Category: Health

IVF Acupuncture – Ensuring the Future through Assisted Reproductive Technology

acupuncture for pregnancyPregnancy is a privilege that only women enjoy.     In fact, getting pregnant symbolizes womanhood. It is something that only naturally-born women are fully equipped to do. From the time they are able to have their very first menstruation until such time it ceases, women have the capacity to bear children.

Unfortunately, there are women who are having difficulty conceiving. It is not so much because they don’t want to but somehow the many stresses in today’s life have taken its toll on the ability of the female human body to conceive. In addition to stress, the food that is eaten as well as the other substances that are introduced into the body can also bring about a variety of problems that lead to infertility. And when it comes to being a woman unable to get pregnant or conceive a child, society looks on both couples as being less useful in the growth of human society.

The wonder of today’s technology now allows women who have problems getting pregnant to be able to carry on a pregnancy through the most unnatural of ways. For some women, however, in order to increase the chances of getting pregnant, they do seek IVF acupuncture such as those provided by the Freedom Chinese Medicine.

In vitro fertilization, or IVF for short, has been extensively used by many obstetricians in helping women conceive. The idea is to harvest mature egg cells from the woman’s ovaries and bring these to the laboratory where sperm cells from her partner are injected right into the mature egg cells. Medical professionals will typically wait several days just to make sure that fertilization did occur. Once this has been ascertained, the fertilized ovum, now called an embryo, is then implanted onto the wall of the woman’s uterus where it will stay for about 37-39 weeks until delivery. It is also possible that the sperm cells used to fertilize the egg cell are not from the woman’s partner but from somebody else. More often than not, these will be supplied by a sperm bank. In some cases, both the egg cell and the sperm cells are not from the couple who wish to have a child. And in even more unusual cases is when a pregnant mother wishes to remove the embryo growing inside her uterus and have it transferred to another woman who will then continue the pregnancy. While this is quite controversial, it is nonetheless practiced in certain parts of the world where surrogate motherhood is advocated.

But just how does acupuncture fit into all of these?

While IVF ensures egg cell fertilization prior to uterine implantation, it is still the uterus that will carry the fetus until viability. This requires an excellent supply of oxygen and nutrients to the uterus in order to maintain the viability of the embryo and the developing fetus. Additionally, the correct levels of hormones must be present in order to maintain the integrity of the uterus. If this is not ascertained, then it is quite impossible to maintain the attachment of the fetus onto the uterus. This can lead to premature separation of the placenta leading to abortion in the early stages of pregnancy or even miscarriage in later stages of the pregnancy.

Acupuncture helps by establishing adequate blood flow to the uterus. These long and very slender needles stimulate nerve endings present in the superficial dermatomes to send signals to the brain. This balances hormonal levels as well as improves the flow and delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the developing fetus as well as help facilitate the removal of metabolic waste products from the fetus. Of course, in acupuncture, they don’t explain it this way. Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners hold the belief that the body is made up of energy. When this energy is blocked, diseases or health conditions arise. While a developing fetus in the uterus is not essentially a disease per se, it nevertheless leads to a change in the balance of energy flows. Acupuncture reestablishes this balance and helps maintain the viability of the fetus as well as the integrity of the uterus.

In cases where the IVF will require harvesting of mature egg cells from the woman herself, acupuncture can help too, by improving oxygenation and nutrition to the ovaries so that the egg cells harvested for IVF are really healthy and mature. If not, then IVF will still fail simply because the starting cell is not healthy to begin with.

Science may have negated the power of acupuncture however, Chinese medicine has never stopped using this practice for the reason that a number of patients have found it effective. In reality, more and more women are resorting to IVF in order to get pregnant. One way to improve the chances of getting pregnant is by including acupuncture in the IVF treatment. For as long as the procedure is administered by a specialist, results are expected to be more successful.

Continue Reading

Health and Medicinal Benefits of Herbs and Vitamins

vitaminsVitamins and minerals are very small nutrient molecules that help the body in a variety of ways. While these are mainly present in the food that we eat today, the right amounts and the right kinds of vitamins and minerals are quite questionable owing to the fact that majority of today’s food items are heavily processed. The varying degrees of food processing inadvertently diminish the nutrient value of the food that we eat. So, what you read in the nutritional information label of food products in not necessarily what you will get.

