So you want to be a MAMA?
I've been a mom now since May 2004. Many of my patients have met my beautiful and radiant Angilynn. She's the apple of my eye and I take great pride in her. There's also Anais, my sparkling bundle of joy who is 20 months old. (That's just over a year and a half for you non-parents who hate it when people with kids give months for ages.)
I love being a mother and I wish for many others for the right reasons to become parents. As overpopulated as we are in this world, I still believe that for the ones who have more love to make this world a better place, you have the right to feel as fulfilled as my husband and I do.
Andrew and I planned our family and they came about the time we wanted them. I was 30 when Angilynn was born. I was 28 years old when I got married. The timing for us was RIGHT. I started working on my health at age 20 with the POWERS of Chinese medicine. This means that I started acupuncture at age 20 and I was devoutly on herbs for a minimum of 2 years to regulate my period; to regulate my life. You read it right, it took me 10 years to get my health PERFECT. Actually, 99% of that work was the first two years. Some of my YouTube videos and blog articles will reveal just a few of some personal changes that happened from 1994-1996 with the POWERS of acupuncture and Chinese herbs. I received acupuncture 2+ times a week and I was on 2-4 formulas a month, depending on my cycle and how stressed I was as a Chinese medical student.
I lost 48 pounds (I went from a size 8 to a size 2). My periods became PERFECT. My hives went away. I was no longer crying at the drop of a hat. My emotions were under control. (I was depressed and easily anxious.) My appetite became normal. (I was addicted to food - more like I had an abnormally disturbing relationship with food.) I stopped having chocolate and sweet cravings. (I was addicted to sugar.) I started having normal bowel movements daily. (I used to have 1-2 painful bowel movements a week.) My weak ankle since a bicycle accident at age 7 got stronger and I stopped spraining it every so often. I had a horrible immune system growing up given that I had an ear/nose/throat specialist for most of my childhood. I snored horribly and I grew up chronically congested, not being able to say my own name, Anna, without sounding like "Adda." My own father called me a horse every night at dinner because I did not have the ability to chew my food with my mouth closed. I was not able to breathe comfortably through my severely congested nose. There were other things that improved DRAMATICALLY, but I forgot many of them at this point (it has been 18 years since I became a patient).
It was a great deal of commitment to focus on my health for many years, but I did it because I was determined to be a healthy adult. Fortunately for me, those years of commitment to healing continues to pay dividends. When it came time to have healthy, happy babies, it was a non-issue. This is what I bring to the table as a Chinese medical practitioner who works personally with couples wanting to raise a family.
I started working with patients in 1999. When women came to me wanting to become mamas, I took whatever kind of patient who walked through my door. It didn't matter to me if they were trying to get pregnant naturally or with fertility doctors. I did that until 2007. Since then I've limited my practice to patients who want to get pregnant naturally, making few exceptions. As of March 2012, I've taken my last patient who wants to get pregnant without only Chinese medicine. I respect women who want to work with their fertility doctors, but my heart can't take it anymore. I'm not the right one for them and I would prefer referring women investing in thousands of dollars to work with a highly skilled acupuncturist who specializes in fertility and works closely with a fertility medical group. In my practice now, I'm dedicated only to women whose hearts, minds and souls can fully practice Chinese medicine in order to get pregnant and if somehow I can't help them get pregnant in the time realistically "promised," then I will responsibly recommend the next step.
I love babies. We're overpopulated on this planet, but I still love babies. What I love about babies is that they're cute and fun. They're also a whole lot of work. Which is why:
I love parents who want to responsibly have babies. I want a planet of healthy, happy babies. Every mama and papa that I work with, I get to know them in a very intimate way in my practice. I want to know what makes them tick. I want to know if their reason to receive Chinese medicine is for them to BECOME HEALTHY so that they can naturally CREATE A HEALTHY, HAPPY BABY.
I'm a purist by many standards when it comes to the practice of Chinese medicine. It's very easy to understand Chinese medicine if you're healthy and whole in body, mind, and spirit, you're going to get pregnant naturally. This goes for the man and the woman. Let's start with the spirit and the mind. If a person get angered easily, cries easily, gets emotional easily, finds themselves anxious easily, prone to mood swings, etc., it's probably likely that from a Chinese medical perspective, something is off with that person in one of the "5 phases" (organ systems), thus causing them to not have stable emotions. This is a key element that anyone trying to get pregnant and is having a difficult time to do so naturally on their own must understand. If this is you and you are constantly crying in the car or you get pissed off at some minute issue or you get startled easily or there's just some emotion that is predominant in your entire being other than CALMNESS, then we've got some work to do with both acupuncture and Chinese herbs to get you emotionally stable. This is one reason why IN MY PRACTICE I understand why a woman and her partner can't get pregnant naturally.
