PMS Success with Acupuncture

By Evelyn Cho, Registered Massage Therapist & Registered Acupuncturist

Mood swings. Headache. Tender breasts. Acne. Cramps. Back pain…

Most women will experience various degrees of these common PMS symptoms at some point.  Many thinking that’s just the way it is, reach for the pain medications or chocolate and soldier on. But it certainly doesn’t have to be so unpleasant!  Acupuncture plus a few lifestyle tweaks can go a long way to keep you comfortable when it’s that time of the month.  […]

By |March 6th, 2018|Acupuncture, Women's Wellness|0 Comments

Perimenopausal Relief with Acupuncture

By Xianmin Yu, Registered Acupuncturist

What is perimenopause?

Perimenopause refers to a period around menopause, which marks a transition period of female’s sexual function from maturity to decline or to the end of reproductive time. This transition period usually starts in the mid-40s, but some females might even start this process as early as their late-30s. Perimenopause is actually a normal process for females to have some physiological changes. Due to body constitution differences, and social and psychological factors, females who could not adapt to this physiological transition smoothly, would develop perimenopausal syndrome accordingly.

Perimenopause involves a series of clinical symptoms caused by endocrine (i.e., reproductive endocrine and neuroendocrine) disorders and autonomic dysfunction which are triggered by decreased estrogen level. As ovarian function declines to complete loss, both blood estrogen and progesterone levels drop, which breaks up the balance of hypothalamus-pituitary-ovarian axis, and thus leads to autonomic dysfunction.

Typical symptoms are irregular periods (i.e., the coming period is unpredictable as the length of time between two periods varies dramatically).

Popular clinical symptoms include sleep disorders (i.e., insomnia, shallow sleep, easy to wake up, dreaminess), sweating after hot flashes, fatigue, palpitation, dizziness, ear ringing, irritability, depression, anxiety, joints pain (osteoarthritis), low back sore, and heel pain.

Other common clinical symptoms include forgetful, breast fullness, abnormal skin sensations, knee weakness, decreased sexual desire, intercourse pain, etc.

Thee symptoms vary in severity, and may show up partially or entirely in some severe cases.

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By |March 6th, 2018|Acupuncture, Women's Wellness|0 Comments

Massage Therapy & Women’s Health

Interview with Leigh-Anne Best, Registered Massage Therapist

Leigh-Anne is one of the talented team of RMTs at Innate Wellness. Both as an RMT and as a mother, she has tackled many women’s health issues including pelvic floor health, pregnancy, labour and postpartum health. She is a wealth of information on how massage can be used for women specific concerns. We asked her to help us understand a little more about how this wonderful modality can be used for health & healing in women.

Q1: How can massage therapy help to address women’s health?

Massage Therapy is well known for its ability to promote relaxation, reduce stress and muscle tension, as well as for its role in rehabilitation and injury prevention. However, there is less of an understanding of the benefits of massage as a holistic approach to women’s health issues.

What most people don’t know is that Massage Therapy is an effective modality for treating women’s health issues, including irregular menstrual cycles, menstrual disorders like PMS and PMDD, but also for aiding with fertility issues.

Additionally, massage is an excellent means in which to support the ever-changing needs in women’s bodies during pregnancy, in preparation for birth and during labour, and, most importantly, as part of the postpartum picture for healing.
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Traditional Chinese Energy, Pain & Stress Management 

Q & A with Evelyn Cho, RMT, R.Ac

Meet Evelyn! She is a new acupuncturist at Innate Wellness. She brings a great balance to our acupuncture practice with a background as a Registered Massage Therapist & Registered Acupuncturist. She blends the two therapies but only offers acupuncture sessions at Innate Wellness. Her knowledge gives her a great edge in the treatment of chronic fatigue, chronic pain and chronic stress. We sat down to ask her a few tips about managing these conditions with acupuncture. Evelyn practices on Wednesdays at our High Park location. Call the front desk to book an appointment!

What is your focus in your acupuncture practice?
My main focus is chronic pain and fatigue.  I have worked as a Massage therapist for 10 years, so I have a lot of experience treating acute injuries, repetitive strains, and trauma from sports or accidents.  Recently, I’ve turned my attention to chronic pain or fibromyalgia, which doesn’t always have an obvious cause or progression.  The combination of massage therapy and acupuncture work very well together to alleviate pain and improve energy levels.  In addition, I’ve worked with a lot of fertility cases, headaches/migraines, and facial rejuvenation.

Can acupuncture be used to improve energy & motivation? 
It sure can! Many find the cold months very challenging, moods are depressed and energy is lower.  It’s usually helpful to make a few lifestyle and dietary tweaks in conjunction with acupuncture treatments. I usually recommend a course of 10 weekly treatments to make a major shift, but people usually notice significant improvement by 5-6 treatments.

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Blocked Ducts: A Common Breastfeeding Challenge

By: Taya Griffin, IBCLC – Taya Griffin is a Toronto Based International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. She prepares mothers for their breastfeeding journey in the prenatal period and provides in- home and hospital postpartum breastfeeding support. She can be reached at www.tayagriffin.com. 

The breastfeeding breast is amazing!  Indications of the first changes it will go through begin as early as weeks into pregnancy. Breasts can feel tender and sore, the areola may darken and the Montgomery tubercles around the areola may become more raised. Many mothers also begin to see a crust-like formation on the nipples. This crusting is a minute amount of colostrum which is seeping out ever so slowly and drying on the tip of the nipple.

