The verdict is in. Fertility rates are declining, it's harder these days to conceive naturally than ever before. Our team of practitioners has many years of experience in working with couples who are wanting to conceive naturally, and those who are undergoing IVF treatment.
Our practitioners can help you to understand your cycle and be able to identify the optimal time of your cycle to conceive naturally. We work with many couples who are in the pre-conception stage, and are wanting to optimise their health as they prepare themselves physically and emotionally for pregnancy. Our practitioners can discuss nutrition, mineral and vitamin supplements, exercise and relaxation techniques that can help you during this time.
It can be difficult for women who have been given a diagnosis of PCOS, or endometriosis to envisage themselves improving their fertility. Some women have irregular periods, or no periods at all (amenorrhea) and may not be ovulating at all. We encourage women who have been trying for a while to ensure they have had full investigations to ensure there are no underlying issues, such as blocked fallopian tubes, that could be hindering their chances of conceiving. We also strongly recommend that the male partner also undergo full testing to ensure that any issues with sperm motility, morphology or sperm count are detected early on in the process, so that appropriate measures can be undertaken in a timely manner. We then work with a couple through the decision making process, supporting their choice to attempt to conceive naturally, or work with them alongside their IVF treatment.
You may already be well down the road on your fertility journey, and if you are undergoing IVF treatment our practitioners can support you through the process, helping you to understand each aspect of your treatment and the ways in which we can assist you. Your appointments with your practitioner are focused on helping you to feel empowered and educated in your fertility journey, providing you with a space for stress relief, and a chance to refocus. Many couples feel overwhelmed with the IVF process, and physically challenged by drug protocols, appointments, scans, and worry. Our practitioners understand the huge stress you are faced with during this time, and encourage you to keep regular acupuncture appointments. Any diagnosis of infertility from your specialist is taken into account, and then your hormonal balance and fertility is assessed from within a Chinese medicine diagnostic framework. Each appointment, your practitioner takes into account which stage of your IVF cycle you are at, and also assesses your specific needs on the day, to determine the best way to rebalance your body, and helping you to reconnect with a sense of calm and balance at the same time.
We've worked with couples at all stages of their fertility journey for over a decade. We believe the best outcomes are achieved when both of you are on the journey together, working to support each other, rather than us only working with "the one with the problem". Fertility problems can put enormous strain on a relationship, and working together as a team in this process can help to strengthen your relationship rather than it be a source of stress and pressure on your relationship.
For the majority of women, health is something that gets overlooked. Whether its due to work pressures, family commitments or just life in general, as women we have been expected to put up with an awful lot of health problems and accept them as normal. How often do we stop to think - were periods meant to be this painful? Was menopause meant to be this unbearable? Do I have to just accept that I get thrush after taking antibiotics? These problems and many others are definitely common, as natural health practitioners we think it's important to make the distinction between normal and common. We definitely don't think you should accept an ongoing health issue just because it's common.
There are a range of things that can go wrong with a woman's menstrual cycle. A textbook period occurs every 28-29 days, has no pain, is not too heavy, not too light, has no symptoms of anger or tearfulness leading up, and no problems like headaches or profound fatigue either before, during or after your bleed. Sound like a dream? We believe all women deserve to have a "dream" menstrual cycle, and we work with you to help identify any problems that might be occurring in your hormonal health that is in the way of you achieving that.
You may have even reached the end of your menstrual years, and plagued with a new set of problems around menopause. Hot flushes, insomnia, sweating, emotional volatility, weight changes, fluid retention - it's not an easy transition for a lot of women, who often trade one set of problems with their periods, for a whole lot of new problems when they start their transition through menopause. If you are in this stage of your life, and are looking for a supportive, caring practitioner to help you get through to the other side, speak to one of our practitioners.
Perhaps you have received an official diagnosis of a condition such as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) or endometriosis, or a uterine fibroid. If you are wanting to know about the way natural medicine can help you, please book an assessment with one of our practitioners.
There are a whole spectrum of problems that can arise in a woman's health, at any age and any stage of her life. Our practitioners are very well versed in all aspects of supporting women's health, and can discuss any of your concerns, and help you to establish a treatment plan that is best suited to your condition.
The youngest members of our families are the most sensitive to falling unwell in rapid and dramatic ways. Thankfully, they are also prone to recovering in an equally rapid fashion. Because of their responsiveness, children generally require a lot less intervention than adults. Our practitioners have experience in working with children of all ages, from just a few days after birth, and throughout infancy and childhood. .
