Are you feeling stressed, anxious, or overwhelmed? Learn how acupuncture can help.
Are you feeling stressed, anxious, or overwhelmed? Learn how acupuncture can help.
Your journey to fertility can be filled with challenges - especially, if you’ve been diagnosed as infertile! Whether the infertility is a result of a hormone imbalance or not, you have likely tried every measure possible to achieve conception. From timing intercourse around ovulation, to taking hormone pills, or altering your diet to improve the alkalinity of your body – it seems like you’ve tried everything to get pregnant. However, you still seem to be hitting a wall with achieving conception.
Take a deep breath. You have definitely had a difficult road to travel thus far. In this article, I’m going to share a few tips that can improve your chances of fertility. I’m also going to discuss how acupuncture helps individuals achieve fertility, by getting your body to an improved state of health and well-being – raising your chances of conception even higher.
1. Stress Affects Fertility
To start, let’s talk about stress. Many of you think stress is just the norm, not realizing how much it really impacts your health. If you find your body feels tense in certain areas by the end of the work day, this is a sign that you are holding stress in the body. The fact that it’s happening more at the end of the day is also a sign of exhaustion, adrenal fatigue, or that your kidneys are weak – a key point to consider on your journey to conception. I’ll explain more in point #2.
If your body is exhausted, it is likely going to reduce your chances of becoming fertile. So breathe, do some yoga, control the amount of stress you take on personally. This is a good place to start.
2. Kidney Health & Reproductive Health
Your kidneys are responsible for the health of your reproductive organs in Traditional Chinese Medicine. So, if you’re infertile as a result of imbalanced progesterone/estrogen levels, low follicle count, or a uterus that doesn’t seem to holding the embryo to term – there is likely something off with your kidneys. Here’s a list you can check to see how your kidneys are doing:
1. You experience tight shoulders, or headaches at the end of the day
2. You have lower back pain, knee pain, or foot pain
3. You feel exhausted between 3pm-7pm
4. The embryo is not implanting properly – Your body can’t hold the embryo in place
5. Your estrogen and progesterone levels are imbalanced
6. Low follicle count
7. You experience slight menopausal symptoms (night sweats/hot flashes)
If you experience two or more of the above symptoms, it’s a sign that your kidneys and reproductive system could use a boost. Here are some tips:
1. Keep your legs warm all the time – the kidney meridian is an energetic pathway that connects to your kidneys, but also runs down the legs and into the bottom of your feet. Keeping this area warm, helps preserve the energy in your kidneys.
2. Eat more goji berries – Goji berries are used in formulas of Traditional Chinese Medicine, but are also considered a normal day-to-day food safe for consumption. I usually recommend putting a tablespoon of them in a cup of hot water, letting it steep like tea, and then drinking the water and eating the berries. You should try and do this once in the morning, and around 3pm-7pm. This will help your overall energy as well as strengthening the kidneys – and therefore your reproductive organ health.
3. Avoid overworking yourself – mentally, and physically. That means don’t do intense workouts that drain you out 5 times a week. Exercise is good for you, but when your body is already exhausted, replenishing your reserves is more important than exertion. This leads me to my last point.
4. Get plenty of sleep – The average person needs 8 hours of sleep a night. If you’re not hitting this number, and you’re still feeling tired all the time, try getting more sleep.
For those who are looking for a more personalized approach – I would recommend acupuncture for fertility. Not only do acupuncturists take into consideration results from your obstetrician/gynecologist, but we would also be looking to take a personalized treatment plan according to your body’s imbalances. With acupuncture, we would be gauging your reproductive health and wellbeing by checking your pulse, having a look at your tongue, and checking your abdomen for any signs of organ imbalances. The advantage here is that we would be evaluating all facets of your health and well being that may be creating road blocks in your path to becoming fertile.
That means if your sleep is off, or you have other problems in your health, we would be working on resolving these issues as well. It may not seem important to you, but clearing these issues is critical to achieving fertility. The body can’t be forced to focus on fertility if it’s constantly having to deal with unresolved issues in your health.
Typically we recommend trying acupuncture for 4-6 months. During this timeframe we would constantly support you in achieving conception and evaluating where your body is at on a weekly basis. In terms of areas that Acupuncture is performed, we would typically do acupuncture points on the lower back or abdomen, and legs as these points are great for supporting reproductive health, improving uterine lining, and regulating hormones.
We have two acupuncture clinic locations here in Toronto. Our Downtown location is at (Peter & Adelaide St), and our Forest hill location is at (St. Clair & Warren Road).
