Season 1, Episode 20
Endometriosis – It’s More Than Period Pain with Shannon Cohn
Just because it’s considered normal does not mean it is healthy!
Millions of women live in pain because their endometriosis remains undiagnosed. Often, doctors ignore symptoms of bloating, constipation, anxiety, headaches, and abdominal pain, assuming that it is just hormonal or nothing “serious”.. Officially, 1 in 9 women are diagnosed with endometriosis, but experts suspect that as many as 1 in 4 women suffer from this silent disruptor.
Today, I welcome filmmaker and activist Shannon Cohn to discuss how endometriosis is disrupting the lives of millions of women and how women can advocate for better care.
In this episode, Shannon shares how she suffered for years before her diagnosis and how her experience inspired her film Endo What?, which laid the foundation of education for women to understand this disease. Her soon-to-be-released film, Below the Belt, is a call to action for healthcare providers and politicians to ensure women’s symptoms are not ignored. We have a Vancouver screening of her Movie on April 19th with more details found below.
Regardless of where you are in your journey, Shannon educates you on the warning signs and tips to advocate for your health. Join us as we explore how to balance Eastern and Western medicine to treat endometriosis.
The hard questions [3:00]
Common symptoms [6:30]
Normal does not mean healthy [9:40]
Endometriosis is not just period pain [11:20]
An East-to-West approach [12:45]
Reaches homeostasis [17:20]
Different treatments for different symptoms[20:40]
Nourish the soil before you plant the seed [23:30]
Supplements for inflammation [25:10]
Finding balance in your body [31:00]
Securing a qualified surgeon [35:30]
Drive out blood stasis below the diaphragm formula [42:00]
Low-level laser therapy for fertility [45:00]
Watch the Episode
Read This Episode Transcript
By listening to the Conscious Fertility podcast, you agree to not use this podcast as medical advice to treat any medical condition in either yourself or others. Consult your own physician or healthcare provider for any medical issues that you may be having. This entire disclaimer also applies to any guest or contributors to the podcast. Welcome to Conscious Fertility, the show that listens to all of your fertility questions so that you can move from fear and suffering to peace of mind and joy. My name is Lorne Brown. I’m a doctor of traditional Chinese medicine and a clinical hypnotherapist. I’m on a mission to explore all the paths to peak fertility and joyful living. It’s time to learn how to be and receive so that you can create life on purpose.
Welcome to another episode of the Conscious Fertility podcast, and I have back with me Jeremy Pulsifer, and he’s back because he has such a breadth and depth of knowledge when it comes to reproductive health, both from the biology, working with the physical, and then the metaphysical, the conscious, spiritual side. As many of you, if you listened to his previous episode on the Conscious Fertility podcast, will learn that he has that depth and breadth, and I wanted to geek out with him more about what he’s doing with acupuncture and electrical acupuncture in his practice. So, an introduction, in case you haven’t heard the episode before, Jeremy, he’s been in practice in the New York area since 2005.
He runs a very successful practice in the Manhattan area, and he is now also with the Yinova Center in New York City, where many of you may know because she’s written a few books. Dr. Jill Blakeway, one of her more famous books is Making Babies, and then she wrote a book on energy medicine, which really ties into our Conscious Fertility podcasts about energy and the biology side of fertility. And I got to meet Jeremy for the first time speaking at a conference where he talked about, for acupuncturists, how to use your acupuncture, your Chinese herbs, your modalities, to optimize fertility and implantation, and he also had a talk just in general about consciousness. I was amazed what he had to share, and hence, I wanted him to come on the show and talk to you guys.
He’s got a theater background. He is really into the science side of things. He teaches at one of the colleges for Chinese medicine, where he teaches research and statistics and then, he also teaches esoteric acupuncture and the biophysics of acupuncture. He really has that spectrum of going very physical into matter and going really out into the ether on what we like to talk about here on the Conscious Fertility podcast. Jeremy, welcome back.
Lorne, thank you so much for inviting me to come back for a part two. I felt like we just began to skim over a cursory overview and there was so much more that I was excited to share with you, and when you conceived of having the part two, I was so relieved because I feel like we just hit the starting gate. Happy to be back. Wonderful, as always, to sit and talk with you. Very happy to be here today.
Excellent, and for our listeners, let’s start to talk about … and we’ll go back and forth, how we kind of … maybe there’s similarities and differences in our practices but, in your practice, you have a group that will be coming to conceive naturally, that’s their goal, and then an IVF is not an option for them, or donor egg is not an option, so they have to conceive naturally or not at all, and there are some that are using ART like IVF or donor eggs. So, I wanted to go down the IVF side of things to start with, and I’m assuming, like in my practice, a lot of the stuff that we do to support women going through an IVF is very similar to what we do for women trying to conceive naturally, as in preparing the egg to be at its peak potential, whether you’re ovulating and trying to conceive naturally or whether you’re going through an egg retrieval.
