Tag: acupuncture 10003

Autumn Foods & Health: Beginning a Transformation into Yin

Autumn is a time that provides a cool, crisp breeze in the morning that hits my face and helps me wake up. It represents a time to pick apples so long that my knuckles become scratched and chilled, but it is all worth it when I bite into the perfect, juicy, teeth-aching apple. It means growing a fuller beard for extra warmth. Early autumn stirs thoughts of family and gatherings that will take place in late autumn and early winter. It reminds me that I have to make Bon Appétit’s parsnip, carrot, and potato soup which are tasty autumn foods and remember to puree the whole thing, add more sherry, and let it sit for 1 full day (it just tastes so much better). Autumn is a wonderful time, but it takes some preparation and care to survive this seasonal change.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Theory about Appropriate Living
The Huang Di Nei Jing (The Yellow Emperor’s Inner Canon) is one of the chief medical books of TCM written thousands of years ago. The style of the book is set up as a question & answer with the Yellow Emperor of China asking a Daoist master Qi Bo questions about many things to do with past and current life in relation to health and disease. The first call and response between the two is as follows:

In Chapter 1, the Yellow Emperor asks:

  • “I am told the people in ancient times could all survive to more than 100 years old, and they appeared to be quite healthy and strong in actions, but the people at present time are different, they are not so nimble in action when they are only 50, and what is the reason?”

Qi Bo answers:

  • “Those who knew the way of keeping good health in ancient times always kept their behavior in daily life in accordance with nature. Their behaviors in daily life were all kept in regular patterns such as their food and drink were of fixed quantity; their daily activities were all in regular times. They never overworked. In this way, they could maintain both in the body and in the spirit substantiality, and were able to live to the old age of more than 100 years.”1

The important part about the answer is to live one’s “daily life in accordance with nature.” This is important to remember as we enter the fall season or any change of season for that matter. There is a big change occurring with the earth, and one’s body needs to be in tune with those changes and one should make the appropriate choices or disease will occur.

Autumn Foods & Health

Autumn is a time where the yang/warmth of the sun begins to lessen and give way to the yin/cooler seasons of fall and winter. In autumn one must begin to store vital energy in order to make it through the winter in a healthy state. One must slow down from the sometimes frenetic activity of the summer. The movement of autumn in Chinese medicine is downward, and this is evident in the root-based vegetables that are available during that time2. These veggies reach down into the ground to acquire their energy which we consume to acquire that energy.

The importance of the seasons comes up specifically in chapter 2 of the Huang Di Nei Jing which is a classic text on Chinese medicine:

“In the 3 months of autumn, the shapes of all living things on earth become mature naturally and are ready to be harvested. In autumn, the wind is vigorous and rapid, the environment on earth is clear and bright, so during this period, one should go to bed early to stay away from the chilliness, get up early to appreciate the crisp air of autumn, keep the spirit tranquil and stable to separate oneself from the sough of autumn by means of restraining the spirit and energy internally and guard the mind against anxiety and impetuosity. In this way, one’s tranquility can still be maintained even in the sough of autumn atmosphere, and the breath of the lung can be kept even as well.”3


What foods should you eat during autumn?
One of the easiest ways to stay healthy is to get in touch with the energy of the harvest through fresh foods. It is important to transition into eating warmer, cooked foods during this time and keeping the salads and raw foods at bay until next summer.

Food in Season during Autumn:4
Veggies

  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Collard Greens
  • Italian Parsley
  • Fennel
  • Jerusalem artichokes (a/k/a sunchokes)
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Leeks
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Parsnips
  • Peppers
  • Potatoes
  • Pumpkins
  • Shelling Beans
  • Turnips
  • Winter Squash

Fruits

  • Apples
  • Concord grapes
  • Niagara grapes
  • Pears

Meats

  • Duck
  • Pheasant
  • Rabbit
  • Venison
  • Wild Turkey

Fish

  • Atlantic Mackerel
  • Bluefish
  • Monkfish
  • Native Oysters
  • Pacific Salmon
  • Red Snapper
  • Scallops (bay and sea)

A good guideline about what to eat during the autumn is to locate what is available at your local farmer’s market and use that as a template for building a meal that is appropriate to the season. This goes for autumn and any other season as well. Check out the NYC Harvest Calendar to figure out what is available each season.

Kale
Kale is a great ingredient for seasonal eaters as it is one of the few green vegetables that are more abundant and flavorful during autumn and winter. It can be substituted for cabbage or spinach and makes a fine side dish when blanched. Kale is a nutritionally rich food containing:

  • vitamins A, C and E
  • a substantial mineral content including manganese, iron, calcium and potassium
  • phytochemicals such as sulphoraphane (linked to cancer prevention)5

One of my most favorite fall recipes uses kale and is as follows:

 

Eggs in a Nest6
(This recipe makes dinner for a family of four, but can easily be cut in half.)

2 cups uncooked brown rice
Cook rice with 4 cups water in a covered pot for 50 minutes or in a rice cooker while other ingredients are being prepared.
Olive oil – a few tbsp
1 medium onion, chopped, and minced garlic to taste
Sauté onions and garlic in olive oil in a wide skillet until lightly golden.
Carrots, chopped
1 cup dried tomatoes
Add and sauté for a few more minutes, adding just enough water to rehydrate the tomatoes.
1 really large bunch of kale, coarsely chopped
Mix with other vegetables and cover pan for a few minutes. Uncover, stir well, then use the back of a spoon to make depressions in the cooked leaves, circling the pan like numbers on a clock.
8 eggs
Break an egg into each depression, being careful to keep yolks whole. Cover pan again and allow eggs to poach for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and serve over rice.

I like to doctor this recipe up with some hot sauce and tamari sauce.

Other Autumn Tips

  1. Carry around a sweater/sweatshirt/scarf – even if it feels warm because during autumn it is cold in the shade and warm in the sun. This is typically the season where people are still dressing like it is still summer because the sun still has warmth during the high point of the day. This drastic change in temperature without the proper protection from the environment can put your body at risk.
  2. Eat soup – this is the time of season to begin thinking about making more nourishing wholesome, all-encompassing foods like soups. Soups usually contain meats, veggies, and carbohydrates. They are a great meal in one! The temperature is also warming to the yang to prepare oneself for winter.
  3. Keep hydrated – autumn is the time of dryness. The moisture of the humid summer gives way to autumn dryness. It is important to remember this and drink tea or room temperature water to help your body remain hydrated.
  4. See your acupuncturist – winter is often the time when people catch the most head colds. Seeing your acupuncturist can shore up your protective qi and lessen or eradicate head colds during the winter.

Get out and enjoy the weather change from summer to autumn, but remember to be prepared like your local boy scout. You don’t want to be caught off guard.

By Michael Pingicer, L.Ac.

