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Traditional Chinese Medicine For Holistic Fertility & Women's Healing.


Traditional Chinese Medicine For Holistic Fertility & Women's Healing.

Felicity Cohen: Hello, I’m Felicity Cohen. I’m so excited to introduce you to my wellness warriors podcast. For over 20 years, I’ve been a passionate advocate for helping thousands of Australians find solutions to treating obesity and health-related complications. Through surgical intervention and holistic managed care.

My podcast is dedicated to all the people past, present, and future who has helped shape my journey and continue to inspire me to work consistently to achieve a healthier Australia in both adults and future generations. I hope you enjoy.

Welcome to my wellness warriors podcast, Dr. Fiona Tassoni.

It’s an absolute pleasure to welcome you today. Thank you so much for making the time. Just before we started, you mentioned you’d had a really early start and you’re working with countries all over the world and the global pandemic has clearly opened up your world to changing how you function and who you work in.

Dr Fiona Tassoni: Indeed. It has. Thank you for having me on the show. It’s a pleasure to be here. Yes. I was up really early this morning working in Montana and that was a really nice start to the day. I I’ve got a fertility coaching business that I’ve developed with my husband and it’s an online business, a 12 week program helping women to conceive.

So it just means that before I was working in a clinic spacing patients face-to-face, but with COVID and the , you know, the rise of tele health, it meant that we developed this business online and now I get to consult all around the world, which was fantastic.

Felicity Cohen: That’s amazing. I’d like to start with a little bit about your background and your expertise in the area of Chinese medicine, you’re a doctor of Chinese medicine and you’re also an acupuncturist I’m fascinated in both. How did you actually get to the stage in life where that became your pathway and where did that interest develop from in the first place?

Dr Fiona Tassoni: Well, I was in London working as a legal PA back in, back in 2005.

And I remember having this really bad back pain. I’d had a really bad water skiing accident when I was 15. So I had a posterior bulge, but the bolt had never gone away. So I had degrees of back pain for, you know, varying degrees over the past, over the five or six years. And I tried every modality, but in when I was in London, I tried acupuncture in two sessions of acupuncture.

Voila. Yeah, working as a legal PA in these crazy shoes and probably not the best attire for back pain, but it depleted my pain. Like I couldn’t believe how incredible it actually was these fine needles. So I was actually coming back to Australia to study law, but I did a full 360 and went into a bachelor of health science and ended up studying Chinese medicine. And acupuncture was the first thing that I studied.

Felicity Cohen: It’s so interesting acupuncture. Do you still incorporate that for women during pregnancy? I know that it can be a really effective treatment for people with sciatica, for example, and that it can still be administered for pregnant women going right throughout their pregnancy.

Dr Fiona Tassoni: Yeah, absolutely. Like part of the preconception with fertility is regular acupuncture treatments. And even if I am working online, then I’ll try and get the women to either do fertility Chico or acupuncture. And that’s why I tend to teach them a lot of the breathing techniques that go with the acupuncture.

But if they do have an acupuncturist, then I’d highly recommend that they do through the process of preconception and also during the different phases of their fertility journey and postpartum in recovery.

Felicity Cohen: Okay. I’m fascinated that you’re incorporating acupuncture as part of a fertility program that it supports, assists and aids those who are willing to fall pregnant. How does that work? And tell me all about that.

Dr Fiona Tassoni: Well, literally, I just find it stressful. Like there is the whole idea of let’s get pregnant, you know, before we spent all these years trying to avoid pregnancy. But when you decide to try and conceive, it’s actually quite challenging. Because it’s more difficult than we realise so there’s the stress involved with that. The acupuncture, basically when you insert the needles, it literally calms all the cortisol in the body. So all your stress hormones, alleviated and it also promotes the flow of other hormones like dopamine and the feel-good hormones. So you’re getting this therapeutic effect.

So not only is it just working on the hormones, it’s working on the emotions, it’s working on the physicality. And acupuncture, because it has such a therapeutic effect on increasing blood flow, like it invigorates blood circulation through the pelvic organs, you’ve got that blood flow to the ovaries. Even for spermatogenesis for creating better sperm and better swimmers.

It works for men and for women. So it’s literally I get both couples to be part of the acupuncture program.

Felicity Cohen: That’s fascinating. So typically it’s part of how you actually treat and recommend to all of your clients that they would actually go through a process of incorporating acupuncture into their programs.

Dr Fiona Tassoni: Absolutely. Cause it just works not only for stress for hormones, it’s anti-inflammatory, you know, increases that blood circulation. So it works on so many levels, the acupuncture. Like I had no idea the power of acupuncture until I actually experienced it myself. Cause you think about needles when you’re a kid, you know, when you have vaccinations or, you know, you think of hypodermic needles.

So I think a lot of people have trepidation around what acupuncture really is. When you see an acupuncture needle, it’s actually not bigger than a strand of the hair. It’s very fine. It’s very malleable, meaning that the needle can bend. And that’s why we often use guide tubes because the needles are so fine.

