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Fertility and acupuncture
My Guest blog articles and Reviews
Guest blog articles
Reviews and articles
Maggie Ju (2014) Current opinion in acupuncture on stroke rehabilitation
The Journal of Chinese Medicine And Acupuncture Volume 21 Issue 2 September 2014 P9
Maggie Ju. (2015) What Part Does Acupuncture Play in IVF?
The Journal of Chinese Medicine And Acupuncture Volume 22 Issue 1 March 2015 P21
Maggie Ju (2020) The Potentiality of COVID-19 Treatment with Chinese Herbal Medicine in the UK
The Journal of Chinese Medicine And Acupuncture Volume 27 Issue 2 November 2020 P9
Thursday, 31 January 2019
Following six unsuccessful IUI procedures (where sperm is injected directly into the woman’s uterus) and one unsuccessful IVF, Stephanie was told that her FSH and AMH levels (which measure fertility hormones) indicated that she would not produce enough eggs for an IVF procedure and her only hope for a pregnancy was to have IVF with donor eggs. Not willing to give up hope yet on having their own baby, Stephanie and her husband turned to Acubalance Wellness Centre (acubalance.ca), Vancouver’s leading acupuncture fertility clinic. After six months of weekly acupuncture treatments Stephanie discovered that her AMH had improved significantly and that, after starting her IVF cycle, her eggs were of excellent quality.
For Stephanie and her husband weekly acupuncture treatments finally helped them realize their dream. “After years of worrying, stress and feeling like we were running out of time, we had now finally found hope. I got pregnant with my first IVF treatment and nine months later we welcomed a beautiful and healthy 9.5 lb baby boy to our family.” says Stephanie. “The joy of being parents is priceless. I think of how close we were to giving up and how lucky we were to have found and Acubalance, in Vancouver.”
What do they suggest about acupuncture? “We encourage patients undergoing IVF treatment to seek consistent acupuncture treatments at least three to six months before a fresh IVF cycle and at least 4 weeks leading up a frozen transfer as well as making life style changes.” said Brown. “Optimal health is important for this stressful journey.”
Wednesday, 30 January 2019
Caroline A. Smith et al RBMO VOLUME 00 ISSUE 0 2018. https://www.rbmojournal.com/article/S1472-6483(18)30675-8/fulltext
Tuesday, 29 January 2019
The results suggest that cosmetic acupuncture increased the water and oil content of facial skin in a female participant whose water content and oil content were lower before receiving acupuncture than those of the mean values of women of the same age.
Donoyama N Acupunct Med 2012;30:152–153.
The Acupuncture 2014; 31(2): 165-171.
Monday, 28 January 2019
Younghee Yun et al (2013) Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Article ID 424313, 5 pages
Sunday, 27 January 2019
To the skin, collagen makes up approximately 80 percent of the dry weight of the skin. Collagen together with elastin provides skin with elasticity and flexibility.
To the bone,95% of organic materials in the bone is collagen and collagen work together with a mineral hydroxyapatite forming the bone structure, flexibility and strength
To the muscles, including skeletal muscles and smooth muscles (in the bladder, uterus, gut etc), heart muscles) and blood vessel (such as veins, arteries and capillaries) smooth muscle walls, collagens provide the muscles with the strength, structure and flexibility.
To the joints, tendons and ligaments, collagens also provide structure support and strength and flexibility.
The body produces collagen on a regular basis, but it slows down with age. Women experience a dramatic reduction in collagen production after menopause.
Many factors can reduce collagen production including smoking, sun exposure, and an unhealthy diet. Without collagen this important building block, you may start to see wrinkles and sagging skin, joint cartilage weakens or even experience joint pain.
Research has reported that facial acupuncture can increase facial skin elasticity.
Saturday, 26 January 2019
Amy F. T. Arnsten Nat Rev Neurosci. 2009 Jun; 10(6): 410–422.
Thursday, 24 January 2019
Unfortunately, externally applied elastin can not pass through the skin and can not slow the loss of elastin from aging issues.
