The endometrium is the mucous membrane that lines the uterus.  During the menstrual cycle, this lining thickens, allowing the possibility of a successful implantation of an embryo.   Endometriosis is a condition that occurs when the cells that line the endometrium of the womb or uterus lining are found somewhere else in the body. Common sights are the pelvic peritoneum, ovaries, bladder and bowels.  Some women with this condition experience mild discomfort, while many suffer from extreme pain, heavy periods and infertility.  Endometriosis is a long-term condition that affects millions of women worldwide.  It is commonly diagnosed in females age 25 to 40 years and rarely occurs after menopause.

Every month at the end of the menstrual cycle, (with no symptoms and signs of pregnancy), the hormones in the body cause the womb’s lining to break down and bleed. The lining is expelled from the body as a period. During the menses (for a woman who has endometriosis), when the cells growing outside the womb break down and bleed, the blood has no outlet to exit the body. This bleeding results in irritation to the surrounding tissue, pain, inflammation, and possibly scar formation.  The cause of endometriosis is unclear and therefore, difficult to treat.  Some researchers theorize that the following factors can be contributors for endometriosis:  an estrogen/progesterone imbalance, genetics, autoimmune abnormalities, environmental toxins and benign uterine fibroids.

 

Common symptoms of endometriosis include:

  • Heavy menstruation with pain, large clots, long or abnormal length of cycles (2 to 3 or more months between menses)
  • Lower abdominal pain and swelling, back pain, burning or painful urination or bowel movements during menstruation (can also occur on a continuous basis), and swollen ovaries
  • Painful sex
  • Dysmenorrhea and intermittent bleeding between periods
  • Infertility or difficulty becoming pregnant.  Endometriosis.org has published that 10% of women globally are affected by endometriosis and 24 to 50% female infertility cases suffer from endometriosis.
  • In rare cases, some women may experience bleeding after intercourse, bowel movements, or urination.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), views endometriosis as a disharmony of the liver, spleen, and kidneys energetically. The free flow of menstrual bold (blood stagnation) can also contribute to obstruction of the vital energy (qi) and blood in the uterine region.  The lack of cellular nutrition caused by this stagnation causes menstrual pain. Typically, treatment protocols for the endometriosis patient by a TCM practitioner focuses on improving blood circulation, clearing stagnation and harmonizing the functions of the liver, spleen, and kidneys.  Acupuncture and Chinese herbal formulas can be very effective in the treatment for the symptoms of endometriosis and the pain that accompanies this condition. Lifestyle and dietary modifications are addressed as stress and certain foods can cause inflammation and optimum flow of uterine blood.   Avoidance of environmental pollutants are encouraged.  TCM can help to balance hormones, support proper function and health of the endocrine and immune system, and endometrium.

March is Endometriosis Month.  If you suffer from any of the symptoms aforementioned, see your pelvic floor specialist.  If you need a referral, please contact my office and I will be most happy to help you.  This is your first step to living a pain-free and full life.

Sources:  Endometriosis.org

Acupuncture Beats Drug for Endometriosis Relief, 11 July 2017 Health CMI, Shen Q, Lu J.  Clinical Observation of Acupuncture-moxibustion for Endometriosis (J).  Shanghai Journal of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, 2017, 36 (6).

Narvekar, Nitish, Sharon Cameron, Hilary OD Critchley, Suiqing Lin, Linan Cheng, and David T. Baird.  “Low-dose mifepristone inhibits endometrial proliferation and up-regulates androgen receptor.”  The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 89, no. 5 (2004): 2491-2497.

 

Did you know that heart disease is the number one cause of death for women?  Women frequently miss the symptoms of a heart attack because they mistakenly relate heart disease as a ‘man’s disease’.  Women who have heart disease tend to believe that symptoms such as sweating, chest pressure, nausea, and jaw pain are synonymous with menopause, the flu, stress or simply feeling under the weather.  Many women just don’t think they could ever have a heart attack.

