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Acupuncture Malpractice Insurance – Pulse Diagnosis: Beyond Slippery and Wiry Part 2



Lovingly call a slippery and wiry school where all the patients we saw in clinic had slippery and wiry pulses, or thin and wiry.

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 with part two of Pulse diagnosis Beyond Slippery and Wiry. I am located, my practices are in Denver and then in Littleton, Colorado. I. Work at a regular internal medicine, modern medicine practice. They asked me to come there many years ago to what they said was help them with their diagnoses, which I thought was pretty cool.

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I also, I. Teach Chinese medicine classes. I’ve been in practice for more than 20 years. The name of the course is, or the name of these webinars in my book is Post-Diagnosis Beyond Slippery and Wiry, because I always say that I went to what I call a slippery. Lovingly call a slippery and wiry school where all the patients we saw in clinic had slippery and wiry pulses, or thin and wiry.

Occasionally we could say thin and wiry, but that was pretty much all we learned, and my school did not have any courses on pulse diagnosis. I was very lucky and. In my very first semester of school, my mentor, Jim Ramal, offered a full semester long course in pulse diagnosis, which I was so excited to be there that I took the class because I had previously been, or still working in Western medicine as a research psychologist, but was very curious about what else is going on besides my patients were cardiovascular.

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Patients who had just had bypass surgery and researchers are curious and I just wanted to know, hey, your engine just got fixed, but what else is working to keep that engine working well? So that’s why I started to study various energy medicines and ended up in Chinese medicine school. Just because I had, as a regular person, taken a color puncture course, but needed to know why certain colors, why on certain points, which I knew nothing about ’cause I was just a regular person, but.

My mentor made me fall in love with his method of pulse diagnosis, and and I never looked back. I continued in school, became a, obviously became a practitioner, and my specialty is the diagnosis. People come to me for. An in-depth diagnosis because guess what? Your treatment is going to be more effective if you actually give a correct diagnosis, and I would like to take that sentence.

I had acupuncture and it didn’t work out of the English language because either the patient didn’t work at it. They expect you to cure their five year long back pain and two treatments or. The diagnosis wasn’t right and then the treatment just didn’t work right? So I want to very much thank the American Acupuncture Council for allowing me this opportunity to go on and on about Pulse diagnosis, because as you can tell, I’m super excited about it.

And you can always look me up@lucasteachings.com or my private practice site is acupuncture women.com, and I am always happy to answer. Any questions that you might have. So let’s go to the slides. As I said, this is part two. So I asked this question, what is this thing called the normal pulse? Because in part one I talked about how even historically, and not only in Chinese medicine, I.

Doctors talked about this thing, taking the pulse during healthy times, and they talked about what a normal pulse is that practitioners need to know how to feel a normal, balanced pulse as well as morbid pulses or imbalance or the pulses of a person who has an illness. And we are going to talk about the normal pulse.

Jin we said it is imperative to know the normal pulse or the pulse in the healthy person before the morbid pulses are to be learned because a morbid pulse is in fact. The abnormal change of a normal pulse? My school never told me what normal was. They talked about I think my school might have been a stomach cheese school that they said, oh, a normal healthy pulse is slightly slippery and somewhat wiry.

Oh my goodness. Could that be more ambiguous? What? What do you mean slightly wiry or slight, somewhat slippery. That’s wrong. That is not what a normal pulse feels like. What a normal pulse is a sine wave yang and yin. So yang rises, yin falls, and then they connect each other. So it’s a series of sign waves, yang and yin yang and yin.

And it’s symmetrical. So the yang isn’t founding up, and the yin is this little tiny thing. It’s symmetrical, it feels smooth, it’s connected. The yang and the yin are mixing, which is what they do, right? They mix with each other to create a wave that they’re each supporting each other. So that’s what normal feels and that’s the goal of every treatment.

The person comes in, you feel they’re outta balance pulse. You determine what you need to do with whatever you’re going to do. Acupuncture gua, una, herbs moa, and then you do your treatment. I recommend a little bit of treatment, refill the pulses to see what happened or what didn’t happen. A little bit of treatment.

Refill the pulses, so it’s a kind of a little puzzle that you’re trying to fix. So any break in symmetry from that normal sine wave yang and yin yang and yin is pathological. If the body isn’t able to self-regulate itself anymore. I. Without help in a perfectly healthy world, the body would self-regulate.

You’d have some outta balance. Let’s say there’s a cold or something and your pulse gets a little bit outta balance, but then your body regulates itself and it goes back into balance. If that. Doesn’t happen. If it can’t return to the normal sine wave, then we need to see people, which is why I recommend what I call maintenance treatments, which is, okay, we got you back into a healthy state.

I’ll see you in a month. And I always tell people, don’t go back to square one. Don’t not go back to square one and call me and say, oh my goodness. Because that would be. Your body is going back into the old pattern of imbalance, instead of staying in a more balanced state.

And believe me, we can retrain a person’s body to learn how to reregulate itself and get more balanced. Are we all ever gonna be perfectly balanced like we were in utero? And sometimes, not even then, frankly, depending on our parents’ health, depending on our parents’ relationship, et cetera. But we can get closer to it.

We can go out of a sickness state into a wellness state more quickly or out of an emotional state, into a calmer state more regularly when we, as the practitioners retrain the person’s body to remember what normal feels like. Because when all of our energies are substantial in communicating with each other, then there is not what we call a pathological pulse.

So we can deal, we can literally watch the health issue go from healthy to unhealthy to back to healthy, as I said, the front of the position. The uprising part is young. That’s the functional aspect of the organ and the back or the downward flow is the yin, which is more the physicality of the organ. So again, using this idea, we can see is this person’s problem more a function or more of a physical?

Problem the large intestine and constipation, we would maybe be able to determine whether the constipation or change in bowel habits is due to a weakness in the large intestine function handling a typical food load, or whether or not it’s over that physical organ is overburdened or both. Other interesting qualities are the co-sign.

So in my way of my system, we have the sine wave, which is normal. We have the co-sign wave, which is the opposite of a sine wave. So it starts more in the yin part and goes up. So that’s, and you, when we, when I teach this in classes and you get to see it like depression is a co-sign in the liver.

Position. Once you see a co-sign, then you are able to recognize it more and more. As I say, it’s often seen in the liver, but it’s seen in other positions as well, and we need to know what level it starts at. If the co-sign starts at the deep level, it’s an older issue with the person, an older emotional issue, or an older.

Physical issue, maybe even they’ve adapted to it. If it starts at the top level, it’s more current, something that they’re dealing with right now. For example, taking that depth idea, sinking or emptiness or you don’t feel anything, it’s empty in the spleen, stomach, the earth position. That can mean early childhood trauma.

It can mean what? What is called the relinquishment wound by psychologists, which means. The person was separated from their mother right at birth. For example, my oldest grandson was a preemie, and so he was, had to be taken out by emergency c-section, and he was taken away from my daughter at that moment.

