Tag Archives: American Acupuncture Council

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Microneedling for Aging Hands



Today’s lecture is about microneedling the hands, because one of the things that happens as we age, our hands can develop age spots. And the skin itself can lose its elasticity.

Click here to download the transcript.

Disclaimer: The following is an actual transcript. We do our best to make sure the transcript is as accurate as possible, however, it may contain spelling or grammatical errors.  Due to the unique language of acupuncture, there will be errors, so we suggest you watch the video while reading the transcript.

Hi, my name’s Michelle Gellis and I am an acupuncture physician. Today I will be speaking to you about microneedling for aging hands. So just a little bit about me before we get started. I am a former faculty member and clinic supervisor at the Maryland University of Integrative Health, and I am currently on faculty at Yoan University in California.

And I’ve been teaching facial and cosmetic acupuncture classes since 2005. I have been published several times in the Journal of Chinese Medicine, acupuncture today, and also the acupuncture desk reference. So here are some pictures of me teaching. This was in Sydney and in Sydney, Australia, and in California.

So I do travel and teach internationally.

The first thing I wanna speak to you about is microneedling. I mentioned that I teach cosmetic. . And facial acupuncture classes. Neuromuscular conditions. Cosmetic conditions. So why would you want to, might, why might you want to think about adding microneedling into your. Cosmetic acupuncture practice or into your practice at all?

Microneedling is an alternative to surgery and it can address things skin level conditions such as fine lines, acne scars, loose skin, enlarged pores crow’s feet, lip wrinkles. Dark spots and even stretch marks on the body and can be very beneficial for hair restoration. And that can be head hair eyebrow hair, even empty spots if you have a beard.

So how does this work? What does it do? It helps to stimulate your body’s own collagen production and any products that you put on your skin like serum, it will help to increase the absorption of those products by up to a thousand percent. And all of this is clinically . Proven there have been hundreds and hundreds of studies on microneedling and its effectiveness for hair growth, stimulating collagen, treating scars, and increasing product absorption.

The benefits of microneedling are that there is very little downtime, unlike some other . Cosmetic procedures like lasers or surgery, there’s very little downtime. There’s very low risk. It is extremely effective and it can, as I mentioned, help to boost the natural collagen production in the body. It’s very comfortable.

Most people don’t need any numbing cream. But it, the process itself is quick, it’s comfortable, and the results can last up to five years. So here is a cross-section of skin. So this is what a piece of skin looks like, and here we have the epidermis, and then we have the dermal layer. And then below that we have the subcutaneous later layers.

So when you’re doing microneedling, you’re only affecting, all you need to affect is the epidermis. And here is a cross-section of the epidermis. And this very top layer is called the stratum corneum. And this is . The way that skin reproduces is, it starts at the bottom and then all the new good cells work their way up.

And this top layer flakes off. So microneedling when you’re microneedling, you have two different types of tips you can use on the pen. And I’ll talk about those in a minute. But one type just sloughs off the sh stratum corneum. And then the other type will go a little deeper down into the epidermis and we’ll get right into the base layer of the epidermis, which is this stratum based saw layer.

And that is where the new . Healthy skin cells get produced and by needling down through these upper layers, you will create new healthy skin cells more quickly. And this helps with wrinkles, the dark spots, and can even tighten the skin up a little bit. If your skin is . Sagging. It used to be believed that you had to go down into the dermal layer here and this can be very painful and there can be a lot of bleeding.

But what they have found in the past couple of years is you really don’t need to go that deep in order to . Affect these new fibroblasts, these new skin cells to be created. So this is what a cross-section might look like of the microneedles going down into that epidermis. And when these very sharp needles just puncture the epidermis, they go up and down very quickly and they create

They stimulate new stem cells and also fibroblasts. And this helps with things like scars and wrinkles, discoloration, and the other things that we. Mentioned, so it looks like this. You have your piece of skin, maybe this is a wrinkle or a scar, and you poke little holes into the epidermis.

You get new arterial and venous capillaries and the fibroblasts, and they all come together to form these new collagen fibers, which makes your skin look smooth and healthy and youthful. Another benefit of microneedling is it helps with the endothelial cells inside your capillaries and blood vessels, so this can help with things.

Like spider veins, it can increase the blood supply to the scalp. So this helps your scalp to be more healthy. And in addition to your products getting absorbed and exfoliating the all of the old sebum that can build up on your scalp, it helps the blood supply to the hair follicles, which helps your hair follicles to stay healthy, and it helps the little hairs to poke out.

So this is a picture of a microneedle pen, and we have a little bird joining us for today’s webinar. So I have a microneedle pen here and I’m gonna show this to you really quickly. If we can go to meet. Thank you. We can go to me. They are . Package like this, and then this end, you can plug in if you want to, or you can screw the plugin end off.

And it comes with two batteries and the batteries screw on like this, and then you would put the tip. So this is a needle tip. . And if you just, if you press, let’s see, where am I going? If you press on the end, you could see the little needles poking out. So what happens when you put the tip on the pen?

You click it on nice and tight, and then you turn the pen on

and it will. You see the numbers changing and the higher the number, the faster the little needles will go up and down. They’re moving in and out. And then you can also adjust the height right here. That’s my little adjustment. You can height you can adjust the height of the needles, and this determines how deep the needles will go in.

And the other type of tip I’m just gonna show you while you have me on full screen is called a nano needle. And as you can see, the needles are very tiny. You can hardly see them. They are like little tiny cones. And those are used for the red part of the lip. Inside the orbital rim areas that you normally would not want to needle.

Okay. We can go back to the slides. Today’s lecture is about microneedling the hands, because one of the things that happens as we age, our hands can develop age spots. And the skin itself can lose its elasticity. So when you pull on the skin on the back of the hands, it doesn’t snap back and it can look saggy.

And also the veins on the back of the hand can become very prominent. And I noticed this on myself as I was getting older. I’m 62 now and I was really becoming conscious of what the back of my hands looked like. And I used to derma roll them. But once I started microneedling and the microneedle pen that I showed you is made by AccuLift and there are a lot of great

Microneedle pens out there. So I strongly recommend we don’t have time today to talk about microneedle pens, but I strongly recommend doing your research about pens. But I started microneedling the back of my hands and it really helped with any dark spots and veins. And I was very happy that Really faded out the dark spots and helped my hands to look really youthful because most people focus on their face or their neck, but they’re not thinking so much back of their about their hands.

Now there are special concerns though when you are talking about the hands, and that is the hands are very bony. The veins can be very close to the surface. They can be very sensitive, especially when you’re microneedling on bone and because the fingers and the hands do not have as much blood circulation as other parts of the body.

especially in the elderly, the healing capacity can be reduced. So these are things you have to think about when you’re going to be microneedling the hands.

Also you, even if you’re just microneedling someone’s hands, let’s say they’re coming for cosmetic acupuncture, you do the cosmetic acupuncture on their face, and you wanna do some microneedling on the back of their hands, you want to make certain that you inquire about all of your usual contraindications, things like steroids.

Blood thinners, any prescriptions they might be on. And then after they have their . Procedure, their treatment that they use sunscreen on the back of their hands because our hands, we always think, oh, sunscreen, I’m gonna put sunscreen on my face. But we don’t always think about the back of our hands.

And then we’re driving, we’re biking, we’re golfing, we’re playing tennis, and our hands can be exposed to the sun just as often as our face. So the protocol. And again, this is just an overview. This is by no means in-depth training. If you want an in-depth training, you can go to my website facial acupuncture classes.com, and I go through a full microneedling training.

But just as an overview, the patient would wash their hands. You need to wear gloves. You can apply numbing cream if they’d like it, and that it needs to stay for about 20 minutes. Then the numbing cream comes off. You can use a cotton pad with alcohol on it or even some makeup remover with alcohol on it.

And, Definitely wipe the back of their hands with alcohol. Then you’re going to apply your treatment serum, usually a hyaluronic acid, and then you are going to adjust the pen height and needle depth according to the directions. And normally the technique with the pen is just up and down. You’re not gonna wanna go left to because you’ll be going over.

You’d be going over tendons and you don’t wanna do that. So it’s up and down when you’re on the hands. And then you might use a stamping motion if they have any spots, and you might get a little pinpoint bleeding, but that’s okay. It’s perfectly fine. You just. Go through that. And then if there’s any prominent veins, you want to go gently over those if they have any veins on the back of their hands.

