Specializing in Infertility, Women's Health, Pain Management, Autoimmune Diseases, Herbal Medicine & Nutritional Counseling
Infertility is defined as one year of unprotected intercourse which does not result in conception. Approximately 2.6 million American couples suffer from infertility. The cause of infertility may stem from either partner. Approximately 60% of infertility cases are due to female conditions, while 40% are due to male conditions. In either case, it can be extremely heartbreaking. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) offers hope to the couple by establishing harmony within the entire body.
The benefits of acupuncture and TCM for the treatment of infertility can be found in early Chinese medicine literature dating back to 11 AD. Not only does TCM improve the probability of becoming pregnant and having a healthier baby, it also serves to enhance the function of the whole body. This holistic approach provides the key to unlocking unlimited potential in healing. This is especially important for people who are over age 40, as it stimulates overall health, which in turn, affects their reproductive system.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, we believe conception will occur when Kidney Jing (Tian Kui) is abundant and strong, when Yin, Yang, Qi, and Blood in the channels are harmonized, and when there is a peaceful Shen (spirit). Together, these aspects are the foundation of overall health and the root of conception.
The causes of infertility are many: endometriosis, ovulation problems, tubal factor, hormonal imbalance, unexplained infertility, male factor, poor ovarian reserve function, poor egg quality, premature ovarian failure (POF), luteal phase defect, habitual miscarriage, thin endometrium, irregular period, amenorrhea, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), abnormally shaped uterus, immunological infertility, etc. These causes can be determined by a Western medical reproductive work-up. Western medical methods for treating infertility are highly technical and expensive, and recent reports indicate a relatively low success rate. Because of this, alternative methods, such as TCM and acupuncture, are increasing in popularity.
A recent study published in Fertility and Sterility found that using acupuncture with In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) achieved a 42% clinical pregnancy rate compared to 26% in a control group that did not receive acupuncture. This study involved giving acupuncture for just one day shortly before and after the transfer of the embryos. Clinically, this rate increased to 60% when using a broader support of both Chinese herbs and acupuncture in preparation before, during, and after IVF.
At the Traditional Chinese Medicine Healing Center, we specialize in the treatment of reproductive enhancement, and recognize that every person and couple having difficulty conceiving need individualized treatment. We thoroughly examine your overall health to pinpoint where imbalances are, then develop a treatment plan that is appropriate for you. For best results most couples have greater success using acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine before attempting more technically advanced methods such as medications, intrauterine insemination (IUI), and IVF. This is mainly due to the notion that good health is a fundamental precursor to conception. However, in certain cases of infertility, especially in women with disruption affecting both fallopian tubes, assisted reproductive technology (ART), such as IVF, should be the primary treatment, with acupuncture as a support.
In general, women are recommended to implement acupuncture and herbal medicine for at least 3-6 months before considering more high risk, toxic, invasive and expensive ART techniques. Women often feel that they need to do as much as medically possible, often due to a sense of time running out from aging. Actually, the majority of women are able to respond to TCM / acupuncture treatment without the need of powerful drugs, often resulting in an easier pregnancy and healthier baby. Trying TCM / Acupuncture as a primary step is strongly recommended and extremely successful.
In cases of male factor infertility, only a small percentage of cases can be attributed to a treatable condition, and most infertile men are not given a definitive diagnosis in Western Medicine. TCM and acupuncture can greatly improve male factor infertility, including semen quality, which will dramatically improve your chances of natural pregnancy or increase the success rate of IUI or IVF.
We believe the reason for the significantly higher success rate in our clinic with couples who use only acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine is because the holistic treatment completely balances the body’s energy flow, balances the hormonal system, and encourages the body to do what it wants to do naturally – conceive.
Herbal Medicine is another integral part of Traditional Chinese Medicine which has long been used to successfully treat a variety of ailments. The earliest record of the use of Chinese herbal medicine dates back to around 206 BC with the book Shen Nong Ben Cao, or Divine Farmer's Materia Medica, which listed and described in detail the properties and medical uses of 365 herbs. Chinese herbs are derived from organic substances found in plants, barks, roots, flowers, and even minerals and animal products. Over the succeeding centuries, the use of Chinese formulas has evolved and adapted to the changing needs of society and an integrative medical landscape. Since the inception of Chinese herbal medicine, the beneficial healing effects, side effects, and contraindications have been well documented. It is quite rare that an herbal formula will illicit negative or harmful side effects, especially when prescribed by a well-trained Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioner.
For centuries and across large populations, herbal formulas have been prescribed to adults, children, the elderly, as well as pregnant and lactating mothers. When herbs are prescribed in conjunction with acupuncture, they complement each other quite nicely and produce very effective treatment protocols.