Most of the time, you don’t even feel the needles going into the skin. It’s very superficial. It’s very relaxing.

Felicity Cohen: Wow. You reminded me that I’ve actually used acupuncture myself to treat back pain. I know when you’ve got a really sort of significant pain that that needle can hurt a little bit, but then, you know, it’s treating that spot where there’s pain.

But now talking to you I think I’m about to go back and look at some stress relief using acupuncture. It’s so interesting and so fascinating. And maybe something that we forget to incorporate as part of a holistic process or attitude towards treating our health.

Dr Fiona Tassoni: Well, I even had, this is going full left field, but I had one of my patients come in, she had her dog with her.

She said, do you mind if I bring my dog into the treatment room? And I said, no, she said, my dog is very anxious. And I said to her, why don’t we do some acupuncture on your dog? Well, your doing the acupuncture. Now, she said, really? Now we have a point here called the Yin Tang between the eyebrows, which really calms the nervous system, calms the spirit, calms the Shen, we call it in Chinese medicine.

So I just put one needle in the dog. The dog just went boom, like just fell asleep under the table. She said, I’ve never seen that in my life. So she now does tapping on the third eye for the dog. You know, now she knows certain acupressure points she can use on her puppy, but should we gave this to her animal, which is hilarious.

You can use it on trees. I’ve actually put nails into trees where, you know, for blood building points and, you know, bear better fruit the next harvest. I mean, the power of acupuncture is not just for humans because at the end of the day, everything is energy.

Felicity Cohen: Oh, I love that. It’s fascinating.

Can you tell me more about Chinese herbal medicine and for those who’ve never been exposed to what that actually entails? What sort of what’s it all about? You know, I think for us in a Western model of healthcare, Chinese herbal medicine, Maybe we don’t really know. How does that work? Can we incorporate the two?

what does it mean? What does it look like? If you go in and see someone, or if we see consult with you, , to explore Chinese medicine, what are we doing?

Dr Fiona Tassoni: If you look at the basics, like I just try and relate it to things that you understand. Like, if you look in your kitchen, you’ve got herbs that are like, you know, basil and peppermint and you know, you see that they, they cooling, you taste them.

You feel cool, like you might be, you might have inflammation or irritability and you know, you have a peppermint tea, it can calm your stomach upset. If you’re feeling overheated or stressed out, you have a peppermint tea it’s cooling on the body. So there’s a therapeutic action of all the Chinese herbs.

Some are cooling, some are nourishing, you know, and we use lots of roots and tubers and berries and, and leaves and things like that. We dry them out. And so there’s a thermal nature of all the different herbs. And so it’s like, what are you trying to do? What’s what is the approach of behind the herbal? Like, are you, if somebody is not, just say they might be blood deficient, they may have, you know, scanty periods or, you know any kind of blood disorder.

So you might give them some blood nourishing herbs, things that are going to nourish and tonify the blood. So it’s just about looking about, the therapeutic action and how you want to improve that person’s physiology. So, you know, , other things like boho, we call peppermint, bow her in, in Chinese medicine, it’s cooling on the body.

So we’ll use that for, in prescriptions for things like hay fever and, you know, sinus congestion, but infertility also, you know, you’ve got to look at sinus congestion and they might have sinusitis or they might be stressed. So peppermint is very cooling. So it’s just about understanding what your, what your treatment approach and you’re trying to do.

And there are certain herbs in different categories that can treat those various element.

Felicity Cohen: Amazing. , let’s just park fertility for just two seconds. I’d love to hear from you about some patient experiences where you seen some really powerful and incredible results, transformations, and positive outcomes from treatment using Chinese herbal medicine prior to your, you know, your career in the, in the IVF and fertility.

Dr Fiona Tassoni: Well, initially, you know, I started off working musculoskeletal, partly because I had my back injury. And then what I was seeing is, you know, things, things evolve as you start to draw different things into the clinic. So the first thing that I was seeing is gut health. And I was seeing so many people coming into the clinic with IBS and, you know, they were having like, you know alternating, diarrhea, constipation, things like that.

Just allergies to different foods. So we would work on the Chinese medical model and work out what was deficient and, you know, putting needles in, you know, we’ve got the heart of the stomach. So putting needles in the stomach and I was seeing an improvement just by using stomach points on the hierarchy that would improve IBS symptoms.

And I went, wow. So that’s then what stimulated me to go into the Chinese herbal medicine. Cause I wanted to do more internal medicine and understand how. Treat the microbiome, not just with acupuncture, but with the Chinese herbs and understand it more in its entirety. Do you know what I mean? Because the acupuncture works from the outside in, but the Chinese herbs work from the inside out.

So you get that balance, you know? IBS was one of the first things where I started to see big changes. And then the other thing that I had great experiences with were people that had like, , like urticaria and hives and psoriasis, skin conditions. Skin condition that people were debilitated with, you know, and lesions and seeping things.

