Tag: Post-partum depression

The Health Benefits of Laughter Therapy

It is more than six years now since the first “Laughter Club” was set up. There is a growing demand for such clubs in India and abroad. Almost everyday more and more people are joining Laughter Clubs and are reaping its benefits. One of the benefits is that laughter puts the members in a positive frame of mind and gradually makes them positive thinkers. People suffering from a variety of stress-related diseases have benefited in some way or another. But we don’t claim that long-standing ailments have been cured by laughter therapy. Laughter is more of a supplementary and preventive therapy.

Anti Stress: Laughter is one of the finest, most economical and easy ways to reduce stress. Laughter is one of the best muscle relaxants. Laughter expands blood vessels and sends more blood to the extremities and other muscles all over the body. A good bout of laughter also reduces the levels of stress hormones epinephrine and cortisol. It is used as a form of dynamic meditation or relaxation. For meditation one has to put in a concerted effort to completely detach oneself, on mental and emotional levels, from one’s own feelings and thought processes, as well as from the physical world to prevent distractions. While laughing we do not have any conscious thought process and all our senses naturally and effortlessly combine in a moment of harmony to give joy, peace and relaxation. In other types of meditation you need to concentrate a lot to take your mind away from distracting thoughts, which is easier said than done. Therefore, laughter is, if I may say so, the easiest form of meditation and one which brings you instant relaxation.

Strengthens the Immune System: The immune system plays an important role in maintaining good health by keeping away infections, allergies and cancers. It has been proven by psychoneuroimmunologists that negative emotions like anxiety, depression or anger weaken the immune system of the body, thereby reducing its fighting capacity against infections. According to Dr. Lee S. Berk from Loma Linda University, California, laughter helps to increase the count of natural killer cells (NK cells – a type of white cell) and also raises the antibody levels. Researchers have found that after laughter therapy there is an increase in antibodies (Immunoglobulin A) in the mucous of the nose and respiratory passages, which is believed to have a protective capacity against some viruses, bacteria and other micro organisms. Many members of Laughter Clubs have noticed that their frequency of common colds, sore throats and chest infections has decreased. The effect of laughter on the immune system is considered to be very significant with regard to deadly disease like AIDS and cancer by improving quality of life.

Aerobic Exercise: The one benefit almost everybody experiences is a sense of well-being. After 15 minutes of laughter in the morning, they feel fresh throughout the day. There is no medicine like laughter which gives you such an instant result. The reason for the sense of well-being is that you inhale more oxygen while laughing. Laughter can be compared to any aerobic exercises except you don’t have to wear fancy shoes or clothes. You don’t need to sweat hard on the jogging tracks. According to Dr. William Fry from Stanford University, one minute of laughter is equal to 10 minutes on the rowing machine. Laughter stimulates heart and blood circulation like aerobic exercise. Laughter exercise is suited for sedentary people and those who are confined to a bed or wheelchair.

Depression, anxiety and psychosomatic disorders: The stress and strain of modern life are taking a heavy toll of the human mind and body. Mind-related diseases like anxiety, depression, nervous breakdowns and sleeplessness are on the rise. Laughter has benefited many people who were on heavy anti-depressant pills and tranquilizers. Now they are getting better sleep and their depression has reduced. People with suicidal tendencies have started living with more hope.

High Blood Pressure and Heart disease: There are a number of causes for high blood pressure and heart disease like heredity, obesity, smoking and excessive intake of saturated fats. But stress is one of the major factors. Laughter definitely helps to control blood pressure by reducing the release of stress-related hormones and bringing relaxation.

© Used with Permission

Dr. Mandan Kataria
http://www.laughteryoga.org
Mumbai, INDIA. 2003.
Phone : +91-22-26316426
E-Mail : laugh@laughteryoga.org

 

Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs as an Effective Treatment for Depression

Chinese herbal medicine can be very effective for mild to moderate depression

I recently asked a highly respected and experienced acupuncturist from China which diseases she treated the most using Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) when she was practicing in China. “Depression and pain,” she replied.

 

Acupuncture is becoming well known in the United States as an effective treatment of body pain, but exploring TCM deeper reveals wider applications, including for the treatment of depression.

