Monday, March 26, 2007

Acupuncture and Infertility: Here's How It Worked For This Couple.

I have treated a goodly number of people seeking support for infertility. About 95% of the time, I see women coming in with various degrees of imbalance, leading to a Western Medical diagnosis of Infertility.

Just to set the record straight, a disproportionate number of women assume responsibility for infertility issues, regardless of their male partner's fertility status. I seen many women in the clinic, who tell me that everything checks out just fine for them, no diagnosed impediments to infertility from their side....but, they have a husbands with low sperm count/poor motility/ odd morphology, etc...and then the conversation wraps up with something like this:

"And, Bob doesn't really believe in acupuncture, so I figured I would try it to see if it maybe won't help out somehow."

Statistically, 10-15% of all couples experience infertility at some point (with infertility defined as "absence of pregnancy after one year of unprotected intercourse").

Male factor infertility happens 30% of the time, female factor infertility 35% of the time, 15% of the time it is both the man and woman involved, and 20% of the time it is "Idiopathic", or "without a known cause".

So, if the guys aren't getting checked out, there's a 30% chance that everyone is overlooking the cause! So, get with the program fellas, and make sure the boys can swim! And if they swim, but not as well as they could, or there aren't as many as there could be, then consider getting some acupuncture treatments to boost your vital energy and give yourself the best chances at sneaking one past the goalie.

I digress...

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) there really isn't such a condition as "Infertility". There are obstacles that hamper fertility, and there's sterility, but there's not such a diagnosis as infertility.

Things that can block vital energy flow, or disrupt a health circulation of blood and fluids in the body might include: poor diet, lack of exercise, too much stress, worrying too much, being frustrated or angry, and not getting enough sleep. There are many more reasons, but these are frequent contributors.

A qualified practitioner, Licensed in Acupuncture, can interpret your body's signals, indicating where your particular imbalances are, and how they can be unblocked, opened and restored to promote an enhanced level of fertility in your body.

How can a person interpret your body's signals? By feeling your pulse, asking you questions, looking at your tongue for variations in tissue color, moisture and coating. All of these and more types of clues are given from all of us, and if you know how to interpret them, you can understand where imbalances are, and how they can be balanced.

If you are interested in learning more about this, bookmark this blog and check in again over the next few days, as I will be adding three more case studies that help illustrate how acupuncture works, for whom it works, and how it might work for you, if you are trying to support your own fertility, at the moment.

Case Study: Inability to conceive for three years: natural conception with TCM.

"Cathy", 24 years old. Has been trying to conceive naturally since 9/2000. No structural issues with her reproductive system, husband's sperm count and motility are fine. Cathy has irregular menstrual cycles, with long time lapses between periods. Periods are light in flow, with complaints of pre-menstrual symptoms (breast distention/tenderness, and irritability). She also complained of feeling tired, and has a job that demands a great deal of mental focus. She also complained of feeling bloated after meals.

Her health intake revealed a habit of drinking iced water and chewing on ice chips throughout the day. Otherwise, diet and exercise fell within acceptable ranges, and stress levels were moderate (although escalating with desire to conceive without results).

A few items stand out in this case. Cathy has irregular menstrual cycles with missed periods and scanty menstrual flow when her periods occur--she also has a history of excessive consumption of iced beverage/ice chips.

She is bloated and tired and has a lot of mental energy pouring out for her job and concerns of not conceiving.

These observations lead us to immediately think of the Spleen energy. Remember, the Spleen will be damaged by cold foods and beverages, over-thinking/worry; a weak Spleen will not be effective in Building Blood and nourishing the uterine lining.

Because her periods are so light, it indicates her Spleen is unable to Build Blood fast enough to prepare her for monthly menstrual cycles.

Cathy's treatment was aimed at supporting her Spleen by replacing cold beverages with room temperature water and warm herbal tea, and using both acupuncture and herbal medicine to increase her Spleen's function. We began once-weekly acupuncture sessions and herbal treatment, and modified her dietary habits slightly.

Result: By our seventh treatment together, Cathy noticed she had spotted briefly, but had not had her period. She had ovulated twelve days prior and felt a different sense of breast distention. By our eighth week of treatment, Cathy's pregnancy test confirmed that she was pregnant. We started treatments 12-15-05 and achieved a positive result by 1-27-06.

