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Archive for the ‘acupuncture’ tag

Age and Fertility

By David Kreiner MD

February 2nd, 2015 at 4:23 pm

 

credit: photostock/free digital photos.net


You’ve heard the “Reproductive Bell” toll and may question “Is it real?”…

You see celebrities getting pregnant well into their 40’s and think “Then why can’t I?” So, is your reproductive clock as critical as modern doctors say?

I have come across fertility advice from non-physician practitioners, such as acupuncturists and Chinese herbalists, who encourage their patients to “question the Western dogma” when it comes to age and fertility. They claim the effect of aging and fertility is “exaggerated by the Medical profession and can be overcome with a shift in an individual’s health and lifestyle”.

Unfortunately, this advice comes without any cited research or statistics in support of it.  According to the Society of Assisted Reproductive Technology, as published on SART.org, a review of the 2012 national statistics, those most recently published of IVF cycles started, the age breakdown for IVF live birth rates are the following:

 

Age <35= 40.2%

 

Age 35-37=31.3%

 

Age 38-40=22.2%

 

Age 41-42=11.8%

 

Age >42=3.2%

 

It is true that a woman’s health and physiology gets worse as she gets older.  Some of these non- physician practitioners argue that perhaps if this can be improved then the diminishing fertility commonly seen with aging can be reversed. But though improving a woman’s general health may help it is not sufficient in most cases.  Fertility rates decrease with increasing age in large part because there is an increase in genetic abnormalities found in gametes (eggs and sperm) as patients (women in particular) age.  This is the result of long-term environmental exposure to toxins, in addition to the increased likelihood of genetic damage over time.  Miscarriage rates increase with age for the same reason in large part due to the greater likelihood of embryos having chromosomal abnormalities.

Many women as they age also will experience a significant drop in their ovarian activity, referred to as diminished ovarian reserve.  This activity can be assessed by your physician with a blood level of Anti Mullerian Hormone (AMH) and day 3 FSH and estradiol levels.  Women with lower AMH levels and elevated FSH in the presence of a normal low estradiol have fewer ovarian follicles, and hence eggs, that will respond to ovarian stimulation.  Since the likelihood of these eggs being genetically normal is less, then fertility is reduced and the probability of IVF and other fertility treatments resulting in a live birth becomes significantly lower.

The challenge to any practitioner dealing with an aging patient attempting to conceive is to optimize their patient’s chance to have a healthy baby which optimally would include an integration of multiple modalities.  Therefore, ideally a physician specially trained in the fertility process (a Reproductive Endocrinologist), should implement state-of-the-art Western therapies with a complementary holistic approach that aims to shift their patient’s health and fertility.  These holistic approaches include diet and lifestyle changes as well as fertility-directed acupuncture and herbal therapy treatments.

Lifestyle changes that may improve fertility primarily include those that reduce stress and improve diet and activity.  Stress at work, at home, and with family and friends can create pathology from both Eastern and Western perspectives.  Diets that do not support adequate blood production or create Eastern patterns of cold or heat can affect fertility.  Excesses or deficiencies of particular foods…such as dairy, fat, or grains… can create imbalances or pathology that may affect fertility or result in obesity or malnutrition which also impact reproduction.

Inactivity may impair fertility. Therefore some level of exercise, combined with an improved diet directed at improving fertility, stress reduction techniques, acupuncture, and supplements (which may include Chinese Herbs as well as Western supplements) will optimize your chances of successfully building your family.

The first step is to seek help from a reproductive endocrinologist skilled in state-of-the-art fertility therapies who can coordinate a program which is ideal for you. But if you are hearing the “Reproductive Bell” tolling, it is important to take that first step soon, because, while these many complementary approaches can optimize your fertility, they may not be enough to overcome the reality of the negative effect of advanced age in fertility.

Long Island IVF offers complementary holistic approaches to achieving pregnancy (See our Mind-Body Program http://www.longislandivf.com/mind_body.cfm ) as well as a well-respected Donor Egg Program http://www.longislandivf.com/donor_programs.cfm  with no wait for pre-screened, multi-ethnic donor eggs, or Donor Embryos.

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Has the increased visibility of older celebrity moms getting pregnant made you think you have more time? Have you considered combining Western and Eastern medicine in your family-building treatment?

