Blood Sugar

Almost 2/3 of Americans are overweight and many (if not all) overweight Americans are also diabetic or trending in that direction.  Studies have shown that maintaining a stable blood sugar helps attain or maintain a healthy weight. The average American consumes a whopping 156 lbs of sugar per year according to the USDA. While the best way to maintain a healthy blood sugar level is by modifying diet to avoid processed foods, grains, and added sugar in drinks, acupuncture has also been shown to improve the body’s natural response to sugar and help stabilize blood sugar levels. Some patients also report a reduction in sweet cravings while under the care of an acupuncture physician. Exercise or physical exertion is also beneficial for helping the body remove excess sugars.

 High carbohydrate diets are too common since the FDA has recommended cutting down on dietary fats and meats for heart health. New research suggests that sugar, not fat or meat, as previously thought, is more to blame for cardiovascular disorders, as well as obesity. Sugar should be consumed only as whole fruits or freshly juiced with a meal consisting of protein and healthy fats. Grains should be limited if you are struggling with blood sugar disorders, as they are usually broken down in the body as sugars, and certain grains can cause other issues as well. Some grains can be reintroduced after the body has healed from its sugar overload. You should get most of your fiber from non-starchy vegetables. They contain powerful micronutrients and do not cause harmful spikes in blood sugar and improve overall health.  Meats should come from grass-fed or pasture-raised, preferably local sources and should never be treated with hormones or antibiotics. Fats should come from raw, grass-fed butter, coconut or olive oil, avocados, nuts and seeds. Eat right, get acupuncture, move your body and achieve vibrant health. At Satori Acupuncture we will give you the tools to heal yourself.

Acupuncture and natural therapy for PCOS

Acupuncture and natural therapy for PCOS

PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) is a female endocrine disorder where too much androgen hormone (testosterone) is being made in relations to estrogen. It affects up to 10% of all women. It is thought that improper insulin regulation is a common cause and shows up in girls as young as nine years old through post menopausal women. PCOS is one of the main causes of infertility, but PCOS is a symptom of an underlying endocrine imbalance not the reason for the infertility.

Nutrition counseling, herbology and acupuncture work together synergistically to restore balance to a woman’s hormones and in many cases resolve PCOS entirely. What you eat is certainly the most important aspect as sugar is one of the major contributors to developing hormonal imbalances.  The reason is that sugar decreases a protein called Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG). SHBG clears excess estrogen from the body. PCOS is an estrogen dominant disorder.  Another possible link to the development in PCOS was found in the heavy consumption of beef treated with both natural and synthetic hormones.  For that reason alone organic grass fed and better still grass finished beef well worth the price.

Common symptoms of PCOS include:

Irregular or no menstrual periods (for women of reproductive age)
Weight gain
High blood sugar levels
Excess hair growth on the face and body
Thinning scalp hair
Accumulation of unruptured follicles on the periphery of the ovaries (mislabeled as cysts, often called polycystic ovaries)

It’s not necessary to have all of these symptoms to have PCOS. In fact it is not necessary to have “polycystic ovaries” to have PCOS. PCOS manifests itself differently in each woman.

We believe that Chinese Medicine is the best medicine on the planet to deal with PCOS and any hormonal imbalances. Using acupuncture, herbs and nutrition we can restore natural hormonal levels sometimes as quickly as within a few cycles.

There have been a couple of recent studies which show what has been known clinically for 2000 years.

Acupuncture and exercise relieve PCOS symptoms. In a 6 week study from 2009 the once a week acupuncture group had fewer menstrual irregularities and a significant drop in testosterone.
Acupuncture relieves PCOS better than exercise alone – In this similar study to the one above the acupuncture group had more menstrual regulation and a higher drop in testosterone than the exercise group.

In addition these studies only used acupuncture and exercise. There was no dietary intervention or herbal medicine used as treatment. Once we add in these modalities the success rate and healing time improves dramatically.

So if you have been diagnosed with PCOS consider using acupuncture as a treatment modality.

Acupuncture helps with each stage of infertility from conception to delivery.

In 2002, a team of German researchers discovered that acupuncture significantly increased the odds of pregnancy among a group of 160 women who were undergoing IVF treatment. Forty-two percent of the women who received acupuncture got pregnant, compared to 26 percent of those who didn’t receive the treatment. Acupuncture helps increase blood flow to the uterus and relax the muscle tissue, giving the embryos a better chance of implanting.

Another way how acupuncture helps is stress reduction.  Since stress is known to greatly interfere with the ability to get pregnant managing your stress levels through acupuncture improves your odds of conceiving.

Acupuncture helps boost male fertility. A few studies have shown that regular treatments significantly improve sperm counts and motility (the strength with which the sperm swim) and improve the quality and health of sperm.  In a study published in Fertility and Sterility in 2005, researchers analyzed sperm samples from men with infertility of unknown cause before and after acupuncture treatments. They found that acupuncture was associated with fewer structural defects in sperm and an increase in the number of normal sperm.

Our clinical experience tells us that the result of a well executed conception plan starts by:

Regulate the menses – this enables a couple to better predict ovulation
Increase the blood flow to the uterus and increase the thickness of the endometrial lining – this allows for a more hospitable environment for the egg
Improve the sperm count and motility
Help alleviate stress – A study done at the University of California in San Diego showed that high levels of chronic stress can impair a woman’s fertility by as much as 93%

Acupuncture can increase your chances of conception if your infertility is due to any of the following:


Elevated FSH levels
Irregular Menstrual Cycles
LPD – Luteal Phase Defect
PID – Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
POF – Premature Ovarian Failure
PCOS – Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Hormonal Imbalance
Stress, anxiety
Low Sperm Count, Poor Sperm Motility
Poor Egg Quality
Thin Unresponsive Endometrium
Cervical and Uterine Factors
Immunological Factors
Fallopian Tube Factors – such as blockages
Ovulation Factors

If you are going through ART (Assisted Reproductive Technology such as IUI, IVF, donor egg, etc), acupuncture can also help:

Regulate the hormones (eg: elevated FSH level).
Increase the ovarian response and ovarian function to increase the number of follicles and quality of eggs produced.
Reduce the side effects of hormone treatments.
Increase and strengthen the immune system.
Improve the success rate of IVF
Decrease the chances of miscarriage and increase the rate of live birth.
Relieve morning sickness.
Alleviate back pain.
Prevent miscarriage.
Provide anesthesia during delivery.
Help with post-partum pain and depression.

Once a woman is pregnant, acupuncture can help:

As for the role of both of the parents involved a few gradual lifestyle changes can help tilt the scale in favor of a successful pregnancy.  Consider avoiding cold drinks and raw food; warming foods can activate and move stagnation in our bodies helping fertility. Start a regular gentle exercise routine.  30 minutes a day of walking is perfect.   Not only can it provide natural stress relief but also much needed bonding time.  Combine acupuncture treatments with herbal formulas and a well balanced diet rich in lean organic proteins, vegetables and whole grains.

There are many subtle reasons which may cause infertility and acupuncture is able to treat both the mind and body at subconscious levels to improve fertility.