Many, many women have experienced nausea and vomiting in pregnancy, myself included! Thalidomide, a drug used for prenatal nausea in the ’60s and ’70s led to horrible birth defects. Zofran, a medication originally created for patients going through chemotherapy, has been given to pregnant women for over a decade, with good results.

Last year brought on a lawsuit against the pharmaceutical company from 190 patients, claiming that the heart birth defects their infants had been born with were due to the use of Zofran for morning sickness. 

Research done at UCLA this year evaluated over two thousand pregnant women, and they found that, to the contrary, the treatment of sick, pregnant women with Zofran actually increased the odds of a normal, healthy baby, compared to women who had not used medication to treat their nausea. So…more studies will probably be done, and I expect they will find the same results.

BUT, acupuncture in my practice over 13 years has been as good as, if not better than the Zofran my patients have used for their nausea in pregnancy.

Below is a link to the UCLA article appearing in Science Daily May 2016 issue.

No evidence found linking anti-nausea drug to birth defects

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Watercolor-Relationships-000005241515_MediumKerry Stokes and Shelly King were beautifully quoted in this article, and have been very close friends of mine for many years. I feel so blessed to be part of this wonderful tribe, Full Circle Doula Cooperative.  http://fullcircledoulacooperative.com/pros/

 

Wireless Motherhood: When Social Media is the New Village

 

What Are the Purple Dots on Michael Phelps? Cupping Has an Olympic Moment

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The swimmer Michael Phelps sported deep-purple circles on his shoulder and back when he won a gold medal on Sunday night.
The swimmer Michael Phelps sported deep-purple circles on his shoulder and back when he won a gold medal on Sunday night.Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times

RIO DE JANEIRO — Olympics trivia: What has 19 gold medals and a bunch of purple circles?

If you watched a certain swimmer’s Rio Games debut on Sunday night, when he propelled the United States 4×100-meter relay team to a gold medal, you know the answer: Michael Phelps.

While it may look like Phelps and several other Olympians with those skin marks have been in a bar fight, the telltale dots actually are signs of “cupping,” an ancient Chinese healing practice that is experiencing an Olympic moment.

“Because this particular recovery modality shows blemishes on his skin, he walks around and looks like a Dalmatian or a really bad tattoo sleeve,” said Keenan Robinson, Phelps’s personal trainer. “It’s just another recovery modality. There’s nothing really particularly special about it.”

Practitioners of the healing technique — or sometimes the athletes themselves — place specialized cups on the skin. Then they use either heat or an air pump to create suction between the cup and the skin, pulling the skin slightly up and away from the underlying muscles.

The suction typically lasts for only a few minutes, but it’s enough time to cause the capillaries just beneath the surface to rupture, creating the circular, eye-catching bruises that have been so visible on Phelps as well as members of the United States men’s gymnastics team. If the bruising effect looks oddly familiar, it’s because it’s the same thing that happens when someone sucks on your neck and leaves a hickey.

“I’ve done it before meets, pretty much every meet I go to,” Phelps said on Monday. “So I asked for a little cupping yesterday because I was sore and the trainer hit me pretty hard and left a couple of bruises.”

Physiologically, cupping is thought to draw blood to the affected area, reducing soreness and speeding healing of overworked muscles. Athletes who use it swear by it, saying it keeps them injury free and speeds recovery. Phelps, whose shoulders were dotted with the purple marks as he powered the relay team, featured a cupping treatment in a recent video for a sponsor. He also posted an Instagram photo showing himself stretched on a table as his Olympic swimming teammate Allison Schmitt placed several pressurized cups along the back of his thighs. “Thanks for my cupping today!” he wrote.

“There is a psychological component where Michael has been doing this to feel good for a long time, about two years,” Mr. Robinson said. “Anything you can do to get the body to feel good — you have to use an educational assessment on it. You have to make sure that what you’re doing is causing a physiological intent to recover.

“I’m not just going to throw a stick of butter on him,” Robinson said, adding, “I’m going to make sure I have an educated approach to it.”