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

It's Spring (Are You Sneezing Yet?)

Being that it is "officially" spring, you can bet your bippie that some folks will soon be cursing the blooming flora (between sneezes), tearing into box after box of aloe-coated Kleenex, wondering when the spores, pollen and other airborne irritants will stop tap dancing on their sinuses.

Well, it's a real problem.

A few things I would like to pass along that might just save you a few weeks of feeling like a cross between Jimmy Durante and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

First off, invest in a Neti Pot. This is a small, genie-lamp looking device, in either porcelain or plastic, that holds about 4 ounces of salt-water, which you mix to a ration perfectly suited to match your body's salinity. The Neti Pots come with usage and mixing directions, so there's no need to get into that here.

What the Neti Pot does: it allows you to pour salt water into your sinus cavities, via your nostrils, and it effectively flushes out pollens and allergens that stick to your mucous membranes and lodge in the sinuses, causing irritation. They work great for colds, too, and cost around $20.00.

Another tip: acupuncture (no pun intended). I see acupuncture work very well clinically to support a person's tolerance to allergens, improve immune function and open sinus congestion. If you are looking for an acupuncturist in your area, make sure-sure-sure that the person is a "Licensed Acupuncturist". Many states allow other health professionals, with very little training, to perform acupuncture, which most often includes Chiropractors and MD's.

If you are going to a DC or MD, make sure that person is also Licensed (not "credentialed") in acupuncture.

And yet another tip: herbal supplements. I have a herbal blend I like to use for allergy support that I sell via my own herbal product line (Miley Labs "Aller-7 Plus"). It is a good choice for people interested in a standardized-potency herbal solution to over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription medication.

The supplement I use is blend of herbs traditionally used in Indo-Chino, that span pharmacopoeia of both Ayurvedic and Chinese Herbal Medicine.

If you are interested in this type of product, it is best to take it a couple weeks before you normally begin to suffer allergies, which may be around mid-April in my home state of Minnesota. Then, you should continue to take the supplements until the pollen counts simmer down, which might be toward the later part of May, around here.

If you want me to ship a one-month supply of our supplement out to you, just give me a call at my office and we'll take care of that for you (Acupuncture&Natural Health, 1-888-656-1515 toll free), and for about $1.00 per day, you could see significant relief from your itchy eyes and runy nose this allergy season.

You repeat this same process again in the autumn, when leaves fall, molds form, and some of the late bloomers bloom.

Quick and Dirty Bonus Tip: Find a local honey producer, one that sells unheated, "raw" honey gathered from an area within a 25 mile radius from your home, and take about 2 Tablespoons of this daily, starting about one month ahead of "allergy season".

Why do this? Bees gather nectar to condense into honey, and in the process, pick up pollen that sticks to their legs and bodies, which is how they pollinate other flowers. Some of the pollen from their legs gets mixed into the nectar, and eventually winds up in your honey.

Raw honey, from a local producer, therefore, contains small amount of pollen that you can eat, which exposes your body to the allergens. Over time, and via repeated exposure, you will increase your tolerance to the allergens/pollens in your honey. When you encounter these allergens in the spring, you will have increased your resistance to them, and should have a reduced allergic response.

This concept follows the same ideas as homeopathic medicine, FYI.

Here's a link to an article about how allergies can be mitigated with natural medicine.

Happy reading.

Alternative medicine helps with allergies -

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Why Animals Don't Believe In Acupuncture, And How That Helps Them.

I have been in private practice as a Licensed Acupuncturist now for close to eight years. Over and over, people ask me if acupuncture is entirely a psychosomatic/placebo effect/"you have to believe in it or it won't work" type of treatment?

Frequently, I answer this question by pointing out that acupuncture works very with animals. As far as we can tell, animals don't have a reason to believe acupuncture will work-- therefore, animals are a good measure against which we can gauge acupuncture efficacy, demonstrating that it provides therapeutic results, independent from any placebo effect.

As an aside, I observe that acupuncture works maybe "better" when a person is open to it working--read: "believes" it can work.