Lifestyle education and supportive advice is often included as part of your consultation.
Colic, food intolerances and other digestive issues are common conditions to see in young babies, and they can cause a great deal of distress and irritability for the baby, and make life stressful for parents.
Failure to thrive can be a really stressful diagnosis for parents, often requiring increased vigilance around feeding patterns, regular weighing and monitoring output of urine and stools. Parents wonder if they are doing the right thing, and if there is anything else they can do, because sometimes making recommended changes to feeding don't yield the expected results of weight gain in your little one.
Food intolerances and digestive issues can remain as babies grow, and children can also develop them as they grow older. Problems such as ear, throat and chest infections are not uncommon in children, however in some children they can become more of a concern if they are recurring. Frequent infections mean your child requires a lot of time away from childcare or school - and usually for parents to take an equal amount of time away from work to care for them. Watching your child feeling miserable with a fever or infection can be difficult, and even moreso when they seem to get sick just as soon as they have recovered from the last infection.
Bedwetting can be a source of embarassment for children, who were once proud to graduate out of a night nappy and into underwear. Bedwetting can also cause a lot of disruption for the whole household, as clothing and bedding is changed in the middle of the night, it's not necessarily a quiet affair. Other things can disturb children's sleep as well - including nightmares, stress and anxiety.
When you bring your child to the clinic to see one of our practitioners, in addition to your primary area of concern, they will ask you about a number of aspects of you child's overall health and wellbeing. During the consult, your practitioner will often discuss nutrition advice, and can also show you massage techniques to do at home.
The silent epidemic of our modern age, autoimmune diseases are becoming more common in our population. There are also many conditions that are being newly recognised as being autoimmune conditions, as the scientific understanding of disease processes, and the immune system develops and becomes more sophisticated.
As the scientific understanding of autoimmune processes has developed, there have also been some prominent disease sufferers who have researched nutrition and lifestyle protocols that can be useful for sufferers of certain autoimmune conditions. The autoimmune paleo diet is very popular and widely known as a general starting point for many people with a new diagnosis of an autoimmune condition. The Wahls protocol is common for people with MS to follow, and is promoted by Terry Wahls, herself a sufferer of MS who has shared the ins and outs of how she reversed her disease progression to be able to get out of a wheelchair and back to living a normal life. The Jelinek protocol, also known as the OMS protocol is also heralded as effective for MS sufferers, and is another approach that was researched and found to be effective for a sufferer of MS who then went on to share his findings. These 3 approaches are all very different from one another, and are just 3 of many, many diet and lifestyle plans discussed by people who are suffering autoimmune disease.
With so many different approaches and protocols, it can be difficult to know which one if any is best suited for you. Our practitioners assess your health according to the principles of Chinese medicine, and prescribe dietary advice accordingly - giving you a tailored nutritional approach that is suited to your needs and your unique constitution, whilst taking into account your medical diagnosis and symptoms.
People who have an autoimmune diagnosis who are coming to the clinic for acupuncture or Chinese medicine treatment are assessed according to the principles of Chinese medicine diagnosis. Chinese medicine can help with the pain, fatigue and stress that is associated with some autoimmune disorders and many chronic conditions. Our practitioners take into account your medical diagnosis and disease history, any medications you might be taking, as well as conducting a Chinese medicine assessment of your condition. Our practitioners then take an integrative approach working alongside your other health providers and incorporating herbal formulas and acupuncture treatments, with Chinese medicine nutritional advice, nutritional supplementation to correct any deficiencies, and lifestyle prescriptions - to provide you with a tailored combination of natural medicines that best suits your situation.
Pregnancy can be such a wonderful time for some women, and unfortunately some women can really suffer. The treatment of a pregnant woman comes with its own unique set of health problems. A woman’s body is so vastly different during pregnancy than at any other time in her life, and health issues that arise of course need to take into account the health and safety of the baby.
Some women can have just one simple issue, such as back pain, or pelvic pain, whilst other women can feel like they are riddled with every problem under the sun from morning sickness, reflux, fluid retention and headaches through to varicose veins, insomnia and high blood pressure. Some women can also be dealing with the added stress and worry of spotting or bleeding, or threatened miscarriage. Our practitioners understand how troubling and distressing some of these problems can be, and we can offer you emotional support to deal with any stress you may be facing.
Our main goal is to support you during your pregnancy, helping you to feel understood, cared for and listened to throughout this important time.