Yeah, especially because not only is traditional East Asian medicine looking at human beings as individuals, as complex derivations of archetypes, if you will, there are so many versions of how health could be expressed in a unique person. And so traditional medicine from East Asia very beautifully aligns with that purpose but also, aligns with the phases of the cycle of menstruation, of follicular development, of ovulation and then, luteal and late luteal phases. Depending on where we are, whether it’s assisted reproductive technology or interventions like IVF or rather a patient trying to conceive naturally, we’re coming into the unique person before us and we’re also aligning with where they are in their cycle. Is it day six? Is it day 13? Did ovulation just occur?
Are we just up against the possibility of implantation in pregnancy and do we need to change the organization of what we’re doing? Whether we’re using Chinese herbal medicine, acupuncture, other modalities that are also included in the complete health system of this traditional medicine, that’s how we’re coming in to line up in time and space.
And, when you’re preparing somebody in that follicular phase, in your practice, are you recommending, if you have the opportunity, to see them for a series of cycles before they’re trying to go through that IVF, or are you treating them just in that IVF cycle, if you had the choice to recommend how often, how long they’re coming to see you?
That’s a great question. We always feel that what’s happening in terms of preparing for conception, preparing for something that’s very time specific and treatment intensive as IVF is that it’s best if someone is coming in for the month, ideally 90, 120 days, probably three months before they’re really attempting to hit the window of attempted conception, because as we move through treating them through the 28 or 30 or 32 days of their cycle, the body is moving into homeostasis and it’s acclimating to the medical intervention. Then, every time that cycle repeats, the body has yet another opportunity as it moves from phase to phase to prepare once more. When we just come in and perform an intervention right up against the target date for conception, whether that’s an embryo transfer or intercourse, then we don’t have any time to really prepare.
The body goes through so many undulations and changes and heightenings and day crescendos from day zero to day zero, it’s really helpful to be constantly having multiple opportunities to make those attunements. We encourage, and Jill encourages in her book Making Babies, that it’s really a 90-day preparatory cycle. And I believe, as we talked about in the previous meeting between you and I, that in the instances where people came in and we worked merely on the psyche, things like anxiety or fear or circuitous thinking, what was really fascinating is by the time we got to the place where the conception was going to be attempted actively, pregnancy happened immediately because there was also the layer of working on the emotional terrain within the person before we even began the physiologic work.
Talking about the emotional side of this, after attending your lecture several … at the time of this recording, several months ago, I’ve had that intention now of how you use electrical acupuncture and some of the points that you were using, the spleen six or DU20 and to DU24 using those lower frequencies, I intentionally now … I’m using that in my practice when I’m doing the conscious fertility work or doing blood flow just because there’s so much benefit when you can bring down that level of anxiety and negative perceived stress in the body. We already know, by lowering the resistance, that stress response that indirectly, that will bring blood flow back to the body. I thank you for that because acupuncture is such a great modality for many to bring down that stress response, but in your course that you had taught, you had a whole section on using electroacupuncture for psycho-spiritual-emotional disorders, and particularly for anxiety, PTSD and depression.
The brain really loves looking for patterns, and the brain is always looking for obstacles and danger, on an evolutionary side, to keep us alive and to keep us moving unencumbered. So the nervous system has a tendency to look for those perils and will lean towards keeping us in an alarm state and will etch those neural networks to reinforce that conditioning. Whereas the heart, perhaps what in East Asia, throughout the millennia, has been identified as the seat of one of the souls, your spiritual presence lives within the heart. The heart casts such a brilliant magnetic field that spans a great distance from the physical body, and the interesting thing was when you look at the morphology of the cells in the heart, there are about 40,000 cells in the heart that are sensory neurites that have the same morphology as neural networks in the brain.
The heart, magnetically has the opportunity to more instantaneously assess what is happening in the now around the body. Just to make it simple, it’s almost as if these types of treatments using electroacupuncture to soothe the mind is to shift us out of that overactive prefrontal lobe, the most evolved part of the mind, and sink us into the sanctity and serenity of our centered hearts, and I believe that the body also likes to somatize trauma and memory. There’s a very real idea that a lot of experiences that we go through that are unpleasant embed themselves in the tissues of our body, and so, so much of the acupuncture that’s both esoteric and electrically enhanced is taking us out of those etched grooves in the body and pulling us into an active, living, joyous presence. So everything that we’ve talked about so far, I believe, is to achieve that end.
And the electroacupuncture has such a profound capacity to release these endogenous opioids with endogenous morphine in a way, what we call beta-Endorphin, endomorphin, enkephalin and that’s the body’s way of understanding not just a feeling of pleasure and release from pain, but that all is well and that the body can focus on healing and restoration rather than trying to evade danger or, in the past, a predator.
