Free 10 minute Health Consults

Free 10 minute health consults

We believe that bodies and minds thrive when given the right ingredients. We are dedicated to boosting our community wellbeing and this is why our brilliant practitioners are offering free 10 minute health consults with our naturopaths and nutritionists.

These sessions are designed to help anyone wanting preventative wellness strategies for immunity, symptomatic relief for acute conditions and general health enquiries. You will , of course, be referred if needed for more complex issues or conditions.

With health there is endless possibility, multiple angles for fine tuning and a plethora of ways to start to feel better. We want to help you feel your radiant vitality shining through.

Register for your free digital consult

Simply head to our bookings page, scroll to Naturopathy or Nutrition and choose ‘Free 10 minute consult PHONE/ONLINE’

Which practitioners are offering free 10 minute health consults now?

 

Josephine CabrallJosephine Cabrall Fertile Ground Health Group Free 10 minute health consults

Josephine is an experienced, degree-qualified naturopath and trained fertility teacher specialising in fertility, reproductive health and pregnancy. She uses nutrition, dietary strategies, herbal medicine and lifestyle advice, to help her patients achieve their goals and is passionate about working collaboratively with other health care providers for the best outcomes of the patient.

Understanding the importance of a supportive and empathic support team through the fertility and IVF journey, Josephine aims to meet her patients where they are at, giving them strategies and resources to achieve the best outcomes possible.

Josephine also enjoys helping patients with gut health, thyroid health and stress reduction, recognising the impact of these conditions can have on both fertility and general health.

As well as general fertility, Josephine has a special interest in polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Acknowledging the different presentations of PCOS, she relishes in seeing women improve their fertility and other hormonal symptoms through individualised, tailored treatment plans. To help women better understand and combat PCOS, Josephine has authored an eBook, The PCOS Solution, as well as the Guide to PCOS & Diet – which she generously makes available for free – download here.

Book your free 10 minute health consult with Naturopath, Josephine.

 

Sage King

Sage King Fertile Ground Health Group Free 10 minute health consults

Sage is a diversity-friendly, passionate practitioner who provides quality healthcare for all individuals within the community. With her empathetic and dedicated approach, she aims to guide and educate her clients through an evidence-based model to reach their health goals.

Using nutrition, herbal medicine, dietary and lifestyle advice, Sage specialises in providing naturopathic care for hormonal and reproductive health, preconception care, fertility (female, male, non-binary, & transgender), IVF, ICSI, & ART Support, & pregnancy. Sage also enjoys assisting patients with gut and vaginal microbiome health, gastrointestinal disturbances, stress and mood support, metabolic health, and thoroughly enjoys working with queer individuals, couples, families, sex workers, and single women.

Sage understands the importance of thorough investigation into your personal health history to holistically determine the underlying factors contributing to your presentation, to optimise long-term health outcomes. In order to do this, Sage uses in-depth case taking and testing, and believes it is essential to collaborate with you and your other health care providers to holistically assess and manage your health and wellness goals. She has written a 6-part series to help individuals and couples of all gender identities and sexual orientations confidently navigate their fertility journey and create their own fertility plan.

Book your free 10 minute health consult with Naturopath, Sage.

 

Georga Holt

Georga Holt Fertile Ground Health Group Free 10 minute health consults

Do you want better general health? Do you experience digestive, hormonal, and/or skin issues? Are you suffering the effects of stress, anxiety or lacking in sleep? Georga is passionate about helping you become the healthiest version of yourself. She works with diet therapy, lifestyle modification, herbal medicine and nutritional therapeutics to help you find relief from those niggling health issues that stop you from performing at your best and living your radiant life.

One of the aspects of Naturopathy that Georga absolutely loves is the integrated and holistic model that identifies humans as a whole and intricately woven system – not simply a cluster of isolated symptoms to be treated separately. She really hones in on how to resolve what is going on for you in a comprehensive way that not only feels good to receive (as we all enjoy being seen in our totality) but also provides healthy long-term outcomes.