Disregarding the symptoms of a heart attack can cause death.  Recognizing the signs of heart disease or a heart attack can save lives.

What Causes A Heart Attack?

Plaque can build up in the coronary arteries.  This can block the blood flow to the heart.  Causes of plaque accumulation include heavy smoking, morbid obesity, high stress, and familial history of heart disease.

What Are Symptoms of a Heart Attack?

  • Intermittent chest pain (pressure or a feeling of your chest being squeezed) that waxes and wanes.
  • Pain or general discomfort of the jaw, stomach, back or arms (frequently misdiagnosed as indigestion, TMJ, sleeping in an incorrect position or overuse of muscles at gym)
  • Shortness of breath, palpitations, lightheadedness or dizziness for no apparent reason
  • nausea
  • Cold sweats; sometimes sweat can have an ‘oily’ feeling

What You Should Do If You Believe You Are Experiencing A Heart Attack

  • Call 911 and follow instructions carefully.
  • Try to remain calm and breathe.
  • If you have aspirin, take one.
  • If an ambulance cannot arrive within minutes, call a car service or ask a friend or neighbor to drive you to the hospital.  Do not operate a moving vehicle.

Steps You Can Take To Help Prevent a Heart Attack

Schedule a yearly routine check up with your M.D. A routine yearly EKG and blood tests should be performed during this appointment.  Many red flags can be detected by simply having this routine exam every year.

Watch your weight.  Maintaining a healthy weight encompasses a healthy lifestyle.  Everything in moderation.  Diet and exercise are the cheapest and easiest ways you can stave off heart disease.

Stop smoking….period.  It has been proven that smoking causes cancer and is a major contributor to inhibition of blood circulation and plaque build up in the body.  There are many tools available to assist you to kick the habit.

Acupuncture Plays A Key Integrative Role In The Cardiac Clinic

Studies have shown that acupuncture (and in many cases electroacupuncture) may serve as a safe and viable option for the treatment of the cardiac patient.  Acupuncture has been found to be effective in the treatment of symptomatic heart disease, myocardial ischemia, hypertension, arrhythmias, heart failure and autonomic dysfunction.  I have been treating patients with various forms of heart disease for years and I work closely, in a partnership, with patient and his/her cardiologist.

Ladies, don’t neglect yourselves; become your own best patient advocate.  If you or someone you know would like to know more about acupuncture and how it can help in the treatment of cardiovascular disease, please contact my clinic for an appointment.  In the meantime, as we slide into springtime, let’s not think just about strappy sandals…think ‘happy and healthy heart’.

Source:  Acta Physiologica Sinica, Feb 25, 2015, 67(1):19-31 Integrating acupunctureinto the cardiology clinnic:  can it play a role?

 

The Holiday Season is here and here are some happy and healthy tips to get you through the season healthier both physically and mentally.

  • Stay in the Game:  keep up with your exercise routine.  Regular exercise during the holiday season keeps off added pounds and the endorphins the brain releases during a workout can help alleviate stress.  Working hard at the gym always makes us feel better, sleep better and puts us in the mindset to make wiser nutritional choices.
  • Think Green!:  if you are invited to a pot luck event, prepare a dish that is not only delicious, but healthy as well.  Sauteed tuscan kale in a bit of olive oil, balsamic vinegar served with toasted pine nuts on top is not only beautiful, but tasty.  The anti inflammatory properties of dark leafy green vegetables are good for just about everyone and a nice change of a side dish.  Dark leafy green vegetables are a wonderful complement to any type of protein or pasta.  You’ll be surprised how quickly it disappears!
  • Be Kind to Yourself:  life should be about balance.  Schedule time for a nice long hot bath, a massage, a ‘me’ day.  Holidays can be quite stressful with various types of obligations and the stress can tax your immune system.  No one wants to be sick during the holidays, so take a time out at least once weekly.  Try a yoga class or a meditation app.  Schedule a relaxing stress-busting acupuncture session – it could be the best hour you’ve had to relax and reset your mind, body and soul.
  • Give a Gift of Love and Health to a Friend, Colleague or Someone you Love:  gift certificates are available and make great holiday gifts for the people who have ‘everything’.  Call of email the office today and order yours!

