Author: gaynorgrozier

What is sperm motility?

Sperm motility is the movement of sperm and its ability to move efficiently through the female reproductive tract to reach the egg. Sperm motility is a factor in successful conception; if sperm do not move well, they will not reach the egg to fertilize it.

Poor sperm motility means that the sperm do not swim properly which can lead to male infertility. Usually, it is found that when sperm motility is poor, there are other contributing problems found with sperm health such as sperm morphology or low sperm count.

It has been found that Acupuncture can have a positive impact in improving sperm motility. Clinical trials carried out by the British Acupuncture Council suggests that Acupuncture improves sperm quality and has a beneficial effect in male fertility.

What is sperm morphology?

As you embark on your journey to becoming a parent you may come across terminology that is left unexplained. Here we explore the term ‘Sperm Morphology’ and if you’re wondering what it is and how it affects fertility in the male reproductive system, read on!

Sperm morphology put simply is the size and shape of sperm and is one factor that is examined as part of a semen sample to evaluate male infertility. When viewed under a microscope the results are reported as a percentage of the sperm that appear normal and healthy; in healthy sperm the head appears oval, in abnormal sperm it can appear as a round shape.

There are many contributing factors that can impair male fertility, and most are fixable; it has been proven that with Acupuncture therapy sperm morphology can be improved. At Gaynor Grozier Acupuncture we will work with you to understand your results and look at how we can help improve your male fertility with supporting nutrition and wellbeing advice alongside your Acupuncture treatment.

Research studies that have been conducted by the British Acupuncture Council show that the benefits of Acupuncture in Male Fertility include increased hormone levels and testicular blood flow in turn promoting increased production of healthy sperm.

Can Acupuncture and lifestyle choices improve my sperm count

If your sperm count results have come back less than ‘perfect’ then you are not alone. Male fertility is one of the most common reasons that people explore the route of assisted techniques (LINK) such as IVF with research showing that 40% of infertility cases are due to poor sperm quality. The great news is that research also indicates there are several things you can change to improve sperm morphology, motility, and overall health. Even if your results came back in the satisfactory range, you could still improve your sperm-health even further, giving you the best chance of natural conception (LINK).

Since the 1980’s, there has been a 30% decrease in sperm count in the general male population and about one in twenty men has a fertility issue, even if they live an apparently healthy lifestyle. This could be due to the plethora of environmental pollutants we are all exposed to that are known or suspected to impact sperm health.

Like women, men’s fertility also declines with age. Many men present with borderline sperm count that have previously been deemed ‘acceptable’. There are several considerations we would look at when assessing the values attributed to sperm health. 

How is sperm evaluated for quality?

Sperm is evaluated according to four main parameters:

  • Volume (i.e. how much semen per ejaculation)
  • Density/concentration/count (i.e. how many million/ml)
  • Morphology (i.e. % of normal v. abnormal in shape)
  • Motility (i.e. % of moving/swimming sperm)

If any of these parameters are abnormal, fertility may be compromised.

Can Acupuncture improve sperm quality?

As documented by the British Acupuncture Council, Acupuncture has been found to improve the motility of sperm by improving its zinc:cadmium ratio. Zinc improves sperm motility whereas cadmium causes thicker semen, thereby slowing down the sperm. SOD, an antioxidant which increases both sperm count, and motility is also positively influenced by acupuncture.  Acupuncture therapy around the female’s ovulation may increase the chance of natural conception (LINK).

Where do the needles go?

Acupuncture points for improving sperm quality can be placed on points in the lower back, lower leg, or abdomen. The points chosen for placements of the needles are generally pain free and are used to increase strength and vitality, improve blood flow, digestion, promote good-quality sleep and relieve stress and anxiety. Other health problems are concurrently attended during acupuncture treatment since we consider your whole health and wellbeing as a contributing factor to male fertility. 

At Gaynor Grozier Acupuncture we tailor our treatment packages to suit each individuals needs. 