Why would that be a surprise?

We are, after all, working with the entire System: the Mind, the Body and the Other-than-Mind-or-Body.

So, why not approach acupuncture with an open mind?

If you are going to go forward with acupuncture treatments, why go through it kicking and screaming? That energy could be directed toward helping your body achieve a positive change in your health imbalance.

Here's a good article for you to read, that has a happy ending for a dog, its owner and all points in-between.

Click here now to read the full story:

Animal acupuncture is growing trend - Albuquerque Tribune

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Monday, March 19, 2007

Too Much Stomach Acid? Acid Reflux? Your Doctor May Be Treating The Wrong Problem, And Doesn't Even Know It.

If you watch any form of television these days, it seems that pharmaceutical ads bombard us with maladies that might make you wonder if you, too, couldn't benefit from the Little Purple Pill, or need a Luminescent Butterfly to flutter around your room at night, encouraging you to drop off into Dreamland.

This article, posted by The Olympian Online, gives you a good perspective about investigating your own health imbalances, and asking well-reasoned questions to your MD, before you go out and get your indefinitely prescribed dose of an acid-blocking drug.

Here's the start of the article:

Doctor explains the myths of digestion

If you pay attention to TV commercials for acid-blockers such as Zantac, you'd think stomach acid is the Darth Vader of all substances and that it must be suppressed at all costs.

Got nasty problems such as heartburn, acid reflux, bloating, gas, indigestion or constipation? You have too much stomach acid, the commercials say. You must shut it down by adding your cold cash to the other $8 billion or so annually spent on over-the-counter or prescription acid-blocker medications.

But that solution is completely backward, says Dr. Jonathan Wright, a natural medicine guru who practices at the Tahoma Clinic in Renton. Wright is keynote speaker April 21 at the Puget Sound Wellness Association's third annual Healing Arts Expo at the Worthington Center at Saint Martin's University in Lacey...

For the rest of the story, please click this link now:

Doctor explains the myths of digestion - Living - The Olympian - Olympia, Washington

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Acupuncture Punishes Migraine Headaches

Migraine suffers: read this German study conducted to test how effective acupuncture is (or isn't) in reducing the misery of having a migraine.

If you have migraines and routinely take some of the strong perscription medications to control your discomfort, this article will give you something to consider, if you are contemplating whether or not to look into acupuncture for controlling your migraine patterns.

Here's the study, as posted on Web MD:

March 1, 2006 -- Acupuncture may be as good as prescription drugs in preventing migraines -- even if sham acupuncture is used, German researchers report.

Their study, published in The Lancet's online edition, included more than 400 people who had two to six migraines per month. Participants got one of three treatments:

  • Daily drug therapy, with beta-blockers as the first choice
  • Sham acupuncture, with needles placed in spots not used in real acupuncture
  • Real acupuncture

All three groups had fewer days of migraines during the 26-week study. Both types of acupuncture were similar to drug therapy in reducing migraine days...

(For the full article, please click this link, which will re-direct you to the WebMD webpage)

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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

"Wii" are the champions, my friends.

If you don't know what a Nitendo "Wii" is by now, then you must:
A.) Be over 35 years old.
B.) Not be around kids (ages eight or older).
C.) Both

Don't feel bad. I am closing in on forty, and if my nephews didn't have a Wii then I would still be in the dark, too.

I don't have much to say about the Wii, except that I had a played some video games with it, and I just kept saying, "Wow, this is so weird! This is really weird. That's weird." You get the idea.

Oh! If you don't know what a Wii is, it's a new type of at-home video game that allows a player to hold a small "remote control" sized device in her hand, and by moving that device around, her movements are transferred to her "player" on the television, such that when she moves (in real life), her digital player moves (in the same way, on screen).

For example, if you are playing tennis (as I did), you would find yourself looking at a tennis court on the t.v. screen, with a digital player representing you and another digital player representing your opponent. In my case, I was playing tennis against a computer controlled tennis champion named "Mitchell", whom my nephews named and created as one of the many choices of a worthy opponent.