 

 

http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/Younger_Women_g57-Young_Woman_Holding_Clock_p49428.html

 

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Infertility and TCM: Part 11: The Answer My Friend Is Blowin’ in the Wind

By David Kreiner MD

September 8th, 2014 at 5:49 pm

 

credit: stuart miles/freedigitalphotos.net


According to the ancient Chinese text, “The Yellow Emperor’s Inner Classic (Huangdi Neijing, 黃帝內經) “, written about two thousand years ago, the emperor Han asked his physician minister why his people in one town were all sick with colds but not elsewhere in the empire.  The wise minister, credited for accumulating and developing much of what is considered Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), answered almost in song…”the answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind…the answer is blowin’ in the wind”.

The common cold as we know it in Western Medicine is caused by viruses of a variety of types and species.  Today in Western Medicine, we have the capability of identifying the specific affecting virus.  TCM focuses on the syndrome of symptoms the patient exhibits from his/her illness.  The “common cold” typically causes fever and chills, headache, perhaps body aches, nasal congestion and mucus and avoidance of cold.  TCM since the time of Emperor Han and before has classified this set of symptoms as the Wind Cold… caused by “bugs” carried by the wind… which attacks the exterior of the body through the nose and the skin.  The wind pathogen invades the body surface which is blocked by the defending Wei Qi that as a result of the attack stagnates causing the fever.  The Wei Qi is also responsible to warm the body so as it is weakened by the pathogens it will induce chills in the affected individual.

Over the course of hundreds of generations, various herbs… which may include parts of a variety of plant species, animal species and minerals… have been observed to diminish the course of the illness as well as ameliorate the symptoms.  These herbs are prepared in numerous different ways depending on the illness and symptoms being treated, but often include cooking and drinking the finished product as a type of tea.  In the case of the Wind Cold, a feature of the herbal decoction, Ma huang tang, is to induce sweating in an effort to expel the affecting pathogen through the skin pores.  Acupuncture applied to specific points of the body can also induce sweating and “release of the exterior” pathogen so that it is eliminated from the infected superficial layers of the body.

In TCM, a variation of the common cold that is notable for inducing more fever than chills, a sore throat, and sweating is referred to as the Wind Heat.  Treatment, like for the Wind Cold, includes “releasing the exterior” as the pathogens are attacking the superficial layers much like they do with the Wind Cold.  However, therapy utilizes cooling herbs rather than warming herbs.  In TCM, the nature of a syndrome was established in conjunction with the development of an effective treatment.  Since, the “cooling” herbs were noted to benefit patients beset with the Wind Heat, not only did the treatment become standard, but it helped define the syndrome itself.  This is the way syndromes and treatments become established in TCM over the course of generations of experience.

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Do you use herbal teas or other herbal treatments to help prevent or recover from colds and flu? What do you use and has it helped?

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Score a Free Ticket to Our Free IVF Door Prize Event

By David Kreiner MD

August 15th, 2014 at 9:35 pm

There are two separate events next Saturday, August 23 and while they are both being hosted by Long Island IVF and the Tinina Q. Cade Foundation, they are very different.

The first is a free public educational forum at the Jericho Public Library called “Different Pathways Toward Parenthood”. The second event, “Dancing for the Family” begins later that evening at Dance With Me Long Island studios in Glen Head, and it requires a ticket.

Here’s how you might score a free general admission ticket (valued at $65) to the Dancing for the Family event.

Show up at 1pm on August 23rd at the Jericho Public Library for The Cade Foundation and Long Island IVF’s free seminar on fertility and adoption including medical, legal, psychological, donor and acupuncture services.

As a teaser I am showing you the medical version. Watch this video carefully before the seminar. http://youtu.be/BCOuAPckKVI

I will ask a question at the seminar that comes from this video.

The first individual who answers correctly wins a free ticket to our fabulous event…“Dancing for the Family”… later that same evening. This infertility benefit is being held at Maks, Val and Tony’s (from Dancing with the Stars®) Dance With Me Studio in Glen Head, Long Island from  6- 9 pm. It includes dance lessons, drinks, hors d’oeuvres, desserts, and a silent auction. One attendee will win a free IVF cycle door prize donated by Long Island IVF.

For more information or to purchase tickets in advance, go here: http://bit.ly/1p8hDZ9

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Will we see you at our events next weekend?