I remember, from the lecture I attended that you presented, you had shared a story about a 9/11 responder who had … I think he was close 60 years old of age and he had 19 years of paralyzing anxiety many times he’d hear sirens or emergency calls, and you had shared, you used that kind of approach with the electrical acupuncture. And it was about six sessions, close together, where he felt a difference, where he was able to even reduce his pharmacological therapy.
Yeah. Over the last 19 years, I’ve forged these relationships with so many fantastic therapists, psychiatrists, psychologists, many of whom were using modalities and approaches such as EMDR, and it was actually my treating of these persons who had 45 to 50-year careers working in Manhattan who had understandably, a large number of 9/11 first responders in their care, and they had referred these patients to me and as you stated, all they needed to hear was a police siren or a fire engine, and they were thrown into a complete arrest of their movement, of their ability to function. Unfortunately, 20 years later, I was meeting a lot of these persons because they were still at square one as if this horrific atrocity had just happened the day before.
And it was the electroacupuncture of the points you had mentioned, near the forebrain of DU20 and DU24 and also lower in the body to anchor the person, where all of a sudden, there was this massive phase shift, and within a few treatments, everything had changed. They were no longer having those responses.
For my colleagues, when I go off the air with Jeremy today, I’m going to see if I can inspire him to teach this to you guys, my acupuncture colleagues, through Healthy Seminars, and if he agrees, it’ll be in the show notes. I’ll let you know. Jeremy is smiling because this is the first he’s hearing this, but I know there are some acupuncturists that listen to this podcast who are like, “Okay, what are you doing? How do I do this?” So rather than I getting the calls and the emails, Jeremy, after this, I’m going to sit with you and maybe we can plan to share this, have you teach this for the acupuncturists, so they can bring it to their patients and their clinics. I know I’ve been using it in my practice and yeah, I think it’s a powerful modality, so let’s get the word out, but we’ll talk about that later.
That sounds like a wonderful idea.
Good. All right, we already got an agreement. Check out the show notes and we’ll talk and you’ll learn more about when and where to learn from Jeremy if you can practice acupuncture in your scope of practice. Jeremy, when you do these treatments for fertility, so going back to treating the emotional side or improving microcirculation, bringing that body back into homeostasis, we had chatted that, it’s not a one-and-done. The downside of these treatments, if you want to call it downside, is it takes repetition. It’s not like you do one treatment and all is well. There is a momentum that has to happen as you reeducate, re-pattern the body. I’m curious for you, are you doing it once a week, twice a week, three times a week? My magic number is … two seems to be what the research shows when you’re seeing improvement in blood flow and other areas of fertility and other conditions, in general.
I’m curious, if time and money wasn’t an issue, how often would you want to be seeing people in order to make these shifts?
Well, I want to answer that in two parts. First, there is evidence, through painstaking research that was conducted, firstly, I believe by Elizabeth Stener-Victorin which was published in 1996, where when people came in for two to three months before attempts at conception … again and I’m saying this, whatever the mode might be, naturally, assisted reproductive technology, stimming the points in the lower back, like bladder 23 to bladder 28, at a certain frequency to activate that particular region, a high frequency, I believe it was 100 hertz.
It was mixed actually two and 100.
Yeah, and I believe that she was also using two hertz down in bladder 57, down in the calves and at spleen six. So there was a 100 hertz component like you said, and there was a two hertz component and they were being blended. In those instances, I think the greatest success could be achieved after that had been done weekly, but I want to use an example of where we at the Yinova Center would encourage people to come in twice per week and that’s during the follicular phase of the cycle, right? I agree wholeheartedly with you, if time and money were not the constraints to come in twice a week is really going to facilitate changes that are enduring, and a lot of the research that was done with electroacupuncture’s prolonged long-term effects when people would come in two to three times per week for several weeks, sometimes the results that were achieved persisted for months, if not, a half a year.
It wasn’t just Band-Aiding anesthetization and then everything would fall back. So if you are in, for example, an IVF cycle where medications are being used to stimulate ovarian production so that the whole cohort of follicles are growing on some as a family as a group, so that the highest number of large sized follicles could then be retrieved, coming in twice per week would be essential because we want to apply the intervention as often as we can and there’s a couple of things that work here. One, acupuncture is helping the circulation, the blood circulation around the regions of the fundus of the uterus, and in this case specifically, the ovarian area.
This is allowing oxygen to come in so that increased energy demand can then meet the requirements for tissues to grow. So, having more opportunities during the follicular stim phase is basically helping that process amplify and increase beautifully. I hope that answered the question from both sides.
It did and I like to use this metaphor idea of momentum. In my practice, if somebody comes in and they have PMS, menstrual pain, clotting, let’s say the other symptoms, they’re really cold, they may have constipation, other things around, from head to toe, I like to see them twice a week for those first couple of cycles to gain momentum. As we see these symptoms change, so even without having to measure hormones, as we see them improve, then we can kind of distance the treatment because unlike using this as a drug, we’re using this as support in the body, changing the environment in the body. We talked last time about nourishing the soil before you plant the seed. So we’re pulling some weeds. So as we pull some weeds and we add water, waters the blood flow, more circulation and the cells do their uptake and start to do what they need to do.
