Balance your hormones, Balance your life with Acupuncture:

By Jeanette Davison L.Ac T.C.M

With over 12 years of experience treating women with the practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture, I have concluded that many problems women face are rooted in hormone imbalances. In our fast-paced, time constricted, anxiety driven world we are not nourishing ourselves physically and mentally, which is reflected directly with how are body functions. Many are not sleeping well, waking up in the morning and drinking copious amount of coffee and decompressing at night with a few glasses of wine. Whether we are conscious of the constant state of stress we put on ourselves, it is crucial to allow your body to rest and balance. In Chinese Medicine when the Yin and Yang are in balance your body and hormones are as well.

Hormone imbalances are commonly linked to menstrual problems such as endometriosis, menopausal symptoms, painful and irregular menstruation.There are many other issues we face that can dissolve once the hormones are in balance. Insomnia, anxiety, depression, eczema and migraines can all be linked to hormone imbalances as well.

With lifestyle changes and higher levels of stress in our society among women, infertility has become more prevalent. Acupuncture is very help in the treatment of infertility. It increases blood flow to the uterus which increases ovarian follicles, reduces inflammation to aid in embryo implantation and regulates ovulation by normalizing the endocrine system. Acupuncture has an equilibrium effect on the reproductive hormones and a calming effect on the central nervous system. It is a highly effective and supportive treatment in combination with IVF. It can be a very emotional and stressful time for couples and acupuncture relaxes the body and the mind.

Many factors cause hormone imbalances in the body and normally it doesn’t happen overnight, Too much stress, not enough exercise, over exercising, a poor diet, bad air quality, not getting enough sleep and medication are some common lifestyle factors that affect our hormones.

Traditional Chinese Medicine and whole foods therapy can help prevent and treat illness in the body. By adding good quality whole foods into your diet the body naturally stops wanting foods that are not supporting it and when the body is in a state of health you start craving foods that are nourishing and healing. You don’t need to change what you are eating completely but having an active role and awareness of what you are eating can help your quality of life and balance your hormones. A licensed acupuncturist can help formulate a diet therapy that is conducive to your lifestyle and is specific for your body. TCM looks at the body as a whole system and you as an individual.

Acupuncture is a natural, safe and effective way to balance the hormones with virtually no side effects. When you go to see a qualified acupuncturist thin needles are inserted into specific points, acupuncture does not force the body , it redirects the energy and blood so that the body can heal itself. With a combination of Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture, and dietary changes the body can naturally return to a state of health and bringing balance back into the mind and body.

Naturopathic Medicine with Dr. Cheryl Cooper

The First Step to Healing is Rebuilding the Foundation for your Health.

An essential element to healing, Dr. Cooper works on rebuilding the foundation for your health. By ensuring proper function of the detoxification pathways, digestion, immune system and endocrine system your body is able to realign and heal more quickly and easily. Each of these essential elements, combined with lifestyle changes builds a stronger foundation for your health. Without a healthy foundation, your body is not be able to heal properly and will continuously slip back into its unhealthy patterns.

Step 1 – Detoxification and Lifestyle

Often when Dr. Cooper sees a new patient she will recommend a detox. The reason for this is because often when the superficial toxins are removed and the liver, kidneys and colon are functioning properly the body is able to realign and restore balance on it’s own. The toxins that build up in the body are often barriers for the body to heal effectively and will prevent proper healing.

In conjunction with a detox, Dr. Cooper provides guidance on the basic principles of better health – diet, sleep, movement, stress management, and breathing – to help the body rebalance while rebuilding the foundation for your health.

Step 2 – Nutrition and Digestion

Your body is all about biochemistry. Proper nutrition, digestion and absorption of nutrients are essential for your body to function. If your body isn’t getting the essential nutrients it needs to function or isn’t able to break down and absorb the nutrients then your body won’t function properly. Even if you are eating well, there are several factors that can block your body from being able to breakdown and absorb your nutrients effectively. For you to heal, it is imperative to make sure your digestion is functioning properly. Symptoms like gas, bloating, stomach pain, constipation, diarrhea, undigested food in your stool, mucousy stool, bad breath, heart burn and indigestion are all indicators of poor digestion and need to be addressed for your body to heal and function properly.

