Improving fertility health for women

What is Secondary infertility?

Infertility is diagnosed when a couple are unable to conceive for a year or more and secondary infertility (as opposed to primary infertility), means that you have been pregnant before, but are struggling to conceive again.

Many people seek help to conceive if they feel they are having difficulties, via conventional and traditional medicine routes. The help we provide at Cambourne Acupuncture can certainly be a part of your journey towards conceiving.

Causes

The reasons for infertility fall into seven areas:

  • Ovulation disorders such as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), Primary Ovarian Insufficiency (POI) and thyroid issues.
  • Uterus or fallopian tube problems including endometriosis, fibroids and abnormal shape of the uterus.
  • Surgery, in particular when a mother has a C-section. Scarring can occur in the uterus which can lead to the surface being inflamed and difficult for embryos to embed.
  • Treatments and medications for chronic and acute conditions, most notably chemotherapy and radiotherapy which can reduce fertility.
  • Infections can also cause inflammation and blocked fallopian tubes.
  • Autoimmune disorders which may cause inflammation because of the body attacking itself.
  • Age is also a contributing factor, with studies showing that a women’s fertility decreases from 30 and significantly from 40.

Sometimes, though, there are no obvious reasons why you are having difficulties getting pregnant. These unexplained reasons can be the most frustrating of all. These conditions, whichever you may have, can be stressful enough without the added complications of unsuccessfully trying to conceive. But help is at hand.

Conventional ways of treating infertility

Before we explore how our methods can greatly increase your chances of conceiving, let’s take you through what medical treatment you may expect. If you are not ovulating regularly enough, pharmaceuticals may be prescribed to help normalize your cycle. Beyond that, you may be advised to have surgery (to treat endometriosis, for example, or to remove scarring from a C-section). Of course, we all know of IVF and this can seem like the last resort for people. It can also be a long, emotional and complicated process and the chances of conceiving may be no better than without it.

How can acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine improve your fertility health?

Here at the clinic, we work from a principle that a successful pregnancy happens when a couple are ‘fertility healthy’.  We specialise in a combination of acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine and this is particularly effective with fertility problems.  We are experts in using fertility charts to discover hidden blocks to your ability to conceive. Our programme of treatment will ensure your body is at optimum levels of fertility.

The physical and emotional strain and stress on your body is a major factor in the whole process of trying to get pregnant. We can help relieve that stress as part of your individualized programme.

We are members of the British Acupuncture Council. For more information on how acupuncture can help in relieving infertility, click here to go to their information page.

Vicki’s experience of getting pregnant during treatment at our clinic

“We had been trying for three years to conceive. We didn’t think we’d have any problems as I had fallen pregnant the first time after only a couple of months. After many tests it was discovered that I had PCOS.

I went through a whole host of emotions from guilt and heartache to frustration and anger. After searching for answers, I found Jane’s website and phoned her. Within the first consultation, I found Jane so empathetic and was amazed that for the first time a professional said to me ‘I don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t be able to conceive again’. I followed all Jane’s advice and she was a constant support.

I would recommend Jane without hesitation. She always provided me with consistent advice and I’m so thankful to her for all her support before and during my pregnancy.”

If you are struggling to conceive or have been diagnosed with any conditions that may hamper your fertility, do not hesitate to call me for an initial conversation to see how I can help you.

Relieving sciatica pain

Anyone who has had sciatica knows that it goes far beyond being just a pain in the leg. The effects of it permeate your every move day and night, even when you are just walking around the house or rolling over in bed.

Causes and symptoms

Sciatica is caused when the sciatic nerve is irritated or pinched.  The result is pain, numbness or tingling sensation anywhere along the pathway of the nerve.

Triggers are numerous. They include ageing of the discs, where they become less flexible, poor posture, incorrect lifting techniques, accidents, sports injuries as well as being common in pregnancy and childbirth. Other, less common causes are more serious health conditions such as spinal stenosis and spondylolisthesis.

How sciatica affects you

The pain, tingling or numbness starts anywhere from your lower back or from your bottom. It will radiate either down the back of your leg or down the outside of your leg, sometimes right down to the ankle.

Sitting and standing for any length of time can cause an enormous amount of pain, as can sneezing or coughing.  The pain can be constant and tiring and could keep you awake at night. During the day, your movements are often restricted to avoid the pain shooting down your leg.

Conventional ways to tackle the pain

Common theories are that sciatic pain usually resolves itself in about six weeks and, for those who suffer longer, treatments are painkillers and anti-inflammatories. Stretches and exercises to mobilise and strengthen the core muscles that stabilise your back are often prescribed alongside pharmaceuticals. Hot and cold packs sometimes help to reduce inflammation.

