Fertility Supporting Lifestyle Tips

Fertility Promoting Lifestyle, Habits and Supplements

Remember that the eggs and sperm you have now are based on lifestyle and environmental factors from 3 months ago. It is a good idea to work on detoxification through diet and lifestyle changes for 3 months prior to aiming for conception through natural or artificial reproductive measures.

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Diet: In general following the Mediterranean diet that is abundant in vegetables and fruits and fishes and cold pressed oils, has been shown to promote fertility and egg and sperm quality in both men and women. Many people have undiagnosed sensitivities to wheat that may impair the immune system and effect fertility so avoiding wheat products may be an important step to take as well. Aim for as many organic and ocean fresh rather than farmed seafood and free range/grass fed poultry and dairy and meat sources. Full fat dairy (organic preferably) has also been shown to enhance fertility.

Drink: Aim for 1/3 to ½ of you weight in ounces of filtered water a day. Limit or discontinue coffee and other high caffeine and or sugar beverage consumption.  Aim to drink most beverages at room temperature or warmer, especially in the cooler months. It is best to drink the bulk of your water 15 minutes before meals or 45 minutes to an hour after meals.

Exercise: Exercise is a key to balanced health and vitality, however too much can impair fertility. Aim to exercise 3 to 5 times a week with a goal of maintain a heart rate of between 120 and 140.  Exercising in nature is powerful medicine beyond the benefits of exercise. Also consider gardening and yoga as rejuvenating forms of exercise.

Reduce Exposure to Environmental Toxins: If you or your partner work in an environment that may expose you to toxins (construction, chemical labs , lawncare, farming, computers…etc.) be sure that all protective measures are taken to limit exposure at work and be sure to remove and  isolate work soiled clothes and shower immediately. A shoe free household can help limit household exposure to environmental toxins.

Drink filtered water, avoid pesticide treated lawns and eat organic as much as possible and at least avoid the dirty dozen, heat and store food in glass or nonreactive metal, do not drink or heat food in plastic containers or covered with plastic wrap, follow safe seafood consumption guidelines and use green cosmetics and cleaning products. The Environmental Working Group is a great resource to help you become a safety savvy food and product consumers.

Do not wear cell phones close to reproductive organs. Do not use a laptop directly on the lap. This is especially important for men.

Menstrual products should be organic and unbleached. Menstrual cups are a good affordable option.

Stress management: Too much stress shuts down reproductive pathways in men and women. Regular acupuncture, adequate/appropriate food and water intake, regular moderate exercise helps reduce stress. Aim for at least 15 minutes of joyful activity every day. Be in harmony with your partner. Seek out counseling if you need to. Meditation, mindful based practices and time in nature are stress relieving. Saying no to excessive commitments and saying yes to yourself and family are essential to allow a family to grow.

Medications: Some medications including calcium channel blockers, sulfasalzine or mercatopurine, Cimetidine, Cyclosporin, Spironolactone, Keoconazale, steroids or antidepressents may affect fertility and vitality of pregnancy and offspring. Talk with your provider about alternatives if you are on any of the above medications.

Substance use and abuse: Cigarettes, excessive alcohol consumption and recreational drug use are not compatible with maximizing fertility. If either partner has a substance use/abuse issue, it should be treated and discontinued to optimize fertility and maximize parenting potential.

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Male behaviors and habits: Sperm are very sensitive to overheating. It is essential to avoid hot tubs and tight briefs to allow for proper temperature regulation of the testicles. Cyclists should  invest in a special seat to limit restriction and pressure on the genitalia and if sperm count is an issue may want to discontinue cycling while trying to conceive.

Sexual Habits:  Timing of sexual intercourse and ejaculation is important to maximize the likelihood of pregnancy. Tracking cycles with a Basal Body Temperature chart, and ovulation predictor kit(OPK)  and observing cervical mucus can be a powerful tool in identifying fertile times as well as helping highlight possible areas of imbalance in the cycle.

At the very least sex should occur three to four days before ovulation and definitely on the day of the LH surge (which can be identified through an OPK).

Another way to consider optimal times of sexual activity ending in male and ideally female orgasm, is to pay attention to cervical discharge. A few days after the menstrual flow has stopped completely cervical mucus should begin to appear. Once the mucus appears have intercourse ending in orgasm every other day. Keep each other revved sexually on the off days through foreplay and romance that does not end in male ejaculation.  Look for the egg white slippery cervical discharge and be sure to have sex that day.

If there is no noticeable cervical mucus: Through acupuncture, diet, herbs/supplements, cervical mucus can be improved. It is the medium that makes it possible for the sperm to meet the egg. A lack of healthy cervical mucus can be the barrier to conception. If you do not seem to have noticeable cervical mucus, it is important to use a lubricant called Pre-seed during 4 days before ovulation.