Hence, many herb and vitamin stores are providing health-conscious consumers a wide array of multivitamin and mineral products. These stores know that it is very unlikely that people will be getting rid of the convenience of processed foods for the tedious task of preparing food from fresh raw ingredients. It is also very unlikely that food processing companies will shutdown just because of the growing concern for safe and nutrient-rich food. The most that you can do is to provide yourself with adequate benefits of vitamin and mineral supplementation.

A great number of these supplements come from herbs. Many civilizations of the ancient world have been using herbal products for a variety of purposes. Some use it for their medicinal properties while others taken them for their nutritional value. Herb benefits have been carefully studied by the scientific community. In fact, many of the health products that are now being marketed globally have come from natural herbs. Some governments have also advocated the use of herbs as a safe and more practical alternative to expensive pharmaceutical products. Many countries all over the world still use natural herbs for their nutrient and medicinal properties.

Health Benefits of Natural Herbs and Vitamins

The substances or chemical compounds found in herbs are naturally helpful in the maintenance of normal body functioning. These have been used to ensure optimum health and vitality. Perhaps two of the more profound effects of herbs on the human body are their ability to provide the body with natural antioxidants and their ability to suppress inflammatory reactions.

Antioxidants help get rid of the harmful metabolites that accumulate in the body because of the many cellular processes occurring at the same time. Oxidative stress can significantly reduce the amount of intrinsic antioxidants that supplementation with herbal products is sometimes necessary. These can help reduce or mitigate the effects of ultraviolet radiation on the skin as well as help improve the overall ability of the body to repair damaged cells.

Other health benefits of herbs and herbal products include cognitive enhancement, improvement of thinking and learning skills, cardiovascular protection, memory improvement, neuromuscular integrity, and enhanced efficiency of cellular metabolism.

Popular examples of herbal products include Acai, Green Tea, Eucalyptus, Ginkgo, Aloe Vera, Flaxseed, Ginseng, Butterbur, Goji, and Turmeric just to name a few.

Vitamins are needed for a variety of cellular processes. These are essential in the maintenance of healthy teeth and bones, nerve impulse conduction, healthy digestion, and cardiovascular functioning. Vitamins also help to provide for a normally functioning immune system, provide energy needed to combat physical and mental stress, and maintain healthy skin integrity and optimally functioning metabolic processes.

Medical Benefits of Herbs and Vitamins

While many in the scientific community do not necessarily agree with some of the published reports of the effects of herbs and vitamins in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases, the experience of the general public seems to suggest otherwise.

In general herbal products and vitamins have been used in the management of the following health conditions:

  • Skin infections and other skin problems like scurvy
  • Adjunct to losing weight
  • Disorders of the eyes and those that affect vision
  • Indigestion and motion sickness
  • Diabetes
  • Pains such as migraines, menstrual pains, and headaches
  • Physical, mental, and emotional stress
  • Cardiovascular conditions and circulatory problems
  • Problems in the blood like anemia
  • Prevention of neural tube defects in the fetus
  • Kidney problems
  • Liver problems
  • Scurvy
  • Beriberi
  • Skeletal problems like rickets

Safe at the Right Amounts and All-Natural

One of the most renowned benefits of herbal products and vitamin supplements is that they are all-natural. Although these have undergone processing, the technologies involved pack the required nutrients into small convenient preparations. Taking a pill, a capsule, a tablet, or even a tablespoon of the liquid formulation will give you the exact amounts of nutrients that is specified in the herb and vitamin product.

For example, an herbal product that shows it contains 120 mg of Ginkgo extract is an assurance that you will receive the full amount of the extract. However, if you were to extract it yourself from the Ginkgo biloba plant, you will never be guaranteed that the amount that you were able to extract is just right for your needs. And because health companies make sure to pack their products with the correct amounts of the active ingredient, you can be sure that the herbal supplements you are taking are just what your body needs.

