Blossom Spring Giveaway Winners Announced!

We are so excited about our Spring 2014 Giveaway and we are ready to announce the winners! This year, in addition to giving away sessions with practitioners from Blossom Clinic, we have gathered fabulous prizes from some of our favorite local businesses here in Portland. It is always our goal to help you feel fantastic from the inside-out and that is the theme for this fabulous giveaway! PLEASE CONTACT US TO PICK UP YOUR PRIZE AT BLOSSOM AS DESCRIBED IN THE ENTRY RULES.

And the winners are… Continue reading

Spring 2014 Giveaway ~ Blossom Clinic Portland Oregon

Blossom Clinic giveawayWe are so excited about our Spring 2014 Giveaway. This year, in addition to giving away sessions with practitioners from Blossom Clinic, we have gathered fabulous prizes from some of our favorite local businesses here in Portland. It is always our goal to help you feel fantastic from the inside-out and that is the theme for this fabulous giveaway! ENTER HERE and see below for prize details. Visit us on facebook to see pictures of the prizes.

 

1. Angels & Architects: One haircut and Brazilian Blowout Split End treatment with Brooklyn, valued at $170

2. Angels & Architects: One haircut and Brazilian Blowout Split End treatment with Dani, valued at $170

3. Barre3: 10 Class Package (yes- 10 classes!) to any barre3 studio valued at $170

4. Beginning within Massage (at Blossom): 30 Minute Craniosacral treatment (great for kids too!) valued at $40

5. betsy & iya: Leafy Deco earrings plus a $25 gift certificate to the shop, valued at $47

6. Grayling Jewelry: Osprey Chain Necklace in Antiqued Brass, valued at $99

7. Lenor B: 60 minute facial, valued at $50

8. Liz Richards, L.Ac.: 90 minute Women’s Health Assessment and acupuncture treatment, valued at $160

9. Shop Adorn: $100 Gift Card for the shop

10. Prasad Cuisine: $50 Gift Card

11. Reset Naturally with Rose Paisley, ND (at Blossom Clinic): 90 minute initial session valued at $225

Eleven Prizes, totaling $1281!!

IVF Tips for Patients: Top Ten Things to Do

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Liz Richards, L.Ac., MAcOM has been treating fertility patients with Traditional Chinese Medicine in Portland, OR since 2002.  Here are ten IVF tips based on her clinical experience with patients receiving acupuncture at Blossom Clinic while undergoing IVF at Oregon Reproductive Medicine

acupuncture portland oregon1. Begin acupuncture treatments right away:

As a general rule, the way you treat your body three months prior to trying to conceive is more important than anything you can do right now to boost your fertility and increase your chances of getting pregnant. This has been a clinical observation of mine for years, and I am lucky enough to have colleagues who are now documenting this statistically with clinical research.

Most of our patients visit us weekly, and as they reach their goals, the visits taper down. We recommend a minimum of three menstrual cycles of treatment for both women’s and men’s fertility support.

To find the practitioner that is right for you, here are some things to look for in a fertility acupuncturist: Continue reading

Guided Imagery and Fertility: Setting Intention

infertility support groups portlandGuided Imagery and Fertility: Setting Intention

When I perform acupuncture, I choose different points for different times of the month to help facilitate the body’s natural rhythms.  For example, around the time of ovulation I will choose points that stimulate the ovaries and bring blood flow to that area.  Some of these points have been used for thousands of years.  However, when doing acupuncture, it is not only the function of the point that is important.  One of the most important parts of acupuncture, in my opinion, is the acupuncturist’s intention.  So around the time of ovulation, not only will I needle a point known for stimulating ovulation, I will also visualize in my mind what a follicle looks like when it is releasing an egg.

We say in Chinese Medicine,

Where the mind goes, the Qi goes.

If we can use our mind and direct our breath to various parts of the body, we can bring our qi there as well.  I think about this every time I needle.  I needle with intention.

I  like to encourage my patients to visualize what is going on inside their bodies as well. Here are some links to help you visualize both ovulation and embryo implantation.

Ovulation:

Here is a great video from Mayo Clinic demonstrating ovulation.

Embryo Implantation:

After IVF embryo transfer or around the time of implantation 6-12 days post ovulation, I like to visualize what an embryo looks like when it is embedding itself into the uterine wall.  What amazes me most about this process is the synergy between the embryo and the blood vessels of the uterus, how they seemingly communicate with each other.

This is a great video, called Life’s Greatest Miracle, from pbs.org showing development from the embryonic stage forward. And here is a fabulous video, From Conception to Birth by Alexander Tsiaras.

If you have any other videos or pictures to share, please let me know!

Liz Richards, L.Ac.

 

 

Nutrition for Fertility (and good health!)

nutrition for fertility Many patients come into the office and ask me if they should eliminate gluten or dairy from their diet to enhance fertility. Although this might be a good idea for some, it seems that In our society when we think of good health, we automatically think about deprivation.  Why is that? How healthy can that be to deprive oneself of all of these things? And why isn’t anyone telling you what to put back in to replace those things? I write this blog to encourage a mental paradigm shift when it comes to healthy eating.

Ask yourself, “What can I add into my diet?” rather than, “What can I take away?”