All right? So he would have a tendency to have what is called the relinquishment wound, and sure enough, because. Spleen, stomach, lung, large intestine, rr immune system. What did he have as an early young one? Immune system issues. What did he have as an early, young one? Skin issues. So these were predictable according to his, preemie experience leading to immune problems may be seen. And he recently got diagnosed with asthma. So all of that, and he’s, thank God, and I also thank Chinese medicine. He is what I would call a very healthy 17-year-old, despite the fact that he went through some early life problems with strider and with rashes, and now has asthma.

But he’s a track runner in cross country. So Chinese medicine, I. Really as you if you couldn’t tell. Really love it. And then other interesting qualities are nodding. This movement is a three dimensional movement, so it comes up in the pulse. You can feel it, touch your finger, and it stays there. You probably heard about it in school as called the spinning bean pulse.

What you would feel in the beginning as you’re learning how to feel an knotted pulse is just it hitting your finger and no flow. It’s not going anywhere. That’s what a tumor feels like. That’s what a cyst feels like. That’s what a fibroid feels like, because what is that diagnosis? It is stagnation.

Stagnation in one spot, right? That cyst is in one spot. That fibroid is in the uterus, the nodding movement is eventually you’ll, if it’s growing, especially, you can feel the spinning at the top. You can feel the movement at the top, but that knotted movement is you feeling a localized stagnation.

Sometimes you feel it after people have a surgery because they just had localized. Trauma, localized damage in their body. You might feel it in the lung pulse because the person has some sort of mucus blocks in there. So that’s what nodding is. And it might seem like a pause because it’s not flowing.

It seems like a pause because it’s rising up. And you feel it before you feel the movement on. Some people think of this as an intermittent pulse, but sometimes you need to be a little more discerning to see whether it’s an actual or not, and. I’m talking to my patients while I’m taking their pulses because when I feel something, as I just said, it can be more than one thing.

So to asking the patient, how’s this, how’s that? Have you ever had this? Is this happening? Is that happening? Then we, I. Are getting down to the nitty gritty of what’s going on. Like the person says, oh yes, I’ve just been diagnosed with colon cancer. That’s why I’m here to see you. Then we might feel that in the right distal position because that’s the lung large intestine.

But we also might feel it in the proximal position because we are feeling the physical organ, the pulses can be a model for the whole body. What’s deep inside and what’s more on the surface, and where it is not only located in what we learned as the traditional pulse positions, but also where is that organ in the actual body.

So we are doing a lot of observation along with what we might call clinical findings, what their doctor has told them they have. So we we might think we’re looking at energetic qualities, but actually we are looking at impulse diagnosis at the physical body, the emotional bodies, and the spiritual bodies.

For example, we don’t ever wanna see a scattered pulse, right? That’s someone who’s living in fear, right? And fear and anxiety are almost the same thing. Fear is a little more dramatic than anxiety, but this person is in constant vigilance. Their kidneys get overloaded, get what we call scattered.

We don’t ever wanna feel, scattered kidney position. And then everything gets more tight after that because the kidneys aren’t flowing, they’re scattered. The sympathetic nervous system is showing up in the pulses because their muscles are getting tight. They’re. Central nervous system is overloaded, so it feels scattered little points of light under your finger instead of a nice kind of flow.

So this patient might think of everything as threatening, and that’s because they’re not centered, right? Their pulse. Can’t moderate itself back to calming the nervous system down and regulating and centering them anymore, they’ve become in that pattern of fear, anxiety, nervousness, and what we do is help that get regulated back to normal, back to balance, back to flowing back to the kidneys, being not scattered and supporting all the other organ systems.

So we talk a little bit about the pulses in cancer development, since we’re talking about nodding in tumors. In a healthy person, we know about the microcosmic orbit, right? Think about it. It’s a sine wave, and what happens when you do a sine wave? The other wave. So sine wave. Sine wave, which is how we communicate left and right, is the infinity symbol, right?

Sine wave this way, sine wave that way. And so we want to support the lower Dante N. We want to facilitate that connection. Some people call it the Tai G connection between yang and Yin and. There’s this story about how monks used to click their teeth actually pumping the salivary glands to catch and contain the fire element Ming Mu, to generate the saliva and swallow it, guiding it down.

The Ren Ma, back to the Dante. And so this idea of preserving your Ming Man fire has been around for a long time. And there are various ways that people in the past have done it. Now a blockage in the diaphragm, what we would call a dmai block, may prevent that saliva from getting down to the Dante.

And it’s the same way energetically, if the dmai is blocked, the vertical flowing channels are not communicating with each other anymore. So if you are, for example, treating a fertility patient and men and women, and you’re. Tonifying, the lower, their reproductive system in the lower J and also trying to help their digestion, but their dimmi is blocked and you don’t know it, you’re not helping them because where’s that energy gonna go?

How are, how is digestion going to communicate with the reproductive area? How is the middle or the upper going to connect with the lower? It’s not because those organ systems are dissociated when there’s a DI block, we need, that’s an example, a simple example of something that we need to be able to feel in the pulses so that we can reorganize those systems so that they’re flowing into each other.

So I recommend taking the pulses with your non-dominant hand for one thing with your right hand, I mean with your dominant hand. It happens to be my right hand. I might take, be taking notes. I might be writing down something that the patient says, and I’m also going deep to superficial. So feeling the Ming man feeling the kidneys.

Feeling what’s going on in their core and then moving up to what’s more current. And for example, a short kidney pulse that can be a blocked dite. Usually a blocked dite feels a little stronger than just a weak kidney. But if the, if there’s a short kidney pulse, a short proximal position, pulse, the kidneys aren’t flowing, that’s the bottom line.

If it’s short, they’re not flowing. They’re not supporting the other organ systems. A short heart pulse. Liver attacking the heart, maybe liver attacking the heart, and the heart is. Stopping that because it’s trying to protect the spirit. Is it old trauma that’s causing that? It could be. These are all things it could mean, and this is partly why we need to communicate with the patient.

I said in part one that like the great sociologist, Andrew Greeley said people will say anything and he was talking about surveys, how you can’t believe surveys. Because people will say anything. Same thing with po with the person’s body. They, I’ve had so many patients that I have felt some sort of old unresolved emotional issue or trauma.

I don’t use the word trauma in the first treatment, of course. And they’ll, I’ll ask them, oh, do you have anything unresolved? Something from the, and they’ll say no, I don’t think so. And then the second or third visit, they’ll say, I was thinking about what you said, and you’re right, I had blah, blah, blah.

So it’s. I just helped that patient know themselves better. I just helped that patient understand the cause of their fibromyalgia or their stomach, their digestive issues. So we are helping the patient know themselves better and understand why. Understand why they are having this particular illness or symptom.

Knotted left kidney pulse in the system I’m using in teach, the left kidney position can be the uterus and the prostate. So if it’s knotted in there, maybe it’s uterine fibroid, maybe there’s some prostate inflammation. A knot at the top of the stomach and or large intestine position is thyroid. In Chinese medicine, we don’t have a thyroid organ, right?