One factor that can directly impact digestive function is food sensitivities. Food sensitivities, unlike allergies, are insidious assaults on the digestive system that can lead to much bigger issues later on. Here’s a link to more information on food sensitivities:

Step 3 – Immune Function

Your immune system is a very good gauge for how healthy your body is overall. If you get sick often (more than 2X/year) or it takes more than 10 days to get over a cold or flu or your have lingering symptoms (like a cough or sinus infection) then your immune system needs support and your body could be stressed by other factors that need further investigation. There are lots of ways to naturally support immune function that will help your body to overcome the challenges it has in fighting infection and inflammation. There are many herbs and nutrients that work to support the immune system and will help the body to overcome infection. Other strategies to boost immune function are dry skin brushing and contract showers. Stress management and sleep are essential for improving immune function as these factors directly impact your immune system function.

Step 4 – Hormone Balancing

Hormones are special chemical messengers in the body that are created in the endocrine glands. These messengers control most major bodily functions, from simple basic needs like hunger to complex systems like reproduction, and even the emotions and mood. Understanding the major hormones and what they do will help patients take control of their health.

Hormones are created by glands, which are part of the endocrine system. The main hormone-producing glands are:

  • Hypothalamus: The hypothalamus is responsible for body temperature, hunger, moods and the release of hormones from other glands; and also controls thirst, sleep and sex drive.
  • Parathyroid: This gland controls the amount of calcium in the body.
  • Thymus: This gland plays a role in the function of the adaptive immune system and the maturity of the thymus, and produces T-cells.
  • Pancreas: This gland produces the insulin that helps control blood sugar levels.
  • Thyroid: The thyroid produces hormones associated with calorie burning and heart rate.
  • Adrenal: Adrenal glands produce the hormones that control sex drive and cortisol, the stress hormone.
  • Pituitary: Considered the "master control gland," the pituitary gland controls other glands and makes the hormones that trigger growth.
  • Pineal: Also called the thalamus, this gland produces serotonin derivatives of melatonin, which affects sleep.
  • Ovaries: Only in women, the ovaries secrete estrogen, testosterone and progesterone, the female sex hormones.
  • Testes: Only in men, the testes produce the male sex hormone, testosterone, and produce sperm.

The endocrine glands work together to create and manage the body's major hormones. Usually if one component of the endocrine system isn’t functioning it impacts all other areas of the system. A great example of this is when the thyroid isn’t functioning properly it affect so many other functions in the body including your moods, heart rate, skin, hair, digestion, reproductive hormones and energy levels.

Essentially, hormones a small, but, mighty chemicals in the body that control all major functions of the body. They are an essential component of our health and overall well-being and it is imperative to ensure they are balanced for your body to be able to heal.

More important than anything, Dr. Cooper cares about your health and wellbeing and is dedicated to working with you and your other health care providers to rebuild the foundation for your health and support you in your path to healing.

Osteopathy, Preconception and Pregnancy – preparing you for birth and beyond

Pregnancy is one of the most intense experiences that a human body can go through. And getting there isn’t always easy.

Women who have been having trouble getting pregnant, although they have shown no hormonal issues after testing, should consider osteopathy as a way to help their pelvis mobility.

Consensio’s Nathalie Trottier says osteopathy can help prepare the body for conception. “The perturbation of the function of the pelvis can cause problems in conception,” she says. “A woman’s bone structure could be off because of an accident or injury, for example.” And this could be causing blockages that are hindering conception.

Trottier recommends women who are having trouble conceiving receive one to three treatments before ovulation over a three-month period. Osteopaths see biomechanical blockages in the pelvis – including the sacrum and ilia, the bones that form the pelvis. “If a woman’s hormone levels are okay, maybe there’s something going on biomechanically,” says Trottier. “This can make a significant difference.”

Once a woman becomes pregnant, osteopaths are also able to provide treatment to ease posture and release pressure on joints. Some women suffer from severe pelvis issues during and following pregnancy. Osteopathy can relieve these conditions.

Even if you are pregnant and not having any of these issues, Trottier says osteopathy is a functional and practical way to prepare for childbirth as well.

Come and see the OMTs at Consensio and discover how osteopathy can help you!

Pain: Where did it come from? Where can it go?

Tension headaches, back pain, rib and thorax mobility, PTSD, joint pain, arthritis…. There are all kinds of pain! And so many people are suffering from it. “Pain is a very broad term,” says Nathalie Trottier. It can be acute or chronic, temporary or stabbing. Osteopathy takes a natural and holistic approach to pain treatment, she says.