While there’s no question that many athletes, coaches and trainers believe in the treatment, there’s not much science to determine whether cupping offers a real physiological benefit or whether the athletes simply are enjoying a placebo effect.

One 2012 study of 61 people with chronic neck pain compared cupping to a technique called progressive muscle relaxation, or P.M.R., during which a patient deliberately tenses his muscles and then focuses on relaxing them. Half the patients used cupping while the other half used P.M.R. Both patient groups reported similar reductions in pain after 12 weeks of treatment. Notably, the patients who had used cupping scored higher on measurements of well-being and felt less pain when pressure was applied to the area. Even so, the researchers noted that more study is needed to determine the potential benefits of cupping.

Another experiment involving 40 patients who suffered from knee arthritis found that people who underwent cupping reported less pain after four months compared to arthritis sufferers in a control group who were not treated. But the cupped group knew they were being treated — it’s not easy to blind people about whether a suction cup is being attached to their leg or not — and so the benefits might have been due primarily to a placebo effect.

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The Lithuanian swimmer Ruta Meilutyte had the telltale signs of cupping when she raced on Sunday night.
The Lithuanian swimmer Ruta Meilutyte had the telltale signs of cupping when she raced on Sunday night.CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

Still, a placebo effect can be beneficial, and for athletes at the Olympic level any legal edge, however tenuous, may be worth a few eye-catching bruises.

“A placebo effect is present in all treatments, and I am sure that it is substantial in the case of cupping as well,” said Leonid Kalichman, a senior lecturer at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel, who recently co-authored a commentary reviewing cupping research in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies. “A patient can feel the treatment and has marks after it, and this can contribute to a placebo effect.”

Even so, Dr. Kalichman said he believes the treatment has a real physiological effect as well. It may be that cupping, by causing local inflammation, triggers the immune system to produce cytokines, small proteins that enhance communication between cells and help to modulate the immune response.

A few years ago the Denver Broncos player DeMarcus Ware posted a photo on Instagram showing his back covered with 19 clear cups as a therapist held a flame used to heat the cup before placing it on the skin. Celebrities including Jennifer Aniston and Gwyneth Paltrow have also been photographed with cupping marks on their skin.

Last year, Swimming World magazine noted that some college programs had begun using cupping therapy as well as the former Olympian Natalie Coughlin, who has posted a number of photos of herself undergoing the treatment.

“We know that science says it isn’t detrimental,” Mr. Robinson said. “We know that science says it does in some cases help out. So we’re at least going to expose the athletes to it years out so they can at least get a routine into it.”

Todd Schmitz, who coaches the Olympic swimmer Missy Franklin, said Franklin started using cupping when she joined the swim team at Cal-Berkeley. “I would say cupping is very much along the lines of ice baths,” Schmitz said. “Some people will tell you that ice baths have no purpose whatsoever. It’s one of those things if you think it helps you, you leave it in your repertoire.”

The American gymnast Alexander Naddour was sporting the purple dots during the men’s qualifying rounds on Saturday in Rio. He told USA Today that he bought a do-it-yourself cupping kit from Amazon. “That’s been the secret that I have had through this year that keeps me healthy,” Naddour told USA Today. “It’s been better than any money I’ve spent on anything else.”

Kevin Rindal, the chiropractor for the United States swim teams, is one of only four chiropractors Phelps trusts to work on him. Rindal said that the device they use can be found on Amazon for $30. He acknowledged that some practitioners might not use it effectively.

“I had a patient come in and he had a headache and he had a huge cup on his forehead because he thought he could cup his forehead,” Rindal said. “So people do some ridiculous stuff.”

(NYT 8/8/2016)

 

Wonderful article by Dr. Stephanie Dueger, PhD, LPC | 303.519.1046 | 5377 Manhattan Circle, Suite 204, Boulder, CO. 80303

(She also treats Postpartum Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, or OCD, which is more common than we think.)

http://drduegertherapy.com/symptoms-of-postpartum-anxiety-and-depression-how-to-navigate-them/

Symptoms of Postpartum Anxiety and Depression & How to Navigate Them

Anxiety. Depression. Afflictions that can make a sufferer feel like a tiny boat lost in a violent tempest.