So if you’re interested in taking a more personalized approach with your fertility journey, you can book an acupuncture treatment here. We’ll go through your health history, discuss any issues you may be experiencing, and start working on your fertile health from an acupuncture perspective!
You may have heard amazing stories about acupuncture from friends or family but still feel unclear about what it could do for you.
Do your eyes feel like a DESERT at times? You may have noticed them especially at the end of a workday - after staring at a computer screen for hours. Hopefully your boss doesn’t need you to do overtime because your dry eyes will likely be screaming “NO MORE!”. The worst are evening events. You always know you’ll be feeling the urge to switch into glasses mid-way through the night. Party pooper.
Wouldn’t it be great if your eyes could just self regulate? Wouldn’t it be great if they felt adequately moist, and not dry or stingy at all? Well, did you know that acupuncture is great for treating dry eyes? Not only does acupuncture help with alleviating dry eyes, but acupuncture also treats the underlying causes leading to dryness of the eyes. Don’t worry, the needles don’t go anywhere near your actual eyes.
You may have been told that this is just a sign of aging, that you have a higher level of inflammation in your eyes, or that your eyes just don’t produce enough tears. You may have also been told that you would likely have to live with this condition for the rest of your life. Although valid points, at AcuSoul we believe your body has the ability to change. By looking at your health from a different perspective, we can find alternative solutions to dry eyes that western science may have missed.
The liver in Chinese Medicine is related to hypochondriac pain, tendons, healthy nails, and last but not least your eyes. According to western medicine the liver is an organ that filters toxins from your blood. Many things can lead to an accumulation of toxins in the liver, such as: alcohol, pharmaceutical drugs, pesticides, fried foods, and junk food.
At AcuSoul we also take into consideration your mental-emotional health. Emotions like frustration, anger, or constantly feeling under pressure can cause the liver’s performance to decline. An overworked or toxic liver can lead to inflammation - manifesting as DRYNESS OF THE EYES.
So how does acupuncture for dry eyes work?
With the above condition, we would use acupoints on the liver meridian to help detox the organ and eliminate dry eyes. The Liver meridian is an energetic channel that connects to the organ, with accessible points along your legs and feet.
You might also be wondering how many acupuncture treatments it would take to eliminate the dry eyes? Everybody heals at a different rate, but typically we recommend starting with 8-10 treatments. Over the course of these treatments you can see for yourself the progress we are making after each acupuncture session.
If you’ve never tried acupuncture before, we use an extremely gentle technique with thinner needles, leading to a pain-free experience. We usually target leg, abdomen, or back points, so nothing actually near the eyes. We also provide dietary recommendations so your body can continue detoxifying the liver in between treatments. We have 2 acupuncture clinic locations in Toronto, 1. Downtown (Adelaide & Peter St), and 2. Forest Hill (St. Clair & Warren Road). So, if you’re in Toronto, and looking to get rid of irritating dry eyes with acupuncture, book a session today - You won’t regret it!
With this year's extreme cold winter we have had in Toronto, you may have turned up the heat on full blast just to keep temperatures moderate indoors. As a result, you may have noticed drier skin. You might even be waking with a dry mouth and nose.
The worst part is your hands and feet are like a desert! No amount of lotion or Vaseline seems to keep them from drying up again.
In this blog I'm going to share with you a few simple solutions to re-hydrate your body from the inside out. In doing so, you won't have to apply as much lotion continuously, and your mouth and nose should not be as dry when you wake up in the mornings.
First let's dive into why this is happening. With dryness, there's actually 2 factors going on. 1. External dryness, 2. Internal heat. Dryness can be moistened with foods that help generate more fluid in the body. Here's a few that can help:
Honey has so many healing properties. Moistening dryness is just one!
2. Kiwis & Bananas
Great for relieving thirst. Bananas also have moistening properties that are good for regular bowel movements and help dry skin.
Any kind of porridge is good for restoring fluids. In asian culture congee is one made with rice and water in a ratio of 1:6.
Heat on the other hand doesn't disappear by moistening it. You actually have to clear it out of your system.
But where is this heat coming from? It's the middle of winter, so if it's not externally generated, it must be coming from within.
"What generates heat internally though?" you might wonder. And the answer is stress.
That could be tight deadlines, or having to multi-task non-stop. You can think about a computer overheating, when it has too much to process, or hasn't been shut off in a while. Our brains need the same "TIME OFF". Otherwise, we crash and burn.
