Chinese Medicine Theory

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pregnant woman having backacheAcupuncture Works
About 3-4% of pregnant women end up with a baby who is in breech presentation at term. If you find yourself in that percentage, don’t worry! Acupuncture with moxibustion treatment is a highly effective, gentle way to turn around a breech presentation baby.

Research regularly shows success rates of 75%-95%. In a study from 2003, 90.2% of babies before 34 weeks had spontaneous cephalic version after treatment and the success rate for women who were given treatment after 34 weeks was 84.6%. (See research below.) We have seen these high success rates in our own practice.

What is Moxibustion?
Moxa is a name for the herb Artemisia vulgaris (mugwort or common wormwood) and moxibustion simply means the burning of this herb. This modality is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to promote healing, generate warmth in the body/channels, foster energy and movement, and to assist over-all healing in the body.  

How Does It Work to Turn a Baby?
Because of the warming, raising, and moving effect of moxa, it is used to encourage the baby to become more active to gain the momentum needed to reposition into the head-down/cephalic position. Moxa also influences the mother’s energy which assists the baby to correct malposition.The moxa sticks are lit and held above the indicated acupuncture point, UB 67. The acupuncture point UB 67 is the primary point used to activate the uterus. It is located on the outer, lower edge of both little toenails. This technique is useful for frank breech, transverse and complete breech presentations. Acupuncture is used in tandem with moxibustion to restore balance to the body’s energy and organ systems to support the correct position of the baby. It is also influential for strengthening the body for labor and delivery.

The cumulative effect of treatments given several days in a row contributes to the high success rate so we have developed a Breech Turn Package for our patients. Please see our pricing page on our website.  Treatments consist of five consecutive acupuncture and moxibustion treatments that directly influence the uterus and encourage correction of malposition.

Why Should You Get Breech Turn at The Nest?
We defer to one of our lovely patients—

The Nest has been a true place of physical and emotional health care and healing for me since long before my current pregnancy began, so when I found out at 36 weeks that my baby was breech, I felt so lucky to already know that I was in great, capable, and caring hands. The wisdom and resources of the acupuncturists at The Nest helped put my anxieties at ease —which is half the battle when it comes to breech positioning, from what I understand—as we laid out a plan and put it to work. My baby turned after just a few sessions, and I’m continuing to enjoy the incredible benefits of acupuncture through the remainder of my pregnancy.                                                                                                                                       -Amanda

SOURCES
Moxibustion explanation and 90.2% success rate

ABC News Reports Acupuncture and Moxibustion Turns Breech Babies

http://www.newsnet5.com/news/local-news/oh-cuyahoga/acupuncture-and-incense-help-turn-a-breech-baby

When combined with acupuncture, moxibustion resulted in fewer non-cephalic presentations at birth (RR 0.73, 95% CI 0.57 to 0.94), and fewer births by caesarean section (RR 0.79, 95% CI 0.64 to 0.98) compared with no treatment.

Cephalic version y moxibustion for breech presentation

 

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Good friend of the nest, and writer, Eric Hawxby is our featured guest blogger. A big thank you to Eric!

As we emerge from the longest, coldest Winter since The Ice Age; consider the Spring season is traditionally known as one of rebirth. It is at this time of year that our natural inclination is to lay to rest our sedentary wintry lives and begin a new existence refreshed and renewed.  Spring-cleaning is performed, dust-bunnies are shooed with a sweep of the broom, ushering in the bunnies of Easter (Spring). While binge-cleaning our homes is a great way to clear the air and freshen the psyche, it’s also an ideal time to treat our bodies to a gentle Spring-cleaning of its own.

Generally speaking, Winter is the season of rich and heavy comfort foods, not only during the holidays but during those bitterly cold nights hunkered down on the couch, armed against Arctic Blasts with our favorite take-out food. Traditional Chinese medicine correlates Spring-time with the liver—our body’s vigilant and dedicated house-keeper. It rids our bodies of dangerous toxins helping it to stay healthy and balanced. In this modern era we are assaulted with toxins which we absorb into our systems every time we breathe, eat, and drink. Toxins are even absorbed through the body’s largest and most vulnerable organ—our skin. At The Nest, in order to honor this Spring, we are celebrating the liver and all that it does to keep us living healthy, productive, and joyful lives.

There are many ways to gently assist the detoxification of our bodies. By cleansing ourselves of built-up toxins we can help boost and sustain our energy levels, enjoy a glowing complexion, and restore balance to our natural bio-rhythms. It’s important to remember that when approaching a cleanse or detox regimen that your goal isn’t to shock your system with an abrupt and drastic fasting or by over-doing it with supplements designed to flush your system; these practices can cause serious short and long term problems for you. Instead, start simply by first reducing the toxins you ingest through the foods and beverages you consume. Cut out or reduce your intake of sugary, chemically-sweetened sodas, alcohol, carbonated drinks, and coffee. Instead, moderately consume organic fruit juices, unsweetened teas and make a concerted effort to drink 8 glasses of  purified drinking water. Avoid drinking out of plastic containers. There are free smart-phone apps that can monitor and encourage your intake of water. Adding fresh lemon and cucumber to your glass of water aids the detox process and is palatable and refreshing. Organic green-tea will help cleanse the body of free-radicals whose only goal is to accelerate the body’s aging process. While growing older is an inevitable and beautiful part of our life-cycle, we don’t need free-radicals pushing us towards the grave. Catechins, found in green-tea, will help you fight off these fun-haters. On the go, order a green-juice drink from the neighborhood health-food joint, or make your own incorporating watercress, spinach, ginger, broccoli, add some fresh mint for taste.

