I am nowdelighted to announce that I have become a founding member of the recently launched Zita West Network for Reproductive Health, as an Affiliated Acupuncturist.
Built on the ground-breaking work of midwife, author and fertility and pregnancy expert Zita West and her renowned London clinic, the new Irish network aims to share the unique skills and experience of Zita and her team of doctors, midwives and complementary therapists, with experienced independent acupuncturists across Ireland and the UK. Other health specialists (such as nutritionists, counsellors, midwives and doctors) will also be recruited to the network. The Zita West Clinic is the largest integrated (medical and complementary) practice in the UK specialising in all aspects of male and female reproductive health. It also runs occasional clinics in Dublin on a monthly basis.
All acupuncturist members of the network receive training and ongoing support in Zita West’s comprehensive, holistic approach to achieving optimum reproductive health. This covers a wide range of treatments and approaches to help boost fertility, enhance IVF, improve pregnancy, enhance birth outcomes and support post-natal recovery.
The Benefits of Choosing a Zita West Affiliated Acupuncturist
Wide-ranging Medical and Complementary Health Experience.
By choosing a Zita West affiliated acupuncturist clients not only get the benefit of their practitioner’s individual expertise but, through them, the training and support of Zita and her colleagues too. The Zita West Clinic works with thousands of women and men each year, helping them to boost their chances of conceiving successfully (both naturally and through IVF) and helping those who are already pregnant to have the best pregnancy possible and the brightest and healthiest of babies. This provides an unrivalled breadth and depth of knowledge to be shared with members of the network and their clients.
Exclusive Discounts on Zita West Clinic Services. Choosing a Zita West affiliated practitioner also provides clients with unique access to a range of Zita West clinical services – some of which are available by phone as well as in person – all at special discounted prices.
Special Discounts on the Zita West Range of Nutritional Products. Clients of member practitioners are entitled to further discounts on Zita’s best-selling range of premium nutritional supplements for fertility, pregnancy and breast-feeding too (20% off RRP ex p&p). Similar discounts are available on her range of books, CDs, cosmetic products and gift-sets as well.
FREE Fact Sheets to Help Boost Your Fertility and Pep up Your Pregnancy
The word acupuncture comes from the Latin acus, “needle” and pungere, “to prick.”
Acupuncture needles are single use, sterilized and pre-packaged.
Acupuncture is over 5,000 years old and is one of the oldest practicing forms of medicine known to date.
When performed by a properly trained and licensed practitioner, acupuncture is safe and effective, free from negative side effects.
Even though a needle is being inserted into the skin, acupuncture is virtually painless.
Acupuncture needles are a lot smaller than standard hypodermic needles, and they do not draw blood and are not hollow.
Acupuncturists feel your pulse and look at your tongue to gain a better understanding of what is going on inside the body.
Acupuncture is highly individualized – for example, if 50 people with a cough got acupuncture, all 50 people could have different acupuncture points in their treatments.
The benefits of acupuncture are sometimes difficult to measure when using western research because western research depends on a constant variable to measure all data against…something that goes against acupuncture treatment plans.
Licensed acupuncturists attend an in-depth four year program and obtain over 400 clinical hours.
Acupuncture is just one form of therapy used within the medical system known as Traditional Chinese Medicine, which also consists of other modalities such as herbal medicine, nutrition, cupping, moxabustion, tui na and special exercises such as Tai Chi and Qi Gong.
Are always curious about Acupuncture? Never got round to making an appointment? Have lots of questions about the therapy, will it hurt? can it help me? what will I experience?
Well this is for you… To coincide with the UK & Ireland Acupuncture awareness week from the 3rd – 10th March I am offering FREE Acupuncture sessions to new patients. The sessions will be at limited times and one session per person on a 1st come basis. This will be a 45 mins taster session where you will get a treatment and I will discuss how Acupuncture would help you.
As a natural form of healing, acupuncture has the following benefits:
1. provides drug-free pain relief
2. effectively treats a wide range of acute and chronic ailments
3. treats the underlying cause of disease and illness as well as the symptoms
4. provides an holistic approach to the treatment of disease and illness, treating the body, mind and spirit.
5. assists in the prevention of disease and the maintenance of general well-being
If you are interested on availing of a FREE session, please contact me on 086-8163130 or fill in the form below and I will get back to you ASAP.
Some Acupuncture info…
Acupuncture is a complex medical system that is used to diagnose and treat illness, prevent disease and improve well being. It originated in China more than 3,000 years ago and due to it’s proven effectiveness has been embraced throughout the world. It involves the insertion of extremely fine pre-sterilised needles at predetermined points on the body’s surface to restore health.
Acupuncture can be used alone or combined with Western Medicine or with other forms of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) such as Herbal Medicine, Moxibustion (Heat Treatment), Cupping, Qigong, (Theraputic Exercise) and Tui-na (Chinese massage).