And the body now has the flow, it’s gained the momentum. The idea is we should be able to pull back what we’re doing and the body continues to do what it’s supposed to do in that balance, in that equilibrium or as you shared, homeostasis. So I like to kind of do the treatments more frequent at the beginning to get those results, see those changes and then, slowly and often quickly, pull back the frequency of treatment and see if the body can maintain it.
Yeah, I have to underscore all of this with the works of Bruce Palmer and Gabriel Stux back in 1988 in their work, the Basics of Acupuncture. If you have a person who’s having back pain, and in my opinion, whether it would be chronic or an acute spasm, if you were to treat them three times per week for three weeks, you could very quickly then reduce the amount of times you need to see them, and when I’ve done this in real life, I’ll treat them those nine times, and by treatment 10, 11, when we begin to space it out and slow it down, sometimes people just vanish. I don’t know where they’ve gone. Then, I’ll hear from them a season later and say, “Oh yeah, no, everything is fine. My back pain for the last 15 years is gone.” So to make the point when you treat somebody and they get better and then you wait a long duration of time, it backslides.
Then, you treat them again a week later and it gets better, but then it backslides. When there’s that more frequent repetition, it doesn’t backslide as much and the nervous system is able to complete and ameliorate and aggrandize all of the repair work that’s happening, and I feel like the results are not only quicker but longer lasting. Again, this is backed up by the works of Palmer and Stux in their work and low and high frequency electroacupuncture.
I’ve heard the analogy of earthquakes on the Richter scale. An earthquake at the level of four compared to five is not just … it’s not a difference of one, it is a magnitude of 10 more, right? It’s like a major difference, and when you come in for acupuncture once a week versus twice a week, it’s not that you’ve come two times more, it’s like 20 times more, like there’s that exponential effect, and then if you get the third time in. I’ve had similar experiences looking at research in patients, whereas somebody had come, had saw somebody else and they did both acupuncture and laser. It was a back pain case actually, and they did sometimes once a week or every other week for six visits, and they saw very little to no benefit. I saw them three times a week for two weeks.
So it was the same number of treatments, and our treatments they said was very similar, they thought, so I did my six treatments in two weeks. The other person did their six treatments in nine or 10 weeks, and it was very different in result, so as the timing and dosage change. So I wanted to see if we were aligned in that because through 20 plus years of experience, I have found that if I can get the momentum going and seeing them a little bit more often at the beginning, we’ll see a difference, and the same thing with low level laser therapy. The group out of Denmark, they were having the women come in three times a week in the follicular phase and they shared some great results. I’ve seen other low level laser or photo by modulation studies, and it’s kind of like that three times in a week, is common when you’re seeing good results.
Well, I’ll tell you this, when the patient says to me at one of the centers at Yinova, “Oh, I’m going to come in a third time,” I certainly don’t stop them from doing so. I don’t know that I would lead them to that place because I don’t want to seem overly assertive, but I find it immensely fortuitous if someone was to come in every three days. We often will hear from the patients when we’re using electroacupuncture during follicular stim that either the nurses or the RE, the reproductive endocrinologist passes a message back to the patient like, “What’s going on there?” In terms of the shift from a previous follicular stim phase to the current one, there’s often a tremendous increase in the productivity, in the outcome and the efficacy.
And I wanted to emphasize this because I think the modality is powerful. The downfall is you sometimes need that frequency of treatment to get that benefit and some people are going for acupuncture, every other week or once a week at the beginning, and it may not be enough. When you’re doing IVF, you’re not doing the Gonal F or whatever medication you’re taking every other day, you’re taking it daily, or if you’re on antidepressants, you don’t take it every other day or once a week. So acupuncture, the beauty of the acupuncture though is ideally depending on what you’re treating with, treating for, oftentimes, you get to that place where the body gets that homeostasis, regains the balance and as you pull away your treatment, it holds and that that’s our goal, right?
So it’s not a forever, I mean there’s certain diseases, autoimmune type diseases that do require ongoing support to keep you feeling better, but a lot of things do not. So I wanted to see if you align to that, and it sounds like you are the frequency, a little bit more often than every other week for sure, for you in that follicular stim phase.
Right, I like what you said about … also, it’s just for a concentrated period of time, oftentimes, once that rebalancing has occurred in the body, things hold. As I said before, sometimes patients when we’re not engaged in such a time specific process, they’ve moved on because they’ve … in their head and their experience directly through living in their bodies, they got better. Things change.
And I’m wondering how this will probably fall nicely into acupuncture on transfer day, on embryo transfer day, whether it’s a fresh or frozen transfer. Do you have experience doing that? And then, the follow-up question will be, is that the day, transfer day where the magic happens or is there work to be done preconception or pre transfer that you prefer?
