Acupuncture for Women
Acupuncture is the basis of my practice. I have been trained in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), meridian-system acupuncture, and Five-Element acupuncture. My primary focus is holistic women's health, which encompasses conditions that are acute or chronic, internal or external:
gynecology > fertility support, pregnancy & postpartum support, hormonal imbalances, menstrual disharmony, sexual dysfunction, thyroid conditions
respiratory illnesses > asthma, allergies, flu, common cold
metabolic diseases > diabetes/high cholesterol/high blood pressure
cancer treatment support > recovery from chemo & radiation/dietary support
pain > muscle spasms/arthritis/fibromyalgia/restless leg syndrome/neck & shoulder pain/back pain/knee pain
Evaluation and Diagnosis
During our first meeting, I will perform a thorough examination and assessment in order to precisely evaluate and diagnose you according to acupuncture patterns of disease. This will include your medical history, assessment of symptoms, tongue, pulse, abdomen, meridians, temperature, emotions, diet and lifestyle, and anything else relevant to your wellbeing. I will then make a diagnosis and devise a treatment strategy that I will discuss with you. I include dietary and lifestyle counseling as part of my treatments.
I offer cosmetic acupuncture for the face, neck, and stomach. I have been trained in the Mei Zen approach developed by acupuncturist Martha Lucas, Ph.D., L.Ac. Cosmetic acupuncture offers an all-natural alternative to chemical peels and fillers by stimulating your skin to produce collagen and elastin, thereby smoothing fine lines, decreasing puffiness, and improving discoloration and sagging. What I love about the Mei Zen approach is that it uses actual meridian acu-points on the face, neck, and abdomen that correspond to internal organs such as the bladder, gallbladder, stomach, large intestine, small intestine, etc., so you are getting more than just a cosmetic treatment. Many patients experience additional improvements in their digestion, sleep, stress response, and other functions as a result of these sessions.
These treatments include nutritional/supplemental recommendations to nourish and enhance the complexion.
Acupuncture for Fertility
Acupuncture boosts fertility in women in several ways:
- reduces stress and the levels of cortisol and adrenaline in the body
- regulates hormones & menstrual cycles
- increases blood flow to the ovaries and uterus
- thickens the uterine lining
- improves sperm count, mobility, and morphology in men
Acupuncture can help optimize assisted reproductive technology (ART), including IVF and IUI procedures, by:
- optimizing & supporting the body to undergo ART procedures
- easing the side effects of the pharmaceuticals used in IVF and ART protocols
- relaxing uterine contractions following IUI/IVF transfers, thereby encouraging implantation
Contact me to learn more about how a program of acupuncture, nutritional coaching, and lifestyle changes can support your fertility goals.
The following modalities are used adjunctively with acupuncture, when appropriate, as part of your customized treatment.
The goal of cupping is to ease tension in the muscles and the fascia and improve circulation. In the parlance of East Asian medicine, it moves qi and blood and reduces or eliminates stagnation. It can be very effective for tendinomuscular soreness in all areas of the shoulders, back, and lumbar, as well as along the IT band and major muscle groups of the legs. It can even be used gently on the abdomen to promote movement in the intestines, and on the face to treat Bell’s palsy and trigeminal neuralgia.
I perform cupping with either silicone suction cups or glass cups warmed with fire (called fire cupping). I will not leave them on long enough to create the circular bruises; I do not believe this is healthy for the body. Cupping is generally a relaxing experience in which the muscles and fascia are stretched and smoothed to release tension and tightness.
Moxibustion is the use of the herb mugwort (artemisia vulgaris or artemisia argyii), which is dried and aged 3-5 years before use. It comes in many forms—as a “wool” placed directly on the skin or atop a needle; rolled into paper tubes; pressed into stick; etc.
Moxa warms the body and increases qi and blood flow to an area. It is especially useful for treating pain and strengthening the immune system. Moxa is often used to help turn breech babies.*
People who often feel cold generally love a treatment with moxa, as it warms and relaxes the body, especially when applied over the abdomen or lumbar area.
*The effectiveness of turning a breech baby with moxa depends on many factors, including the size of the baby, the amount of room in the womb, and the nearness of the due date.
Gua-sha is the use of a smooth hand-held tool to lightly “scrape” lubricated skin in repeated strokes along tight muscle groups. It releases tension and inflammation and helps the body clear metabolic waste that congests the muscle tissues. It is most often used to treat back pain and upper respiratory ailments such as colds and the flu.
Gua-sha can feel wonderful, especially on the neck, shoulders, and upper back. It may leave some petecchia or light bruising under the skin that may last a few days. After receiving gua-sha, patients should avoid cold water (showers) and cold air (air conditioning) directly on the area that was treated.
East Asian Medicine Nutritional Recommendations
In East Asian medicine, approximately 70% of the body's renewable energy comes from food. Thus, we acupuncturists tailor dietary/nutritional recommendations according to your constitution. Constitution refers to a person's inherent strengths and weaknesses (at its most basic, a person's yin versus yang tendencies). This is a personalized approach, very different from popular trends such as paleo, ketogenic, raw, macrobiotic, vegan, vegetarian, etc.
Instead, we recommend specific foods based on their effect on the body: their thermal nature, their flavor, the organs they influence, and other considerations. In general, the goals of East-Asian nutritional therapy is to achieve and maintain a healthy balance: to preserve one's essence (jing) and qi with appropriate, high-quality foods, taken at the appropriate times, in the appropriate amounts.