Big Fat Positive!- A Case Study
I had been working with this lovely patient for about 5 months before she conceived. She originally came to me after experiencing a miscarriage from which she had conceived naturally. After the miscarriage, her usually regular periods became long and irregular. She and her husband had been trying to get pregnant again for months without success. She visited her gynecologist and was told her AMH level was very low at 0.1, at this point she reached out to me to seek Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine and also made an appointment to see a Reproductive Endocrinologist to consider IVF.
At her initial appointment we discussed her medical & menstrual history and took a close look at her lifestyle & diet. We examined what factors may be contributing to her fertility issues and identified some significant stressors in her life. She had a very busy work schedule and as a result she had developed unhealthy and irregular eating habits like skipping meals and frequently eating quick unintentional meals. This lead to an overall lack of nutrition and big drops and spikes in her blood sugar, which contributed to her hormonal imbalance and negatively effected her fertility. We discussed the importance of eating regular meals and I gave her specific diet and lifestyle suggestions to optimize her fertility.
Over the next 3-4 months she took her diet and lifestyle changes to heart and put them into action. She was intentional about reducing her stress and making more time for rest. She changed her diet to include regular meals focusing on high quality proteins and lots of vegetables, and reduced her consumption of quick processed foods. She also started walking regularly. She got regular acupuncture treatments and consistently took the herbal medicine formula I had prescribed for her.
Just a of couple weeks before she was scheduled to start IVF, this beautiful momma conceived naturally!!!
The take away lesson we can learn from this case is that lab tests and measurements are merely a snapshot in time. High stress, poor diet and lifestyle will effect your fertility negatively and we can often see a poor lifestyle reflected in fertility blood work. Doctors often tell patients that there is nothing they can do to change these numbers and that their only option is synthetic hormones and harsh medications leaving the patient feeling disempowered and sometimes helpless. This is not the right message to pass on.
One of the things I love the most about being an Acupuncturist is that I get to spend so much time with my patients. I do so much more than "stick needles in people." I take a significant amount of time getting to know my patients with a two hour initial visit. Based on the information I gather from the first visit I make my diagnosis, pick my herbal formula(s), and write up a report that explains the patient's diagnosis to them in detail so that they understand how I am seeing their pattern and what they can do to bring that picture into more balance. I outline a treatment plan and give diet and lifestyle suggestions to improve overall health and optimize fertility. This approach puts the power directly in the patient's hands and gives them the tools to manage a healthy lifestyle for years to come.
Trust in your body's ability to heal. Diet and lifestyle have a major impact on your overall health and when adjusted appropriately the body can often heal itself. Proper diet and lifestyle lays the foundation for your health. You may still need some help to conceive but never think that those healthy changes you are making are not helping even if you don't see immediate results. When we add acupuncture and herbs to a healthy diet and lifestyle your treatments are more effective and last longer because they have than healthy foundation to hang on to. Your body loves being loved.
In conclusion, I want to say that there are many factors that can lead to fertility struggles and not everyone is able to conceive naturally, even when they are leading a very healthy lifestyle. I work with both women, men and couples who are trying to conceive whether naturally or in combination with IUI or IVF and I always say, "There is no wrong way to get pregnant, there is no wrong way to get the baby out, and there is no wrong way to feed your baby."
Each journey is unique and that is OKAY. The important thing is to learn to stay connected to your body's innate wisdom, your body's ability to heal, and the profound impact you can have on your own wellbeing when you have the right tools and are intentional about caring for yourself.
Sending you love & strength,
The global outbreak of COVID-19 has stopped us in our tracks and forced a time of stillness. Many patients have had IVF/IUI cycles delayed or cancelled. Clinic visits for acupuncture and many other services have also been disrupted. My heart goes out to each and every one of you who is trying to conceive during this time. I want you to know that I am doing everything I can to continue supporting you through your journey.
I AM OFFERING VIRTUAL VISITS FOR NEW AND ESTABLISHED PATIENTS:
Initial Visit 1- We will discuss your detailed health and fertility history. I will take this information and make your diagnosis and write a report for you which we will go over during your second visit.
