NourishDoc: Hello, everyone, and I hope everyone is staying safe. We will discuss how functional nutrition and Acupuncture can unite and help women, specifically those with hormonal imbalances. We have Leah, a licensed acupuncturist and a functional nutrition coach in our studio today. Welcome.
Acupuncturist Leah: Thank you. I’m happy to be here.
What Are Hormones?
NourishDoc: Yes. So let’s start with understanding first what exactly happens; you know we talk about hormonal imbalance, oh my god, I’m going cuckoo, all those things you’re in a joking way, but what exactly happens in the medical point of view when the hormones are going out of balance?
Acupuncturist Leah: Yeah. Well, there’s a lot to hormones in general. When we think of hormones, we often only think of women and only believe of periods and menopause, but there’s much more to it. Hormones are the chemical messengers in your body. They tell several organs, tissues, and even individual cells what to do, when to do it, and for how long; if those messages get miscommunicated or if they get blocked in any way, then the organs and tissues in the cells are not being told to function as they should. So a hormone imbalance really can affect any part of the body. So it’s not just limited to what goes on later in life for women or throughout our monthly cycle.
NourishDoc: Yeah. So it’s sort of like, think of it like a UPS truck. They have to deliver the packages to different places, and if there’s a roadblock, in this case, it is effortless. The UPS truck is the box is not going to be delivered. Yes, you’re not going to have but what you want to have, so the same thing what you’re saying is hormones are messengers; they need to go from point A to point B in our body; if that doesn’t happen, that part of the things gets kind of goes out of the act, right?
Acupuncturist Leah: Yes. Absolutely. That’s a great analogy.
How Hormones Affect Your Health
NourishDoc: Yeah. So which hormone imbalance, which particular Hormone do you want to talk about? There are over fifty hormones in our body, right? So is there a particular one that is your favorite that you want to talk about?
Acupuncturist Leah: What is my favorite Hormone? I have that question too. I think you know that cortisol is really big and how it can affect all other hormones. So I do that with Acupuncture, especially its effect on the chronic stress response. It’s the ability to reduce cortisol which can shut down some of the other hormones and some of the other functions because it’s focused on the body’s survival. So I guess cortisol is my least favorite and favorite because it could do a lot of damage and cause many problems if there’s too much of it. But it’s effortless to focus on Acupuncture and nutrition and lifestyle to help reduce it and then get that back in balance, which in turn helps get a lot of the other hormones back into balance.
NourishDoc: Sure, and the cortisol is the one that’s a stress one, right? So if it’s too much, then we are going kind of crazy, and if it’s too little, then that’s we are kind of entirely that it in a simple way, correct?
Acupuncturist Leah: Yeah. Just to give some perspective, so when your body is stressed and I’m sure a lot of other practitioners you’ve had or have touched on this is that, its focus on survival, and so it’s going to shut down the things that are not necessarily in that particular moment. So it’s going to shut down digestion, it’s going to down reproduction, and this is big for women, mainly because it’s shutting down the blood to the reproductive organs, hampering the effect of the ovaries, which of course, regulates our cycle. So it can do much damage when there’s too much of it.
How Acupuncture Helps Balance Hormones
NourishDoc: I see. Alright, so let’s just now come to the acupuncture and nutrition parts. So you want to go one by one or do it together?
Acupuncturist Leah: Let’s see how it goes. Yeah, so you want to know how they can affect Hormone Balance overall. Well, Yeah, I mean hormones. Overall they require particular nutrients, and we must get adequate nutrition, which can be through food. Many people are not eating enough essential nutrients, so I think supplements come into play. So we got to make sure that that is really on point to support the body’s functions. Then we have to keep the other things, like your detoxification, making sure that people are sleeping enough. Acupuncture helps to regulate a lot of those things. Probably, you know, I think it touched on it a little bit, but one of the things that Acupuncture does well is it helps to induce deep relaxation. So the parasympathetic response is what it’s called, so it takes the body out of fight or flight. When people get regular treatments, they spend less time in fight or flight and more in that rest and digest mode. So the natural function of digestion, detoxification, the blood flow gets returned to all the critical areas, which helps the reproductive organs. So Acupuncture like that’s where it shines. You know from another perspective to any stress on the body, whether it’s from our minds, external, or even if it’s something such as pain or an injury that never healed. Like that’s still going to trigger some level of the stress response. Of course, you know there’s so much research about Acupuncture and pain, specifically back pain; there’s a ton of research on that. So getting someone out of pain can be enough to help regulate the hormones. So it works in a lot of different ways to help.
NourishDoc: I utterly second that, in fact, yesterday, I got an acupuncture session done because I was stressed out because it was acting up with me, and you know, and then I literally when I’m stressed out, and I directly don’t do anything else, I go to Acupuncture and get an acupuncture session done and then next day, I’m all here. Alright, So let’s just come to the nutrition part. What kind of nutrients do you talk to us about when we’re eating, you know, don’t come as part of our food? What do you think is missing when people have a hormonal imbalance?