What else can help?

Diet and nutrition, lifestyle, weight, exercise, environmental pollutants, and smoking can also play a huge role in the health of your sperm and the male reproductive system. We believe the most powerful approach is to make changes in these areas together with acupuncture therapy to really align and improve your fertility. This is where we see the best results. In fact, acupuncture has also demonstrated it can help with lifestyle changes such as stopping smoking and treatment can be tailored to address this alongside your male fertility journey.

Key reasons to try acupuncture therapy for stress and anxiety relief

Stress and anxiety are hugely prevalent today, especially with the impact of the recent Coronavirus pandemic and the detrimental affect it has shown on our mental health and wellbeing. Many people are approaching clinics, like Gaynor Grozier Acupuncture, to help with lessening the effects. 

There is a very thin line between feeling motivated and overloaded. Between feeling happy and feeling emotional. Stress and Anxiety are more common in recent times and is becoming a normal part of being ‘human’. 

“I can’t sleep!” “I’m far too busy!” “I just need to do this!” “I can’t relax!” “I’m at my desk from dawn to dusk and not getting anywhere fast”…  are all too common in today’s ‘busy’ world. 

We apply so much pressure to ourselves in our daily lives, it’s physically draining and mentally straining.

If all these sayings and feelings are present in your daily life, then we want to hear from you! Here at Gaynor Grozier Acupuncture we care about your mental health and wellbeing and look forward to helping you reduce the effects of stress and anxiety with our acupuncture and supportive therapies to help you reduce the effects, build balance, and find harmony.

What are the signs?

Stress in small doses can often help us feel motivated to get things done. However, stress is often progressive and can be a constant companion. Not addressed, stress can become a root cause to more serious health conditions, manifesting in physical symptoms of the body. 

Symptoms are different for everyone, but may include:

  • Tension headaches
  • Upset stomach
  • Feeling run down
  • Poor sleep or Insomnia can cause stress
  • Racing thoughts
  • Increased heart rate
  • Chest pain
  • Forgetfulness and disorganisation 

When stress is continuous your risk increases of continual health problems along with the onset of anxiety and depression as well as more severe health conditions such as heart attack and heart disease.

What can you do to help alleviate stress? 

1: Improve your Work-life balance

Research has shown that more than 500,000 workers in the UK suffered from work-related stress, depression, or anxiety in the past year. The main cause for this were down to workload, lack of support and organisational change.

We spend most of our time at work, repeatedly staying late or arriving early to meet deadlines and achieve targets – always in the attempt to get ahead of what can feel like a continuous uphill struggle. 

  • Learn the most powerful word, no when your workload becomes unmanageable. Often people are fearful of saying no or asking for help through fear of failure or risking their job. What if we were to say that “NO” means respect. Respect for yourself and the workplace. Saying no is so empowering not only to you but also to your fellow team members. You will find that less stress improves performance, aiding you to achieve a healthier work-life balance.
  • Plan your day effectively and take advantage of tools and training at work that can help you with this. Just because colleagues come in early and leave late, doesn’t mean you have to. Whether you are an employee or self-employed, maintaining good work-life balance will increase your performance. Focus on the important jobs that move the needle. This means from time to time we need to stop what we’re doing, get off the treadmill, reassess our workload or current situation and re-prioritise. 
  • Move on – If you’ve lost that ‘love where you work’ feeling, it may be time to reflect on your life plan. Remaining in a position ‘because it’s a job’ will bring stress and resentment. Find something that makes you want to get up in the morning and unleash the tiger within! Don’t be afraid to take a new path.

2: Financial worries

Financial worries can affect your relationships and social life. Many people find themselves in situations they feel are beyond their control. Worrying about finances can bring one of the biggest pressures we feel. Looking at where the next meal is coming from or how the next bill will be paid is often the biggest weight on our minds.