Initial Visit 2- During this visit I will explain your diagnosis to you and give you tools to optimize your fertility. I will give you a list of food therapy suggestions based on your diagnosis. We will identify what foods encourage balance and what foods may be contributing to imbalance. I will teach you about the 4 phases of the menstrual cycle and give you lifestyle suggestions to support your fertility during each phase of your cycle.
Herbal Medicine- I am a MN Board licensed herbalist and I can support you with herbal medicine to support your fertility. Herbal medicine is invaluable at this time because it is taken every day. For now herbal medicine will take the place of acupuncture treatments.
As hard as this may be, we need to look at this time of stillness as a gift. This slower pace is so good for your health and wellbeing...
and for your fertility. When the world is working at its usual pace, the hardest message to get across to my patients is the importance of slowing down. Our Mother Earth has asked us to stop now; she has given us the gift of stillness and quiet. This is time for our earth to heal. We can use this time to heal our bodies and spirits, and to nourish the soil before we plant the seed.
Let's make the most of this time. I am here for you. 612-242-8041
Licensed Acupuncturist, Herbalist & Owner
April 02nd, 2019
The holidays bring up many mixed emotions. There are feelings of excitement, joy and love but his time of year can also stir up a lot of stress, anxiety and sadness. If you’re struggling to conceive or have experienced pregnancy loss it can be a particularly difficult time.
The holidays are hyper focused on children and family. With so much expectation to feel genuine joy around the holidays this can be a very difficult time of year if you’re struggling with fertility issues, grief and loss. Your extended family may or may not know about your struggles to conceive and even the most innocent comments can cut like a knife. Christmas cards, family photos and letters that update you on your friend’s and families’ lives are well intentioned and appreciated but can be a constant reminder that you’re still waiting for your little one…
Here are a few things you can do to take good care of yourself this season:
I hope these tips help get you through the holiday season. Remember to be gentle with yourself and to take time to find joy in the little things. Come back to your breath and the present moment as often as possible. Trust the timing of your life and honor your unique journey. You are truly amazing and you really are doing a wonderful job- I promise.
And with that, I’m sending you lots of love, support and light as we transition into the New Year!
Feel It to Heal It
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been feeling all the emotions with this full moon…
As you know, women’s bodies are intrinsically connected to the ebb and flow of the moon. Many women either bleed with the new moon or full moon when they’re not on birth control and we often tend to feel naturally more emotional around the full moon. This just goes to show we can try to escape nature (especially on those sub zero days!) but nature cannot escape us.
This full moon may have you feeling more tender and emotional than usual. That can lead you to feel overwhelmed or like you’re spiraling out of control. You may notice obsessive thoughts about challenging things you’re going through in your personal life or find it more difficult to sit back and enjoy the blessings you already have in your life.
As an acupuncturist specializing in fertility and women’s health, I have intimate conversations with my patients about their deepest pains and their greatest joys. A theme that’s been coming up a lot lately is dealing with the grief of a family not coming as easily as you had envisioned it. Many of us are “type A” perfectionists who like to plan out every detail. When you’ve always had a plan and been able to achieve your goals through hard work and persistence, it can be absolutely devastating to realize starting a family doesn’t necessarily follow those same rules.
Let me be brutally honest for a minute. Dealing with fertility struggles or miscarriages absolutely sucks and is completely unfair. There is NOTHING that you did, didn’t do, ate, didn’t eat, etc. that made you ‘deserve’ this. You are not fulfilling some crappy karma, you didn’t do anything wrong and it’s not your fault. Bottom line, sometimes life serves you a hard pill to swallow. You may feel like you’ll never get through it, but you will. Not only will you get through it, but you’ll be a stronger, more compassionate human being who’ll know how to hold space for someone else who really needs it one day. Ultimately, life is constantly shifting and changing and nothing last forever. Sometimes heartbreaking things happen that are simply out of your control.
Sometimes all you can do is keep showing up for yourself. You are stronger than you think. I promise.
Here are a few things you can do to support yourself if you are struggling:
As always, take what works and leave the rest. These are the things that I come back to time and time again. You may have your own tips and tricks. And if you do, I’d love to hear what they are.
Remember: Life is a journey and we’re all in it together. You’re not alone. It is my pleasure and honor to be on this journey with you.
