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Archive for the ‘acupuncture’ Category

Acupuncture IVF Treatment Plan

Posted on: January 23rd, 2018 by Dr. Amanda Sue Cressman

By Anna Totzke, Registered Acupuncturist

Acupuncture has been used to optimize women’s fertility for over 2000 years. There have been several recent clinical studies showing that acupuncture for IVF can:

-Increase your chances of implantation and full-term births.

-Minimize symptoms associated with ART treatments.

-Reduce stress and help you relax before and during IVF.

Acupuncture: To Prepare for IVF

Starting acupuncture treatments 2-3 + months before your IVF cycle is ideal to help prepare your body for pregnancy, to encourage relaxation, to balance any underlying health concerns, and focus on the maturation of the egg.

One acupuncture treatment a week is recommended if acupuncture is started 2-3 months ahead but if acupuncture treatments are started 1 month or less before the IVF cycle, twice a week is recommended.

Acupuncture During the IVF Cycle: (days are approximate)

DAY 1-3 Menstrual Period – One acupuncture treatment

DAY 6-11 Follicular Development – One acupuncture treatment

Acupuncture can alleviate the side-effects of hormonal stimulation, improve blood flow to the ovaries and uterus (resulting in better ovarian response and a receptive endometrium).

DAY 11-14 Days leading into Trigger Injection and/or Day of – 1-2 treatments

Day 14- 16  After Egg Collection – One acupuncture treatment

Acupuncture can help recover from the procedure and prepare the uterus for implantation. This treatment also helps with any bloating and ease cramping after egg collection.

Day Of / Day Before Transfer – One acupuncture treatment

Research shows that this treatment significantly increases pregnancy rates.

Day after to week after Transfer – One treatment following transfer and one about a week later

These treatments promote implantation and eases any anxiety.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Anna Totzke, R.Ac.

Acupuncture to Help Relieve Seasonal Allergies

Posted on: May 9th, 2017 by Dr. Amanda Sue Cressman

By Anna Totzke, Registered Acupuncturist

Acupuncture is a safe and effective way to treat seasonal allergies. Acupuncture treatments help support the immune system and balance the organ systems involved to help alleviate any symptoms.

Seasonal allergies are a response to environmental substances and symptoms can range from itchy and watery eyes, itchy throat, full sinuses, fuzzy head, tiredness, cough, to sneezing.

Acupuncture sessions leading into or during allergy season can be very helpful in balancing the body’s response to the allergens along with some diet changes.

Please contact Anna Totzke, R.Ac. if you have any questions.

Getting your ZZZzzzs with the Help of Acupuncture

Posted on: March 10th, 2017 by Dr. Amanda Sue Cressman

By Anna Totzke, Registered Acupuncturist

Insomnia effects most of us at some point during our lives whether it
be one night or spanning over years. For many, getting enough sleep is
an on-going issue which can be frustrating and can affect their
quality of life.
From a Chinese Medicine perspective, Insomnia indicates a disharmony
of the internal organs. These imbalances are often caused by stress,
excessive emotion (anxiety, worry, grief, anger), over-thinking,
irregular diet (late night eating, not eating enough, poor diet),
excessive physical work, irregular working hours, poor blood quality,
or a combination of the above. Acupuncture has shown to be effective
in treating Insomnia and the stresses affecting the physical body.

Do you experience any of these symptoms?

Types of Insomnia and the Related Organ Imbalance:

-Difficulty falling but once asleep, stays asleep= Blood/Heart disharmony
-Wake frequently, often feeling hot = Heart or Kidney imbalance
-Repeated waking around 2-4 a.m., worse with stress= Liver imbalance
-Lots of wild dreaming, talking during sleep, sleepwalking = Heart or
Liver imbalance
-Recurrent nightmares that cause waking = Heart and Gall Bladder imbalance
-Waking with palpitations and panic attacks = Heart and Kidney imbalance
-Chronic insomnia with feverishness at night but no sweating = Blood imbalance
-Difficult falling asleep, light sleeper, over-thinking in the
night=Spleen and/or Heart imbalance
-Lack of peaceful sleep, stomach discomfort of fullness, annoyance at
not sleeping = Stomach and Bowels Imbalance
-No sleep at all, headaches, irritability, tinnitus, bitter taste =
Liver Imbalance

Acupuncture is a wonderful and effective way to help Insomnia.
Acupuncture points are selected on the body that affect sleep and the
organs that are out of balance. Acupuncture also effectively helps:
anxiety, depression, stress, headaches, and pain in the body which all
have an impact on the quality of sleep.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact Anna Totzke, R.Ac.


