Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Success Story Fertility

Sara (not her real name) faced the statistics of age-related fertility when in her early 40's she wanted to have a family. Sara tried naturally, monitoring her ovulation but nothing happened. Then she tried IUI's (intrauterine insemination) and was still frustrated. She then graduated to IVF's (in-vitro fertilization) . She did two medicated cycles both times producing low quality embryos. This was a very stressful period for Sara. Her work and relationship suffered. Fertility it seemed was her right as a woman but getting pregnant and was going to be a longer journey than she thought.

The stress of infertility is not new. It is chronicled in In the book of Kings. Hannah is described as childless and weeping for years. After counsel with a religious leader she eventually gave birth to the Prophet Samuel. For anyone it can be deeply discouraging to want something that you seem to be unable to get, particularly when you may feel it is your god-given right. The personal choices of health and lifestyle practices as well as empowering emotional support all can help keep your mind centered and thereby promote fertility.

Now Sara was no longer 41 she was 43. The clock was ticking. Upset with the medicalization of her fertility and deeply discouraged by what seemed like an unattainable goal, she decided to work on herself. She came to our clinic and began regular acupuncture sessions and made changes in her diet. She took herbs and nutritional supplments and began to keep a journal. She became engaged in the process of examining her attitudes and beliefs about conception. This led to attending the Fertile soul™ support group. While contemplating whether to try a third IVF Sara fell pregnant on her own. She stuck with her herbs and acupuncture through the first trimester. In the spring Sara gave birth to a healthy baby girl.

If, as the saying goes, "luck favors those who are prepared", Sara story is about sticking with a goal by cleaning up mental and emotional blockages while keeping her body healthy. It is empowering to know that challenges can be overcome. That she defied age-realted statistics is icing on the cake. It does not always happen this way and success can also mean becoming a parent in other ways.

Send us your story or share your comments about this one.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

when Back Pain Is Not Back Pain

The musculo-skeletal system is amazingly dynamic. Not that we ever think of it that way until something goes wrong. This is the story of a patient who had severe back pain which interestingly enough was not treated in the back. A 37 year old male patient, otherwise healthy, came to see me complaining of severe back pain lasting for 1 1/2 weeks. Upon examination I noticed that his muscles on the left side of his spine were inflamed and his calf muscles were bulging particularly on the left side. What kind of exercise had he been doing? He told me he was a runner and that he used to skateboard a lot and that was why his left calf was over-developed. Considering that Chiropractic treatments earlier in the week did not provide him enough relief, I decided to do an acupressure test on him. I massaged deeply on the left hamstring and calf muscles to see what his response would be on his back. To my excitement he reported that the muscle tension in his back improved. This was a good clue to do more. So I worked deep into the soft tissue of his legs and glutes bilateral. Then I had him turn over to release the iliopsoas muscle group. These are hip flexor muscles that can cause back pain. His psoas muscles were painfully tight. First I released them with a distal acupuncture point in the foot so I could release them manually in the lower abdomen without causing so much discomfort. It is interesting and amazing to press on a tight psoas muscle (located in the lowest part of the abdomen near the inguinal groove) and have the patient feel intense pain and then put a needle in the foot (GB41 if you really want to know) and have the same psosas muscle area be significantly softer and relaxed instantly. Patients upon feeling this change will say something like "Wow! How can a needle in my foot help my psoas like that." For which I respond, That is the mystery and magic of Acupuncture. To fully relax the person and further soften the back I performed acupuncture. The patient walked out feeling good.

This kind of treatment outcome could not be achieved by acupuncture alone yet happens everyday in our office to people looking for natural solutions to thier health care concerns.