Heading closer towards birth, the focus of our treatments turns towards preparing you for meeting your baby and the logistics of having a new family member. There are a range of physiological circumstances and variables that change in the leadup to labour, as well as a lot of stress and pressure that can fall upon to the mum-to-be's shoulders. For these and other reasons, we often suggest weekly appointments for women from 34 weeks gestation onwards, to discuss any changes that might be occurring, help to talk through various choices you may be faced with, and to provide you with maximum support during this time.
For first time mums, this can be a daunting time, where you may be feeling nervous and not entirely sure what to expect when you are in labour. Women who have already had a child need a different type of support or encouragement if they had unexpected or difficult circumstances around their previous birth experiences. Your practitioner's focus in on supporting you, and offering guidance and helpful strategies to have you feeling calm and empowered throughout the process. Your practitioner can help you in a range of ways - whether it is through encouragement to stay on track with your nutritional plan for gestational diabetes, or as a sounding board to help you reflect on your choices leading up to birth, to discuss your concerns if you have found out that your baby is in the breech position, or to help you debrief about your concerns if you have an impending medical induction.
The arrival of your new baby is an exciting time, but also a very exhausting time when new parents can be particular vulnerable. Our priority is to see that mum and baby in particular are both well looked after. Many of our practitioners are mums and have been there ourselves, and we understand the challenges that parents of newborns are faced with. We can assist you with common issues that arise during the post-natal period with practical advice and support to help get you through those tough first 3 months.
There are common problems that can arise with mum, and those relating to breastfeeding can particularly troublesome. Low milk supply can be stressful, particularly if your baby is unsettled, or not gaining weight as expected. Oversupply of milk can also cause problems, leading to upset digestion in the baby, and problems with getting a good latch.
Mastitis is also a common problem, and whilst not isolated to the newborn phase, women can be more prone to problems in the newborn phase because their milk supply is still settling in the first 6-12 weeks post partum. Mastitis can quickly become quite severe and so prompt action is essential to avoid full blown infections, and the formation of a breast abscess. Where possible, feed your baby as often as possible, with the aim to drain the problem breast as completely as possible as often as possible in order to resolve the blocked duct. If you can't feed your baby, using a breast pump is also fine. This can all be enhanced with the use of massage and warm compresses to help shift the blockage. There is no need to discard the milk, it's perfectly safe for your baby to drink your milk whilst you have a blocked duct or mastitis. Seek medical attention promptly if you have a high fever.
It's also common for women to feel very flat after the birth of their baby, expectations and reality often don't meet up, and the unrelenting feeding schedule of a newborn baby can really wear down the resilience of even the toughest woman. We understand. We have experienced it too, and we can help you by making sure you have the support you need, and have your nutritional needs met. Post-natal depression can often be dismissed as difficulty settling into this new phase of life, and it is important to talk things through, to get some perspective on your huge life changes with your new addition to the family, and seek extra support if you need it. There are many resources available to new parents, and your practitioner can assist you to reach the services you need.
Perhaps one of the cruelest problems a new mother can experience, is insomnia. The gruelling timetable of feeding through the night can be like pure agony if your hormones are playing see-saw with you, resulting with insomnia being thrown into the mix. Surviving on 3 hours of sleep, in 1 hour blocks, is no way to stay sane. We can talk through various options, and your practitioner can discuss with you if herbal medicine might be suitable for you.
Some women have other symptoms that arise as their hormones and immune system restabilise after pregnancy. Eczema, sweating, hair loss and hayfever are not uncommon to see in new mothers.
The demands of a newborn schedule don't always make it possible for a woman to easily make it to the clinic for an appointment. Women who are existing patients of the clinic, may find it more convenient to discuss their concerns with their practitioner via an online or phone consult, or via an email consultation.
Whilst you are trying to navigate the massive change your body has gone through in transitioning from pregnancy back to "normal", there could be problems with baby that can leave you feeling stressed and worried. Constipation and diarrhea are not uncommon, as well as skin rashes. A diagnosis of failure to thrive, or poor weight gain, are both very stressful, with constant monitoring and weighing to ensure your baby is growing and healthy leading to anxiety and high stress for the parents. Slightly older children can have problems with ear infections and common cold, and you may wish to discuss with your practitioner if natural treatments will be appropriate for your child.
Treatment for your baby involves nutrition advice and herbal medicine for mum to take (if your baby is exclusively breastfed), formulas that are suitable for infants can also be mixed directly into baby’s bottle. Laser acupuncture can be used for certain conditions, your practitioner can also show you massage techniques to do at home that can have a profound effect on baby’s health.