Topic: Uncategorised

Pre-conception Care – An Holistic Perspective.

Moon belly

 

Thinking about having a baby? It can feel mega, both emotionally, psychologically & physically  Add, a trend to have babies later in life, feeling the tic tock of the clock, stepping into the unknown, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.

Fertility is an arena in which CM gets a lot of success and notoriety.

If you are planning to conceive ,  Chinese Medicine advocates both parents prepare your body prior to conception.  The premise is to be at your optimal vitality and balance. This will in turn increase the chances of creating 1) The most vitality in your children and 2) Optimise your chance of a healthy and energetic pregnancy, easy breast-feeding and recovery.

In essence we are preparing the soil to plant the seed, then nourishing the eco-system to sustain growth.

Now, you don’t need to micro-manage your conception. Really. Even if it becomes an emotional rollercoaster or takes time.

It’s easy to want to control aspects of a process that is by its nature uncontrollable.  Getting stressed, frustrated and anxious about the process isn’t going to get you to your goal.

Relaxation is the technology that will yield the best outcomes here.

There is nothing to perfect, all you can do it stack the odds in your favour and roll the dice. Parental guilt can start as early as this part in the process.. thinking you aren’t doing ‘enough’ That somehow this is all your fault. Why don’t you drop that now?

Birth, Death, Transformations they put us in direct contact with the mysteries and the unknowables of life.  There are forces at play here that you won’t be able to fully understand or control and that’s OK.

Underneath are ways to stack the odds in your favour and things to consider. Not all points will be relevant to all people.

Look at where your health and your life are imbalanced and start with that.  Seek help if you need it. A practitioner can help you.  Have a good chat about it all, they can create some strategies for you. Customising a plan, that address your particular needs and set of circumstances.


Baby Brain

Check Your Sperm

The male factor is a factor. It’s also on the rise.

Sperm takes about 10 weeks to mature.

Sperm quality is related to:

1. The total number of sperm cells produced (sperm count)

2. Their physical attributes (morphology)

3. Their ability to move properly once ejaculated (motility)

4. The integrity of their DNA

Factors that drop sperm count include; elevated scrotal temperature, disease or toxic chemical exposures and also increasing age.

At this point, it’s unknown whether your diet, exercise, immunity, toxicity, hydration, stress levels i.e. health can increase sperm count, morphology and motility. But it sure can prevent it them from dropping.

That said, the greatest effect on Male fertility actually takes place in utero and in the first 6 months of a male child’s life. Increased exposure to toxicity, pollution and chemicals, have been seen to reduce the number of Sertoli cells (the sperm producing cells in the testes)

Average Sperm count has been measured to be declining since the 1940-50’s. Dropping from 113 million sperm per millilitre to 66 million sperm per millilitre. As it has been dropping faster than genetic factors would allow, researchers are looking for environmental causes for this effect.

A general rule of thumb, is that if you have a lower sperm count <40 million sperm per millilitre it can take longer to get pregnant.

Low sperm count is a biomarker for health. If you have low sperm count don’t despair, you can still conceive. We recommend to take it as a sub-clinical sign that there are areas of your health that need improving.

Address Any Gynecological Issues Sooner Rather Than Later

It takes on average about 5 months to develop an egg before your body ovulates it. Your health  during that time effects the egg. So if you’d like to impact the quality of an egg and it’s environment. Best to leave your self time to come back into balance.

There is a huge potential within Chinese Medicine to address female health issues. Stuff like PMS, lower belly & back pain, irregularities in cycle length, heavy or long bleed times are common but not ‘normal’ and don’t need to be tolerated month in month out. CM can offer solutions at the causative factor level, also, for syndromes such as PCOS, Endometriosis and Fibroids.

If you are older, FHS reading, ovarian reserve, cortisol patterns, thyroid health could perhaps be investigated as part of your preparation.

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The Flower Blooms : Sexual & Reproductive Health Practices for Women

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                                                                                                                                                                                                         *Image by the talented Jem Magbanua

Safe sex in classical Chinese thought is sex that does not drain the body of needed energy and vitality, but increases it.