Georga specifically enjoys working with digestive health (including IBS, IBD and food intolerances), skin (including acne and hormonal breakouts, eczema and psoriasis) and hormonal issues (especially PMS, painful and irregular periods). She has helped many people get through exams with nervous system and adrenal nourishment and loves to help people get a better night’s sleep too.

Book your free 10 minute health consult with Naturopath, Georga.

 

Jane Holland

Jane Holland Fertile Ground Health Group Free 10 minute health consults

Renowned for her grounded and intuitive approach to health, Jane is a holistic nutritionist, yoga teacher and retreat facilitator who is passionate about empowering people to cultivate a healthy and honest relationship with food, eating and their body. Jane brings awareness and reverence into her sessions and is dedicated to listening and supporting her clients to unravel the subconscious patterns of behaviour which drive decision making (particularly in relation to food and eating).

Jane is deeply committed to building community and creating safe and supportive spaces for people to live more harmoniously within their inner and outer environments.

Jane carries degree level qualifications in both Environmental Management (Sustainable Development) and Health Science (Nutritional Medicine) and is trained in both Hatha and Yin Yoga (400hrs Teacher Training certifications). She is also a Food & Spirit practitioner and Emotional Anatomy coach, integrating Eastern and Western philosophies in a wholistic approach to wellness. Jane uses her technical knowledge and understanding in these modalities, together with her deep insight and intuition, to ignite profound and lasting transformation for her clients.

Book your free 10 minute health consult with Holistic Nutritionist, Jane.

Alongside nutrition consultations, Jane also offers Yin Yoga for Deep Sleep classes every Monday night. Your first class is FREE.

Emily Macfarlane

Free 10 minute health consults

Emily’s particular areas of interest include enhancing your energy and vitality, rectifying sleep issues, fine-tuning gut health, and optimising hormonal, thyroid and metabolic health. She appreciates the importance of strengthening the relationship between body and mind, and understands that fostering an integrated awareness to tune in to that dual expression can provide strong foundations that keep your health steady. Emily holds a strong belief that your body has an innate ability to heal itself and uses both herbal and nutritional medicine as well as dietary and lifestyle advice to gently and simply support your body to move toward its optimal function.

Emily regularly integrates self-care practices into her prescriptions by teaching her clients about the importance of mindful eating, movement, meditation and rest. She believes that when we respect our bodies by prioritising self-care vibrant health will follow.

Access Emily’s free ebook on energy and vitality to inspire action at home and support your sleep, digestion, hormones, energy and improve the quality of life that you are living on a daily basis.

Book your free 10 minute health consult with Naturopath, Emily.

Zucchini and Chilli Pepita Salad

Zucchini Salad with Josephine Cabrall from Fertile Ground Health Group

Zucchini and chilli pepita salad is a simple dish that I love for shoulder seasons where we are still having some nice days but the weather is getting colder. It’s still got a lot of freshness about it but the grilled zucchini is easier to digest than raw salad and the chilli pepitas give it some warmth. The lemon, dill and feta really get your tastebuds going.

This dish is super yummy as a BBQ side salad with just about every type of protein – fish, tofu, tempeh, chicken, red meat, falafel, chickpea or lentil burgers. If I have some leftover I often have it for breakfast on a slice of dense wholegrain bread with a poached egg on top.

Zucchinis are very high in fibre, which feeds beneficial gut bacteria and helps you to feel full and satisfied, as well as aiding healthy bowel movements. They are also very low in carbohydrate. All of these things are great for hormone balancing, general health and are compatible with a PCOS diet, if that is what you are aiming for. Being dark green in colour, they are a natural source of antioxidants and folate, making them great for fertility and pregnancy.

Pepitas (pumpkin seeds) add a good source of zinc – helpful for skin, hair, immunity, fertility and so much more.

Ingredients
  • 4 large zucchinis, sliced lengthwise
  • A large handful of pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • A pinch (or more as desired) of cayenne pepper (chilli powder)
  • Half a bunch of fresh dill, leaves picked
  • 30-40g of goat’s chevre or goat’s feta
  • Half a lemon, juiced
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
Method

Brush zucchini slices with olive oil and cook them on a grill plate until soft and browned, flipping halfway. You could also roast them in a 200 degree oven on trays (don’t overcrowd the trays or they’ll go soggy before they brown).