 

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Long Island IVF Presents at Free Public Family-Building Forum

By Tracey Minella

August 13th, 2014 at 10:04 am

Long Island IVF is excited to be part of The Tinina Q. Cade Foundation’s free public event on the afternoon of August 23, 2014 at the Jericho Public Library entitled:

Different Pathways Toward Parenthood: An Educational Panel on Overcoming Infertility

This educational event… designed to further the Cade Foundation’s mission of helping families overcome infertility… will feature a panel of five experts in various fields related to family-building, including:

David Kreiner, MD:  Fertility specialist and Reproductive Endocrinologist, Long Island IVF

Carolyn Berger, LCSW: Mental Health Care Provider

Amy Demma, Esq.: Attorney and expert in third party fertility contracts

Jim Vitale, Suffolk County Acupuncture

Timothy Sutfin, New Beginnings Adoption Agency

 

There are many ways to build a family and if you or someone you know would like to know more, you will want to register for and attend this free event to be held at the Jericho Public Library, located at 1 Merry Lane Jericho, NY from 1:00-3:00 pm on Saturday August 23, 2014. And after learning so much about family-building, you may want to kick back and enjoy a fun night out… so be sure to read the bold message at the bottom of this post!

To register for this free educational afternoon event, visit: https://cadelongislandoutreach.eventbrite.com Questions may be directed to the Cade Foundation at (443)896-6504.

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The fun continues…

In addition, those interested in winning a free IVF cycle from Long Island IVF might want to attend a very special infertility fundraiser that same evening, from 6:00-9:00 pm. Long Island IVF and Cade host “Dancing for the Family” at the beautiful Dance With Me Long Island® studio that is home to Dancing with the Stars® champion dancers, in Glen Head, NY. Have a professional dance lesson and dance the night away, enjoying drinks, hors d’oeuvres, desserts and a silent auction for only $65 (or $100 VIP). One lucky attendee will win a Free IVF cycle, valued at approximately $10,000. The cycle is transferable once (subject to certain restrictions), so bring all your friends and family to increase your odds of winning. Tickets are limited so buy yours today. For details and to purchase your tickets to the evening’s dance event, click here: http://bit.ly/1p8hDZ9

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Will we see you at the free event? Do you have any questions you’d like Dr. Kreiner to answer?

 

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Infertility and TCM: Part 9: Tong Bing Yi Zhi.

By David Kreiner MD

June 29th, 2014 at 8:34 am

 

image courtesy of stuart miles/ freedigitalphotos.net

According to Western Medicine, a particular disease is caused by a specific pathogen and the Western Medicine treatment is directed at that pathogenic factor. However, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) recognizes that two people may react differently to that same pathogen.  They refer to this as Tong Bing Yi Zhi.  For example, in one individual the symptoms may appear as Damp heat syndrome and in another as Yin deficiency with false heat syndrome. In TCM, despite the common pathogen, patients would be treated differently depending on the syndrome identified. Syndrome identification is based on 4 diagnostic methods: inquiring, palpation, inspection and listening/smelling. This information is gathered and analyzed to identify the syndrome that a patient is experiencing.

 

On the other hand, two people with two different Western diagnoses such as menopause and hyperthyroidism may experience the same TCM syndrome from their respective pathologic conditions, Yin deficiency with false heat. This is also referred to as Tong Bing Yi Zhi.  In this case it refers to treating different diseases the same because they result in the same TCM syndrome.  In the first case TCM treats the same disease differently because as a result of the varying natures and constitutions of patients the symptoms resulting from the same pathologic condition often varies. To clarify, we do not need to know in TCM what diseases the patients have. We treat them according to TCM by their syndrome diagnosis.

Syndromes are differentiated based on several different factors. There are eight principles of paired opposing conditions including; Exterior and Interior, Cold and Heat, Deficiency and Excess, and Yin and Yang. These general principles are the basis for categorizing all the syndromes. The other syndromes are differentiated according one of the following  theories such as; Qi, blood and body fluids, the theory of the Zang-Fu organs, the theory of the six channels or meridians of Qi, the four levels of heat invasion, and the three burners or sections of the body.

It is through the four diagnostic methods above that the practitioner identifies the syndrome affecting the patient. He/she will choose the particular treatment specific for the syndrome modified by the age and health of the patient. This can include Tui-Na massage, acupuncture, moxibustion, cupping, and herbal medicine all directed at specific points in the body depending on the syndrome.