So here’s an example of someone that I did. I. Just a couple of treatments on and you can see that hopefully you can see better there. This one spot in particular really faded tremendously and this had bothered her quite a bit. And little bit more collagen starting to form after just a couple of treatments.

So the treatments are spread out once a month. And normally four to six treatments is what is required. And if you want more information about microneedling training, I do live classes. And my schedule is at fa facial acupuncture classes.com. And you can also follow me on my social. It’s . You can just find me at Michelle Gillis and I have a facial acupuncture Facebook group as well.

I’m on all forms of social media under Michelle Gillis. Thank you so much and thank you to the American Acupuncture Council for hosting this. .


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Top 3 Things to Never Say When Networking



Today we’re going to be diving into one of my favorite topics because it’s the most heavily asked thing that people come to me about is networking.

Click here to download the transcript.

Disclaimer: The following is an actual transcript. We do our best to make sure the transcript is as accurate as possible, however, it may contain spelling or grammatical errors.  Due to the unique language of acupuncture, there will be errors, so we suggest you watch the video while reading the transcript.

I am Dr. Nell with American Acupuncture Council, and welcome to another episode of To The Point. Let’s go to the slides. Today we’re going to be diving into one of my favorite topics because it’s the most heavily asked thing that people come to me about is networking. And we’re gonna go specifically over things that you do not want to say when you’re networking.

Things that could be damaging could prevent you from accomplishing what you wanna accomplish when you’re either . Networking with other providers, trying to get referrals, trying to build more people in your community. And so we wanna make sure that we’re not doing these three things that we’re gonna go over today to get the most value out of that experience.

First, let’s just address something real quick. Why do we get this wrong? Those harsh truths when it comes to why are we saying potentially the wrong things when we’re engaging in something like networking? First of all, we’re human, so let’s acknowledge that we’re not gonna get things right every single time.

But a lot of times when it comes to networking in general, the issue is we’re so focused on our needs and not about providing value for the person that we’re talking to. So we can be selfish by nature. A lot of times when people think about going to a networking event, they’re thinking, oh I’m going here so I can get more patients or, so I can find more referrals or, so I can meet somebody who’s gonna be part of my care team.

. A lot of times we’re focused on, yeah, what is the bottom line for us, rather than what is the value that we can provide? And then of course there’s a fear component, right? Again, that goes back to we’re all human. Fear of, I don’t know exactly what to say if I’m too forthcoming with why I’m going to this networking event, how is that gonna come off?

Am I ? Going to feel confident enough to accomplish my goals when it comes to talking to complete strangers, that’s not an easy thing to do by any means, and it’s something that does require a little bit of practice. So what I wanted to do with this presentation really nice and quick today and value driven is just go over.

The commonly heard things that don’t provide a lot of value for people. The biggest one that I hear, and I’m gonna put it first, is people say, I want to pick your brain. This is one of the most. Common things that will come out of somebody’s mouth when they go to an event. When they call up somebody as a follow-up.

I get this all the time, people I know a lot or don’t know very well. Now granted, if you know somebody really well, you have an established relationship with them. Let’s say you’re a former student of mine that I’ve met several times, I don’t mind someone saying, I wanna pick your brain. The mistake that gets made however, is, we are excited to meet someone.

We admire that person. We feel like they would provide a lot of value for us, and then we shoot them an email to try to set up a meeting and we say, I wanna pick your brain. The reason that this is problematic is, First of all, there’s an assumption here that person values their ego more than their time, right?

So you’re telling them, oh, they have something to offer, and just assuming that they’re gonna give up their time in order to share that with you. So it’s not a value driven statement to make. So we wanna do something else. We wanna shift the focus so it’s more value driven for them, something that we can provide, something that we wanna share.

Being more specific about what we wanna talk about, saying to them. You know that they’re the person who could answer X question for you and you’re going to do X, Y, and Z. That doesn’t mean that everything has to be transactional. Really, though, we just wanna make sure that we’re providing value anytime we speak to somebody.

And so you never wanna say to a perfect stranger, oh hey, I wanna pick your brain, and just assume that they’re going to be able to make time for that or want to make time for that. The second thing that I hear a lot is whenever you have time, This goes a little bit into that third piece, that fear component that someone would say no to us.

Not wanna hop on a call with us, not wanna have a follow-up conversation to one that we had when we are unspecific like this and say whenever you have time Everybody feels like they’re busy and they don’t have time. So we wanna shift this a little bit to say when you can make time, when it’s convenient for you give them specific times in the next week or so.

I’m available Tuesday through Thursday at these times. People do need guidance and you wanna make this process as . Easy for someone as possible. So if I get an email from someone and they say, Hey, I wanna pick your brain whenever you have time. To me that ends up being a lower value email. It’s one of the last things I’m gonna get back to because I have all of these more specific requests from people.

I think generally people do wanna help. They do wanna engage, they want to cultivate community and cultivate relationships. But it can be really difficult in the society that we live in the day and age that we live in where people are generally very busy and they need a little bit more specificity and a little more guidance as to what that ask is.

And this one I put in very specific for our industry because as much as . I love the acupuncture community. I love our profession. We have a tendency to engage in medical jargon. And when I say medical jargon, part of that tradition that we hold so dear in our medicine, things like. Chi Blood Yin.

We’re so eager to talk about how we can help people. We’re so eager to educate about how incredible and effective our medicine is that sometimes we tend to. Overwhelm people with information and overwhelm people with information that is not particularly valuable to them or relevant to them at face value.

So if I’m someone who’s never heard of this medicine before and you’re talking to me about chi or blood, I might have an idea of what I think blood is. And that’s very different than what we mean about blood from a clinical perspective. So when we’re trying to . Cultivate a relationship with someone or provide value to someone.

We wanna make sure that we’re meeting them where they’re at. So if someone is a very busy, stressed out business person and we’re talking about how we can provide them value rather than talking about cheese stagnation that they may be having, we wanna talk about stress relief better sleep, things that are gonna be a little bit more relatable to them.

So at the end of the day, the things we wanna remember, ’cause we’re going back to the don’ts. Why we don’t do this right all the time. Yes, we’re all human. So that is the truth. Whether, we’re saying something like, I wanna pick your brain. Just think if you would wanna hear something like that.

Or whenever you have time. . Not specific enough for me or the person that I’m talking to. So you wanna remember that? Yes, we’re all human, but you wanna first and foremost focus on the needs of the person that you’re trying to reach, that you want to take time out of their day to have a conversation with you, to network with you, to build a relationship with you and.

Let’s get rid of the fears because if you are coming from a good wholehearted place, if you’re coming from a place of wanting to provide value, there is never any reason to fear that connection with someone, that conversation, or that desire to build your network. So again, I told you it was gonna be nice and quick and value driven.

If you have any questions for me, you can always reach out. I’m at the American Acupuncture Council and be sure to tune in next week for another episode of To the Point. .


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Facial Acupressure for Health and Wellness



…when we think about health and we think about wellness and Chinese medicine, we think about yin and yang, cheap blood fluids, the meridian system and the organ systems.

Click here to download the transcript.

Disclaimer: The following is an actual transcript. We do our best to make sure the transcript is as accurate as possible, however, it may contain spelling or grammatical errors. Due to the unique language of acupuncture, there will be errors, so we suggest you watch the video while reading the transcript.

Hi, my name is Shellie Goldstein, Dr. Shellie Goldstein. Welcome to the American Acupuncture Council. Today’s presentation is Facial Acupuncture for health and Wellness. I am specialist in cosmetic facial acupuncture, but today we’re gonna talk about health and wellness because they are com overlap and they interlink.

So let’s get started. Let’s start with the PowerPoint presentation.

Most of us know who are acupuncturists, that when we think about health and we think about wellness and Chinese medicine, we think about yin and yang, cheap blood fluids, the meridian system and the organ systems. As a specialist in cosmetic facial acupuncture, what I love about treating

The body and treating the face is the correlation between the face and the rest of the body. We know that we have meridians running up and down the body. We know that we are affected by the state of health of our organ systems. We also know that all of the young meridians. Either start or end on the face.

What we may or may not remember is when you think about the organ systems, each of those systems has a sense system. Now, whether it be the eyes, the nose, the ears, the mouth, meaning, What we see, what we smell, what we hear, what we taste, and they affect and are affected by the state of health of each of the organ systems and the meridians, because remembering that the meridians run through the different organs, assume their name and pick up the characteristics of that.

