Traditional Chinese Medicine

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Exciting News!

A new study published by The University of Adelaide in South Australia found that “Chinese Herbal Medicine can improve pregnancy rates 2-fold within a 4 month period compared with Western Medical fertility drug therapy or IVF.

The university analyzed research studying 1,851 women with infertility. They compared women that received Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) with those that received Western drug therapy alone. Those that received TCM showed a pregnancy rate of 60% within a four-month period compared with the 30% undergoing IVF.

The authors of the study noted that, “Assessment of the quality of the menstrual cycle, integral to TCM diagnosis, appears to be fundamental to successful treatment of female infertility.”

Acupuncture, herbal medicine, and other modalities can restore balance and harmonize the whole body, allowing women to conceive naturally without costly or invasive treatments. If women are undergoing IVF, Chinese medicine can support and strengthen the body and alleviate stress, augmenting any therapeutic process.

Check out these articles for more information:

http://www.organicauthority.com/blog/health/traditional-chinese-medicine-more-than-doubles-fertility-rates-western-meds-not-so-much/

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2066254/Chinese-medicine-double-chances-childless-couples-conceiving.html

You can find the study abstract here:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22036524

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Cervical Dysplasia [CD] refers to abnormal changes in the cells on the surface of the cervix. Although these changes are not cancer, they can lead to cancer of the cervix if not treated. Cervical carcinoma is one of the most common cancers among women, with an estimated 16,000 new cases of invasive cancer of the cervix and 5,000 deaths in the U.S. each year.  Consequently, it is important to take a CD diagnosis seriously. However, mild and moderate cases can be completely resolved with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) treatments in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle.

Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) causes nearly all cases of CD. HPV is a very common virus that is spread through sexual contact. There are many different types of HPV. Traditional Chinese Medicine cannot diagnose CD and HPV. It is crucial to get regular Pap smear exams. It is the only way to make sure you have a healthy cervix or get timely treatment if cells are abnormal.

Western medicine names the following as factors that may increase your risk of CD:

  • Becoming sexually active before age 18
  • Going long periods without getting a Pap Smear
  • Having multiple sexual partners
  • Having other illnesses or using medications that suppress your immune system
  • Smoking

Doctors aren’t exactly sure why becoming sexually active before 18 put women at greater risk. They think it might be because a woman is then more likely to have multiple partners, a risk factor in itself. Also, the cells of the cervix are special. They transform over time in a process called metaplasia.  For this reason, the exposed area of columnar cells on the cervix is called the “transformation zone”. Over many years, flat cells, called squamous cells, replace these columnar cells. The risk of developing pre-cancer is increased if the transformation zone is exposed to a sexually transmitted carcinogen at a time of maximum cellular activity during adolescence. Interestingly, this fact is in harmony with the Traditional Chinese Medicine view that sexual activity at an early age is very detrimental to the Directing and Penetrating Vessels (corresponds to the female reproductive organs) because the uterus and these vessels are in a vulnerable state at that age. In Giovanni Maciocia’s text, Obstetrics and Gynecology in Chinese Medicine he contends, ” Adolescence is a very vulnerable time in the life of a girl and any cause of disease at this age has serious consequences. In fact, other causes of disease may play a contributory role. Emotional problems around the time of puberty also have a very deep influence on a girl’s life: they may cause stagnation of Qi in the liver, which easily affects the genital system in women. “

TCM TREATMENT FOR HPV AND CERVICAL DYSPLASIA

Traditional Chinese Medicine considers the whole body when looking at disease and disharmony. A detailed intake process helps Chinese medicine practitioners understand the root of the disharmony. The initial intake process considers the patient’s internal condition as well as looking at their lifestyle, environment, and habits. Additionally, the diagnosis process relies upon palpation of the pulse and abdomen and observation of the tongue. Chinese medicine practitioners use all of this information to diagnose the root cause and pathway of the disharmony, based on TCM pattern diagnosis. Once a diagnosis has been made the practitioner will develop a treatment plan that is based upon the individual constitution of the patient.