To me, as a Western physician trained to direct treatment for a particular pathogen or disease, I am very attracted to differentiating treatment based on its specific effect on the individual patient. We know that the same disease can have different resulting effects on people and that different diseases can affect some individuals in the same way. Therefore, the concept of directing therapy based on the effect the pathogenic factor has on the individual appears to me to be an effective way to treat a patient. If a physician were to combine the Western pathogen-directed therapy with TCM treatment based on the syndrome affecting the individual then the East-West combination therapy I believe should be most ideal.

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Does the Western pathogen-based treatment plan seem sufficient or does the idea of blending it with Eastern principles of syndrome-based treatment seem like it’d be a complementary bonus?

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TCM and Infertility Part 6: TCM Pathogens of Wind, Cold, Heat, Dampness, Dryness, Phlegm and Emotion

By David Kreiner MD

April 18th, 2014 at 10:27 pm

 

credit: stuart miles/freedigitalphotos.net


Welcome, to my new world where I often feel like Robert A. Heinlein’s “Stranger in a Strange Land”.  

UnIike Heinlein’s protagonist, I am not accustomed to eating the bodies of the dead (though some natural holistic purists may consider this act the ultimate in sustainability.)  But to the previously unexposed who’ve been brought up from a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) perspective, perhaps some of the Western Medical physicians’ practices may appear a bit barbaric.

In our recent Western Medical history such practices as lobotomy for psychological disorders, certain hard core diet therapies including high risk bowel resection surgery, and nearly routine hysterectomies for perimenopausal women would be considered potentially dangerous malpractice today.  However, if we thought drastic high-risk unnecessary medicine were a thing of the past, then consider the fact that excessive plastic surgery and some other unnecessary current Western therapies are more common now and have resulted in occasional deaths and disfigurement. 

Greed is a strong motivator and is one of the ills pervading our society… and the health care field has not been immune to its seduction.  Greed too often factors into determining the direction of treatment for individuals today.  Corporate greed is the reason insurance companies fail to cover many in need of health care and force physicians to see more patients than they have time to care for.  It is also a reason some providers order and perform some expensive and potentially risky tests and procedures.  

Western Medicine has had its share of iatrogenic disasters, yet I have seen many ill or infertile patients reap the benefits as a result of modern Western Medicine.  Even so, I as well as other physicians am left without answers all too often to explain or cure some of the complaints we hear from our patients.  For this reason I study TCM to learn its explanations and its treatments for some of these common ailments and complaints that elude the expertise of the Western physician.

I have been involved in the health care field for 37 years and I am quite comfortable communicating about pathogens such as bacteria and viruses and parasites and about pathophysiologic processes such as atherosclerotic heart disease, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, pelvic inflammatory disease and endometriosis to name a few.   Today, as I study Traditional Chinese Medicine, I now read and speak an additional language.  

The pathogens of TCM are Wind, Cold, Heat, Summer Heat, Dryness and Dampness, Phlegm and an individual’s emotions.  They may attack from outside the body such as wind cold (the equivalent to the common viral cold) or internally as a result of a disharmony among one or more of the organ systems.  Emotions such as Grief and sadness, anger, fear, worry and even joy according to TCM can be pathogenic when carried to an excess and lead to a disharmony of an organ system or to a blockage of the flow of Qi which can result in dampness and other pathologic events or pathogens. 

These pathogens are the “root” cause of the individual’s disharmony resulting in the manifestations or symptoms.  For example, complaints such as fever, cough, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, etc. ., are the result of these pathogens.  Interestingly, ancient Chinese texts refer to insects or bugs as being carried by the wind as a cause of some syndromes such as the Wind Cold referred to earlier.

There are also multiple ways to categorize and classify pathologic syndromes. They may be classified as cold or hot, internal or external, excessive or deficient or yin or yang conditions.  They may be identified as affecting one of the organ systems which are defined more based on their physiologic role from a traditional Chinese perspective rather than by their Western anatomic and physiologic identity that we learn in medical school.  There are four different layers of pathogenic attack from the most superficial to the deepest and most internal. There are even other theories of disease which may be used to classify pathology usually described as a disharmony affecting one or more organ systems.