System, that organ system. But then again, the meridians affect the organs as well. So we know it’s that yin y balance, that the complimentary dynamics between the meridians and the organ systems and the health of our body. But also remember that when you see things, when you hear things, when you smell things, when you taste things, it creates a sensory stimulation, some type of proprioception where we are in the world, but also.

Not just on a physical level, but on an emotional and energetic level as well. So when we surround ourselves with beautiful things visually, we feel relaxed, we feel at peace. As opposed to when we see something that’s awful or horrifying or frightening, then those emotions get reflected in the body as well.

The same with our, or with our sense of hearing. If we hear soft music, like we heard as we were starting the live stream of this presentation, it’s very soothing music. It’s very lovely and it brings peace and harmony within as opposed to seeing, hearing something loud, abrasive, shocking. Disturbing. It sets up that a different dynamic within the body as well.

Same with smell, same with taste. So the emotional activity that gets triggered when we experience something is very much a part of the reflection of what’s going on inside and reflects in terms of affecting how we are. Feelings, feeling both on a physical and emotional and a spiritual level. So in that sense, the face is a very important part of the diagnostic and treatment of health and wellness.

So we can diagnose what’s going on in the body by looking at the face, because remembering that our muscles are tissue. Interstitial tissue, the connective tissue, all of the different aspects of the layering from skin to bone holds that memory, particularly the connective tissue holds the memory of that experience.

If we process that experience and let it go, then it let’s go in the connective tissue of the di of the face. When we hold onto that experience, that also gets reflected in the face. And so we can look at the face as an big organ, one big facial organ map. And when we look at different parts of the face, each of those organ systems are reflected.

For example the forehead and the eye. Browse is related to the liver and the gallbladder system. The spleen and the pancreas is the eyelids and across the bridge of the nose the kidneys run underneath the eyes and on the chin and the ears. The lungs are the cheeks. The heart is the tip of the nose and the stomach and the intestines is, and the reproductive organs are around.

The mouth and what that means is that disharmony in those organ systems is reflected in the face, whether it be in terms of wrinkles tissue sagging skin disharmonies, acne, rosacea, breakouts, or just red pitted skin rosacea. Any disharmony on the surface of the skin or in the deeper layers of the skin is reflected by the organ systems and a reflection of the organ systems in turn of their health and wellbeing.

And then when there’s a disharmony in the organ systems, it is reflected and pass through. The different meridians. So what’s nice about treating the face is that it’s a wonderful tool and an opportunity to both diagnose what’s going on in the body, but also to treat, because as we treat the face, we have an effect on the state of the lungs, the state of the liver, the state of the spleen, the state of the heart, the state of the kidneys.

And we can harmonize both from a meridian’s perspective, but also from an organ. System, we can make a difference just by treating the face. Now, we know from our cosmetic acupuncture world that we’re not when we treat wrinkles, when we treat sagging skin, when we treat different skin conditions, we’re not just treating the surface of the skin, but we’re treating from within as well.

And that means that when we treat. For cosmetic facial acupuncture or for health and healing. We don’t just put points in the face, of course not. What we’re gonna do is we are going to do our diagnostics, tongue pulse pattern of is harmony, and then we’re gonna treat accordingly and we’re going to use the face as a treatment, as a diagnostic tool and a validation of what we find when we do our tongue pulled and questions.

So what I would like to do today is help you to understand how to treat the face by going through a very simple facial exercise. It’s an acupressure exercise, so it’s something that you can do at home. It’s something that you can . Do on yourself. It’s something that you can do with your patient and acupressure.

We know that acupuncture and acupressure are both ancient healing techniques that have been acknowledged for their effectiveness by both Western medicine and eastern medicine, and supported by thousands of scientific studies around the world. We know that acupressure and acupuncture are based on the same fundamental principles of acupuncture point activation across all of the meridians.

We know that acupressure is basically pressure applied with the hand fingers or an instrument assisted device at specific acupuncture points to adjust and balance the flow of energy. And the National Institute of Health Database offers hundreds of studies on the use of acupressure in the treatment of dozens of conditions, including a allergies, chronic fatigue, constipation, insomnia, musculoskeletal disorders, heart disease, pain, and stroke.

And we know as acupuncturist, there are many more health issues that acupuncture and acupressure treat. I wrote a book in 2016 called Your Best Face. Now look Younger in 20 Days with a Do It Yourself Acupressure facelift. And I also created the Touch and Glow Acupuncture assisted. It’s an acupressure assisted tool.

In my book, I outline a number of different techniques for facial harmony. But also for health and body. And the acupressure technique that we’re gonna learn now is based on some of the systems or some of the parts of the book that, that I wrote and the photographs that I took for the book.

So let’s get started. Let’s just have you sit back, relax, take breath. And relax, blow out. Exhale. Let’s lift your shoulders up. Drop them. Lift your shoulders up, drop them. Rotate your neck.

And stretch it out. And I’m actually gonna lift my glasses up so you can see my face, because I’m going to walk you through an acupressure technique that is going to improve health and wellness of not just your face, but your body as well. It’s very relaxing and I think that you’ll enjoy it. So let’s start by opening the neck.

I’m going to. Place my fingers at the top of the Ss c m. So if you go to the jaw area and slide your fingers up to the top of the neck to where the cervical, where the skull meets the cervical vertebra. And slide forward to the top of the Ss c m, the sternum Plato mastoid muscle. And then we’re just gonna massage down the Ss c m to the clavicle.

I just massage. Now I’m gonna do it five to 10 times. And in doing so, what we’re doing is not only we’re relaxing the neck, but we’re also helping to reduce tissue inflammation by improving lymphatic drainage, which means that if you have allergies or if you have any type of congestion in this area, what you’re gonna do is you’re gonna feel that coming down in the form of kind of a saliva on your throat, you may need to swallow good.

Okay, now take your fingers, go behind your neck, and you’re just, you’re gonna take these four fingers and you are going to place them starting at Bladder 12 T, nsu, and Gallbladder 20 Thank Chi and Andon. If you don’t exactly know where they are, it’s okay. Just place your fingers at the base of your oput on the outer, outside of the spine.

And feel for areas that are tight and just gently massage these points with the pressure that feels comfortable for you. And it doesn’t matter if you go clockwise or counterclockwise. Just massage those points five to 10 times good. Make sure that you breathe good, right? Excellent. And now slide your finger to what we call triple heater 17 or yen.

Yen is where the star is on the image. So you you have the corner of the jaw and the lower aspect of the ear lobe. It’s in between the corner of the jaw, directly under the ear lobe. We’re gonna massage this area. This point is the access point to the facial nerve. So the facial nerve is the nerve, the motor nerve that innervates the entire face and controls all the muscle activity on the face.

So by massaging this point, not only does it improve lymph drainage, but it also helps just to relax all of the muscles of the face. Okay. And now with this point we’re going to take our fingers and keep your finger on this point on Triple eight 17. And then just massage up and down the front of the ear.

So we’re covering Teen Quo, teen Gong and Erman Gall butter two small Intestine 19 and heater.

And then slide your fingers around the back of your ear, back to triple heat 17. Massage triple heater 17 again, and continue to massage up and down the ear in front of the ear

about five times, 10 times, and slide your fingers behind your ears again. Let’s do that one more time. Massaging triple leader 17, and then up and down the front of the ear

and behind the ear. Great, and now let’s slide up to T Young T. Is located in the temples at the end of the eye area. You massage that area. So this is great for any type of stress around the eyes and the face.

And then we’re gonna treat The three points on top of the eyebrow, , and sanju. So again, you can do it with your three fingers. 1, 2, 3, and just place them at the end of the eyebrow, the center of the eyebrow and the middle of the eyebrow at the inner campus of the eyebrow sort a massage.


And big relaxing breath. And now we’re gonna go to our favorite point. It’s yin tongue and we know that yang is the main point for relaxing the body, mind, and the spirit. We don’t do this for about five to 10 times.

And move into the inner aspect of the inside of the corner of the eye to bladder one. And again, this point is used for any type of eye disorder, which we know affects the liver system, and it’s used to relax and open and brighten the eyes. And then we can stomach one and stomach two, or right on top of each other, above and below the orbital bone.

So use the flat part of your finger to capture both of them

and just massage ching cheese. See by feel relaxing.

And then back to

and let’s repeat that sequence again. Oops, sorry. We’re gonna go back up to the eyebrows, the top of the eyebrows.

End tone.

Water one.

Stomach one and stomach two.