If the mind and spirit are not calm and relaxed most of the time and a woman is having a hard time conceiving, then the emotions are a good place for me to start.
It would be ideal to do BOTH acupuncture and Chinese herbs. The woman should be on herbs from at least 2 months into treatment. Sometimes I like to see what 5-10 treatments without herbs will do just to see how a woman will respond to my work with just acupuncture. Sometimes acupuncture is all it takes. 95% of the time, herbs will be needed for better effectiveness because "we need to treat the substance with substance." The substance in this case means herbs. Acupuncture treats the energetic field of the body. Acupuncture is NOT substance. In other words, I use acupuncture to affect the Qi, Blood, Yin, and Yang of a woman, but to BETTER affect the Blood, Yin and Yang of a woman, I can do it better with herbal formulas. (I am purposefully not explaining in full detail the concepts of Qi, Blood, Yin, and Yang in this article for simplicity sake.)
In most cases, women's emotional health is directly linked to our menstrual health. If a woman's menses are not PERFECT, I'm going to want to make it perfect with acupuncture, but mostly, with Chinese herbal formulas.
1. 28-32 day cycles
2. 3-5 day periods
3. NO premenstrual changes (no migraines, no back pain, no breast tenderness, no spotting, no cramping, no mood swings, no depression, no acne, no cravings, NOTHING)
4. bright red blood for 3-5 days ONLY (no brown, no dark red, no pink, no purple, no black)
5. NO clots
That's it. There should be a seamless stream of positive energy from the end of one cycle to the beginning of the next. This is my homework. This is what I expect of my work with every woman. This makes a very complicated situation into a very simple situation.
The woman to do exactly what I advise if they want exactly what their stated goals are in their initial paperwork.
90% of the time.
There are women who work too hard. Their commutes are too long. They're sitting too long. They're standing too long. Their responsibilities in life are too strong on the energy of their "kidneys." They're exerting too much energy into life. Life is literally sucking the kidney energy out of them. The kidney energy is vital to proper menstrual health (as well as the "spleen, liver and heart"), but in my practice, I need the energy of the kidneys as preserved as possible.
There are other reasons why there are "inexplicable infertility." I'm not God and I don't have complete control over a woman's health. In difficult situations, I wish that I could see the woman 3 times a week for a year and put her on raw herbal formulas (the ones that I used to take) and have her cook it 45 minutes-1.5 hours a day. It's work and a lot of financial investment, but it's worth it.
For a minimum of 80% of my practice of women who want to get pregnant naturally, 1-3 times a week of acupuncture plus the potent Chinese herbal formulas in capsule/powder form in my practice are good enough.
1. 6-12 cycles if there is no western medical diagnosis and the woman seems to have almost a regular cycle. Basically, her gynecologist thinks that she should be pregnant within a year if she were to try on her own.
2. 12-18 cycles if there is a western medical diagnosis such as PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome, endometriosis, fibroids, etc.).
3. 2-3 years if there is a history of long-term birth control use or fertility medications (IUI, IVF, etc.).
It sounds like a long time and a lot of commitment, doesn't it? Well, it is and I'm privileged to NOT specialize in fertility and still have 4-6 pregnant moms a year on average and have the freedom to pick and choose my patients who want to get pregnant. It's TREMENDOUS work to help a woman get pregnant whether I'm able to do it in 1 month or a couple of years. I put my heart and soul into this medicine and believe me, I put my heart and soul into every couple who wants to get pregnant and are willing to walk their journey with me. I'm not into helping EVERY couple get pregnant just because they want to have a baby. It's not about quantity in my practice. It's about quality. Babies are work. They're a ton of work just when they're happy, healthy and whole. As a parent and as a professional acupuncturist, I am focused on helping adults have strong, healthy and happy lives.
I accept couples who want to get healthy naturally, knowing that they will likely have a full-term, healthy and happy pregnancy.
For more information, contact Anna Dolopo under field experts.