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Nutrition and Hormonal Balance

  Good Morning,  Nutrition and Hormonal Balance As an acupuncturist in the area of fertility, I realize tha...

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Sunday, September 29, 2013

Fantastic Fall: Alternative Remedies for Autumn/Prevention is key.


Good Morning!
Fantastic Fall: Alternative Remedies for Autumn
Fall is the season when certain disorders are more prevalent than at other times of the year. Asthma, allergies and skin disorders can affect almost any one susceptible to them.
Prevention is key. The lung and large intestine are the internal organs related to Fall. These organs are associated with the emotion of taking in and letting go. They are considered the main organs for detoxing and cleansing the body during this season. Therefore, this is a good time to do a cleansing.
Taking in through the nose and mouth such as the breathe of life is important as we transition from the hot season of summer to the cool season of Fall. The nose is the opening to the lungs, therefore, colds and flu are easier to catch. Keep your nose and sinuses clean and clear. Using a netti pot with some sea salt and water helps rid the nose of excess mucus.
Constipation is often prevalent in the Fall as the process of "letting go" can be a difficult one.
Sleep difficulties are more prominent due to the changing balance of light and dark.
1. Cleansing the Body
This is one of three processes that should be done 4 times a year. Using the seasons as a guide, allows us to work with the "flow of nature" and change as our bodies change. Consider a healthy detox or work with the power of an herbal cleanser.
Here is a nice Detoxification Bath to get you started:

Detoxification Bath
2 Cups Sea Salt
2 Cups Baking Soda
4 Tbsp. Ginger Powder
Place all ingredients in a hot bath and bathe for 20 Minutes
Drink plenty of water. This bath withdraws impurities from your body
and helps you to feel better. This bath can be done
2 to 3 times in a week or as needed.

Psyllium is a bulk-forming laxative and is high in both fiber and mucilage. Psyllium seeds contain 10-30% mucilage. The laxative properties of psyllium are due to the swelling of the husk when it comes in contact with water. This forms a gelatinous mass and keeps the feces hydrated and soft. The resulting bulk stimulates a reflex contraction of the walls of the bowel, followed by emptying.
De-cluttering the space around you can make all the difference in the way you feel. Start small. Try organizing a drawer or desk, your closet or one room in your house, first. Then move on to a bigger project. Learn the secrets to de-cluttering and re-organizing your life with the proponents of Feng Shui

2. Cleansing the Mind

This is the 2nd in the trilogy. Learn how to think in "affirmations" that are positive! These are statements that you make either aloud or to yourself. Always approve and accept yourself. You cannot love yourself unless you first, approve of and accept yourself.
A disciplined mind is a free mind.
Gain control over your thoughts and you maintain control over your life. Retrain your mind and you regain your freedom. Calming the mind is a behavioral technique used to interrupt, minimize and eliminate "psychological noise". Obsessive, repetitive thoughts, anxiety and fears are all apart of negative, self-destructive patterns that can benefit from the positive affirmations and mind quieting.
Here is a wonderful affirmation you can use daily for empowerment:

"Love Thy Self"
I am perfect, whole and complete NOW, the way I am.
I deserve all that I require.
I am worthy, loveable and strong.

3. Cleansing the Spirit
This is a life long lesson and third in the trilogy. Utilize the strength of yoga therapy. What is your belief system ? Does it serve you well? How about discovering some great meditations !
The Sun Salutation in yoga is a great wakening and cleansing exercise. This is a flowing combination of some of the asanas in hatha yoga.
Sun Salutation

Stand in Tadasana (feet together arms by your side), take a deep breath, clasp thumbs in front of you
and raise arms in front of you over head. Arch back from the waist.  Now, fold over at the waist as you exhale, placing palms on the
floor, Uttanasana, step your right leg back into Lunge, step your left leg back to Plank, come into Bhujangasana, flow into Adho Mukha
Svanasana, step your right foot forward to Lunge, left foot forward for Uttanasana, inhale up to Tadasana. Repeat, stepping your left leg
back into Lunge.

Cleansing Meditation
Breath is life! Exchange of electrons. Flow of energy. Air is the primary nutrient. Survival without it is measured in minutes. It is
so important that you do it without thinking. Your breathing is the voice of your spirit. It's depth, smoothness, sound, and rate reflect
your mood. If you become aware of your breath and breathe the way you do when you are calm you will become calm. Practicing regular, mindful breathing can be calming and energizing. With the addition of music and it's rhythm, the "musical breath" can even help stress-related health problems ranging from panic attacks to digestive disorders. Fall into the rhythm of the music and breathe. Focus on your breathing and the music.
Focusing on the breath is one of the most common and fundamental techniques for accessing the meditative state. Breath is a deep
rhythm of the body that connects us intimately with the world around us.
Close your eyes, breathe deeply and regularly, and observe your breath as it flows in and out of your body. Give your full attention
to the breath as it comes in, and full attention to the breath as it goes out. Whenever you find your attention wandering away from your
breath, gently pull it back to the rising and falling of the breath. Inhale through your nose slowly and deeply, feeling the lower chest
and abdomen inflate like a balloon. Hold for five seconds. Exhale deeply, deflating the lower chest and abdomen like a balloon. Hold
for five seconds. Do this three or four times, then allow your breathing to return to a normal rhythm. You will begin to feel a
change come over your entire body. Gradually you will become less aware of your breathing, but not captured in your stream of thoughts. You will become more centered inward. You will just "be there."


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Recipe: Crescent Moon Cookies


Good Morning!

