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Archive for the ‘acupuncture’ Category

Acupuncture IVF Treatment Plan

Posted on: January 23rd, 2018 by TouchStone Health

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.

Getting your ZZZzzzs with the Help of Acupuncture

Posted on: March 10th, 2017 by TouchStone Health

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 helpful
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 way to help Insomnia.
Acupuncture points are selected on the body that affect sleep and the
organs that are out of balance. Acupuncture also 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.

Study: Acupuncture Improves Fertility in Men, Too

Posted on: November 21st, 2016 by TouchStone Health

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 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 TouchStone Health

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 TouchStone Health

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 a 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 TouchStone Health

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 experts.

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 TouchStone Health

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.

Spring into Action: The Liver in Traditional Chinese Medicine

Posted on: April 1st, 2016 by TouchStone Health

Spring into Action: The Liver in Traditional Chinese Medicine By Anna Totzke, R.Ac.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) the seasons have an important relationship to the body including the internal organs, emotions, and the spirit. For an individual to be in balance, it is believed that one needs to be attuned to the seasons.

Spring is related to the wood element, the liver and the colour green in TCM. During the spring plants (wood) starts pushing up through the earth and everything starts growing and moving outward including our own spirits. These upward/outward actions are also reflected in the function of the Liver in the body. The liver is in charge storing the blood and also controlling the smooth flow of qi (energy) and blood in the body. When in balance, there is flexibility in the muscles and tendons (like nourished wood), the mind and spirit are calm and relaxed, the eyes are clear and see clearly.

“When the Liver is healthy, judgement, and decision making are sound, vision is clear, and action is resolute. Strengthening the Liver develops drive and adaptability, enhancing our capacity to cope with the vicissitudes of life.” (Between Heaven & Earth by Beinfield & Korn )

Signs the Liver is out of balance:

If the wood element is out of balance in the body, qi and blood will not flow smoothly which often manifests as moodiness – anger, frustration, impatience, uncontrollable crying, depression, and also eye problems, PMS, hormonal imbalances, menstrual difficulties, indecisiveness, seasonal allergies, and stiff muscles… to name a few!

What Causes the Liver to go out of Balance?

– Stress

– Unhealthy food on a regular basis

– eliminate unhealthy fats, chemicals, alcohol, processed foods

– Holding onto unhealthy emotional patterns eg. repressing emotions

– Lack movement or exercise

– Irregular sleeping patterns

Bringing the Liver Back into Balance:

Cleansing on all levels As Spring approaches, there often is a sense of anticipation and expectation. To fully embrace the Spring season, it is important to resolve emotional issues which also show as disharmonies in the body, and eating food that is in season. The spring is a great time to do a cleanse, internally and externally; a time to get rid of things that we have been holding onto like fears, things that no longer serve us, and to try new things.

Ways to help re-balance liver energy:

-Do a longer gentle cleanse with simple foods including steamed greens and other vegetables, green soups, whole foods only

-Eat less- this cleanses the body of the fat and heavier foods of winter

-Drink enough water/herbal teas

-Meditate, do yoga, stretch, exercise

-Get enough sleep

-Mindfulness- be aware of old patterns of fear, anxiety. Practice patience.

-Let go of the old to allow room for the new! eg. 1. emotionally – let go of relationships and habits that are unhealthy 2. environment- clean your house 3. Beware of your environmental impact – make changes to make more environmentally aware decisions

-Get organized and plan trips – plant your seeds for the coming seasons!

-Make time for creative projects, adventures, outdoor time

-Get an acupuncture treatment, massage, herbal therapy. These all help bring the liver energy back into balance!

Have fun and be a child again! Embrace this beautiful season of birth and renewal.

Acupuncture for Every Stage of Pregnancy

Posted on: February 2nd, 2016 by TouchStone Health

Written by: Anna Totzke

During pregnancy changes can be felt on all levels for the mother, creating many feelings ranging across the spectrum from anxiety to excitement. Within my practice, it is such an honour working with women throughout their pregnancies and seeing so many positive shifts from pain to energy levels, to turning a breech baby, to preparing for a smooth labour.

Acupuncture has shown to be a helpful and safe practice of the treatment of conditions throughout pregnancy ranging from emotional to physical discomforts. From the early stages of pregnancy through labour and beyond, many women benefit from acupuncture.

Early Pregnancy

In early pregnancy, as your body and hormone levels change, many women experience nausea and morning sickness. At this time, acupuncture can help relax the body, regulate hormones, reduce stress and anxiety, help with exhaustion, and alleviate/ eliminate nausea and vomiting.

Throughout Pregnancy

As your baby develops, many women experience sciatica, hip and pelvic pain as the tendons and ligaments loosen. Acupuncture can be very helpful in treating these conditions. Other conditions treated throughout pregnancy are: Bleeding and Threatened Miscarriage, Sciatica, Heartburn, Constipation, Insomnia, Edema, Sinusitis, Pregnancy Induced Hyertension, UTI, Anemia, Haemorrhoids, Vulval Varices, Headaches

Breech and Malpresentation Babies

From 34 weeks on, where the baby has not yet turned into proper position, a very simple series of moxibustion treatments (moxibustion refers to the burning of moxa, prepared from mugwort leaves), helps turn the baby into proper position.

This treatment is always quite interesting for the mother in that by simply warming the side of the baby toe with moxa, she gets quite a reaction from the baby. Over several days of applying this treatment, the baby becomes more and more active during this treatment and in majority of the cases turns into proper position.

Pre-Birth Acupuncture: Getting Into the Zone

Beginning at weeks 36 or 37, weekly acupuncture treatments can begin until labor begins. These sessions encourage a smoother labour by balancing hormones, improving the blood flow to the reproductive organs that help ripen the cervix. It also helps calm the mind and body to prepare for the birthing experience. It is good to be feeling your best when you go into labour.

Research shows that theses treatments have many positive effect including: a shorter duration of labour, 35% reduction in medical inductions, 32% lower cesarean rates, 31% reduction in requests for epidural, and an overall increase in natural vaginal deliveries.

Labour Induction

Acupuncture provides a gentle labour inducement when the baby is over due or if a medical inducement is ordered. It usually consists of 1-3 acupuncture treatments over 3 consecutive days or the 3 days leading up to a medical induction.

Creating a stress-free environment, having trust in the process of pregnancy and birthing helps for a smoother and enjoyable pregnancy. Acupuncture calms the mind, providing deep relaxation and helps relieves many pregnancy conditions. As I have heard over and over again, “I wish I knew about acupuncture in my first pregnancy!”

If you have any questions about acupuncture during pregnancy please feel free to contact: Anna Totzke, Registered Acupuncturist.

We welcome an Acupuncturist to TouchStone

Posted on: December 3rd, 2015 by TouchStone Health

We are happy to welcome Anna Totzke, Registered Acupuncturist to TouchStone Health.

Anna Totzke pic Anna is a Registered Acupuncturist offering Acupuncture, Acupressure,Cupping, Moxibustion, Acupuncture in PregnancyQi Gong and other energy work.

Anna loves helping clients with sleep problems, fatigue, anxiety, stress and depression, conditions during pregnancy, digestive issues, reproductive & fertility issues, pain in the body – arthritis, herniated disc, gout, cardiovascular conditions as well as headaches and migraines.

She also offers Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture which is a holistic approach to help the face look and feel younger, healthier and more radiant.  Anna is trained in both Clinical and Classical Acupuncture.

Her treatments are relaxing and caring.  Anna has a skill in finding the right mode of care to help you feel better.

If you are interested in booking with Anna, please use our online booking system to find the right day and time for you.

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