 

Call 646-504-2251 To Schedule

– – – – –

1 Wang, Bing & Wu, Nelson (trans.). The Yellow Empero’s Inner Classic. China Science & technology Press.
2 Flaws, Bob (1983). Prince Wen Hui’s Cook. Blue Poppy, Boulder, CO.
3 Wang, Bing & Wu, Nelson (trans.). The Yellow Empero’s Inner Classic. China Science & technology Press.
4 http://www.cenyc.org/site/pages/GMKT/harvestcalendar.pdf
5 http://www.eattheseasons.com/Archive/kale.htm
6 http://animalvegetablemiracle.com/EGGS%20IN%20A%20NEST.pdf

Natural Labor Induction Techniques

African American mother kissing her baby boyAside from coming into my office for daily acupuncture treatments for labor induction, I also suggest the following techniques to stimulate labor. Be sure to use them several times daily, for several days in a row. Good luck!

1.Drink at least 3 cups of red raspberry tea daily.

2.Take 1,000mg of Evening Primrose Oil (EPO) daily by mouth.

3. At night before bed poke a small hole on one EPO capsule and insert it vaginally. The EPO suppository helps soften and ripen the cervix.

4. Walk, walk, walk.

5. Several times daily, sit on birthing ball and relax pelvic floor muscles as if doing an opposite Kegal- like water flowing down out of the vagina. Or do this in squatting position for about one minute several times per day.

6. Have sex. The semen and orgasm help you to go into labor. If you’re not feeling into penetrative sex, the next best thing is orgasm because it stimulates contractions of the uterus.  Oral sex or your favorite vibe toy for clitoral stimulation can help that along.  Have fun!

7. Daily Creative Visualization. See yourself in labor, your partner assisting, you birthing vaginally, you holding and breastfeeding your baby, and your partner holding the baby.

8. Use the acupressure points on this website several times daily. These acupressure points are very important to stimulate several times per day. The author of the site is a midwife and acupuncturist, Debra Betts who has provided illustrations and videos of the points to use. PDF booklets and You-Tube videos to teach you how to locate the points. I suggest that you use the points she suggests for labor induction as well as the sacral points she lists under Pain Relief on Labor- because pressure on the sacrum releases oxytocin, which is a hormone that stimulates labor.

9. Watch videos of women breastfeeding their babies. Watching will stimulate release of your oxytocin (which also flows after you have the baby- it assists in momma baby bonding/love), and you will learn a trick or two. I absolutely love the videos on You-Tube by BreastFeedingBabies Channel but you find tons of others, too.

 

 

 

Juliette Aiyana, L.Ac., Herbalist

Food Remedies for Colds and Flus

Remember how your parents always bugged you about wearing a hat and sweater in cooler weather? They knew that the possibility of a Wind-Cold invasion could lead to the flu, runny or stuffy noses, body aches and fevers.

We often combat Wind invasions by wearing our hat and sweaters but what happens if that doesn’t work? What if you catch a cold and it progressively worsens?

Chinese Dietary Therapy
Food can help prevent and treat most wind invasions. Wind is considered a pathogenic source which enters at the level of the head and face and if not expelled quickly may move deeper into the throat and chest. There are two types of wind pathogens, Wind-Cold and Wind-Heat. Most colds start off as a Wind-Cold invasion and may progress into wind-heat. We want to protect and nourish the Wei Qi or Defensive qi of the body through diet, herbs and exercise. Our bodies are made of Yin and Yang energies. When these energies are balanced we are healthy. Exterior pathogens can create an imbalance of our qi. The nature of food is also yin or yang. Therefore we can use food medicinally to balance our qi. First let’s examine the signs & symptoms of two common exterior conditions and then we will explore dietary prevention and treatment options.

Grate fresh ginger into soup or boil 3 slices with water & lemon

Compare the following two lists of symptoms. You should have most of the symptoms in one category before applying a dietary change. If you have conflicting symptoms, ask your acupuncturist for clarification. Don’t forget that acupuncture is effective to kick a cold or flu!

Wind-Cold Symptoms: Headache, runny nose with clear discharge, neck and shoulder aches, aversion to cold, a white tongue coating.

Special Dietary Consideration: If you are suffering from a Wind-Cold Invasion it is best to stick with foods whose qi qualities are warming, neutral and hot foods.

Wind-Heat Symptoms:
Sore throat, headache, cough, fever or elevated body temperature, body aches, little or no sweat, runny or stuffy nose with yellow discharge, a red tongue body w/ yellow coating. If the heat is very deep it may cause nausea or vomiting, depressed appetite, abdominal distention, chills and fever, heavy sweating, irritability, strong thirst.

Special Dietary Consideration: If you are suffering from a Wind-Heat Invasion it is best to stick with foods whose qi quality is neutral and cooling (try to avoid too many cold foods because they can damage your qi).

Basic Dietary Considerations for Wind-Cold and Wind-Heat Invasions:
While ill, it is best to eat light, easy to digest foods like soups, veggies, rice and rice noodles. Avoid eating lots of cold foods like salads, cold sandwiches, chilled drinks, ice pops, and soy ice cream. Also avoid foods that may cause Dampness in the body. Dampness is heavy in nature, obstructs Defensive qi and contributes to phlegm production. Therefore, stay away from foods that are damp in nature such as dairy products, fried foods, greasy foods, foods high in fat and alcohol. (Stir fry is usually OK as long you cook with a small amount of oil). Raw foods also contribute to cold and dampness. Salads, fruits and fruit juices should be taken in moderation or are to be completely avoided. Be aware that most chickens and meat contain antibiotics. It is best to eat organic chickens and meats because they are not fed antibiotics. The more antibiotics we consume the faster our body becomes immune to them. Antibiotics are also seen as a cause of dampness and cold in the body and when overused can cause qi imbalances which may manifest as fatigue, a susceptibility to more bacterial infections, yeast infections and more.


Prevention and Treatment of Wind-Cold Invasion:
Generally, I recommended foods to promote perspiration which forces out the wind toxin such as: ginger, scallion, chilies, coriander, cabbage. Avoid vinegar because it contracts the pores.

Teas – In prevention and treatment of a simple Wind-Cold headache try Green tea mixed with Peppermint tea. Fresh Ginger tea with a bit of brown sugar is good when you have the other symptoms as well.

Breakfast Food Example – Hot oats with local, raw honey (or pure maple syrup) and powdered cinnamon. Oats are warm and easy to digest, honey is sweet, nourishes body fluids and cinnamon is warm, pungent and unblocks channels for the upper body aches.

Soups – Miso Soup with Scallions – The fermented miso (soy paste) is sweet, salty and neutral. It strengthens the Stomach qi and detoxifies which will help dispel wind-cold and the scallions are warming and pungent which promotes sweating to relieve the exterior wind-cold invasion.Simply bring 2-3 cups of filtered or spring water to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons of miso paste, let dissolve. Cook for 10 minutes on low flame. Taste. If the flavor is too strong, add some water, vegetable or chicken broth. Chop the scallions and sprinkle about a teaspoon on top of your miso soup in the bowl. Avoid adding seaweed to this recipe, it is cold in nature.