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Breast Cancer Rehabilitation & Wellness Online 2018/19

25 WAYS TO THRIVE

STARTS DECEMBER 1st

REGISTER NOW

 

Help change lives for breast cancer survivors: They can be thrivers.

Register and share this with your breast cancer networks

Video presentations will be directed to both breast cancer survivors and health professionals.

This Summit program will roll out pre recorded video presentations for free access over 7 days (BCR&W ONLINE SUMMIT) from Dec 1 to Dec 8 Australian time. 

AFTER THE SUMMIT:

1. There will be the option to purchase the entire program for your own personal viewing or to share on your website to your community throughout 2019: BCR&W ONLINE (2019)

2. You can access the entire Summit free from sponsor websites ( list will be available after Dec 8)

New content and new speakers to BCR&W ONLINE for breast cancer survivors and health care practitioners in 2018 and 2019. See the list of speakers and topics here

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/breast-cancer-rehabilitation-wellness-online-201819-tickets-50509696863?mc_cid=72a25169db&mc_eid=e8759aa9ba

 

 

Imagine having a good talk with a friend who tells you that he was on his mountain bike and while riding the hills of Northern California, he slammed into a tree pelvis first and now he’s got a ‘problem’.  Imagine your friend who is 23 years of age and just had her first baby in tears because sexual intercourse is so painful, she can’t stand to be near her husband.  You cannot imagine it….this is pelvic floor pain.  Never heard of it?  Ok, let’s take it one step further….

Imagine what life would be on a daily basis if every time you laughed, sneezed, coughed, or performed a jumping jack, you urinated without being able to control your bladder.

Imagine what life would be on a daily basis if, after undergoing a prostatectomy, you could not experience an erection.

Imagine what life would be on a daily basis if your uterus or rectum was hanging down.

Imagine what life would be on a daily basis if you had so much pain in your pelvic floor, you could no longer sit, have sex, urinate or defecate without shedding tears of pain.

Imagine what life would be if every time you went for another test, your genitals would be examined and manipulated; your vagina or rectum internally palpated and discussed in a very clinical manner.

Imagine all that…and more.  Sounds pretty grim, doesn’t it?  This is pelvic floor pain.  Not only is this a physical condition, but pelvic floor pain affects every patient psychologically and emotionally.  Many daily and adult joys of life are stripped away and some patients feel shame, embarrassment, fear and anger when experiencing some of the aforementioned conditions.  But, take heart – this does not have to become a permanent situation and with the proper treatment strategy, these conditions may be rectified and a person can resume living life fully and with joy, while becoming symptom free. Keep reading and I’ll tell you how I can help.

From the Traditional Chinese Medical point of view, the kidneys and pelvic floor is where a person’s ‘Life Gate’ is located. The ‘Qi’ and ‘Vital Essence’ move from this region and circulate throughout the organs, muscles, skin, bones and connective tissue to ensure proper homeostasis and overall vitality.  When the Energy (Qi) in the pelvic region is disrupted by physical and/or psychological reasons, the entire flow of Qi and Essence is affected.  This can manifest as poor blood circulation into the immediate area which causes stagnation and pain.  The improper transmission of Qi can lead to urinary incontinence, fecal incontinence or prolapse.  Other visceral systems can be affected.  For example, low back and hip pain can be triggered by lack of circulation in the pelvic floor which can lead to cervicalgia.  Improper flow of blood and Qi can disrupt the nerves that innervate and ‘feed’ cellular nutrition to the organs.  In Traditional Chinese Medicine, each organ is related to an emotion.  For example, the Liver is associated with anger, the Kidneys with the will or fear.  When these organs are deprived of the nutrients necessary  to function properly, the emotions associated with the organ can be affected as well.

