Welcoming Associate Acupuncturist: Julie Johnson

We are so pleased to announce the addition of Julie Johnson, Associate Acupuncturist

Julie will see patients at both of our Boulder and Longmont Acupuncture clinics.

What does this mean for you? Increased availability with an exceptional new Acupuncturist.

More about Julie

Julie Johnson (Associate Acupuncturist) MSOM, Dipl.OM, L.Ac., holds a Master’s of Science in Oriental Medicine from Southwest Acupuncture College (SWAC), in Boulder, CO. She is board certified by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) in Acupuncture and Chinese Herbology (Dipl.OM) and licensed by the state of Colorado. She is also currently studying for the American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine (ABORM) exam.

Julie is passionate about helping women navigate the many stages of life with grace and ease, and she believes strongly in empowering women though holistic healthcare that both heals the body and facilitates self-awareness. Julie previously practiced acupuncture and herbal medicine at Little Bird Community Acupuncture in Washington, D.C., where she helped women of all ages from teens to elders meet their reproductive health goals and achieve improved quality of life. She will begin seeing patients at both the Boulder & Longmont locations on February 1st, 2017.

The Path to Parenthood, Part 2: Pregnancy

Welcome to the 2nd installment of our Path to Parenthood series!

by Kandace Cahill, DAOM, L.Ac., FABORM

This entry covers PREGNANCY, the good, the bad, the not-so-pretty. For many women, particularly those who visit our clinic, the long-awaited positive pregnancy test heralds a time of major achievement, one that often comes after a long and arduous path of ART. It is the quintessential, highly coveted, brass ring. However, it is rarely accompanied by the magical “Ahhhhh” feeling of accomplished relaxation that women expect to have at the moment the little pee strip turns +. On the contrary…this is a time of heightened anxiety, and sometimes fear, that after all the work—the ovulation tests, the morning temperatures, the oh-so-romantic “timed intercourse” (or even more romantic, the hot date with the fertility clinic), avoiding alcohol, avoiding caffeine, avoiding hot baths, and chocolate, and just about everything else that brings pleasure—that after all of this, it might not take.

And when is the magical time when you can let your breath out and trust that all is well?

And isn’t pregnancy a time when so many things can go wrong, too?

Where IS the magic of pregnancy, anyway? Read More

The Path to Parenthood, Part 1: FERTILITY

by Kandace Cahill, DAOM, L.Ac, FABORM

Welcome to our first installment of The Path to Parenthood—a collection of three special articles related to the most important times around mamahood: fertility, pregnancy and postpartum. In each of these short articles, we’re going to delve into these topics and talk about why Chinese medicine is an indispensable tool for improving outcomes, as well as answering many questions, dispelling myths and creating new awareness around self-care.

Our first topic is FERTILITY, which makes up a large percentage of what we treat at WWA. This is obviously the cornerstone of parenthood, as fertility challenges dictate our ability to create the families we desire. Unfortunately, these challenges are becoming increasingly prevalent worldwide and assisted reproduction (such as IVF) has become BIG BUSINESS.

Read More

Acupressure for Childbirth | Boulder Prenatal Class for Expectant Mothers + their Birth Partners

Planning a natural birth in Boulder County? Join us for an informative and relaxing class on how to effectively use acupressure in childbirth!

When: 3rd Wednesday of every month
Location: Well Woman Acupuncture, 75 Manhattan Drive, Suite 106, Boulder, CO 80303
Investment: $100/couple
Time: 6:30-8p

We know you have many choices in childbirth education, with each class offering different strategies and techniques for pregnancy, labor and delivery. There is validity to all of them, and we encourage you to find the class that suits you. This class should be considered an additional tool to be utilized in conjunction with those other techniques you have learned, offering age-old methods that provide modern, physiological results.

Acupressure is an effective therapy that can promote more effective contractions, provide pain relief, and foster focused calm during labor. In addition, it is a way for you to connect with your partner, inviting him or her to be involved with the process in a hands-on way before labor even begins, giving you both the tools to maintain focus during labor & delivery.

In addition to acupressure, studies have shown that regular acupuncture in the weeks leading up to delivery is associated with improved cervical dilation, increased uterine contractions and shortened labor duration. Because of these findings, we recommend pre-birth acupuncture treatments beginning in week 35. Once labor has begun, acupuncture is incredibly effective for helping labor progress and for reducing pain.

Instructors: Brittany Lark, LAc. and Kandace Cahill, LAc.