Recipe: Crescent Moon Cookies
The cycles of the moon are important when doing any kind of empowerment work in order to manifest what we want in life. When working with the energy of natural cycles, you are likely to get better results with the cycles of the moon since they have great power over the tides of our emotions.

Food has been used all over the world to help celebrate rituals and festivals and food associated with the moon is no different. Enjoy these wonderful ideas for your moon ceremony.

Crescent Moon Cookies are delightful treat often eaten during various moon celebrations or rituals. They are made in the shape of the crescent moon, and the whole hazelnut in them represent the Full Moon that is to come.
9oz whole wheat flour
3oz soft light brown sugar
6oz butter or vegan margarine
A handful of hazelnuts

1. Preheat oven to 300F or 150C. Beat the butter or margarine with the sugar until blended.
2. Add the flour, and mix together to form a dough. Knead on a floured surface. Gently work the whole hazelnuts through it, flatten out to a depth of about half an inch.
3. If you have a moon-shaped pastry cutter, use this to form the biscuits. However, you may want to cut the moon shapes yourself with a small sharp knife. You can even add a few features, or Moon symbols, to the surface. Place the biscuits on a baking sheet, and put in the oven until light golden brown.
Makes about 18 biscuits

Sunday, September 22, 2013

PCOS - Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome


Good Morning!

PCOS - Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

PCOS (Polycystic ovarian syndrome) is an endocrine disorder that is the most common hormonal disorder among women of reproductive age and is a leading cause of infertility. It occurs among all races and nationalities. The primary features are lack of regular ovulation and irregular or absent periods. There is also an excessive amounts or effects of androgenic hormones. The symptoms and severity of the syndrome vary greatly between women. While the causes are unknown, insulin resistance (often secondary to obesity) is heavily correlated with PCOS.
Other symptoms may include acne, weights gain (but not always) or have trouble losing weight, male pattern baldness or thinning hair on the scalp, hair growth on the face, back, or chest or sometimes, high blood sugar (hyperglycemia). About half of women with PCOS have high insulin and blood sugar levels called insulin resistance. When the body doesn't use insulin well, blood sugar builds to high levels. If not treated, this can lead to diabetes. High cholesterol levels are also common with PCOS.
In PCOS, there are multiple cysts in the ovaries, which are actually small, undeveloped follicles that have had their growth stunted. The cysts, as well as the connective tissue around them produce male hormones called androgens. Androgens are then released into the blood stream and alter the feedback within the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis (HPO axis). The amount of estrogen then increases in relation to progesterone causing an increase in testosterone and Luteinizing hormone (LH).

Treating PCOS
The two most important key factors that any woman could do to lower her risk of PCOS is to eat a heart-healthy, low glycemic, low fat foods, and incorporate regular exercise into your life. This helps to reduce insulin resistance, one of the main factors in anovulation and hormone imbalance.
Foods to Avoid:
-Cut out all forms of refined sugar
-Cut out all refined (simple) carbohydrates. Follow the Full Spectrum Diet. This says to cut out all white foods, which include all white bread, rice, pasta, low fiber foods, most breakfast cereals and rice cakes.
-Reduce animal products and fats
-Avoid all soda, fruit juice and sugary drinks
-Avoid milk and dairy products
-Avoid alcohol and caffeine
-Avoid fertility diets that suggest you eat large amounts of yams. This is not appropriate for PCOS
-Reduce the intake of oily, fried, and sugary foods, fried snacks and fast foods
-Do not miss meals; and do not starve in terms of total quantity of food

Foods You Should Eat:
-Eat adequate amounts of protein
-Eat as much fresh vegetables as you can
-Eat foods, which nourish the liver such as dark green vegetables, lemons, carrots and beets
-Eat fruit light in sugar and sweetness such as berries
-Eat complex carbohydrates (lower glycemic carbohydrates), which tend to have more fiber such as bran cereal, brown rice, whole wheat, whole-grains and nuts and grains like quinoa, whole oats, and bulgur.
These foods help women with PCOS to maintain steady blood sugar and insulin levels and may assist in weight loss. A diet composed of mainly low-GI foods will also help to combat the effects of insulin resistance.

Supplements and Herbs
-Chlorophyl helps reduce symptoms of hypoglycemia without raising blood glucose levels
-Include supplements that help improve insulin resistance such as B vitamins, magnesium, alpha lipoic acid and chromium. Chromium increases the sensitivity of insulin receptors. Recommended dosage is 300 micrograms/day.
-Essential fatty acids, including flax oil, evening primrose oil (Oenothera biennis), and black currant oil, act as anti-inflammatory and hormonal regulators.
-Supplementation with antioxidants, including zinc, and vitamins A, E, and C, are also recommended. If you are anemic, take an iron supplement with Vitamin C (which helps with iron absorption). If you have heavy periods or bleed heavy for longer than five days, you may be anemic.
-Western herbal medicine uses phytoestrogen and phytoprogesteronic herbs, such as blue cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides) and false unicorn root (Chamaelirium luteum), as well as liver herbs, like dandelion (Taraxacum mongolicum), to work toward hormonal balance.
-Acupuncture works on the body's energy flow according to the meridian system. Chinese herbs, such as gui zhi fu ling wan, can be effective.
-In naturopathic medicine, treatment focuses on helping the liver function more optimally in the hormonal balancing process.
-Exercise is the second most important key to PCOS. Exercise helps the body's cells use glucose as energy, reducing blood glucose levels. A structured exercise plan can help the body use insulin more efficiently and gradually reduce insulin levels. Regular exercise also improves circulation, reduces blood pressure, increases levels of high density lipoprotein (HDL), your good cholesterol and helps with weight loss.