Acupuncture is an effective, pain free and drug free system of medicine that can relieve pelvic floor pain, remedy conditions of incontinence and sexual dysfunction, and mediate the psycho-emotional components of pelvic floor pain. Acupuncture can ‘release’ the constriction of pelvic floor muscles, send cellular nutrition to the pudendal nerve, assist the body to naturally ‘raise up’ structures that are in a state of prolapase and send proper blood flow to the testes and penis for proper sexual function.

I could go on for pages about what acupuncture can do for pelvic floor conditions, but this is merely an introduction to a medical condition that is not generally discussed because of social stigma et al.  The take home message here is that this condition is more prevalent than you would think, and the persons having this condition need love, compassion, patience and understanding.  I treat many pelvic floor cases – both male and female.  I ensure that  I provide a serene, private and comfortable setting for my patients where they can feel safe and confident that they are receiving the most appropriate care for their special needs. But the most important piece of treating pelvic floor patients is this: I treat my patients from my heart and with all good intentions. Every patient is special and treated as such. Compassion, empathy and sometimes a hand to hold onto for a few minutes can do much for a patient.

If you suffer from pelvic floor pain, email or telephone me.  I promise you I will do all I can to get you back to living life to its fullest.  I will partner you with other highly skilled pelvic floor specialists and together we will be your team – working together to get you back to Wellville.

Zhongguo Zhen Jiu. 2016 Dec 12;36(12):1327-1330. doi: 10.13703/j.0255-2930.2016.12.028.[Analysis of ancient literature on baliao points for pelvic floor diseases]

Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2016 Aug;24:162-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2016.03.006. Epub 2016 Mar 30.  Systemic acupuncture in patients with faecal incontinence.

Franco JT1Agulhon AM2Viani FC3Viebig RG4.Zhongguo Zhen Jiu. 2014 Sep;34(9):869-72.[Efficacy of spastic pelvic floor syndrome treated with electroacupuncture at Baliao (BL 31, BL 32, BL 33 and BL 34)].

Did you know????  The first National Woman’s Day was observed in the United States on 28 February in 1909.  The Socialist Party of America designated this day in honour of the 1908 garment workers’ strike in New York, where women protested against working conditions. (information courtesy of the United Nations). 

Have a look at the featured image for this month’s blog.  This photo was taken when I was 44 years of age…this was the day I came in 2nd at the National Muay Thai Kickboxing Tournament in Virginia.  115 weight class and I was fighting 20 year olds.  I was fierce; it’s in my genes (funny enough, today I was beating a heavy bag with those same shorts on).   I come from a family of very strong women.  One of my aunts was this country’s first female labor representative; my mother was the first western woman to be published for her Chinese watercolor paintings and at 93 years of age, she still has more talent in her pinkie nail than a room filled with those considered to be gifted.   I was taught by my mother from the time I could understand English that I could do and be whatever I wanted to be; all I had to do was to put my mind to it.   I was never told I couldn’t achieve anything in this life because I was female; ‘female’ wasn’t in the vocabulary of can or cannot…my mother still tells me to this day that I can do anything I set my mind to do – and it’s true.  Courage, intelligence, leadership and prowess all flow freely through my veins.  Rooms shake when I open and enter through their doors…the world is mine to explore and conquer…and I don’t need anyone to hold my hand…call me ‘Mame’…

Not every woman was brought up like I was.  Not every lady out there has a tremendously strong personality or ‘go getter’ personality.  We all have our own individual strengths, talents and goals…great or small.  This is what makes us all unique and special.  Yes, women are unique creatures that have the ability to bear children; and because of this physical gift, we have very different health issues than men.  Sadly, many of us are the caretakers in our families and often times, we neglect our health and basic needs for the sake of others.  Very often, we forget to exercise, eat right, do something nice for ourselves and put off an annual examination and exercise preventative medicine to keep ourselves at our very best.  So in honour of all the great ladies out there….