Once male ejaculation has taken place, it is important for a woman to rest for half an hour or more on her back, possibly with her legs up the wall to promote better blood flow to the pelvis and allow the sperm to travel into the uterus to prepare to meet and penetrate the egg. This resting time is a great time to visualize and caress and whisper sweet nothings to each other.

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Supplements: Supplementation helps ensure that there are ample building blocks present to promote healthy sperm, egg and fetal development.

Basic supplementation includes a well balanced, bioavailable prenatal/multivitamin and fish oils. Thorne, La Sante and Standard Process daily pack are some of the quality multivitamins available.

I recommend roughly 2,000 mg of a cold pressed screened for toxins fish oil a day, for men and women.

Zinc is also essential for reproductive health and can be supplemented with and handful of raw pumpkin seeds a day.

A yummy health shake to incorporate pumpkin seeds includes a handful of soaked (overnight) pumpkin seeds or almonds, a few dates, half a banana and water blended cinnamon and vanilla can be added to taste.

Co Q 10: Helps improve energy production at a cellular level. It has been shown to increase vitality of egg and sperm. It is especially helpful in increasing sperm motility. (60-400mg per day is recommended. I usually recommend 200mg two times a day.)

Additional herbs and supplements may be indicated based on specific challenges a couple may be facing.

 For a printable copy of this information click this link: Fertility Promoting Lifestyle

Summer Savvy an East Asian Way

 

Summer heat and summer flurry are empowering and exciting.

If you burn too hot for too long, summer may be exhausting.

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It is important to balance your activity with proper rest, hydration, nourishment and emotions.

Ancient Chinese Physicians have recommendations for these facets of life.

Optimal summer sleep patterns: Waken early, rest at midday and bed later.
Drink plenty of fluids. Water is best. (Half your weight in ounces)
Add pungent flavors to your diet and eat cooling and detoxifying foods.
Refrain from anger and irritability and keep calm and even tempered.

Please review this handout for more details on the organs, foods, acupressure and exercises to help keep you  in balance for the rest of this summer: heartAndSmallIntestine

Nontoxic and Stink Free: Homemade Deodorant

I often say to my patients and friends, if you wouldn’t put it in your body you shouldn’t put it on your body.

We live in an ever more toxic environment; much of our exposure to environmental toxins can not be completely controlled.

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However, we can control what we choose to put in and on our body.

Hygiene products, like body washes, shampoo, conditioner, and deodorant can be a huge source of endocrine-disrupting chemicals.

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Of course, most people want to feel and smell clean and are afraid that stepping away from their favorite store brand may leave them sticky and stinky. Unfortunately, many “natural or organic” deodorants leave you smelling worse than you did without them. Since I work in close proximity with my patients, I needed to find a way to smell good (at least not bad) and honor my mantra of “only put on your body what you would put in your body.”

Fortunately there are many helpful resources to find ways to make really good products to use in your daily body and household maintenance with substances you probably have in your kitchen pantry.

Following are a few that I have found helpful:

http://www.passionatehomemaking.com/

http://www.healthextremist.com/

http://www.crunchybetty.com

The last batch of homemade deodorant I made has received rave reviews:

I followed the recipe from http://www.passionatehomemaking.com/2013/01/homemade-all-natural-deodorant.html and added some delicious essential oils for their therapeutic benefits as well as divine scents. With just three basic ingredients this recipe is quick and easy.

Ingredients:

6-8 Tbsp Coconut oil (solid state)
1/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup arrowroot powder or cornstarch (arrowroot is preferred over cornstarch, but cornstarch can be substituted if that is what you have)

I added about 10 drops of frankincense and lime essential oils to this and everyone who has tried it has loved it.

You can also add a bit of vanilla from your cupboard or any other yummy scents that come from pure essential oils.

For more information about safe body and household products, and to see if your products withstand the test of reducing your toxic load check out:

The Environmental Working Group: http://www.ewg.org/

Skin Deep: http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/

Washington Toxics Coalition: http://watoxics.org/

Be the change you want to see. Yes we should have policies that protect us from corporations dumping toxins into our food, body products and our environment. We can work towards that, while taking care of ourselves.

Open House May 5th: Celebrating Two Years at Our Wellness Center

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Celebrate Two Years of Wellness

The Spring winds stir up growth and change. Deep roots and flexibility allow for growth and change without being blown asunder.

Come celebrate Spring and its bounty.

New Moon Family Acupuncture and many of the other practitioners of the New Moon Family Wellness Center are celebrating two years in our current location.

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We also have new and returning practitioners coming to the center.