Toast the pepitas in a fry pan with a splash of olive oil, pinch of salt and the cayenne pepper until just starting to go light brown, then remove from heat to cool on a plate.

Assemble the salad by tossing the zucchini with the dill, lemon and olive oil, crumbling the feta on top and sprinkling over the pepitas.

Want more? Download your free PCOS & diet guide, filled with delicious and healthy recipes specifically for people with PCOS – Written by Naturopath Josephine Cabrall.

Weight loss and PCOS

PCOS and weight loss with Josephine Cabrall from Fertile Ground Health Group

Weight loss improves just about every aspect of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Whilst it is often more difficult to lose weight when you have PCOS, even modest weight reductions can have a significant impact on PCOS symptoms plus reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

How do I know if I need to lose weight?

Being overweight, especially around the waist, causes insulin resistance (even if you don’t have PCOS) because fat cells release substances that mess with insulin sensitivity. This means that being overweight increases insulin levels even more, worsening PCOS signs and symptoms. In short, being overweight is bad news for PCOS.

Body mass index (BMI) is a good guide to determine if you are in the overweight range or the healthy weight range. You can calculate your BMI using a simple online calculator and plugging in your height and weight (there are many available).

How to get started on weight loss

It’s not so simple to just lose weight and if you have PCOS with insulin resistance, this can be even more difficult because insulin is a hormone that promotes fat storage. Both diet and exercise matter when it comes to weight loss but if you need to make changes in both areas, start with diet and once that is a routine for you work on your exercise routine – changing everything overnight is hard and you don’t want to set yourself up to fail.

When it comes to diet, head over here and get your copy of my free PCOS & Diet eBook. It outlines the dietary changes that have the most impact on weight loss for people with PCOS. If you check out the eBook but still need more help or have questions, you might need to work with a naturopath to work out the best diet for you as an individual.

What’s the best type of exercise for weight loss and PCOS?

There are two types of exercise that have been shown to be effective for PCOS and weight loss:

  1. Resistance training

Resistance training means moving your body against a resistance. The resistance can be your own body weight (e.g. push ups, planking or yoga) or equipment such as bands or weights. You can do resistance training at home if you’ve already got some experience with how to do it safely. If not, get help from a professional PT to ensure you adopt the correct posture and alignment, avoiding injury.

If you can’t afford a personal trainer, join a gym and ask the staff for assistance in getting your posture and alignment right on their equipment. If the gym is not your thing, join a strength yoga class such as Iyengar, Ashtanga or Vinyasa.

Resistance training is designed to build muscle mass. Increasing muscle mass has a positive effect on insulin resistance and boosts metabolism, meaning your resting metabolic rate is faster; you burn fat while at rest.

Research has shown resistance training can reduce androgens, waist circumference, body fat percentage and fasting blood glucose: all good things for PCOS. However, the best results come with doing a combination of resistance and aerobic exercise.

  1. Aerobic exercise

Aerobic exercise is also known as ‘cardio’ exercise and refers to any exercise that gets your heart and lungs to work faster. You breathe harder, your heart pumps faster and you work up a sweat. There are many ways to do this and lots of them are actually fun! Dancing, swimming, sex, aqua aerobics, team sports, cycling, HIIT, circuit training and jogging are just a few of them.

Beyond improving insulin resistance, aerobic exercise has many benefits. Aerobic exercise improves circulation, increases energy levels, increases endurance, reduces risk of heart disease and diabetes, reduces body fat, maintains a healthy weight, improves mood and improves sleep.

How much exercise do I need to do?

Based on the research you should do 1hr of resistance training three times weekly but you should start slowly and build up to this. On alternate days you should do 30 minutes of aerobic exercise. Have one day off per week to give your body a rest.

More is not better

If you push yourself beyond the above guidelines you run the risk of pushing your stress hormones too high, which inhibits weight loss and increases insulin.

My top 4 tips for success
  1. Get friends and family in on it

Making a time to exercise with friends or family increases your motivation and makes exercise more enjoyable. It makes you accountable for showing up. Likewise, a healthy diet, such as outlined in my PCOS & Diet eBook, is something that can be done as a family or with friends. It is a health choice that is beneficial for everyone, not just those with PCOS (if you have children they can eat the same as you, just let them eat freely of healthy carbohydrates rather than limiting their intake).