 

 

 

“After feeling discouraged from the western medicine I was using to treat a chronic health problem, I sought out Juliette Aiyana, L.Ac. I thought that an alternative approach to my care may be more beneficial. Fortunately, I was right. I have been seeing Juliette for a little over a year now and she has been more effective than any other health practitioner I have come across. She is extremely attentive, careful, thorough and works very hard to ensure that her patients get the best treatments possible. Aside from the acupuncture and herbs, Juliette’s encouragement and insights have been key components to my personal healing process. Seeking out Juliette has been one of the best things I have ever done for myself”. -Anonymous.

Click Here For More Patient Reviews.

 

The many types of depression are defined as mood disorders by the American Psychiatric Association. The Mayo Clinic lists the following mental and physical signs and symptoms indicative of depression1:

  • Irritability
  • Feelings of anxiety
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in life
  • Neglect of personal responsibility or personal care
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Changes in sleeping patterns
  • Fatigue and loss of energy
  • Extreme mood changes
  • Feeling helpless, hopeless, or worthless
  • Physical symptoms (e.g., headaches, chronic pain)
  • Increased alcohol or drug use
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

Do you feel any of the symptoms listed above?
If so, Chinese medicine may be right for you.
Call 646-504-2251 to schedule an appointment in our office, or via Skype.

If you are having thoughts of death or suicide please call your medical doctor or a suicide hotline for immediate help; Click here if you in the U.S.A. Click here if you are International.

In the United States, the rate of people seeking medical treatment for depression markedly increased between the late 1980s and early 1990s and continued to increase through the 1990s.2 There are many side effects of antidepressant medication and many mimic the signs and symptoms of depression itself. Some of the various side effects of antidepressants are as follows3:

  • Dry mouth
  • Urinary retention
  • Blurred vision
  • Constipation
  • Sleep disruption
  • Weight gain
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Gastrointestinal disturbance/diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Inability to achieve an erection
  • Loss of libido
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety

Depression is a very complicated disease that affects mental health and the various physical systems of the body resulting in decreased quality of life. Health is the balance among all of the emotional and physical occurrences in the body. If these fall out of balance, disease will occur. For example, one may become depressed because of a battle with insomnia or one may become an insomniac resulting from a struggle with depression.

Acupuncture increases the “happy” hormones; serotonin, endorphins & enkephalins while reducing the stress hormone,cortisol

TCM approaches health and disease with the understanding that the mind and body function as one operable unit not to be treated as two separate, unrelated parts. The National Institute of Health states that in TCM, qi (pronounced “chee”) is believed to regulate a person’s spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical balance, and to be influenced by the opposing forces of yin and yang. This description highlights TCM’s view of the mind-body connection of health.4

According to TCM theory, depression is a disease that occurs from stagnant or depressed qi in the body creating emotional and physical imbalance. Acupuncture and herbs can regulate stagnant qi resolving the depressive state in the body and help achieve health. Clinical trials analyzing acupuncture as treatment for depression, patients who experienced acupuncture improved slightly more than patients treated with an antidepressant drug alone.5

 

 

Acupuncture and herbs are effective, safe treatments for depression and can be used alone or in conjunction with antidepressants. Call today, and Juliette Aiyana will work with you to help you attain overall health and a better quality of life!

Juliette Aiyana, L.Ac., Herbalist, Author, Creator of HealthyStuffU.com
Aiyana Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs
32 Union Square East, Suite 615N
New York, NY 10003
(646)504-2251

– – –
1 http://www.mayoclinic.org/depression/diagnosis.html
2 Mojtabai, R. M.D., Ph.D., and Mark Olfson, M. M.D., M.P.H. (2006). Treatment Seeking for Depression in Canada and the United States. Psychiatric Services. 57:631-639.
3 http://www.clinical-depression.co.uk/Treating_Depression/side_effects.htm
4 http://nccam.nih.gov/health/acupuncture
5 Röschke J, Wolf C, Miller MJ, Wagner P, Mann K, Grözinger M, and Bech S. (2000). The benefit from whole body acupuncture in major depression. Journal of affective disorders. 57(1-3):73-81

Don’t Skip Sleep! Acupuncture works for insomnia.