Chicken Soup
Ingredients:

  • 3 Leeks thinly slice
  • 2-3 Tablespoons Olive oil
  • 6-8 cups filtered or spring water
  • 1 whole organic, antibiotic free chicken or chicken parts
  • 2 cups rice or rice noodles
  • Veggies for Wind-Cold or Heat as listed below
  • ½-1 teaspoon per serving of freshly grated ginger
  • 3-5 cloves of garlic, minced

Take 3 thin leeks, wash. Thinly slice the whites. Add 2-3 tablespoons of Olive oil to the bottom of a stock pot and turn flame on medium. When oil is warm, stir in leeks until they are lightly covered with oil. Lower flame and cover the pot to let leeks “sweat” for 10 minutes, occasionally stirring. Add in the garlic and saute for 2 minutes. Add 6-8 cups of water to the leeks. Add one washed organic chicken or 1 pound of organic chicken parts with bones. Place in stock pot. Cover with water. Boil for one hour. Cook 2 cups of unpolished white rice (20 minutes) or jasmine rice (10 minutes). Prepare freshly grated ginger, about 1 tablespoon. Turn down heat to let the water and fat settle. Scoop out or strain fat. Remove chicken from stock. You may prepare and add any of these warming veggies: squash, green bean, sweet potato, kale. Add veggies to a simmering stock for 10-15 minutes (or longer if using sweet potatoes). While the veggies are cooking, chop the chicken into spoon size pieces and add to the stock. After all the chicken is back in the stockpot, turn off the flame. Place rice and a ½ -1 teaspoon of grated ginger and desired amount of rice into a bowl and ladle soup over it. You can add a cinnamon stick or a touch of grated cinnamon to each bowl as well. To induce more sweating or clear the sinuses you can add some hot chili sauce to your soup. This soup does take time to make. You may want to make those soup and freeze a few containers of it so that when you are ill and fatigued you can simply warm it up and eat it.

Garlic, cinnamon, ginger and raw, local honey all have antibiotic and anti-viral effects.


Prevention and Treatment of Wind-Heat: Generally avoid pungent tasting foods and foods that have a very warm or hot nature such as scallions, chilies, wine and keep your intake light. Ginger can also be used in this case but avoid dried ginger because it is too hot and may aggravate this condition. It is great to help stop cough and nausea but do not overuse because it is warming. If you have a Wind-Heat Invasion you should also see your practitioner of Oriental Medicine for herbs and other treatments.

Teas – Peppermint and/or Chrysanthemum tea with local, raw honey. These herbs dispel heat and the honey nourishes Yin body fluids that may become damaged by heat. Peppermint is also used for sinus congestion.

Breakfast Food Example – Warm tea and Amaranth flakes cereal with unsweetened almond milk. You may add almonds, walnuts and or honey to help stop coughing.

Soup – We are going to use the same basic chicken soup recipe as above except you will not use cinnamon or chiles, or those vegetables. Instead you can use cooling veggies: bok choy, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, corn, mushroom, spinach, swiss chard, turnip, zucchini, bamboo shoots, button mushroom, carrot, dandelion greens, potato.

Natural Remedies for Insomnia

Natural remedies for insomnia are a holistic approach for getting a great night’s rest.

Insomnia is a growing problem among people who struggle to fall asleep or who toss and turn throughout the night.

4 Types of Insomnia

Insomnia describes both the common symptoms of poor sleep quality or quantity. But has more recently been expanded to refer to a syndrome which has four basic types:

•Sleep onset insomnia (difficulty falling asleep)
•Seep maintenance insomnia (frequent or long awakenings)
•Sleep offset insomnia (waking too early in the morning)
•Nonrestorative sleep (persistent drowsiness despite adequate sleep duration)

Types of insomnia or sleep disturbance are referred to as transient if symptoms last for no longer than one month and chronic if they persist longer than one month.

Balance in the Body

Regulating the balance between Qi and Xue as well as the equilibrium of Yin and Yang is a frequent way to approach sleep disorders. Unhealthy diet or stress, anxiety and otheremotions are believed to stagnate qi and damage the heart while affecting the spleen,gall bladder, liver and kidney energy to result in sleep disturbance and insomnia. A weak spleen and gall bladder are thought to prevent a patient from feeling refreshed upon waking. According to Chinese medicine, the liver is responsible the smooth flow of qi/energy and blood.

It’s energy is at it’s peak during the night, so weak or stagnated or excessive liver energy might result in a struggle to fall asleep.

Acupuncture is a Natural Remedy for Insomnia

Studies from the University of Pittsburgh seem to conclude that acupuncture may help with insomnia. Several weeks of acupuncture treatment can help to increase melatonin secretion in the evening which helps improve the total amount of time asleep.

Acupuncture can also help to relieve low back aches associated with sleep disturbance. Acupuncture can also aid nausea, dizziness and headaches which may result in better sleep and the feeling refreshment.

Learn more about Acupuncture for Sleep Disorders HERE.

Beebalm and other flowers float in a cup of herbal tea made with catnip, motherwort, beebalm, lavender, and lemon balm.

Herbal Medicine is A Natural Remedy for Insomnia

Multiple herbal formulas are reported to assist sleeping pattern. Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners will select an appropriate herb blend based on a patient’s symptoms, constitution and medical history.

Chinese herbalists have a Master’s Degree in TCM herbalism.

Be sure to work with a competently trained herbalist and avoid medicating yourself without guidance of a qualified herbalist.

Some common herbs your herbalist might use include:
•Zao Ren (sour date seed)
•Bai Zi Ren (Arborvitae seed)
•Fu Shen (Poria Paradicis)
•Wu Wei Zi (Schizandra fruit)
•Wulinshen (herbal compound)

These herbs can be ingested as capsules, pills, tinctures, water extracts or teas. In The Classic Art of Tea, LuYu writes, “Tea tempers the spirit, harmonizes the mind, dispels lassitude and relieves fatigue, awakens the thought and prevents drowsiness.”

MP900313729Nutritional Remedies for Insomnia

An old Chinese proverb advises, “he that takes medicine and neglects diet, wastes the skills of the physician.” The Eastern viewpoint is that a balanced diet includes spicy, sour, bitter, sweet and salty foods and herbs that are chosen for their antibiotic properties. Different foods can contain any mixture of the five tastes plus the taste of bland.

The great principles which can be applied from this diet are primarily the ideas of holistic healing with whole foods. Whole foods can be used for repairing and revitalizing the organs and systems. Rather than a “miracle diet,” a holistic approach attempts to listen to the body.

 

Contributor bio:  Jessica Socheski is a freelance writer who loves finding ways to improve health naturally and is passionate about private medical care. You can connect with her through Google+.

Acupuncture & Herbal Treatment of Uterine Fibroids

Herbs for buddhaChinese herbal medicine can help shrink uterine fibroids and acupuncture can help with any pain associated with them. Juliette Aiyana will customize your herbal treatment for you.

Q: Are there any alternative or natural treatment options to having a hysterectomy for fibroids?

A: Yes. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal therapy have been used for centuries to treat uterine fibroids effectively. In very severe cases, there may be no alternative treatment from heavy medications or surgery. However, in many cases fibroids will effectively shrink or disappear as a result of Chinese herbal medicine.

Aside from being gentle and promoting whole-person health, treatment addresses the root cause of fibroid growth instead of just the symptom itself. When the underlying cause of fibroids is treated, they are less likely to keep growing back, which tends to be a problem following hormone or surgical treatments. For many women, the fibroids disappear naturally after menopause.

Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs are a viable, natural and conservative therapy for small uterine fibroids under 8 cm.

Or if you have larger fibroids acupuncture and herbs might be able to manage the symptoms of pain and heavy bleeding.

Q: How do acupuncture and Chinese herbs help fibroids?

A: Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) treats fibroids as a symptom of energetic imbalance, just as it treats other medical complaints. Your acupuncturist will determine the underlying cause of the disease through careful evaluation of your present symptoms as well as a head-to-toe assessment of all the body’s functions. Juliette Aiyana will treat you using acupuncture, dietary, lifestyle and herbal suggestions tailored to your body’s individual needs.

Q: How many treatments does it take to treat fibroids?

A: I recommend acupuncture and Chinese herbal therapy consults for fibroids 1-2 times per month, for 3-12 months depending on the case. Each patient’s case is different, and the total number of treatments required depends on several factors including the size of the fibroids and how long they have been growing in the uterus, as well as the underlying energetic condition of the patient.

Video Chat Herbal Wellness Consultations are Available. Learn more HERE.

A friend of mind recommended Juliette Aiyana, L.Ac., Herbalist to me on a day that I was suffering with severe neck and back pain. After visiting her website, the neck and back pain became a non-issue because I saw literature on female problems that were very familiar to me: endometriosis, fibroids, etc. Needless to say, I scheduled an appointment right away and have not regretted it for a moment. I had an ovarian cyst and fibroid for approximately six months, which became progressively worse; it grew and caused sharp pain in my side. My gynecologist suggested another surgery, but I didn’t entertain the thought of being cut again for the same problem which grew back after the previous surgeries.

Juliette initially administered acupuncture once a week for about three months, and then reduced frequency to every other week; the week of my ovulation and a few days before my menses were due. She put me on a very strict diet that consisted of abstention from dairy products, cold foods and beverages, raw foods, and sugar; I’m already a vegetarian. As a matter of fact, I did the impossible; I totally eliminated chocolate from my diet.

Juliette’s treatment also included periodic massages, aromatherapy and the usage of a heat lamp, which were extremely relaxing. She taught me how to administer self-massage to break up the tightly adhered scars left by my previous surgeries. Last but not least, I was given a cocktail of Chinese herbs to take twice a day. The first symptom that relieved was the painful menstrual cramps I dealt with every month.

After a course of treatment for about six months, just imagine the excitement that came over me when my gynecologist told me that there was no more evidence of the cyst and fibroid that had been growing inside of me. He searched high and low for it and to our surprise it was gone. I shared this news with Juliette at my next visit and she, too, was excited. We both screamed and she danced around in a circle. That was awesome and some amazing healing”! -Tawana, Age 42. Read more of Juliette’s patient’s success stories! 

Q: Which underlying energetic imbalance causes uterine fibroids?

A: Most patients have several imbalances occurring simultaneously, but very commonly there is impeded blood flow to and from the uterus, known as blood stagnation, leading to accumulation of excess tissue. Other frequently related issues include imbalance of the liver and spleen energetic systems, the yin energy and/or phlegm accumulation.

Q: What are fibroids?

A: Uterine fibroids are benign tumors that are made up of the muscle and connective tissue from the wall of the uterus. Fibroids may grow as a single nodule or in clusters and may range in size from 1 mm to more than 20 cm (8 inches) in diameter. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), uterine fibroids affect at least 25% of women.

Q: What are the symptoms of fibroids?

A: Though many women with fibroids do not experience obvious symptoms, others suffer from excessive menstrual bleeding, painful periods, bleeding between periods, pelvic pain or fullness, pain during intercourse, and frequent urination.

Aside from the above symptoms of inconvenience and discomfort, fibroids can also interfere with fertility and are the leading cause of hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) in the United States. Milder cases are usually treated with hormone medications and less invasive surgery to control fibroid growth.

Many women prefer to avoid surgery. Dr. Herbert Goldfarb who published the The No-Hysterectomy Option, Your Body Your Choice, in 1990 because most physicians advocated the final solution to most women’s gynecological abnormalities to be hysterectomy. On his website he states, “The sad truth of the matter is that the uterus and pelvic organs are often considered by physicians to be expendable once a woman’s childbearing years are over. The pelvic organs are rarely studied outside the realm of reproduction. Most doctors believe that once a woman has had her children, the uterus and ovaries are then useless and can be removed”.

According to the FDA article entitled Alternatives to Hysterectomy;

      The United States has one of the highest rates of hysterectomy in the world, with about 5 out of every 1,000 women each year having the operation, according to the CDC. Other industrialized countries show lower rates; in England, for example, the rate is less than 3 per 1,000 women annually. In Norway, it’s less than 2 in 1,000. Some are concerned that many hysterectomies are done unnecessarily in this country. “There are some cases where hysterectomy is the only option, for instance, for some types of cancer,” says Anthony Scialli, M.D., director of the obstetrics and gynecology residency program at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C. “But I think we perform too many hysterectomies. It’s a matter of American gynecologists being accustomed to performing a hysterectomy and American women being accustomed to getting one–based on their mother or other female relative having one. The one thing in favor of a hysterectomy is that it works for abnormal uterine bleeding–but it should be the last step, not the first step.”


Juliette Aiyana, L.Ac. Herbalist

 32 Union Square East, Suite 615N New York, NY 10003

 

 

Prevent Spring Allergies Before They Start

Acupuncture and Chinese herbs are effective to prevent spring allergies before they start.

Let’s face it, spring allergies can be a drag. Instead of celebrating the blossoms and warmer weather many people suffer for weeks or even months with runny noses, watery, red eyes, and sneezing post nasal drip.

Many seasonal allergies sufferers turn to medications to prevent the symptoms of spring allergies throughout the season despite the common side effects of drowsiness, dryness, dizziness, fatigue, insomnia, nervousness, and digestive disturbance. There’s also immune system suppression and the risk of becoming medication-dependent to worry about. Worse still, the Western treatment of allergies treats only the symptoms and not the root cause. Those seeking a natural and effective alternative need search no further than Chinese medicine.

In Chinese medicine the strategy behind treatment is alleviating the acute symptoms as well as correcting the root energetic imbalance causing those symptoms. The symptoms of seasonal allergies are most often related to underlying disharmonies involving wei qi, or defensive energy, phlegm or dampness, and the lung, spleen, and kidney energy systems, all of which are explained in detail in the article, “Stop Your Sniffling: Treat Seasonal Allergies with Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs“!

Aside from going to an acupuncturist for treatment, a great home care routine to cleanse the nasal passages of pollen is nasal irrigation with a neti pot. I go into detail about how and why to use one in my article, “How To Use a Neti-Pot to Treat & Prevent Nasal Congestion, Allergies, Post-Nasal Drip, Sore Throat, Colds/Flus”.

Another one of my favorite ways to prevent and treat seasonal allergies is with quercitin ascorbate. Quercitin is like nature’s Benadryl but with out the sleepy side effects. It is best to taken 2-3 times per day with food.

Visit my Online Shop to find home care  products and that are my favorites for preventing spring allergies.

