|We are aware that it’s extra important for our WELLBEING as humans to remain socially CONNECTED as we are physically distanced.|
Especially as we are collectively experiencing the stress and anxiety of this extraordinary time.
We really are in this
Please join us for the following
Facebook Live Events:
March 23rd & 30th
FOR ALL THE PEOPLE
Calming postures & acupressure points
Registered Acupuncturist & Yoga Teacher
Balancing postures & acupressure points
to support fertility.
Registered Acupuncturist & Yoga Teacher
March 25th & April 1st
FOR ALL THE PEOPLE
Breathing & bringing presence & resilience into these times.
w/ Dr. Alda
Registered Doctor of TCM, Acupuncturist & Mindfulness Instructor
What you can do during home isolation to keep supporting your fertility.
Registered Acupuncturist & Fertility Specialist
IMMUNE BOOSTING FOODS
Learn what foods help to boost your immune system. Alicia will share an easy recipe that you can prepare at home.
Holistic Nutritional Consultant
Click on the Link Below to Access These Events
Categories > Mind Body Medicine
Happy Lunar New Year! Or ‘Chuc Mung Nam Moi!’ in Vietnamese…
It’s the year of the White Rat (or Mouse)
This industrious and resourceful little cutey is the first of the Lunar Zodiac signs and brings us to the beginning of a brand new 12-year cycle, setting the pace, framework and direction of the next 12 years.
The tiniest of all the 12 zodiac animals, our little rodent friend’s agility, quick-wittedness and smarts allowed it to win the Jade Emperor’s race to determine the zodiac’s order.
The story is that the little mouse cleverly hitched a ride on the ox to cross some river rapids before surreptitiously jumping over the ox’s head to cross the finish line first.
This year of the White Metal Rat is about cutting through ignorance and seeing clearly to overcome obstacles. It also initiates us into a new 60-year cycle, which marks the beginning of a new era. It’s said to be an auspicious time to start and progress new projects with great energy.
On the eve of the Lunar New Year, one of my family’s rituals has been to clean our house – our body extended – to invite the new year with freshness and clarity. We don’t ever want to do any sweeping on new year’s day, for fear of sweeping out all the good luck!
We also continue to make offerings in gratitude to our blood, land and spiritual ancestors, seeing that we are a continuation of all of their skill, practice, hard work, compassion and love. We practice seeing that without them, we would not have this opportunity to transform and continue beautifully into each day.
What are some of your new year’s rituals?
For more nutritional tidbits and recipes, follow us on Instagram @wholefamilyhlth for our Foodie Fridays Posts
Contact Us now to book your free 15-minute phone Q&A with one of our natural health experts.
Autumn is a transitional season. It is a time of harvest, a time to pull inward, to gather, fuel and store up for the winter. Nature’s energies contract inward from summer’s activities to prepare for winter’s hibernation. Death and decay fall to the ground to become nourishment for the Spring.
In Chinese Medicine, Autumn is associated with the Metal element. Just like precious metals, which are formed deep within the earth under extreme temperatures and pressures, our Metal element is about the refinement of the essence of our being deep within and under the pressures of life challenges.
Emotionally, it is associated with grief and sadness, which when expressed and properly resolved, strengthens us. However, when there is resistance to grief, and it becomes repressed, it can cause contraction – particularly in the lung and large intestine systems. A healthy Metal system fills and empties, allowing for space to receive what life has to offer next.
Autumn is a time to allow our leaves to drop, which in a way leaves us vulnerable to winter’s harsh cold. But this vulnerability ultimately strengthens us, as letting our leaves fall allows us to go deep into our roots through the winter. Deeply rooted, we are protected and here we can be still and rest. So we can conserve our energy that it may collect with potential and rise full force with Spring’s freshness to begin anew again.
Do you have some leaves to drop? Can we help you release some of the stagnation that has accumulated throughout the year?
We can help! Book a free 15-minute phone consult if you have any questions.
October is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month
1 in 4 experience pregnancy loss. Thousands of empty-armed parents grieve the loss of their child in pregnancy, at birth or in infancy per year in Canada.
