At Vitalize, we love working with pregnant mamas. The conditions that arise during pregnancy are unique and the treatment options can sometimes feel limited. There is always the extra step of asking how this will impact the growing babe. It is best to assume that anything you ingest will pass to the baby, and this includes herbs and supplements. This certainly does not mean that you have to stop all your herbs and supplements when you get the BFP (big fat positive!). And it also doesn’t mean we can’t treat your nausea, fatigue, sinus congestion, swelling, heartburn, insomnia, etc. with herbs. Our practitioners are informed about herbal safety and can guide you.
According to Chinese Medicine, many chronic conditions have stagnant circulation of blood as part of their root cause. This certainly goes for pain, but also in many cases of auto-immune conditions, digestive disorders, gynecological issues, and even mental health concerns.
Food should taste good, right? So why are so many medicines bitter? There are bitter flavor receptors throughout the whole body, and just like the other flavors, the bitter flavor has specific biochemical actions that we can benefit from. The 5 flavors are one of the most important concepts of Chinese Herbalism and food therapy. Here is a rundown of how each of the 5 flavors - spicy, sweet, bitter, sour, and salty - functions in your body.
NUMBER ONE: Check-in on your B Vitamin needs. Why? Taking a good B Vitamin complex throughout the month will help reduce the symptoms of PMS. Estrogens, including oral birth control pills or hormone replacement, deplete B vitamins. Depletion can take a toll on the body because we need B vitamins for multiple functions. Vitamin B6 specifically helps to boost the production of serotonin. When serotonin is low, women experience depression, poor memory and poor sleep (which we often see in PMS). In the liver, B Vitamins contribute to detoxification of environmental pollutants, medications and excess estrogens. Having a busy lifestyle, high exercise output, stress, and alcohol consumption all deplete our B’s. Even if a woman is not taking an estrogen hormone, she likely needs them! Make sure to ask your provider about doses.
Did you know that your Annual Exam does not have to include a Pap Smear? Although women have been told for many years to get a Pap Smear every year, the guidelines have recently changed. It is now advised that Pap Smears be conducted every three to five years for most women. Here are some answers to commonly asked questions:
I remember the first time I learned about the Chinese zodiac and the 12 animals that represent a 12 year cycle. I had gone to a small Chinese restaurant, sat down with my parents and noticed a bit of information about each of the 12 animals on my paper placemat. This stuck in my head and returned to me when I began learning more about them once I entered acupuncture school.
For the record, we didn't really learn much about these 12 animals as we studied acupuncture and Chinese medicine. However, we did learn a lot about '5 element theory', which is the basis for much of the knowledge and prediction made through the Chinese zodiac.