Cool. And this time we’re gonna slide down the nose. To lateral to the side. Yeah. Lateral to the side of the nose, and we’re going to type. Stomach. Three is underneath the eyes, lateral to the side of the nose, small intestine. 18 is at the outer canthus of the eye, lateral to stomach three. And then stomach seven is lateral to that in front of the ear, and we’re just gonna massage his points.

Three fingers, just massage his points.

Good. Don’t forget to breathe.

And then slide down to stomach four. Deep tongue. It’s at the corner of the mouth.

We use this point a lot in facial acupuncture. It is the connection to all of the muscles of the face that connect from the mouth to the eyes and to the collar. Very important point. And then take your thumb. Place your thumb underneath your jaw. And then the top and the fingers, the first four fingers, and then just slide out to stomach six stomach sixes.

I use it the corner of the jaw. The angle of the jaw. We’re gonna slide, slide,

slide. And then come back. Come back to the S C M

and slide down to the clavicle.

Now let’s repeat that again. I won’t talk this much. So again, ing your fingers. See on Zoom,


circling around feeling for those tight areas

and then slide to offense directly into the.

And then massaging

ting gong air mine, and slide behind your ears. Come back to triple heat. 17.

Slide up and down in front of the ears. At this point, you should start feeling new, smooth, relaxed. It’s a great, this combination around the ear is really good. If you can’t sleep at night, great. Insomnia. It’s really relaxing, super smoothing,

and up to nne, massaging, nne.

It carries so much stress in our eyes

and then coming back.

Nice. Get that little extra massage.

Let’s do that one more time. Slide up.

Under the. I wanna use a little lighter pressure under the eyes


Now to get there, we’re gonna come down. Slide around the corner. Angle of the nose, fingers. Inner canus of the eye. Center of the eye. Center of the eye, outer campus of the eye. And in front of the ear massage

do come.

And thumb under the chin fingers slide out to stomach six, which I g.

And then back down the.

Feel better. I do. So this, again, this is a great short treatment that you can give yourself, you can, and help your patients by showing this to them. It’s very simple, very effective. And I hope you have a nice day. So thank you very much. If you want to learn more about me, you can visit me@hamptonsacupuncture.com or follow me on Instagram.

Again, my name is Shellie Goldstein. I also teach a number of classes through the Pacific College of Health. And we have a symposium coming up. So thank you very much, and again, thank you to the American Acupuncture Council. For having me here today, and I hope you have a lovely, relaxing, peaceful, healthy day.

Thank you. .


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Does Your Documentation Match Your Services?



Click here to download the transcript.

Disclaimer: The following is an actual transcript. We do our best to make sure the transcript is as accurate as possible, however, it may contain spelling or grammatical errors. Due to the unique language of acupuncture, there will be errors, so we suggest you watch the video while reading the transcript.

Hi, everyone. Welcome back in. Thank you, American Acupuncture Council. Let’s make sure the profession continues to understand its growth and its potential. One of the issues I deal with a lot is documentation and coming from being the acupuncture coding and billing expert, I get this lots of times.

I recently had a call from a special investigator. From the Department of Banking and Insurance in New Jersey, I’ve dealt with this in Florida, California, and frankly all over to some extent, and it’s about documentation of acupuncture. Now, frankly, I don’t care whether you’re billing insurance, you’re doing cash, doing a combination, you still have to have your information documented.

It’s not very hard, but what you may have learned has been updated. And one thing to keep in mind, acupuncture is a profession. It’s not a perfect meaning, it’s a practice. You’re always learning and updating and one of the things you have to keep in mind is things have updated and I think there’s a lot of misinformation when it comes to acupuncture documentation, which I will go back and say, not very hard, it’s what you do, but have you ever really thought about what does it require that I have to have down?

Whether you agree or disagree with some of the aspects, frankly doesn’t matter. ’cause we have to go back with what is the standards set aside by law. And of course the profession itself. So let’s go to the slides. Let’s talk about Accu Acupuncture documentation, and let’s talk from it this way. We want to assure your documentation simply matches the services performed.

What if a patient makes a complaint that you didn’t, you charged them too much for the services they did. This is cash, and your notes have to back up what you’ve done, or it’s an insurance or any aspect in that way. So don’t be cavalier thinking that, oh, I don’t take insurance. I don’t have to document.

Not at all. I. Your liability is such that if you didn’t document what you have performed on that patient, it didn’t happen. So let’s assure documentation matches the services performed. Here’s one of these insurance claims that I get. A lot of these, because obviously people are billing insurance. It pays well in a lot of aspects, but you get back saying, we’ve looked at your notes and they weren’t well done.

Now, some of you may know I’m actually on the board. Or what’s called the Coding and Reimbursement Committee for Optum Health in United Healthcare. That doesn’t mean I work for them, by the way. It just means I’m an appointed member that oversees things. And one of the things we commonly run into that are problem for acupuncturists is just improper documentation.

In fact, in many ways, acupuncturists for documentation are low hanging fruit because often it’s never been learned or taught. How to properly document. So take a look here. What does it say? This office is billed out an initial set of acupuncture and it says the information submitted. This means your chart notes is, does not contain sufficient detail.

The submitted records don’t support. 9 7 8 1 0 was performed. It goes on to say it for the second set. Claim cannot be processed as billed. The code requires a proceeding procedure code, which means this one, and it’s not supported. We see this time and time again, not just with acupuncture. Here’s some more of that.

The documentation does not support the services billed. In other words, if you’ve collected money for something, you have to make sure you’ve shown you’ve done it in a way. This is a receipt, if you think of it, your documentation is a story, but a receipt or indication of what was done on the visit and the results of it.

So over and over we see this. Investigational services, but notice here, services not rendered as billed. Just simply documentation. Take a look here for 9 7 8 1 1. What it says is the each additional 15 minutes of one-on-one service, there are multiple examples where there’s conflicting information with respect to the time spent with the patient, and in fact, notice this one, 42% of the claim lines had no supporting documentation.

Just writing a date and saying they had acupuncture is not sufficient. Again, I want to emphasize, This is not about insurance, it’s about what’s documented about your patient, what was provided. So let’s take a look. What does it say in C P T? What do we have? Now? Keep in mind these codes have been in place for 20, or excuse me, 18 years, ’cause it’s 2023 and they’ve been in place for 18 years.

When I see people not understanding this, it frustrates me. ’cause I’m thinking when did you graduate in the seventies? So take a look. It says acupuncture, one or more needles. So what does acupuncture require? You insert needles if you don’t put needles in. It’s not acupuncture in the sense of a billing code or a service, so you have to put needles in, and then it says, With one-on-one time.

In order to put the needles in, you have to spend time with the patient. And acupuncture codes, as I’m sure you’re well aware, indicate 15 minutes and you’ll see this time and time again. The initial set needles in 15 minutes, the additional set needles in 15 minutes. So this is not unique, it is not new, but it’s something we have to make sure that we have.

So again, taking a look, needles time and needles. Now I think we’re often, we get confused is do I actually have to write the time down? Yes. If you are doing a service that is time dependent, there has to be time somewhere. Now, here’s the good news for the profession. Acupuncturists, I would say in my experience, and I’ve been around this 25 plus years, probably spend more time with their patients.

I. Most other providers, partly because the service you provide is very specific for time and things you’re doing, but also because of the things you have to evaluate, realize all of that is included. So what I want you to think of is what time am I documenting? Literally, if you’re doing acupuncture that day, the time starts as soon as you walk in the room and say, hi, Mrs.

Jones, how are you? It starts. So you’ll see here it says, how is the 15 minutes of time defined? Let’s make that larger so it’s easy to see. The 15 minutes of time for acupuncture includes lots of things. Basically everything you do when you contact the patient soon as you walk in. This would include a review of the history, so you know when you walk with room and say, Hey, how are you feeling?

Is it better today or worse? What’s happened over the last few days? That time counts towards acupuncture. It includes your day-to-day evaluation. Some of you may do tongue and pulse. Some might do range of motion. You might do some other testing. That’s all fine. It’s included your day-to-day. How is it feeling?

How is it better or worse? Notice, hand washing, sanitizing your hands, choosing and cleaning the points, quite frankly. Opening the needles, getting them ready to be put in the patient. All of that counts as well as the time it takes to insert the needles, making sure they have good grasp. You’re in the right point, making sure it’s all good.

Actually asking the patient how that feels would include. So that includes inserting, manipulating. Now, what doesn’t count is once you’ve put the needles in and the patient’s just laying there to rest without any interaction, that would not be considered part of it. But let’s say the patient is on the needles, but while they’re on the needles, you’re manipulating them.

