Women’s health care focuses on helping a woman maintain optimal health as her reproductive system develops and matures. In the Women’s Health Program the emphasis is on educating women in a variety of preventative steps to maintain overall health, as well as providing natural treatments for symptoms and diseases related to hormonal and physiological imbalances. Conventional approaches to women’s health have often used surgery and other invasive medical procedures to deal with common physiological functions, such as the hormonal imbalances experienced during menopause. Although sometimes necessary, there are a variety of therapeutic approaches such as diet, nutritional supplementation, herbal medicine, traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture, and natural hormone therapy which can be safely used to address the diverse symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and menopause, as well as diseases of the uterus, vagina, bladder and breasts.
In turn, women need to make informed choices about diet, exercise, and stress management when taking care of their bodies. These changes alone can produce remarkable results. Experience has shown us that women can really modify their health problems just by modifying their lifestyle. Many experts feel that the sharp rise in the rates of specific women’s hormonal problems such as endometriosis, ovarian cysts, PMS, menstrual difficulties, and infertility can in large measure be attributed to specific deficiencies in the American diet and lifestyle.
Today more than ever, women are exposed to a plethora of synthetic substances in food which are able to mimic the effects of estrogen in their body. Long term exposure to these, as well as unhealthy fats and excess refined sugar in “fast foods”, is felt to lay the groundwork for producing alterations in how women’s bodies react to their own hormones. Unchecked, this can result in a variety of unhealthy conditions, all of which are expressions of imbalance in the natural menstrual cycle.
A wide variety of effective therapies are available in treating menopause. Western science so far has provided women with little data on care strategies for menopause that would make personal health decisions easier. As a result, menopausal women may turn to other avenues of treatment, learning to take care of their health needs more naturally. One of the questions asked most often of us is, “What can I take besides estrogen?” We are seeing increasing interest in alternative and natural approaches because women who are asking these questions are part of the generation that is outspoken about wanting things to change. The True Wellness practitioners will continue to answer these needs with safe and efficient natural therapies while providing education to ensure that our clients enjoy the greatest success.
Key Areas of Focus for Women’s Health
• Exercise/Athletic Performance
• Stress Management
• Smoking Cessation
• Breast Cancer Awareness
• Support for mothers
• Weight Loss/Gain
Stress Relief Improves Fertility and enables coping more effectively with the demands of infertility treatment. At the annual meeting of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, 2009
A paper published by Alice Domar, Ph.D., in Fertility & Sterility (Journal of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine), February 2004.
This paper stated that “recent research on the relationship between psychological distress and IVF success indicates that pre-cycle distress is associated with lower pregnancy rates.” Dr. Domar cited 15 studies found in the literature from around the world, and ten of these studies “provided statistically significant results to support the theory that distress is associated with lower pregnancy rates. Two of the studies had small numbers of patients but showed a trend toward the same direction. Three showed no relationship.”
Dr. Domar also cited a Turkish study by Terzioglu where 60 couples were evaluated. Half of the couples received counseling and support throughout their IVF cycles, whereas the other half received routine medical care. Terzioglu found that “the experimental patients had lower anxiety and depression scores in addition to significantly higher pregnancy rates.”
In the same issue of Fertility & Sterility, Catharina Olivius et. al., reported “that 54% of the patients not achieving live birth discontinued the IVF program, despite the treatment being free of charge.” She concluded that the “majority of discontinuations were due to psychological stress.”
Continued research on the effects of stress and the impact of stress management and psychological support on pregnancy rates is needed. However, there appears to be a solid foundation to support the need for fertility clinics and providers to address the emotional aspects of patient care. Fertility treatment at its best provides excellent medical care as well as comprehensive psychological support and stress management.
Acupuncture Proven to Increase Chances of Getting Pregnant
Studies show acupuncture increases Assisted Reproductive Therapy (ART) success by 15%. An examination of increased fertility when used alone or when complementing ART.
For a couple trying to conceive, the diagnosis of infertility is often heart-wrenching information that takes an emotional toll, is physically traumatic and brings financial burdens.