Continue reading

Before and After Reveal: Getting Healthy Week 2

fertility yogaIn this series of blog posts, I share you my personal month-long effort towards sustainable change and also reveal personal before and after photos.  To get caught up, read Week 1: 28 to Great, Cyber Purging and Meditation

Listening to My Body

As I count the days to DAY 19 on my cute 28 to Great barre3 calendar, I am impressed with myself but also acknowledge how hard the last few days have been.  I’m tired. Despite my B vitamin shot last week with Dr. Elise, all of the great sleep I have been getting from the meditations I have been doing, and all of the amazing food I have been eating at home, I am just plain tired.  Running a business, seeing 20+ patients a week, raising two amazing children and supporting/loving a husband, takes a lot of work.  And a bundle of energy.

Today I took a rest day.  There were multiple times when I *almost* ran errands or sat down to do administrative work, but I made an effort to stay home and do relatively nothing.  And I am going to eat a big fat steak tonight.  I consider myself an intuitive eater and that is what my body wants.  Give me steak or hear me Roar!

An Early Reveal of a “Before” Picture

Ok, so let’s get to it.  I can’t believe I am about to post pictures of myself in a sports bra.  But I am inspired by these ladies on my friend’s Another Mother Runner blog (if they can do it, I can do it).  Also, there is something cool I want to show you.  If you are a secret anatomy geek like me, you will probably find it cool too!

What I didn’t mention before was that in one of the “before” pictures, my scoliosis was so apparent, it was shocking to me. I kept on taking the picture over and over again to see if it was the way I was standing. But I was crooked despite the fact that I felt like I was standing balanced on two feet!

 

28 to great BEFORE picture

DAY ONE

Check me out on day 1.

The picture I show here was the best of the bunch because I got a little freaked out and deleted the rest.  In this picture, you can see that I am leaning on my left leg more because of my anteriorly rotated pelvis and my right shoulder is higher than my left.

After 16 days of Sadie Lincoln’s 28 To Great, a great yoga workshop with Tiffany Cruikshank and a blow-your-mind massage with Shaney Aalbers, I decided to see if I was still crooked.

28 to great

DAY SIXTEEN

Check me out here on day 16.

See the difference?  I took a few photos to make sure it wasn’t the angle of the shot, but my body does indeed look longer, leaner and straighter.  My right shoulder isn’t hiking up as high and my pelvis is more balanced.  Yahoo!  I am curious what will happen after a whole month of taking great care of myself. Now, tell me that’s not cool.

 

One More Thing: The Cyber Purge

Remember last week I mentioned that I unsubscribed from a gazillion email lists?  Well, my inbox is finally clean!

At first I missed all those emails but then I had a realization that I had spent a lot of time browsing emails, clicking links, and exposing myself to consumerism in excess.  For instance, every time I clicked open that Pottery Barn email I would think,

Oh, I want that.  I want this.

And then I would see the price, dream for a second or two longer and then feel bad and think,

I can’t have.

By exposing myself to all of those emails, I was constantly subjecting myself to the negative feelings that they elicited and this repetitive thought loop. Releasing myself of that exposure has been freeing on so many levels.

My recommendation is to unsubscribe to those emails. Recycle those catalogs. You know where to go when you need or want something. You do not need to be reminded of it every day.

That’s all for now.  See you next week!

 

 

Interview with Liz Richards, Owner of Blossom Clinic, Portland, Oregon

Where did you come up with the name “Blossom”?
Blossom has a special connotation to me personally as a women’s heath practitioner.  Being a woman is all about transformation and growth Continue reading

Surviving Stillbirth and Loss: Josh and Kat’s Story

Surviving Stillbirth and Loss: Josh and Kat’s Story

At 38 years old Kat and her husband, Josh, welcomed twins into their family. The Portland couple’s story to parenthood began five years ago, however, and took them through a series of disappointments and even tragedy before they found a happy ending.

Kat was never the kind of woman who felt her clock ticking. Infertility was a foreign thought.

But when she and her husband, Josh, had difficulty conceiving Kat found herself setting out on an unexpected journey, which ultimately led her to Oregon Reproductive Medicine and Blossom Clinic in Portland, Oregon.

“When it was explained to me what my chances really were-the reality of it-it was shocking, and I wasn’t prepared to accept it,” she said. “I’m the kind of person that when someone tells me something is not possible I am going to do whatever I can to prove them wrong.

“Still, I didn’t know so much of this is based on luck. I started to wonder how anyone over 18 years old ever gets pregnant.”

Kat’s doctors didn’t have any answers. Even though they told her it was better not to know what was causing complications than face an insurmountable obstacle; their words, she said, felt like cold comfort. Continue reading

Male Infertility and Acupuncture in Portland, Oregon

male infertility acupunctureMuch of fertility is focused around women, however not all infertility is due to the womanʼs body.   Many procedures that women undergo can be costly and invasive, all the more reason to look at the male to make sure he is also healthy.  Being aware of male reproductive capacities is an important part of increasing your chance of conceiving.  There are some simple but effective actions that men can take to increase their chance of success.  Male fertility is measured by sperm number, quality and motility.  Sperm takes around 90 days to develop from creation to ejaculation so treatment is a long-term plan that requires consistency.

Pre-natal vitamins for men?

One simple action for men is to take a multi vitamin that includes anti-oxidants like zinc and selenium.  Zinc is important for sperm count and motility while selenium helps with motility.  Food sources of these vitamins include nuts, almonds and pumpkin seeds for zinc and brazil nuts for selenium.  Vitamin C has benefits for it’s antioxidant effects especially in smokers who have agglutination (think sticky) problems (i.).  Also, essential fatty acids are beneficial for membrane quality and energy production. Continue reading