You may benefit from some professional advice – contact your local Citizens Advice or visit the Which website for access to a pool of services to put you back on top. Talking through your financial worries and possible solutions available to you is the best step forward. It will bring clarity and a plan.

3: Diet

You are what you eat, poor food choices can lead to you feeling unwell, putting the body in a state of stress, whether you are yet symptomatic or not.

Clean up your diet and the feel-good factor will come.

As a race, we are now eating more processed food and whilst on route to your plate additional salt, fat and sugar are added to extend shelf life and are chronically affecting our health. Not only do additional additives and growth hormones change the flavour of food, but they also put a strain on our gastrointestinal tract meaning it’s a struggle to metabolise food, causing bloating, allergies, hormonal imbalances and more…

So, what’s the alternative?

  • Consider a paleo diet 
  • Read labels 
  • Eat regularly and avoid skipping meals

4: Poor sleep

Do you lie in bed with thoughts and fears racing through your mind? We’ve all been there… If this happens on the odd instance, you’re likely to feel tired and petulant but this can affect your health if it happens continually. Good quality sleep at night is key to your performance during the day and will help to restore emotional and physical well-being.

  • Limit your caffeine intake 
  • Create a relaxing environment 
  • Be consistent with your bedtime 

Quick tip:

Aloe Vera plants omit oxygen overnight which can help with breathing and promote a harmonious sleep.

5: Technology

Technology is having an influence in everything we do which can be brilliant but can also add to stress. Ofcom research in 2017 found that 94% of adults in the UK own a mobile phone.

It’s easy to become addicted to hand held devices so it’s important to:

  • Block out ‘off-screen’ time 
  • Find alternative things to do, such as yoga. 
  • Try going for walks or joining a local community group.
  • Reduce your blue light exposure & leave technology out of the bedroom.

Are you looking for help?

If you are considering acupuncture to support you with stress, depression, or anxiety – do get in touch for a confidential consultation.

Acupuncture proactively reduces stress, by:

  • Providing relaxation time
  • Bringing hormonal balance 
  • Promoting health and well-being
  • Increasing energy

You may also like to visit www.mind.org.uk for additional resources.

Our top tips for back pain relief

Back pain is often mechanical meaning it stems from ligaments, muscles, discs, and small joints of the spine. Statistics show that 8 out of 10 people will suffer from some form of back pain in their lives and the NHS suggests that this is a leading cause of sick leave in the UK alone.

Muscular and skeletal wear and tear start from an early age, carrying heavy bags to and from locations, placing heavy loads on our physical body. We start work and often have physical or sedentary jobs that mean we either over burden our body or sit in positions that are not ergonomically friendly and challenge our posture.

We have a responsibility to maintain good health and that responsibility means that we should take good care of ourselves to enable us to live a long and happy life free from pain killers that our digestive systems must process.

We take good care of our motor vehicles, often taking them for regular service and MOT, we clean them and refuel every week but tend not to give ourselves the same love, care, and attention.  We forget that if we don’t take good care of ourselves that we might not be able to drive the car, go to work or play with our children or grandchildren.

Instead, we wait for a sensation, a message sent to the brain from the body telling us that we are in trouble, that sensation can arrive in the form of pain.  We might visit the doctor in the hope that the issue can be resolved.  The standard protocol is a prescription of medication such as pain killers or steroids to mask the problem.

Our digestive system must process any medication prescribed and has the potential of disrupting the gut microbiome, which can cause further problems later in life.

When taking pain killers, one of three things may occur, either nothing and the pain doesn’t resolve, we get some relief, but the pain returns once the dose prescribed has finished or the pain seems to disappear completely.

In our experience pain rarely disappears completely instead it often finds another route.

It’s a bit like a plumbing system, where there is a leak in the pipes, we fix the leak but if there is a weak plumbing system in the first place the pain will find another escape route.

In clinical practice we often hear the words, ‘I seem to be falling apart’, ‘I resolve one issue and another problem occurs’, ‘it always seems to be on the left or right side’.