Commonly Treated Conditions:
The World Health Organization recognizes Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine as a viable means of treatment for a wide range of conditions. Some of the most commonly seen complaints in the acupuncture clinic are as follows:
Infections: Colds, Flu, Viral Infections.
Ear, Nose and Throat Conditions: Sinusitis, Hay fever, Rhinitis, Catarrh.
Genitourinary/ Gynaecology: Pregnancy, Male and Female Fertility, Impotence, Premenstrual Syndrome, Menstrual Problems, Menopause, Cystitis, PCOS, Endometriosis, Fibroids, Miscarriage.
A typical Acupuncture Session
The practitioner will spend some time discussing your condition and a detailed case history is taken. Your tongue and pulse may also be examined. Total confidentiality is assured at all times.
Number of Treatments
Since each person is unique the number of treatments needed, will vary. Chronic long term conditions will take longer to treat than acute conditions that have just occurred. If the patient is in good health recovery may be quicker.
Also the frequency of treatment prescribed will have an impact. Initially treatments may be administered close together and then become less frequent as the condition improves.The adherence of the patient to the instructions provided can also influence the speed of recovery. Helena will discuss the treatment plan with the patient.
Acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment. Helena uses pre-sterilized, disposable needles. Helena is a fully licensed Acupuncturist and a member of the Acupuncture Foundation Professional Association of Ireland (AFPA) and as such fully complys with association’s code of ethics and best practice.
If you are pregnant or trying for a baby it is important you let your Helena know as the treatment will need to be modified as Acupuncture is used extensively for fertility and pregnancy issues.
6 Week Detox Programme finishing with a 2/3 day juice fast – This is a gentle programme that will change your lifestyle and make you glow from the inside out.
If your body is getting everything it needs, i.e. nutrients & minerals, your body can work properly. I work on the encouragement of self-healing and in my practice my emphasis is on ‘treating the cause not the symptoms’ and ‘treating the patient as a whole’.
I have mixed views on fasting, these fad diets of fasting for 2 days a week and then eating and drinking as ‘normal’ for the rest give out the wrong impression for a balanced lifestyle.
I do praise the benefits of fasting though if it is done properly. It gives your body a break from dealing with everything it has to break down and gives it time to regenerate and heal itself. You can eat during this fast, but only portions of raw vegetables or fruit. Fasting is an integral part of many cultures and done quite naturally in countries around the world.
Join me on this 6 week detox programme followed by a 2/3 day juice fast – this will leave you feeling amazing both inside & out.
The 6 week detox plan is to prepare your body for the fast, it just makes the whole process a lot smoother and it’s an easier transition for the body so it’s not such a drastic change all of a sudden.
We all have toxins in our body; they come in in many forms. Toxins are proteins produces by certain bacteria, animals or plants. The main toxins that we are vulnerable to are:
The three basic ways to avoid Toxicity are to avoid heavy metals, eat organic food and live in an eco-friendly environment. There are simple ways that we can change our lifestyle that I will go over during the course of this programme.
6 Week Detox Programme – pre fasting
Week 1 – No Alcohol
Week 2 – No Caffeine
Week 3 – No Meat
Week 4 – No Dairy
Week 5 – No Wheat
Week 6 – No Sugar
That’s accumulative so you start the 2/3 day fast with none of these in your system, and depending on your diet at the moment it could be shorter than 6 weeks eg. If you’re a vegetarian it would only be 5 weeks.
It looks simple, but it gets tough…
I will keep you updated with my progress throughout the programme and also give you encouragement and helpful tips along the way. I will also give you the recipe’s for the juices well in advance and please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or need some advice in regard to the programme.
The 2/3 day Juice Fast starts at the end of the 6th week
2/3 day Juice fasts are a great thing to do once or twice a year. Spring and Summer are best as in Winter the Qi (vital force) retreats and you need building up.
The juices can be a mix of Veg or Fruit juices, and you can eat raw Organic fruit and vegetables throughout the fast just limit yourself to either fruit or vegetables in one day.
Vegetables are the builders and fruit are the cleansers & vegetable juices are best in the morning time.
Here are some examples of some juices but I will send more ideas and recipes in the coming weeks.
Fruit Juices: Apple, Pear, Grape, Pineapple & Watermelon
Here is some Fasting info:
The body uses up 50% of its energy in digestion. By fasting, that energy can be utilised in other processes such as self-healing, tissue repair and enhancement of cell-mediated immunity. Fasting encourages toxins stored in fat cells and elsewhere to be mobilised into the blood stream to be dealt with by the Liver.
It is important prior to fasting that the main organs of elimination (Liver, Colon & Kidneys) be in an optimally efficient state – this is why the 6 week detox is required.