 

Needle-Free Acupuncture Treating Your Children with Tui Na Massage & Shoni Shin

Learn About the Benefits of Needle-free Acupuncture for Babies & Children, Tui Na Massage & Shoni Shin TreatmentAn Interview with Melanie Katin, L.Ac., Professor and Clinician of Pediatric Chinese Medicine with Juliette Aiyana, L.Ac., Creator of HealthyStuff U.com

More parents are using natural health treatments for their kids.
More parents are using natural health treatments for their kids.

JA: A slew of positive media reports about the efficacy of acupuncture and tui na massage for kids is popularising parental interest in this natural treatment. Yet, many parents remain hesitant to bring kids in for acupuncture because babies, toddlers, kids and even the parents themselves may be frightened of needles. With that, how does your pediatric practice stay so busy?

MK: When people learn that I am a pediatric acupuncturist, they open their eyes wide when inquiring if I really use needles on children. The answer is yes, depending on a combination of the health issue, the parents’ consent, and the child’s willingness. However, in the pediatric clinic, there are several other methods of treatment beyond needling that are comfortable for the child, and easy to teach parents so that they can continue treatments at home, when necessary.

JA: Chinese medicine uses medical massage as a stand-alone, or as an adjunctive therapy to acupuncture. How well do children take to needle-free therapies?

Infants and babies respond quickly to Chinese medical massage.

MK: In Chinese medicine, massage is called Tui Na (twee-naa). For infants and small children under 6, this is always the first line of treatment in my office.  One of the best things about the health of children is their ability to heal quickly. They generally have rapid shifting of symptoms, however intense they may seem at the moment.

In Chinese medicine, we say that infants, babies and toddlers are yang in nature, meaning that they grow and learn fast, get sick quickly, with fast resolution of their illness, and tend to have more hot, feverish illnesses.  When children are sick, there is disorder in their Qi (chee), and it is part of the goal of my treatments to restore order to the qi using gentle and tolerable treatments. The Qi is superficial, and is easily accessed on the skin, which is why massage is one of the best tools to use for children.

JA: How does pediatric tui-na massage differ from therapeutic massage for grown-ups?

MK: Pediatric tui na massage is different from standard adult massage in many ways. First, is the fact that warm water is used as the substrate, instead of oil or creams.  Adult massage employs oils because they help sedate and calm during the massage. But because children have yang tendencies, sedating or calming them with oils and creams is usually contraindicated. We want their discomfort to move out of their bodies rapidly, therefore water allows for fast hand motions during the massage without creating any friction on the skin, which may be uncomfortable.

Also different from adult massage are the techniques. The hand movements are specific to the goal of treatment: for instance, for a child experiencing a cough, we would administer tui na massage the sternum or breastplate in a downward direction only, to encourage the body to stop having the upward movement of the cough. If a child is experiencing constipation, the abdominal massage is done in a clockwise direction, because the large intestine moves in this direction, and the massage helps direct the peristalsis. Conversely, for a child with diarrhea, we would massage in a counter-clockwise direction.

JA: Can parents learn tui-na massage techniques to continue therapy at home with their children?

Tui-na massage is easy to learn and to use at home.

MK: Yes. Since the techniques are very easy to learn, I ensure that the parents have a good grasp on how to do 2-3 techniques so that they can continue the treatments at home. With most illnesses it is important that the treatment be performed sometimes several times a day, so caregiver involvement is essential.

JA: It always amazes me how effective tui-na massage is when I use it with my son at home. And, yes, we’ve noticed that if we don’t use the techniques several times per day the treatments are not successful.  We commit the time to his health, which isn’t hard, because the tui-na only takes a few minutes each time.  My son and I love the bonding time that massage creates for us. Which other needle-free methods do you use?

Shoni-shin tools for used in pediatric care do not cause pain.

MT: A second modality we use is called Shoni Shin. This is a technique of gently tapping and scraping the skin with small instruments. There are specific shoni shin tools that are usually made from copper or stainless steel.  This technique is used both as a preventative measure by maintaining the flow of qi to stay consistent when the child is healthy, but also as a way to inform the neurological system of the proper flow when the child is ill.

JA: When I was searching for stock photos to accompany this interview, my son peeked at my computer screen as I found the photo below, of a boy receiving shoni-shin.  He recognized the shoni-shin tools and exclaimed, “That boy is getting massage, mommy”!

Kids love shoni-shin tools!

MT: Children love shoni shin tools! Especially the roller, which is always the first one to be picked up and played with. It is important that the children become comfortable with the tools, and we create a game with them during the treatment. Often, slightly older children will make up stories about each tool. However, I have found that children who have had many experiences with surgeries or hospital visits are wary of shiny, strange looking objects coming near their skin. For these wee ones, I have used more recognizable household items, such as buttons, spoons, sea glass or seashells: in other words, friendly and familiar.

JA: That is brilliant. And these are items which kids are likely familiar with. I have also used a coin as a tool. Shoni-shin has a neat history. Please tell us about that.

The shoni-shin pine brush tool feels wonderful

MK: Shoni shin was a technique developed in Japan in the 17th century, and more recently popularized in modern clinics. In Japan, the Chinese medical clinics will raise a flag of a different animal each month, around the full moon. This signals parents in the neighborhood that it is time to bring in the children for their monthly wellness visits for shoni shin.  I strongly encourage parents to consider bringing their kids in to see me when they are not currently sick to receive shoni shin. This way, they can meet me, learn about shoni shin and massage, and develop a level of comfort at my office, so that when they are actually sick and fussy, they will not have the added fear of something and someone new, but will be familiar with the procedure.

JA: And monthly visits can help strengthen kid’s immune systems and refresh the parents memory about techniques to use, along with learning new ones.

So, what about acupuncture for kids? When do you use needles?

Acupuncture needles used on kids are usually inserted, stimulated and removed with lighting speed by a skilled practitioner.

MK: It is not always necessary to needle small children, because they can benefit greatly from the two modalities described here. However, for some instances, neither tui na nor shoni shin can be employed well, either due to intolerance of touch, or for those little ones who have just learned how to walk, and just cannot sit still. For these cases, sometimes a couple needles are faster and easier to use.

Once you find a competent pediatric specialist, you should discover that your child may not even notice that they have been needled. One way I have discovered to avert the fear aspect of needles is to call them something else! One little 3-year old I know calls them “piques,” which sounds a lot like “peek,” so this is usually my word of choice, to remind the child of a game of peek-a-boo.

JA:  I love it! My son is still nervous to receive acupuncture, but each time after I treat him, he always looks me right in the eyes and sincerely thanks me. I bet your patients and their parents are grateful too. We are certainly grateful when we come to see you! How can parents outside of the New York City area find a practitioner of Chinese medicine who specializes in pediatrics?

Shoni-shin on the inner arm helps to calm and relax children.
Shoni-shin on the inner arm helps to calm and relax children.

MK: My advice on how to find a practitioner in your area is to search a couple of online resources, both www.nccaom.org, which is the national certification agency for all licensed practitioners of Chinese medicine, and also www.acufinder.com. Both of these will yield practitioners in your area. Another suggestion is to see if there is a local Chinese medical school in your area. They might have a low-cost clinic where your child can be treated, or have alumni information available. Once you’ve found a few practitioners, start calling and ask if they have experience treating children. They might be able to point you in the right direction if they are not able to help you directly.