Treatment usually consists of acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, lifestyle and eastern dietary recommendations. Eastern diet therapy is an important part of treatment, as studies have shown women with CD have a high frequency of general nutritional deficiencies, as high as 67% in one survey. Women with cervical dysplasia were especially deficient in beta-carotene, vitamin C and vitamin B6. Chinese medicine practitioners can help patients identify foods that are especially beneficial for them; this is done via an eastern nutrition profile. Eating foods that benefit the patient’s constitution help promote healing and rejuvenation of the body.

The length of treatment depends on the severity of the HPV as well as the patient’s overall health and any preexisting medical conditions.  This is usually assessed during the initial consultation with a Chinese Medicine Practitioner.

All practitioners at The Nest have completed extensive post-graduate training in women’s reproductive health and have experience treating HPV, Cervical Dysplasia and other gynecological concerns.

If you have been diagnosed with HPV or CD and you are interested in HPV natural treatment options, please call The Nest for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation with one of our practitioners.

 

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Though the cold (and occasionally snowy) weather here in Chicago may make us doubt, Spring is truly right around the corner. As the seasons shift, our bodies need to shift and adjust along with them—practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine can observe these shifts by examining the pulse. A change of season causes the rate, rhythm, volume, and tension of the pulse to vary. The pulse tends to be taut in spring, full in summer, floating in autumn, and sunken in winter. TCM physicians will take this into account when distinguishing the abnormal pulse from the normal.

In the parlance of TCM, Spring is the season of new birth and new growth, belongs to the wood element, and dominates liver functioning. If we don’t adapt to the changing climate in spring, we may be susceptible to seasonal health problems, such as flu, pneumonia, or a relapse of chronic diseases.  The midwest region has been hit hard this winter with lingering upper respiratory illness, so those of us here need to be extra mindful in taking care of our bodies during this shift in season.

To help our clients (both existing and new!) stay healthy this season, The Nest is offering a Spring special: 3 Seasonal Balance Acupuncture treatments for $250 ($30 savings).* The treatments will specifically focus on balancing, strengthening, and harmonizing the 12 energetic meridians of the body.

Call 773.267.0248 today to schedule your Seasonal Acupuncture tune up!

*Note this special is for SEASONAL BALANCE TREATMENTS ONLY. A seasonal session with an acupuncturist can help improve overall health by enhancing the body’s immune system to keep illness at bay.  It can also provide a boost in energy levels, lifting mood and improving a person’s sense of well being, allowing the body to function more effectively.

According to TCM philosophies, if we consume seasonal foods that are similar in nature to the external environment, we remain in harmony with the environment, adapt better to the weather changes, and remain healthy. Examples of recommended foods for the spring include onions, leeks, leaf mustard, Chinese yam, wheat, dates, cilantro, mushrooms, spinach, and bamboo shoots. Fresh green and leafy vegetables should also be included in meals; sprouts from seeds are also valuable.

In addition, uncooked, frozen and fried foods should only be taken in moderation since these are harmful to the spleen and stomach if consumed in large amounts.

And to help you inject some delicious greens into your diet, here is a beneficial recipe featuring an underappreciated wild green: Dandelion!

Salad of Dandelion and Fresh Goat Cheese
adapted from Uncommon Fruits and Vegetables by E. Schneider

1 bunch dandelion greens, cleaned and dried
about 1/4 pound fresh white goat cheese, cut into ½ inch cubes
1/3 cup or so of chopped red onion, or chopped scallions
2 T sherry or other light vinegar
2 T walnut or other nut oil, can use a good olive oil if that’s what’s on hand
½ t sugar
3-4 T toasted and coarsely chopped walnuts
Cut off and discard stem bases. Cut each stalk into 2-inch pieces. Pile on a serving dish; intersperse with cheese. Sprinkle with onion to taste. In small, non-aluminum pan combine vinegar, oil, and sugar; bring to a boil, stirring. Pour over salad and toss lightly. Sprinkle with nuts and serve at once.

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