To prevent your body from going into a toxic overload due to inadequate levels of essential nutrients, the organic fruit and/or vegetables will prevent this. This is the reason that juice fasts are favoured over water fasts.
The Important Stuff…
Long fasts (more than 2 days) should be supervised by a Naturopath
During a ‘fast’, pollutants are mobilised into the bloodstream as fat stores are used up. A body overloaded with toxins can produce reactions which are unpredictable as the ‘cocktail’ of chemicals hits the bloodstream. Watch out for the side effects.
Common side effects of short term fasting include: headaches, nausea, coated tongue, dizziness, skin rashes, acne, aching limbs & muscles, feeling colder than usual, insomnia, urine may be cloudy or darker than usual and your bowels may stop functioning during the fast. These symptoms will pass as soon as the waste materials are through your Kidneys.
Benefits of fasting: Clearer skin and eyes, more energy, increased elimination, decreased pain and inflammation, increased concentration and a feeling of wellbeing.
Contraindications to extend fasting (beyond 48 hours) without provisional supervision: Pregnancy & Breast Feeding, Severe Liver disease or Anemia, Kidney disease, if you suffer from an eating disorder, mental illness or a chronic condition which needs medication.
Ensure that 2 litres of pure, filtered water is consumed on fasting days
So who is with me to start this week? It’s only 6 ½ weeks of your life, you will be completed before Easter. Put the wine away and start planning your next few weeks.
For me the 1st week will be easy, I’ve been off the booze for a while but when we hit week 2, eliminating Caffeine…ouch. I wouldn’t be a big Coffee drinker, but I’m defiantly a Tea drinker and watch out for all the other Caffeine laden items, such as Chocolate. It’s going to be tough… Good Luck!
Remember if you have any questions please feel free to contact me.
Fertility simply refers to a couple’s chances of becoming pregnant. If you are fertile, than there is a good chance that you will become pregnant at some point in time. Though pregnancy may not happen right away, if both a man and a woman are fertile, they will conceive a child eventually. Certain factors play a key role in determining fertility. In order for a woman to be fertile she must produce a viable egg during each monthly cycle. In order for a man to be fertile he must be able to produce strong and healthy sperm that can fertilize this egg. Numerous factors play a part in these roles including your diet, lifestyle and stress management. Keeping in mind the following guidelines, they will increase both your chances of conceiving and improve the health of your baby also.
Start a 3 month plan incorporating Diet, Exercise, Lifestyle and Stress management.
Why 3 months?
It takes 3 months for eggs to mature and be ready for ovulation
Men also take 3 months to produce a batch of sperm
The body requires 3 months to eliminate toxins and increase to optimum nutrient status
Optimize nutrient intake using following information. Eat a diet sufficient in Carbohydrates, Fibre, EFA (essential fatty acids) with a healthy amount of protein.Drink plenty of water 6-8 250 ml glasses per day.
Decrease Saturated Fats
Increased amounts of Saturated Fats are associated with increase in oestrogen causing an oestrogen imbalance. They also trigger body to produce inflammatory substances which can also increase period pains. They also block the body’s ability to absorb Essential Fatty Acids or “good” fats.
Food Sources: Reduce meat and dairy. Avoid all processed foods, such as biscuits, cakes, white bread, white pasta, and white rice. Aim for whole foods in their natural state.
Increase your Good Fats
Especially the omega 3 as they help decrease inflammation in the body, hormone balance and development of a baby brain, eyes and nervous system.
Food Sources: You will find good fats especially Omega 3 in oily fish e.g. salmon, mackerel, trout, sardines, herring, fresh tuna. Also found in walnuts, flax and pumpkins. Vegetable sources include kale and cabbage.
Increase Fibre intake
Fibre helps control the levels of Oestrogen. Old oestrogen enters the gut where fibre binds and helps excrete it from the system thus preventing re-absorption of old oestrogen into circulatory system leading to oestrogen dominance and hormonal imbalance.
Soluble fibre: found in vegetables, fruit, oats and beans.
Vitamin C – can trigger ovulation, with Vitamin E it may keep you fertile longer and improve the quality of the eggs.
Food Sources: Fruit, vegetables, citrus fruits, berries, green vegetables such as brussel sprouts and cauliflower.
Vitamin E – plays an important role in egg production.
Food Sources: Seeds, nuts, egg yolk, oily fish and broccoli.
Folic Acid – critical to baby’s health and in lowering risk of low birth weight, premature birth, and/or neural tube defects, such as Spina Bifida and Anencephaly.
Vitamin A – Important for your baby’s embryonic growth – including the development of the heart, lungs, kidneys, eyes & bones and the circulatory , respiratory and central nervous system. It also helps with infection resistance and fat metabolism. It also helps to assure you that your cervical fluid will be sperm-nourishing, fertile consistency. It also increases the amount of fertile fluid.