That would count, but what also counts is the time that you’re in the room, again, removing the needles. Including notice here, completion of chart notes. So removing disposal. So I want to keep in mind time, just tell me when you’re in the room with a patient doing anything that’s part of acupuncture.

Now an exam is separate or if you’re doing another therapy, but the majority of what an acupuncturist is providing a course is acupuncture. Tell me the time. The only thing that really doesn’t count outside of the exams and therapies is the time the needle are retained. Isn’t included because that’s not something you’re time dependent by example.

Not unusual. I know the acupuncturist I’ve been to often I’ll have neuros needles inserted and I’ll lay there 10 or 15 minutes relaxing, maybe listen to some soft music or something of that nature. Nonetheless, that time doesn’t count. So here’s what we have to document. Don’t make this hard document the time and the needle.

So here’s two examples to, and I’m gonna give you a couple of examples to try to give you a feel for what you want. Now realize . There’s gonna be many ways you might do this, but it’s gonna fall somewhere in this range. Notice here it says clearly treatment or needle set one. I would prefer that you indicate which one is set, one or two.

If you’re doing multiple sets, say it. Say this is set one notice here. It’s indicates face-to-face time. So here it says 20 minutes and it says what needles or what points were needled. It lists all of them. And notice it actually indicates there was estim added to these two points, U B 62 and G B 34.

So that means that this set, because there’s electricity at it, becomes an electrical set. Nothing more complicated. It doesn’t have to be every needle, just even two. So notice what it does time. Points. Notice, it does indicate, Hey, the patient was rested on needles for 12 minutes. That’s fine. Now what if you just stay in the room with the patient and you’re continuously needling?

That’s all face-to-face. We just have to decide what’s points were in the first 15 and second 15, but nonetheless, showing here time and needles. Not complicated. Get in that habit. Notice it says here, after the patient rested with needles, they were withdrew and repositioned. Now let’s keep in mind, do you actually have to withdraw the needles?

I. To insert a second set. No. You may or may not. I’m not gonna say one way is better or otherwise. Obviously, I guess if one is a front side set and one’s a backside and they’re laying face down, face up, probably, but outside of that, no. They don’t necessarily have to be removed. In fact, commonly when I’ve been in, and I can again leave my own experience, I’ve had needles inserted and then just additional ones were put in, that would be a second set as well.

But notice how it’s documented. Treatment set two. Face-to-face. Time on this one is 18 minutes. What points did we needle notice? They added some ones with electricity. So clearly. Was there enough time for set one and set two with the points documented? Absolutely. So start thinking of how am I gonna do this?

Whether you’re doing paper notes, electronic notes, simply tell me your time in the room, face-to-face with a patient doing something that’s part of your acupuncture, along with the points you’ve inserted. Not very hard. Now you may question what about time? I did a program on that. If you’re not familiar with the 15 minute and the eight minute rule, go back in the R archive.

We have that listed there. But here I just wanted to make sure. Notice how simple that is. Don’t overcomplicate that. What you don’t wanna do is say I needle the following points and say I spent 30 minutes. Because if I do that, am I dividing into two sets? Make sure that it’s clear that what needles were in setted for set one or set two, or during that period of time.

Here’s another example. Now this is a full chart note. You take a look at that, but I wanna focus on just the documentation of the acupuncture. Notice what this one does. Pretty much the same thing, but just done slightly different. Notice it says each set of acupuncture is set one, two, and three.

It says the points that were inserted or reinserted. So it’s real clear that there were needles inserted. It tells you the face-to-face time, and if there’s separate retention, it does it. So notice this one. It names three points, the time spent. Now you might think we’ll see ’em. Come on. It wouldn’t take me 25 minutes to insert three needles.

You may think so, but realize the insertion of needles is not just the physical time of inserting the needles. All the things that you do with the patient to determine where you’re gonna put those points. The time to clean your hands, put the needles in, make sure there’s good grasp, realize all of that counts, including, let’s say, when you come back in the room, I.

To remove them. So notice each set clearly set aside for each one and time. Now, notice the other one said it spent 18 minutes or 20 minutes. Notice this one says, from, and two, frankly, it doesn’t matter according to C P T and the standards. So long as you indicate whether it’s minutes or from, and two time, it’s acceptable.

Just make sure it matches what was billed. So I’ll say to you, don’t overcomplicate this. Don’t be confused because well, in school I was told this or that. Again, sometimes what you were taught in school may have been old information. Or let’s face it, we all have biases. So what if you had an instruction that goes I disagree with it.

I will tell you, I don’t necessarily have an issue with someone agreeing or disagreeing, but I do have to go by what does the law and the rule state. So long as you’re within that. This is not hard. In fact, I would say to most acupuncturists, the one thing that I think most acupuncturists take pride in is the amount of time you spend with your patients.

Document it. It has value. You’re inserting needles. It all counts. We’re here to help realize, this is what I do on a day-to-day basis, is helping offices deal with problems to say, let’s take a look at your notes. Let’s make sure they’re okay. That’s what we do with our network members. If you’ve not been familiar with it, take a look.

Also note, we have seminars upcoming coming soon, because remember, October 1st, I C D 10 does update. There’s gonna be some new codes out there that are specific to acupuncture providers, so always know that we’re gonna be your resource. The American Acupuncture Council Network is your place for seminars and for day-to-day help.

Take care everyone. . .


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Fertility and the Importance of the Earth Element: Part 2



Click here to download the transcript.

Disclaimer: The following is an actual transcript. We do our best to make sure the transcript is as accurate as possible, however, it may contain spelling or grammatical errors.  Due to the unique language of acupuncture, there will be errors, so we suggest you watch the video while reading the transcript.

Hi, I’m Dr. Martha Lucas. I’ve been practicing Chinese medicine for more than 20 years. I have practices in Denver, Colorado, which is my private practice, and then I practice in a Western medicine clinic two days a week in Littleton, Colorado. And my Teaching site is lucas teachings.com, and then my private practice site is acupuncture woman.com.

Today I’m going to present fertility and the importance of the Earth element part two, and I wanna thank the American Acupuncture Council for allowing me to present this information to you. So let’s go to the slides.

in part one. We talked a lot about the importance of earth or the importance of good gut health for when people are having fertility challenges, both the men and the women. Having good digestion, as we know, is super important in Chinese medicine. It’s how we make our energy and One of the things we need to do with our couples is make sure that their guts are working well or all our patients.

We probably all focus on the gut for our patients, and I’m saying trust your gut is not a silly thing to do. Our guts were our first brains before the conscious . Brain came around before the conscious mind came around and made us start to not trust our gut. How many times have you heard people say that, oh, I should’ve listened to my gut.

It was telling me not to do that thing, and it didn’t work out exactly how I wanted. That’s because our gut is still giving us advice, but our conscious brain sometimes says no, that looks pretty good. I’m just gonna over, I’m not gonna listen to what my gut is saying. Turns out that our gut has millions of nerve cells that respond.

To stimulate and send signals to us. Think about how anxious you get before you do something new or forget. Have to give your first presentation at work. Those butterflies in your stomach are signals, your brain sends to your body indicating that something is up, something is different, something’s gonna happen.

Because your gut is so in tune with the rest of your body, it is important to take good care of it, especially when trying to conceive. In addition to the millions of nerve cells, your gut is lined with bacterial microbes that produce serotonin. That allows us to convert the food we eat into energy for our body to use, and that would partly be creating a warm, fertile environment where conception can occur.

There are three to 500 different kinds of bacteria, as well as more than 2 million genes in the gut. All of that is matched up with viruses, fungi, and other microscopic organisms that make up the microbiome that is affected by genetics, stress, lifestyle, diet, et cetera. Your microbiome affects everything from your metabolism to your propensity to certain illnesses, to your ability to conceive.

Gut health is a major concern for those trying to conceive, especially for those that have one of the following conditions. Crohn’s disease. Ulcerative colitis celiac disease. In my last presentation, I talked about the relationship between celiac disease and some fertility challenges. Inflammatory bowel disease, I B D, irritable Bowel syndrome, I B S, and those conditions can make it difficult to conceive for both men and women.

As I always say in my classes about fertility. Don’t forget about the man’s health. It’s yin and yang. It takes two, however you wanna say it. Sometimes just opening the man’s dai. Can improve conception success and also those conditions just mentioned can cause a decrease in libido. And so many of our couples, and I’m sure you’ve heard it again and again, the intercourse just becomes a chore.