  1. Any type of exercise is better than no exercise

If all you can do today is just go for a walk then it’s better than nothing – you are still having a beneficial impact on your hormones when you exercise, even if weight loss is not achieved.

  1. Set realistic goals

If you can’t stick to a strict regime as outlined in the exercise section above, just do what you can. Any sort of increase in physical activity is better than none.

Set a goal of something you can do that is easily achievable. Once you can stick to that for 3 weeks, set a higher goal. For example, if you currently walk for 10 minutes per day, increase this to 15 minutes. Or get a pedometer and increase your daily steps by 2000 each week.

  1. Prioritise it

One of the excuses you might give yourself is that you simply don’t have time exercise and prepare food. This is when you need to sit down and make a list of all of the things that take up time in your life and prioritise which ones are going to make you the happiest. Chances are that being healthy is going to be near the top of your list.

Other things might have to take a back seat in preference of your health.
You might find that some things can be combined. For example, seeing friends and exercising could be rolled into one on some days. Preparing food and family time are other things that could be done together. How you shape your life is up to you but one thing is for sure: if you don’t prioritise time for weight loss, it won’t happen.

Need more help?

Losing weight can be really tough, so don’t be afraid to reach out for help if you need it. Some great choices are personal trainer or exercise physiologist, naturopath, nutritionist, osteopath, acupuncturist and psychologist or counsellor. All of these professionals can help you tailor a plan that is most effective for you as an individual and help keep you accountable and motivated along the way.

Josephine is currently offering free 10 minute consults to everyone. These sessions give both practitioner and patient the chance to see if the therapeutic relationship is a great fit, as well as to get you started on the path to feeling better, whether that be prescriptions on the day, referral for testing, or simple extras that you can incorporate to support yourself even more. 

Book in with Josephine to get started > bookings > Naturopathy > Free 10 min consult

MA’s love letters – June 2021

MA Love Letter June 2021

We’ve been receiving MA’s monthly love letters from The Melbourne Apothecary since the beginning of 2020. These letters contain links to a variety of life enhancing freebies that our fabulous practitioners are constantly creating to help you cope during COVID and beyond.

The letters are also a fantastic and charismatic resource that share all the goings on within both The MA and Fertile Ground. So we thought we’d best share them with you here so that you can join in and receive the monthly intel from our delightful and ever wisdomous MA. Please enjoy.

Hello and a wonderful crisp sunny June to you!

I feel really thrilled to write to you this month (ahem – I feel thrilled every month actually because I just LOVE connecting with you about my favourite thing – health 🥳 ). I have 3 fabulous things to share.

Free preconception series
Firstly, this month Sage King, one of our expert fertility Naturopaths, has put together a 6 part article series designed to help you navigate your fertility journey and create your Fertility Plan. And what a wealth of information this is. I have had the privilege of sneak peeking a couple of Sage’s articles and I can tell you they are off ⚓️ the ⚓️ hook ⚓️ with information about options to proceed and succeed when creating your healthy family 💕

The way Sage writes is so comprehensive AND YET so digestible and clear. Find out more about what this series covers and then go ahead and register to receive all the freebies.

👉Sign up here for the Free Preconception series

World Environment Day
Saturday the 5th of June is World Environment Day 💕 🌏 💕 This day is designed to encourage awareness and action for the protection of the environment – which is SO glorious!🦚🐍🦧🦩🦥🕸🦜🐊🦓🦔🦙🐇🦕

I recently watched David Attenborough’s latest film, ‘A Life on This Planet’. It was completely motivating and deeply eye opening  👀  beyond the level that my plant farming, naturopathic, chemically free, environment loving eyes have been opened before…

The result? We started a Sustainability Action Group at Fertile Ground and The MA – SAG for short (because SAGging is what my heart ♥ does when I think of the health of our planet and what will happen if we, personally and as a community, don’t take greater responsibility for our daily actions that contribute to the devastation of this world).