They often grieve on their own, isolated in silence. Because the cultural & social infrastructure to support them is lost in the stigma of the death of their children. The stigma is rooted in our silence.
It wasn’t until I miscarried … twice … each time after trying to conceive for at least a few years.. words can’t describe the happiness & hope I felt with those + pregnancy tests! My love for baby grew each day & week & month along with my breasts, nausea & fatigue. It wasn’t until I lost both pregnancies in a row, that I learned that everyone I knew had either had a miscarriage or was close to someone who had had a miscarriage.
It wasn’t until I helped my dear friend birth her daughter still, and saw her daughter’s lovingly bathed and dressed still little body.. only for my friend to return home to an empty nursery with empty aching arms but heart full of love and nowhere physical to pour it into. Breasts full of milk & no body to nourish…
It wasn’t until I met my other dear friend on one of her first outings, months after she still-birthed her full term son. We went to her local coffee shop, only to be greeted by the young teenaged barista who had watched her belly grow to term, excitedly asking my friend where her baby was…
It wasn’t until these moments that I touched the immeasurability of this kind of grief. And my heart grows with understanding and love for all who ride these waves of grief & sadness & anger & love.. & more..
Is there a particular moment you remember that could help others to understand the depth of your experience? Maybe if we all feel it together – at least for a moment – we can help you to bear the weight of your heart’s sadness… so you don’t have to carry it all by yourself…
Please contact us if you or someone you know needs support with moving through the loss of still birth, infant loss, recurrent pregnancy loss or infertility.
What does Acupuncture do to help or improve Fertility?
Acupuncture improves fertility by increasing blood flow. Doppler studies show that stimulation of specific acupuncture points increases circulation in blood vessels.
Treatments also stimulate angiogenesis – which means that they actually encourage new blood vessels to grow.
Acupuncture also helps fertility by regulating inflammation, balancing hormones and decreasing stress.
Studies show that certain acupuncture points decrease stress hormones and block chronic stress neurological pathways.
Where do the needles go?
Are you considering acupuncture for fertility and wondering where the needles go when you receive the treatment?
The needles can be placed in the abdomen, chest, back, arms, legs, hands, feet, head or ears.
Needles are ultra-fine and hair-thin. Upon insertion, they feel like a mosquito bite at most.
Here are 3 most commonly used acupuncture points located on the leg, abdomen and head (Translation of point names and meanings from ‘Characters of Wisdom by Debra Kaatz):
1. ST36 Zusanli (To Walk in the Great Strength of Stillness)
This point is located just below the knee and is a storehouse for putting things into action, it gives us extra strength when things are not easy and strengthens vitality.
2. DU20 Baihui (The Meeting in Grand Unity)
This point is located on the top of the head and is where chaos can be restored to unity, bringing tranquillity and calm.
3. CV4 Guanyuan (Gateway of Origin)
This point is located on the lower abdomen and opens our inner fertile gardens; it is where the goodness and vitality is allowed in, opening our life to warmth and harmony.
Studies have shown that this point helps with pelvic pain, endometriosis, primary dysmenorrhea, depression and anxiety.
How often do I need to have acupuncture done to improve my fertility?
The effects of acupuncture treatments are cumulative and treatment plans differ depending on each case.
The frequency of acupuncture treatments varies from 1 to 3 times per week for 4 to 12 weeks, depending on the recommended protocol.
How many acupuncture sessions will it take to get pregnant? How long does it take?
The aim is a healthy pregnancy, so we want to create the healthiest embryo and uterine lining as possible. This means we need healthy egg, sperm and lining.
It takes about 4-6 weeks to effectively increase the blood flow of the lining.
It takes about 90-100 days for egg and sperm to ripen and mature in the body before they are released for conception. We know that if we optimize the environment that they develop in, we are supporting them to grow to their peak potential.
So ideally, we want to focus on this key 3-month preconception time-frame to optimize egg and sperm quality while also optimizing blood flow in the uterus. This minimum time frame gives you the best chance of success.
What kind of success rate does acupuncture for infertility have?
Success rates are dependent on so many factors, including age and the nature of the diagnosis.
Studies show that acupuncture support for IVF increases the chances of success by 15-30%.
How much does fertility acupuncture cost?