When the tennis match starts, you stand in front of the t.v. in a tennis playing stance, ready to hit the ball, serve the ball, or respond however the tennis shot dictates. When you are supposed to hit the ball, you just swing your hand with the control, in the same motion you would for a backhand or whatever stroke you'd need for returning the shot, and the computer makes your character hit the ball using the stroke you used.

You do need to change your stance and footwork to get the shots right, so you really look like you're on the court. And, yes, you do need to move your furniture out of the way and clear space around you to accommodate your high level of frenetic-ism.

It's weird!

You feel like you are really playing tennis, watching your little virtual figure hit the ball back and forth with the virtual opponent. I found myself getting into the swing of things, if you'll pardon a bad pun, and actually worked up a bit of a sweat playing tennis in the basement.

So, what's the point of mentioning this?

I think the point might be, video games are moving into a generation of development that is making it possible to interact with them on a level that engages you enough to make you feel you are really doing the activity, or playing the sport, to the degree that you find yourself getting a workout out of the deal .

Imagine skiing, playing tennis, shooting hoops--getting you workout in, without really realizing you are getting your workout.

Granted, it's not the same as jogging outside, or playing tennis "for real", but it could just be interesting enough to get couch potatoes moving and might be a fun way to get inactive video gaming kids into some level of interaction and physical activity.

Other applications for interactive video gaming will likely continue to develop in the areas of injury rehabilitation and physical therapy. Imagine, you are recovering from a sports injury and as part of your recovery you are given drills that make you feel like you are back on the field, or on the court, or skiing down the race course.

Patients receiving hip or knee replacements could take a virtual walk through a summertime garden, complete with virtual flowers and honeybees, no matter what the weather or season is like outside. This could prove beneficial as a means of getting people moving and enjoying aspects of their recovery.

While the video gaming culture may popularize Wii-like technologies, I believe some of their benefits will spill over mainstream culture in some of the ways I just mentioned.

There's always the risk that alternate realities created via interactive gaming will develop more appeal for some than, say....reality. But that's always the case. If you think otherwise, I have three little words for you: Dungeons and Dragons.

See? Case settled.

If we create alternate realities as a means of escaping our human condition, then we will be running from ourselves, which is not so hot--or so new. Haven't we been doing that all the while? Creating distractions that keep us from the bigger issues, bigger problems? Don't we enjoy running toward a new distraction more than we do sitting with issues that need to be resolved?

Politics, environment, religion, marriage, family, equality--you name it. There are so many things that need to be worked on, that it's easy to just toss your hands up in the air and go check out the latest addition to high-definition television technology.

What does that say about us? What does that say about where we, on top of the food chain, are heading? I think it says we'd better wake up, but what do I know about plasma televisions?

All I can say is, if you find yourself taking a virtual vacation to the ocean because the real oceans are un-swimmable and polluted, it's high time you ditch your Wii-device and get over to Greenpeace, where spinning protest-rich circles around whaling ships in a rubber raft (at which harpoons are being launched, I might add) would definitely provide as much excitement as any virtual gaming device could ever hope to match (I would think...) and you might just do the planet some good, in the mean time.

Well enough of the moral high-ground. I'd better run along. Mitchell just won the last set, and we're going for the best two out of three.

Wish me luck!

Until Wii meet again....


P.S. If you want to get a better look at a Wii, this link should do the trick:

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Fluoride in your water? It is not as safe as you think.

Fluoride is one of the chemicals added to drinking water in almost 70% of the municipal/metropolitan water source across the United States.

Most of us have the feeling that fluoride is something we should be taking to keep our teeth healthy. We've been told fluoride prevents cavity formation, protects our teeth, and must be of value if just about every commercially available toothpaste contains it. Right?

Well, let's re-think this for a minute, starting with this question: what is fluoride?

"Fluoride" (as we think of it) for drinking water is most often delivered in a form known scientifically as "silicofluoride".

Silicofluorides are an industrial waste by-product generated by the manufacture of phosphate fertilizers. The wet scrubbing systems of phosphate fertilizer manufacturing facilities captures the silicofluorides destined for your water faucets, which is also rich in additional contaminants such as lead, arsenic and other offending toxins.
(For more information, see:

Then, this whole batch of chemical by-products is dumped into your drinking water supply, at about one part per million. Even if one part per million sounds whimpy, it results in a yearly infusion of about 200,000 tons of silicofluorides into the our nation's water supply, just to ensure that we are getting our therapeutic levels of fluoride.

