your beta HCG tested and booked in your first scan, but it’s not for 3 more weeks…seems like a lifetime away.

You may have already read what seems like thousands of articles about women who have experienced miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies and you’re so scared about wondering what could happen in your pregnancy.

You’re feeling lost as to what you can do to support your pregnancy but there are a few natural things you can do.

First, take a breath. At this moment, all you know is that you have created the beginnings of a tiny human. This is wonderful!

Also plan to rest a little bit more than normal.  This doesn’t mean sleeping 10 hours per night or napping for 2-3 hours during the day. It just means slow down, pay attention to what your body is telling you.

Plan to eat warm, healthy foods while you don’t feel queasy just yet. This may change soon so enjoy.

You can of course start to read about what your body is going through and know what foods to be mindful of eating.

If you’ve experienced a miscarriage before or can’t stop negative thoughts, try replacing those thoughts with positive affirmations. Some examples:

  • I got this
  • I set my worries aside and I allow my body to do its job
  • I have within myself all the necessary resources to grow a beautiful, healthy baby
  • I trust my body
  • I am relaxed and calm (this one may need more repeating than most!)
  • I have complete confidence that my body is working perfectly

Another thing you can do, is make an appointment with an experienced acupuncturist, as early as 4-5 weeks.

“Acupuncture has been used for centuries to help women conceive, grow and give birth to healthy babies, naturally.”

Treatments are based on preventative care and support. They work to ‘uplift’ pregnancy energy which can help to hold a pregnancy in place. It can work to strengthen digestive energy to alleviate pregnancy sickness and can help you improve hormonal symptoms like headaches, constipation, low back pain  and emotional volatility – all common in early pregnancy.

Seeing an experienced healthcare practitioner in early pregnancy can also help you with reassurance. This doesn’t seem big…until you’re in your first trimester and you’re overthinking every single symptom and wondering whether you’re doing all you can to make sure your embryo becomes a healthy baby.

Gaining confidence in your body’s ability to nourish and support your  can make a difference for how you experience your first trimester.

So enjoy your positive news and please get in touch if you have any questions about your pregnancy.

Registered Acupuncturist and Owner of Gold Coast Acupuncture Clinic – The Point of Wellbeing

Avoiding Getting Sick with the Change of Seasons

A cool shift has already started as early as this morning. Summer is almost over.
The body is really great at adapting to seasonal changes when you feel healthy. However, if you feel run down, stressed, exhausted or feel like you’ve been fighting off a cold for the last couple of weeks, the change of seasons can really upset it’s ability to adapt.

In Chinese medicine, you have this incredible type of energy called Wei Qi, translated as Defensive Qi, that circulates in the outermost layer of your body. It’s kind of like the security guard to pathogens entering your body.

When you are really healthy, this energy is thought to extend further than the skin, kind of like a protective shield around your body.

It is continuously fighting off pathogenic attacks but if it can’t match the strength of the pathogen, you unfortunately get sick.

The change of seasons is almost like the ‘shift change’ of one security guard to another. There’s a little gap of time where immunity is not as strong as the body adapts to changing environments.

However, you can strengthen this immunity by improving your general wellbeing. A balanced lifestyle and diet is the ideal way to improve your Wei Qi and protect your body against pathogens.

So over the next week or so, aim to do some of these things:

  • ensure you get 8-9 hours sleep each night and be asleep by 11pm (Wei Qi needs time to be nourished)
  • have a big glass of water first thing in the morning, before you doing anything else – with lemon if you can
  • ensure you are eating 5-7 serves of vegetables per day
  • avoid cold foods – especially for breakfast
  • drink peppermint tea and ginger tea – great for boosting immunity
  • enjoy low intensity aerobic exercise and yoga/tai chi or qi gong
  • practise mindfulness to help slow down your body, save energy for immunity instead of stress
  • keep with your regular acupuncture treatments – all acupuncture treatments strengthen qi, including Wei Qi. Many people notice they stop getting as many colds with their treatments, even if I’ve been treating their back pain!
Lastly, and most importantly, RUG UP – this is a big problem on the GC, going from summer to winter. Start getting out your closed in shoes, slippers, cardis, jackets and scarves. Start wearing singlets under your work shirts and keeping your slippers on around the house. Keep your neck, low back, low abdo and ankles warm as this is where pathogens enter your body. Let your clothes protect you first so your Wei Qi doesn’t have to work so hard.