Well, there’s this, the Polish study in 2002 that everybody liked to grab onto where about 160 total patients, there was a percentage of success that was low for the IVF group and then, that almost nearly doubled when the acupuncture intervention was introduced, but the point that I want to make, which I believe all the people that have poured through the research about acupuncture and IVF is it’s really not just the before and after on the day of the transfer, the night before the transfer, that obviously is impactful and it increases chances of success, but not like the preparatory period of beginning this months in advance of that date or at least one month in advance of that date. Like we talked earlier with Elizabeth Stener-Victorin, that was a lead-in period to this moment.
I think that in order to allow the optimization of the endometrial lining thickness and the circulatory system, we kind of learn a new rhythmicity and unblock any stagnation and fortify what needs to be strengthened, that’s a process that can be multi-cyclic, and I think that inevitably the greatest success is always going to come from people that are working on that longer term plan. So at least to start two, three months before that intended date, I’m always meeting people who are just showing up for acupuncture, suddenly the day before their transfer having never done it and I’m really eager to give all the support I can and open all possible roads, but I always think to myself, I’m very judicious about what I say.
I don’t know that I say it out loud, but I think to myself, “Wow, I wish I had met you just a month before.” Then, I’m hoping that if things need to continue to be worked on this then at least becomes the entree to then teaching them about how we can work with them now for a grander period of time in preparation for that golden moment.
Looking at more of the recent research and meta-analysis and having talked to some of the primary investigators in some of the more current research at the time of this recording, they have shared that when they’ve broken up and the data, that those patients that had a few treatments leading up to transfer, so not even three months, just a series of treatments during the lead-up to the transfer day had a higher pregnancy rate, lower miscarriage rate, higher life birth rate than those that just did on transfer day. I want to share the metaphor I have for this because like you and patients come, does it help on transfer day? Some of the research shows for certain phenotypes, poor responders, they can see a difference, so how do you know, right? So I think of it as preparing for an exam. My goal is to get an A plus and if I prepare for months or three weeks before, let’s think of so many transfers are frozen now.
So let’s go for somebody who’s going to do a frozen embryo transfer and they’re heard acupuncture, maybe beneficial to add to their transfer day treatment. As you said, “Oh, I wish I saw them before.” So could I’ve seen them a couple weeks before. So when they start the S trays, meaning that within two to three weeks, they’re likely going to have the transfer when you start your S trays for a frozen embryo transfer, using the idea of studying for an exam, and my goal is A plus of pregnancy, if I just studied the night before and crammed, that may or may not be enough to give me the A plus. It depends on the individual. If I study once a week for three weeks, that will probably give me a better chance of a higher grade than if I just studied the night before, and if I study two times a week or three times a week for three weeks, then likely, I’ll have a better chance of a grade.
Often, for the lot of the women I see for three months leading up to their frozen transfer for example, I don’t even think the transfer day is that relevant because they’ve prepped their body so much. It’s like you’ve been preparing for three months for this exam, the night before, go see a movie, relax because you know it and transfer day treatment to me is like a review. Sure, if you want to just kind of review the notes one more time before you sit down and write the exam, it’s a great idea, but really, you did everything those three weeks before or sometimes months before. That’s how I try to explain it to patients, like I don’t know what the right thing is to do for you. I do know that if you prepare a little bit beforehand and get that blood flow to the uterus, then we have a better chance of getting A plus that we’re looking for.
And periodically, I’ll use the idea of as the body trying to learn and study that route, as we’re training the brain, the pituitary gland and it’s companion, the hypothalamus to talk to the ovaries, to talk to the whole body essentially, which is one of the ways in which we understand acupuncture to be working, is that the master gland in the central nervous system is kind of regaining optimal control of every subsystem of the body. In order for the entire lifetime of that functionality to be rewritten, you can’t just do it in one path. We have to keep showing the body and the nervous system what are these optimal pathways. When you explain it in those terms, and especially with the specificity and the articular manner with which you described it, I feel like it’s easy for them to align.
Lorne, I’m constantly astonished how when I simply spell out a process or a method or an approach that’s going to lead to great success, including perhaps a nutritional advisement or suggestion that I think is contrarian to their means of eating, people will quickly adapt to what you’re outlining if they have trust that your plan is going to bring them that success. So I think in terms of patient education, patient compliance and allowing people to feel confident in what the medicine can bring, I think explaining these terms and using the metaphors that you so expertly suggested, I think 99% of the time, it becomes clear that this is a wonderful trajectory.
Can you share with us what you think the mechanism is behind the acupuncture and you’re using electrical acupuncture in this follicular stim phase, so whether they’re stimming … so they’re in their follicular phase, so whether it’s a natural cycle or they’re in a stim phase as into grow as many follicles as possible, can you talk a little bit about just the electrical acupuncture? Can you put on your science hat again and just tell us what you think some of the mechanism is? You can go into the esoteric as well because this is the Conscious Fertility podcast, so we welcome both angles.