Posted on: December 27th, 2016 by Dr. Amanda Sue Cressman

I recently came across this quote by Audre Lorde and immediately took to it, so I made it into a picture.  I thought it would be helpful to share, especially for the beginning of New Year.


Even though New Years Resolutions are often focused on ourselves – striving for betterment in areas we feel we could improve or grow, the actual focus on ourself is often what trips us up in succeeding with the goal.

Taking time for ourselves is tricky and often associated with being selfish.  It’s funny how we do that, entangling caring for self with selfishness but the two don’t need to be mutually exclusive.

Audre Lorde shifts our discomfort with caring or focusing on self away from self-indulgence into something that we can all appreciate, understand and respect…self-preservation.

When we fill ourselves up with the things, people or situations that genuinely fill us up, we can do marvellous things.  This year I made a commitment to running…most mornings I wake up early and run before my day gets going which is already pretty early.  But, if I don’t, I will have missed the opportunity to do so and lose out on the feeling I get from clearing my head, getting a work out in and some time for me with nature (something that absolutely preserves my happiness).

This coming year, I’m finding I need more to fill my tank with the busyness of life.  Journaling and meditation are what I’ve determined I am missing but both take time and dedication.  But instead of it feeling like another item on my check list that needs attention, I will take Audre’s words to heart and remember that taking the time to do this will help protect me from burn out, irritability and sadness.

This New Years, consider focusing on what will preserve you the best for your resolution.  What activities, places, people or things do you need more of to ensure your tank is feeling full and supported instead of depleted and unhappy.  Shift the focus away from selfishness or self-indulgence to self-preservation.  The mental leap will feel a lot better and will motivate the change you need to feel the best you can.

Wishing you a bright and happy New Year.

Dr. Amanda Cressman, N.D.

Study: Acupuncture Improves Fertility in Men, Too

Posted on: November 21st, 2016 by Dr. Amanda Sue Cressman

A study published in Acupuncture Today outlines the positive effects of acupuncture treatments to help with male infertility.

The study showed:

  • Significant improvement in sperm motility levels
  • A dramatic increase in the number of healthy sperm (increased more than four-fold)
  • Improvement in sperm structure and quality

To view the full study please follow the article link:

Acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment that not only helps with female fertility but male fertility. If you are interested in learning more about how acupuncture can help reach pregnancy naturally or along with ART, please feel free to contact Anna Totzke,  Registered Acupuncturist,

Mother Warming: Benefits During Post-Partum Recovery

Posted on: October 18th, 2016 by Dr. Amanda Sue Cressman

By Anna Totzke, R.Ac.

After giving birth, women are more prone to colds, flus, and fatigue because our qi (life energy) and blood is depleted and bodies are weakened after the birthing process. These depletions can affect energy levels, sleep, breast milk (quantity and quality), and overall well being.

To help with postpartum recovery, a treatment of smokeless moxibustion (a lit compressed herb called mugwort) is applied to the lower abdomen and lower back for 5-10 minutes on days 4 or 5 postpartum. It is a very simple and relaxing treatment.

Benefits of Mother Warming:

-Warms the uterus- for future healthy menstruation/fertility

-Can reduce postpartum uterine cramping

-Boosts the milk supply

-Treats and prevents prolapse

-Replenishes the Qi- which helps improve energy levels

-Nourishes the blood

-Helps promote a calm and stable state

-Helps increase iron levels during postpartum blood loss

-Is very relaxing


If you have any questions about Mother Warming, please feel free to contact Anna:

The Benefits of Cupping Therapy

Posted on: August 30th, 2016 by Dr. Amanda Sue Cressman

By Anna Totzke, R.Ac.

Cupping is a technique used in Chinese Medicine to stimulate acupoints or larger areas of the body.  Glass or plastic cups are placed on specific areas (most commonly on the back). Through suction, the skin is gently pulled into the cups.

Cupping improves the flow of blood, balances and realigns the flow of qi, breaks up obstructions, and creates an avenue for toxins to be drawn out of the body. The cups can be left in place or can be moved along the surface of the skin (slide cupping).