If you do think you are starting to feel sick, pop in for a treatment. Acupuncture works so well in the very early stages of getting a cold. It actually supports your Wei Qi to push invading pathogens back out instead of just masking symptoms. Kind of like improving the strength and training of your ‘security guard’.

I can honestly say I do this. If I wake up with a sore throat, I make an appointment with my acupuncturist that day. This has happened twice in the last month as my exposure to people being sick is increasing. I haven’t taken a cold and flu tablet for at least 10 years now. They don’t help very much anyway.

Acupuncture, rest and nourishing foods is the best cure for a cold :)

Falling Pregnant in 2017

If you and your partner have been ‘kind of trying’ for the last couple of months or even years with little luck but have now decided that this is your year to fall pregnant, listen up…

  1. Stop comparing yourself to strangers on the internet – get off the forums and get in to see a real live person who can give you individual advice and treatment.
  2. Stop making excuses about your diet. No matter what anyone tells you, your diet and the nutrients you and your male partner absorb are incredibly important for your fertile health.
  3. Get some basic blood tests done, sperm testing done and pelvic ultrasound to eliminate serious causes of infertility so you can either seek natural treatment or move on to another cause.
  4. Start charting your basal body temperature and show it to the real live person you are seeking treatment from in step 1. Learn how to tell when you are fertile and when you are not, learn about your body and start building a better relationship with it
  5. Exercise – get your body moving! Walking or yoga are two great options that everyone can do. Moving blood around your body helps deliver nutrients to your growing eggs or developing sperm for the males.
  6. Sort out your ‘minor’ health complaints – if you suffer from bloating, poor digestion, frequent headaches, tiredness, skin complaints, low libido, insomnia, painful periods, short or long menstrual cycles, get these treated. They may be related to your difficulty in falling pregnant.
  7. Seek emotional support – either through a great group of friends or with a professional, surround yourself with people who love and support you.
  8. Drink water – the simplest tip but for some reason, the most difficult. Keep hydrated. You want full, luscious reservoirs of eggs for ovaries, not dried out raisins
  9. Relax. Falling pregnant can take time. Stress can negatively impact ovulation and your ability to conceive so do the things that bring you joy.
  10. Have lots of sex! The biggest cause of infertility is not enough sex. Knowing when you’re fertile (step 4) can help target the best ‘window’ but regular intercourse is your best chance at conceiving.
  11. Lastly, get acupuncture. This incredible therapy has the ability to help with all of the above – provide individual and holistic advice and treatment, help you relax, improve your blood flow, treat a myriad of health complaints and provide emotional support especially when given by a practitioner experienced in fertility.

Best of luck in your pregnancy goals for 2017. I’d love to hear from you if you have any specific questions about your individual fertility concerns – info@thepointofwellbeing.com.au

Paige x

Prenatal Vitamin Comparison Chart

Prenatal vitamins can be such a contentious subject and for some reason, this has been a project of mine for a little while. Whilst I have plans for finding the source of each brand’s ingredients, the recommended daily dosages, the additional fillers added and any research supporting each. I think I need to send something out in the meantime. And here it is (below).

Firstly, I need to make this very clear, that no single prenatal vitamin is going to be perfect for everyone. It is suggested for all women to take prenatal vitamins because we are lacking certain minerals and vitamins – due to our diet or digestive systems and the quality of foods available. Although unless  you have had this investigated through blood tests, you won’t know your state of mineral, vitamin and nutrient status.

Some brands have been particularly great at marketing their product to us and to doctors, but does that mean they are the best? Maybe yes, maybe not. The chart helps determine this for you.

