A Center for Oriental Medicine 415 1/2 Fourth St, Wilmette, IL 60091 847-251-5225
• Infertility, • Women's Health • Pain • Pediatrics • Sports Improvement • Weight Loss • Anxiety/Depression • Memory/Seniors • Smoking Cessation
(Scroll down to read more about each of these specialties)
Jeanie Lee Bussell, PhD, L.Ac. is one of the top acupuncturist in fertility support and women's health. More information about Jeanie can be found under her bio.
Acupuncture and Chinese medicinal herbs can do a great many things to increase the chances of achieving pregnancy. It can:
Regulate the Menses. Controlling irregular menstruation can enable couples to better predict the time of ovulation. It is important for a woman to ovulate at the optimal time so that the body is prepared to transport the egg and receive the embryo.
Increase the Uterine Lining. Acupuncture can increase the blood flow to the uterus, resulting in a thicker uterine lining, creating a more hospitable environment for an embryo to implant.
Improve Sperm. Separate studies have shown that acupuncture can increase sperm count, sperm motility, and the percentage of sperm that are normal within a given sample.
Prevent Miscarriage. Certain herbal formulae and acupuncture are known to help secure a fetus and prevent a miscarriage.
In conjunction with In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF), acupuncture may help:
Regulate the hormones. This is important because a woman’s hormone levels must fall within a desired range in order to continue with treatment.
Increase the number of follicles and improve the quality of eggs produced. Obtaining enough good-quality eggs is the most important factor in determining whether or not IVF will be successful.
Increase the likelihood of implantation. A study conducted in Germany found that women who underwent the traditional IVF protocol became pregnant at a rate of 26%. Women who also received acupuncture in addition to the traditional treatment had a 43% rate of success. These benefits were obtained using a uniform acupuncture treatment and only two treatments. Some experts estimate that customized, consistent treatment coupled with herbal therapies could improve success rates to 75%.
Moderate the side effects of hormone therapy. The medications given during ART are very powerful and can cause unwanted side effects such as hot flashes, irritability, labile mood, and insomnia. Patients who have undergone ART without, and then with, acupuncture report that the side effects were either minimized or eliminated with the use of acupuncture.
Relieve stress. IVF can be a very stressful course of events. Acupuncture has been shown to increase the level of Beta-Endorphins (the body’s natural feel-good chemical) in the blood.
When one is in balance, the reproductive capacity will be restored.
Once a woman is pregnant, acupuncture can help:
Relieve morning sickness. Anti-emetic (anti-nausea) medication can be sedating and can impair a woman’s ability to function and enjoy the highest quality of life possible. Many women are reluctant to use harsh drugs when they are carrying a child. Acupuncture and herbal teas can relieve morning sickness in the first trimester. If the sickness continues past the 13th week, women should consult their physician.
Correct malposition of the fetus (Breech presentation). When a baby is not aligned properly, it can cause the mother great discomfort. Acupuncture and moxibustion can help to turn a breech presentation and correct a malpositioned fetus. Note: This should only be done under the supervision of a physician and with the use of ultrasound to ensure the umbilical chord does not get tangled.
Induce labor. There are points that are forbidden to needle during pregnancy because of their known ability to induce labor. Once a baby is full term, these points can be used to stimulate uterine contractions and induce labor without subjecting the mother and baby to drugs.
Provide anesthesia during labor. Studies have shown that women who had acupuncture for anesthesia during delivery required significantly less pain medication and fewer epidurals.
Relieve post-partum pain and depression. Help to get back to your old self.
Promote lactation. For instances where there is insufficient lactation.
Women who have acupuncture once a week, starting on week 36, have easier and more efficient labors, experience fewer complications, fewer c-sections, require less medication, and recover faster.
Post-Partum Care- The most neglected aspect of pregnancy. Chinese wisdom for treating the new mother and welcoming the new baby.
Childbirth is a very traumatic event for a woman as well as for the new baby; and the new mother and baby need the best care possible. In America, post-partum health is discussed only in regard to depression, wound healing, and lactation. After the baby’s born, many mothers soon get back to work and the child is shuffled about in a chaotic fashion. The Chinese view the post-partum period as one of great vulnerability for both mother and child; and great care is given to protecting them. Many women can develop temporary or permanent damage from a lack of proper post-partum care. This may manifest in obvious ways such as infertility or menstrual disorders, but it can affect any system of the whole body. We have seen many women who develop mysterious ailments after the birth of one of their children; from hair loss to neuropathy, migraines, tinnitus, constipation and much more.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)’s perspective, much of Blood and Qi (energy) is lost during childbirth. In TCM, the Blood nourishes the tissues and calms the spirit. This can manifest as:
Delayed menstruation (after cessation of nursing)
Qi is our vital energy that gives things animation, warmth, and containment. The loss of qi can manifest as:
Malposition of the utereus
In Asia after delivery, women are given warm soups and stews, which are very nourishing and easy to digest. In fact, the first month after the childbirth is also called the ‘setting’ month, where the only jobs that the new mother has are to feed the newborn and nourish her body. Most household chores are done by the family members other than the new mom. In America, women are given ice chips immediately after delivering. It takes Qi to heat up cold ice chips. If a woman has insufficient Qi and Blood, the coldness of the ice can cause more damage than you’d expect. Acupuncture and herbs help nourish the mother and restore her to balance.
For the first month after delivery, women should keep their activity to a minimum and their time with the baby to a maximum. In Chinese philosophy, the baby’s soul chooses the parents. If he or she is happy with the new home (and body) then he or she will stay. If they are neglected and put in a separate nursery, or if their existence is too chaotic, they may leave.