Sun exposure accelerates skin aging. UV lights damage elastin and collagen in the skin causing the skin sagging and losing elasticity. Saying out of the sun can prevent skin damage and delay the skin changes. Gravity contributes to skin slack and drooping of the eyebrows and eyelids etc when the skin loses its elasticity. Smoking can damage the skin due to the chemicals in tobacco. Drinking makes the skin dehydrated and damages skin cells. Aging skin wrinkles easily.
Facial acupuncture helps skin repairing and delay aging process.
Collagen production declines with age especially after menopause and exposure to factors such as smoking and UV light. If the skin produces less collagen, the integrity of the skin declines, as a result the skin is looser and wrinkles form.
What damages collagen and how?
High sugar: high sugar increases blood sugar attaching to the proteins to form new molecules called advanced glycation end products (AGEs) which can make collagen dry, fragile ad weak.
Smoking: chemicals in the tobacco can damage collagens in the skin.
Sun exposure and UV light: UV light make collagen breaking down quickly and damaging collagen fibers. UV light also damage the skin collagen synthesis forming wrinkles.
Aging: With aging the collagen production is reduced.
Unfortunately, collagen molecules are too large to be absorbed through the skin. So, no cream applied to the skin gives the skin more collagen.
Facial acupuncture can increase skin collagen production by creating micro injury to the skin. As a result the skin becomes tighter and wrinkles are repaired.
Tuesday, 22 January 2019
Acupuncture is effective for golfer’s elbow reducing pain, and inflammation.
Acupuncture increases embryo implantation potential for patients with infertility. There was a study involved in 210 patients with infertility. These patients with infertility were treated with acupuncture and in vitro fertilization and embryo transplantation (IVF-ET). Acupuncture was applied before controlled ovarian hyperstimulation and during ovarian hyperstimulation. The levels of human leukocytes antigen-G (HLA-G) in the serum were determined for evaluating embryo implantation potentials. HLA-G may play a role in immune tolerance in pregnancy and its presence in embryo is associated with better pregnancy rates. They found that acupuncture can increase HLA-G for the patients undergoing IVF-ET; their HLA-G increased on hCG injection day and on embryo transfer day which indicated increased embryo implantation potential for patients with infertility.
Monday, 21 January 2019
Rectus femoris is in the middle of the thigh, covering most of the other three quadriceps muscles. The rectus femoris muscle starts as two or three heads from pelvic bone. The straight head attaches to the anterior inferior iliac spine, and the reflected head attaches to the superior rim of the acetabulum and capsule of the hip. Sometimes there is a recurrent head that arises from the anterosuperior angle of the femur’s greater trochanter. All the heads join, and the belly of the muscle then runs down the anterior thigh to attach by a broad aponeurosis to the base of the patella.
The rectus femoris muscle not only extends the knee but also flexes the hip. If the thigh is fixed, contraction of this muscle helps to tilt the pelvis forward. Trigger points of this muscle can be present on front of the hip joint and knee joint. If trigger points are present in this muscle, one can feel thigh pain and tightness and deep aching in the knee.
The other three lie deep to rectus femoris and originate from the body of the thigh bone, femur.
Vastus laterlis is on the outside of the thigh; trigger points of the muscle can be found on the outside of the thigh. vastus medialis is on the inside of the thigh; trigger points of this muscle can be found at the inside of the thigh. Vastus intermedius is in the middle, underneath the rectus femoris.
Acupuncture can help release trigger points of these muscles and reduce thigh and knee pain.
Saturday, 19 January 2019
Sleep deprivation can impair immune function which makes the body reducing the ability to heal. Sleep deprivation tends to cause slower brain waves in the frontal cortex, shortened attention span, higher anxiety, impaired memory, and a grouchy mood. It makes the brain consume more energy causing exhaustion which makes one feeling tired.
Tried acupuncture to help sleep?
Anovulatory cycle is a menstrual cycle which ovulation does not occur and there is no egg released from the ovaries. Women would think if they have periods, they must be ovulating. This is not necessarily the case. You don’t have to ovulate to have periods. This is called anovulatory cycle. The cycles could be regular with variations of period intervals. These cycles are without ovulation and a luteal phase. Anovulation is a common cause of infertility which occurs in up to 40% of infertile women. Women without ovulating may have irregular periods, or no periods. It is possible that women with regular periods have no ovulation. Once they try to conceive and they start to detect the problem. Because no egg is released and fertilization becomes impossible, the women cannot conceive. Basal body temperature charting is a valuable tool to identify anovulation.
