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Healthy women in Seattle WAOk, this is going to feel like a foreign concept to many. That’s because it is. But it’s one that has been tested and retested for thousands of years in Chinese physicians, daughters, mothers and grandmothers. It’s simple. Menstruation and childbirth are the most depleting things for a women’s body. This happens on a deep level, a level called jing which relates to genetics, aging, and vitality. Jing has a hormonal and reproductive aspect and also relates to your creative potential. Jing is limited and once it’s gone, it’s gone, and without it women suffer from problems with menses, fertility, menopause, libido and energy.   How can you support your body, prevent the loss of jing and enjoy better vitality?  The answer is menstrual and postpartum recovery practices. These activities help your body conserve and strengthen itself at these crucial transition times. This is one of the true gems I have found in Chinese medicine that can revolutionize the way women treat their bodies.

My grandmother may have been right when she told me that too much exercise would be bad for my ”lady parts.” I thought she was crazy. I played sports and loved them.  But I didn’t have the whole picture and neither did she. It’s not that ALL exercise is bad ALL the time. We know that’s not true. Here’s the key, it’s when and how you’re exercising that matters. Each phase of a women’s life and each phase of her cycle has different needs. Menarche (first menses), childbirth, menopause and after each period are all transition times where great care should be taken to support and protect the body.

Women are fundamentally tied to nature through our menstrual cycle. Just like Spring leads to Summer so does menarche lead to childbearing years and then to menopause. In our modern culture we have lost the connection to the cycles of nature and to our own natural cycles. In the winter, we eat summer time fruits and veggies and stay up late into the darkness of night. The same disconnection from nature leads us to take a spinning class and go to a late party on the third day of a heavy period. There is a time for everything. Listen to your intuition. Reconnect.

What can you do? During your period and post-partum: Rest, limit vigorous exercise, keep yourself warm, eat foods which nourish and replenish. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs are very powerful at this time. Listen to your body.

Lindsey Lawson Acupuncture in Seattle WALindsey Lawson MS EAMP is an Acupuncturist, Chinese Herbalist and Clinic Director at Glow Natural Health and Seattle Fertility Acupuncturist. She is passionate about healthy, happy living, food and is a regular blogger.  For an appointment call Glow at 206 568 7545.

 

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heartuterusconnectionEvery acupuncture treatment addresses your emotions. Chinese Medicine does not view them as separate from physical health. The state of your emotions, especially those of the “heart” directly impacts your reproductive system via the Chong meridian.

The Chong is an internal meridian that connects the “heart” and the “uterus.” In Chinese medicine the “uterus” is a term used to encompass the uterus and lining, ovaries and eggs, fallopian tubes, cervix and vagina. Any reproductive imbalance can be affected by this connection. Many of us feel this connection between our feelings and “uterus” intuitively. For others the connection is not so obvious.

In Chinese Medicine the “heart” can be thought of as the pituitary gland.  From this reductionist view the Chong then relates to the Hypothalamic/Pituitary Axis and is deeply impacted by stressful emotional states. When there is trauma, weakness or excess stress, the heart spirit can be injured. It can then disrupt the healthy functioning of the uterus. The stagnant energy can block the flow of energy and blood to the uterus. It can also travel down the Chong and harass the uterus causing menstrual irregularities and hampering fertility. This imbalance can also be felt through such symptoms and heart palpitations, insomnia, hot flashes, or emotional volatility and heartache.

Sometimes women feel that their stress shouldn’t impact the functioning of their reproductive system. That it can remain separate. We know that this isn’t true based on studies of the hypothalamic pituitary axis. This endocrine pathway can get disrupted by stress causing many types of reproductive and fertility issues. The heart and uterus connection is an easy way to visualize this system and the impact your emotions can have on it.

By meditating and tuning in to the feelings associated with these areas of your body you can unblock and strengthen vital energy that is important for a happy reproductive system and for conception. Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs can also open up energy in the Chong, regulate the Hypothalamic/Pituitary axis and balance the emotions.

Lindsey Lawson Acupuncture in Seattle WALindsey Lawson MS EAMP is an Acupuncturist, Chinese Herbalist and Clinic Director at Glow Natural Health and Seattle Fertility Acupuncturist. She is passionate about healthy, happy living, food and is a regular blogger.  For an appointment call Glow at 206 568 7545.

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by Lindsey Lawson MS EAMP, Acupuncturist and Chinese Herbalist

I love cupping. It is useful for both  diagnosis and treatment of various conditions. Western conditions that can benefit from cupping include respiratory issues (chest congestion, asthma, and cough), pain conditions (acute and chronic neck and back pain, headaches), menstrual irregularities (PMS, cramping),stress (including sleep issues and tension,) and some gastrointestinal issues.

As an acupuncturist at Glow, I’ve been trained in the Eastern art of diagnosis according to the patients symptoms. For instance, the Oriental medical condition cupping treats is stasis or stasis with heat. This means that it is effective is treating any conditions with fixed stabbing type pain (vs. diffuse, achy pain which is better with pressure.)

Cupping is a suction technique which creates pumping action inside the muscle by drawing blood to the surface and allowing new blood to flow into the muscle to allow repair and healing. It’s kind of like a reverse massage.This can either be done using a lit cotton ball to create a vacuum (called fire cupping) or with specialized cups  that allow air to be pumped out (called air cupping.)It leaves round “hickies “ on the back which can be purple, red or dark-colored. The color and duration of the marks  indicates the amount of stasis or heat in the body. The more stagnation (or stasis) that is present, the more purple the marks. The more heat that is present the redder the marks.

Cupping is usually done on the back but can be done anywhere that suction can be created. For contradictions as well as a history of cupping see this article in Acupuncture Today.

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