Food Sources: Coloured fruit & vegetables.
Zinc – essential for conception. Important for men to ensure the head of the sperm is hard and can penetrate the egg to fertilise.
Magnesium: nuts, vegetables, brown rice, eggs & sunflower seeds.
Manganese: help boost sperm quality, improves health of baby.
Food Sources: Wholegrains, seeds, leafy green vegetables, green beans, sweet potatoes, onions, strawberries, bananas, apples & eggs.
Selenium: essential for sperm production.
Food Sources: Found in eggs, nuts (Brazil), broccoli & garlic.
Calcium: needed for babies bones, teeth & nervous system.
Food Sources: Organic dairy products, salmon, oranges, prunes, sesame seeds, almonds, pulses, wholegrains and green leafy vegetables.
Royal Jelly: Royal Jelly is rich in amino acids (29 to be exact), lipids, sugars, some vitamins, fatty acids and most importantly, proteins. It contains high levels of vitamin D and E as well as ample levels of Iron & Calcium.
Evening primrose oil: This is an essential fatty acid that you can take from your period until ovulation to improve fertile mucus. It is not recommended to take this after ovulation as it can cause mild contractions in the uterus and prevent implantation.
Co Q 10: Improves ovulation and even rejuvenates eggs so that they act like younger eggs, can be linked to higher success rates in IVF. In men it is thought to have a protective action on sperm, improving the count and motility.
Exercising encourages hormonal balance which in turn increases your fertility, aim for 30 mins a day gentle exercise. Try incorporate Yoga or Pilates to de-stress.
Chronic stress leads to high levels of the hormone cortisol, however in order to continually make cortisol your body requires progesterone, decreasing the amount available for your fertility cycle. Stress can also affect the release of other hormones necessary for your cycle. It can also affect libido inevitably affecting chances of conceiving.
Detox your lifestyle
Avoid environmental toxins e.g. organic foods as much as possible, avoid plastic containers and bottles which contain xenoestrogens disrupting your hormone balance and instead use cast iron, steel or glass cookware.
Watch your weight
A certain amount of body fat is essential for conception however if too low you may stop ovulation. If it is too high, it can interfere with ovulation as excess fat causes imbalance in the ratios of reproductive hormones. Men being overweight can affect the quality and quantity of your sperm. Achieve optimal weight through healthy eating and exercise.
Coffee can delay conception for a year, its best to try to avoid completely if you can.
Alcohol may increase production of oestrogen. Alcohol may decrease fertility by half and increase risk of miscarriage. 1-2 glasses of wine ok if special occasion only, however if you experience any hormonal imbalances it is best to avoid completely.
Smoking may increase the risk of miscarriage; it may decrease oestrogen by interfering with ability of cells in the ovaries to make oestrogen. Smoking can increase the rate at which a woman loses eggs causing early onset of the menopause.
It is always best to try to get your daily Vitamins, Minerals and Essential fatty acid’s through food sources, but this is not always possible, this is when supplementation comes in.
Female Vitamins & Minerals to maximise Fertility
Pre-natal Multi Vitamin & Mineral – improves nutritional status
B complex – reduces stress and is a nervous system tonic
B6 – synthesis of RNA & DNA – will be in B complex
Folic Acid – 400mcg
EPA (essential fatty acids) – for healthy glandular function and hormone balancer
Selenium – deficiency is linked to infertility
Vitamin E – use D-alpha-topherol form, carries oxygen to sex glands
Zinc – for cell division
Vitamin C – improves hormone levels
Vitamin D – boost levels of progesterone and estrogen, which regulate the menstrual cycle & improve the likelihood of successful conception
Co-enzyme Q 10 – needed for basic functioning of cells and fertility benefit for women with low egg reserve
Royal Jelly – has been shown to help balance hormones, to increase libido and support egg health
Evening Primrose oil – improve fertile mucus
Male Vitamins & Minerals to maximise Fertility
Multi Vitamin & Mineral – to improve nutritional status
Vitamin E – increases sperm count and carries oxygen to sex organs – D-alpha-topherol form
Vitamin C – helps to manufacture healthy sperm, prevents sperm from sticking together and can improve their motility, can increase sperm up to 1/3 – 500mg twice a day
Vitamin D – essential for the healthy development of the nucleus of the sperm cell, and helps maintain semen quality and sperm count. Vitamin D also increases levels of testosterone, which may boost libido
Zinc – cell division and improves desire & ejaculation
Selenium – lack of selenium is linked with sterility
Vitamin B Complex – stress and nervous system tonic
L-Arginine & L-Carnitine – crucial for male fertility and sperm development
Coenzyme Q10 – energy for sperm
I treat fertility patients with Acupuncture and Naturopathy. For advice on recommended daily amounts, the best brands and where to get supplements please contact me.