Add more meditation, or go for a weekend getaway. This is great for bringing down stress levels. In addition, here are some foods you can add to your diet to clear the heat/inflammation from your body:
Great for clearing heat, emotional frustration, and ‘chilling you out’.
Pears are a 2-in-1 combo. Not only do they clear heat, but they also moisten dryness. This is the go-to for feelings of thirst, especially if you have been eating spicy lately, or fried foods. The heat clearing properties will get you feeling refreshed and thirst quenched.
Great for clearing heat from your system. In fact watermelon is something we typically crave during the intense summer heat. However, due to its cooling nature, it should be eaten in moderation.
From bloating, to diarrhea, constipation, and abdominal pain - gluten intolerance can be a pain to live with. Trying to avoid gluten can be a mission in itself. But did you know that gluten intolerance, and stress have a common link? And that by controlling one you may be able to control the other?
Gluten intolerance is essentially a form of inflammation – the body’s hyperactive response to a protein(gluten) found in wheat. What if I told you that stress also creates an environment in your body, which makes you more prone to inflammatory conditions like gluten intolerance, IBS, and celiac disease? And what if that minor clue, was in itself, the solution and cure.
Here I’m going to discuss how you can get gluten intolerance under control by managing your stress levels and inflammation with acupuncture & food therapy.
Many clients of ACUSOUL who suffer from IBS, celiac disease, or gluten intolerance – have noticed that it gets worse in times of stress. More importantly, the illness itself may have began during a time of high stress.
For example, when you entered the workforce your stress levels may have been more elevated than when you were in school. That may also be the time when you noticed the gluten intolerance began. It may not have been flaring up consistently everyday, but that’s because your stress levels also vary day by day. Paying attention to the environment, your lifestyle, and emotionally how you felt when the illness began is critical to addressing it.
What stress does is increase blood pressure, cortisol levels, and your body’s inflammatory response. This increase in cortisol, and blood pressure has an obvious impact on your heart health. At the same time the inflammation being increased makes the gluten intolerance and IBS more pronounced in the intestinal organs.
Thus, with acupuncture we would target the Heart to bring down stress levels and the intestinal organs to control diarrhea and constipation. As a result you may notice better sleep, feeling more relaxed, and less tension in the upper back and jaw, as well as less bouts of diarrhea or constipation, and less bloating. If you’re not familiar, feel free to read our article on "How acupuncture works”.
From a food standpoint, here are some foods that help reduce inflammation, regulate the heart, and may help with symptoms of gluten intolerance:
1. Turmeric – with high anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, digestive regulating properties, this spice is great for inflammatory conditions like gluten intolerance, IBS, or celiac disease.
2. Beets - Calm the heart, lubricates the intestines to help with constipation.
3. Watermelon – Clears heat from the heart, stomach, and bladder. Alleviates thirst, and induces diuresis. Essentially promoting the body’s ability to clear inflammation, and rehydrate.
If you’re interested in seeing what acupuncture & food therapy can do for you – book a session here. We’re an acupuncture clinic located in the heart of downtown toronto, and forest hill. We’ll discuss your health concerns in detail, come up with a treatment plan, and provide food recommendations customized to your body’s intricate needs.
Here are 3 ways to help you wake up with more energy, get you through those mid-day slumps, and feeling like you CAN do anything you set your mind to.
Here we break down how acupuncture works from a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective.
As you attempt to adapt to the changing seasons, life can sometimes feel like an uphill battle. Learn how to manage your resources, or better yet, improve your health to better able to handle the ups and downs of life using acupuncture & food therapy.
It can be EXHAUSTING keeping up with yourself sometimes. Your body knows it, but do you?
As we enter fall, temperatures begin to drop, trees begin to lose their leaves, marking a time when things slow down in nature. We too ought to slow down in life. Most of us, however, are still working harder than ever in a competitive workplace, trying to keep up with our demanding lifestyles, and still trying to cram in more into our already busy schedules.
If you already caught a cold, have a bit of runny nose, or a sore throat, this is your body signalling that you need to SLOW DOWN.
It's a clear sign you're operating on overdrive as you lack the resources to manage your body's immune system. To prevent things from getting worse HERE ARE SOME TIPS:
1. Hit Pause
Ever feel that "stress-mode" come on, as if you're in a panic, as if you don't have enough time to get through the amount of work that needs to be done? Once we get into this mode, our minds get ahead of ourselves, thinking about the next 10 possible scenarios that could happen. We begin to lose track of what we need - TIME, SPACE, FOOD, and REST.