The stress very often leaves couples looking for more control over the factors that promote or inhibit their fertility. The search to become pregnant, for many, becomes highly charged, distressing for both partners, and physically exhausting. Infertility may cost couples their peace of mind and the dream of having a family. The financial consequences often go beyond the predicted expenses of becoming pregnant naturally.
Acupuncture is a successful tool that treats the root cause of infertility, increases In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) success and prepares men and women for pregnancy. Although acupuncture is independently successful in increasing fertilization and conception, couples tend to feel more reassured when broad spectrum of options are utilized. A study published in 2002 shows that acupuncture treatment administered 25 minutes before and 25 minutes after IVF treatment increased success of pregnancy by 15%. This form of medicine is being used in numerous progressive infertility clinics across the United States with tangible results. Acupuncture, in conjunction with IVF, greatly enhances a woman’s chances of conception.
According to the American Society for Reproductive Science, over 6.1 million or 10% of women in the United States are diagnosed as being infertile, which is defined as one year of unsuccessful conception. Women who choose to conceive after the age of 35 have a greater chance of having medical difficulties that may result in infertility issues. Due to lifestyle choices and other extraneous factors, these numbers will likely increase and a greater portion of the population will be affected by infertility in the future.
The causes of infertility are vast and varied. Some of the main factors that may prevent successful conception include: lack of ovulation, poor quality of eggs, thin endometrial lining, poor quality and number of follicles, low progesterone, high follicle stimulating hormone, blocked fallopian tubes, uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, endometriosis, adhesions, infections and stress.
Modern medicine treats these problems with surgery or medications or both. If surgery and modern medications fail, Assisted Reproductive Therapies (ART’s), including IVF or Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection or others may be used. These procedures involve the manipulation of the egg, sperm or both to increase chances of conception.
Simple Steps to Support the Women’s Health Program
1. Stress Evaluation: A good place to start is to evaluate your current level of stress. Start by checking your stress score before you start, and then re-take it at the end for some good news.
2. View the Stress Video: View either the short introduction or the 30-minute video with Dr. Eva Selhub. It provides insightful information to educate and motivate you to better understand the techniques.
3. Download the Workbook: Read through the workbook and choose the techniques that appeal to you, and start with those.
4. Download the Audios: You can transfer the audio files to where you can use them easily, your MP3 player, iPhone, iPod, iPad, work computer, whereever you can relax, and listen to them in peace.
1. Tightening and Releasing Muscle Tension: Use this briefly as a way of connecting the mind to the body, but quickly move on to #2, the Body Scan Relaxation.
2. Body Scan Relaxation Technique: This is the heart of the Natural Stress Relief Program, methodically scanning the mind through the body, connecting and relaxing as you go. Remember, just 20 minutes a day for 5 weeks will get you the positive results. It takes 5 weeks daily to be able to produce a relaxation-response at will and turn-off the switch that produces the fight-or-flight response. The goal is eventually not to need this audio, but to do a memorized version as your own narrative to your relaxation response.
3. Relaxing into Sleep: Use this audio to go off into the unconscious, and feel free to use this technique to get a nourishing sleep. You can use this in addition to the 20-minute Body Scan Relaxation daily. Remember, you can’t get too relaxed.
4. Music for Stress Relief: A nice option to use as you need to relax in a non-specific way with soothing, background music.
5. Associated Articles: Articles related to many issues on women’s health are available to provide educational and background information.
6. Supplement Plan Articles: Articles available with information about how dietary supplements and vitamins can protect us further from the negative and damaging effects of stress.
7. Associated Integrated Medicine Videos: Consider supportive therapies like Acupuncture, Psychotherapy and Nutrition as they can help you further. We strongly suggest you consider these gentle interventions that can have a profound and supporting impact on managing stress and enhance the Natural Stress Program. If you decide after watching one of the Associated Integrated Medicine Videos that you would like to pursue one of these options, ask around and see if you can get a personal referral from someone you trust. You can also follow the links below to make an appointment with a practitioner near you. Get the support you need to make these efforts life-changing and enduring.