We don’t talk about it. We don’t have, certainly don’t have a thyroid channel per se, but where is the thyroid? It’s near some channels where it’s blockage it’s having little nodules or it’s inability to function well, can be felt in the pulses, and then the gallbladder and San Jal positions, especially at the sensory level.

Can show brain or central nervous system activity. In fact, gall bladder and Sanja channels are very good channels to treat the brain. So let’s talk for a minute about a couple of case studies. So a large gel pulse, right proximal. Remember, we’re gonna look at the positions in some unique ways. This can be, as I said, something going on with the brain.

Or. Something going on physically, right? A patient who has IBS, you might see that big movement in either the middle or the lower gel, but sometimes it’s nervous tension going to the brain. It might have some heat and dampness in it. So we’re looking at things in a unique, more detailed way. A young woman after a C-section, and she has a very stiff and painful neck.

All the tests come back normal, right? She doesn’t have any spine issues. If her pulse in the small intestine position is. Empty. Okay. Of course, her neck is full of muscle tension and knots and inflamed trigger points because there’s no oxygen and blood flow in the small intestine channel. So you know, you might be thinking, oh, wait a minute.

I should be feeling a choppy pulse. No. Remember, sometimes back problems, neck problems, muscle problems are hidden. Because it’s severely depleted, cheat, in her case from childbirth. It’s the hardest thing a woman’s body is ever going to do. Build. Then deliver another human being. So we, this is what I’m saying, we need to be open to what’s going on in all of the channels near where the person’s symptom is.

Or they may have a short wry movement going from the stomach backward. That’s what worry feels like. And we never wanna have worry in the pulses because not only is it not going forward to. Help the lung, large intestine and the immune system be strong, but it’s going backward and attacking the kidneys.

So case study examples, block dite, like I said, fertility example. The person has fallen, they’ve been rear-ended. They’ve been in some sort of accident. And by the way, falls include things like ski falls and sports falls where the person falls and gets right back up. They look down, nothing’s broken, they’re not bleeding.

The Dai still gets blocked. So again, it’s important to know what the person’s history is, what their activities are, if we’re feeling the Dai block, because our treatment is not going to be as effective as we want it to be. If there’s a Dai block. I mentioned a little bit about earth and metal connection.

That’s the immune system, right? So the spleen, stomach, lung, large intestine, they all need to be flowing with each other. So that would mean the kidney position, earth position, metal position, all Y and yin yang and yin. So we can have a strong immune system. Let’s say the person comes in with acne, maybe that is liver stress shooting out.

To the skin, especially on the forehead. Stress, acne especially shows up on the forehead. So again, with acne, we can’t just look at hormones, we can’t just look at heat. We have to look at other possibilities. Of what’s causing this person’s acne. And then the separation of yin and yang, they call that the end of life, right?

That looks like you. What it looks like in the pulses is you only feel yang. And when you go down into the deep portion, it’s pretty, pretty empty. That’s ’cause the organ systems are getting weaker. They’re not able to hold energy anymore. And so what happens? There’s no root. So the pulses just go up y yang, young.

So you know, that’s I treat internal medicine, that’s my specialty. So I always say practitioners who only treat pain are fairly lucky ’cause they’re probably never gonna have to go through the death of a patient. But I went through the death of a patient my very first year out of school. I just had one pass away last year.

It’s when you treat internal medicine, you are going to eventually, as your patients get older and older. Feel that separation of yin and yang, and I don’t like it, but I, it’s a hint of what I need to do. Try to get some of that connection back so they have more of a flow in their pulses. And I’m always optimistic.

I am really, no matter what the person comes with, I at least. I am optimistic that I’m going to be able to maybe slow down the progression of the disease, slow, slow down their symptoms, take their symptoms away, make them feel better quality of life. Always super, super because I get a smile out of the pulses every day.

I. I’m one of those people who’s really lucky that as a woman of a certain age, as I like to say, I still love my work. It still makes me smile every day. It makes my patients smile every day. They’re always interested when they’re like, oh, you’re feeling something, aren’t you? I appreciate your listening to this part two of Pulse diagnosis beyond Slippery and wiry, and I will hopefully see you for part three.

Again, I want to thank the American Acupuncture Council for allowing me to express my excitement to you about Pulse diagnosis, and hopefully I’ll see you next time.


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Acupuncture Malpractice Insurance – Pulse Diagnosis: Beyond Slippery and Wiry Part 1



In a very blessed way, my pulse diagnosis mentor, and then I became in love with the way I take pulses and frankly, that’s what’s kept me interested in Chinese medicine for the last 25 years.

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, this is Dr. Martha Lucas, and today I am going to be talking with you about pulse diagnosis. I have a special system that I’ve been using for my whole Chinese medicine career in my offices in Denver and Littleton, Colorado. I am a research psychologist, so I started out my. Quote unquote medical career in Western medicine doing research in hospital settings.

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But I was immediately curious as researchers tend to be about what was operating with the patients I was seeing other than. They just had cardiovascular bypass surgery, so I knew the engine had been fixed a day or two before, but I wondered what else is operating for their healing. So I started to study various energy medicines including reiki, tonal alignment, and then I learned something called color puncture.

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Which as you would imagine, is based on acupuncture, which is based on Chinese medicine. But the teachers didn’t talk much about the theory of why you did certain colors on certain points. So I went to Chinese medicine school. I. To learn that I didn’t really intend to become a practitioner of Chinese medicine.

I just wanted to learn why I was doing certain things, because I couldn’t imagine my patients asking, oh, Dr. Lucas, why are you doing blah, blah, blah? And I say, because Aquila said, Dr. Mandel says so there I met very. In a very blessed way, my pulse diagnosis mentor, and then I became in love with the way I take pulses and frankly, that’s what’s kept me interested in Chinese medicine for the last 25 years.

If I was doing prescription Chinese medicine, I’d be bored. So my goal, part of my goal in my practice is to help as many practitioners as want to be most excellent diagnostician. So we are going to be talking about pulse diagnosis. I. And I want to thank the American Acupuncture Council for allowing me this opportunity to do this show.

This will be part one in a series about pulse diagnosis. So let’s go to the slides. I, the whole presentation is called Pulse Diagnosis Beyond Slippery and Wiry because. I always say I went to a slippery and wiry school where everybody’s pulses were slippery and wiry. That’s what the teachers all knew.

And occasionally we could say they were thin and wiry, but that. That was about the extent of our experience with Pulse diagnosis. So I am excited to show people that there is so much more in Pulse diagnosis than just three and wiry, which is why I call my book and this presentation beyond slippery and wiry.

I am fascinated and I hope we all would be fascinated by the history of Pulse diagnosis. In fact, it has a very storied history, so I really don’t understand why in modern schools they’re not teaching it as our. Primary diagnostic tool. As I said, I was lucky to have a mentor. My school didn’t teach pulse diagnosis.