Class Description:

In this 1 ½ hour class, we will:

• Explore the history and theory of acupuncture/acupressure for labor
• Discuss different indications for acupressure and points used for each
• Learn hands-on location of specific acupressure points
• Learn techniques for safe and effective application of acupressure
• Practice appropriate techniques for stage of pregnancy and learn how & when to use labor-specific techniques
• Receive a booklet on acupressure points and techniques to take home

Supplies:
• Yoga mat or soft cushion
• Comfortable pillows
• Water
• Notepad & pen

Cost:
$100; Includes free Acupressure for Pregnancy booklet

Registration:
• Each class is one session only. You will not need to come to more than one session. Sessions are repeated once each month, on the 3rd Wednesday of the month.
• Registration is limited to 5 couples per session.
• Registration must be made at least one week in advance of class. Payment is due in full at time of registration. Registration may be cancelled with at least 48 hours notice. Refunds will not be granted with less than 48 hours notice.
• Waitlist reservations will be made available on a first-come, first-served basis.

To register: Online booking is currently unavailable. To register, please choose one of the options below:
• Call our office at (303) 499-1965
• Register by email, by submitting the following information:

  • Names of both participants
  • Contact phone number and email addresses
  • Name of physician or midwife
  • We will then contact you to arrange a phone payment for your class. Registration is not complete until payment has been made. If payment is not received at least one week prior to class date, class spot will be forfeited.

Or fill out the fields below and we will contact you by phone or email to complete your registration.

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Treating Fertility with Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine

Treating Fertility with Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine
Treating Fertility with Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine

Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine has become a common therapy in treating infertility, and it is for good reason.

A recent podcast interview on Everyday Acupuncture explains why. In this episode, Dr Lorne Brown, an acupuncturist in Vancouver, BC and the creator of the “Acubalance Fertility Diet”, discusses the many aspects of health that relate to fertility. As Dr. Brown highlights, Chinese medicine looks at the body as a whole and can help couples conceive by addressing the root cause of infertility, which improves the “take-home baby” rate. In other words, the healthier the mom, the healthier the child.
In this podcast, Dr. Brown explains the specifics of how acupuncture can improve fertility. 4 key areas are discussed:
  1. Acupuncture can help increase blood flow to the uterus and ovaries. In order to have this effect, most research suggests treatment twice a week for at least 4 weeks.
  2. Acupuncture helps reduce stress hormones. When we are stressed, our bodies revert to the “fight or flight” mode. During “fight or flight”, the body shifts into survival mode, and less energy is available for making babies.
  3. Acupuncture helps balance hormones. Many women don’t realize that an egg takes nearly 3 months to fully mature. In order to get the best quality egg, a woman should be treated for at least 3 months prior to natural conception, IUI, or IVF.
  4. Studies have shown that acupuncture increases live birth rates when used with IVF.
Dr. Brown stresses the importance of “nourishing the soil before planting the seed”.  Chinese Medicine’s unique approach to viewing the body as a whole allows trained acupuncturists to see where imbalances lie and then treat the root of these imbalances. As a result, fertility improves and many other symptoms may improve as well, from digestive issues to mood and sleep quality.
Click here  to listen to the full podcast.
Article by Stephanie Duininck, L.Ac., Well Woman Acupuncture Education Outreach

Acupuncture & Seasonal Affective Disorder

In Boulder nearly 17% of the population is at risk for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and winter depression (1). Sitting just north of the 40-degree latitude, we experience the significant changes in daylight hours over the course of the year. In the summer, we can play outside until 9:30 at night and wake at 6 to begin all over again. However, in the winter, the shortened day light hours can have a significant impact on not only our activities but our brains and our body rhythm. Seasonal Affective Disorder causes a form of depression that doesn’t look the way we expect it to, many people don’t even feel sad. Most people who suffer from SAD report increased food cravings for sweets and carbohydrates, a desire to sleep more, and a general lack of motivation to do things without notable changes to their mood (1). Along with winter time depression many SAD sufferers also experience mild hyperactivity in the summer months as the increase in light also creates changes within our bodies.

seasonal-affective-disorder-illustrationjpg-db63cfaad6997295_large

Seasonal affective disorder can be treated no matter the seasonRegulating your mood at any time of the year has been shown to alleviate those winter blues. In western medicine, light boxes are often used and SAD sufferers are often prescribed year round antidepressants and mood stabilizers to prevent the ups and downs that come with the seasons and the change of light (1).

Acupuncture can be a very effective alternative for treating these psychological conditions. In randomized control trials, acupuncture proved at least as effective as several different types of prescription antidepressants (2), while also working more quickly and reducing symptoms more powerfully (3). Acupuncture also has significantly fewer side effects than the medications and it can help moderate some of the less than desirable side effects of pharmaceutical antidepressants including decreased libido (3). Chinese herbal medicine is commonly used in conjunction with acupuncture to enhance the long term benefits of treatment. There are also some important things you can do at home such as, take midday walks when the sun is at its peak, open the shades in your house and leave them open so you get the maximum light possible in the mornings, and leave the sunglasses at home when you can (1).
Article by Stephanie Duininck, L.Ac, WWA Patient Education Outreach

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Woman On The Verge

I am incredibly lucky. And I feel humbled and grateful for that fortuitousness, for being blessed with work that I love. Every day I go to the office and help women find themselves. I’m not saying that I do the finding. I simply shine the light. And often what they find shimmering in that space is fearsome in its power. I see women in the process of becoming.