Your Spring detox plan should also include eating smaller meals made with as many whole, fresh, organic ingredients as possible. Mom may know best, but Mother Nature knows even better. Make a point to eat natural foods that come into harvest during the season of the region in which you live; in addition to seasonal produce from other areas. Some healthy Springtime bounties include: artichokes, nettles, lettuces, asparagus, New Potatoes, and Spring carrots. Add some of that fresh mint to your smoothie or iced tea or eat a few leaves as-is. Morels, peas, radishes, rhubarb, green garlic, fiddleheads, fennel, naval oranges and lemons are at their best during the Spring season. Incorporate them into your favorite recipes.

Another effective way to cleanse and rejuvenate the body is by taking a dry sauna or steam bath to open pores and sweat out the accumulated toxins inside our bodies. Obviously, exercise is a great way to induce sweating and should be incorporated into any lifestyle regardless of the season. Detoxing should be a gentle and healthy component of your health regimen. Over-exercising or too much time in the sauna will dehydrate your system and stress the body’s ability to regulate temperature and will purge your body of necessary electrolytes. Treat your body with care and respect and you will be rewarded with the gift of health.

Chinese Medicine modalities can also help facilitate the cleansing and detoxing of our bodies. Cupping and Scaling are gentle and effective ways to increase circulation and draw out harmful radicals traveling through the blood-stream and residing in our muscles. Chinese foot-plasters can also be beneficial in expelling toxins via the many acupuncture points of our feet and are worn while sleeping. Your health practitioner at The Nest can advise you on these treatments and determine if they would be necessary and of benefit to you. Chinese herbal supplements to aid in detox can be specifically designed for the individual needs of our clients. It is always wise to consult a health-care professional before making drastic changes to your diet and exercise regimens. In our modern times we tend to take aggressive approaches to exercise and fad ‘diets;’ while it’s important exchange the harmful habits for healthier ones. The rabbit may be Spring’s icon, but heed the tortoise for slow and steady always wins the race.

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When was the last time you got full eating a meal by filling up your senses — noticing the taste, scents, texture and the feeling of nourishment good food can give you?

We often see eating as something on our to-do list unless we are going out for a special meal when we consciously set aside the time to really enjoy it. Recently, the New York Times reported on the Buddhist practice of Mindful Eating and how it is entering secular places, like the Google campus. Mindful Eating is a meditative practice that can quiet the mind and bring your awareness into your body.

How Can You Practice Mindful Eating?

The Center for Mindful Eating lists one of the principles of mindfulness as, “being aware of what is present for you mentally, emotionally and physically in each moment”. Mindful Eating is defined in part as “Choosing to eat food that is both pleasing to you and nourishing to your body by using all your senses to explore, savor and taste.”

Benefits of Mindful Eating
This movement might be gaining popularity because it counteracts two aspects of American food culture that could use some intervention. First, it focuses on pleasure which is a welcome change from punishment prone diet concepts. Second, it slows down our ceaseless rushing which allows time for reflection on our food choices — what we like, what agrees with us, and where it comes from — which can connect us to our community and environment. The main benefits are also twofold; by focusing on the pleasures of food and eating, we can feel true satisfaction and become more adept at noticing when we are full. In the New York Times article, Mindful Eating as Food for Thought, Jeff Gordinier writes, “Mindful eating is not a diet, or about giving up anything at all. It’s about experiencing food more intensely — especially the pleasure of it. You can eat a cheeseburger mindfully, if you wish. You might enjoy it a lot more. Or you might decide, halfway through, that your body has had enough.”

The Traditional Chinese Medicine Approach to Healthy Weight
This non-diet/enhanced awareness mindset is very similar to the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) approach to regaining and maintaining healthy weight.TCM looks to a root, internal cause rather than external reasons, like food, for weight gain. Usually deficient Qi (lifeforce) or Qi imbalance is the cause. If a body has sufficient Qi, it won’t experience cravings or excessive appetite. Alternately, if there is insufficient Qi, organs may not be able to perform their essential functions well, like eliminating toxins or maintaining proper metabolism. For example, the spleen and liver organ system is key for digestion. If there is imbalance there, you might experience headaches, digestive issues, weight gain, or allergies. Organ systems can become imbalanced for many reasons like viral infections, environmental toxins or emotional trauma. Stress is a common reason for imbalance in various organ systems. The Traditional Chinese Medicine World Foundation writes, “Perhaps the most profound aspect of TCM’s perspective on overweight conditions is its perception of the role emotions play in overall health.  TCM does not see and treat your body, mind, emotions, and spirit as separate, but rather as an interrelated whole…When TCM looks at digestion, it takes the broadest view:  digestion is the ingestion, absorption, and letting go of food, drink, and emotion…”

Chronically held emotions cause stagnation in the organs, creating an impasse for the flow of chi like a dam in a river. Acupuncture can relieve these blocks to restore the flow of energy and re-establish proper energy exchange. People often feel this immediately as relief, joy, settled nerves, or an energy boost. When the imbalances are righted, the body will ask for what it needs and normal weight will return.

Mindfulness can help us to recognize stress, allowing us to acknowledge it and act or let it go. It can also help us to bring more pleasure into our lives to keep in balance. Mindfulness eating is an enjoyable practice to help us tend to the gift of our bodies with greater care and pleasure.

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