Anna Hsieh Gold is a licensed acupuncturist and an ABORM board-certified Oriental reproductive specialist. She specializes in women’s health and pain management.
Many of us have heard through the grapevine that acupuncture can boost fertility. Well, now is our chance to hear from an expert, Anna Hsieh Gold, about how acupuncture really works and how it can also treat a wide variety of women’s health issues.
Q: Is acupuncture only for women who are trying to get pregnant?
A: Acupuncture can help all women, not just those who are trying to conceive. Not only does it balance hormones, it regulates mood, decreases pain, and increases energy.
Traditional Chinese medicine, of which acupuncture is one component, has been very successful in helping women who struggle with infertility, because it regulates the function of hypothalamic pituitary-ovarian axis. Otherwise known as the HPOA, the hypothalamus and pituitary glands of the brain, along with the ovaries, create a biofeedback loop that regulates sex hormones, ie, estrogen, progesterone, FSH, LH, to name a few. Acupuncture normalizes the secretion of these hormones, which in turn, regulates ovulatory function, nourishes blood in the endometrium, and thus increases the chance of conception.
Once pregnant, acupuncture can help women with various issues throughout their pregnancy - recurrent miscarriage, nausea, back pain, indigestion, and hypertension. It can even turn a breech baby and promote smooth labor and delivery.
As women age, acupuncture can help ease their transition into menopause. It can reduce sleeplessness, anxiety, hot flashes and night sweats.
Acupuncture can support women during any stage in their lives. In addition to bringing homeostasis to their sex hormones, it also regulates other components of the endocrine system, such as the thyroid and adrenal glands. When these glands are harmonized, women have more energy and sense of well being. They sleep better and feel happier. Acupuncture reminds the body to balance the sympathetic nervous system (feelings of fight or flight) with the parasympathetic nervous system (feelings of relaxation).
So, really, which woman wouldn’t benefit from acupuncture?
Q: What kinds of issues do clients usually see you for?
A: I treat many women who lead busy lives that result in anxiety, headaches, cramps, insomnia, or infertility. Although their conditions vary, I give many of them the same advice because most of their complaints stem from all hormonal imbalances.
If you’re feeling sluggish, anxious, depressed, irritable or having difficulty with losing weight, painful periods, or constipation, then your hormones (most likely thyroid, estrogen or cortisol) may be out of whack.
Q: What can we do to keep our hormones balanced?
A: The simplest gift you can give yourself is time to sleep, relax, meditate, laugh and exercise. These are all ways to keep your hormones balances naturally.
1. Prioritize sleep.
Sleep - so simple yet so lacking in our busy schedules. Snoozing is like pressing the “reset” button for the body. It switches the nervous system from sympathetic (fight or flight) to parasympathetic (relaxed) mode. Studies show people who get less than 8 hours of sleep tend to gain weight and get sick more often. They are also irritable and lack short term memory.
2. Take fish oil.
Supplementing your diet with 2,000 to 4,000 mg of omega 3 fish oil lowers cortisol levels that are increased with stress. It stabilizes mood so you’ll feel get fewer emotional ups and downs. Omegas are anti-inflammatory, which mean they slow down the body’s aging process, reducing chronic conditions like pain or cardiovascular disease. They also reducing cramps during painful periods. I recommend you purchase fish oil from a third party tested, mercury free source.
3. Reduce stress.
When your life consists of running from work to home to play, maybe even squeezing some exercise in between, your body and mind don’t really get a chance to rest, and I mean really rest. “Working hard and playing hard” only puts you in sympathetic dominant mode, and after a while, unrelenting stress always catches up. It results in the form of a compromised immune system, irregular or painful periods, or anxiety. It’s an ugly cycle that can be detrimental.
Schedule some downtime. Take quiet walks. Meditate. Get an acupuncture treatment. Do something that forces your body and mind to slow down. You can thank yourself later. ❤
For more information about acupuncture treatments and her practice, check out Anna’s website: http://www.annagoldacupuncture.com/