I hope I see you soon for a needle nap. :)
Sending you love and light,
I love this beautiful image and post by Duvet Days showing the intimate connection between the moon and menstrual cycles. Duvet Days is a fantastic organization that uses beautiful designs to support those affected by rape and domestic abuse. The designs help to create empowerment through awareness, self discovery, space for self-love.
MENSTRUAL PHASE / NEW MOON (day 1-5)⠀⠀
The uterus sheds the inner lining of soft tissue and blood vessels which exits our bodies in the form of menstrual fluid through the vagina.⠀⠀
FOLLICULAR PHASE / WAXING MOON (day 1-13)⠀⠀
During this stage the follicles in the ovaries mature and ends with ovulation. The main hormone controlling this stage is estradiol. ⠀⠀
OVULATION PHASE / FULL MOON (day 14)⠀⠀
The pituitary gland secretes a hormone that causes our ovaries to release a matured egg which flows into the fallopian tube on the 14th day of our cycle. ⠀⠀
LUTEAL PHASE / WANING MOON (day 15-28)⠀⠀
This stage happens after ovulation and before the menstrual phase. The egg that is released during the ovulation phase stays in the fallopian tube for 24 hours. During this time the lining of your uterus normally gets thicker to prepare for a possible pregnancy or if sperm does not impregnate the egg within that time, the egg disintegrates and ends with the menstrual phase.⠀⠀
©2017 Designs By Duvet Days / All Rights Reserved⠀⠀
Ask Mother Moon
Do You Really Have Anxiety or is There Something Else Going On?
Q: “I’ve been feeling so anxious and irritable lately. What is my problem? I have no idea what’s wrong with me.”
A: In my personal life, and through working with many women who experience anxiety, I have come to believe that anxiety and irritability can often present as surface emotions that result from repressed grief.
Here’s a personal story I want to share with you…
Over the summer my Grandmother passed away. I knew it would be hard to lose her, but I tried to tell myself that it would be okay. She lived a long life, she had a loving family, she was old and she was ready to go…
When I got the news that she had passed away, I was on a date with my husband. We were sitting in the sun on a beautiful patio enjoying dinner. Immediately, tears flooded my eyes but I pushed them back. I was in public and didn’t want people to see me crying. At her funeral, I was surrounded with family. We cried, shared memories of her, and felt the heartbreak of losing someone who was so very special to us.
After her funeral, I returned to work and my regular routine right away. Life moves so quickly that I didn’t really have time to grieve. As the days passed, I felt myself becoming more and more anxious and irritable. I was snapping at my family, my heart felt like it was pounding out of my chest, my thoughts were racing and scattered. I was exhausted but couldn’t fall asleep at night. I felt like a terrible mess.
I remember saying to myself, “What is wrong with me?! I don’t even know what my problem is!” I started to go down that ugly road of beating myself up in my head.
But then I stopped…
I got out my yoga mat. My thought was maybe I just needed to do some yoga to calm down. I stood there for a minute trying to get up the motivation to move my body. Suddenly, I felt exhausted and just laid down on my mat.
Then, the tears came. My first instinct was to stop them, push them down and get on with my day. But I didn’t. This time, I let them come. First just a tear or two fell down my face. Before I knew it, an ocean opened up inside me, and I sobbed and sobbed for the deep loss that I felt.
As I cried, I began to realize I was not only crying about losing my Grandmother, but also about other past hurts and difficult losses I had not given enough time or attention to. I let myself cry for a long time that day. I decided this time I would allow myself as much time to grieve as I needed. I wouldn’t put any timeline or expectations on when I was supposed to feel better.
Over the summer, I spent many days just letting tears fall whenever they came. I was gentle with myself. I allowed myself to let some things go undone and I said “no” to things I would have typically felt obligated to do. I took time to sit with my grief and let things be just as they were.
As the weeks past I eventually began to feel better, not perfect, but better. I felt like a huge weight had been lifted from me. It was such a sense of relief. It felt like I could breathe again. My anxiety was gone, I was sleeping better and I was being gentle with my family and myself. Yes, I was sad. But sadness softens with time, and I knew I would be okay.