I think the theory teacher talked about it for about a week. Maybe occasionally someone would say, oh, let’s go around the room and feel everybody’s pulses. And guess what? They were all wiry, where students were spleen deficient, et cetera, et cetera. I the old pictogram actually is an image.

It’s the classic pulse taking with using three fingers. The other diagnostic methods or examinations are used in modern medicine as well as Chinese medicine. There’s an inspection, but in modern medicine, its imaging technologies. Our inspection tools are our pulses and our eyes, our fingers rather to take the pulses in our eyes.

There’s listening, obviously, or maybe not. So obviously the DOT MDs listen, they want to hear what your chief complaint is. We certainly listen to our patient’s chief complaint, but. As the great sociologist and survey master, Andrew Greeley said, people will tell you anything. And so that’s why he suggested we shouldn’t believe surveys.

I believe in pulse diagnosis that people will tell me anything or they’ll tell me nothing. How often does somebody tell you their digestion is great or. With women, oh no, they don’t have any PMS. Their periods are quote unquote normal. So I have learned for many years that people will just say anything and that it’s our job to really figure out what’s going on with people.

I know you’ve all heard someone say, oh, I’ve had acupuncture and it didn’t work. There are two reasons for that. Number one, the patient didn’t work at it. They had back pain for a bunch of years. They come in, they’re hoping you’re gonna make it better in one or two treatments, and so then they tell their friends, oh, I had acupuncture for that, and it didn’t work well, the patient didn’t work.

And then there’s the other reason, which is an incorrect diagnosis. A non a, not a total diagnosis that the practitioner just touches the pulses for a second and sees their wiry, and that’s their diagnosis. No, that is not, that’s not what you would call an adequate diagnosis. So that’s our inquiry part.

We can question the patient, but as I said they’ll say anything. So I feel like. We need to have a tool that even while they are talking with us, we can have our fingers on the pulses and we can be talking with them about what’s going on. For example, I have a patient who’s struggling with Lyme dis he is struggling with the treatments for Lyme disease, and right now he’s taking three different antibiotics.

That’s the protocol of either one or two doctors that he’s going to see, and of course, he. Tells me yes, he’s doing well because he can tell there’s die off and this other stuff. And I’m feeling his pulses and I can tell that his digestion isn’t right. And finally he admits. That he’s having some watery diarrhea.

And I explained to him already about the cold energy of antibiotics and how your digestion loves warm energy. And so he should be expecting maybe some negative side effects from the antibiotics. And of course, he tells me he’s. Pumping lots of prebiotics and probiotics, which also by the way, can have a negative effect on digestion.

Because I could tell that the digestion was struggling with the cold, I just put a Ong on Ren 12. No needles yet and put my fingers on his pulses and immediately could feel some young coming back, some more fullness to the pulses. And this young man has been seeing me and another practitioner who was trained in pulse diagnosis by me for a long time.

So he loves to talk about it, he loves to be educated about it. He’s very curious about how his kidneys are doing, how his liver is doing. And so it’s. I like educating our patients as well because an educated patient is a better referral source for you because they can say, I saw Dr. Lucas, she did blah, blah, blah.

She said, this is why this is happening. And then she treated it instead of, oh, I’m getting acupuncture and I don’t know what they’re doing. And it’s just a magical tool. It isn’t. It is not a mystery. It’s a medicine. And pulse diagnosis is not a mystery either. It’s a diagnostic tool that can be explained.

So for us to be able to decide what’s going on with the patient is the primary goal of every treatment in Chinese medicine. And we also have smelling right in, we would call these in modern medicine, more like blood tests and urine tests. My very first kidney disease patient, I could see. Smell. I could smell his kidney disease and he hasn’t had that smell since I think two treatments out.

So we’re all trying to do our diagnostic tools. And then the art of changing yin and yang. I call it balancing like my kidney disease patient. I balanced yin and yang. He came to me with priapism, and when I explained to a few students that I was doing some kidney yang points, they couldn’t believe it.

They’re like, yang. Oh my gosh. That would create an erection. Why on earth would you be doing kidney yang points for priapism? Because I was balancing. Not only kidney, yin and yang, but the whole system of yin and yang. So in the old days they used to say that the diag, you diagnosed the causes of illness according to what they called the complicated pulse.

And I just taught a seminar in cosmetic acupuncture, and we were talking about pulse diagnosis, and the students were saying, how, oh our teachers told us it’s too complicated. It would take a whole. 30 or 40 or 50 years longer than we’re gonna be in practice to learn it. And that is totally wrongheaded.

That is absolutely not true. You can absolutely learn how to be a good diagnostician. And the process back in the day was called ology, and this was as early as the inner canon talking about the normal pulse and the morbid pulses. Now, why is that important? Because if you don’t know how to see a normal pulse, if you don’t know what normal feels then you’re only ever going to be feeling.

Out of balance pulses. So part of what I like to teach people is the goal of every treatment is the normal pulse and how that feels. And I love the whole history of it. I love the original names and labels of things like the lung, great abyss. And honestly, if you think about the names, the original names.

It can also help you think about what you’re feeling in the pulses large intestine Union Valley of the Hand, young Ravine stomach surging young, like I just said, with that case study of the young man suffering through his medical treatments for Lyme disease. I put that Mong on run 12 to raise some young spleen surging gait, young pour the heart or also inside spirit gait celestial window, the small intestine beside the throat bend center, bladder bent part of the knee.

Great ravine, the kidneys. Of course the kidneys fund everything, right? Of course. They’re a great ravine. They fund all of the other movements, which is partly why they are so important. We all learn. Kidneys kidneys Ming Mu Fire, original Chief Fire in the belly. Why? Because that’s funding everything.

So if that starts to go down, then all of the other organ systems are going to be out of balance. There’s no such thing as an out of balance kidney pulse. Everything else is balanced. Not gonna happen. Palace of Toil. A colorful network vessel in the palm and rep represents the heart harmony, bone hole, sanja, suspended bell gallbladder, supreme surge liver.

And we know the liver helps. Move everything according to the inner Canon Pulse examination inspects the distribution of blood, and we know it’s of blood and oxygen inside the channels or meridians, and that diseases generate uneven distributions inside those channels. In other words, we are feeling the imbalances, the disruption of oxygen and blood in those channels, and that’s a part of how we make our diagnosis.

I. Some historical positions because I teach in my diagnosis courses, I teach it maybe what sounds like a few different positions. The basic positions are the same, but there are additional things we can feel like the uterus in the left uterus and prostate in the left kidney pulse. So in the old days. We might talk about the left distal pulse being heart, chest center, small intestine or pericardium or the right sun being the lung in the chest and the large intestine left, middle position, liver, diaphragm, gallbladder, spleen.

So these are all things that historically were felt you could feel in that position with the right side stomach and spleen. The left chair position, kidneys, pretty much the kidneys have always been in that. Most proximal position, kidney, abdomen, bladder, large intestine, and small intestine, because they’re deep, they’re in the lower jaw.