Cupping is often used for:

-Muscle pain and tightness (softens rigid soft tissue)- shoulder, back, neck

-Bronchial conditions – Asthma, lung congestion, cough and colds, sore throat

-Breaking up scar tissue and fatty deposits

-Arthritis and fibromyalgia

-Gastrointestinal disorders

-Relaxation and stress relief

-Fatigue and improve sleep

-Lower high blood pressure


-Removing cellulite


-Boosts the immune system

After a cupping treatment, there are often circles (the size of the cups) left on the treated area and can range in colour from light pink to dark purple. These circle are not painful and will clear within 4 or 5 days. Many clients report the feeling of deep relaxation after a treatment and find they have a comfortable sleep.

Cupping is often used along with Acupuncture but is an effective treatment on its own.

If you have any questions about Cupping, please feel free to contact Anna Totzke, Registered Acupuncturist at


The Benefits of Acupuncture for Fertility

Posted on: July 31st, 2016 by Dr. Amanda Sue Cressman

By Anna Totzke, R.Ac.

For thousands of years Acupuncture has been used to help with reproductive and fertility issues. Recently, with more research, studies, and interest in Acupuncture for fertility, more people are being recommended to try acupuncture for fertility issues or to prepare for pregnancy by doctors and fertility specialists.

For Female Fertility, Acupuncture helps:

-Regulate the menstrual cycle

-Increases blood flow to the uterus, increasing the thickness of the lining, for better implantation

-Can provide better blood flow to the ovaries and uterus, creating a stronger chance for an egg to be nourished and carried to term

-Reduces stress- an important factor in fertility

For Male Fertility, Acupuncture helps:

-Increases sperm motility

-Increases the quantity of healthy sperm

-Improves sperm structure and quality

Acupuncture for IVF, IUI:

-Helps regulate the hormones

-Increases ovarian response for more and improved egg quality

-Improves the success rate

-Reduces the side effects of the IVF medications

If you have any questions Acupuncture & Fertility, please feel free to contact Anna:

Energetic Acupressure: Nourish Your Highest Potential

Posted on: June 6th, 2016 by Dr. Amanda Sue Cressman

By Anna Totzke, Registered Acupuncturist

Along with Clinical Acupuncture points selected through Traditional Chinese Medicine diagnosis (TCM), Anna also applies Energetic Acupressure in treatments.

12 Energetic Acupressure points are selected for their ability to help clear, and balance the mind, body, and spirit of patterns that pull ourselves away from our True selves. These patterns, often debilitating, are usually caused by past traumas, stuck/negative views of one self or abilities, loss, and ideas/patterns from childhood that no longer serve in adulthood, etc. that can inhibit us from growing and succeeding.

At certain times in our lives we can feel very disconnected from ourselves or forget who we are. Energetically, certain life events/traumas can “hook in” creating a sense of stuck-ness and/or physical discomfort, and ungroundedness. Energetic Acupressure points helps release this stuck energy.

In TCM, our emotional, spiritual, and physical wellbeing are closely tied. When one level is affected, all levels will be affected. When healing occurs, it happnes on all levels. Through Acupuncture and Energetic Acupressure, deep healing can occur on all levels creating a sense of wellbeing, and clarity to help you step forward and nourish your highest potential.

If you have any questions about Energetic Acupressure or Acupuncture, please feel to contact Anna Totzke, R.Ac.

Not Wanting This

Posted on: May 5th, 2016 by Dr. Amanda Sue Cressman

A friend recently sent me a wonderful article written by Elizabeth Gilbert on her facebook page, called, Not This.

Have you ever had a moment where you know deep down, that your current reality is not in alignment with where you want to be?  That even though it may not make sense to anyone else that something in you is asking for a more authentic experience?  This article is a great reminder of having the courage to ask, to explore what we want and need.  Whether it’s with the health of our bodies, our relationships with others, our career, our hobbies, our interests or goals… having courage to question this gives clarity for what we do want and need.  And that is a wonderful place to be because when we are in this space, change can happen.   See what you think of the article and if you’re wanting to change something that you believe either Naturopathic Medicine, Acupuncture, Massage or Reflexology can help…we are here.


Not This

by: Dr. Amanda Cressman, N.D. Naturopathic Doctor

564-572 Weber Street North, Unit 3A
Waterloo, Ontario