Acupuncture for insomnia is very effective. Numerous studies support what Chinese medical practitioners have known for thousands of years.

Read more about scientific studies on acupuncture for insonia herehttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19922248

Acupuncture can usually relieve insomnia within just 4-6 visits!

Many people do not get adequate sleep, and whether it’s due to insomnia or other factors, attention must be paid to getting enough rest.

Sleep is completely essential to overall health and quality of life, and those deprived of adequate amounts are very likely to experience a range of symptoms, including weight gain, depression or anxiety, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Ready for a great night’s rest?

 

The following articles support different highlights on the importance of adequate sleep. Recent studies suggest that doctors should include inquiries about patients’ quality and quantity of sleep in a general check-up as a new vital sign.

Chinese Medicine agrees that sleep is vitally important, and has recognized through the ages that the body’s systems are interconnected. Difficulty sleeping or lack of substantial sleep is almost always linked to other symptoms that indicate the body is out of balance. Faster intervention is always best, since symptoms of illness can become more numerous and severe if the problem is ignored.

Juliette Aiyana, L.Ac., Herbalist was so warm and friendly from our initial meeting. She took the time to explain what acupuncture was, asked very detailed questions in order to treat me appropriately. She creates a soothing and comfortable environment when working with you. She receives nothing but high recommendations from me!” – Simone

One study concluded the following: “Insomnia and trouble sleeping are most often associated with high blood pressure, heart failure, anxiety and depression,according to a national survey of 31,044 adults. It had been thought that insomnia was quite prevalent on its own, but only 4 percent of the people [with] insomnia had it without any of those conditions”.

Lack of sleep, in multiple studies, has been linked to weight gain. There are several explanations for weight gain within Chinese Medicine for this phenomenon such as qi deficiency or qi stagnation.

Acupuncture for weight loss and acupuncture for insomnia can very successful. Western research suggests that sleep deprivation alters hormones involved with appetite and metabolism. More research shows that acupuncture can balance those very hormones.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) reported  that 1.6 million Americans get treated for insomnia using Complementary and Alternative Medicine, and the majority find the treatments effective.

Many people who experience symptoms of insomnia are eager a find natural solution because prescription drugs may offer temporary solutions, but can be addictive and often cause unwanted side effects. The bigger problem with treatment via chemical pharmaceuticals is that they do not treat the underlying cause of the insomnia and associated symptoms.

 

Treatment with Acupuncture and Chinese herbs is natural, safe and effective because it addresses both the underlying imbalance causing insomnia as well as other symptoms of disharmony in the body.

 

Rest Easy! Try Acupuncture, It Works!

Call Aiyana Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs in NYC for an appointment with Juliette Aiyana, L.Ac.: 646-504-2251

Not in NYC? Schedule a Skype Wellness Consultation: 646-504-2251


Chinese Medicine From Pre-Conception Through Post-Partum

Acupuncture, Chinese herbs, and Chinese Medicine For Infertility

It can be extremely useful in all stages of gynecological and obstetric care.

For thousands of years, women have been treated for help conceiving, through all stages of pregnancy, and during and after childbirth. At Aiyana Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs, Juliette Aiyana, L.Ac., Herbalist has been helping women become pregnant for over a decade. Below are more details on specific aspects of care with Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Preconception

Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine has been shown to increase blood circulation to the ovaries and uterus and hence increase the capacity for fertility and conception. Chinese medicine can be used to increase the chances of conceiving naturally or alongside medical interventions.

Women who experience irregular cycles, painful periods, PMS, or complications such as cysts or fibroids may be less fertile due to energetic imbalances causing those symptoms. Acupuncture along with Chinese herbs and Chinese Medicine can help balance and regulate the menstrual cycle, thus improving fertility levels.

Some patients that have been diagnosed with infertility are advised to undergo fertility treatment such as IUI (intra uterine insemination) or IVF (in vitro fertilization). It is quite useful to have the support of acupuncture and herbs through the ups and downs of assisted reproductive technology as well.