So it makes a certain amount of sense that we would feel that what’s going on with that organ system in the HUR position. Right side. Kidney, abdomen, pericardium, sanal, bladder life gait, small intestine, large intestine. Now, these are all historically talked about, the organ systems that we can feel in the certain positions.

The inner canine indicates that the stomach is the regular chie of a normal person, which of course I. Think is super, super ambiguous. But again, we’re going over a little bit of the history of it. And we talk about that being the person’s y qi. And if it gets weak, the stomach is going to come, become a little bit weak if it gets.

Vanquished gone. Stomach chi will be then scattered. And that’s a basic sign of life, right? That’s how we make our energy. So to have a good earth, solid earth, spleen, stomach, right middle side position is very important. And in my system, which goes back to early sixth century Korea. And from, in my experience, I know and teach about how early childhood trauma is held in that position, in that middle position on the right side, spleen, stomach, earth.

And it has to do with nurturing, lack of nurturing or even perceived lack of nurturing being separated from a parent at an early age or having early trauma. The classic of difficult issues mentions that if the upper part doesn’t have a pulse and the lower part has a pulse, that’s they call cumbersome, but we need to look at getting that better, right?

There shouldn’t be just a low pulse or a high pulse, a deep pulse in a superficial pulse. We need to get those pulses. Communicating with each other because the pulse can’t only have a root. It should have a root, but not only a root. And we all know that absence of a root pulse is going to show that there’s some debilitation in the kidney going on.

In the energy of the kidney, the history of pulse diagnosis isn’t only Chinese medicine either. Hindu physicians looked at the pulses they likened them to certain animals like the serpent, the frog, the swan, the peacock diseases were attributed to the humors, air, bile, and phlegm. And they felt like they were all reflected in the pulses.

And we talked certainly about. We talk a lot about phlegm being in the pulses. Otherwise, this wouldn’t be called beyond slippery and wiry. And they said that a disturbance in phlegm, the pulse would be slow and heavy, like the motion of a swan or a peacock, whereas dis some sort of disturbance in the air would be like the motion of a serpent.

Greek physicians also used pulse diagnosis. They included the knowledge of both music and geometry they felt were necessary in order to interpret the pulse and they. Paid attention to its rhythm or cadence. They also recognize size, frequency, force, and as I said, rhythm. And it is said that the physician Galen wrote more books on the subject of Pulse diagnosis than anyone before or since.

He emphasized the importance of feeling the pulse during healthy times so that we knew what a normal pulse felt like. And then the irregular, the imbalance, the illness pulses became more clear to us. They also studied the speed of the pulse length, depth, broadness strength, so you can see that not only Chinese medicine historians and doctors studied the pulses or all of these little subtle distinctions that can be in the pulse.

In fact, Galen even drew wave pictures, which is part of what I teach in my classes in Europe. Bordeaux brought about the idea of organic pulses and talked about. The, some of the pulses being shown above the diaphragm, seeing the organs above the diaphragm and some below the diaphragm, and then the superior pulses were divided into certain organs and the inferior pulses, the lower ones.

And I talked to people about feeling the upper, middle and lower jou locations of the organs in the pulses. So the earliest case histories used visual exam, listening, questioning, but palpation was the main diagnostic tool. They were palpating or reading what they called the grand rendezvous of the vessels.

And that is that area, the three finger width on both sides of the wrists, the grand rendezvous of the vessels. We have one dimensional models, which say the pulse is wiry. We have two dimensional models, which might say, I can feel a young pulse and a yin pulse, but we’re gonna be looking at more than three levels, three or more levels.

It’s quantum mechanics, which does sound complicated. Physics, quantum mechanics, that all sounds like it’s super, super comp complicated. But I can take that into. A discussion that everyone can understand and we can. Learn what I call a plausible methodology. So we’re going to be talking eventually about the top level skin, superficial level, skin surface, meridian activity, chief flow, emotions, the body’s interaction with the environment, middle level blood, functional aspects, organ function, metabolism are interfaced with.

Our internal organs in the environment. And then the deeper level, the bottom bone marrow organs, chronic disease, hidden emotion, unconscious emotions, adaptive level patterns that are fixed and you might not even know about. So unconscious emotions. And all of this means that we are going to be able to see current situations with the patient and older situations with the patient.

So the physical space that we’re feeling is going to give us a diagnostic. Perspective from birth or before birth up to the current because nothing is omitted in your pulses. It’s like a Rosetta Stone. It’s one symptom didn’t just come from yesterday. It’s a historical. Adding up of events that we can see in the person’s pulses.

So we are gonna be able to look at the circumstances, emotions, healing, disease progression, and that’s all gonna show up in the pulses. And the pulses should change during the treatment. You’re. Your treatment should work like that little Moab bong, changing the pulses while I was watching it, or your acupuncture prescription, changing the pulses.

So acupuncture treatments should be fluid, not prescriptions. I am not a believer in pre what I call prescription Chinese medicine, which means, oh, the person has. PMS. Let me look in a book and see what acupuncture points I should do. That is totally wrongheaded because not everyone’s PMS is caused by the same thing, and that’s your job to figure that out.

So this ends part one of my story or my training in Pulse diagnosis, my ex. You can see how excited I am about Pulse diagnosis and in part two, next time we are going to talk about what a normal pulse feels like. Talk about some emotions, talk about some case studies. So again, I wanna thank the American Acupuncture Council and I will see you next time.


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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. .


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Grief and Fertility Challenges: Part 2



So we’re going to continue with grief and fertility challenges, and let’s go to the slides. Then there are the women who are diagnosed with secondary infertility.

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, this is Dr. Martha Lucas, and we are going to today continue with the presentation on grief and fertility challenges. So if you didn’t get to see the last presentation, the first part of this, make sure you go back and watch it. I want to thank the American Acupuncture Council for hosting this webinar and remind you that.

I have a private practice in Denver, Colorado, and Littleton, Colorado, and I am happy for you to contact me if you have any questions about this presentation. So we’re going to continue with grief and fertility challenges, and let’s go to the slides. Then there are the women who are diagnosed with secondary infertility.

Now, this is a little bit of a nebulous term, and it means these women have had a successful pregnancy. They’ve given birth, but they are struggling to get pregnant. I. The second time, and it’s interesting to them because they’re like shocked. What happened? I had a baby already. I, and statistics show that once you have a pregnancy, once you give, have a successful birth, that your chances of getting pregnant are higher.

The second time, but there is this thing called secondary infertility where women have a little bit of a hard time getting pregnant that second time. Now why? Did they get, have some scarring on the fallopian tubes? Did they have a previous C-section that led to some scarring? The causes can be varied.

And grief can also become a factor in grieving the idea that their child doesn’t have a sibling. Because again, I’ve worked with many women who only have one child. They, for some health reason or whatever, they couldn’t have another child, and so they have a layer of grief about I wanted to have more than one child.