How acupuncture can help

Acupuncture has been shown to be a very helpful treatment for sciatica.  At Cambourne Acupuncture we use a technique called electro-acupuncture.  Electrical pulses are applied to the acupuncture needles providing an effective and comfortable treatment.

There are many causes of sciatica. Inflammation caused by various lower disc problems and muscle tightness are responsible much of the time however. These causes both respond well to electro-acupuncture. There is no treatment like it, so the results can seem miraculous – especially if you have tried many other treatments with little relief.

Successful relief with acupuncture – Christine’s experience

Christine had been suffering with sciatica for over three years, but she noticed a change in the level of pain after just the first session of acupuncture.

“Acupuncture has been a very positive treatment for me. As a result, I have experienced great relief from the pain of sciatica and associated back pain…by the end of six treatments, the pains related to the sciatica had virtually gone. I would recommend Jane Johnson as a therapist for her professionalism and experience and I have always found her to be informative, kind and patient. I have certainly benefitted from her skill & knowledge.”

If you need help with your sciatica, do call me to discuss your needs.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Historically, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) has had a bad rap. In the past, it was nicknamed Yuppie Flu, because it was reported that well-paid, but overworked, young middle-class people seemed to catch it in droves. They were blamed for working too hard and burning themselves out.

But, to the 260,000 people affected by it in the UK, it is no joke. On average, the condition lasts for at least six years and many live with a form of the condition for life.

Symptoms and Severity

CFS is different for every individual who contracts it. The main symptom that is shared amongst all is the extreme tiredness that is not relieved by resting or sleeping. This isn’t just an experience of being weary. The feeling can be overwhelming and sufferers say that they can’t see an end to it.

Other symptoms include insomnia, muscle and joint pain, headaches, flu-type symptoms and sore throat, dizziness and foggy brain.

It goes without saying that having just a few symptoms from the list above can have serious consequences on your life. Coupled with the fact that a diagnosis for CFS is not a fast process, as it has very similar symptoms to other conditions, so you may have a flurry of examinations and blood tests to rule out most of these.

All this, and the every-day pain and exhaustion affect work, relationships and your mental health.

Typical treatment plans

Once diagnosed, the traditional approach is to draw up a plan for you that may include lifestyle changes and a healthy diet. You may be offered cognitive behavioural therapy and sympathetic employers might make adjustments to help manage your activity levels.

There isn’t a targeted drug that treats or cures CFS but you may be advised to take painkillers or anti-depressants if it is affecting your mental health.

The most common message suffers are told is, “there’s nothing that can be done… you have to live with it..”

How acupuncture and herbal medicine can help

Sometimes acupuncture on its own is used, sometime a combined approach is more suitable. It depends on the specific symptoms and your individual circumstances.

Here are a couple of examples of people I’ve helped:

Nick’s experience

Nick had been suffering with the symptoms of CFS for nine years.

“For years I was told that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome was untreatable and that I would have to live with it for life.”

He suffered with low energy, palpitations and insomnia. He was constantly tired and anxious.  This situation was perfect to treat with acupuncture.

Nick commented that: “…with regular treatment I am able to continue a normal life just as I was before being diagnosed.”

Karen’s experience

Karen had a range of symptoms and she too was told that nothing more could be done.

“I spent years feeling tired, lethargic with constant viral symptoms i.e. muscle aches & pains, pins & needles, constant sore throat & always being ill as I had a weak immune system. I was also being treated with drugs by this point for depression.”

For Karen, I recommended a combined approach of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine.
“Jane treated me holistically as an individual. After a course of acupuncture & herbs all the symptoms disappeared, I felt well in myself and my energy levels returned. I was also able to discontinue the depression medication.

Want to learn more?

We are regulated by the British Acupuncture Council, who have factsheets to explain the effectiveness of acupuncture with illnesses and conditions. To read more about acupuncture for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, you can click this link.

For more information about Chinese Herbal medicine you can click this link https://rchm.specialdev.uk/chinese-medicine/chinese-herbal-medicine

 

If you have CFS and want to get in touch with me to discuss how I can help, you can call for an exploratory call, or book here

Miscarriage is not something that is spoken about readily and in the open.

Certainly, people who have miscarriages find it difficult to talk about the experience. The loss of a pregnancy can be devastating and it doesn’t seem like there is a person in the world who understands. It’s normal to feel a whole host of emotions if this happens to you.

Symptoms range from cramps and spotting to full contractions and labour. The emotional consequences are ones of grief, shame and inadequacy.

The experience can impact the whole family.

Why they happen

Around twenty percent of all pregnancies end in miscarriage and can happen in the first three months of pregnancy.

The causes are many and include irregular hormone levels in the mother, some infections, abnormalities in the womb and certain medications. Smoking also increases the risk, as does alcohol and drug use.

You may not find out the exact cause of your miscarriage and it is quite common for medical tests to fail to explain the reasons why.