Herbs and vitamins have been used extensively by mankind since the beginning of time. It is only in the turn of the 20thcentury that science began naming these substances and creating awareness of their importance. But if human history is to be believed, the very first humans led lives that were largely based on a diet of herbs, fresh fruits and vegetables, and none of the highly processed food items we now consume today. So, take your herbs and vitamins today.

Continue Reading

Music and Health: More than Just Melodies for the Soul

drum lessonsEverybody knows the soothing effect of music on the soul. It helps calm nerves, makes you feel more relaxed, and often unawares of the world around you. Whether stressed out or in emotional pain, music always seem to find that magic spot in the heart to slow down its rapid beating and dictate it to a more harmonic rhythm. Pretty much like a drum teacher from RD Music Studios Melbourne motivating his students to strike the drum head to create a certain rhythm, that is what music does to your heart and soul.

It is precisely because of the beating heart that man has always been fascinated with music. The rhythm of the heart’s pumping of blood across the network of blood vessels sends rhythmic waves that are interpreted by the brain as the general rhythm of the entire body. Furthermore, since these rhythms are translated as whole body experiences, all parts of the brain are literally stimulated.

This means that aside from the release of dopamine and other helpful neurotransmitters that make you feel more positive about yourself, music has the potential for more profound physiological, psychological, and emotional effects. Because of this, health experts and scientists alike have been studying ways in which music can improve health and enhance the quality of life.

Music is an Excellent Stress-Buster

In healthcare, there is an intervention called music therapy where soft melodies are used to calm nerves especially during stressful events or anxious moments. Although the exact mechanism is still debatable, music has been shown to be more effective than oral anti-anxiety drugs in reducing the stress levels of certain patients who have undergone surgery. Post-surgery patients were less anxious and had significantly lower need for pharmacologic agents to manage their stress. Music’s effect on cortisol has been documented to play a large part in its effectiveness against stress.

Music therapy is especially useful in hospitalized children. Young infants in intensive care units are shown to have more favorable patient outcomes when soft music or melodies are played at least three times a week. The effects are further improved when it is the mother singing to their babies.

Whether listening to music or playing it, its effect on stress is simply remarkable. Playing the drums has been shown to be the best stress-buster among all musical instruments. The whole body movements allow for the expenditure of pent –up emotional energies that fuel anxiety. By drumming your way to the beat, you are not only creating music for your own anxiety relief, you are also venting all that negative energy out from your system.

Music is a Natural Painkiller 

The effect of music on the brain to release neurotransmitters has been largely described as very unique. These neurotransmitters play a role in mitigating the effects of surgical stress and pain on individuals. Post-surgery patients have been shown to require fewer morphine shots in order to control pain when music therapy was introduced as part of their overall treatment program. Even individuals who are suffering from fibromyalgia have shown a decrease in the level of pain experienced as well as a reduction in symptoms of depression.

Music is an Immunity Enhancer 

Some health experts believe that music has the capability to prevent diseases and illnesses. Although the assumption requires more thorough investigation, experts believe that music can significantly affect the release of immunoglobulin A or IgA by the body’s immune system. Immunoglobulin A is a natural antibody that is present in the mucosal surfaces of the body. It is one of the body’s first line of defense alongside the skin which acts as a natural protective barrier.

Music is a Memory-Enhancer

As music stimulates the brain into releasing dopamine and other neurotransmitters that may play a role in better memory retention and enhanced learning, its use in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease or senile dementia prove promising. Its integration into the overall rehabilitation plan for patients who suffered a stroke is being considered as a mainstay in treatment. In several studies that evaluated the effects of music on these patient populations, it was observed that music not only enhanced memory recall and facilitate better learning processes; it was also shown to be generally useful in improving mood, enhance attention, and increase executive functioning.

Music is Good for the Heart 

Cliché as it may seem but music is definitely good for the heart. Depending on the kind of music, blood vessels can either dilate or constrict which can significantly affect blood flow. Studies have shown that an upbeat, happy music increases the diameter of blood vessels by as much as 26 percent to significantly improve blood flow. The opposite effect is observed when anxiety- or anger-triggering music is listened to.

