AMENORHOEA (No Menses):
My 27 year old client had not menstruated for 24 months. I recommended she get 12 weekly treatments of regular acupuncture to help regulate her cycle. I prescribed Chinese Herbs to boost and move the blood. Within 6 weeks she had a 5 day bleed. Her period returned again 28 days later. She was elated. She is still taking the herbs to support her fortnightly acupuncture treatments.
IVF (Donor Sperm):
A 36 year old female client in a same sex relationship came to see me to support her IVF transfer using a male friend's donor sperm. She was extremely anxious about the whole process. The acupuncture treatments immediately reduced her anxiety.
The assisted transfer went well; I saw her weekly leading up to egg harvest, pre and post embryo transfer, then weekly for the first 12 weeks of her successful pregnancy. The treatments continued to help her manage her anxiety and nausea she was experiencing. She found the acupuncture really helped minimise anxiety around pregnancy. The client continued to see me during her pregnancy when needed and had a successful natural pregnancy and healthy baby boy in 2013.
I came to Emma highly anxious and stressed. I had been trying to conceive (TTC) for 2 years, and I really wanted a natural pregnancy. After 4 months of Chinese herbs and regular acupuncture I finally fell pregnant! Emma then supported me through the pregnancy, reducing my morning sickness, constipation and anxiety. I went on to have a beautiful home birth and a healthy baby boy named Leroy :) (Claire Peterson, Journalist 2012)
After trying to fall pregnant for 18 months, I commenced weekly session of acupuncture with Emma with the plan to start IVF within 6 months if we could not fall pregnant naturally. With Emma's knowledge of fertility and acupuncture, this helped me makes the changes I needed to my lifestyle to assist in a natural pregnancy. After 5 months of seeing Emma, we successfully fell pregnant one month shy of starting IVF. We have not been blessed with a beautiful baby girl Harper, born this August. (Sharon Cunningham, Solicitor 2012)
PREGNANCY SINUSITIS, MIGRAINE, CONSTIPATION, NAUSEA & ANXIETY:
A new pregnant client (first pregnancy) 14/40 weeks, presented with sinusitis, migraines, nausea, constipation and anxiety about the situation. Her left sinus had been blocked for over a week and she couldn't think or function at full capacity.
I focused on clearing the sinus, resolving heat and phlegm, strengthening lung function, clearing the gallbladder channel (where the migraines were presenting) and calming the mind.
She came back four days later for a second session and reported feeling fantastic, she said, 'ten minutes after the treatment she could smell and breath again and her migraines had disappeared.' Her bowels have been moving regularly (as opposed to every 3 days). Her nausea only occurs when she over exerts herself. She looked bright and happy.
I focused the second treatment on similar goals, as well as boosting Qi (energy and immune) to ensure that the sinus issue resolves completely.
One week later she was feeling great; walking the dog and riding her bike every day.
ENDOMETRIOSIS STAGE 4, IVF SUCCESS & COMPLICATED PREGNANCY:
A 37 year old client of mine had severe endometriosis and an AMH 1.8 (meaning a low egg reserve). She was going to do one round (she was not going to attempt this twice) of IVF at Genea, miraculously they got one precious fertilised embryo. I treated her pre and post transfer. The embryo implanted successfully!
From week 4, she suffered from severe nausea and vomiting, anxiety, cramps. Initially she thought the symptoms were related to her endometriosis returning. Fortunately the blood tests showed a positive pregnancy. Vomiting and nausea is often do to "Rebellious Qi", so i used points to redirect the energy down to reduce the nausea and stop the vomiting. I used a special Kidney point, known as the "beautiful baby point' to reduce her painful uterine cramping.
At 9/40 weeks she had some spotting and was very upset. I did some moxibustion (a special Chinese medicine technique using the herb Mugwort) over a special Spleen point; when the Spleen is weak it can't contain the blood) and also a threatened miscarriage acupuncture treatment to secure the pregnancy. She reported that the next day the bleeding had stopped.
Fortunately, the 12 week nuchal scan went very well. At week 13 she suffered from more cramping and bleeding, her obstetrician, Dr Krishnan, said she had a haemorrhage/ tear in capsule, due to the stretching of the scar tissue related to the endometriosis.