My whole life, all I thought about was being a mother and having a . Whole slew of kids around. I want my child to have a playmate. Some people feel sorry for their only child. They feel like maybe they’re lonely. They don’t have anybody to walk to school with. They have to play by themselves, and all of that can increase their grief.

They can grieve who they used to. To be before their diagnosis. Now, it seems that everything is about appointments that you have to set up, you have to show up for, you have to infuse all your energy into all of these processes and procedures, and sometimes all of this. Grief, just even generalized grief, not even fertility.

Challenge grief can take away the comfort that we used to get in the little things like taking a walk or meeting a friend for lunch or reading, going to a coffee shop, or going to a park and reading. And then even the bigger things, not being happy at family gatherings in with grief sometimes, especially longstanding grief.

It. It just takes away the satisfaction or joy that you get in what used to be joyful experiences. Sometimes women who used to pursue hobbies or their passions are now too tired, too distracted, or too sad to do those things that used to bring them joy. They feel like they used to be a generally happy, optimistic, hopeful person, but now they feel like a shell over their formal.

Former selves, they say they watch those things in life happen. Like they’re watching them on a TV screen, they’re not really experiencing them. They’re in the room, they’re in the family event, but inside they are not experiencing the happiness of the event. They want to engage in life the way they used to before they had to start their infertility treatment, but they just can’t do it.

They just long for their pre. Diagnosis self, but the grief just takes over. Now what about the woman who suffers through recurrent pregnancy losses? This includes what is called a chemical pregnancy, which the pregnancy test results get lighter over time. I. Hormone levels go down and then, and sometimes unfortunately, that first promising ultrasound ends in a loss, losing a child and deciding to continue with pregnancy treatments can be the most excruciating emotional experience that a woman or a couple can have.

They for them. It seems like the losses go on and on. The things to grieve go on and on. So this is partly what we need to support people through when they’re going through this in their fertility treatment. And unfortunately, infertility is lonely. Even though you have a million appointments and you seem to have a support system, all of that does not take away that grief of trying to have or grow a family.

The wonderful support does not inherently change the circumstances of the woman plus the woman. You know it, we all want support, right? But. Part of the problem with the support is the person feeling like she’s constantly explaining what part of the process are you in right now? Or feel the myriad of responses of people saying, oh how did that go for you?

How did that last treatment turn out? Constant answering questions about what’s going on with your treatment. Where are you in the process? Are you going to do it again? There’s all of that, that even though support is good, having a support system is good. Part of a support system is having to talk about it.

And then of course the drugs, a lots of them cause powerful treatment effects, which is a good thing. But they also have strong side effects. For example, oral birth control pills. Can have very powerful side effects. And the rate of depression in women taking birth control pills is five to 50% being more common, most common in the progesterone dominant formulas.

So what does it mean in Chinese medicine? How are the organs involved? The liver is known to regulate the flow of chi and emotions. We all know that the commander of qi, it stores blood and regulates substances. Emotions cause physical disease. How? Through stagnation. Through stagnation, that causes deficiency through stagnation that causes excess.

Through the deficiency of blood. For example, the liver, blood, heart, blood, the heart governs blood and stores the she emotional stress can make heart, blood and yin deficients. See, thereby of course, there we find the shen is disturbed. The emotions are disturbed and important for fertility challenges.

Blood flow to the uterus becomes compromised. Spleen helps make digestion work well. We need the digestion to make good blood in order for us to have a successful pregnancy because digestion, that doesn’t work well and worry. Remember, in a previous , Presentation I was talking about how worry makes the digestive pulses go backwards.

All of that disrupts the flow of chi in the earth, in the center, in the spleen and stomach pulses, and that is again going to negatively affect blood flow to the uterus. Worries effect on the spleen also can lead to poor appetite, fatigue, sleeplessness, brain fog. And again, all of those are gonna be a negative effect on the woman who’s trying to get pregnant.

Grief gets stuck in the lungs so the immune system is affected and the flow of Q throughout the body can be compromised because that is part of the lungs. Job right now, you’ll recall that spleen and stomach, earth and metal lung, large intestine are the immune system. So that’s why if the lung pulse is stagnated or short because of grief, then the whole immune system can be compromised.

And again, if the lungs can’t manage the flow of Q and blood, then you’re gonna have a negative effect in the uterus. The lungs are about taping in the new and letting go of the old, but old grief and continuing grief can get stuck in the lung pulses. Some people lose the ability to connect their inside world with the outside world, and metal is about that communication.

The release of grief is essential to allowing the body to heal and get the communication with the inside and outside going again. Otherwise, the person is what we call armored. They become very heavy because of their heavy emotional burden. Grief can be separating, isolating, and it can be cutting them off from their

Relationships with the rest of the world and an important message for people who are experiencing grief is it’s okay to feel your grief. You don’t have to hold it in, as I said, and any one of you have taken a class from me, know that I tell people emotions have to be expressed. You must let them out.

You can’t leave them in ’cause they’re gonna mess up your chi. Mess up the flow of oxygen and blood in your body. And I tell them it’s okay to use your voice while you’re crying. The frontal lobe, our San Jou area will go round and round and round and round and round when you cry in silence with the same message over and over and over and over again.

But when you use your voice, when you’re grieving and crying, that . Cuts off that San Jal frontal lobe running around in a circle. So it is okay to feel your grief and it is okay to use your voice in your grief. So here’s in a, here’s a little bit of a picture of what the lung large intestine pulse might feel like.

You, it might feel like . The lung large intestine, pulse is short, it doesn’t flow. You’ll notice at the top of the picture there is the sine wave. That’s how the normal pulse would feel. Yang and yin yang and yin flowing through all of the positions. But the lung pulse in grief may feel like it’s a shorter pulse, or that little dot indicates like a naughtiness, almost like a little ball stuck in the pulse.

A spinning bean pulse, if you will. Plus the trauma of the fertility challenge and experience can leave the earth position empty. Remember, if the energy can’t flow through the lung large intestine, again, you can see it’s a flow yang and yin yang and yin all connected. But if one that’s the normal pulse on the top there.

But if the normal pulse that flow is. Stopped or stagnated by the lung pulse, then the spleen stomach isn’t going to be getting any . Energy either, and that’s the trauma pulse, that deep emptiness in the spleen stomach. And this person, believe me, if they’ve had past trauma, then this whole fertility challenge experience can key into that.

And then they’ve got a. A double problem. They’re not making good quality oxygen in blood. It’s not being floated around by the lung large intestine. And then of course, that leads to a negative effect on the flow of uterine blood. I. The patient’s experiences may also reignite, as I said, old patterns of trauma, grief from childhood, the feeling that your life is outta control.

Because believe me, as lots of women going through all of these challenges feel like their life is outta control and that their body is outta control. Their body just will not do what they want it to do, which is get pregnant and have a successful birth. So all of that can lead to that empty spleen pulse from old trauma.