The, I’ve treated so many men who are like, yeah, I do it, but it’s not the most pleasant thing. I’m tired of hearing about . Mucus and hormones and days of the month. I wish we could just be natural. It’s hard to be natural when natural isn’t working so well for you. So looking back at the gut health of both the male and the female can sometimes lead to an answer.

Other symptoms to look for that indicate gut issues include stomach pain, craving sweetss. We know that means the digestion is out of balance, gaining or losing weight unintentionally. The onset of anxiety or depression, rashes, . Or that they have an autoimmune condition that is getting worse, and that can all be because of an imbalance in gut bacteria that can cause inflammation, which may lead to a flare up in their autoimmune issue.

So now the blah, blah, blah part about how to change your diet, to improve your gut. But the good news is that I will talk about some specific food recommendations, some pulses and some treatment ideas. So what’s some general advice? Eliminate processed food for one thing. Processed foods have a lot of heat in them.

They use heat to process it, right? They use heat to take a nice fruit or whatever that’s nice and full of juice and liquid and turn it into something that’s processed that you can. Get out of a bag or a box. That’s toxic in our medicine. So trying to eliminate as many processed foods as we can.

Eat a diet with a blend of protein, fiber, fruits and vegetables include specific foods that improve gut health, which could be bananas. Oats, pistachios and give your patients a, an a good, interesting list, not just two or three things. Quinoa, chia, kombucha. ’cause some people don’t like certain things on the list.

Remember, kimchi, kafi, yogurt sauerkraut. All can improve gut health. Olive oil is a healthy, stable, it’s one of the. Things we have as a health stable in our kitchens. Its fatty acid content is well received by the gut bacteria, which is why it’s such a healthy oil. And so you can make your own or your patients can make their own simple vinegarette.

They can use extra virgin olive oil. A little vinegar. Avoid the plain white vinegar, salt, pepper, some citrus juice, Dijon mustard and herbs of their choice. Throw in a sprig of basil is really nice, or throw in dill or change it up a little bit with some herbs, some fresh herb of your choice.

believe it or not, because of its high fiber content. Popcorn is good for your gut, but not the prepackaged microwave kind. Again, toxic heat in there and the chemical lining of the bag is not good for your gut and the microwave popcorn is high in sodium. A little too high in sodium, you can make popcorn naturally yourself and dress it up with, make it.

You can make it sweet, you can make it savory. Ground cinnamon, curry powder, sea salt. Again, Italian herbs, any herbs, maple syrup, cocoa powder, or paprika to get some extra fiber. For a sweeter snack, you can make your own trail mix with walnuts and almonds for the omega threes. Blueberries, which have folate and vitamin C in them.

Good for the gut and for fertility and banana chips for some fiber. You can also add dark chocolate, coconut plates and sunflower seeds. So again, looking at foods that improve the gut and also can help with the relationship between the gut and hormones and fertility. Raspberry leaf tea is another thing that can help with irregular periods.

Or hormone imbalance. It also helps reduce swelling. Also, chamomile tea is particularly good. I don’t have that in the list. I think for digestion because it reduces inflammation. It actually has nice properties that can help both . Things like anxiety and depression and gut health because it reduces inflammation and it’s also calming.

So chamomile tea is another raspberry leaf is a middle, little more specific for hormone imbalance, but chamomile tea is really good to reduce, especially inflammation in the gut. And then you can try to. Eliminate as much sugar as you can. I keep saying you, but your patients, your fertility patients well, and these are actually probably good advice for everybody’s gut health.

Eating too many refined carbohydrates and sugary foods can cause imbalances in blood sugar and exacerbate conditions like P C O S and insulin resistance. So too much sugar also are kidneys. Can only process so much sugar. So if you’re eating too much sugar and you get, for example, an acne breakout, that can be your body telling you Uhoh, too much sugar for the kidneys.

They can’t process it. And so they use your skin as an exit. They use your skin as a detox organ because remember, our skin is an organ. Cutting down on sugar B. Vitamin rich foods help support energy levels blood cell production, and reduce the risk of neural tube defects like spina bifida and other brain defects in the fetus.

B rich foods include grass fed red meat, pasture raised chicken and eggs, and sustain sustainably sourced fish, avocados and leafy greens. Proper iron intake can help prevent low birth weight of the baby and increase hemoglobin for the mom. Hema iron is the form of iron that is most readily absorbed by the body and it can be found in grass fed red meat, pasture raised chicken and eggs, and sustainably sourced fish.

Foods high in folate, and we’re focusing here on folate, not folic acid can help reduce the risk of neural tube defects that we just talked about and include . How you can get it, folate, pasture raised chicken, lentils, spinach, strawberries, and a spice.

And remember what I call the burden of conception is not only on the woman, so how can the male conception partner change his diet in order to burst? Boost fertility well optimally. The male would also reduce eating highly processed foods. He will hopefully reduce the number of sugars he is eating, the amount of sugar he is eating.

Nutrients like zinc, folate, and omega three fatty acids can all improve sperm quality. It’s not only about the number, it’s about the quality. And men would also take care to avoid excess alcohol, excess caffeine, and phytoestrogenic foods like soy and meats that contain antibiotics and hormones. I’ve had a little theory in my mind working for years that some of the.

40% of male infertility that we’re seeing is due to them growing up eating foods with estrogen in them, and so their hormones can get way outta balance because it’s only been in the last decade or so I think, that we’re learning about meat and dairy that has estrogen in it, which would not only affect women, but would affect men as well.

So some meal ideas that include some of those foods I just went over and are gonna help the gut and . Fertility success includes something like a salmon stir fry with vegetables, slow cooking, beef and vegetables, right? Getting the warmth in there with the slow cooking, a spring salad with chicken or salmon to warm up the coolness of the salad, make.

A chicken and sweet potato dish, right earth food, warm or salmon and sweet potatoes, Turkey burgers if you want a low fat burger option. Egg salad, hard boiled eggs, deviled eggs, the ones that are pasture raised, a wild rice salad. Or add that to a dish with protein like salmon. Now, food advice specifically from a Chinese medicine perspective.

Would be one of the issues to avoid is dampness. When you’re trying to conceive, we wanna avoid creating any dampness because dampness causes blockages or stagnations in the body, right? So foods that create dampness. Or for which stamp ness is a side effect, include cheese. I just tell my patients dairy in general, white flour and sugar.

I had a patient, in fact, who was starting to have little like clear skin tags, flat skin tags, and this guy ate so much. Dairy, ice cream almost every day. Frozen dairy, pretty much the worst thing you can put in your body according to the theory of Chinese medicine and drank a ton of milk. And again, not that there’s anything wrong with that, if your body is tolerating that well, but I just suggested to him, can you just give up dairy or cut way, way down.

I’d love it to be zero for two weeks and just see what’s happens to your skin. And sure enough, he turns out he, those skin tags went away and he got tested for lactose intolerance and was lactose intolerance. So our body, his body was telling him, look, I’m creating dampness. This, Daryl, this dairy you’re eating is creating a symptom.

So when your digestion is working well, you won’t create dampness, right? That’s the whole key. Getting the digestion to work well, according to the theory, you should be able to eat anything, and it’s not going to create any symptoms or dampness or heat if your digestion works well, but if your metabolism is off or your calories don’t burn clean, then the leftover residue

Is considered dampness, accumulated dampness, clogs, organs like lungs, causing asthma or digestion or digestive organs causing indigestion, high cholesterol, and sometimes constipation or diarrhea. Vegetables can play a major role in reducing dampness, so this can include lightly cooked vegetables, lightly steamed vegetables, and then leafy greens in the diet.

You can interchange white and brown rice to reduce dampness. White is said to be more cleansing and brown rice is more nourishing. Millet and quinoa also are clean burning and they will help drain damp. Of course our advice would be to limit cold and raw foods because we believe they form dampness and they’re difficult to process because they use too much energy to warm up as I, I think, like I said about ice cream, I think of all the energy that our gut is having to use to just warm that up to body temperature is huge.

Limiting cold ice, cold especially, and raw foods. If you need to eliminate dairy, that’s just what has to happen. Then get calcium from foods like almonds, leafy greens, and broccoli. You can get calcium from other foods besides dairy. Eliminate sugar, but eat Chinese medicine sweet foods like rice, meat, and some vegetables.

As I said, you can give your patient a list if you can eat according to the seasons. Eat warming foods in winter in summer. Cooler foods like lightly cooked vegetables, those are still cooler. Steam them rather than bake them or fry them. Of course. And if you can eat what grows in your region, that’s great.