Herbal medicine and acupuncture are both rooted in the fundamental belief that there is an intrinsic connection between human beings, nature, and the cosmos.
Herbs tend to be highly specific in their actions.
They possess unique qualities and properties, much like human beings, and target different aspects of an individual’s disharmony.
Herbs have four major properties and functions:
Cold / Cooling herbs - clear heat, dispel fire, detoxify the body, and promote Yin energy
Warm / Heating herbs - warm the interior, dispel cold, and promote Yang energy
Mixing two or more individual herbs is similar to adding hot or cold water. It cannot be
too hot or too cold, unless the TCM practitioner is attempting to achieve this effect.
Herbs have five flavors that coincide with the five elements:
Sour (wood) – arrests, discharges, and acts as an astringent
Bitter (fire) – expels heat, reduces dampness, strengthens the Yin, and disperses fire
Sweet (earth) – strengthens the body, balances the Yin and Yang, and relieves pain
Pungent (metal) - disperses internal heat, and boosts circulation of Qi and blood
Salty (water) – softens hardness, moistens, and has a purgative effect
Seldom does an herbal formula belong to solely one flavor. Generally, it may possess
a few flavors, but in varying degrees. Therefore, a formula oftentimes contains more
than one property, function and flavor.
At TCM Healing Center, we customize formulas for the individual using only the highest quality herbs that contain no preservatives, sweeteners, and toxic heavy metal. Our expertise in TCM diagnosis allows us to ascertain the root cause; therefore we are able to treat your symptoms as well as the primary cause of your ailment.
Women’s health is greatly impacted by even subtle imbalances in hormones. Hormones are substances that are released by the brain and other organs and flow through the blood stream acting as chemical messengers. When hormone levels are healthy, we are unaware of their pervasive and important role in our lives, but when these vital chemical messengers become imbalanced, our well-being and health can be greatly impacted.
The following symptoms are associated with a woman’s hormonal fluctuations in a monthly menstrual cycle or aging process and can often be addressed by Chinese Medicine:
Bloating in conjunction with the menstrual cycle
Menorrhagia (excessive bleeding)
Postpartum depression or fatigue
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
During each stage of a woman’s life, beginning with puberty, the cyclical fluctuation of progesterone and estrogen sets into motion a series of physiological responses. Erratic shifts in the estrogen/progesterone balance during one’s teenage years may show up as acne, mood swings, irregular menses, painful periods (dysmenorrhea), body aches, rashes, etc. From a traditional Chinese medical view, these symptoms occur because kidney qi is not abundant and liver blood is not flowing smoothly. Smoothing out these erratic hormonal shifts by nourishing kidney qi and improving the flow of liver blood can prevent many of these conditions from occurring. Furthermore, creating a healthy foundation during the teenage years can prevent hormonal related problems later in life.
Women are normally at the peak of their health during the reproductive years. The body prepares every month for the possibility of becoming pregnant. If a woman does not conceive, her uterine lining sloughs off, then menstruation occurs. However, if our bodies are stressed, undernourished, or lacking in sleep, the delicate balance of the hypothalamus-pituitary-ovarian feedback loop can lead to symptoms of hormonal imbalance such as moodiness, PMS, migraines, breast tenderness, decreasing attention span, bloating and weight gain. These imbalances in energy and hormones can also lead to the heart-wrenching problems of infertility and postpartum depression. Chinese medicine balances the entire body function to improve both men and women’s ability to conceive. It is a particularly powerful option for women over forty, who need to be strengthened as well as balanced.
Infertility is an enormous concern in the field of gynecology. Drs. Shiao-Ting Jing, Florence Lim,and Biao Lu work together to enhance fertility outcomes for their patients and have had an excellent success rate addressing infertility, either in conjunction with Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) or with Chinese medicine alone. We always recommend that couples undergo a complete Western medical reproductive evaluation to determine the cause of their infertility. We understand that Western medical methods of treating infertility are highly technical, quite expensive, and often limited to women whose ovaries are responsive to treatment and whose hormone levels fall within a certain range. Nevertheless, these methods are often a beacon of hope to many couples who are told they cannot conceive naturally. Recent reports by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest that the overall success rate of ART is still low when used alone. When combined with acupuncture and herbal medicine therapy, however, the chance of success greatly improves.
Pregnancy / Post-Partum
Chinese medicine can also help women who have experienced difficulties maintaining a pregnancy or carrying a healthy baby to term. Repeated pregnancy loss (habitual abortion) is considered a type of infertility. Chinese medicine is very effective in protecting against miscarriage.