“We must first evaluate what triggers the pain,” she says. When she firsts meets with a new patient, her main question is: Why is there pain? It could be caused by a number of factors – was there an accident or injury? Overuse or excessive strain? Trottier and other OMTs work on issues like mobility, function and scar tissue – not on the pain itself.

More specifically, Trottier says she works to release pain and restore the proper function of the body. The aim in osteopathy isn’t “no pain”. The aim is comfort and function – less pain and better living.

Other ways osteopathy can help with pain:

  • Help keep elderly patients active and loose.
  • Treat scar tissue that is hindering healing.
  • Post-injury: feel better, sleep better, stress less. Encourage healing after fractures.
  • Car accidents, whiplash and other ‘jolting’ injuries may leave you misaligned. Osteopathy can help!

Come and see the practitioners at Consensio to discover how they can help you live a better life!

Osteopathy and Children: Striving for life-long wellness

Children aren’t small adults. They’re growing fast and sometimes their system needs support. From birth through adulthood, osteopathy has a proven track record in improving the health of children.

It can begin with a newborn. Many mothers opt for mother and baby osteopathy as a way to ensure both are functioning well following the often-traumatic experiences of child birth. Osteopathy Manual Therapists (OMTs), like the ones at Consensio, can do a full examination of both mother and child and provide relief for a variety of concerns.

To increase better mobility in infants who many favouring one side of their body, for example, OMTs can work to improve better mobility. Babies who are having trouble latching on to the breast – and new mothers struggling with nursing – can also benefit from an osteopathic treatment. OMTs can help the two find a more comfortable positioning of both bodies for successful breastfeeding.

Children complaining of pain are often difficult to treat. OMTs have a unique way of discovering the root causes of these problems.

Skull shape abnormalities are a particular interest to Consensio’s Nathalie Trottier. Patients come from throughout Western Canada to be treated by her.

What it’s like to get treatment at Consensio

Patients here are often referred from physiotherapists, acupuncturists, naturopaths or massage therapists. Sometimes, though, they come recommended by a friend.

Either way, you may be wondering what it’s like to come to Consensio.

Your first appointment is about getting to know your Osteopathic Manual Therapist (OMT) and for her to get to know you. You’ll arrive at the clinic in Canmore and be taken into a treatment room that is relaxing and comforting. Your OMT will give you an orientation to osteopathy, evaluate your symptoms and problems, and work with you to draw up a plan of treatment.

You’ll stand up straight and she’ll pay attention to your body’s positioning. Then, you’ll lie down on a treatment table and she will do the same. All the while, your OMT will listen carefully to all you feel like sharing. You can be – and will be – heard. It’s nurturing and very present.

Following your assessment, your first treatment begins. Your OMT will discuss a plan of treatment with you, and you’ll have time to discuss and ask any questions you may have. You’ll likely go home feeling relaxed and calm.

When you return for your second appointment, the treatment begins immediately. After three to five treatments, you’ll have a good sense of whether it can help you.

For many people, osteopathy treatments become a part of their regular wellness and self-maintenance routine. Others find that once certain problems are ‘solved’, they don’t need to return. Either way, you’ll be on your way to living your life to the fullest!

Biography: Nathalie Trottier

Photo of Nathalie Trottier

Nathalie Trottier studied Physiotherapy at the University of Montreal (1987-90) and Osteopathy at the Collège d’Études Ostéopathiques de Montréal (1991-98). She presented an osteopathic thesis on the work and teachings of Dr. William G. Sutherland – a well-known researcher, teacher and practitioner. This work not only brought her to Europe and to the United States but also won her the Andrew Taylor Still Award for the most representative, philosophical and sociological research for osteopathic advancement.

Wanting to continue and promote research for complementary medicine, Nathalie completed a Master’s Degree at the University of Calgary in 2012. She studied the effectiveness of osteopathic manual treatment in the conservative management of infants with deformational plagiocephaly and congenital muscular torticollis.

Nathalie has worked in both Québec and Alberta exploring both alternative and conventional fields. Since 1990, Nathalie has been treating people – from newborns to elders – with the same passion as when she began.

Dedicated to the future of her science, Nathalie is committed to supervising student thesis work. In working with students, she has explored many research questions such as Plagiocephaly, pregnancy and labour, concussions, stress management and palpation. Many of these studies have won awards for their research projects. She is also involved in the development of her science as co-leader of the Specialized Interest Group of Osteopathy of INCAM.

After having worked in several different Osteopathic and Integrative Medicine clinics, she decided to open Consensio clinic in 2014 and build a collaborative environment.

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