Modifying your Lifestyle

The good news is that with simple lifestyle modifications there is a lot you can do for yourself to Obtain some relief. 

Hot and Cold Compress

Looking at Back Pain from a Chinese medicine viewpoint, if you are already aware that you have inflammation then applying heat might aggravate the trauma.  A sign that inflammation might be present is a sharp stabbing pain. That said heat might be more beneficial if the pain is dull in nature, such as a constant nagging toothache.

Cold compresses or ice packs are often suggested to bring out inflammation or bruising.  Coldness can often feel relieving because it has a numbing action. A rule of thumb is to try both and stick with what feels the most comfortable.

Change your sleeping position

A simple change such as placing a pillow under your knees can support the lower lumbar and take the pressure off the spine to help ease back pain.  A towel under the elbow may be beneficial to support the arm or shoulder if this is your troubled area. Lying on your side in the foetal position with a pillow between your knees may align your pelvis and help if you are struggling with hip pain.

Stretching

Exercises provided by your healthcare physicians and gentle movement may help relieve any tension within the muscular system.  

Exercise

Tai Chi, Qi Gong and yoga are some suggestions that move your energy and help stretch and ease muscle tension. 

In the long term

  • Do avoid lifting heavy objects alone and consider your company’s lifting and handling manual.
  • Do engage in some form of exercise but only as much as you can manage, pushing the boundaries can make matters worse.
  • Do consider regular movement, timely movement away from your workstation maybe all that is needed to keep you nimble.
  • Do consider your footwear, high heels may need to be closeted if you are experiencing, back, knee or hip pain.

Why should I consider acupuncture over any other remedial work?

Acupuncture is designed to consider the whole body, so if you are experiencing back pain, it could be that it stems from the leg or the shoulder. Equally if you are experiencing migraines, it might be that you also have stomach problems such as irritable bowel syndrome IBS.  Whilst acupuncture treatment is focused on your immediate concern other issues may resolve as well and you may experience improvements in energy or sleep, bowel movements and abdominal cramps, achy joints.

Following a thorough health history an acupuncturist will make an informed diagnosis that is designed with only you in mind.

To expediate your health concerns, a degree trained acupuncturist may have also engaged in continual professional development (CPD) such as TuiNa (deep tissue massage and manipulations), Cupping or Gua Sha (LINK) to get you back on the road to recovery as quickly as possible.

At Gaynor Grozier Acupuncture each of our therapies are considered to building a treatment package to help you on your journey to optimum health and wellbeing.

Acupuncture supports Natural Conception for both men and women

So you want to start a family? 

You’re about to embark on one of the most amazing journeys of your lifetime and it is proven that Acupuncture can help nurture your opportunity to starting a family.

If you are trying to conceive naturally and want to boost your chance of conception, Acupuncture can be supportive at the beginning as well as any stage of your journey. Choosing a holistic approach to fertility focuses on mind, body, and spirit, bringing about a natural state of balance, promoting good health, maximising your chance of becoming parents.

Acupuncture helps the regulating of fertility hormones and can increase blood flow to the reproductive organs. Acupuncture regulates ovulation and menstrual cycles in female fertility and helps male fertility by improving the health of sperm, count and motility

Not only is Acupuncture beneficial for couples who are wanting to start a family, it also helps prepare couples who are considering using assisted techniques.  It can also work for single women who are planning and wish to freeze their eggs; acupuncture will help stimulate the ovaries to produce as many follicles as possible.

Whatever your fertility journey, there are many motivations to choose Acupuncture therapy as part of your fertility plan and we would be delighted to help you explore all the possibilities.

Get in touch for a Free consultation and learn how Gaynor Grozier Acupuncture can support you with natural conception.

Location

Newcastle under Lyme:
4 The Avenue
Basford, Newcastle under Lyme
ST5 0LY