In addition, Chinese medicine has a long tradition of helping women recover gracefully from pregnancy. It is a very effective way to reset the body and prevent or alleviate postpartum discomforts such as fatigue, night sweats, hair loss, joint pain, and depression.
Peri-menopause, Menopause and Beyond
Additional shifts in a woman’s physiology occur during the perimenopausal years. Menopause is a gradual physiological process - a natural life transition. A woman is born with roughly 600,000 follicles. By the time she reaches puberty, she has only 300,000. The number of follicles decreases to about 10,000 by the time she experiences menopause. The experience of menopause is predicated on the health of the woman up to that point in her life. It is quite possible to achieve a later menopause with few symptoms.
Unfortunately, if a woman previously experienced problems related to hormonal imbalance during the course of her reproductive years, she may continue to experience disruptive symptoms as the body shifts into this new stage of life. These symptoms may include acne, sleep disorders (such as frequent waking), migraines, hair loss, hot flashes, mood swings, bloating, weight gain, digestive problems, decline in libido, and high cholesterol.
Because peri-menopause and menopause are a natural transition, it is not necessary for every woman to use hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Instead, the body can be gently induced to produce a more balanced mixture of hormones through the use of Chinese herbal formulas and acupuncture without the health risks associated with HRT. These natural therapies establish a healthy foundation for permanent results and future well-being. Additionally, if a woman and her M.D. decide that HRT is the best choice, then Chinese medicine is a powerful tool to optimize the body’s ability to integrate the HRT and minimize any side effects. If you are interested in additional information about menopause, please go to our FAQpage.
After a regular full-body acupuncture treatment, the acupuncturist will move on to the facial portion of the treatment. If the practitioner only does the facial part of the treatment, Beisel doesn’t recommend it.
“If you were just going to put a large number of needles in the face and not the full body, this would result in energy congestion in the face,” she says. “A client can experience dullness, headache, and discomfort.” When you start with the body, you can experience a full flow of energy that helps support the facial acupuncture.
On the face, the acupuncturist will insert 40 to 70 tiny and painless needles. As the needles puncture the skin, they create wounds within its threshold, which are called positive microtraumas. When your body senses these wounds, it goes into repair mode. This is the same idea microneedling uses to get bright, anti-aging results — except acupuncture is a bit less intense, averaging about 50 punctures. Microneedling applies hundreds of pricks through a rolling device.
These punctures stimulate your lymphatic and circulatory system, which work together to deliver nutrients and oxygen to your skin cells, nourishing skin from the inside out. This helps even out your complexion and promote your skin’s glow. The positive microtraumas also stimulates the production of collagen. This helps improve elasticity, minimizing fine lines and wrinkles.
Nutrition is a fundamental pillar of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Using food as medicine goes back thousands of years. Chinese nutrition aims to bring balance to the body. It focuses on the energetic properties of food as opposed to Western nutrition, which focuses on the biochemical nature. At TCM Healing Center we integrate the ancient wisdom of TCM with labs and functional medicine tests to address current health concerns. We work with Alcat and MRT food sensitivity tests, which can determine causes of eczema, psoriasis, joint pain, brain fog, headaches, autoimmune conditions, and gastrointestinal issues that may otherwise go unexplained. Nutritional evaluation tests can determine micronutrient deficiencies, heavy metal toxicity, oxidative stress, as well as measure genomic markers. We partner with Genova Diagnostics to offer comprehensive stool testing to identify parasite, yeast or bacterial overgrowth, H. Pylori, and intestinal permeability, which all are common causes of digestive concerns. We can guide you to make appropriate food choices that will make every meal an opportunity to heal your condition or constitution.
An ear candle is a hollow cone created from unbleached fabric, usually linen, soaked in paraffin, beeswax or soy wax. They range in length, averaging about a foot long.
First, you’ll be instructed to lie on your side and make sure your face and outer ear are protected by something like a plate. It will have a hole cut in the middle around the candle to avoid burns from wax drippings. Your practitioner should gently insert the tapered end of the candle into your ear canal at a 90 degree angle from the ear.
For 10 to 15 minutes, you’ll enjoy the pleasant, crackling sound of the burning candle as the person burning it cuts off the end of the cloth every two inches or so. When about four inches remain, the candle is removed from the ear and then blown out.
Turn over. Repeat. Then, look at the disgusting gunk that came out of your ears. How could all of that stuff have been in my head, you ask?
Supposedly, ear candling creates a vacuum inside the ear in order to draw out ear wax. Because of the buildup in the ear canal seen on the burned candle, it’s easy to see why people prescribe ear candles for things such as:
Excess ear wax