Normal menstrual cycles are 28 days (21-35 days) with follicular phase, ovulation and luteal phase. Ovulation occurs in the middle of the cycle and corpus luteum which produces progesterone forms after ovulation. After 14 days, corpus luteum decayed and stopped producing progesterone. Uterine inner lining shed off without the support of progesterone in the case without pregnancy. This is called progesterone withdrawal bleeding. In the case of anovulation, there is no progesterone produced. Bleeding is caused by inability of oestrogen to support uterine inner lining growth. It is called oestrogen breakthrough bleeding.
If you want to get pregnant, it is important to make sure you ovulate.
Acupuncture can help regulate ovulation and irregular cycles to conceive
Friday, 18 January 2019
Thursday, 17 January 2019
Wrinkles around mouth are also called perioral wrinkles, also known as barcode lines or smoker’s lines. They are the fine or deep vertical lines around the mouth and lips. These wrinkles are formed by contracting of the muscle around the mouth called orbicularis oris.
The orbicularis oris muscle is a complex of muscles in the lips that encloses the mouth. It consists of four independent quadrants that connects each other which gives it a look of circular. It blended in with other expression muscles on the face. When it contracts, it closes the mouth and puckers the lips creating vertical wrinkles around the mouth.
Acupuncture can help this muscle to relax and reduce the vertical wrinkles around the mouth.
Other wrinkles around the mouth
Smile Lines (nasolabial lines) – These are those lines that run from thebottom of the nose to the corners of the mouth.
Marionette lines – These are the vertical wrinkles that can be found at the corners of the mouth. These lines can give the face a downturned expression and make you look sadder, serious, or even angrier.
Wednesday, 16 January 2019
Smith CA et al Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2018 Dec 28. doi: 10.1111/aogs.13528. [Epub ahead of print]
Tuesday, 15 January 2019
The sagittal suture is a dense, fibrous connective tissue joint between the two parietal bones of the skull.
Down to the back, the sagittal suture moves to the ligaments on the spine.
The nuchal ligament extends from the external occipital protuberance on the skull and median nuchal line to the spinous process of the seventh cervical vertebra in the lower part of the neck. It is the starts of the trapezius and splenius capitis muscles attached to the shoulder and the head separately.
Supraspinous ligament connects the tips of the spinous processes from the seventh cervical vertebra to the sacrum and is the continuous of nuchal ligament down to the spine. Part of the trapezius and latissimus dorsi start from this ligament and connect to the shoulder.
Spinal erectors are a group of muscles and tendons which run from the sacrum or sacral region to the base of the skull. They are paired lying on the left and right of the spine.
Down to the front, the sagittal suture moves to the frontal suture on the forehead. The frontal suture is a fibrous joint that divides the two halves of the frontal bone of the skull.
On the midline of the chest, it raises the pectoralis major and connects to the shoulder.
The white line in the medial line of the abdominal wall (linea alba) is a fibrous structure that runs down the midline of the abdomen from the xiphoid process to the pubic symphysis. It is formed by the fusion of the aponeuroses (deep fascia) of the abdominal muscles, it lies between the left and right rectus abdominis muscles.
The medial line tightness can create tension on the whole body blocking blood and energy circulation. Acupuncture can release tension and improve blood and energy circulation.
Monday, 14 January 2019
Manheimer E et al (2008) BMJ 8: 545-549
Sunday, 13 January 2019
Stefanie Schroeder et al (2017) J Acupunct Meridian Stud 2017 Jun;10(3):165-170. doi: 10.1016/j.jams.2017.01.002. Epub 2017 Jan 16.
One of the first muscles to cause headache and neck pain is trapezius. This is a broad triangular muscle at neck and upper back, one of the largest superficial muscles at the back. It attaches to the base of the skull and extends down to the neck, the upper back until mid back; laterally it inserts to the shoulder blades. There are three functional regions to the muscle: the Upper, middle, and lower trapezius, and each region has its own function: upper region moves the shoulder blades and support the arms; the middle region retracts the shoulder blades and the lower region rotates and depresses the shoulder blades.