Studies have shown that IVF combined with acupuncture is 40%-60% more successful than IVF alonei. Results from another study showed a pregnancy was twice as likely to occur if acupuncture was used on the day of the embryo transferii.
Additionally, many couples have difficulty achieving pregnancy due in large part to the stress in their lifestyle. Stress can be a major factor involved in health problems and acupuncture treatment can significantly reduce the stress response in the body. Relaxing the body and mind allows the body to carry out a natural process like conception more smoothly, and often pregnancy is achieved in a healthy couple more quickly once tension and imbalances are removed.

 

Years ago, I saw Juliette when I wanted to be come pregnant. A fertility specialist told me I needed IVF, but after 3 months of acupuncture, I was pregnant. Since then, she has helped me though morning sickness, colds, and allergies. Each time, I’ve found her comprehensive and effective. She takes time with her patients and you always feel as if you are being well cared for”. -N.C. READ MORE HERE

Try Acupuncture. It Works!
Call (646) 504.2251 to schedule an appointment .

Pregnancy – 1st Trimester

Acupuncture can provide relief for some of the most common complaints in early pregnancy, such as nausea, vomiting, exhaustion and headaches. Treatment can also help support appetite and energy, and avoid medications for ailments like allergies, colds, and pain syndromes. In addition, acupuncture, Chinese herbs, and Chinese Medicine can reduce the chances of miscarriage, which is at highest risk during the first trimester.

Pregnancy – 2nd Trimester

Though most women are feeling relatively healthy during the 2nd trimester, continued treatment will support fetal growth and healthy development through balancing and strengthening the mother’s energy systems.

Pregnancy – 3rd Trimester
Acupuncture helps ease many of the discomforts of the 3rd trimester, such as back pain, sciatica, swelling, and insomnia. Treatment can also gently prepare the body for labor by ensuring smooth circulation of blood and energy to all tissues and organs involved. Patients who get acupuncture treatments throughout the pregnancy, especially the third trimester, report faster and less complicated deliveriesiii.

 

“I have been coming to Juliette on an off for 4 years. Each and every experience amazes me. Not only is her treatment incredibly effective but I’m also calmed the moment I walk through her door. Juliette has helped me flip a breach baby late in pregnancy, cope with kidney stones when no other treatment was possible, and helped me achieve a successful VBAC. I can’t recommend her work enough! She is truly an amazing healer”. -Jacqueline 

 

Pregnancy – End Stage

Breech Presentation
Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture and an adjunctive technique, moxabustion are quite effective in turning breech babies, especially between weeks 32-37. In a 1998 Italian study, 130 women with breech presentation had daily moxabustion treatments during the 35th week of gestation. The study showed a 75% success rate in turning the breech babies head down. In a Japanese study conducted in 2000, 357 women had daily moxabustion, with a very impressive 92.5% correction rate. For specific research check these studies.

Induction and/or Labor

Treatment with acupuncture has been shown to be helpful in preparing the body for labor as well as shortening the duration and minimizing the intensity of pain levels. It can also assist with relaxation of mind and body in this potentially stressful time.

Acupuncture is also a safe method used to induce labors that are overdue and start contractions without the use of drugs. Some patients receive acupuncture for pain relief during labor if the doctor, midwife, hospital or birthing center allow it. Acupressure at certain acupoints on the body during labor has also been shown to provide relief.

“HOORAY + thank you !!! My water broke…we took our time getting to the hospital, and she was born [11 hour labor total]. 3 pushes and she was out! It was an amazing birth.. better than I could have hoped for…. I owe it all to you (and the gods above to be sure). It was literally night and day from [our older child’s birth] which was so stressful, in the dead of a cold, snowy, February night. This was filled with light and warmth and the beauty of spring… I was and am in a state of total bliss! I really cannot thank you enough, from the [acupuncture support through] IVF treatments, through the sciatica and helping me gently coax her into this world [we avoided a medical labor induction with acupuncture], I am forever in your debt. My family is complete and I am filled with gratitude. My little lady is such a piece of heaven.. i’m so in love!” -S.M. Age 38

Post-Partum

Acupuncture, Chinese herbs, and Chinese Medicine have been used for centuries to help mothers recover from delivery. Childbirth is an experience that drains energy, and Chinese herbs especially can provide a much-needed boost to combat the blood loss and fatigue most people experience. A quick recovery by the parent means the best care for the new baby!