Now this is what we want the normal pulse to look like. We want the left and the right to connect with each other, the kidneys, to connect with the left side and the right side. And again, if in that large intestine lung position there’s a knot or it’s short and it’s not flowing, then you’re not going to get the flow of energy through all of the organ systems.

And you’ll notice those are sign waves. The infinity symbol is a sine wave yang and yin, and then a sine wave yang and yin. So we need for the kidneys to be able to support all of the other systems. Gallbladder liver to small intestine, heart, and then back to the other side, a continuous flow of sine waves.

That is the goal of every acupuncture treatment. So that’s why if grief is negatively impacting , The one position or more than one position? It is impacting more than one position because it’s stagnated. So it’s not allowing the energy to flow over to the other side. So this is the importance of figuring out how we can release the grief in that position.

Now, one way to do it is to use. Low points, right? Maybe you open the lung and the large intestine low, or you open the spleen, stomach, low points, anything that’s going to allow you to start relieving that stagnation in the lungs. I love liver. 14 lung one, liver 14 lung one pointed out. That’s an entry, exit point, treatment, and it will take some of the pressure off of the lungs.

Plus for grief, lung two is a very important point for lifting the clouds releasing the clouds or . Releasing grief, so you know, us thinking about how can I open the lungs? Sometimes I’ll do liver 14 lung one, also kidney 27 pointed out just to really open, physically open the flow of.

The chest, allowing the person to feel more. Sometimes we need to use sky points because again, the person’s energy is stagnated. They’re not in touch with their spirit anymore. I enjoy the idea of using something like Pericardium three, heart five, heart seven. That way again, I am opening up the heart protector because

Longstanding grief can definitely start to affect the pericardium because its job is to protect the shen. So sometimes going straight for the heart pulses, going straight for the heart channel with people isn’t the best choice because their shen is tender. So approaching it from the pericardium and then moving into the heart sometimes is a better

Option but the main goal is getting the lung and large intestine channel open so that it will flow over to the other kidney side. So again, you might open kidney four, the low point on the kidneys to get that energy flowing, and the kidney is more likely to accept it and get consolidated and strong to help the woman through this fertility challenge.

As I said, we can use the low points kidney four. The, at this time the person and the kidneys might be in a . Protective mode. So opening up the kidney pulse is very good for that. I want to thank you for watching. I also want to thank the American Acupuncture Council again.

Also you can see my teaching website is lucas teachings.com and my private practice site, which as I said is my . Clinics are located in Denver and Littleton Colorado is acupuncture woman.com and feel free to contact me if you have any questions. .


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Grief and Fertility Challenges Part 1



Grief and fertility challenges. So even when the end is having a healthy baby for many couples, there is a long struggle to conceive, and it can take a really brutal toll on people emotionally and physically. Women who are undergoing assisted reproduction treatment.

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, this is Dr. Martha Lucas, and I want to thank the American Acupuncture Council for sponsoring this. Webinar on grief and fertility challenges, and we’re gonna talk about how grief can negatively affect fertility and how to help people. In my practice, this is one of my specialties. I have practices in Denver, Colorado, and Littleton, Colorado, and teach online also, and love to teach.

So I’m so happy to be here. So let’s go to the slides. Grief and fertility challenges. So even when the end is having a healthy baby for many couples, there is a long struggle to conceive, and it can take a really brutal toll on people emotionally and physically. Women who are undergoing assisted reproduction treatment.

Have so many emotions during this time, and many of them don’t become pregnant anyway, so there’s the grief about that. And then there are many who experience a pregnancy loss after their treatment. So all of this can lead to prolonged grief and mourning. Women may live with melancholy mourning throughout their fertility treatment.

So from start to finish because they start out with a little grief that they have tried to do natural ways to try to get pregnant and haven’t been able to do it. They desire their lost time as a pregnant. Woman, which interestingly enough can even happen to the women who have a baby because lots of I V F or assisted reproductive technology babies aren’t full term.

Some are born . Much more early as a preemie. And I have treated women who perhaps have to have an emergency C-section at 27 weeks, 29 weeks, 30 weeks, and they literally do mourn not having to have that whole 40 weeks as a pregnant woman. And it’s very interesting to treat them through that grief because

Even though they have a healthy baby, they bore a baby. They really do regret or grieve that they didn’t get to have that full term as a pregnant woman. If they don’t get pregnant, they miss what they call the lost love of a child. They mourn what they think of as a lost future, and some of them just as a lost role as a mother, they go through what

Can be described as an agonizing exertion of mourning because it’s hard mourning. Experiencing grief is a very hard emotion that sometimes you feel like you are never ever going to get over. Sadness can manifest in various ways. It can be just a mood that sometimes you have and sometimes you don’t.

It can be more severe sadness. It can be paralyzed thinking the person has a hard time even getting out of bed in the morning. It can be even. In extreme cases be delusional, but the common denominator for grief and fertility challenges is loss. The loss of having a baby, the loss of having the love of a child, the loss of the future that maybe you have thought about.

I. Since you were a younger woman, Freud’s description would be a state of desperate longing for reconciliation with an object or a person that is lost. Again, there’s that common theme of they have lost something I. Such women are not diagnosed with major depression. It’s not like they, oh, you have major depression and here’s your antidepressant.

It is more like a non, what we call a non ailing, productive and culturally accepted reaction to loss, or the fear of loss. Because remember I said some women go through this kind of sadness or grief throughout the whole . Fertility challenge throughout all of their work that they’re doing and all the procedures that they’re having.

So that’s the fear of loss. Now, we’ve discussed before in a webinar how fear scatters kidney energy, and we never wanna see that. We have, we must, in order to get pregnant, we need to have good, secure, solid, consolidated kidney energy. So this fear of loss that’s along with the grief also can affect the kidneys.

and then these women are constantly reconstructing their self-image as a woman, as a mother, or potential mother, and even as a partner because their partners are very affected by their emotions. Again, as I said earlier, some women who are receiving fertility treatments experience consecutive pregnancy losses.

For some, they never have a pregnancy loss or a miscarriage For others, there may even be more than one. I think we’ve all treated women who’ve had . Two miscarriages, three miscarriages. I’ve treated women that have had four or five, or even six miscarriages, and this also can lead to prolonged grief in both the woman and the partner.

Deep sadness, depressed mood, irritability, worry, anxiety, they can have changes in eating, changes in sleeping patterns. All of those are part of the normal grief response, but they can all be very disruptive to your regular life. Now, although grief is a natural non-pathological phenomenon, it can lead to complicated, more complicated grief reactions where the symptoms are more disruptive or pervasive or long lasting than what we call normal grief.

And as a practitioner, we need to realize that prolonged grief can interfere with the healing process so it’s can therefore interfere with the fertility. Process with all of the treatments and it’s going to affect their general quality of life. Could lead to substance abuse and increased risk of suicide.