Visitors should be minimized. This is to allow the mother time to rest and to give the baby peace. In America, we rush to show off the baby; passing him or her between countless friends and relatives. This disturbs the baby and disturbs the bonding with the mother. And we take the baby outside into the bright and noisy world; where temperature is unregulated and pathogens are passed around. Abrupt temperature changes and wind can be particularly dangerous to both mother and child. The baby should be protected and all new people and stimuli should be introduced slowly. This is a time of great transition, and we should not rush the process. Take your time and allow your body to recover. This will be best for you and your family in the long run.
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can help women through all the stages of life.
It can treat:
Menstrual problems (PMS, amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, irregular cycles, spotting, bleeding, breast tenderness, mood swings)
Pain during labor and delivery
Fibroids/ Cysts / Tumors
Chronic fatigue / Fibromyalgia
Uterine prolapse (and rectal prolapse)
Menopausal syndrome (pre- and post-menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, insomnia, night sweats, bone loss, mood swings)
Many other issues
Women have much to endure in their reproductive years. The role of the acupuncturist is to ease the transitions; both monthly and between stages of life. Fortunately, many women listen to their bodies and seek assistance when they are out of balance.
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine should not be considered an alternative to traditional, western, cancer care. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs can work with western therapies to increase effectiveness and reduce side effects. Jason Bussell, PhD recently completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering, where acupuncture is fully-integrated with conventional, Western cancer care.
Acupuncture and Chinese Medicinal herbs can treat the side effects of Radiation and Chemotherapy including:
Nausea / vomiting
Immunosuppression (impaired immune system)
Xerostomia (dry mouth)
Loss of appetite
Swelling / Inflammation
Constipation / Diarrhea
Alopecia (hair loss)
In addition, Chinese Medicinal Herbs may be able to:
Increase the effectiveness of Chemotherapy
It is hard enough to suffer with knowing you have cancer. You should not have to suffer from the side effects of your treatment.
Acupuncture is probably best known for its ability to treat pain. It increases the beta-endorphins (the body's natural morphine) to reduce perception of pain and instill a sense of calmness and well-being. In addition, it increases the body's serum ACTH, the precursor to cortisol, (the body's natural anti-inflammatory) to reduce inflammation and improve range of motion. It also increases several factor of the immune system that are responsible for removing damaged tissue; and promotes the growth of replacement tissue. All of these effects have been measured by Western science and Western medicine would point at these effects to explain why acupuncture works for pain. But the benefits of acupuncture last much longer that these elevated blood levels. Acupuncture can treat the pain from injuries, surgeries, internal conditions, chronic pain and more.
No one likes needles; and children are no exception. Children do however respond very well to acupuncture. Their energy is more pure and malleable. In China, they needle children the same as adults. At “A Center for Oriental Medicine,” we can use a technique called touch needling, where we just touch the needle to the skin and do not break the skin. We can also use laser-puncture (shining a painless laser on acupoints) or acupressure. Herbal formulas can be diluted in juice or honey-water to make them more agreeable to a child’s taste.
Some commonly treated pediatric conditions are:
It is important to treat children at the first sign of imbalance, as they are more susceptible to environmental evils that could impair development.
Acupuncture can help stimulate the metabolism and eliminate cravings. Acupuncture can help you stick to your diet with one 15-minute treatment a week. In addition, acupuncture can help: increase metabolism, regulate fluid retention, and boost energy. Similar treatments can curb other addictive cravings as well; including smoking, alcohol, and drugs. But the long-term solution is to improve your nutrition choices. See The Asian Diet by Jason Bussell for more information on healthy eating according to Chinese wisdom.
Sports medicine / performance improvement
In Asia, many team doctors are acupuncturists. Not only can acupuncture treat injuries quickly, allowing athletes to return to competition, Oriental medicine can also be a powerful adjunct to a training regimen. Many famous athletes have used acupuncture and herbs safely and effectively.
Oriental Medicine can help:
Improve focus/ reduce anxiety
Reduce recovery time between workouts
Prevent and treat injuries
Enhance strength training
When balance is achieved, the body and mind function optimally and seamlessly.
Anxiety and Depression
The most common side-effect of acupuncture is a lingering sense of calm and well-being. Jason Bussell's own published research shows that as little as one acupuncture treatment can significantly reduce anxiety. With depression as well, there can be near-immediate relief. In studies with humans and with rats, acupuncture has been shown to reliably increase the amount of Beta-Endorphins in the blood. Beta-Endorphins are the body’s natural morphine; they induce a state of relaxation and a sense of well-being. Herbal therapies can also help to bring the mind and spirit back into balance. When used in conjunction with psychotherapy, acupuncture can make it easier for patients to discuss difficult topics. Jason's background is in psychology and he can help patients find a new way of interpreting events so that they are no longer distressing or depressing.
Memory/ Test Performance, Senior Care
Jason Bussell's published research proves his technique improves memory and test performance. Undergraduate subjects who had acupuncture prior to taking a standardized test scored 9.5% (almost a full letter grade) higher in a measure of memory and committed 36% fewer processing errors. This technique can help students, adults, seniors, and even patients with dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
Older adults seem to have an enormous amount of ailments and medications. Many meds are prescribed to counteract the side-effects of the other meds. In Asia, if a prescription results in unwanted side-effects, then it is clearly the wrong prescription. Acupuncture and herbs can help seniors with many of the issues they face, including:
Arthritis, Stroke, Prostatitis, Hair Loss, Bone Loss, Memory Loss, Prolapse/Hernia, Incontinence, Depression, Weight Loss, Fatigue, Dizziness, Vertigo, Hypertension/Hypotension, Impotence/Sexual Dysfunction, Side effects of medications, Hearing or vision loss
If a person is ready to quit smoking, acupuncture can make the process a lot easier for them. Acupuncture can remove 70-80% of the withdrawal and cravings. More information about smoking cessation with acupuncture can be found here.