Fertile Ground and The Melbourne Apothecary already have deep values of sustainability and supporting climate action ✨ 🌏 💓 however after watching this film📽we stirred into even greater action to identify all the ways that we must DO BETTER in the clinic – our revised mission being helping people to make healthy babies — AND a healthy planet for them to live on!

So please see our MA instagram posts to check out what we’re identifying and changing in the clinic to do better ourselves, and perhaps you’ll find some motivation and inspiration therefor things you can do at home to help healthify the planet even more too♥️

Food cravings?
The third thing I want to touch on is food cravings. It’s lockdown again here in Melbourne, and if you’re a person you are likely feeling emotions about that.😧😪😶😡😩🤨🧐🤯

Many of us use food as an emotional buffer🧀🌭🍕🥖🍔🥞🍫🍷

When things get a bit emotionally intense (hello the last 1+ years of COVID…)it’s a good idea to get some support around healthy eating ESPECIALLY if you know that you have a relationship with food that you’d like to change for the better, or one that becomes topsy turvy during stress.

Read this bang on article from Jane Holland, our MA holistic nutritionist, all about diving under the surface of food cravings. Remember that Jane is available for free 10 minute consults to you if you want to connect with her and find out how you can begin to create a healthier relationship with your food.

Read Food Cravings – what are you really craving? With Nutritionist, Jane Holland

Love & Wooly Jackets
Your MA💕

MA’s July 2021 love letter

July 2021 Love Letter

Welcome to MA’s July 2021 Love Letter. We’ve been receiving MA’s monthly love letters from The Melbourne Apothecary since the beginning of 2020. These letters contain links to a variety of life enhancing freebies that our fabulous practitioners are constantly creating to help you cope during COVID and beyond.

The letters are also a fantastic and charismatic resource that share all the goings on within both The MA and Fertile Ground. So we thought we’d best share them with you here so that you can join in and receive the monthly intel from our delightful and ever wisdomous MA. Please enjoy.

Hello hello,

I hope this July 2021 love letter finds you healthy, warm and feeling loved. Word on my MA vine is that there are 2 wonderful projects beginning to blossom in our town. I would love to invite you to be a part of either one in whatever capacity you like.

These projects really align with my desire to help to enrich our community, enhance collaboration, and support sustainability (because as I’m sure you’re aware, there is no Planet B).

Project 1 – Brilliantly Upcycled Beautiful Baby Apparel
(or BUBBA for short)

This is an initiative brought to you by the wonderful minds of the Fertile Ground Health Group team. The way it works is that everyone is welcome to bring in and donate any beautiful baby apparel that they no longer need (for newborns – apparel to suit up to 12 month old babies). This apparel will all then be available for any patients of Fertile Ground to take and use for their budding family.

This is an opportunity for you to either share apparel you no longer need, or receive lovely new baby apparel with and from people who not only share your health values but have also likely shared some similar struggles as you too.

By being a part of this initiative in any way you will be contributing not only to a circular economy (less waste), but also to rampant happiness on all sides.

If you would like to donate baby apparel, please drop it into the reception team at Fertile Ground when you’re next nearby. Feel free to write a little love note to accompany your clothes – we will be sure to pass it on.  And if you’d like to pick up free upcycled baby apparel for your growing family, please ask at Fertile Ground’s reception when you’re next in too.

Project 2 – Shared Holistic Health Library

You may have noticed the gorgeous library of health, fertility and self help books that lives on the wall of the upstairs waiting room at Fertile Ground. 

Did you know that it’s a shared library? Meaning – you are most welcome to take a book or two, read them and bring them back/keep them when you’re done. You’re also welcome to add any health / fertility / pregnancy / baby / self help related books you have at home that you wish to recirculate into the community. Take a wander through the Holistic Health Library next time you’re in.

Love & Snowflakes

Your MA 💕

Magic green sauces

Josephine Cabrall at Fertile Ground Health Group

We all know veggies are good for our health but who really feels like eating salads in the middle of Winter? The solution? Delicious baked Winter veg made interesting with magic green sauces! Green sauces are herbaceous, full of flavour and packed with immune boosting antioxidants and vitamin C. A little garlic adds a bang to the flavours whilst keeping those winter bugs away. Green sauces are a tasty way to sneak in some extra greens and jazz up roast veggies to make sure you are meeting your vegetable quota.