And as I said, it’s can, especially according to our medicine, where we’re looking at the pulses and we’re looking at all, all the organ systems communicate with each other. Prolonged grief can interfere with the conception process. And they’re coming to us to help them create what I call a warm, fertile environment so that they can conceive.

These women may also feel like life is meaningless. They doubt their own identity or role in life again, because part of their role in life was to be a mother, and now they are having to look at that differently. And then when we’re looking at the woman, we need to look at the intensity and the duration of her grief symptoms.

A very common social factor that contributes to the grief is when the loss is not talked about. For some reason, this particular type of grief is sometimes invalidated. It’s like . Doesn’t count. Oh, you had this procedure, maybe it’s not gonna work, and then it didn’t work. So it’s just a part of the process.

That’s not the experience of the woman or the couple going through the process. To them, it’s a great loss to them. It’s, we’re trying this procedure. Oh good. We had a conception. And then of course they’re gonna be excited. Their excitement is still attenuated by worry and anxiety, but it’s. Still something that looks like it was successful, and then when it’s not successful, they’re going to have grief about it.

But as I said, sometimes this loss is something that people just take for granted, Hey, it can work, it might not work. And then the woman feels like she can’t talk about it. And then you have internalized grief. And as we know from Chinese medicine, the masters used to say that emotions caused all physical disease.

And when I first heard that . Over 20 years ago, I thought emotions cause all physical disease, but then as I started to take more and more pulses and listen to people, I realized that yes, absolutely what they meant was the emotions. Cause . Patterns in the pulses in the energetic system that then leads to physical disease because of blockages or deficiencies or excesses that the emotions cause like excess heart fire.

So it’s. Interest. When I was in graduate school and my school had two arms in the psychology department, research or clinical, I was like, oh, I don’t wanna be a clinical psychologist. I don’t wanna spend eight hours a day talking to people about their emotions. And now that’s what I do. So it’s interesting how the world turns.

So for some women, treatment can be apparently an infinite . Cycle of these things like try one, it didn’t work. Try another one. It didn’t work. Oh, first we’re gonna try the . Ai. Okay, that didn’t work. So we need to move up to something that’s a little more technological and move up and move up.

And remember this is involuntary absence of motherhood on their part. They thought, women get pregnant. I’m going to, wanna have a baby. It’s gonna be easy. And they’re, this is involuntary for them. A lot of women feel like they don’t have any control over this Also, interestingly enough, cognitive and emotional impacts of all this, like sadness and fertility treatment are linked to the maternal fetal attachment.

That’s the emotional bond that an expected mother develops with her unborn baby. And this is another reason why it’s important for us to diagnose. Pathological grief quickly. I have had women who’ve had a struggle getting pregnant, managed to, had a successful birth, then get pregnant again, and they go right back into this cycle.

And I’ve explained to them, you are creating an anxiety. Commitment connection with your unborn child instead of the emotional bond of being calm. I love you. You’re my child. If you continue to be anxious and sad worrying that you might have a miscarriage, when at this point you’re not having any symptoms of a miscarriage, And the development of this grief can be over a number of factors.

They get sometimes, depending on the bedside manner of their medical professionals, they can get . Messages that are really a little bit overwhelming. Your ovaries don’t work. Your partner’s sperm aren’t good swimmers, or they’re poor swimmers. What’s they get these diagnosis, like I say, fertility challenges because I feel like infertility is a damning.

Diagnosis. It’s like you’re infertile. That’s why I say fertility challenge. You’re experiencing a challenge. They have to go through the tests, the procedures, the waiting. There’s so many things for them to obsess about. Like any grieving process. And the five stages of grief that are mentioned by Kubler Ross.

Grief over infertility can have those same stages. Denial. That must be the wrong diagnosis. The doctors can’t be right about that. It must be my partner. Some people even blame the tests. We all know that there are, there have been lab tests before that didn’t have the right result. They, it must be a defective test.

Anger, I see this a lot too. She didn’t even wanna get pregnant and she is. Oh, I’ve been trying so hard to have a baby and why is it so easy for everybody else to get pregnant or everybody else seems to be pregnant, bla, being angry that you didn’t start earlier. Like, why did we wait for our careers to have a baby?

Then there’s the bargaining that they’ll do anything to get pregnant. There’s the depression stage. Nothing is going right. I’ll never get pregnant. My best friend is pregnant and I can’t even be happy for her, or I was invited to a baby shower, but I can’t go because it’s just . Too sad for me. And then acceptance.

It is what it is. We’ll just keep trying. I’m sure we’ve all treated women who’ve gone through cycles and cycles of treatments, and then finally just say, you know what? Whatever I’m done. I’m going to take a rest. We’ll see what happens. Now I have to say, I wish I had time to do a retrospective study of those women because

There’s a certain percent that get pregnant after that. And now from a Chinese medicine perspective, why would that happen? It would happen because they relax about it. So liver cheese stagnation gets resolved, their blood can flow better to the uterus, their bowel eye isn’t blocked anymore because they’re not so anxious, and their body literally opens up to the idea of pregnancy. And I think from a Chinese medicine perspective, it’s because they just give up and their body goes back to feeling more normal. Couples might experience loss after an unsuccessful treatment cycle, and then they are faced with the decision of, do we do the same thing?

Should we continue the same procedure, do a more complex procedure, or just move beyond ? Again, move on to the acceptance. We’re probably not gonna get pregnant stage. And then speaking of couples, infertility treatment is taking a toll on both partners. It’s not only a bunch of invasive procedures for the woman, it’s an emotional roller coaster for both of them.

Some people, some women do report that the couple are doing it together. Like I see the couple in my practice, I don’t only see the woman, I see the man and the woman because, I believe that they are doing it together for one thing. What if the male’s dmai is blocked? Then he might not be a great conception partner, so you do need to see the man also to make certain that his systems are all working well.

But unfortunately, some women do report that. And men, they have more fighting. They get a little estranged from each other, and that the treatments are having a negative effect on their sex lives, which is another loss for them. So they have the side effects of the hormone therapy, decrease in libido, mood swings, body changes like dry vagina and sensitive breasts.

All of this makes the intercourse experience less pleasant to the point where some women . don’t have sex anymore after they have the baby, just from the trauma of the pre-pregnancy. Challenges with that. And then they have another thing to mourn. They have grief about their pre infertility sex life, the emotional stability that they used to have with their partner and the harmony that they used to have with their partner.

One woman told me that she had just lost too much. Through the whole procedure, her loving husband, because their relationship was negative, affected her healthy body. She felt like her body just was completely destroyed by all the treatments. She says she had a great life before all this, and now after she had her i b F, she had a, has a daughter.

But her grief about her pre infertility, what she calls her pre infertility life, still continued. We’re gonna end here for today. . And I wanna again, thank the American Acupuncture Council for this presentation, for hosting this presentation. And next time we’re going to start with talking about the woman who has had a successful birth, but still is suffering from some grief.

And we’ll go over how you can help her using Chinese medicine. .