At Whole Family Health, an Initial Consult is 60-90 minutes long and costs $144. Follow-up treatments are 50-60 minutes long and cost $96 each.
Does Yoga Help Fertility?
Lately I have been coming across many people that are interested in the benefits that yoga may have for them on their fertility journey. From the direct experience of my personal yoga practice, I have noticed positive changes in my own stress levels and emotional well being. So, what are the benefits that a fertility focused yoga practice has you ask? Here are some interesting facts:
A 2015 study looked at the effect yoga had on anxiety and women going through fertility treatments. The researchers found that after taking a 6 week yoga program, anxiety scores of participants were significantly lower in the yoga group than in the control group.
This 2018 study found the full scope of yoga postures, breathing techniques, and meditation to be beneficial in stress management as couples went through assisted reproductive techniques. The same study found yoga was helpful to reduce pain and decrease anxiety and stress in couples going through IVF.
Yoga taps into the parasympathetic nervous system and our “rest and digest” functions. Throughout the yoga practice, the body is able to relax and this allows for a shift in the nervous system that increases circulation throughout the body which is so beneficial in all aspects of health.
Fertility focused yoga emphasizes a slower and more restorative practice that provides the space for the body and mind to connect on a more subtle level. It’s a beautiful combination of body, breath, and mind that will leave you with a deep sense of comfort!
I would love to see you on the mat!
For our upcoming 6-week YogaPuncture for Fertility series
Thursdays, Sept 19 – Oct 24
6:15 – 7:15pm
In my own clinical practice, as well as in my own life, I have had the honour to witness acupuncture’s positive effects on anxiety. Nothing beats the feeling of melting into a treatment table and allowing your body to relax under the effects of the needles. All of the whirling thoughts tend to slow down as you feel listened to, cared for and supported.
Anyone who has been in the vicinity of the life creating processes of IVF know that emotional support can be of huge benefit to the couple undergoing the procedure. For centuries, Traditional Chinese Medicine physicians have observed and recorded how excessive emotions and overthinking can contribute to the progression towards imbalance. What could cause more deeply felt emotions and excessive rumination than the suspense associated with expanding your family through IVF?
Indeed, previous studies have indicated that 25 percent of women are at risk of clinical distress following an IVF cycle. However, a clinical trial involving over 800 women, aged 18 – 42 and across 16 different IVF clinics, studied how anxiety associated with IVF responds to acupuncture treatment. The study, spanning from 2011 to 2015, showed that acupuncture during an IVF cycle significantly reduced the feeling of anxiety on the day of embryo transfer. (1)
Acupuncturists have a variety of treatment protocols that can help to calm the mind, balance the nervous system and relax the body. Spending time on the treatment table can cultivate your sense of calm and thus help to improve the ease and success of your cycle.
If you are experiencing anxiety associated with your IVF cycle, we can help you. At Whole Family Health, we combine the time tested truths of ancient medicine with cutting edge modern medical knowledge.
If you would like to schedule an appointment with one of our practitioners please give us a call to book in for a free Q & A.
1. Smith, Caroline A., et al. “The Effects of Acupuncture on the Secondary Outcomes of Anxiety and Quality of Life for Women Undergoing IVF: A Randomized Controlled Trial.” Acta Obstetricia Et Gynecologica Scandinavica, vol. 98, no. 4, 2019, pp. 460–469., doi:10.1111/ aogs.13528.
As is with most transitions – my move from Vancouver last fall was mixed. Although I was sad to leave our west coast community behind, I was excited to know that Edmonton held new adventures.
It was hard to tear myself away from my Vancouver work family at Acubalance Wellness Centre, an internationally leading integrated clinic. This is where I had nestled in, matured and grown as a practitioner for almost 12 years, mentored by skilful, inspiring and esteemed leaders in the field.
When I landed at Whole Family Health in Edmonton, I was grateful and fortunate to be welcomed by a lovely community of committed, heartful and motivated practitioners. Transplanting one’s life is always disorienting, yet I quickly felt at home with this genuine and disarming Whole Family Health crew.
My family and I originally made this move across the mountains, ultimately to be nearer to family. Little did I know that these open prairie skies would truly give way to some expanded horizons..