I think it’s important when choosing the best vitamin for you too, you understand more about your diagnosis and health. If you have no deficiencies in minerals, vitamins or nutrients you may not need a prenatal vitamin. However, if you’re iron deficient, you’ll need a vitamin with iron. If you have some signs of PCOS, inositol may be helpful. If you’re tired and have other signs of B vitamin deficiency, maybe you need more of those.

Of course there is the option of adding other supplements on top of your prenatal vitamins. Which is something you can consider as well. Keeping in mind the added cost.

I just like you to be informed and then you can make your own decisions about your health. I also want to be able to make a recommendation based on your individual health status when asked.

I am really happy to hear any feedback (positive or critical), suggestions or even another brand to add.

Paige.

tpow-prenatal-vitamin-comparison

 

Warm Your Womb to Improve Fertility

pregnant-woman-pic-blog

I’m sure all the lovely women I am treating are sick of me telling them to
keep warm! I feel like I say it hundreds of times a day, but for a very
good reason.

Cold in Chinese medicine is useful for very little when it comes to fertility
and women’s health.

A cold uterus is a huge problem for many women trying to fall pregnant.

Simply put, a cold uterus will not be able to grow and nurture a developing
baby.

But what can be done about it?

Lots!

Chinese medicine is all about balance, balance of the energy of the
body and its connection to the environment.

The balance of warmth in the body is really important for overall health and wellbeing.

Cold presents in the body similar to how it does in the environment,
it sinks, it is contracting, it tightens and it slows.

For women, this means cold moves downward to your pelvis and lower
abdominal areas including reproductive organs.

Cold tightens muscles and blood vessels and slows energy and blood
movement to your uterine lining and your ovaries.

You can present with symptoms of painful periods with clots where
warmth alleviates the pain, long menstrual cycles, small amount of
blood flow, severe headaches, low back pain, recurrent miscarriages, low
energy, low libido and many other symptoms.

These symptoms are often worse in winter as the body responds to the environment.

shivering-woman

There are two ways to look at treating cold in the uterus – either there is
an increase of cold energy and this needs to be removed or there is not
enough warm energy and this needs to be supplemented.

An increase of cold may have entered your pelvis during surgery in a cold
hospital room (something I see quite often after laparoscopic surgery),
too much swimming in cold weather, not being appropriately dressed in
winter or too much cold food.

Not enough warm energy is more of a chronic condition and may be due to
diet and poor lifestyle habits. It may also be due to chronic illness,
anxiety, stress or excessive amounts of antibiotics.

It’s important to know that progesterone, the hormone responsible for
maintaining lining in the second part of your menstrual cycle is the ‘warming’ hormone in Chinese medicine.

In women with low progesterone levels, it is particularly important to remove cold and increase warmth with acupuncture and moxibustion as well as adjust diet and lifestyle practices to improve the internal environment for conception and fetal growth.

Unfortunately, modern diets and lifestyle habits are contributing to this
cause of cold.

Many of my clients will know that I am not a fan of morning smoothies,
ice cream, acai bowls and juices, especially in winter and even more
especially during your period, in winter.

So a couple of tips

  • Eat warm foods
  • Avoid ice cold and raw foods, especially through winter
  • Keep your low back, abdomen and feet warm always
  • Hot water bottles, wheat heat bags and foots soaks are your new best friend
  • Find an acupuncturist to help warm your pelvis and low abdomen with acupuncture and warming moxa

Keeping your feet warm helps to warm all of your leg meridians which enter your pelvis.

If your feet are warm, your uterus will be warm and why wouldn’t a baby want to grow in a warm uterus?

warm-feet-pic

There are so many ways you can improve your fertility naturally to give
yourself the best chance of becoming pregnant.

Keeping your womb warm is just one of them :)

If you’d like to know more about how you can make these changes
to your lifestyle give me a call and book in for a private individualised
treatment plan.

(07) 5539 2362 / info@thepointofwellbeing.com.au

I’d love to help you achieve your fertility goals.

Warm regards,

Paige x