Mother Moon exists because I wanted to create a place for true and genuine healing for the body, mind and spirit. I think one of the most important parts of healing is being willing to be honest with yourself. You have to learn to be kind and loving towards yourself. This is a skill we develop over time, with practice.
Healing is not always pretty; sometimes it’s downright ugly for a while. But it’s all part of the process…and that’s okay. Grief can be a scary thing to explore. Sometimes it feels like if you really let yourself go there, you might never come back…but you will. There are always hidden treasures, growth and great beauty in grief.
Here are a few tips for working with grief and anxiety:
Sharing our stories shines light into dark places…
One of the most amazing parts of my job is that I get the honor of hearing so many women’s stories. Hearing your stories always leaves me in awe of how strong and resilient women are. It reminds me that we are not alone in our struggles.
Are you interested in participating in a free Fertility Support Group at Mother Moon?
I’ve been thinking about creating a support group for Mother Moon patients struggling with fertility and sexual health. I would love to know if any of you are interested in connecting with other strong and amazing women at Mother Moon. I think it would be amazing if you had to opportunity to meet each other, share your stories and inspire one another as much as you have inspired me!
Here are a few ideas I’m kicking around:
I want us to build this together. I would LOVE to hear any ideas you have!
I hope you’re enjoying the beautiful weather, getting lots of time in the sun and connecting with nature.
I’ve been enjoying a relaxing summer with my family and friends, spending long days at the lake, riding my bike and reading lots of good books. I’m also giving myself permission to take a slower pace (hence no Ask Mother Moon last month) and it feels really good!
So many of you send your friends, family, and co-workers my way and I wanted to find a way to thank you. I truly appreciate your personal vote of confidence in Mother Moon Acupuncture.
When you’ve experienced first-hand the healing power of Traditional Chinese Medicine, you know how valuable it is to invest in your personal health. You often ask if I can help your friend, husband, sister or co-worker with their health issues. The answer is…absolutely! I will always make time to treat your loved ones and I’m happy to chat with them to answer any questions they might have about my treatment approach and how acupuncture can help them achieve their health goals.
Introducing Mother Moon’s Share the Love Program!
From now through October 1st, 2017, when you refer a new patient to Mother Moon Acupuncture, your friend will receive 15% off of their first treatment and you will receive a $15 credit that can be used for any product or service at Mother Moon.
In order to qualify for the Share the Love Program, the patient must be new to Mother Moon. Once your referred new patient has completed their initial visit, your account will be credited and can be used at any time!
When you refer a new patient to Mother Moon you can be confident that they will be genuinely cared for and treated as an individual, not a number. My goal is to promote true healing through acupuncture, herbal medicine, lifestyle guidance and food therapy. This holistic approach to health gives you and your loved ones the tools to get to the root of the issue, heal naturally, and thrive!
Thank you for your continued support and referrals, I appreciate it more than you know!
Sending you lots of love and light,
Trying To Conceive
This formula is for a patient who is trying to conceive. It supports the reproductive (kidney) energy, improves digestion, and has calming herbs to soothe anxiety.
Raw herbal formulas are valuable because we have the ability to build a formula that is specific for the patient's individual needs.
When treating fertility we often change the formula based on where a woman is in her cycle. There are four phases of the cycle: Period | Follicular | Ovulation | Luteal. This formula is for support during the luteal phase.
Be Here Now
Artist unknown- please comment if you know!
Sometimes life brings us storms, situations we can't understand, pain, difficulties and struggles that never seem to end.
At times like these it's helpful to tune into this...exact...moment...
Ask yourself "is everything okay RIGHT...NOW...?"- The answer is almost always yes.
Tune into your breath, notice how wonderful it feels to simply breath.
Listen to the sounds around you. Allow yourself to be fully present in the moment.
It's such a relief to just be here now. You can drop the pain and suffering of the past, you can let go of your fear and anxieties about the future.
Right now, in this very moment is where you live. You live in the moment that you sip your tea, watch the rain falling on the trees, with every step you take on this beautiful earth. Each breath you take is a precious gift in itself. This very moment we are surrounded by infinite beauty and perfection, the challenge is to slow down enough to notice.
Meghan E. Berg
Mother Moon Acupuncture
4059 Chicago Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55407