JA: I also send people to www.tcmdirectory.com.  Thank you so much for all of this valuable information about Chinese medicine for kids. I hope it is useful for parents!

Melanie Katin, L.Ac. is a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist in NYC. She has been specializing in the care of children for 8 years in her private practice, and leads the pediatric clinic at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine’s NYC campus. For further information, or to make an appointment with Melanie, visit her website: www.melaniekatin.com

Stress, Anxiety, & Panic Attack Relief with Acupuncture & Herbs

Woman Sitting with Tea Cup

Anxiety and Panic Attack Treatments with acupuncture and Chinese herbs are fast acting, safe, effective. Chinese medicine recognizes that a variety of causes and conditions continually arise in life which shift our energy. Because of these shifts we may not feel happy all the time, nor are we expected to according to the Chinese medical perspective.

In fact, the person in optimal health will experience the full range of emotions, but without getting stuck in any one emotional state. When stress, anxiety and panic attacks get in the way of life, patients need fast acting treatments. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs offer a natural, safe and effective method of treatment.

In clinical practice, the patients I treat recover quickly from stress, anxiety and panic attack treatments. When I treat people with stress and emotional disorders using acupuncture and Chinese herbs I tailor an individualized and focused treatment strategy to the specific imbalances of each person.

Ready to release the anxiety? Call 646-504-2251 for an appointment.

I gently place acupuncture needles in the body to open up blockages in energy flow, and to support systems that are weak or out of balance with the rest of the body. My approach allows the body to heal itself naturally, and the tailored treatment provides effective. Treatment also aims to resolve the problems from the root cause, for lasting relief. I also teach home care stress reduction techniques.

“After my second appointment with Juliette I never suffered from another anxiety attack again, and it has now been almost a year since I first visited her. I am so grateful to Juliette. I admit I went into this a little skeptical but Juliette Aiyana is so knowledgeable and easy to talk to, as soon as I met her I was immediately glad I made the appointment. Each week I would look forward to my appointment, it was such a relaxing experience. I have such faith in Juliette that I have referred her to friends with various ailments who have also had great results with her. I highly recommend Juliette Aiyana, L.Ac. without reservations.” – Christine READ MORE PATIENT ENDORSEMENTS HERE

 

 Many people are not aware that when stress builds up in their system they experience physical or emotional symptoms. Some symptoms of stress are heart palpitations, muscle tension, headaches, fatigue, or problems with digestion, sleep, memory, or motivation. Sometimes stress or a traumatic event leads to general anxiety or panic attacks.

 

Stress, Anxiety & Emotions

 Emotions only cause imbalance if they are extreme, or if the patient holds on to them for long periods of time. If a person’s body experiences symptoms of imbalance, it means the energy flow is either blocked, deficient, or out of balance. Both physical and emotional wellness depends on a smooth flow of energy throughout the body. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs balance energy by harmonizing the flow the energy, the result of which is smooth flow and thereby reduces and/or eliminates stress, anxiety and panic attacks.

One way to achieve emotional balance is through treatment based on the Chinese Five Element system. Each of the five systems is interrelated, and the health of each one depends on balance between all of them. The five elements are fire, water, wood, metal and earth. Within the elemental relationships, each emotion relates to a specific organ. The five emotions are joy which affects the heart energy, fear/fright which affects the kidney energy, sadness/grief which affect the lung energy, anger/frustration which affects the liver energy, and worry/over-thinking which affects the spleen energy.

Stress, Anxiety & Pain

Physically, stress has several effects on the body. The main problem it causes is stuck or blocked energy, also known as stagnation. When symptoms appear, it signals that energy in one or more pathway is blocked. Some symptoms of qi stagnation are neck and back pain, fatigue, PMS, menstrual cramps or infertility. Over time symptoms become more severe and spread to other systems in the body. Treatment with acupuncture and Chinese herbs will resolve the cause of energetic disharmony to heal the physical symptoms and prevent future disease.

At-Home Stress Relief

 To “wash” your body and mind clean of stress and less than desirable experiences, emotions and events, try the following tips to help bring harmony back to your physical and emotional self, by smoothing out energy flow:

  1. Sitting in a comfortable position, close your eyes and visualize sitting by stream of water flowing gently by. When thoughts come into your head, they are part of the stream, just flowing by you. Allow yourself to consider the thought and then let it go on its way down the stream, not getting caught or lingering too long in your mind.
  2. Breath slowly and deeply. On the inhale, fill your lungs, chest, and belly completely with fresh clean air. On the exhale, release out all the air, along with the tension and built up thoughts and stresses from the day. Oxygen will circulate throughout the lungs and entire body, opening clogged areas and releasing tension from your mind and muscles. Many times during the day we don’t realize how shallowly we have been breathing.
  3. Firmly brush your limbs off, from the trunk of your body outwards. Start at the shoulders and brush out to fingertips, and past them, as if brushing a thick dust off each sleeve. Then, sitting with your legs straight out in front of you, start at the hips and brush all the way down to feet. Energetically, this releases negative or stagnated energy, and refreshes the natural balance of the body, enhancing circulation and washing impurities out of body and mind.

Acupuncture facial rejuvenation

Try Acupuncture & Herbs for Panic Attack Treatments.

It Works!

 

Juliette Aiyana, L.Ac., Herbalist, Author

Stop Your Sniffling: Treat Seasonal Allergies with Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs!

Seasonal Allergies Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs Treatment
Acupuncture, herbs, supplements and diet change treat and prevent allergies

Seasonal Allergies can be put to rest!

Finally, the sun is out and the warm weather upon us. But for roughly 45 million Americans, seasonal allergies (also known as hay fever or allergic rhinitis) make this time of year a miserable one. How can allergy sufferers enjoy themselves with all the sneezing, runny nose, fatigue, sinus pressure, congestion, red itchy eyes, scratchy throat and headache?

Many seasonal allergies sufferers turn to medications throughout the season despite the common side effects of drowsiness, dryness, dizziness, fatigue, insomnia, nervousness, and digestive disturbance. There’s also immune system suppression and the risk of becoming medication-dependent to worry about. Worse still, the Western treatment of allergies treats only the symptoms and not the root cause. Those seeking a natural and effective alternative need search no further than Chinese medicine.

In Chinese medicine the strategy behind treatment is alleviating the acute symptoms as well as correcting the root energetic imbalance causing those symptoms. The symptoms of seasonal allergies are most often related to underlying disharmonies involving wei qi, or defensive energy, phlegm or dampness, and the lung, spleen, and kidney energy systems, all of which I explain below.

Wei Qi and Lung Qi: In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), illness prevention begins with a protective layer around the exterior of the body called wei qi, or defensive energy. A strong and healthy wei qi is the body’s initial protection against all external pathogens. If the defensive energy is weak, “wind pathogens” transmitted through the air will enter the body, so a combination of a wind-born pathogen and a deficiency of the protective wei qi is a recipe for illness. People with wei qi deficiency catch colds easily, and seasonal allergies symptoms may be particularly bad in the spring or fall seasons which are generally windy. Patients with seasonal allergies, chronic cough and/or recurrent colds and flu are also likely to have Lung deficiency, since wei qi and immune function are part of the lung energy. Lung qi controls the domain of skin, lungs, nose, sinuses, and respiratory passages.