Most miscarriages can’t be prevented, but a nutrient rich diet low in refined carbohydrate and moderate exercise helps keep you healthy and well.

Not consuming certain foods and drinks are a good idea too. Alcohol, coffee and inflammatory foods should be avoided.

Thinking about getting pregnant again

After a miscarriage, many people will be anxious about getting pregnant again. Having doubts is normal, as you may feel that you could miscarry again. Taking time to think about your decision and discuss it with your partner is important, as it can take a toll on your emotions and mental health.

Rest and relaxation are the most important aspect of recovery and are often overlooked. The body after a miscarriage needs to time to heal.

How acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can help in recovery and for future pregnancies

We practice gentle treatment for future pregnancies by combining carefully selected traditional herbal medicine and targeted acupuncture at our clinic.  Combining the two gives real strength to the treatment. Together they can help your body recover after a miscarriage by rebalancing your hormones and regulating your periods. They can also help bring strong blood-flow back to your womb and abdomen.

Treatment and lifestyle advice are intended to support each stage of a woman’s ovulatory cycle, since a woman’s chemical balance changes from week to week.

We also use temperature charting to access the health of a woman’s cycle. This is how minor abnormalities in a woman’s cycle are observed.

Some real-life success stories

Collette

Collette had had two consecutive miscarriages and feared she would never have children. When she booked an appointment at Cambourne Acupuncture, she was, in her own words “a broken lady”.

She goes on to say that “after treatment with Jane, my next pregnancy was to be a success and I finally got my rainbow baby. What [Jane] can do for you is priceless. Thank you so much for your help and support”.

Hannah

If you’ve had a miscarriage, or have been having difficulty getting pregnant, please do get in touch and we can discuss how we can help. You can click on the contact us tab to find out more, or you can book an appointment. We are currently offering a free consultation with your first appointment.

Migraine

Most people think of  migraines as a bad headache but there is more to them than that. For those of you who suffer with migraines, whether occasionally or frequently, that doesn’t begin to describe how they affect every part of your life.

The anatomy of a migraine

There are several types of migraine, but most are characterised by the severe pain radiating on one side of the head.

Typical symptoms of migraine are often experienced in phases, where people start to feel tired and irritable, then comes sensitivity to light, sound and smells, stiff neck and mood changes, followed by throbbing headache and fatigue. With some forms there can be pins and needles, numbness, nausea (vomiting even), disorientation or confusion.

All in all, it is a thoroughly unpleasant experience.

The migraine impact

The causes are numerous and individual to each person, but the impact on quality of life is much the same and always wide-reaching. Around 86 million workdays are lost in the UK alone, due to migraine. The cost in healthcare is about £1 billion.

This of course has an impact on the economy. Far harder to calculate is the far-reaching impact it has in other areas of people’s lives. It has effects emotional wellbeing, as sufferers are more prone to anxiety and depression. This has obvious consequences for them, their family and friends, as they are unable to fully participate in their lives, whether it be work performance or other activities.

If you don’t want to take drugs

So, what can be done to help alleviate symptoms and prevent occurrence of migraines?

Beyond using pharmaceuticals for pain relief, other interventions can be used to treat and prevent symptoms.

A healthy diet free of nitrates and trigger foods (diary in some) can help, while adding extra magnesium helps with prevention. Tracking your diet and noting what you were eating and drinking can help you narrow down what might be the triggers for your attacks.

Acupuncture for Migraines

In my practice, I have found acupuncture really helpful for my clients.

First of all, it can help with pain relief. It does this by stimulating the release of endorphins, those feel-good hormones, helping you to relax and rest.  Some medical studies have shown that low serotonin is sometimes linked to migraines and acupuncture can help to level that out.

It can also help considerably with the reduction in frequency of attacks, and the extent to which they affect you when they do occur. It does this by restoring healthy blood flow and reducing inflammation in and around your head and neck.

Shane’s experience

A client of mine, Shane, suffered with migraines regularly before she came to see me. Alongside excruciating headaches, she would experience violent vomiting. Her migraines would last for days and pain killers had no effect. But after just one session her symptoms began to improve immediately:

“The sickness went away and the headaches were much less severe. My treatment was weekly at first and after about 3 sessions my migraines went away.”

Shane continues to have occasional preventative sessions. She says:

I absolutely can’t recommend Jane enough and will continue to have treatments in the future.

Want to know more?

To learn more about migraines, symptoms, causes and relief, you can visit the link to the British Acupuncture Council factsheet. We are members of the British Acupuncture Council, the UK’s largest regulatory body for acupuncturists. That means you can visit us with confidence.

 

So if, like Shane, you are suffering with migraines, don’t wait to exhaust all the options before you get in touch with me. Call for an exploratory chat, or book here