They can be especially agonizing after the birth of a child. After all, welcoming a newborn life into your family should be a joyous occasion, not one that leaves you feeling anxious, dejected, or even angry.

If this is your experience, how can you navigate the churned-up emotions that accompany postpartum anxiety and depression?

Here are some suggestions:

Talk to Someone Close to You

The most important – and probably the most frightening and difficult step — is not to bottle up how you feel but to talk to someone about it. It’s healthy to confide in someone when in crisis.

So, whom could you tell?

Why not start with someone closest to you, like your spouse or your mother, or another family member or close friend? Perhaps another mother, particularly one that you know has gone through postpartum anxiety or depression herself, could be of help.

Get Professional Support

Sharing your feelings and doubts with your perinatal health care providers can provide you with invaluable advice about what steps you could take to deal with your condition.

And finding a therapist, specially trained in working with perinatal mood disorders, can literally be a life-saving experience. You don’t have to face this condition alone. Individual sessions, support groups, and even online forums can provide you with needed connection and healing.

Perinatal health care providers can also help you decide whether medication may or may not be of help for you. If medications are introduced, there’s no reason to feel any shame or embarrassment. Your desire to overcome these challenges shows your courage and determination, and your love for your baby.

Keep Life Simple

Trying to do everything and be the “perfect mom” despite your anxieties will likely only make matters worse. Set small, attainable, goals for yourself each day and accomplish what you can, keeping your focus on the most essential things.

Be realistic. If more things mount up than you can reasonably handle, ask family and friends for help. Let them assist you with the care of your children, errands, or household chores. For example, ask your spouse to share in nighttime feeding duties for your baby, and let friends bring you a meal.

Do Something Positive for Yourself

Eating healthy foods, staying hydrated, and getting regular, gentle exercise, and enough sleep are important at this time. Sometimes, these can feel like monumental tasks that are impossible to accomplish. Be gentle on yourself. Trying to stay physically well will help you believe in yourself as a good mother and will help to keep you emotionally well.

Doing something positive includes things you can do alone, like reading a good book, taking a refreshing walk, or indulging in a relaxing bubble bath.

But it also means doing things with others that you enjoy and that make you feel good. Try participating in any social activity that gives you a change of scenery and some fresh air, like going to a favorite restaurant, or enjoying some time in the park with family and friends.

Be Patient

Patience is a virtue, they say. As much as you would like to just snap your fingers and make the anxiety and depression go away, it will take some time. Your mood will improve gradually, not immediately. The strength of the anxiety or depression, and therefore the length of time it might take to heal, can vary, but be assured that these episodes of emotional upheaval will be temporary.

A major key to applying the aforementioned suggestions and successfully navigating postpartum anxiety and depression is to work together as a couple, if you have a partner, or to have a “buddy” who can check in regularly with you. It’s imperative that you take certain steps to both help yourself, and find ways to be supportive and understanding of one another.

TOP 5 MYTHS OF ACUPUNCTURE DEBUNKED

Posted Monday, February 8th, 2016 by

acupuncture, myth, debunkedAcupuncture has become one of the most widely sought after natural medicine procedures in the entire world. While many people are beginning to understand the amazing benefits that come from acupuncture treatment there are still large number of myths that surround acupuncture. Here are some of the top acupuncture myths that we as experts would like to debunk over the course of this article:

  1. Acupuncture is only for adults: Acupuncture is completely safe for kids and teens and it can treat many of the same conditions that effect adults. Acupuncture has been especially helpful with easing chronic pain in children and teens. Mount Sinai Hospital and the Michener institute recently opened up a clinic in Toronto for treating a wide array of acupuncture patients and the head of the clinical experience says that around 10% of his patients are children. Physicians across many different clinical fields are beginning to use acupuncture as a treatment not only for adults but for children. For chronic pain treatment and more children can see the same types of results as full adults and because the needles are painless the experience is also fairly easy on children.
  2. Acupuncture hurts: According to the British acupuncture counsel, the bottom line is that acupuncture should not hurt. Licensed acupuncture practitionersshould be able to adjust their methods to ensure that participants don’t feel the needles as much if at all when they go in. Many people say that their first acupuncture experience feels similar to a mosquito bite if they are anticipating the needles. Eventually as you go for several different sessions the feeling of the needles going in will start to fade. Because the needles are so thin and so sharp they can effortlessly puncture the skin and this leads to an effect that you will feel far less than your average vaccination needle. Acupuncture doesn’t hurt, it heals.
  3. Acupuncture is only good for treating pain: The World Health Organization has recognized acupuncture is an effective treatment for a huge number of conditions. While many people associate acupuncture with pain management and as a solution for dealing with chronic pain it can actually treat conditions like; Allergies, high blood pressure, low blood pressure, nausea as a result of chemotherapy, dental pain, depression, facial pain, pain in the knee, painful menstruation, kidney stones, sciatica, stroke recovery, inducing labor, reducing swelling and more. Acupuncture goes far beyond pain treatment and many people even go to see acupuncture professionals if they are experiencing any type of symptoms. Acupuncture can really help us to feel our best as well as keep our body as balanced as possible.
  4. Acupuncture is not a recognized form of treatment: Many healthcare professionals will recommend acupuncture as a course of treatment and even provide referrals. With organizations like the United States military utilizing acupuncture in their recovery programs as well as top sports medicine facilities doing the same, acupuncture is not an alternative treatment. Health care professionals around the world are starting to see the benefits of acupuncture and this means that many doctors are recommending this form of treatment as a means to deal with a wider range of symptoms. More and more studies are being published every year that validate treatment claims on acupuncture and today people are referred to acupuncture professionals to help them with their allergies, fertility, pain management, nausea, depression and more. Not only did many private physicians see the benefits of acupuncture but major health authorities like the National Institutes of Health and World Health Organizationrecognize acupuncture is a valid treatment. The national institutes of health for example has funded many different clinical research trials for acupuncture treatment and it is this level of research and funding that is opening up new discoveries from this medical treatment. Acupuncture is not only a recognized form of treatment but it’s slowly becoming a more recognized form of treatment for a growing number of conditions.
  5. Acupuncture is a placebo effect: Acupuncture is far from a placebo effect and there have been many double-blind studies performed in acupuncture to showcase the healing benefits of this medical treatment. Acupuncture has been shown to work in trials with children, animals, adults and more. Not only have we seen kids that have no knowledge of its effectiveness see improvement but in advance studies on animals where full physiology can be examined during treatment, scientists discovered that acupuncture could reduce nausea, pain and more even in extreme situations. Of course acupuncture should always be performed by a qualified practitioner and in order for acupuncture to be effective a few sessions may be required depending on the symptoms that a person is experiencing. Through scientific trials as well as overwhelming patient response, we know that acupuncture is not a placebo.

Keep these top 5 myths in mind if you are considering acupuncture treatment.

I have heard very good review of this program to support women for fertility throughout their menstrual cycle . Give it a try!

http://www.circlebloom.com/

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How To Have A Boy Or Girl (A Doula Reveals Her Secrets)

“I’m not a doctor, and I’m not a scientist, but I’m a doula with over 20 years of experience and one thing I’m really good at is getting people pregnant. I’m often asked what people can do naturally to up their chances of conceiving either a boy or girl. I believe that we end up with the child that we’re meant to have. That said, here are a few changes both you and your partner can start making to help conceive that little boy or girl you’ve always hoped for.” ~ by Lori Bregman

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-9510/how-to-have-a-boy-or-girl-a-doula-reveals-her-secrets.html

Gender Swaying Douches

Douching with a vinegar or baking soda douche just before sex can enhance the acidity or alkanity of the vagina. Here is how to prepare and use a girl-swaying or boy-swaying douche.

http://www.ingender.com/gender-swaying/Douche.aspx

Good News! We are now also known as Twin Cranes Acupuncture, Inc. Maybe this will help people know why on earth they would want to come see me!