I declare March to be ME MONTH!  I challenge each and every one of you ladies out there to declare the month of March your own ME MONTH!  Ladies, this month, do 1 thing every day for yourself.  Start with your health first and foremost.  Schedule your annual physical and have your routine bloodwork done.  At the same time, make sure you have your yearly gynecological examination and mammogram.  Plan time with your friends to see one another and have lots of laughs; laughter can sometimes be the best medicine.   If you are experiencing migraines, symptoms of menopause, aches, pains or weight gain, schedule an appointment to see me and together, we will achieve your health goals.  Ladies…you can’t ‘stay in the game’  of life if you can’t PLAY the game.  So, this month, get with the program of YOU.  You deserve to be kind and generous to yourself.

What am I planning to do this month?  Well for starters, I’m back on the Weight Watchers wagon, I’m hitting the heavy bags at the gym 2 more days per week, and as soon as the weather gets a bit warmer, I’ll be back on that skateboard!  Ahhh, the skateboard….my next sport to conquer!  And don’t even think I’ll forget to wear my lipstick 🙂

I am delighted to announce that I am now an authorized medical practitioner with the Veterans’ Administration to provide services to our men and women who are in the Armed Forces.  These services are free for veterans and the process to obtain free treatment is easy:

  • Schedule an appointment with your primary healthcare physician at the VA.  Tell your doctor you would like acupuncture for your condition and give him/her my name.
  • The MD will contact my office with an authorization code and number of treatments allowed.
  • You email or telephone my office to schedule an appointment. It’s that simple!

Many of you suffer from chronic pain, PTSD, phantom pain from amputations, depression/anxiety, addiction to pain killers.  I can help you with these conditions.  You dedicated your life so I can live mine in freedom and safety.  Now it’s YOUR time to be served.  If you have any questions, just call or email my office at 917.701.7582.  info@kelleymondesire.com    www.kelleymondesire.com

This Thanksgiving, let us all be thankful for our men and women in the Armed Forces.

 

Low Level Laser Therapy (sometimes referred to as LLLT or Cold Laser) has been utilized by the medical establishment since 1967. LLLT is a noninvasive, pain free, safe and highly effective method of helping a woman attain a pregnancy. The combination of acupuncture, herbal formulas and LLLT can help a woman attain a pregnancy naturally and can be a very important adjunctive therapy when western therapies (IVF) are being used for conception.

So, how does it work? Every cell in the body contains a mitochondria (you might remember the ‘Mighty Mitochondria’ or ‘powerhouse of the cell’ from your biology class). The mitochondria of the cells produce ATP (cellular energy). Women are born with a finite number of eggs.  As we age, so do our eggs; their quality decreases over time.  Hence, an 18 year old female’s eggs are more energized than a 40 year old woman’s eggs. As a woman ages, the mitochondria in the cells cannot produce the same amount of ATP. ATP is important in fertility because this is what determines the quality of the egg, follicle stimulation, division rate and implantation success of embryos. In short, it’s not so much the age of the woman, but the energy of the cell that determines a viable pregnancy. The more energized the cell, the more oxygenized it is. Oxygen is ‘key’ to increased blood cell production, circulation, hormonal balance, collagen production and the body’s ability to function most efficiently. Because of its ability to stimulate the energy of cells, LLLT is also used for scar tissue reduction and inflammatory conditions of a woman’s reproductive system (two factors that can prevent a woman’s chances of conception).

I have been using LLLT at my clinic for years to help my patients achieve a viable pregnancy. Cold Laser Therapy can help you on your road to a successful pregnancy. Allow me to help you become a mother. Please telephone or email the clinic to schedule a consultation.