You see, my practice is devoted to helping women find balance. Hormonal balance, emotional balance, the balance between work and rest, between self and family. Often what brings women through my doors is that they are off kilter. The teeter-totter has swung too far in one direction and they are either dangling in mid-air or stuck on the ground, unsure of how to proceed.

When I reflect on who these women are, I find a pattern emerging. Each and every one of them—in this state of imbalance—is a woman on the verge of deep, inner change. They are the adolescent women, struggling with PMS; the women moving into motherhood, seeking hormonal support for fertility challenges; new mothers whose bodies have become vessels for birth and sustenance; and aging women who are neither new mothers nor menopausal, but somewhere in between, grappling with their changing hormones and the milieu of physical and emotional symptoms that accompany that transitional time period.

These women are all on the precipice of leaving what is known and moving into the waiting arms of the void. They are in the process of becoming the maiden, or changing from maiden to mother, from mother to crone. They are on the verge of utter transformation as they embrace new rhythms in their bodies and newly defined roles for living and being in the world.

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When women find themselves at this precipice, it can cause deep unrest, inner turmoil and maybe even the occasional desire to run screaming out of her own skin. But why is transformation so painful for us? I believe it is because, as women, we are inherently rhythmic creatures and any disruption to our internal rhythms can feel like seismic activity on a grand scale. We spend the large majority of our lives in a rhythmic coming and going of hormones. After adolescence, we become a living cycle, at one with the moon, always in a state of waxing or waning, that becomes our very state of existence. It is not even that we identify with our rhythms—we become them. And so when they are in this state of transformation, the balance is lost and it leaves us feeling unsure of who we are and where we fit within our own bodies. It can leave us feeling as though we inhabit an alien body, our internal compass broken and spinning wildly out of control.

Add to this that we are already out of balance with our human rhythms: we no longer rise and sleep with the sun, nor do we follow the dictates of the seasons as our predecessors did. We are a world of do-ers and workers and the very pace of our existence has sped up exponentially in an alarmingly short period of time. Our world is fast, fast, fast and we are in a constant battle to keep up. But it is more than our bodies were designed to do and our inner rhythms simply cannot keep the pace. We have forgotten how to BE. And this skews our ability to come into a new way of being.

What is there to do?

Chinese medicine can help, as restoring internal balance is the very premise of our practice. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs are a valuable resource throughout a woman’s life, helping with countless maladies from the common cold to digestive upset. But during times of transition, Chinese medicine is an indispensible ally, smoothing the edges and bringing a renewed sense of structure to one’s changing hormones and emotions. I can personally attest to its power during my own feminine transitions, both as I struggled with fertility and during my transition into menopause. Each time, I found that regular treatment with acupuncture and herbs brought an inner shift that I did not experience with other health modalities.

tree pose on beach at sunset

But equally, if not more, important is the need to honor one’s own rhythms and reach for balance. Sensing that resting point on one’s own teeter-totter is key; and when you find yourself flailing or falling, seek within yourself for what will bring balance to that moment. Ask yourself the following questions (and be willing to hear the answers):

  • Are you tired? If so, how can you bring more rest to your life? I strongly recommend being to bed by 10:30 pm at the latest, as many hormonal functions occur during sleep and begin after 11 pm.
  • Are you overextended or working too many hours? If so, what would prioritizing your time look like? Consider scheduling time in your day that is just for you, or time spent with your children or spouse. When you look back on your life, those will be the moments that count, not the hours spent glued to your computer monitor or hunched over financial reports.
  • Are you depressed or apathetic? If so, how can foster joy in this moment? One exercise is to practice gratitude. List 10 things you are grateful for right now and say “Thank You” after each one.
  • Are you anxious or scattered? If so, how can you tap into your inner well of calm? The breath is an excellent way to get in the here and now. Music is also nice. I like to combine the two, listening to calming music while also watching my breath—this helps me breathe more deeply (it should extend your diaphragm, not your chest), which always helps me let go of anxious, fearful or worrisome thoughts.

To tap deeply into your human rhythms, I highly recommend the book, Rhythms of Change. It is concisely written, poignant in its message and relevant to our busy lives. The author helps us learn practical ways of regulating our own internal rhythms in accord with those of nature so that we can come back to an aligned sense of self. It is powerful in its simplicity and is a modern-day must read. I love this book! Rhythms of Change Mary Saunders

Finally, in the midst of a busy, work-centered, “yang” world, be willing to acknowledge your “yin” feminine self, along with the waxing and waning of your own rhythms. Embracing the coming and going of your own tides will help you leap through life’s transitions occur more gracefully.

~Kandace Cahill, DAOM, L.Ac., FABORM