The following three articles I have written for women and the men in their lives.   These three articles address three different issues:  Pregnancy and Childbirth, PMS, and Menopause.  I hope that you find them helpful.  …….Dr. Randy Martin

Pregnancy and Childbirth

The Chinese have a saying that when a baby is born, it is already nine months old.  Actually, the baby is a lot older than this because it has already inherited the genes and constitutional predisposition from both parents, grandparents, etc.  The best thing a prospective mother and father can do for their child is to start homeopathic and acupuncture treatment for a year or so before they conceive their baby.  If both parents are in balance, the baby will be much more likely to be healthy.

The second important factor is the women’s nutritional status and emotional health, both before and during the pregnancy.  It is very important for the woman to take the appropriate supplements during the pregnancy and while nursing. 

It’s also important for the woman to maintain her energy during pregnancy and nursing.  Chinese herbal formulas can increase chi (energy) at the various stages of pregnancy, nursing and for the first few years after birth.

Towards the end of pregnancy, there some specific homeopathic remedies that can be given to make the birthing experience go more smoothly. 

Recent research has shown that women receiving homeopathic remedies before labor and/or during the birth have less complications, shorter labor, less pain, and quicker recuperation time.  Acupuncture is also very effective for relaxation, pain relief, or to hasten a difficult labor. 

Homeopathy for infant and toddlers is invaluable for such problems as ear infections, colic, constipation, diarrhea, skin problems, eye infection, fever, croup, colds, poor sleeping habits, allergy, teething, diaper rash or emotional upset.

PMS

What Is Premenstrual Syndrome?

Premenstrual syndrome is one of the most common health problems facing women.  About one third of the female population experience some sort of PMS.   This translates into a lot of missed days at school and work, severe stress on relationships, as well as a lot of needless suffering.

The symptoms of PMS begin ten to fourteen days prior to the start of menstruation and end in the first few days after the onset.  There are more than 150 symptoms that have been associated with PMS.  Listed below are some of the most typical:

         irritability                  anxiety                  moodiness

         anger                           headaches                  skin problems        

         vertigo                  weight gain                  bloating                 

         joint pain                  back pain                  cramps        

         constipation                  diarrhea                  sugar craving        

         sore throat                  vision problems         chocolate craving

What Is The Cause of PMS?

PMS is caused by both psychological and physiological imbalances. Physiologically, the primary cause is an imbalance of estrogen and progesterone.  Other secondary causes include poor diet, heredity, and lack of exercise.

From the point of view of Oriental medicine, the primary meridian systems involved in most women with PMS are the Liver, Spleen and Kidneys. 

What Are Some General Treatments for PMS?

Diet is the first and foremost factor that is within your control.    Foods known to increase symptoms of PMS include the following:  caffeine, milk, hard cheese, salt, chocolate, sugar, alcohol, beef, pork, lamb, and pickled foods.

Foods helpful in reducing the symptoms of PMS are the following:  whole grains, brown rice, oatmeal, millet, all vegetables, but especially beets, carrots, collard greens, mustard greens, and beet tops;  fish, and all kinds of beans are your best sources of protein.

Certain vitamin supplements are also helpful depending on your particular needs.  The two most important are vitamin B6 for bloating, water retention and magnesium for cramps and uterine pain.  Vitamin C is important to combat stress as are all the B vitamins.  A good, well-rounded multiple vitamin which is high in vitamin B is also a good preventative.

If you suffer from cramps be sure to take twice as much magnesium as you do calcium.  Also take evening primrose oil or black current seed oil.

How Can Homeopathy Help With PMS?

For menstrual cramps there are a number of different remedies.  Colocynth type of cramps are relieved by doubling up, bending forward, applying pressure or warmth, as are Magnesium phosphoricum cramps.

Always stop taking your homeopathic remedy if you feel worse or if the symptoms stop.  When the symptoms decrease, also stop taking the remedy.  If you keep taking the homeopathic remedy after the symptoms stop, you will cause them to come back again.  Note that often only one dose of the correct remedy in the correct potency is all you need.  Remember that homeopathic remedies are not like vitamins or herbs, and you don’t just keep taking them as you would an herb or homeopathic.

For symptoms of fatigue or weakness, try Calcium carbonate.  This remedy will be particulary helpful if you also have headaches, cold hands and feet, sweating and are cold in general.  Also for fatigue is Sepia.  For Sepia to be indicated usually you will also have low back pains, cramping in the lower abdomen, loss of interest in sex and an increase in anger and intolerance for others.  Depression and moodiness are also common, and a desire to be left alone.

For excessive weeping, sadness, or over sensitiveness, a primary remedy is Pulsatilla.  Other indications for Pulsatilla are a desire for company, a desire to be outside or to have windows open, nausea, giddiness, fainting, and unpredictable or changeable moods.

Chamomile is another remedy for excessive moodiness, with fault-finding and snapping over little things.  It will also show symptoms of cramps that feel like labor pains.

The Lachesis personality may be angry and moody with ovarian pains that are worse on the left side.  Dizziness and diarrhea, a dislike for tight clothing or anything tight around the neck are also characteristic of Lachesis.