The best thing about green sauces is that you be sure to use up all of those half bunches of herbs that would otherwise sit and wilt in the fridge. They never have to go to waste again because there is no wrong or right way to make a green sauce – just throw in whatever you have and blend! Some guidelines are good to get you started though, and after some practice you can just use your instinct. Here are our favourites:

Rocket pesto

This twist on regular basil pesto is great for getting the digestion going as rocket has that gentle bitter quality to it. The bitterness is balanced out by the other ingredients though, making it a flavour party for your palate. Top any roast veg with it, such as sweet potato, cauliflower, eggplant, zucchini, pumpkin, beetroot, carrot, parsnip, fennel or red capsicum. If you chop the veg into bite sized pieces you can easily toss them into a salad with some green leaves and add the pesto on top as a wonderful dressing. A dollop of rocket pesto on top of your scrambled eggs is also wonderful.

  • 1 small garlic clove
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 25g pine nuts, walnuts or cashews very lightly toasted in a dry frypan or in the oven
  • 50g rocket
  • 1 bunch of basil
  • 25g Parmesan, finely grated (optional)
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 125ml cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
Salsa verde

This classic Italian green sauce goes wonderfully with any roast veg but also on fish, chicken, poached eggs or steak. You can swap the mint out for fresh coriander or rosemary as you please.

  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2-1 bunch flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 bunch of fresh basil
  • 1 handful of fresh mint
  • 1 small handful of capers
  • 6 anchovy fillets
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 8 tablespoons cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
Zhoug

This Middle-Eastern version of pesto is traditionally made with green chilli and is quite hot. Its a wonderful winter warmer but feel free to modify the heat level or omit the chilli. You can also add lemon zest if you like a more punchy flavour. Zhoug is magical with roast pumpkin and labne, over roast eggplant and cauliflower, or on meatballs, felafels or boiled eggs.

  • 4 jalapeño chillis
  • 4 cloves garlic (peeled)
  • 1/2 cup parsley
  • 1/2 cup fresh coriander (leaves and stalks but be sure to wash the sand out thoroughly)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 cup cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
  • salt to taste

Green Tahini

This sauce is addictive so consider making a double batch to keep in your fridge and spread over everything. Goes well drizzled on roast veg, roast chicken, felafel or on toast.

  • 150ml tahini
  • 70ml lemon juice
  • 150ml water
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 30g (or one handful) flat-leaf parsley leaves (you could also use coriander or a combination of both)
  • salt to taste

Chimichurri

This Argentinian green sauce with its dominant parsley and garlic flavour is an excellent sauce or marinade for meat and vegetables, or can be used as a condiment to spice up just about anything you can imagine.

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar, or more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves
  • 1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves
  • 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, stems removed
  • salt to taste

Written by Josephine Cabrall, Naturopath and Natural Fertility Educator at Fertile Ground Health Group. Josephine is a respected fertility practitioner with a special interest in PCOS treatment.

Find out more about Josephine and how she can help you.

How acupuncture helps PCOS

Written by Merna El Chaaban, FGHG acupuncturist

Do you have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)? Or have you recently been diagnosed with PCOS and are confused with what that means?

You’re not on your own. PCOS affects 12-20% (1) of women and for many cases women remain undiagnosed.

What is PCOS?
Many women will have polycystic ovaries (PCO) identified on an ultrasound but not all will have PCOS.

You may be asking yourself “what is the difference between PCO and PCOS?”

Many women may just have polycystic ovaries and have no other symptoms of the disorder. Though a pelvic ultrasound may reveal 12 or more cysts on one or both ovaries, women with PCO can ovulate and don’t have the other symptoms that go with the syndrome, PCOS.

PCOS is a common hormonal condition. There are a number of symptoms that the syndrome is based on, which can include:

  • Increased androgens, which may result in increased hair growth, acne or increased blood testosterone levels
  • Insulin resistance meaning your body struggles with regulating your blood glucose levels. This can lead to weight gain or women struggling to lose weight and keep it off.