Acupuncture can effectively release muscle spasm.
Friday, 11 January 2019
Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD): is a condition that makes one to feel anxious about a wide range of situations and issues, rather than one specific event. People with GAD feel anxious most days and have difficulty to relax. The symptoms include feeling restless or worried, or anxious, having trouble to concentrate or sleep, dizziness, tension on the chest, or heart palpitations.
The exact cause of GAD isn't clear.
Research suggested that overactivity in areas of the brain involved in emotions and behaviour is one of the causes; an imbalance of the brain chemicals serotonin and noradrenaline, which are involved in the control and regulation of mood is also a possible cause.
Apart from taking medication from your doctors, tried acupuncture? You may be surprised how much acupuncture can help.
Thursday, 10 January 2019
If you have irregular menstrual cycles and want to get pregnant, this could cause problems. This is because 1) it is hard to know ovulation time; 2) the eggs might not good enough in some cycles which reduce the chance to get pregnant. 3) the uterine lining might not develop well due to imbalanced hormones.
Acupuncture can help regular hormone to achieve balanced hormone and reduce stress to regular menstrual cycles to get pregnant.
Wednesday, 9 January 2019
The gluteal muscles include the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, gluteus minimus, and tensor fasciae latae. The lateral rotator muscles include externus and internus obturators, the piriformis, the superior and inferior gemelli, and the quadratus femoris. The adductor muscles include the adductor brevis, adductor longus, adductor magnus, pectineus, and gracilis. The iliopsoas group include the iliacus and psoas major muscles.
Acupuncture can help release muscle spasm and release hip pain.
Tuesday, 8 January 2019
Your body goes through quite a transformation during and after pregnancy. Your entire lifecycle changes while you are carrying a baby, be it your sleeping pattern, your posture, the way you walk, mood swings; and the list goes on!
This lower back pain after delivery can also hinder the recovery, making it difficult to move or even sit for long.
The main cause of back pain is hormones. Your body releases progesterone and relaxin hormones during pregnancy which relaxes the ligaments and joints of the pelvis, for easing out the baby during delivery. As these hormones stay with you for a few more months, the ligaments and joints need to return to normal. Changes of posture during pregnancy such as posture for sleeping, standing walking causes back pain and sudden changes after delivery. Putting on weight during pregnancy is extra work for the joints and muscles. The expansion of the uterus during pregnancy causes additional strain on the lower abdominal muscles and lower back. Pushing the baby out could strain muscles and ligaments. Sleepless nights post-delivery, bending, and lifting the baby frequently add extra stress to the back. Incorrect posture while breastfeeding the baby can cause stress on the lower back muscles. Additional physically strenuous work during or after pregnancy could a contributor to the back pain.
It takes almost six months for your body to settle in and for the relaxin hormones to subside in the body, so by then usually your back pain should recede. If not, you need to seek help to get rid of the back pain. Acupuncture can help reduce postpartum back pain.
Sunday, 6 January 2019
Other conditions related to wind and chill.
Chilblains is a condition in which the small blood vessels in the skin is inflamed after being exposed to cold. These clusters of small blood vessels get red, itchy, and swell or blister. Patches usually appear on your fingers, toes, ears, and cheeks. Wearing layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing can trap air between the layers to insulate you. For dry and cracked skin, apply of cream can help to moisturise the skin.
Facial acupuncture can help damaged skin on the face repairing.
Saturday, 5 January 2019
Zhou and Qu. Afr.J.Trad. CAM (2009) 6: 494-517
In the UK, there are 2 types of COVID-19 vaccine The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and The Oxford vaccine to be used once they are approved. They ...
Can acupuncture help patients with stroke? Stroke is a serious condition which blood supply to the brain is cut off. It is the second most...
Hemiplegia which is severer than hemiparesis is paralysis of one half of the body on the same side. Brain damage is one of the causes. The p...
Thigh is the area between the hip and the knee. There is only single bone in the thigh called fumar, but there are a few groups of muscles i...