Okay, so as usual, I’ll give you a multivalent answer and I’ll try to come at it from three places, three locations in our reality. Firstly, I believe that we are … on the most foundational level possible, we are blueprinted with electromagnetism and if we wanted to cast ourselves into the realm of spirituality, we could talk about different layers of a soul, but really, we are electromagnetic beings and we initially draw the blueprint for how we grow as embryos through electromagnetic lay lines within that developmental process. So underneath the flesh and the skeleton and this gross physical structure is an atomic and electronic grid and scaffolding. So when you use in particular electricity as my other Jeremy friend, Dr. Jeremy Steiner talks extensively about, you are introducing a stream of electrons into the body, into the meridian.
And that is not a caustic, abrasive, exogenous force. It is the foundation of matter, right? I think there’s this idea that somehow it’s foreign or it’s being introduced in some noxious way, I’m sure that at a certain level of intensity it would become noxious. But in the dosages that we give one 9,000, the power of a ninefold battery, barely more powerful than a wristwatch, you’re donating electrons, you’re donating a foundational component to matter itself. So you’re heightening and breathing new life into the area. So, on that level, using electricity and a stream of electrons into these tissues, it’s activating the life force on the very level in which matter is formed. In a perhaps more western or biomedical standpoint, electroacupuncture propagates signals up the nerve pathways to the master gland that I mentioned before, the hypothalamus and the pituitary.
And there’s a group of cells that are nearby that region in what’s called the suprachiasmatic nuclei that manufactures endorphin. As long as there is that bliss unspeakable, that relaxation, that suffusion of beta endorphin and other opioid peptides in the bloodstream, the body thinks, “Oh, isn’t this heavenly? Everything is okay. I’m going to now up-regulate all the functions in the body that have to do with repair and digestion and rest.” So that’s a very common scientific understanding of how electroacupuncture and acupuncture itself can help bring us into health and healing. When anybody understands that the pituitary is who’s directing the operations of the ovaries, hormonally then to know on a very basic level that electroacupuncture acts on those glands, then obviously, it’s effect on fertility is extraordinary.
And again, I always have to bring back the one that I think is the most accessible for us, which is that acupuncture optimizes the flow of chi and blood and circulation of oxygen-rich blood into a particular area, and that that is a way of heightening function, but I think to only say that it’s optimizing circulation, we’re missing the nine tenths of the iceberg that’s obscured by physical reality, right? We’re animating the very ground being with energetic force. Again, to quote my other friend Jeremy Steiner, “Electrons are a benevolent medicine.”
I love your explanation and I love how you came at it from a few angles. It makes me excited about practicing it, and I’m sure our listeners who are receiving acupuncture gives them that confidence and excitement too, that they’re receiving this on a hopefully weekly basis, at least.
Lorne, I have a quick … I have a former student and I like to always say that many of my students go on to far surpass my skill level. That’s my hope is that I’m firing them off like arrows and they break through new horizons and take it further. I said, take what I’m telling you and augment it and amalgamate it with everyone else and make it your own and push us even further. I had one student who simply worked on, “I’m going to optimize this endorphenergic activity because there’s an acupuncture point in the lateral portion of the leg just below the knee that we call stomach 36 Zu San Li, and it’s a great point for enriching power in the body and giving you chi, and it helps the way chi, and the upright and the immune system and it obviously works on the gastrointestinal system, but it also, according to neuroanatomist, is the most beta endorphenergic point on the body.
It is the point most likely to stimulate this production of these feel-good chemicals, which I’ve told you is a main explanation for how acupuncture works. He just simply was stimulating stomach 36 and stomach 36 for most of the conditions he was treating, but systemically because that was allowing the brain to fill this unbridled glory. All his patients were getting better. For him, in his unique articulation of the medicine, in his interface with his patient, that was a very powerful mode. So I just want to use that to somewhat strengthen and underline the idea that working on the mode of the central nervous system is perhaps the cornerstone of all medicine moving us from fight or flight and survival mode into the beautiful serene expanse of rest and digest and relaxation.
Yeah. I’ve had a few experts, not on this podcast, but on one of our other mentorship groups, surgeon, Dr. Iris Orbuch, German medical doctor that uses low level laser therapy, and I’ve heard a couple of times that central nervous system, if we can get you into the healing, the rest and digest and healing on a regular basis, the body will do well and that should be part of most treatment goals. And acupuncture is an excellent tool for bringing … for most people, some people have incredible fear of needle, phobic. So I don’t know if for those people, if they can truly benefit, but for most people, when they get over the fear and actually receive the treatment, they’re like … I call it the accu buzz. They kind of get up and they’re a little hazy, little fatiguey. We call it the accu buzz because they’re so used to living in that fight or flight.