Spleen Qi: Behind every weak immune system is a deficiency of the spleen qi, part of the digestive system. It is the job of the spleen to make healthy qi from food. If the spleen qi is weak, it is not able to efficiently digest food and make a healthy quality of energy to distribute to all systems of the body. The immune system suffers. Spleen qi deficiency is usually accompanied by dampness; fluids fail to metabolize and often end up turning to excess phlegm and mucus. Spleen Qi vacuity with Dampness is a common underlying condition with allergy symptoms.

Kidney Qi: Since kidney energy is the root of constitutional and all other energy systems in the body, it is usually related to imbalances involving deficiency. Especially when seasonal allergies, asthma, or frequent or chronic respiratory illness are problems since childhood, the kidney energy must be addressed. It is also important to note that kidney energy is damaged by long-term medication use.

Allergies & Chinese Herbal Medicine

Chinese herbs are very important both for quick relief of the acute symptoms as well as support for the underlyingSeasonal Allergies Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs Treatment imbalance in energy responsible for allergic problems. Though every patient has a unique combination of symptoms and is treated according to their individual pattern, the most common treatment principles are boosting the lung qi, wei qi, and supporting the spleen qi while expelling wind and phlegm dampness from the body.

There are many Chinese herbs that build wei qi and enhance the immune system. For best results (and safety!), herbal formulas should be prescribed only by professionally trained herbalists. The formula prescribed will address each patient’s unique presentation of symptoms, and hence will vary greatly from case to case. However, an example of one of the simplest and most famous formulas is called Jade Windscreen and is comprised of just three immunity-enhancing herbs: Huang qi (Astragalus), Fang feng (Saposhnikovia) and Bai zhu (Atractylodes).

Huang qi (Astragalus) is traditionally used to strengthen wei qi. Modern research has identified several notable pharmacological effects confirming its historical use. Huang qi is an immunostimulant, increasing both specific and non-specific immunity. It also increases the number of white blood cells and has antibiotic actions against streptococcus and staphylococcus. Clinical studies have shown it effective in the prevention of colds and respiratory infections. It is also considered a hepatoprotective (liver-protecting) herb.

Fang feng’s (Saposhnikovia) TCM name is translated to mean “guard against wind,” and it has antibiotic and antiviral properties.

Bai zhu (Atractylodes) is traditionally used as a tonic to build both spleen qi and wei qi. Recent studies have shown that Bai zhu increases the activity of macrophages and increases the number of white blood cells and lymphocytes.

The above herbs are also included in many variations of the original Jade Windscreen formula, such as Allerease by Blue Poppy, which is often relevant and prescribed.

Allergies and Lifestyle: Survival Tips
The following suggestions may help minimize suffering:

  1. Minimize exposure to your allergens. Check your local TV, newspaper or the Internet for pollen forecasts and current pollen levels, and stay indoors when the pollen count or humidity is high. The morning is prime pollen time – especially if it is dry and windy. Plan outdoors activities for later in the day, or after a good rain, when pollen counts are lower.
  2. Keep windows shut when the pollen count is high, including those in your house and car. Use air conditioning if possible, or keep indoor air dry with a dehumidifier. A HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter or an electrostatic precipitator may also help clean pollen and mold from the indoor air.

  3. Don’t hang laundry outside, since pollen may cling to towels and sheets. Wash all bedding every 7 to 14 days. Also, remove clothes you’ve worn outside and shower to rinse pollen from your skin and hair.
  4. Avoid mowing the grass, pulling weeds or raking leaves. If you must do these, wear a mask to filter pollen and molds from the air.
  5. Plan vacations where pollen isn’t prevalent. A good choice is the beach.
  6. Swim for exercise. In fact, you’ll find one of the purest concentrations of air in the ten to 15 inch layer right above the water, and the gentle humidity keeps your airways from drying out. If you exercise outdoors, use a neti pot before and after exercising to get rid of dust, pollen, and mucus from your nose.
Seasonal Allergies Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs Treatment
Chinese herbal medicine & other natural supplements are very effective for allergies

Diet and Supplements for Allergy Season
In general, eating a well-balanced healthy diet will keep the immune system strong. Specifically, minimize or avoid cows milk and other dairy products as they contribute to the production of phlegm and mucus. Overindulgence in simple carbohydrates and sweets can also contribute to allergies, since they harm the spleen qi.

Include both omega-3 and omega-6s fatty acids included in salmon, tuna, mackerel, and other cold-water fish. Eat mercury containing fish, such as tuna, in moderation especially pregnant women. Check the USDA Website for more information on mercury and fish. Flax seeds, hemp seeds, walnuts, and canola oil are high in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which the body converts to eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), the form found in fish.

Another article about Natural Allergy Control gives more suggestions about diet and supplements that may be helpful. It also explains how allergies are related to imbalances in the nervous system, and which allergies respond well to chiropractic care.

Prevention is the Best Medicine

The best time to get treated for seasonal allergies is before they show up. Starting a treatment program including acupuncture and Chinese herbs 6-8 weeks before they typically start for you, helps boost the immune system and hence prevent symptoms from appearing since the underlying energy will be strong and resilient. However, if allergy symptoms are already bothering you, start treatment as soon as possible for best results.

Contact Aiyana Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs for more information or to make an appointment today!

646-504-2251

Seasonal Allergies Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs Treatment

Missing Menstrual Periods Restored with Acupuncture, Chinese Herbs & Food

Discover the truth about Missing Menstrual Periods Acupuncture Treatment.

Amenorrhea is the medical term used when there is an absence of menstrual bleeding in women who are not pregnant, breastfeeding or peri-menopausal. 

Amenorrhea is further sub-classified into Primary amenorrhea or Secondary amenorrhea. Primary amenorrhea is a delay in or a failure to start menstruation by the age of 16; Secondary amenorrhea is an unexpected cessation of the menstrual cycle (missing menstrual periods) for three months or more. Missing menstrual periods can usually be restored naturally, within three months, with acupuncture, Chinese herbs and food therapy.  These same natural therapies will take about another six months to regulate the menstrual cycle.  Hormonal drugs do not truly restore nor regulate the menstrual cycle, as much as they force changes on the body and they come with the risk of side-effects such as weight-gain, blood clots cancer.

TCM Treatment

“For any woman suffering from unwanted menstrual symptoms or trying to get pregnant, I would highly recommend getting some needles and herbs from Juliette Aiyana, L.Ac. Herbalist. She is truly amazing!” – Jen Click Here To Read More Patient ReviewsTraditional Chinese medicine (TCM) works by stimulating the body to regulate its naturally occurring hormones, thus helping to restore the normal hormonal balance of the body. Another reason why TCM is so beneficial in treating symptoms of amenorrhea is because the therapy involved focuses on treating the root of the problem rather than just the present symptoms. With a little investigation into your medical history and an accurate description of what you’re experiencing, you and your acupuncturist can get to the root of the problem.