At 24/40 she was told she had placenta praevia and at 30/40 diagnosed with gestational diabetes. I focused her weekly treatments on nourishing the Spleen (which relates to 'sinking' placenta and helps with regulating her blood sugar levels).
At 32/40 she was vomiting blood, had heart burn, and a red skin rash. She also reported having extreme fatigue. I focused on settling rebellious stomach Qi, and boosting her Kidney and Spleen energy.
From 36/40 she had to stay at RPA hospital due to more bleeding and high insulin levels. I treated her at the hospital and did points to regulate her insulin, reduce anxiety and help secure the pregnancy.
At 37/40 she had an emergency C-section and Dr Krishnan found velamentous insertion of cords as well as vasa praevia (meaning a high risk of still birth). Luckily little 'Ike' came out alive and kicking.
Postnatally I helped regulate her hormones, speed up recovery time from emergency surgery, boost her energy, blood and milk supply.
A 39 year old client came to to see me in 2015 who has a balance translocation (9 + 16); which is linked to infertility and miscarriage. She has a four year old daughter delivered via c-section. She told me she has had been trying to conceive for the last four years, and in that time has experienced eight miscarriages (3 natural and 5 IVF); all before 12 weeks with no D and C. Her AMH was high= 13.
She has a regular 28 day cycle with no pain and gets fertile mucous each month.
In Chinese medicine the Kidney Jing correlates to DNA, so the root of her treatment plan was to boost her Kidney energy, her deepest energy reserves. I gave her an '8 extras' treatment Kidney 6 and Lung 7, which are extremely powerful at promoting fertility and a healthy ovulation. The lung point used also helps to transform grief. I also added CV17 to nourish the heart, after all those heartbreaking miscarriages.
Supplements + Herbs
Pregnancy multivitamin and a Chinese herbal formula which nourishes Kidneys and promotes a healthy ovulation
Recommended acupressure to Kidney 3 and Creative Visualisation.
Day 30- Period 2 days late- is stressed and cranky
Used same points as last time. Added a point to reduce irritability, stress and mild cramps, also used a point to calm the mind and a special Kidney point in the ear.
Last period was 5 days late (perhaps a chemical pregnancy). Day 24, post ovulation. Added points to help prevent miscarriage, same 8 extra treatment and a point to calm the mind and regulate hormones.
Period is late again- day 31, over indulged at easter. Is sad as partner away next ovulation. Repeat points.
Pregnant! 6+2/40. Has stretchy mucous, with brown spotting for 3 days. She is irritable, snappy and anxious. Sleep is poor.
I used moxa over a special point to stop the spotting- its an indication of a weak Spleen which can't hold the blood. I also used points to help secure pregnancy, regulate hormones, calm spirit, help with sleep and strengthen Kidney energy.
7 week scan went well- embryo is 10mm. Heartbeat is good. No more spotting. She is overjoyed and her spirit looks good. She is suffering from mild nausea. Is busy at work and has stress and anxiety.
Used points to secure pregnancy, calm mind, reduce nausea, ground her, boost Qi an blood.
Lifestyle advice- eat regular snack to keep nausea at bay and taught her acupressure to reduce nausea.
Weekly Treatments 8-13 weeks of pregnancy, to address nausea, fatigue and anxiety. Nuchal scan went well.
Follow up- 32 weeks pregnant and all is going well :)
1. A new client came in at 38 weeks pregnant with a breech baby. I gave her an acupuncture treatment to encourage the baby to turn and boost her energy, which felt deficient, from overwork and little rest. I gave the client take home moxibustion sticks. The client's partner held the heating moxa sticks over a special acupuncture point to turn breech babies for 20 minutes for the next five days. On the 5th day the baby turned into a perfect anterior facing cephalic (downward) position. She was due for an exterior cephalic version (ECV) the following day and was overjoyed that this procedure was no longer necessary. My client had one more acupuncture treatment and then had a natural, efficient delivery that didn’t require any interventions at 40 weeks.
My lovely client said, ‘I will always be grateful that she turned in the last week! The combination of acupuncture, osteopathy and hypno-birthing exercises seemed to pay off! Thanks, Emma, for all your help and positivity the recovery is going well.’
