TouchStone Health Photo
TouchStone Health Photo
TouchStone Health Photo

Anemia During Pregnancy: How Acupuncture/Moxibustion Can Help

Posted on: May 21st, 2019 by TouchStone Health

by Anna Totzke, Registered Acupuncturist

Iron deficiency anemia is the most common type of anemia women develop during pregnancy.  The most vulnerable times for developing iron deficiency anemia is around the 20th week (the blood volume increases at this point), and the last 4-6 weeks (as the baby is developing its own iron stores).

Acupuncture and Moxibustion*:

When iron levels are low during pregnancy, women are generally advised to take an iron supplement. Studies have shown that doing a series of moxibustion and acupuncture treatments significantly helps increase the absorption rate of iron while taking an iron supplement.

*Moxibustionis a Traditional Chinese Medicine therapy which consists of burning dried mugwort (an herb) on particular points on the body

For more information about Acupuncture in Pregnancy or to ask a question, feel free to contact Anna Totzke, R.Ac. annatotzke@gmail.com

Acupuncture for Headaches

Posted on: April 25th, 2019 by TouchStone Health

by Anna Totzke, Registered Acupuncturist

Most people experience headaches at some point. They are one of the the most common physical complaints in North America! The most common type of headaches are tension-type headaches and migraines. Some headache triggers are: sinus issues, muscle tightness, stress and tension, dehydration, medication, high blood pressure, and postural issues. Most people resort to taking over-the-counter medication to help relieve the pain but unlike synthetic drugs, acupuncture has no side effects. Acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment for all headaches. Depending on the location, type, and trigger of the headache, small acupuncture needles are placed accordingly. The World Health Organization recognizes acupuncture as one of the most natural way to ease pain and relieve stress.

If you have any questions about acupuncture, feel free to contact Anna. annatotzke@gmail.com

Lessons Learned from my Fertility Journey

Posted on: February 20th, 2019 by TouchStone Health

By Melanie Reidl, Naturopathic Doctor

2018 was a difficult year for me, to say the least. One of my fears became a reality, I was struggling with trying to conceive and was experiencing significant anxiety and depression about it. I wanted to share a little about my fertility journey in this article, as I have so many patients, friends, and family members who have had their own fertility challenges and I know it can be a very isolating and distressing experience.

Going through my own fertility challenges has given me insight and compassion for others who are also going through it. The extensive testing, frequent appointments, worry, sadness, relationship stress…I’ve been there. But I do know that your experience can really depend on the approach you choose to take toward your fertility journey. When I started going to a fertility clinic this summer, I was overcome with anxiety, fear, and distrust. I didn’t trust in my body, my decisions, the doctor… and the experience became very scary for me.

Life circumstances required me to take a short break from care with the fertility clinic. During this time, I decided that I was tired of feeling like my fertility was out of my control. I took my health into my hands and I started to take better care of myself. I wanted to do what I could to improve my fertility, naturally. So, I nourished my body with whole foods. I moved my body in ways that felt good: yoga and walking. I made sleep a priority. I took high quality supplements to support my nutritional status, egg quality, and hormonal balance. I started meditating to calm my mind at night and practiced mindfulness. I used affirmations and chose to think more positive thoughts.

After a few months, I felt ready to return to the fertility clinic, but this time I decided to go in with a new outlook. I trusted my body more, felt more confident in my decisions, and trusted my great doctor. I began to feel a sense of empowerment over my health and fertility. I no longer felt anxious about the experience, I felt excited about it. After all, it was leading me to (hopefully) conceiving!

With time and patience, my body responded to all of the self-care I had been doing. I started to get regular ovulatory menstrual cycles again. My bloodwork showed that my hormones were doing exactly what they should be. My ultrasounds showed that my follicles were growing and that I was ovulating. With each piece of encouraging news, I started to trust and love my body more and more for the amazing things it was doing for me.