References:

LASERmed97;p.138, no112 “Can HeNe Laser Improve Fertility?”, Cohen et al at the Bar-Ilan University, Israel.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3944482, “Personal Overview of the Application of LLLT in Severly Infertile Japanese Females”, Toshio Ohshiro, MD PhD

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2933784/ “Effect of Pulsing in Low-Level Light Therapy”, 1,2,3 Sulbha K. Sharma, MSc,1 Divya Balachandran Kurup, MD,1 Luis De Taboada, MSEE,4 James D. Carroll,5 and Michael R. Hamblin, PhD1,2,5,6,*

Sign up today for a free ticket to this week-long online summit.  Experts worldwide will be speaking on the challenges facing the breast cancer patient and survivor.  Questions will be welcomed and answered.  “The Summit is a project developed by one therapist, Denise Stewart, who has a life long passion for improving quality of life for breast cancer survivors. I found my like minded “tribe” of breast cancer health professionals online and was inspired with our work individually and collectively. Borrowing the online Health Summit format allows us to share this inspiration to breast cancer survivors. Our current health resources make it very difficult for many people after breast cancer to receive timely, up to date information and advice about new and difficult or uncomfortable experiences (often side effects) after breast cancer. The timing for annoying or painful symptoms after breast cancer diagnosis varies, they can occur during and well after the cancer treatment program.  In both instances, it may be hard to find either the energy or the right person to deal with these very complex symptoms.  The Breast Cancer Rehabilitation & Wellness Summit will help people know more about services available and how to find the right help to manage their own recovery and wellness issues since breast cancer better.” – direct from Denise Stewart, founder.

Here is the link:  https://www.breastcancer-rehabandwellness.com/summit-deeper-dive

It’s free…pass it on to anyone you know who is either a patient or a survivor.  It costs nothing to make a huge difference in another person’s life.  Take the 2 minutes to share and sign up and participate in this sensational summit!

 

 

I’ve had 25 year olds crash on me during a boxing session many times over this year.  They complain they’re ‘out of shape’.  I tell them ‘just wait ’til you get to be my age….get up!  I’m old enough to be your mother!’  That’s when they ask me how old I actually am and what I eat for breakfast…No folks, I don’t eat nails for breakfast.  Typically, I eat fresh oatmeal (overnight cold or cooked) with fresh fruit, or a dollop of greek yogurt over fresh fruit. A hard boiled egg with a slice of toast and fruit is nice on a weekend when there’s more time.   If you’re over 50 years of age and want to elevate yourself to super hero status, read on….

Contrary to some beliefs, breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  It literally means ‘break fast’, because way back in the olden times, there was a gap from the last meal of the day to the next day’s first by approximately 12 hours.  Breakfast literally meant to ‘break the fast’ from the prior evening.  The American Heart Association has concluded that people who ‘eat breakfast daily are less likely to have high cholesterol and blood pressure, and people who skip breakfast — about 20 percent to 30 percent of U.S. adults — are more likely to be obese, have inadequate nutrition, show evidence of impaired glucose metabolism or be diagnosed with diabetes.’  This means a HEALTHY BREAKFAST!!  http://newsroom.heart.org/news/meal-planning-timing-may-impact-heart-health  But eating a healthy breakfast doesn’t give you a ‘free ticket’ to eat poorly for the remainder of the day.  Here are a few tips to help you be fitter, faster, live longer and healthier:

Eat your larger meals earlier in the day:  this allows your body to metabolize and use those calories throughout the day.  This also allows your body to process glucose more effectively and efficiently.

Don’t eat during late night/overnight hours:  unless you are working the overnight shift, you should be resting and sleeping, not eating during the late evening hours.

Schedule your meal times:  this gives your body a routine for processing nutrients.  This helps your digestive system and overall metabolism.  At the end of the day, your waistline will thank you for it.  If you have difficulty wrapping your head around the concept, give this some thought:  babies and children  are fed at certain times of the day and only given healthy snacks intermittently (we only hope!).  There is something to be said for this school of thought.

