C-Section Recovery, Practice Tai Chi: Natural Qi Fall Newsletter

Natural Qi Newsletter
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Hello Friends,
Autumn is here with beautiful leaves and cool weather! This season’s newsletter contains articles that will help you learn more about supporting healthy recovery from cesarean deliveries, and about the ancient art of Tai Chi. There’s also a tasty recipe for vegetarian chili.

…and don’t forget to check out Cooper’s Tip on recycling old cell phones!

As always, please contact me if you have any questions. I look forward to speaking with you or seeing you at your next appointment!

–Melani

C-Section Recovery and Acupuncture

As many of you know, I recently gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Violet. Violet’s introduction into our lives has been wonderful, and we are delighted to welcome her into our family.

In addition to the blessing of her presence, one of the great gifts Violet was able to give me was a first-hand experience of pregnancy and childbirth. I have been treating patients for women’s health and reproductive matters for many years. My experience with Violet has given me an even deeper understanding of my patients as they navigate pregnancy and birth.

While I frequently encourage patients to pursue vaginal childbirth, there are circumstances where the best option for delivery may be a cesarean. In fact, though I had planned to do a vaginal delivery with Violet, I ended up having to have an emergency c-section myself! As someone who recently recovered from cesarean surgery, I’d like to offer some insight into how acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine can support mothers who have undergone a cesarean procedure.

It is important for women who have had cesareans to treat themselves gently. A cesarean is major abdominal surgery, and mothers who have undergone this procedure need to recover from the experiences of both childbirth and surgery.

Labor and childbirth require a tremendous expenditure of energy and resources. Just after childbirth, a woman recuperates during the acute post-partum period of 6 to 8 weeks. It is normal for the entire post-partum time period to last up to 1 year, especially for nursing mothers. During these weeks and months, she may experience energy imbalances resulting in aches, numbness, mood swings, depression and fatigue.

Exhaustion, pain, and hormonal imbalances can be even more acute for a mother who has had a c-section. During vaginal delivery, the actual delivery process triggers a whole set of hormonal changes in the mother’s body. These changes signal to the body that delivery has taken place, and the mother is now post-partum. For a cesarean mother, however, her body may not regulate hormonal balances as easily. Post-partum depression can even result. Acupuncture and herbal remedies can assist these mothers in restoring post-partum balance.

Acupuncture can also help the body recover from the actual surgery. Acupuncture needling increases blood flow to the operative area. Increased blood flow brings nutrients and oxygen to the incision area to support quicker healing and to minimize scarring and keloids. Acupuncture will also strengthen the mother’s immune system during this stressful time.

Post-partum acupuncture can benefit any mother. Treatment can help the mother feel stronger post-childbirth by relaxing the body and releasing endorphins. Endorphins help the new mother manage pain, and feel more comfortable and positive as she recovers from childbirth. Acupuncture and herbs can also increase energy and enhance a mother’s sense of well-being. Talking to an acupuncturist familiar with post-partum issues can also provide you with a deeper understanding of the progress of your recovery.

If you would like to learn more about post-partum treatments, please check out my website or feel free to call me. I am always happy to discuss your health and well-being!

Tai Chi for Better Health

In the last decade, New Yorkers have been introduced to many beneficial Eastern health practices. One of the most well known of these practices is the Chinese Martial Art of Tai Chi. I, myself, know the incredible benefits of Tai Chi, and have found it to be a great way to exercise, stretch, de-stress, and experience better health.

Tai Chi is a simple routine of flowing physical movements through a series of body postures. As you move through the routine, you engage in deep abdominal breathing that coordinates with the movement sequence.

One of the great things about Tai Chi is that anyone can do it. The gentle, low impact routines are suitable for all age ranges and fitness levels. Tai Chi is also inexpensive. The only equipment you need to practice Tai Chi is loose-fitting clothing, and flat-soled shoes so you feel grounded while you exercise!

There are many potential benefits to practicing Tai Chi. The Mayo Clinic endorses Tai Chi as an effective method of stress management. In addition to stress management, Tai Chi has been shown to:

Improve concentration & mental clarity

Support cardiovascular health & regulate blood pressure

Increase balance and flexibility & coordination

Reduce anxiety and depression

Improve sleep

Slow bone loss

Relieve chronic pain

Increase energy and stamina

By encouraging the body to circulate breath, blood, lymph and energy, Tai Chi is an excellent pathway to improved longevity and health.

If you are interested in practicing Tai Chi, I recommend finding a good teacher that you connect with, such as those at the Society for Nanlaoshu at 22 E 21st St and Broadway (212-353-2585). If you are unable to attend a class, various instructional videos are available online. However you choose to approach Tai Chi, I am confident that this practice can be enormously beneficial for all of my clients.

If you are interested in finding out more about general wellness and other practices that can support your health, visit my website at www.naturalqi.com. And, of course, you can always contact me to schedule an acupuncture appointment to support optimal health and well-being.

Cooper Tip

I’ve noticed a disturbing trend around New York City–people tossing out their old cell phones!

They must not know that you can recycle your old cell phones instead of throwing them away!

Throwing away a cell phone can do serious damage to the environment. Cell phones contain lead, arsenic, mercury and other toxic metals that can leech into groundwater and soil and pollute our environment.

By recycling old phones, you can help the environment and raise money for environmental groups!

All parts of a phone can be recycled including chargers, batteries, and the phone itself. “Broken” phones can be disassembled so working parts can be salvaged. Then unusable parts can be disposed of by EPA-certified groups that dispose of these materials in a responsible way.

If you want to learn more about recycling old cell phones, go to RecycleMyCellPhone.org

Hearty Vegetarian Chili Recipe

This easy vegetarian chili can warm your belly on a cool fall day! Add ground turkey to the mix if you want more protein.

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions

1 cup chopped red bell peppers

2 tablespoons minced garlic

2 to 3 serrano peppers, stemmed, seeded, and minced, depending upon taste

1 medium zucchini, stem ends trimmed and cut into small dice

2 cups fresh corn kernels (about 3 ears)

1 1/2 pounds portobello mushrooms (about 5 large), stemmed, wiped clean and cubed

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

4 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped

3 cups cooked black beans, or canned beans, rinsed and drained

1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce

1 cup vegetable stock, or water

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

DIRECTIONS:
In a large, heavy pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add theonions, bell peppers, garlic, and serrano peppers, and cook, stirring,until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the zucchini, corn, and mushrooms, andcook, stirring, until soft and the vegetables give off their liquid andstart to brown around the edges, about 6 minutes. Add the chili powder,cumin, salt and cayenne, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30seconds. Add the tomatoes and stir well. Add the beans, tomato sauce,and vegetable stock, stir well, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat tomedium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes.
Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro. Adjust the seasoning, to taste.
Yields 6-8 servings. Prep & cooktime: approx. 1 hour.

Recipe found on www.foodnetwork.com, courtesy of Emeril Lagasse!

If you have questions, or would like to discuss anything you read here, please feel free to contact me. Take Care and Be Well!

Melani Bolyai
Natural Qi Acupuncture and Herbs

web: http://www.naturalqi.com
email: melani@naturalqi.com
phone: 917-533-2097

Fall 2009