Western Treatment

Because menstrual cycle irregularities are so strongly linked to hormone imbalances, Western doctors tend to prescribe hormone therapy to “regulate” the menstrual cycle. Hormones such as progesterone and estrogen are given to start or restart the periods; the birth control pill is the most popular form of estrogen replacement therapy. But women’s doctor’s  may also be offer The Patch, Nuvaring, or an hormonal IUD. Hormonal birth control is known to reduce folate in your body, so if you are planning to become pregnant and have used, or are using these drugs, talk to your doctor about taking a folate supplement to prevent birth defects.

If hormone replacement therapy is recommended to you, it is important for you to know about the functions of these hormones, as well as their side-effects and long-range effects.  Be aware that according to WEBMD.com,

The following side effects, easily remembered by the word “ACHES,” are less common but more serious. If you experience any of these, contact your doctor immediately. If you cannot reach your doctor, go to an emergency room or urgent care center for evaluation. These symptoms may indicate a serious disorder, such as liver disease, gallbladder disease, stroke, blood clots, high blood pressure, or heart disease. They include:

  • Abdominal pain (stomach pain)
  • Chest pain
  • Headaches (severe)
  • Eye problems (blurred vision)
  • Swelling and/or aching in the legs and thighs

 Prof. Juliette Aiyana’s Note About Hormonal Menstrual Treatments: Hormone therapies do not cure the root cause of the menstrual disease. Rather, they cover up the symptoms and in some cases cause side-effects. The birth control pill, the patch and the ring actually suppress your menstrual period by mimicking pregnancy for at least three weeks each month (birth control pill brands such as Seasonal mimic pregnancy for several months), after which a sugar pill is taken (or in the case of the patch and ring, no hormone is released). The sudden drop in hormone causes the body to respond as though it is no longer pregnant, which causes the uterine lining to bleed. Therefore, the hormonally-induced bleed is not like a naturally occurring menstrual bleed. So rather than regulating your cycle, these medications are suppressing it, which is the opposite effect a woman with missing menstrual periods needs to effectively regulate her natural menses.
To list all the side-effects of these drugs would warrant a special article. A few to watch out for are:weight gain, depression, lighter or skipped periods, bleeding between periods, nausea, vomiting, headaches or increased migraine headaches, decrease in libido, skin irritation at the site of the patch, vaginal discharge, irritation/inflammation of the vagina with use of the ring. Rarer side-effects include (but are not limited to) heart failure, stroke, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, blood clots of the eyes. The Ortho-Evra patch was once recalled by the FDA, who later approved an update labeling listing serious side-effects, including stroke, and allowed the product back onto the market.http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/NEWS/2008/NEW01781.html

Read more about menstrual suppression here at the Red Web Foundation website:
http://www.redwebfoundation.org/16.html?&clear=1#

 

In this article, we will focus on Secondary amenorrhea in the framework of Chinese medicine.

Not knowing why menstruation has stopped can be very stressful, and waiting for it to return may feel like a lifetime! Please note that in most Secondary amenorrhea cases, the underlying pathologies are commonly reversible and treatable with TCM.

Some of the Signs and Symptoms related to Secondary amenorrhea (missing menstrual periods) include but are not limited to: 
Headaches, nausea, abdominal bloating and discomfort, swollen and distended breasts, hot flashes, night sweats, moods changes, acne, excessive hair growth, vaginal dryness or excessive discharge, fatigue, dizziness, palpitation, insomnia or dream-disturbed sleep, and emotional changes such as depression, frustration and anxiety.

TCM diagnosis of Secondary amenorrhea


* It should be noted that Secondary amenorrhea (missing menstrual periods) can be due to different pathologies and that the syndrome patterns listed below can appear alone or in complex form; therefore you may have symptoms from one or all patterns described. 
In traditional Chinese medicine, groups of symptoms, or syndromes, are typically classified into patterns that involve the internal organs and/or energy pathways of the body. Since TCM concentrates on treating the root of the underlying problem, the practitioner will focus on you as a whole and find the symptom pattern(s) related to your condition. The TCM diagnosis first begins with differentiating the pathological changes of the body as either a Vacuous or Excess  pattern.

Vacuity Patterns

  • Kidney and Liver vacuity: There will be a gradual cessation of menstruation. The menses become thin and scanty, and then gradually stops altogether. Signs and symptoms include: absence of menstruation for a significant period of time, fatigue, soreness and weakness in the loins and legs, lower back pain, dizziness, headaches, tinnitus, anxiety, hot flashes, excessive perspiration (especially at night), lusterless hair, brittle nails, and frequent urination.
  • Qi and Blood vacuity: There will be a gradual cessation of menstruation. Typically, periods become shorter and scantier and eventually stop altogether. Signs and symptoms include: absence of menstruation, pale complexion, general fatigue and weakness, dizziness, blurred vision, palpitations, bruises easily, headaches, weakness of the limbs, loose stools, palpitations, sleepiness, breathlessness, insomnia, dream-disturbed sleep, dry skin, lusterless hair and brittle nails.

Excess Patterns

  • Qi Stagnation: There will be an irregular menstrual cycle initially, and then the menstruation stops gradually or suddenly. Emotional stress is the most common origin of this pattern. Signs and symptoms include: absence of menstruation, depression, anxiety, a sensation of fullness in the chest and under the rib cage, swelling or fullness of the abdomen with an aversion to pressure, breast tenderness, headaches, lack of appetite, alternating diarrhea/constipation, and frequent sighing.
  • Blood Stasis: There will be an irregular menstrual cycle initially, and then the menstruation stops gradually or suddenly. Emotional stress or trauma is the most common origin of this pattern. Signs and symptoms associated are the same as the above symptoms of Qi stagnation but the pain may be intensified. Other signs and symptoms may include a palpable abdominal mass, purple lips, headaches, sallow complexion and dark skin macules.
  • Phlegm Dampness: There will be delayed periods (missing menstrual periods), and then menstruation gradually stops. Being overweight as well as the habitual consumption of cold, raw, or greasy foods (especially dairy products) are most likely the cause of this pattern. Signs and symptoms include: absence of menstruation, obesity, excessive sticky and clear vaginal discharge, nausea, headaches, chest constriction, phlegm in the throat, abdominal bloating, edema, fatigue and general weakness.

TCM Treatment Protocol

We advise you to come into the clinic 1 – 2 times per week for acupuncture and will usually combine a Chinese herbal formula and dietary change for you to take as well. Effectively treating the root cause of the Secondary Amenorrhea takes approximately three menstrual cycles. Some women will see a reduction in their symptoms right away while others may take a longer period of time. Stress levels, lifestyle, and general health are important factors involved in response time.

Ready to Bring Back Your Periods? Call for an Appointment.

abnormal menstrual periods treatment
Call 646-504-2251 To Schedule

Juliette Aiyana, L.Ac.
Aiyana Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs
32 Union Square East, Suite 615N
New York, NY 10003
(646)504.2251

 

Inquire about Missing Menstrual Periods Treatment today!