Portion control:  you are what you eat.  Recently, I travelled to the great state of Texas.  I was appalled at the breakfast menus at any given restaurant….3 eggs with 3 types of cheese – fried, ham, bacon and sausage and your choice of fries or home fries…oh yes, the buttermilk biscuits – all on one plate.  Can we say obesity, cholesterol, metabolic syndrome, and heart disease?  Many Texans are ‘big’….now I know why.

Last but not least….MOVE AND MAKE MUSCLES!!!  For my fellow 50+ fans out there, read this:  as we age, men lose bioavailable levels of testosterone and women lose estrogen.  This affects muscle mass.  Muscle mass burns more calories than fat, so the less muscle mass you have, the more fat your body will accumulate.  I’ve seen many a person over 50 complain that they eat like birds, do cardio until they drop, but cannot seem to lose that extra 2 inches around their waist.  Belly fat runs deep and can cause insulin resistance, inflammation (which can affect the joints), and cause your cholesterol to leap to new heights.  WEIGHT TRAINING twice weekly in addition to cardiovascular exercise thrice weekly can help you build muscle mass and thereby burn more fat.

So, there you have it.  All you need to get yourself fit and fabulous in no time.  I’m wearing the same size dress I wore 15 years ago and in the same ‘walking around weight’. Obviously at 55, I’m slower than I was at 40, but there’s no grass growing under my feet and I can still hold my own at any gym.  It’s all about lifestyle, folks.  Life is short….don’t watch it go by from the sidelines.  Get back in the game.  Remember, Winners don’t quit.  Quitters don’t win.  Losers never try.  See you at the gym or I’ll just see you out there!

 

 

The best sleep position during pregnancy is to sleep on your left side with your knees bent and a pillow between your legs. Sleeping on your left side prevent the liver from applying pressure on the uterus and promote blood circulation to the uterus and the fetus. Increased blood circulation can help alleviate low back pain. Sleeping on the left side can improve the body’s lymphatic system (located predominantly on the left side of the body) which carries infection fighting white blood cells throughout your body and helps with detoxification.[1]

Some common sleep problems that occur during pregnancy include the following:

Insomniaphysical discomfort and stress are common causes during pregnancy. Avoid drug therapy as this can harm a developing fetus. Meditation and herbal tea can help relax both the muscles and the mind; and don’t forget to turn off all electronic communications devices one hour prior to bedtime to calm the mind. Regularly scheduled acupuncture treatments can help with overall pain and stress relief.

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) – this can present as a twitching or tingling of the legs that occurs in the evening or during the night which can disturb sleep. Stretching the legs can temporarily relieve these symptoms.   Prenatal vitamins that include folate and iron supplements can help reduce these symptoms. Gently massaging your legs just prior to bed time can also help alleviate RLS.

 Sleep apnea – sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which breathing is repeatedly interrupted during sleep. If you are experiencing sleep apnea, schedule a consultation with your md.

Nocturnal gastroesophageal reflux (nighttime GERD or heartburn) is a common experience during pregnancy. Avoid spicy and acidic foods to help minimize nocturnal GERD. “grazing” or ingesting small meals frequently during the day rather than eating three large meals daily can help cut down on GERD. Consult with your md regarding any over the counter antacids.[2]

Frequent nighttime urination – as the fetus grows larger, it puts pressure on the urinary bladder. This is a common in all pregnancies. Drink water continuously during the daytime hours, then cut back 1 or 2 hours prior to bedtime. Keep in mind that this is a temporary inconvenience.[3]

[1] Sleeping Positions During Pregnancy – American Pregnancy Association

americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/sleeping-positions-during-pregnancy/[2] https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-topics/pregnancy-and-sleep/page/1/4

[3] http://www.fitpregnancy.com/pregnancy/pregnancy-health/sleep-guide-pregnancy-challenges-and-solutions