Gwendolyn Sheveland, a Certified Structural Integrator and Licensed Massage Therapist is joining our ranks of capable, effecting and empowering practitioners.

Virginia Pham, an East Asian Medicine Practitioner and RN is returning to her acupuncture practice after maternity leave.

To celebrate the continued success of the center and to welcome our new and returning practitioners we will be having an open house.

May 5th, from 4pm-6pm.
906 South Cowley St.
Spokane, WA

Bring yourself, friends and family.

Light refreshments will be served.

Prizes will be raffled at the end of the event.

RSVP desired but not required. We’d love to see you!

Spring Support

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After a long dark winter, many of us delight in the brighter Spring days. Springs brings with her the energy of growth, new life and new beginnings. However, if our bodies are out of balance, Spring may also mark the beginning of runny noses, itchy eyes, irritability and frustration. The Liver and Gallbladder are the organs most impacted by the Spring and if they are out of balance, Spring can be a very challenging time physically, emotionally and spiritually.

If your Liver and Gallbladder feel out of balance, be sure to get to through this article for recipes and self care tips and download a fabulous handout to direct you toward many simple tools to balance your Liver and Gallbladder.

Spring is the perfect time to change your diet from the heavier diet that may be more appropriate in Winter, to a lighter more detoxifying diet that matches Spring’s energy and crop. Organic dark leafy greens are powerful for nourishing and detoxifying and they are quite delicious with just a little preparation.

Beets, beet greens and lemons are perfect for cleansing your liver and moving your bowels. Here is a simple delicious recipe that should change your opinion of beets and make your Liver and Gallbladder dance and quiver with cleansing delight: http://www.newmoonacupuncture.com/beets-rock/

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If you are finding yourself sniffling and sneezing, itching and wheezing and need a little extra support. Consider coming in for acupuncture. If you know you have seasonal allergies, it is best to support your system before the season arrives to reduce and prevent allergies. Many of my patients who were regular allergy sufferers are no longer suffering after a course of treatments and some herbal and dietary support.

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I am attaching a great handout that is full of self healing tips to support the Liver and Gallbladder all year long. Since Spring is often the time that the Liver and Gallbladder may rear their ugly imbalance if they are congested and restrained this is a timely offering:
liverAndGallBladder

Insomnia Aids

I often have patients who come to me with insomnia.  At times it is their primary health concern, more often it is just one of the many signs and symptoms that comes to light during a detailed intake.  Severe insomnia can be debilitating, occasional insomnia is inevitable.  Fortunately there are many ways to overcome insomnia; acupuncture and East Asian medicine can help.

Sometimes after just two or three treatments sleep quantity and quality begin to steadily improve.  A 20-minute acupuncture nap is as rejuvenating as six hours of restful sleep, and most of my patients “sleep” on my table by the third treatment.

Of course, acupuncture and East Asian Medicine is only part of this bed time story:  Matthew Edlund, MD, is an expert on rest, sleep, performance, and public health. He is the author of The Power of Rest, The Body Clock Advantage, and Designed to Last.  Previous articles of his can be found at therestdoctor.com and wegethealthynow.com.  He is the Director of the Gulf Coast Sleep Institute Center for Circadian Medicine in Sarasota, Florida and is well spoken in this interview on The Peoples Pharmacy: http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/2012/10/27/878-solving-the-sleep-dilemma/.

Zentangles to be offered at New Moon Family Wellness Center

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Zentangle is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. Almost anyone can use it to create beautiful images. It increases focus and creativity, provides artistic satisfaction along with an increased sense of personal well being. The Zentangle method is enjoyed all over this world across a wide range of skills, interests and ages.  We believe that life is an art form and that our Zentangle method is an elegant metaphor for deliberate artistry in life. – Maria Thomas & Rick Roberts, founders of Zentangle

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Zentangle is Intuitive, Fun, Relaxing, Portable, Non-Technical and Empowering.

Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT), Loretta West found Zentangle after life changing events and noticed that when she practiced Zentangle her shoulders relaxed and she felt at Peace.  As a professional artist and art instructor, it was the gift she was looking for; a more meaningful way to share art as an easy tool and a lifelong practice.  She is available for group and individual lessons and workshops.   For more information or to book a session, contact Loretta at colorgardenstudio@comcast.net or 509-995-1647.

What others are saying about Zentangles:

“I have insomnia but the worst part was losing my creativity…It has been wonderful, I’ve been doing at least one a day, I do it sometimes in the evening for hours and have had the best night’s sleep that I’ve had in years”

“I work with men that are incarcerated and I have to be honest I was not sure how creating Zentangles would go over with this population. They enjoyed creating them and the quietness that fell over the room was welcoming in such an environment. They felt proud and were sharing their creations with each other.”