Chinese Medical history is long and traverses time, to places where cultural norms were quite different.

The Eastern wisdom traditions of both Dao & Tantra say sexual energy is a possible pathway for awakening consciousness, divine enlightenment and healing.

That is what imbibes the language that they use to describe the body.

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What I Tell My Patients About Hay Fever ( and how you can you use it to reduce severity)

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Hay Fever, Grrrr its sooo annoying.

Allergic reactions occur when the body’s immune system misidentifies a normally harmless substance as a threat to the body. Common allergens (substances that produce allergic reactions) are foods, pollen, animal dander, mold, insect venom, drugs, and dust mites.  An inflammatory reaction takes place in an attempt to eject this substance from the system, resulting in a variety of symptoms.

There are other insidious factors that can set you up to be much more reactive as your immune system is already on alert and trigger happy.

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The 1 Thing We Need To Get To Make Change Easy.

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New Year, New Resolutions. That old chestnut.

In so many ways, the conditions are ripe for it at this time. Often in Jan, we’ve taken a break, mixed up the routine, have satisfied our inner hedonist over Christmas and NYE in celebration over the last year & heralding in the new.  We spent all our money, took time off, ate lots of food, drank & more. (Or was that just me??) Afterwards we naturally feel a little austere, it’s quiet now, people are away, business can be slower, school is out. We have the space to contemplate. We may be pumped to start our new regime and that’s great, but why do most, even if they make a strong resolution, tend to not follow through with how they want to change and grow? Why do humans commonly do that? Why can’t we move forward in the ways we want? Why do we find it such an effort, too difficult & eventually give up?

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A Survivalist Guide to the Christmas Party Season.

Spring is over!, that crazy back and forth weather (I may regret saying that!) wind & HAY FEVER has finished. WOOT WOOT! Summer has arrived! Most of the Cloud Gate detoxers are finishing up their program and as the Christmas season approaches detox is the LAST thing that people are thinking about. Instead peops be gearing up to CELEBRATE. Having a strong willed inner hedonist myself, I have crafted a summer party survival guide, based on experience, so that you can coast through this time, still releasing, connecting & celebrating but not abusing your body along the way.

party season survival
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3 Tips to Beat the Hayfever Grind

The seasonal change is upon us yet again. Been out and smelled the flowers lately? Turned your head to bask in the sunlight? We are emerging from those long dark nights. Yang times are approaching. Things are going to pick up. Especially socially. Especially outside.

What does spring mean to you? To me it means luxuriating in the sun without getting too hot or burnt. It means stopping to smell the flowers as my nose picks up new full body milky scents of jasmine, gardenia and daphne. Spring is so damn optimistic, I love it.

It also heralds the beginning of about 3 months of sinus & energy hell for my partner and many of you guys, my patients.

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8 Lessons I Learnt from my Japanese In Laws

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I just returned from a quasi spontaneous 3 week working holiday to Japan. We went so as my son could meet his grandparents for the first time.

Travel has always been one of my greatest teachers. It shifts perspective like nothing else.

It was our first international trip as a family & I knew it would be very different from my other travels that’s for sure. (ie NOT snowboard,hot spring, sake, party, repeat.) We spent more time in a place, moved slowly and integrated into Japanese family life. This allowed me to understand more aspects of the culture.

I was happy to discover lots deeply echoed Chinese Med lifestyle advice & health promotion.

So here are the 8 lessons learnt from my in laws. I hope you find these relevant and helpful
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The 1 Thing You Must Do This Winter

The Yin Bear

This weekend is Winter Solstice, which means it’s the longest darkest night of the year. We’ve hit that ultimate yin phase of the year, now is the time to make like the bear and hibernate. What to do when Game of Thrones is already over?

Seasonally winter is the time to take to ground and REST,conserve, build strength, save money. Therapeutically this is the time where it’s going to be the easiest to restore your adrenals, re-balance your stress and sex hormones. Repair what all that flight and fight has done to your system or as Takeshi says (pictured underneath) sharpen your sword.

A great easy way to do that is..
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