How long does it take for Acupuncture to balance hormones?
For hormonal issues relating to women’s health, including fertility, menstrual migraines, and period pain, it’s recommended to attend acupuncture sessions weekly for three to four months at a minimum before determining whether it has the intended effect.
Supplements For Hormonal Balance
Acupuncturist Leah: Oh gosh, there can be various things. So you know when someone’s chronically stressed, it’s straightforward to deplete things like the B vitamins like magnesium vitamin C, so it’s essential to replenish those, vitamin D, Deficiency is rampant, you know, it’s one that our body can make on its own if we get out in the sun enough. Still, we’re not outdoors enough or we’re not getting that total sunlight exposure. So I think vitamin D is essential to supplement and some of the other things; I am a big proponent of supplements; I wish I could eat in a way that got me everything I need. But I know it’s not possible for me, and if it were, it would be a full-time job for me, and I’ve got other things to do. So I am a big proponent of supplementation, so I’m looking at vitamins like vitamin C, D, B, and magnesium. I’m a big proponent of micronutrient testing to get an accurate, clear picture of what your body needs the most.
Tests For Hormonal Imbalance
NourishDoc: So what kind of testing would it be like? What type of test is the question?
Acupuncturist Leah: So they have micronutrient panels, which will measure your levels of all vitamins and minerals in the body, and it’s a blood test.
NourishDoc: It’s a blood test. So the cause I mean they sort of like cortisol, I mean, now we’re talking about precisely, and the cortisol symptoms would be stress would be the symptom for cortisol imbalance or anything else like sleeplessness? What else?
Acupuncturist Leah: Yeah. I think, probably, the one that people describe the most is the feeling of being wired but tired. So it’s like you’re worn out, but you lay down and try to sleep, and it, it’s just it’s not happening. That would be a big one, and it’s just an edginess is a big one too easy to anger, irritability, those are probably the most common you know even if those things aren’t present, your cortisol can still be high, and you can look at things like is your digestion terrible, and this is one thing that I think is interesting that I ask people is, is your digestion good on the weekends or is it bad all the time? Because a lot of times, it shuts down during the week as we are stressed because we’re at work, but then on the weekends, bowel movements are no problem. So I think that excellent digestion can also be a good indicator.
NourishDoc: Sure, these are the symptoms that you describe; if any one of the people listening, you have this, then that means you are stressed out, and you need Leah to help you with that.
Acupuncturist Leah: Yeah, and any acupuncturist, and you know the more people are getting Acupuncture, the better, the more steady stay calm people that we have out there. I think the better it is for everyone.
NourishDoc: Alright. So we talk about supplements, we spoke about Acupuncture, which you know, I’m like hundred comes up when I’m here and so let’s talk about any particular food groups that, as a nutrition coach that you recommend, we should load up on?
Foods For Hormonal Balance
Acupuncturist Leah: Yeah, fresh fruits and vegetables always 100%, eating a wide variety of colors in your diet is beneficial, you know for women in particular if you have estrogen dominance or you know, and it’s good for everyone really to help support detoxification and foods such as your cruciferous veggies are going to be suitable for that, so your broccoli, Brussels sprouts just dark leafy greens and you know from a Chinese medicine perspective those support the liver too, which would you know in east and West, we’re supporting detoxification, so foods that are deep green color and I’m a big fan of starting the day with lemon water. It’s beneficial, and that helps with detoxification, digestion all kinds of good things.
NourishDoc: Sure. So I’m wondering if you can share an acupressure point that people can do at home if a stress level is a little bit out of control.
Acupressure points for hormone balance
Acupuncturist Leah: Yeah, and then it’s good that these points are on the head so you can see them. But yeah, right between the eyebrows, this is a point; it’s called Yin Tong, and that’s good for calming and right on the top of the head. So if you’re going straight back from that midline and can find it, you go straight back from the midline and straight up from the tip of the ears. You find that point here, and you can, you know, give it a little press, you can do steady, or you can give it a little bit of a motion, whatever feels most comfortable for you, so do that those two can be used quite nicely to help with focus and help with calming.
NourishDoc: Okay. I think this helps. Anything else you’d like to add up?
Acupuncturist Leah: No. I’m so happy that we got to talk about this, and as I said, the more people get Acupuncture, the better for everyone around you; not only does it benefit you, but your calm and steady state are charming for the rest of the people around you as well.
NourishDoc: Absolutely yes, for sure. Thank you so much, Leah, for being with us and yes, thank you to everyone who’s watching right now. If you have any questions, you can put them in the comment window. We are happy to take questions. If you don’t have any questions, you can also send us later on; we are open here literally twenty-four by seven, and we bring educational sessions to you every single day either on FB live or on Insta; check us out at both places and let us know your feedback and last comments from you Leah anything?
Acupuncturist Leah: Thank you so much for what you do. You put a lot of work into this, so we appreciate it.
NourishDoc: Yes, with your help, with all of your help. Thank you, bye-bye.