“Zentangle nurtures the soul and encourages life enhancing outcomes.  It is a pastime, a life skill, and a simple metaphor for life in a complex and busy world.  If you can’t sit on a pillow and meditate but you can hold a pen, Zentangle is the process of relaxation for you. “ Meredith L. Yuhas Ph.D., LPC, NCC

Zentangle Workshops:

The First Monday of the Month.

6:30 – 8:30 pm

 

Cost: $35.00 for adults and $25.00 for children under 16 years of age per workshop.

To register call Loretta or Download the form and mail it in:Zentangle Registrationworkshop New Moon reg form

Workshop includes all supplies needed.

Sources:  www.Zentangle.com website and The Book of Zentangle by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas.

Join Us For our Autumnal Equinox Open House!

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Please join us as we celebrate the return of the crisp Fall and the beautiful community we live in.


We will be offering Bone Health Seminars and Affordable Bone Density Scans and free community clinic acupuncture samples.

When:  September 30th, 2012 from 10 AM – 2 PM
Where:  New Moon Family Wellness Center, 906 South Cowley, Spokane, WA
Who: Bring yourself, friends, family and co-workers. Children are welcome.

11am-1 pm: Free Community Acupuncture Sessions

11am-1 pm: Free 10 minute Massages


10 AM and 12 PM~ Free Bone Health Lectures


10:30AM -2:00PM~ Bone Density Scans

Dr. Howayeck is a Board Certified Foot and Ankle Surgeon.
Podiatric/Osteoporosis Author of “Bone Health Made Easy” & Lecturer,
Owner : Five Star Onsite Testing Ultrasound Bone Density Screenings,
Ultrasound Testing Interpreter, Osteoporosis Education and Counseling,
Certified Speaker for the Foundation for Osteoporosis Research and Education.
A Doctor of Podiatric Medicine.  His passion is to see the end of bone, joint, and pain issues.

$20* Ultrasound Bone Density Screenings performed personally by Dr. Howayeck
*$20 pre-registered $25 at the door

For more info and to preregister:
Anthony 509-290-6065 anthony@newmoonspokane.com

Here is a link to the Flyer:Bone Scan Flyer 9-30-2012


Raffle Drawing at 2:00 pm

Raffle prizes include: Moxa kit, Moody Cow Meditates book, immune supporting herbs: Immuplex by Standard Process, Digestive Healing Herb by Health Concerns, Chzyme and Enteromend.

We will be serving nutritious and delicious snacks.

Love Your Lungs and Large Intestine

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Have any of you been waking up, for “no apparent reason” between 3 and 5 in the morning? You still want to sleep, but for some reason you are awake? Are you experiencing more sinus or chest related symptoms? Have your bowel habits changed, for better or worse? It may be mysterious to you, but it makes perfect sense to an East Asian Medicine practitioner.

In East Asian Medicine each season is affiliated with an organ pair. The organs that are associated with the season are the organs that may be most impacted (positively or negatively) throughout the season. Bringing awareness to the functions of the organs and ways to support them with nutrition, movement and attitude can be a powerful tool to create and sustain wellness.

If you are wondering why you are waking up so early, or just want to know how to support your Lungs and Large Intestines as we move into Fall check out this link: Lung and Large Intestines

Autumn is Upon Us

Autumn is the time of year when the bounty of harvest is enjoyed, the leaves and greens change and return to the Earth, the air takes on an unmistakable Autumn crispness. As the leaves change color and fall to the Earth, the sap draws inward down to the roots.Nature has provided her Harvest and now after a grand display of crisp bright color, the trees become bare. Feeding the roots allows for stability to weather the winter.Autumn marks the end of the growing season – a turning inward, a falling away of outwardly-directed energy of Summer.

Nature is a tool to guide us through our own cycles of creating and letting go: Trees in autumn don’t hold onto their leaves in fear they may need them next year.

Let us embrace the letting go that Autumn preaches – those decayed leaves, the old negativity stored in negative thought patterns and stuff we horde onto.

Let us prepare for a fresh start by letting go of that which no longer serves us.

This season, more than any other allows us transition and space to let go of our waste. Whatever is old and stale, crisp yet crusty, meaningful yet mournful: it must be released.

Long walks, yoga, healing bodywork, seasonal eating, herbal therapy, simple cleaning, clearing our cupboards, our basements, our hearts of the unneeded can create space for new growth and clear direction.

May this be a Fall full of joy and release.

Through East Asian Medicine, Acupuncture, Sound Healing, and Energy Medicine we provide Safe, Effective and Empowering care.
Amidst life’s peaks and valleys, New Moon Family Acupuncture invites all her patients to SEE EASE.