The next time you catch yourself feeling the pressure of stress, give yourself 1-2 minutes to just sit down, breathe deep and slow, and allow your mind to pause for a moment so your body can catch up with you. You'll feel your energy come back again, and your stress levels drop significantly, which will make you more effective to the people you're trying to serve.
2. Chai Tea
With warming spices like ginger, cinnamon, and cardamom this tea can help boost the body's immune system, and balance off fall's cooler climate. The next time you feel cold in the office, or at home after a long day, warm up with a nice cup of chai.
3. Let Go Of The Unnecessary
Trees let go of their leaves during fall. Fall is also a time when the large intestine is more active, the main organ for elimination of waste from your body. A problem in this department can be a sign that you have a hard time letting go of things.
Some of you have a tendency to hang on to your busy schedules. Not realising that many of the things you do, you either don't really want, or need to. Let's practice letting them go.
Take a look at your schedule, and ask yourself which things do you actually want to do, or absolutely HAVE to do. Then eliminate everything else. This will clear your schedule, clear your stress, and give yourself the time and rest you need to slow things down in your life. Then you can hopefully schedule in some self-care, like acupuncture.
You can also apply this to "Things" in your home. Clothes, electronics, books, paperwork. If you haven't used or looked at it in the past 3 years, chances are you can let it go now.
Have a wonderful fall season, and enjoy the cooler climates by going for walks in the park, and breathing in the fresh crisp air. Don't forget to wear a scarf.
If you're interested in booking some self-care acupuncture time, feel free to book online. We focus on creating the change your body needs to heal through pain, chronic conditions, or mental emotional blockages using acupuncture & food therapy. Our acupuncture clinics are located downtown Toronto, and Forest Hill. Our practitioners are registered acupuncturists, and we provide a receipt for insurance purposes.
A lack of sleep can put you on edge, make you feel overwhelmed, or exhausted and zoned out when it matters most…Learn one of the best Acupressure points you can try at home for regulating your sleep cycle!
Acupuncture works by stimulating points on the body that reduce inflammation. Where the inflammation appears in your body determines which acupuncture points we select to clear it out.
Some of you that struggle with this condition, whether it's a rash or some form of eczema, have had it for years. You’ve tried the steroid creams, the anti-inflammatory meds and are wondering how acupuncture & food therapy can help.
You remember it like it was yesterday. You bent over to lift something and WHACK!
It’s your New Year’s resolution to get fit this year. You’ve made the decision to hit the gym or train for a marathon so you can get the body you want. There’s only one thing holding you back. That annoying pain in the bottom of your foot that acts up even just during your warm up! Argh! How are you EVER going to achieve your fitness goals this year?! Every time it feels like you’re just getting started, the pain tells you you’ve got to slow down, stop for a moment, and give your foot a rest.
Let’s face it, heel pain sucks. You start to think “Is this what getting old feels like?” and “Am I going to be stuck with this heel pain for the rest of my life?” You may have been told before that you have "plantar fascitis", which worries you because you're not sure if there's a cure for that!
Relax. Take a deep breath. Heel pain ISN’T something you need to live with for the rest of your life. And guess what? It’s NOT a sign that you’re getting old. It can be corrected, and you can get your active, healthy lifestyle back again!
In Chinese Medicine, pain is usually a result of a blockage in the body. These blockages are often created by stress and tension, or over-exhaustion. Here’s how:
Stress causes your body to tense up and your blood vessels constrict. This leads to decreased circulation and blood flow to various parts of your body, depending on where you hold your stress. Then out-of-nowhere you’re hit with pain.
Over-exhaustion, on the other hand, causes a different type of blockage. This drains the body’s energy. Your body is taking care of a lot of things all day, every day. Your over-used heel is likely last on the list of your body’s priorities. Which means, it never fully heals. (Pun unintended.)
With many of my clients, after removing such blockages and improving circulation to the bottom of their foot through acupuncture - the pain disappears! The best part of it all is after a few sessions you can finally go ALL-OUT again in your workouts, sports, or other activities you love to experience without heel pain holding you back.
I also recommend a foot soak you can do at home. Simply fill a tub with hot water, pour in some epsom salts (half a cup), and soak your feet for 10-15 minutes. Not only does the warmth improve circulation, but epsom salts have minerals like magnesium that lower blood pressure and help the body to relax.
So, if you’re ready to get your workouts back in gear again, you can book a session at one of our acupuncture clinics in Toronto, where we’ll discuss your health concerns, and get to the bottom of that annoying heel pain.