I’m in Colorado, so when I, it’s wintertime and we’re eating, according to our region, what grows in our region. We’re eating an awful lot of potatoes and onions, occasionally throw in some beets and other root vegetables. So in pulse diagnosis for the earth. Besides the usual and customary pulse positions that we all learned in school, my system shows the uterus and the prostate in the left chair or the, what’s traditionally the kidney position.

So when you’re working with fertility issues, you may wanna pay more attention to that left kidney position. You can see I have it written down, left side uterus and prostate so you can feel if there are fibroids in the uterus so you can feel if there’s inflammation in the prostate and. When conception happens after the fetus, after the cells are a certain size, you’ll be able to feel and follow the pregnancy.

That’s where you’re gonna look over there in the left side, the right side, of course, middle pulse middle position is spleen and stomach, where you’re gonna be looking at digestion. Now, here’s a drawing of what the might look like. Poor digestion, that arrow going down in the spleen, stomach. Okay. . If you’re not feeling a nice flow of energy from the kidneys through the spleen and stomach into the lung large intestine, that means there’s a digestive issue.

This particular picture would mean that old trauma is preventing the person’s earth element from nourishing them, just like the early trauma prevented them from being nourished emotionally and maybe physically, unfortunately. That pattern stays in and their digestion doesn’t work very well. So whenever you feel an imbalance in the digestion with your fertility patients, I advise you talk to them strongly about their digestion, be and explain to them, in order to make good blood flow to the uterus, we need to have good spleen and stomach.

We need to have good earth. We need to have a balanced digestion. And then obviously you can use all the other information in this presentation in part one, to talk to them about food, to talk to them about their gut microbiome, et cetera. Because what we wanna get to is this balance, yin and yang.

Sine waves is the perfect pulse, the good healthy pulse, sine wave yang and yin sine wave yang and yin and all. As you can see in this picture, all of the organ systems communicating with each other. This is what we’re trying to get with every treatment. Our goal of every single treatment is balance in the pulses.

At least that’s the way I teach Pulse diagnosis, and that’s the way I do my practice. Honestly, after more than 20 years, it’s pulse diagnosis, the excitement of feeling things in people’s pulses. That keeps me interested in Chinese medicine. If I did prescription Chinese medicine and oh, somebody came in with infertility or fertility challenge and I did this, I would’ve been bored years and years ago.

So you can see every presentation I’m going to . Impress upon you the importance of the pulses for not only diagnosis, but for treatment. So you can reach me@lucasteachings.com. That has a contact Dr. Lucas button. My pr private practice website is acupuncture woman.com has a contact button also on lucas teachings.com.

There is some food advice. There is a A P D F that you could print out and give to your patients. I just want to. Thank you for watching. I hope you learned a lot as if you have any questions at all, feel free to contact me at one of those websites. I also wanna thank the American Acupuncture Council for sponsoring this webinar and allowing me to present this information to you.

And so I hope you have a great and enjoy treating your fertility patients. .

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Fertility and the Importance of the Earth Element: Part 1



Click here to download the transcript.

Disclaimer: The following is an actual transcript. We do our best to make sure the transcript is as accurate as possible, however, it may contain spelling or grammatical errors.  Due to the unique language of acupuncture, there will be errors, so we suggest you watch the video while reading the transcript.

Hi, I am Dr. Martha Lucas, and I am here to talk to you about the fertility and importance of the earth element. This is part one of a presentation. I would like to thank the American Acupuncture Council for allowing me to present this information to you. I have. More than 20 years of experience in Chinese medicine.

I have a private practice in Denver and also work in a western medicine clinic in Littleton, Colorado. So let’s go to the slides.

We all know the importance of good digestive health for good overall health. Digestion is how we make our energy, and that’s why I am sure that we all focus on all of our patients having good digestion. It turns out that gut health is very important for couples who are trying to conceive, because poor gut health can cause hormonal imbalance.

And when I’m talking about the earth element, of course I’m talking about spleen and stomach or digestion. And again, we know that. For example, earth and Metal, make up the immune system and earth and water make up the hormonal system. So we’re gonna be talking in these two presentations about the importance of Earth.

But again, and you all know this, we never just treat that standing alone, right? We’re always gonna treat all of the channels, all the organ systems, but hormonal imbalance would be Earth and . Kidneys, earth and water together and hormonal imbalances is one of the leading causes of infertility in both men and women.

And if you’ve heard me talk about fertility treatments before, you know that I treat the man and the woman. It’s yin and yang coming together, right? 40% of the time the fertility issue is the male’s issue. So it is very important that we also treat the male. And it is very important that we treat all the organ systems.

For example, if all you do is tonify the kidneys in water, but the dmai is blocked, then you’re, you could potentially be creating some toxic heat with all your ification. So that’s why in these presentations, I express the need to treat more than one organ system, and we are gonna be focusing on Earth in this part one and next time, part two.

When the gut microbiota is out of balance, it can lead to low grade inflammation throughout the body, including the product reproductive organs. So this is another reason why it’s so important to have the gut or the earth and Chinese medicine working well in, in western medicine, they call it the gut brain axis and the microbiome and the microbiota.

We call it earth or spleen and stomach. , that kind of inflammation, that kind of low grade inflammation can interfere with hormone production and signaling activity leading to irregular menstrual cycles, ovulation problems, and reductions in sperm quality. So you can see those are three causes, if you will, of.

Infertility or having a fertility challenge. I don’t like to use the word infertility because I feel like it’s a damning diagnosis. You’re infertile, oh, where do I go from there? So that’s why I tend to say fertility challenges. Changes or imbalances in the gut. Microbiome diversity or the gut microbiota can cause reduction or an increase in the levels of estrogen.

So either a reduction or an increase in levels of estrogen. In other words, an imbalance in estrogen, which also can lead to irregular menstrual cycles, irregular periods in terms of the bleeding part, impaired ovulation, P C O S, endometriosis. And again, all of those will ultimately or can ultimately affect fertility success.

So again, we see the importance of a balanced digestion. Unexplained infertility has been linked to systemic inflammation. Which I just said can be caused by gut imbalance and oxidative stress caused by imbalance in the gut microbiome.

Gut inflammation has been linked to decreased progesterone again. Leading to what looked like fertility challenges. Progesterone is responsible for healthy endometrial lining and implantation. So when it is low, and believe it or not, experts still aren’t really certain what too low is but when it is too low because of chronic inflammation, it can lead to implantation failure or recurrent miscarriages.

Immune system failure, sometimes caused by inflammation can lead to anti sperm antibodies, which attack the sperm and prevent implantation. Now, immune system failure would be autoimmune, right? And remember I said earlier, earth and metal, so spleen, stomach, lung, large intestine are our immune system, . We would need to, in that case, be treating, making certain, we’re getting the digestion balance, treating the immune system organ systems, and also the water.

Now the terrain is everything. This means I’m referring back to a very old argument that Pastore and Bernard had about . Is it the pathogen or is it the body’s ability to fight? And the story goes that Bernard was the one, the scientist who said, it’s so important to have important di good digestion, a good body.

And when you have a good healthy body, you can fight off germs. And of course, pastor was like, no, it’s the germ. It’s the germ. And the story goes that on his deathbed pastor said Claude Nar. Claude was right. The terrain is everything. And in Chinese medicine, that’s what we think, right?

Chinese medicine is . Primarily a preventive medicine. We’re always in our symptom mind, right? How often does a patient come in and say, I feel great, and I just wanna continue to feel great, so give me a treatment. We never do that with Western Medicine. We can’t even imagine it, right? We go in once a year for our annual exam, we feel great we make sure everything’s.

All our numbers are good, but we can’t imagine going in once a month and saying, Hey, Dr. Stroll, how you doing? But that’s how our medicine works. We get people healthy. I always tell people when they wanna know, how often should they come in? I always say how soon do you wanna get better? If this symptom is really bothering you, then I need to see you three times a week for just

Two weeks maybe, and then two times a week and one time a week. And we’ll get you to the point where I see you once a month. That’s because I believe the terrain is everything I have to get their digestion working well get their body working well again, get everything balanced and then we’ll move on to don’t let your symptom come back.

And if it does, the caveat is see you in a month. But if you need to come in earlier, then you need to come in earlier. The human gut is home to trillions of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other microorganisms that are collectively known as the microbiome. This complex ecosystem plays a crucial role in various aspects of health, including digestion, immune function, and even mental wellbeing.