Psychological Considerations

During the time before a women’s period, many women will feel very sensitive, angry, sad, depressed, or any number of other intense feelings.  In addition, many women may find this time to be filled with increased self awareness and feelings of creativity.  Your inner creative aspect may be ignored much of the time,  due to our culture which places more emphasis on productivity than on creativity and self-expression.  By ignoring this need for self-expression of something deeper, something larger and more all-encompassing than ones small, ego self, a woman may fall victim to even more feelings of sorrow, grief, depression and moodiness.

Psychologist Carl Jung described this dark, repressed, “cut off” or blocked part of a person as their “shadow self”.  And in women, this may be a reflection, more specifically, of their hidden Animus.   According to Jung, the “shadow” is that part of the person which has been repressed, or in someway not fully acknowledged.  And Animus is the yang, or male part of a woman.  To the extent that the shadow part or parts remain unconscious and unexpressed, a woman will be what Jung terms, in an “animus possessed state of judgement and emotionality.”

The animus can be very difficult to contact because of its unconscious nature.  It may only arise during periods of emotional turmoil such as occurs just before the menstrual period begins.  The animus may appear in disguise, often as a sweet, although unreal and superficial cover for moodiness, or as a very moody or angry person afraid to get in touch with their true self.

In terms of Oriental medicine, I have found that the angry animus, cloaked within the shadow, resides in what the Chinese call the wood element.  The other, “sweet” animus, resides most often in the fire element.

The time before menses provides an opportunity for women to turn inward and examine issues in their lives and portions of their psyches that may otherwise not be available for such critical examination or transformational exploration. 

In fact, in the native American culture, this same biologic phenomenon was viewed as a source of self-growth, creativity and empowerment for women and for the community as a whole.  In contrast, in our own culture, PMS is viewed as a negative syndrome; women are “on the rag” and “not to be taken too seriously”.

In his book The Psychobiology of Mind-Body Healing,  Dr. E.L. Rossi discusses the implications of the hormonal shift which takes place during this biological transformation and its potential to change the personality of the woman.  He states that when these changes go unsupported and misunderstood, they can lead to social and personal maladaption, depression and illness.  But when the changes are welcomed as an opportunity for personal growth and transformation, a new state of consciousness, awareness and development can take place.

PMS As An Opportunity for Growth

Oriental medicine has the capability to catalyze and encourage women with PMS to begin to view it not so much as a problem, but as an opportunity to learn more about an aspect of their femininity, and of their personality.  The process of becoming conscious of the animus and shadow portions of the unconscious can be arduous and yet immensely worthwhile.  Such changes can be very profound.

Happy Women:  Success Stories

“I have never liked needles.  In fact, I was always so afraid of needles I considered myself a needle-phobic.  But after my first acupuncture treatment I realized it was just a breeze.  It was just the thought of needles that bothered me, but they were so small, I never felt anything!”

                                                      –D.R., Financial Analyst

“Having suffered from severe PMS for many years, I doubted that I would ever find relief.  After several months of acupuncture treatments my menstrual cycles are practically symptom free and I am beginning to enjoy my life again”

                                                      –D.B., Accounting Manager

“Thank you for the support….I can barely remember how things were before we met and I started treatment…….Good sign——WOW, what a change!”

                                                      –C.D., Teacher, Homemaker

Menopause Treated Naturally

What Is Menopause?

The word menopause refers to the end of all menstrual bleeding.  It commonly occurs around the age of fifty, but may start as early as age thirty nine.  Other women continue to menstruate and remain fertile into their mid-fifties.

Natural Treatment Approaches

The natural treatment approach to menopause includes working with diet, exercise and managing your stress.  Additional methods of treatment are nutritional supplements, acupuncture, herbs and homeopathic medicine.

The diet for preventing symptoms in menopause varies for each woman, but the basic guidelines are a low fat diet, plenty of whole grains, legumes, vegetables and fruits.  Sugar and white flour products will cause toxicity in the liver meridian which is bad for menopausal women.  Other foods to avoid are salt, caffeine, alcohol and dairy products.

Common herbs include dong quai, black cohosh, blue cohosh, red clover, wild yam root and sarsaparilla.  Herbs for emotional issues include oat straw, dandelion, Siberian ginseng, valerian root, passionflower, catnip, red raspberry and chamomile.

Some of the vitamin supplements that are useful in menopause include beta carotene, vitamin B complex, buffered vitamin C, bioflavonoids, vitamin D, dry vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron and iodine. 

Some of the most common homeopathic remedies for menopause include Lachesis, Natrum mur, Sepia, Belladonna, Pulsatilla, and Sulphur.  But the homeopathic remedy must be based on very complete information on the women, including a complete history and her emotional makeup.

Acupuncture is also very effective and there are specific points for each symptom.  Women who I have been treating over a period of several months using acupuncture, homeopathy and herbs will testify to doing quite well, with minimal or no symptoms at all in most cases.

Woman’s Health – by Dr. Randy Martin
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