The biggest lesson I’ve learned from this journey is to TRUST. Trust is the opposite of anxiety. When you trust in your body, yourself, your doctors, the universe… you will feel calmer and more at peace with your journey. Feeling calmer and more at peace is also exactly the state you want to be in to allow your nervous system to relax and support healthy conception. :)

Please let Melanie know if you have any questions ( MelanieReidlND@gmail.com ).

Pre-Menstrual Syndrome: Acupuncture Can Help

Posted on: February 1st, 2019 by TouchStone Health

by Anna Totzke, Registered Acupuncturist

Most women at some point during their lives struggle with Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS). The symptoms usually appear around 7-10 before the menstrual period is due and disappear when the period arrives. Some women have mild symptoms that they barely notice while others feel a huge change that can have a negative impact during that phase of the menstrual cycle.

PMS Symptoms vary from:

Breast tenderness/swelling

Mood changes – anger, frustration, weepiness, Anxiety, Depression

Bloating

Food cravings/Increase in appetite

Cramping

Headaches

Fatigue

Muscle stiffness/pain

PMS is a sign that your body’s energy is out of balance. Acupuncture can help bring the body back into balance and can relieve PMS symptoms. Acupuncture also helps with stress, and calming your mind.

Please contact Anna if you have any questions: annatotzke@gmail.com.

A Naturopathic Approach to Infertility

Posted on: January 22nd, 2019 by TouchStone Health

by Melanie Reidl, Naturopathic Doctor

For those of you struggling with infertility, I understand the pain. As an ND who has gone through it, I understand the worry, sadness, and stress it can cause. Even finding the right practitioners and the right treatment approach can be a challenge. From my own fertility journey, to the many patients I’ve supported on theirs, I have seen the magic of naturopathic medicine alone or alongside conventional fertility care.

In this article, I wanted to outline the assessment and treatment approach, and modalities that I use when a patient comes to me for fertility support.  In some cases, a specific diagnosis for the infertility has been made, and we would start treatment. In other cases, patients come to me with ‘unexplained infertility’ and I will spend the time necessary to help uncover reasons for the infertility.

In the case of ‘unexplained infertility’, I often run some laboratory tests to more thoroughly check thyroid function and hormones such as cortisol, estrogen, and progesterone. This helps to determine if there are subtle abnormalities with the thyroid or hormones that are impacting fertility. I also have these patients track their BBT (basal body temperature) and ovulation signs so that we can monitor the cycle and increase fertility awareness.

Once a diagnosis has been established, we focus on treatment. As far as treatment goals, they include the following:

1) Optimize egg/sperm quality,  

2) Balance hormones

3) Treat the specific cause of infertility

4) Support mental-emotional health (a very important piece!)

Treatment modalities that I frequently use with my fertility patients include the following:

1) Nutritional Medicine

2) Lifestyle Medicine

3) Herbs/Botanical Medicine

4) Acupuncture

5) Counselling & Mindfulness techniques.

Nutrition involves a dietary assessment, individualized dietary guidelines, and nutrient supplementation. Lifestyle medicine involves an assessment of one’s current lifestyle and introducing changes that support fertility such as exercise and sleep recommendations, and specific stress reduction strategies. Herbs can be very powerful in the treatment of infertility. There are several that have been studied and found to regulate the menstrual cycle and improve conception rates. Acupuncture has also been well studied and has been found to be a great supportive treatment in infertility. I find that acupuncture, in addition to mindfulness techniques can really improve patients’ mental-emotional health and support the relaxation of the nervous system that is needed for healthy conception.

An individualized approach to infertility is so important, since there are so many possible causes and reasons for it. This is why seeing and ND can be so helpful; the holistic and individualized assessment and treatment approach lends itself to fertility care. As an ND who has been there herself, I strive to be a compassionate practitioner who sees and supports you as a beautiful person going through a challenging time, not as an infertility diagnosis.

 

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