Further, treatment can help if there are imbalances causing lactation problems or other nursing disorders. It is also    possible to speed recovery from cesarean section and reduce the appearance of scars with acupuncture.

Acupuncture can also be used to treat emotional imbalances such as anxiety, post-partum depression or other mood disorders.

Bonus
Many mothers who had acupuncture at times during or throughout their pregnancy report especially beautiful babies! This speaks not only to appearance (aren’t all babies beautiful?) but also to temperament- the baby’s disposition is often peaceful and happy!

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

 

Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs Pregnancy Therapy
Call 646-504-2251 To Schedule

 



– – – – – – –
iLiang, Lifang, OMD, PhD, Lac. Acupuncture & IVF – Increase IVF Success By 40-60%. September 2003, Boulder CO.
iiAcupuncture on the day of embryo transfer significantly improves the reproductive outcome in infertile women: a prospective, randomized trial, April 2006; Westergaard LG, Mao Q, Krogslund M, Sandrini S, Lenz S, Grinsted J; Fertility and Sterility; May 2006 (Vol. 85, Issue 5, Pages 1341-1346)
iiiAcupuncture: Review and analysis of reports on controlled clinical trials, World Health Organization, Geneva, 2002. www.who.int/medicines

The Art of Breathing

Breathing seems pretty basic. You inhale… You exhale… You repeat.
It seems odd that one would need lessons on how to breathe, but more and more I am finding myself educating new patients on the importance of deep abdominal breathing. Usually, the topic of breathing first comes up while the patient is lying comfortably on the acupuncture treatment table. As I ask them to take a relaxing deep breath in, I usually see only their upper chest expand and rise.

Imagine a baby breathing; they resemble a little baby Buddha with their belly extending in and out. The breath is deep, even and slow, easy and calm. You will see that it is not the chest that is rising and falling, but rather it is the abdomen moving in and out.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine we refer to this area of the body as the Tan Tien. It is described as an important focal point for internal meditative techniques and refers specifically to the physical center of gravity located in the abdomen three finger widths below the navel and two finger widths deep within the abdomen.

Over the years, life in a crowded city with chronic pollution problems, lack of fresh air, stationary work environments and overall stress can result in the gradual shift from abdominal breathing to chest breathing. To figure out if you are breathing correctly place one hand on your chest and the other on your abdomen. When you take a deep breath in, the hand on the abdomen should rise higher than the one on the chest. This insures that the diaphragm is pulling air into the bases of your lungs.

Instructions for proper abdominal breathing:
Inhale slowly and deeply through your nostrils into the bottom of your Tan Tien When you’ve inhaled fully, pause for a moment and then exhale fully through your mouth. Purse your lips and imagine that you are blowing on a hot spoonful of soup. As you exhale, just let yourself go and imagine your entire body going loose and limp. It should take you twice as long to exhale as it did to inhale.

Learning and using proper breathing techniques is one of the most beneficial things that can be done for both short and long term physical and emotional health. Abdominal breathing helps to relax the nervous system, reduces stress and tension, lowers blood pressure, and calms the mind. Practicing abdominal breathing also massages and tones the internal organs – particularly the digestive organs.

We all live in and around this city together and experience the stresses and crowds that come with it. Stress is inevitable; coping is the key. Here are a few simple techniques that I have incorporated into my life and have shared with my patients:

  • If you work in an office desk environment, place a sticky note on the corner of your computer that simply says “sit straight and breath deep,” to remind you to practice abdominal breathing throughout your day.
  • When you find yourself in a store waiting on line, use that time to practice your abdominal breathing. Incorporate the breathing techniques while commuting; chances are you won’t mind the wait or the commute as much.

Getting back to proper breathing isn’t hard but it does take practice. So, make it a point to integrate abdominal breathing at least two to three times into each day and you will see a transformation in your physical and mental health transform.

 

By Sharon Wyse, LAc. Sharon practices acupuncture in NYC.

 

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