And you just kind of shut that down a bit for a few moments and now they get to feel a little bit calm and maybe how tired they really are because they don’t have that extra cortisol rushing through their body to make them feel energetic in a not so healthy way.
Yeah, from perhaps a spiritual lens. You hear people in our medicine all the time talking about the Shen, right? The spiritual presence sort of blazing through the eyes, right? Coming off the luminosity of the face and that accu buzz you talk about, when I see people get up, when I was first a student and I saw people walking out of the clinic, I said, “Why does it look like there’s a light coming from behind their face?” And my teachers and the doctors that I worked with would say, “Oh, that’s the Shen after the treatment.” And I wonder sometimes if that flood of endorphins, that interiorized morphine release, if that is absolutely resulted from the acupuncture, but is that just a byproduct of something much grander, right? Is your life force, is your luminous body, what people probably colloquially would call a soul, is it turned on, switched on and shining through? And I think about that often as well as the endorphins themselves.
Jeremy, I so enjoy, you’re so into the biology, the biophysics and then, the spiritual and some of the stuff we can measure and study today and some of the stuff, it’s fun to just sit and think about and contemplate. You’re talking about your student who was stimulating the point Zu San Li, stomach 36. It’s reminding me in the lecture that to attend where you talked about using endometrial lining thickness approach, and I do think you used stomach 36 and that you had a few points you used and different frequencies for different points. Did the student get that from you or was that what you got from your student? And why are you using in particular stomach 36 then for that endometrial lining thickness?
Well, what we want to avoid when we’re using something as powerful as electroacupuncture, it’s making everything so standardized and universalized that there’s no discernment between this frequency does this and it’s so good at doing it, let’s use it for everything. So changing the frequency for endometrial lining thickness to what we call [foreign language 00:39:29] is the mesoderm, it’s a slightly more interiorized tissue level. So, we might use it to activate the spleen and the lymphatic systems and the humeral immunity, it’s often used to immuno-modulate the body for somebody who has say an autoimmune condition or perhaps is immunodeficient. The frequency of 10 cycles per second is really great at working in the mesodermal layer to activate that response.
So because the fundus of the uterus and the interior functional layer, the endometrium is more interiorized in the tissue level, 10 hertz is a way of moving more interior. So coming classically from an ancient perceptive, stomach 36, this wonderful point, but probably the most well-known of them all, strengthens the body and calms the mind. It lives in a layer that’s called the Yang Ming, the Yang brightness, and that is something that super concentrates and sort of dries out excess moistures that moves through the body. In fact, the pathology of the Yang Ming is to over-concentrate and dry out, but it also creates power by sort of helping what the stomach is digesting through the power of the spleen’s transformation to make post heaven chi. So if you’re trying to thicken, grow, empower, strengthen and basically, enhance and enrich the endometrium, stomach 36 is going to have that power.
We use it for atrophy of the shoulder for what’s called way syndrome or way atrophy. If you want to strengthen the functionality of that limb, stomach 36 classically and in the modern transcripts is the one to go. So if we stimulate stomach 36 to a point over the fundus of the uterus, say like kidney 11 or Ren 3, Ren 4, low in the abdomen just over the pubic synthesis, we’re going to direct that intent of strengthening and activating that tissue. All of this was over the last 19 years, all of us just listening to the masters, our teachers and constructing this particular approach in New York City at Pacific College where I was a professor and still supervise and teach to this day.
I really hope we get you to teach this online to my colleagues because I’m enjoying this a lot. For my listeners that aren’t acupuncturists, I don’t know if this is interesting to you or not, but we’ve got a little technical here and there. I know the acupuncturists are going to find this enjoyable. So I’m hoping that you and I will find a way to have you offer some of this material so acupuncturists can bring it into their clinic. So you’re doing it for endometrial lining thickness as well. You’re helping build the linings using … you’re not just doing acupuncture, you’re going over diet, you use herbal medicine, supplement, you are using a holistic multidisciplinary approach, if I recall.
We’re bringing everything in that we can within the scope of our practice, right? Certain postural exercises to return blood flow into the pelvic cavity, helping people understand what Eastern traditional herbal medicine can do to help thicken, what types of dietary adjustments would optimize the process, what medications might be likely to be prescribed by the RE, even some Western herbs and teas that would be helpful for the ovarian circulation and so on and so forth. That’s sort of a multimodal approach to give as much support as we can.
Other conditions that you’re seeing, and we’re talking a lot about electrical acupuncture, but I think you had shared about electrical acupuncture for the endometrial receptivity and also, for that whole molecular genesis with polycystic ovarian syndrome, PCOS.
Yeah. I have to mention this one case. Admittedly, I’ve loved learning about electroacupuncture throughout my career, and I didn’t quite use it when I first graduated. I feel like back in the 1990s and the early aughts, it wasn’t as prevalent as it is now, more so in continuing education. I sort of had a slow acclimation to using it very early in my career. So I wasn’t using it for fertility medicine at all. It was actually, my exposure to somebody who worked in women’s health and in reproductive medicine in Fairfield County, Connecticut, around the area of New Canaan and Stanford, and I was talking to people out there who worked with an acupuncturist who had many persons who were experiencing unfortunately RPL or repeated pregnancy loss on a difficulty with implantation. And the solution was electroacupuncture in all these cases.