Having PCOS may also mean that you do not ovulate and your periods may be irregular or absent. Some women only have one period a year, and in some cases it is not until women start to try to conceive that they begin questioning why things are not going to plan. It may simply be because they are not releasing an egg and ovulating regularly.

What can be done to help PCOS?
If you are trying to conceive it is important to understand that having PCOS doesn’t mean that you will not be able to conceive and have a healthy pregnancy. There are a number of ways you can help your body and manage your condition. This includes lifestyle and dietary changes.

One of the most common patterns of PCOS in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is phlegm and dampness. From a TCM perspective this describes the cysts and symptoms present which can include being tired, difficulty losing weight, heaviness, bloating, swelling and fluid retention in feet and ankles, slow metabolism, dizziness and poor appetite. Your acupuncturist will ask about your symptoms in detail.

The TCM diagnosis always takes into consideration the symptoms that manifest in every individual, as we understand that not everyone is the same and this is why TCM can be a great way to tailor each treatment to every individual person. What works for one person may not work for another and no two people are the same.

Now that you have this information, what can you do? Here is how acupuncture may be able to help:

1. It is a great way to naturally regulate your hormones (2)

2. Can induce ovulation by selecting specific points along the body which have a direct effect on the uterus and ovaries (2)

3. Assists in reducing your cravings, i.e. If your blood glucose levels drop throughout the day it can result in sweet cravings (3)

4. Supports metabolism and regulating your appetite. If you have a lack of an appetite this can affect your weight management as your metabolism maybe sluggish. When you have an appetite this is a great way to know your body is on track (4)

5: Chinese herbal medicine generally complements the use of acupuncture, a great way to support your body in targeting all your individual symptoms.

What to expect with acupunture treatments

When you see your highly qualified acupuncturist, a thorough assessment and TCM diagnosis will be prepared for you. In accordance with research based treatment guidelines, weekly acupuncture sessions may be needed as part of your treatment plan.

You should allow yourself a period of up to three months or more to help regulate your body. Remember that this condition has probably been years in the making and hormonal conditions cannot be regulated overnight, however, you may start noticing improvements right away.

The main role of Acupuncture is to encourage blood flow through the uterus and ovaries (5). This is performed by placing needles along different points in the body that correspond to different channels and organs. Your body responds to the stimulation of the points. In some cases there maybe blockages that need to be released.

Acupuncture for PCOS is generally placed in the abdominal region as well as hands and legs. Depending on your symptoms and where you are in your cycle these points may vary.

Understanding and listening to your body is vital for a good outcome. Your body is your most important asset. At times your body sends you signals that something isn’t right and when you have a better understanding of your condition, things start to make more sense and you can begin to relate the symptoms that you have been experiencing to your diagnosis of PCOS. Your acupuncturist will help to explain what is happening for you and provide you with tools to support your health outside the treatment room. Remember that although it can take a while, acupuncture can help to shift the hormonal imbalance underlying PCOS, so the sooner you can begin your commitment to the treatment the sooner you can reap the benefits.

Merna El Chaaban, FGHG acupuncturist

Merna colour

Merna is an experienced acupuncturist and traditional Chinese herbal medicine practitioner. She has developed a passion for treating women’s health and fertility as well as supporting women during pregnancy. Merna aspires to assisting women and men of all ages by providing healthcare advice to people seeking a holistic approach and acknowledges that your body is your most important asset. She is committed to supporting you through the journey of life.

References

(1)Boyle J, Teede H J, 2012,Polycystic ovary syndrome An update, https://www.racgp.org.au/afp/2012/october/polycystic-ovary-syndrome/,RACGP Volume 41, No.10 October2012,Pages 752-756.

(2)Huang ST, Chen AP, 2008,Traditional Chinese medicine and infertility. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18460933,Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol, PubMed.

(3)Stener-Victorin E, Kokosar M, Maliqueo M, Sazonova A, Johan Behre C, Hojlund K, Benrick A, Tivesten A, Ohlsson C,2015,Repeated Acupuncture Treatments Increases Whole Body Glucose Uptake and Decrease Circulating Testosterone in Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

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