The treatment prescription is based on the identified syndrome(s) and may be geared towards eliminating the root cause of the disease as well as the clinical manifestations and associated symptoms.  One may use acupuncture to tonify a particular weakened organ or Qi, yin or yang.  Acupuncture can eliminate heat or cold from one or more of the channels of Qi.  Or there may be excess body fluids in the form of edema, dampness or phlegm that needs to be eliminated.  Chinese herbal prescriptions are often given as an adjunct to the acupuncture to improve the efficacy of an individual’s treatment.

It does sound bizarre to this Western-trained physician, but I am impressed that the science of TCM has lasted thousands of years.  I imagine there must be something to this needling patients to modify the Qi in the body that has some benefit to the patients’ health and well-being.

I look forward to new adventures and greater understanding as I become more familiar navigating this strange land.

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Do you believe that TCM pathogens could be impacting your fertility?

 

 

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Infertility and TCM (Part 5) Channels and Points: TCM’s Gross Anatomy Equivalent

By David Kreiner MD

March 31st, 2014 at 2:05 pm

 

image courtesy of stuart miles/freedigital photos.net

 

As a new student in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and acupuncture one of the first and most important classes we must take is called “Channels and Points”. This to a former medical student is the TCM version of Gross Anatomy. Gross anatomy in medical school was my exciting introduction to the human body, essential to the study of medicine.  I owned the classic Gray’s Anatomy text which today is popularized by the TV show of the same name.  The course requires strict memorization of all the bones, nerves, ligaments, vessels and organs in the body.

Likewise, “Channels and Points” requires the memorization of the precise location of 365 points and the corresponding channels of Qi which course throughout the body and can be utilized in the practice of acupuncture.  How these channels and points relate to each other and to the different organs is important as that will also determine their usefulness in different clinical situations.  

It is believed that the location of the channels of Qi and their surface access points was discovered through centuries of observation of the existence of tender spots on the body during the course of disease.  Furthermore, it was observed that symptoms were alleviated when those points were stimulated by massage or heat.  

When a number of points became known, they were linked into groups with common characteristics and effects and hence a pathway for a channel was identified.  Knowledge accumulated over hundreds of generations documented in several ancient texts.  As information regarding the channels and points accumulated, theories evolved and often resulted in modifications of prior beliefs as more experience clarified more accurate placement and function of these channels and points.  

The first document that unequivocally described the channels and points in an organized system of diagnosis and treatment recognizable as acupuncture is The Yellow Emperor’s Inner Classic, dating from about 100 BCE. The information was presented in the form of questions posed by the Emperor, Huang Ti, and replies from his minister, Ch’i-Pai. The source of the text of his answers was likely a compilation of traditions handed down over centuries, presented in terms of the prevailing Taoist philosophy, and is still cited today in support of particular therapeutic techniques. There is evidence that acupuncture utilizing bronze, gold and silver needles was practiced around this time as well as moxibustion.  

A more contemporary view of the concepts of channels in which Qi flowed that was documented through the precise anatomical locations of acupuncture points developed later.  During the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644), The Great Compendium of Acupuncture and Moxibustion was published, which forms the basis of modern acupuncture. It includes descriptions of the full set of 365 points that represent superficial access to the channels through which needles could be inserted to modify the flow of Qi energy.

Unlike the bones, tendons, nerves and vessels of Gross Anatomy, the channels and points utilized in acupuncture do not have corresponding visible or palpable anatomic structures that may be identified in an effort to memorize.  These channels of Qi are not visible structures nor can they be felt through touching or palpation.  So how does the acupuncturist know where the surface access point is to direct his needle?  

The trained acupuncturist utilizes the surface anatomy such as bones, joints and ligaments to locate these acupoints.  The points typically are found between the ligaments, in bony crevices or between bones. Additionally, the body is divided into units of measure based on an individual’s own bone size.  The most basic unit, cun, is defined as the width of the individual patient’s thumb.  Two cun is the distance from second most distal or middle joint of the forefinger to the tip.  Three cun is the width of the forefinger to the pinky measured at the point of the middle joint of the fingers.  The arms are 9 cun from axilla to the transverse crease of the elbow and 12 cun from the elbow crease to the wrist crease.  The number of cun for every portion of the body is delineated so that the location of the acupoints is based on locating according to the distance by cun units from an identifiable spot on the surface anatomy of the patient and usually are found in between ligaments, bones or in the bony crevices which are palpated by the acupuncturist upon needle placement.  