And then, once that was introduced, the person that I was speaking with who actually had great success after many disappointing experiences, carried a healthy baby to term, it was delivered and had thrived. That got my attention right away. I said, “Wait a minute. It seems so toxic and abrasive and it’s too much, and we’re poking sticks in the precious bird’s nest. What are we doing?” And that was my conversion moment where I said, “Really, is this something that actually can be of great benefit?” And that’s how this journey started. So in my most challenging cases, I still have obviously, a little bit of hesitation and equivocation where I had people come in with really complex issues before the transfer with cyst in the ovaries and difficulty with circulation. And I would use microcurrent in that moment, of the moment before transfer, and I would use a light microcurrent stim over the area, low in the abdomen that you would expect us to use.
I swear in two occasions, I didn’t think things were going to work out that well, and those were successful transfers when I didn’t … I’d had enough experience to know that I would’ve been surprised if it had worked out, even though I was earnestly hoping that it would. I believe that that was the case, and that there are studies of electroacupuncture increasing the receptivity of the endometrium. So I’ve seen direct application, and I’m the first one to tell you where I’m authoritative, and I will also out myself and say, I haven’t been exposed to it a lot, but my passion and my scholarship leads me to believe wholeheartedly that this is valid, and I think there could be more research done on electroacupuncture for the pre-transfer treatment or before an embryo transfer.
Interesting. That’s an interesting thought and again, there’s so much research happening. I look forward to that one, whether you’re involved or not, we’ll get together and read about it once it’s published. We’ll talk about it. Jeremy, as we’re going to wrap up, again, I’ll remind our listeners, we’ll put something in the show notes if there’s any important links that we can pull up from this talk, especially to my colleagues, but just anything I might have missed asking you because you are a wealth of knowledge, and I know from talking to you how much you care about this population and how much you want to support them and help them on their journey to grow their families.
So from the esoteric spiritual, from the conscious side, from the biophysical side, do you have anything you want to share that I might have not have asked that you think is relevant for this audience to hear that you’d want to impart?
Yeah. Well, I moved from an emotional standpoint because I don’t think there’s enough support given in this world for people’s psyche, for people’s feelings. The journey of fertility is one fraught with great stress and terrible anticipation sometimes and a lot of exhaustion of resources. It can be financially challenging. It takes a toll on the spirit and emotion. There’s a lot of work that has to happen with persistence, hope and faith. And I think the most important thing for me to convey is when there’s so much uncertainty about outcomes and we don’t always know where fate is going to take us, I think it is so important for us to know that in places where there is uncertainty.
We’re dwelling in the unknown, the very act of staying on the path and continuing to do that work, and instead of feeling, “I don’t know what’s going to happen next, I am doing everything that I can to support the best outcomes for my dreams of beginning a family, of having a baby, of walking through this process,” which at times can be so arduous. I try in all of those times that I am blessed and honored enough to be taking that person’s hand and guiding them through to remind them that in the moment that we are engaged in the medicine, we are doing everything possible to open every possible pathway.
Well, the people in the New York area are very fortunate to have you there as their practitioner and those that are studying Chinese medicine, acupuncture, also to have you as a professor at the college there. And I feel fortunate enough that we are able to connect and have these conversations and hopefully, have you do some online teaching for my colleagues as well. So Jeremy, thank you again for joining me today.
Lorne, it was a pleasure, with both of our visits, thank you for giving us this forum.
If you’re looking for support to grow your family, contact Acubalance Wellness Center. At Acubalance, they help you reach your peak fertility potential through their integrative approach, using low level laser therapy, fertility acupuncture, and naturopathic medicine. Download the Acubalance Fertility Diet and Dr. Brown’s video for mastering manifestation and clearing subconscious blocks. Go to acubalance.ca. That’s acubalance.ca.
Thank you so much for tuning into another episode of Conscious Fertility, the show that helps you receive life on purpose. Please take a moment to subscribe to the show and join the community of women and men on their path to peak fertility and choosing to live consciously on purpose. I would love to continue this conversation with you, so please direct message me on Instagram, @lorne_brown_official. That’s Instagram, @lorne_brown_official or you can visit my websites, lornebrown.com and acubalance.ca. Until the next episode, stay curious and for a few moments, bring your awareness to your heart center and breathe.
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Shannon Cohn is an American documentarian and an advocate for women’s health. She is well known for her film Endo What?, and her latest feature will be released in December of 2023. Her work has been featured on PBS, Discovery Channel, and Nat Geo. Prior to filmmaking, Shannon was part of the legal team that prosecuted Enron.
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