The time was ripe for change at Whole Family Health. Cecil, after having devoted many years of loving hard work to hatch and grow the beautiful clinical practice, was ready to step away from it and to pass it on. To my delight, Christina and I shared a readiness and enthusiasm to accede to the task.
I feel so blessed and thankful to be partnered with Christina, with her warmth, kindness, and dedication to our field, as well as her long time practising at Whole Family Health, since its beginnings. With our combined 20+ years of practice, Christina’s history and familiarity with the clinic, and my background from the distinguished Acubalance- we are excited to create something special and to continue to grow Whole Family Health into its next stage of amazingness!
It has been a perfect constellation of conditions that I should find myself in this auspicious position. I am deeply grateful to my mentors, some of the leading experts in the field, my patients and colleagues from Vancouver, from whom I have learned immeasurably- all of whom have afforded me the confidence to move forward with this endeavour.
Also deep gratitude to Cecil who is entrusting us with his baby – the living, breathing and growing clinic that he has grown from his heart. I feel so lucky and honoured for this opportunity to work and to co-create with the sweet and impressive Whole Family Team, and to extend my professional roots in Edmonton as my family and I settle into our new home here. We are charmed to be living in a wonderful community of down-to-earth folks, under this expansive and limitless sky of possibilities…
With love from Dr. Alda
To the amazing, wonderful, and dedicated patients of Whole Family Health:
This past couple of years has been quite the ride for me. I’m not going to lie, it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows; there were some trials and tribulations (I’ll spare you the gritty details). However, it was all worth it because it led me to this point in my career. I am proud to say that I am entering a partnership in taking over ownership of Whole Family Health! I feel so fortunate that I will be doing this alongside my esteemed colleague Dr. Alda Ngo.
As most of you know I have been at Whole Family Health since it opened in the winter of 2010. This is where I started my career and I am incredibly thankful to Cecil Horwitz, the founder, for taking a chance on a new acupuncturist fresh out of University and showing me what it takes to be a successful practitioner. He taught me the importance of constantly upgrading my skills and inspired me to become an accredited reproductive health specialist, by becoming a Fellow of the American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine (FABORM). I will always hold Cecil in high regard for his pioneering work in educating the public and medical community in Edmonton on the value of integrated medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine for reproductive health.
Dr Alda and I are looking forward to building on the strong foundation that Cecil has created and introducing some innovations of our own that will make the operations of the clinic easier for the practitioners and access of treatments easier for our patients.
Honestly, being a part of Whole Family Health’s future is a dream come true. I get to do what I love by continuing to treat patients and fulfilling my career goals of being a clinic owner- all at the same time!
I have to say that I love what I do, mostly because of my patients. You have honoured me by making me a part of your incredible life stories and health journeys. I look forward to continuing to be your healthcare provider and sharing in your journey to health and wellbeing.
I am truly excited to see where Dr Alda and I will be taking Whole Family Health in the future. Stay tuned, because we have so many great ideas and a shared vision about what this beautiful clinic can become.
To The Future!
HHP, R.Ac., FABORM, OBAAM
To my valued patients:
I want to thank all of you who have shared your stories, your personal lives, your hopes and your fears with me over the past eight years. It has been an incredible honour to be able to treat you and to get to know you. When I started eight years ago with just a few needles and some treatment rooms I had no idea what to expect. You have all taught me so much and the last eight years of running and practicing at Whole Family Health have been some of the most rewarding years of my life and career.
As you may know, I have been experiencing some personal challenges in the past few years and have decided that it is time step back from the clinic and take some time to recharge and rebalance myself. I will never let go of my licenses or credentials as I am a caregiver at heart. But it’s time for me to explore some other passions and dreams. I’ve been inspired by you, my patients, to embark on this new journey and I’m pleased to be leaving you in the capable hands of my dear friends and colleagues Alda and Christina, who are taking over the Whole Family Health practice.
When I started to think about passing along my practice, I wanted to be sure that my patients would have the very best of care. I could not think of two more capable, knowledgeable, caring and intelligent practitioners. It is much easier to leave, knowing that the practice will continue to thrive in their hands.