There are also some points that are identifiable based on particular placement of the fingers and hands of either or both the acupuncturist and patient.  For example, if the acupuncturist places his finger on a patient’s styloid process then has the patient internally rotate his/her hand, the point is located where the acupuncturist’s finger ends up.  This point, currently my favorite, is Small Intestine (SI) 6 with the English name of Support for the Aged because it treats symptoms such as blurry vision, lumbar pain, neck pain and other aches and pains that affect individuals as they get older.  

Another critically important point and therefore given the distinction of being a Command Point for the head and nape of the neck is Large Intestine (LI) 7.  It is located when the acupuncturist places his/her index finger on the dorsal side of the patient’s hand and thumb on the ventral side in between the patient’s thumb and forefinger.  The acupuncturist will locate the point where the tip of his forefinger meets a groove in the anterior portion of the patient’s radius bone.  

How deep to place the needle and in what direction and angle are further issues to be learned another day.

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Are you finding this educational journey into TCM fascinating? Do you have any questions for Dr. Kreiner about this or any other TCM topic he has covered so far?

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TCM and Fertility: The Importance of Vital Substances and Maintaining Balance

By David Kreiner MD

March 20th, 2014 at 2:07 pm

 

image courtesy of stuart miles/free digital photos.net


Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has presented such a challenge to my Western scientific perspective that I neglected to define the basic principles on which TCM is based. 

 

TCM, and life itself, according to Chinese tradition which developed over the past three thousand years starts with the vital substances, Qi and Essence, in addition to blood and body fluids.  Our human physiological functioning is dependent on these vital substances which the body attempts to maintain in balance between Yin and Yang.  The Qi and Essence, blood and body fluids will interact and perform their essential roles throughout the body dependent on the Zang-Fu and “extraordinary” organs and the states of Yin and Yang while traveling through vessels, channels, and branches that interconnect with each other.

The concept of Qi comes from the Chinese Taoist philosophy that has been described as a “life force” but is actually an aggregate of ideas that we Western thinkers like to separate to better understand.  To our way of thinking it likely is a form of energy, or electric potential that crosses cell membranes as it traverses from one part of the body to another.  Chinese tradition identifies many different forms of Qi each with different functions affecting physiology and life.  The acupuncturist studies the channels through which Qi flows in the body to modify its flow for a particular purpose… whether to eliminate pain or improve an individual’s health, both of which may be impacted by some pathology of Qi level or flow.

Essence (Jing) is considered one of the three treasures of TCM, along with Qi and Shen (spirit).  Jing is stored in the kidneys according to TCM and nourishes and fuels the body.  There is Prenatal Essence which is supposedly inherited much like DNA and cannot be renewed.  It is responsible for an individual’s constitution and congenital illness. Postnatal Essence can be replenished by food, herbs, acupuncture, or exercise such as T’ai Chi.  Total Essence is made up of both Prenatal and Postnatal Essence and is responsible for growth, development, and reproduction.  Effects of aging may be caused by a deficiency or deterioration of one’s Essence.

In Chinese philosophy, the concept of Yin and Yang is used to describe opposite yet complementary forces that are both interdependent and interconnected and give rise to each other.  Yin and Yang interact in a dynamic way.  Whenever one quality reaches its peak, it will naturally transform into the other.  In TCM, good health is directly related to the balance between Yin and Yang qualities within oneself. If Yin and Yang become unbalanced, one of the qualities is considered be either deficient or in excess… which can lead to illness and disease.

The traditional Chinese concept of human organs, known as Zang-Fu and “extraordinary organs”, are not primarily based on anatomical considerations.  They instead are defined as functional entities with a general location in the upper, middle, or lower Jiao separated by the diaphragm and the umbilicus.  The three Jiao (San Jiao) together is considered a functional organ in TCM and… in addition to separating the other organs into three cavities including chest, upper abdomen and lower abdomen… it functions in the transport of Qi and body fluids.  These Zang-Fu and additional “extraordinary” organs are interconnected with each other through channels of Qi in addition to vessels containing blood and body fluids.  As a result, a problem in one organ can affect the functioning of another.

