It’s wonderful to see integrative medicine make it into the mainstream. Often times this is achieved by celerities and peak athletes (remember those cupping marks sported by Michael Phelps a few years back? 😉) It seems acupuncture and hypno-birthing are getting the royal treatment so to speak.
Reportedly, the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, has been utilizing acupuncture in the lead up to the birth of her first child, and intends to utilize hypno-birthing and a doula as well.1 Acupuncture is an excellent modality to utilize from prior to conception all that way through the birthing process itself. It can help with a variety of circumstances including fertility (both men’s and women’s) and morning sickness. In some cases it’s used as a natural alternative to chemical induction for patients who are at or past their due date, and can be employed to help manage contractions. Certain acupuncture and adjunctive techniques can even be used to flip breach babies into the appropriate position prior to birth.
In additional to acupuncture, it’s reported that the duchess will be practicing hypno-birthing, a technique focused on maintaining a relaxed state during the birthing process. Hypno-birthing involves using breathing techniques, positive affirmations, and self hypnosis to help redirect the perception of labor pains and allow a woman to work with her body during birth, instead of fighting against the discomfort many people automatically associate with childbirth.2 Currently, there is a very limited body of research into hypno-birthing, most of it found to be low quality. However, given the interest, authors of a recent Cochrane review suggested that larger, more well designed studies could examine the effects more fully.3
Here’s to more integration of ancient and modern medical techniques for the best outcomes possible!
Chinese New Year, also known as Lunar New year, is a time of change, new beginnings and fresh starts. It’s also a time of wonderful traditions.
Most people are familiar with the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac, but did you know that each year is associated with an element? The five elements are Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water, and each contributes it’s own special attributes. An element actually spans two years, so by combining the 5 elements with the 12 zodiac signs, it means that a particular element+animal combination only happens once every 60 years!
2019: Year of the Earth Pig
We are currently saying goodbye to the year of the Earth Dog and entering the year of the Earth Pig. The pig is the twelfth zodiac sign. According to one myth, the Jade Emperor said the order [of the zodiac animals] would be decided by the order in which they arrived to his party. Pig was late because he overslept. Another story says that a wolf destroyed his house. He had to rebuild his home before he could set off. When he arrived, he was the last one and could only take twelfth place (sound familiar?)1 Pigs are said to represent wealth and good fortune. People born in the year of the pig are said to be realistic, enthusiastic, energetic and action-oriented.
Ways to Celebrate
New Threads: If you’d like to celebrate, a good way to start is some new clothes! They are considered auspicious, and a wonderful way to eliminate the old energy of the previous year and welcome good fortune in the new year.
Make sure your threads are shades of reds: Red is considered a very lucky color. Avoid black and white, as they’re considered negative and unlucky.
Get your nibble on: A great way to celebrate is with seasonal food. Spring rolls are (obviously) representative of the spring festival. Fresh jiao zi, or dumplings, are also traditional.
Lunar New Year begins on February 5th, and celebrations extend through February 16th.
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