Do you feel tired, even if you get a full 8 hours of sleep? Coffee doesn’t seem to be as effective anymore does it? It’s year end, and your lack of energy is making you drop the ball when it matters MOST! You want to end the year with a bang! but it’s feeling like it might end with a thunk.
You could be suffering from burnout.
You’ve worked hard all year long, and now’s the time to finally crush those year end goals whether they are business goals, projects around the house, or even starting 2018 a few pounds lighter. If you’re like most people in Toronto, the demands of your daily life are as high as ever, but you’re lacking an inner resourcefulness to energetically complete everything. The holidays are an added stress, especially when all you want to do is sit on the couch, turn on Netflix and pass out for a couple of hours.
Don’t worry, I have a special recipe for bouncing out of burnout I’m going to share with you. But first, let’s understand what is burnout?
When burnout sets in, most people turn to drinking more and more coffee. Coffee taps into your adrenal glands which give you the adrenaline rush you think you need to push through, feel awake, and keep chugging along throughout the day. Too much coffee, and the adrenal glands begin to run out of resources - which means, you actually burn out FASTER.
The adrenal glands sit atop the kidneys, and in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) symptoms of overwork or exhaustion can be corrected by boosting your body’s powerhouse - The Kidneys. Here I’m going to share with you a personal favourite for restoring your kidneys so you can accomplish those year end goals, get back to feeling 100% again, and hopefully give you that extra boost you need to HAVE FUN and enjoy this holiday season!
Goji Walnut Energy Ball
For the past few months, I’ve been putting together my favorite healing recipes. If you’re struggling with back pain, digestive issues, low energy, or cold hands and feet, there is a whole-food nourishing recipe in this cookbook for YOU! Heal your body from the inside out….and enjoy some tasty morsels while you do it! Nourish your body and soul with Mindful Kitchen. Right now I’m offering an end-of-year special. Save 40% by clicking here. Right now Mindful Kitchen is only $5.99!
Grab it today and start feeling better.
Heart disease still remains the second highest killer in our country, next to cancer. Why is that?
You're the first person to wear sweaters in the office when fall arrives. No this is not something you have to live with. Here's 3 ways...
We have important news! Neck pain isn’t normal. Neck pain isn’t something that you have to accept.
Unfortunately, too many people think that mysterious neck pain is just a “normal part of getting older.”
Think of all the inconvenience annoying neck pain has caused you.
You just woke up one day, turned your neck one direction, and all of a sudden it hurt like HELL.
Now you have to skip the gym this week. You flinch in pain if you turn your head too fast. You feel like you’re trying to walk around a mine field of posture positions just to avoid another stab of pain.
Let’s get you back to feeling freedom of movement without any mystery pain!
Let’s get you back into the gym. Let’s get you through the workday without a stab of pain from nowhere. Let’s get you back to feeling comfortable, relaxed, and not having to sit or stand in awkward positions just to avoid pain.
What is the most common culprit for neck pain?
Stress! And here’s how…
When you’re under stress, your body tenses up. The first part of your body that your system wants to protect is your neck – with good reason. Your neck is one of the most vulnerable parts of your body, and in nature, predators, like lions, always attack at the neck.
So when you’re stressed, or feeling anxious, the tension you create actually reduces the circulation of blood that’s supposed to nourish your tendons and ligaments.
….then all it takes is one quick move in the wrong direction, or sleeping in an uncomfortable position, and WHACK! Your neck is strained.
One trick I want to share with you is one of the best acupressure points on the back of your hand for alleviating neck pain:
It’s about 1 inch above your knuckles between your index and middle finger. Found it? Press on it hard, and take a few deep and slow breaths as you try moving your neck again. Now, I hope that this temporary relief gives you … well, some relief!
And if you would like to finally eliminate this pain (and many others), then might I suggest that you look into an acupuncture session. My clients notice a significant change even in the first session. Why is that? Because acupuncture improves circulation, and pain is either the result of constricted circulation or the pain has caused you to take on poor postures which also hinder your body’s circulation. That’s just one way that acupuncture can free yourself of pain. And there is the BONUS that it also nourishes the tendons and ligaments that are out of whack - also due to poor circulation and poor posture. It’s all connected!
If you’re interested in relieving the pain I am available at both the downtown and forest hill acupuncture clinics in Toronto.
We’ll discuss the problem in more detail, provide some food therapy recommendations and do some acupuncture to free you from the pain in your neck.
Feeling restless at night? Unable to turn off your mind? or waking up at the same odd hour each night? Sleep is crucial to your overall well-being. Here are some tips to help you get your beauty rest.