Music is the food for the soul as it has the ability to capture imagination and attention, lift spirits, regulate mood, generate emotion, evoke memories, reduce inhibitions, increase work output, and encourage an overall rhythmic movement.

Be it listening to music or actively playing it, music is definitely more than just melodies.

Continue Reading

When to See a Physiotherapist

Today’s modern lifestyle, with all its benefits and perks, has taken its toll on our bodies making us experience a lot of aches from the neck down to the foot. Back pain for example has become an everyday complaint for most people who are enduring a nine-to-five kind of job. It has been common practice that these individuals rely on over-the-counter pain killers and ointments and even buying those electronic massage equipment advertised on TV. Sadly, physiotherapy doesn’t cross their minds. This article aims to increase your understanding on the importance of visiting a clinic of Capital Physio in Prahran in the times where stress has become a part of life.

We may not know this but stress is the culprit of most illnesses and diseases. We cannot take stress completely out from our lives. The only way to deal with stress is to reduce it. One effective intervention is physiotherapy.

Yes, physiotherapy is a medical term, but this doesn’t only apply to those who are sick. Every individual, young and old, can be a good candidate for therapy. Physiotherapists are trained professionals who have gone through extensive education focusing on helping patients get back to their normal range of movement. Whether it is an injury which is acquired through sports or neck strain which developed from bad posture, all these are dealt with by a physiotherapist. Read more and you’ll find out what instances when physiotherapy is warranted.

Living with Chronic Pain

If you are experiencing persistent pain which affects your ability to perform the normal daily activities, it is time to seek physiotherapy. By consulting with a physiotherapist, specific body problems are identified accurately considering the root cause of the problem. In here, the physiotherapist will create a treatment plan that is corresponds to the body’s need for pain remediation. Therapy usually takes a series of sessions comprising of exercise, massage, stretching and proper education.

Injured While Playing

If you spend a number of hours day playing your favourite sport, you should understand that injury is always a possibility. When injury occurs, you need to see a physiotherapist immediately. By doing so, you get the most accurate treatment which will lead you to faster recovery. Hence, you get back to the normal range of movements allowing you to play the sport again.  With physiotherapy, you are also advised to take caution on some bodily movements so that future injuries are prevented.

Pre- and Post-pregnancy

Pregnant women also need to take care of their bodies before and after giving birth. When a woman is pregnant, certain hormonal changes affect the body such as softening of the ligaments and stretching muscles towards the stomach and pelvic floor. As the baby grows inside, the joints must be strengthened in order to support the weight of the body and prevent the back or pelvis from getting injured.  Physiotherapists teach pregnant women with guided exercise to help their bodies cope with various changes including pain in various body parts. Furthermore, physiotherapy helps them recover faster after delivery.

Pre- and Post-surgery

When a patient is about to undergo surgical procedure, physiotherapy helps patient eliminate risks of developing complications after surgery. Through physiotherapy advice, the patient is taught to perform post-operative exercises that will enable him or her to cope with pain and recover faster. The patient is also taught how to cough properly without affecting the wound site. There are four main reasons why physiotherapy should be administered after surgery. These are: to prevent blood clots or thrombosis, to prevent chest complications, to prevent muscle wasting and joint mobility and to prevent pressure sores. Mobilizing exercises help address these issues.

Presence of Chronic Condition or Neurological Disease

Conditions such as stroke, Parkinson’s disease, cerebral palsy, ‘Substantia Nigra’ and spinal cord injuries necessitate rehabilitation as facilitated by a physiotherapist. Although physiotherapy does not promote 100% cure, it helps slow down the progress of the disease. Therapy usually takes several sessions in order for patient to gradually improve and practice independence in life. As a result, living a normal way of life is achieved.

Having access to a physiotherapist is one of the best ways to attain speedy recovery and live normally as others do. However, the road to recovery isn’t an easy task. Pain is involved along the process which gradually decreases until it disappears. Towards the end of the therapy sessions, you will regain flexibility which will then allow you to move normally. Indeed, physiotherapy helps alleviate body pains. It may not be an easy option but is guaranteed the best solution.

Continue Reading