And what are the therapeutic levels of fluoride?

Who knows!
It's never been determined. It really hasn't.

So how can you be sure you're getting enough, or not too much?

Again. Who knows!

If fact, nobody can say for sure that silicofluorides are even safe for human consumption (but you've likely already had a pretty good dose of them in your morning coffee).

The truth is, no human consumption trials have been adequately conducted to determine how safe silicofluorides are (or aren't).

I suppose common sense might lead one to think that a fertilizer by-product, along with lead, arsenic, would just be plain old bad news added into our water supply, for any reason, let alone for daily consumption. But, like I said, it has not been officially tested for safe levels, so there you have it.

If you want to see for yourself, check out this letter written to a Dartmouth College researcher, sent from the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), responding to the researcher's request for proof that Silicofluoride was proven safe for human health and behavior (

Look. In 1950 it seemed like the right thing to do, adding fluoride to the water, because it was believed that young children needed fluoride to protect their teeth, and the best way to protect teeth was to have kids take fluoride before their teeth even emerged from their gum-lines.

Well, we now have enough material written on the subject of fluoride to understand that its topical application, directly to the teeth, in small doses (i.e. toothpaste) provides more that enough protection to the teeth. We don't need to be drinking fluoride in every glass of water, every day, for years and years to obtain any increased level of protection from cavities.

In fact, we are likely harming our health by our systemic intake of fluoride, yet over 140,000 people in the United States are doing just that, each and every day.

And, if you think fluoride is not at least "suspected" to be toxic to one's system, pick up a tube of fluoridated toothpaste and read the warning about keeping this product out of the reach of children, and how children under the age of six should be kept clear of your toothpaste because they might eat it and need to be rushed to a poison control center, and so on.
Doesn't sound too comforting to me, how about to you?

Some might argue that fluoride, altogether, is useless. After all, if we are eating diets high in tooth-decaying sugars and de-mineralized foods, then why try to combat that with fluoride, when the long-term solution is to move away from cavity-promoting foods.

Skip the fluoride. Eat a better diet. Simple.

For research on dental decay and diet, I recommend reading Weston Price's work, which can be viewed on the Weston Price Foundation site at
His work, as a dentist, really is interesting reading, if this kind of topic floats your boat.

So, what's the harm of too much fluoride?

Many possible health detriments come from too much fluoride in one's system. Tooth discoloration and mottling (fluoridosis), increased risk of certain bone cancers, a reduction in I.Q. levels in developing children, increased lead levels in the blood in the presence of silicofluorides, and on and on.

Follow this link if you want to see a more thorough listing of health deficits created by fluoride consumption (

Well, in case you want to get rid of the fluoride in your water supply, you need to do one of the following things:

1. Get a reverse osmosis filtration system installed in your home,
2. Use an Activated Alumina Defluoridation Filter (starting at around $35.00, requiring frequent replacement of the filters)
3. Use distillation filtration (which is the method used to produce distilled water).

You should know that distilled water is devoid of all minerals, which may or may not be a good thing, depending on which side of the "distilled water debate" you tend to fall. I will leave that up to you do decide.

Most over-the-counter type filters (Pur, Brita, decanter-style, etc.) will not filter out fluoride. You also cannot get rid of fluoride by boiling or freezing your water.

To wrap this up, I think fluoride (or silicofluoride) in the public water supply is a bad policy--it forces people to drink a chemical they may not want in their water, has them pay for the very water service that provides them with unwanted chemicals, and leaves no convenient alternative for its removal (see options 1-3 above).

Why force people to drink a chemical placed into their water that has no benefit to water purification?

Why add a chemical that has not been proven safe for human consumption and has a considerable list of proven side effects and health concerns?

Why not get rid of fluoride in the water altogether, and let people get their fluoride on their own time, as a matter of choice?

You tell me.

Enough water blogging!

(All this writing is making me thirsty).

At the very least, you might walk away from this article asking a few questions that you otherwise weren't looking to tackle today.