2. A client came to see me at 38 weeks as her baby was in breech- it had been transverse since 34 weeks. She also presented with a sore lower back and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). She had been very busy looking after toddler and working full time as a scientist, up until last week. Her Kidney, Spleen and Pericardium pulses felt weak. I believe her Kidney pulse was weak due to overwork and fear around her previous childbirth (which was traumatic as her baby was in distress and it ended in a c- section), her pericardium pulse was tight due to anxieties around previous birth and her weak Spleen pulse correlates to her IBS. I gave her an acupuncture treatment to boost Kidney, Spleen and Pericardium and sent her home with ten days worth of MOXA sticks and a handout on what to do with Moxa to encourage baby to turn.
She came to see me 4 days later and reported that on the second day of applying the moxa over the special baby turning acupuncture point-her baby was very active. Her midwife the following day said the baby had turned. As the baby was now in a better position her back pain had cleared. I am continuing to see her now and help ripen the cervix, encourage contractions, and calm her spirit (by boosting Pericardium) in preparation for a natural birth. In Chinese medicine, Breech is often related to a deficiency of the Kidneys, so the baby doesn't have the Qi to turn.
It is amazing that both these babies turned so late in the pregnancy- it is best to address breech around week 34.
NATURAL LABOUR INDUCTION
A 32 year old client came see me it was her first pregnancy and she was 36+3/40 weeks. Her last scan at 36/40 showed the placenta was redistributing extra blood to the babies brain, the doctor thought this could reflect placenta deterioration. All other result came up as normal. The obstetrician said he wanted to medically induce her later that week.
My client felt emotionally shocked and unprepared by this news. She managed to 'buy more time' and for the next two weeks I gave her two acupuncture treatments a week. I worked on calming the spirit, ripening her cervix, encouraging the baby to descend and get the contractions started.She said the acupuncture really helped her relax and she could feel that the baby had dropped down. At 38/40 weeks her cervix had dilated 3cm and she was having intermittent contractions. The midwife did a membrane sweep and the mucous plug came out. The obstetrician booked her in for an induction at 38+5/40. She felt ready, calm and happy that she was already 3cm dilated at 38 weeks. The doctors broke her waters and then she had a natural efficient labour and a healthy baby boy that day.
A 36 female friend who I helped successfully conceive through IVF acupuncture support with her first child, as she had a retrograde uterus. Her goal was to have a natural efficient labour. Her first labour took 30 hours and was exhausting and traumatic.
She fell pregnant naturally with her second pregnancy. I supported her during the pregnancy to boost her energy and help her prepare for a natural labour. I saw her weekly from 36 weeks. At 40+3/40 she went into pre labour; she was having three contractions every ten minutes. I stayed with her for six hours and gave her acupuncture combinations which increase contractions and help to reduce the pain. She was anxious that she would have to endure another long labour. Her doula was working along side me. When she entered the second stage of labour, the doula and her partner went to RPA. Within 6 hours at the hospital she gave birth naturally to a gorgeous baby girl pictured below.
MILK SUPPLY & LET DOWN RESPONSE
Through regular acupuncture sessions and Chinese herbal medicine, my client got pregnant naturally and avoided the IVF journey.
She called me three months after bub was born, as she wanted to increase her milk supply and reduce high stress levels. Her supply was very low and she was upset she might have to stop breast feeding. She was only managing to feed at night and using a pump during the day.
She reported that after one acupuncture treatment she had several successful feeds the following day and felt less anxious. I continued to see her weekly to calm her mind, build up her energy and blood which produces the milk supply in Chinese medicine theory. Her let down improved and supply continued to increase. She now feels relaxed, knowing her baby is getting the nutrients he requires from her breast milk.
- A client had blocked milk ducts (her baby was 3 months) on her right breast. There was redness around the lump, no milk was coming out and she felt very stressed. The following day after the acupuncture treatment the breast lump had completely disappeared and the baby could feed from both breasts.
- A mother who had been breastfeeding for 9 months (was struggling with supply and quite stressed and depleted) developed mastitis. Her entire lower left breast was hard- several milk ducts were blocked. I treated her with relaxing and clearing acupuncture in her home that day. By the following morning the breast had softened and her baby was feeding again. I continued seeing her weekly and this greatly increased her milk supply and let down response.