The gut brain axis is very important to keep in balance. For issues like anxiety and depression. So all of those are related to the gut. The composition of the gut microbiome is influenced by a multitude of factors including diet, lifestyle, medication use, and of course stress levels. By nurturing the gut, women may be able to support their fertility journey and improve their chances of conceiving a healthy gut may just be the unexpected key to unlocking the door to parenthood.

So let’s go into some of the specifics about the gut brainin axis, and their impact on fertility. First of all, there’s nutrient absorption and metabolism. The gut microbiome aids in the breakdown and absorption of nutrients from our diet. Of course, balanced good digestion, . We’re going to be able to successfully absorb nutrients.

Certain gut bacteria are responsible for producing essential vitamins and metabolizing hormones. There we go with the hormone, the hormonal aspect or the hormonal connection imbalances in the gut microbiota can impair nutrient absorption leading to deficiencies in key nutrients that are required for reproductive health like folate, iron, and vitamin D.

Estrogen metabolism is another important thing about the gut estrogen. A hormone that we know is crucial for female fertility undergoes a process called metabolism in the gut. Imbalances in the gut microbiota can alter the process leading to imbalances in estrogen levels. Excessive levels of estrogen or the accumulation of certain estrogen metabolites can disrupt the delicate hormonal balance that is necessary for conception and successful pregnancy.

Remember, we have to carry it through from successful conception through successful normal natural birth. A normal, healthy birth, rather normal, healthy birth. Healthy mom is the ultimate goal. Continuing with estrogen metabolism in the gut, estrogen is needed for proper ovulation and thickening of the uterine wall for pregnancy Balanced estrogen, but excess estrogen can cause irregular periods and prevent ovulation, thereby causing

Infertility or fertility challenge. Further, estrogen dominance has been linked to endometriosis and P C O S. Estrogen deficiency, on the other hand, can cause. Amenorrhea, which is absence of periods, which leads to anovulation, disorders of ovulation, actually account for 30% of female for infertility. So here we go again with the importance of the gut and hormones.

Estrogen has an important role in male fertility as well. It affects multiple organs and tissue in the male. A deficit or a surplus of estrogen can hinder the male libido and spermatogenesis, which is an inappropriate increase in extra diol, which is an estrogen steroid hormone that has been shown to lead to a decrease in sperm production.

And also too little estrogen in males has shown to have a causative effect on erectile dysfunction. Stress and mental health. As I said earlier, the gut brain axis, the gut is a bidirectional communication pathway between the gut and the brain, and it plays a vital role in mental health and also in stress regulation that can lead to things like anxiety and depression.

Stress can influence the gut microbiota composition, which in turn can affect fertility, high levels of stress, can disrupt hormone production, interfere with ovulation and reduce sperm quality. It’s why I would love to have the time to do a retrospective study of when couples give up or decide to adopt how many get pregnant, and it’s, I

Think it’s a, seems in my fertility practice like it’s a fairly large number, and I’ve always surmised that it’s because their level of stress goes down, their level of struggle goes down. Gut health and the thyroid. When there is an imbalance in the microbiome, it impacts immunologic and metabolic functions.

A study in 2015 found that hypo and hyperthyroidism were associated with small intestinal bacteria overgrowth, or what’s called sibo. And other studies have found a relationship between dysbiosis, which is an in general name for imbalance or inflammation in the . Gut and thyroid nodules. Underactive thyroid can affect fertility in a variety of ways.

It causes decreased cellular energy, meaning less mitochondria on ovarian cells leading to irregular or absent periods. It may increase prolactin, which suppresses ovulation, and it may lead to a decrease insulin sensitivity, which means more insulin in the blood. Increases androgens, which then disrupt ovulation and is especially detrimental to women who have P C O S.

Fortunately, there are steps that individuals and couples can take to optimize their gut health and enhance their fertility. Eat a balanced diet, okay? Blah, blah, blah. We hear that all the time, right? Modern medicine suggests eating a diverse range of whole foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and fermented foods to promote a healthy gut microbiome.

these foods provide essential nutrients and promote the growth of beneficial gut bacteria. Chinese medicine recommends eating what we call earth foods, right? Ones that are sweet in nature or taste sweet according to the theory of Chinese medicine, not . Cakes and cookies and are earth colored, so yellows, oranges, browns, and also warm in temperature.

Again, either warm physically, like we’ve actually warmed it up or warm in nature according to the theory of Chinese medicine. Now prebiotics and probiotics. Probiotics are live bacteria that can be found in certain foods like yogurt, or they can be taken as supplements. They can help restore the balance of the gut Bacteria.

Prebiotics, on the other hand, are non-digestible fibers found in certain fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and they nourish the gut bacteria. Also, there’s stress reduction to help couples engaging in some stress. Reducing activities such as exercise, meditation, and mindfulness can positively impact both gut health and subsequently fertility.

These practices do help regulate the gut brain axis and promote a healthier gut microbiota.

Research has found that women with recurrent pregnancy loss, A number of miscarriages show a higher prevalence of undiagnosed gut disorders. In particular, women with recurrent pregnancy loss were found to have abnormal gut permeability, which was found to contribute to the inflammatory reactions in the body that we talked about are earlier.

The researchers hypothesize that the inflammatory reaction caused by dysbiosis may be contributing to miscarriage pathogenesis. And they recommend that proper diagnosis and treatment of intestinal disorders in order to improve pregnancy outcomes. Very important for those particular women. Further, the gut microbiome is responsible for converting bound estrogen to free active estrogen according to a recent review.

Without a healthy microbiome, estrogen metabolism and function becomes impaired and can lead to a number of health consequences, including endometriosis, P C O S, hyperplasia and infertility or fertility challenge. It seems that we are finding out that treating the gut microbiome to modulate estrogen levels should be considered as a future treatment or a current treatment for estrogen mediated diseases, including infertility.

An interesting meta-analysis found that women with unexplained infertility, so that’s. The problem when your doctor says, oh, sorry, you’re infertile, and we don’t know why. They have a three and a half, 3.5 times higher odds of having celiac disease. In fact, it’s estimated that an Good percentage of women struggling with unexplained infertility actually have undiagnosed celiac disease, and it’s been suggested that unexplained infertility may actually be the first sign of celiac disease in some women.

Now, as I mentioned earlier, chronic inflammation may impact recurrent pregnancy loss. It also may cause decreased progesterone, which leads to implantation failure and the development of autoimmune processes that impact fertility. Now, women may think that this doesn’t pertain to them because they don’t have any gut symptoms.

Unfortunately, the absence of gas, bloating, stomach pain, Does not necessarily indicate good gut health, although the token symptoms of gut dysfunction do indicate something is wrong. A complete absence of symptoms does not indicate that you have a properly functioning digestive tract. They might be having regular bowel movements, no cramping, no gas, but it by no means guarantees that their gut is in good shape.

In fact, you can feel pretty good. It turns out, as I’ve seen in with people’s pulses for years and years, they tell me they don’t have any digestive issues and it turns out that they actually do. So some non digestive symptoms that may be a red flag with your fertility patients include . Constant hunger or cravings.

Now that would be earth and stomach, maybe stomach, heat, brain fog and diminished memory, kidney and earth, joint and muscle pain. Again, kidneys and earth or chronic fatigue, kidneys and earth or signs of estrogen deficiency or dominance, kidney and earth. So you can see all of these non digestive symptoms include Earth in our medicine.

So food allergies are another thing, as well as seasonal allergies. Those are earth and metal. Those can be an early red flag. Frequent colds and flu, earth and metal skin issues like eczema, acne, rosacea. Earth and metal or autoimmune issues, earth and metal. So again, you can see earth involved in these maybe red flags for fertility issues.

And as you can see in the bottom, there’s my pulse diagnosis diagram. And you can see that infinity symbol, which is literally the attachment of sign waves this way, sign waves that way, which is yang and yin. You can see that all of the organ systems need to be balanced and communicating with each other.

If we are going to create a warm, fertile environment for proper conception, successful conception, and a healthy birth, healthy mother. All right, so next time we are going to talk in part two about fertility and the importance of earth and a little more specifics about particular foods, ideas for combinations of foods.

Again, we’ll probably talk about the importance of pulse diagnosis and some ideas. In that realm. And so I wanna thank you for listening and also thank the American Acupuncture Council for allowing me to present this information. You can see my teaching website, which is lucas teachings.com, or contact me@acupuncturewoman.com, which is my private practice site.

So I’ll see you next time. .