Milk production doesn’t truly begin until the placenta is delivered. The progesterone and estrogen levels drop and milk production begins. After the milk has transitioned from colostrum to more mature milk, in and around the seventy two hour mark, one of the most common issues with breastfeeding breasts that I see as a Lactation Consultant (after sore nipples and low milk supply of course!) is blocked ducts.  […]

By |October 17th, 2017|Post Natal Care, Self Care, Women's Wellness|0 Comments

Self-Breast Examination

By: Dr. Angelina Riopel, ND

Self-breast examinations are a very important part of self-care, as women need to know what normal is so they can detect changes in the quality of their breast tissue.

“Forty percent of diagnosed breast cancers are detected by women who feel a lump, so establishing a regular breast self-exam is very important.”

John Hopkins medical center

WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?

“Normal” breast tissue will vary between women and change throughout the month due to the menstrual cycle. Note what your breast tissue feels like during the different stages of your cycle, as breast tissue is sensitive to hormonal fluctuations and can lead to breast tissue changes.

Important changes to note and if any of the following are observed please seek medical evaluation:

New lumps. Most breast lumps are not cancerous but should be examined by a medical professional for evaluation.
Changes, irritation or redness in the breast tissue, skin and nipple
Dimpling or thickening of the breast skin
Discharge from the nipple

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Nutrition for Healthy Breasts

By: Dr. Kathleen Regan, ND

It is not a stretch to say that health begins with what you eat. This is true of breast health and hormonal health in general. Changes in breast tissue from benign cysts to breast cancer have been linked to estrogen balance within the body or “estrogen dominance”.

“Estrogen dominance” is a term used to describe a high ratio of estrogen to progesterone or just globally high estradiol (one of the three types of possible estrogen). Estrogen dominance has been linked to many different types of women’s health issues besides breast health including PMS symptoms, menopausal symptoms, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, allergies, decreased libido, fatigue, fibrocystic breasts, headaches, infertility, irritability, and fat gain around the abdomen and on the top of the thighs. In addition, studies have shown a well-established link between excess estrogen and breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer and cervical dysplasia.

The good news is that hormones are affected by nutrition. Modifying specific dietary and lifestyle habits can help to keep hormones balanced! The following list includes nutrition habits that negatively impact healthy estrogen balance and healthy breasts. […]

By |October 17th, 2017|ND Editorial, Nutrition, Women's Wellness|0 Comments

Acupuncture, Fertility & Labor with Matthew Richardson, R.Ac.

Matthew Richardson, Registered Acupuncturist at Innate Wellness, High park, is an experienced acupuncturist who has spent a lifetime studying martial arts, Traditional Chinese Medicine and acupuncture. One thing many people don’t know about Matthew is his experience in fertility, pregnancy, labor and delivery. Wondering about how acupuncture can help fertility? Concerned about the labor and delivery process? Matthew has personal experience and many tips to help you conceive and deliver your baby on your terms!

Matthew Richardson, Registered Acupuncturist

Q1. For those of us that don’t know – what exactly is acupuncture and how does it work?

This is the most common question I get, and the hardest one to answer.

The textbook kind of answer is this : Acupuncture is a Traditional Chinese Medical practice that has been practiced, passed down and improved on for over 2000 years and involves the insertion of very thin sterile stainless steel needles into very specific points on the body. The stimulation of these points have the effect of regulating blood pressure, reducing pain, regulating the nervous system and promoting proper organ function. These combined effects are useful for treating any pain, symptom or disease of the body.

Put simply though, acupuncture stimulates the body to heal itself. Health is a state of balance.  Your best health comes from you, and acupuncture is the means by which we can improve the body’s function when it has lost balance.

As a side note, when people ask me about acupuncture I often suggest they come in to experience a session. There is a look that people have when you ask them to do something they have never imagined themselves doing before like acupuncture. I don’t think people are afraid of needles so much as they are afraid of the unknown or they think it will be painful since most needles we use hurt.

Let me just say Acupuncture doesn’t hurt.

There may be some areas that are more sensitive, but you don’t feel pain. Acupuncture is safe and painless, so if you feel anxious about it, I would say try it once and you will be pleasantly surprised. Common sensations you feel are warmth, tingling, heaviness or pressure in the area or just a general feeling of relaxation. It is these sensations that let us know we are having a healing effect on the body.

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Banish Stubborn Cellulite with Traditional Chinese Cupping & Acupuncture

With Matthew Richardson, R.Ac.
Unwanted cellulite can be very tricky to get rid of. It occurs as a result of a build up of fatty tissue closer to the surface of the body that creates an uneven or dimpled appearance on the skin. This tissue commonly accumulates on the hips, thighs, abdomen and on the back of the upper arms. We are often looking for the right cream or exercise that can change the tone of the skin and remove the uneven look but it can be very difficult to find a cream that is actually effective.

 

How is it treated?

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New @ Innate: Pelvic Massage (Mercier Technique) for Fertility Treatment!

Patti MacGregor, Registered Massage Therapist, is new to Innate. She is pleased to offer Mercier Technique. This is a form of pelvic massage that can loosen adhesions and decrease tension in the pelvis. This non-invasive technique is an excellent addition to your fertility package. Patti is available on Saturdays from 9am-3pm. Book in advance as her spots are limited!

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