TCM differs from Western Medicine mostly in its holistic approach as compared to our Western reductionist way of scientific thinking.  Disease and illness according to TCM is a result of a disharmony in the functions of Yin and Yang, Qi and its pathways or meridians, the organs (Zang-Fu and “extraordinary”), Essence, and/or the interaction between the individual and his/her environment.  Therapy is based on which disharmony pattern is identified and may include behavioral modifications including diet and exercise, treatments including herbs, acupuncture, and moxibustion, as well as other interventions.

 

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What TCM concept explained above is most fascinating to you? Which would you like to learn more about?

 

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Infertility Podcast Series: Journey to the Crib: Chapter 4

By David Kreiner MD

March 4th, 2013 at 9:59 pm

Welcome to the Journey to the Crib Podcast.  We will have a blog discussion each week with each chapter.  This podcast covers Chapter Four: Where Do You Go? You, the listener, are invited to ask questions and make comments.  You can access the podcast here: http://podcast.longislandivf.com/?p=34

 

Where Do You Go?

 

I try to help the reader understand the published statistics offered online by SART, the national organization of IVF programs that provides a registry of IVF programs who submit their data for audit by SART.  Rates are offered with a numerator and a denominator with the critical goal of a live baby per retrieval or transfer being the most crucial statistic.

 

The benefits and disadvantages of large programs are discussed basically offering that larger programs tend to have more experienced and often skilled personnel albeit with more waiting time for monitoring.  Some programs may provide more personalized care, some more psychological or emotional support and some offer adjunctive therapies such as acupuncture and mind body programs.

 

I emphasize the importance of the embryology lab as well as the skill of the physician performing the embryo transfer.  The technique of the transfer is described including factors that I believe may affect success rates.

 

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Please share your thoughts about this podcast here.

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Is Multi-Tasking or Sleep Deprivation Affecting Your Fertility Efforts?

By Tracey Minella

July 16th, 2012 at 12:03 pm

If you are TTC, especially with medical intervention, chances are you’re totally overwhelmed. You may be struggling emotionally. Or juggling extra jobs to finance your treatments. Or both.

Maybe you keep extra busy to avoid focusing on the baby you don’t yet have or to avoid having to say “Yes” to another baby shower invitation. Maybe you don’t know how to say “No”, so you are beyond depressed by attending an endless string of baby-centered affairs for everyone else but you. Maybe you stay in simply because there’s no room for a vacation when there’s an IUI or IVF cycle draining your finances.

Those with secondary infertility are trying not to neglect the needs of one child as they focus on expanding their family, all while living in fertility limbo. Often unsupported by friends after having had baby success… and shunned by jealous primary infertility patients who may see their quest for a second child as greedy…secondary infertility patients may find themselves thrust into “justification mode” at any moment. Why should they have to explain that as much as they are grateful for one child, that they would love another one?

Well, banging at this keyboard on only two hours sleep (and having pulled an all-nighter two nights ago for the first time since my college days in the old millennium), I am acutely aware of the toll thatmy style of “extreme multi-tasking” takes on the body. Especially as we age. I’d need an IV of caffeine to make a difference today.

This is really not good. There are so many bodily functions that you mess with when you deprive yourself of sleep. I was a maniac back when I was TTC. Worked like a dog at three different jobs and only had 2 days off per month, every other Sunday. Obviously I was escaping from something. Or trying to. Looking back now, I wonder what role that crazy schedule may have had in the length of my journey.

How many of you are out there TTC, but doing too many tasks in your day?  

Maybe a good guideline to follow is to ask yourself: “Would I be doing all this stuff at this pace if I were pregnant?”

Hey Superwoman! I urge you to STOP and re-evaluate your to-do list. Now. Please knock-off whatever tasks you can afford to for the benefit of your health and conception efforts. Get some rest. Maybe do some meditation. Better yet, give Long Island IVF’s Bina Benisch a call to learn about how the Mind/Body Program and therapy sessions may help you through this difficult time http://www.longislandivf.com/mind_body.cfm.

Do not make me come after you with a block of Kryptonite!

If you never sleep, you’ll never dream. And if you don’t dream, how can your dreams come true? 

* * * * * * * **  **

Confession time: Name one (or 10) things you did this week that you know you shouldn’t have done because it pushed you too far mentally, emotionally, physically or financially?  Fess up. Did you forget, lose, or break something because you were rushing or too tired and not “on your game”? And let us know how many hours you sleep each night and if you feel it’s enough, too little, or too much.

 

Photo credit: http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=15614&picture=headache

 

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