And, and I was seeing the, you know, the, these Chinese herds that we could just go in and target these sores and lesions and dry out all this dampness and, and clear up these skin lesions. So skin was another thing that I saw incredible results with, not just with the acupuncture, but with the herbs, a balance of both.

So those two things. Two massive things, which I saw, well, this is, this is powerful stuff.

Felicity Cohen: It’s absolutely incredible. And I know that I see in our patient population and just in general patient population, that there is an incredible rise in things associated with IBS and that people live with it far too much and try and just tolerate or put up with those kinds of symptoms that can be so debilitated.

zap their energy and really not allow them to perform to their optimum ability.Do you think there’s a connection with some of the foods that people are eating and maybe parasites and other things as well?

Dr Fiona Tassoni: Absolutely. Look, I think there’s, there’s inflammatory markers, you know, I think a lot of us, if we remove gluten out of the diet, because you know, gluten is so inflammatory, I mean, don’t get me wrong.

There’s some people that can tolerate gluten, but it requires a strong gut that doesn’t have any pathogenesis, so that doesn’t have a parasite or issues, you know, with their gut. So, you know, , yeah, I’ve seen a rise in like, like gluten, dairy, sugar, those things, all of those. If you remove those three things could improve your, sometimes people think I’m a miracle worker.

Cause I say, take the gluten, the dairy and the sugar out of the diet and they are like you’re you’re a miracle worker and it’s really, it’s just those three things create so much inflammation in the gut. So, I mean, it’s amazing when you look at Chinese medicine because it works so holistically. It doesn’t just say, it’s just the acupuncture. It’s just the Herb’s it’s it’s, it’s the holistic approach it’s going well, what am I eating? What are the emotions that I’m feeling? How does that affect my gut? Like stress is such a precursor to pain and stress is one of these insidious things that can aggravate your bowels to make you go the toilet.

You know, like people can have like, , just diary that it’s exploding out of their pants from diet, from stress. So. It’s it’s incredible when you look at it holistically and that’s the part of Chinese medicine that I’d love. Cause it does look at diet lifestyle, your nutrition, it looks at how am I sleeping and all of these six things they affect the microbiome.

You know, it is the second brain. And in Chinese medicine they say, well, there’s a theory. One theory that says, if we fix the microbiome, you’d fix every health system. You know, be an IBS, fertility, skin, sciatica. So the gut is so central to our pillar of health.

Felicity Cohen: Absolutely. And at what point in your career then, did you move into the space of fertility treatment? What took you there and what was your passion to get involved in, in this area?

Dr Fiona Tassoni: Well, the thing is every woman that I treat has a menstrual cycle. So I was seeing more of a pattern where women were having problems, people with having endometriosis, fibroids, cysts, sometimes you’d have excessive bleeding or not bleeding at all.

It was such a market for me. So I started to do a lot of work gynecologicly. It just started to be this trend because when you’re seeing people regularly, part of their, their treatment is understanding what is your menstrual cycle doing? You know, it’s a pillar of your health. It’s one of the pillars of Chinese medicine.

So it’s, we call it the fifth vital sign. So understanding then. And so there was this trend and I was seeing so. So many issues, even ovulatory disorders, the rise in P costs. And, , so it was just a natural progression, to be honest with you

Felicity Cohen: really interesting. And I, I know that you’ve quoted and I’ve seen some statistics around the incidents of people seeking out IVF as a solution to fertility issues in the United States.

I think it’s, is it one in eight? Absolutely. It’s really significant. Isn’t it? When you think about, you know, all of those people who are suffering and the problems that it’s causing for them in their marriages, the mental health issues that come with that when they’re struggling and trying and not achieving.

Dr Fiona Tassoni: And a lot of it comes back to, you know, not understanding our women’s wisdom and always women’s bodies. You know, we’re not. We’ve been on birth control for so long. So we don’t know what a normal cycle looks like. And often when you’ve been on birth control or an IUD, or what have you, you know, there’s nutritional deficiencies.

There’s things that you need to auto-correct. It takes time to regulate a cycle again. So a lot of the time these women, , are trying to conceive, but they haven’t fixed those nutritional deficiencies first. So I think a lot of women, if they understood their cycle, Could fix and optimise their cycle. They probably wouldn’t even need IVF.

That’s the thing. That’s the sad part.

Felicity Cohen: Absolutely. Do you see that there’s an opportunity or do some of your patients incorporated both modes of treatment. So there, they may be on IVF or they may be looking to explore IVF, but they also come to you and utilise Chinese herbal medicine in combination?

Dr Fiona Tassoni: Yeah, totally, it’s a great combination. And in fact, in a lot in most fertility clinics, now, you, you, they have a wing that is an acupuncture wing, which is part of the IVF clinic. Because it’s so important for the pre and post transfer. It’s so important for, you know, for encouraging implantation. So we’re seeing such a rise in east meets west coming together, working as a team because you know, there are women that structurally do need IVF.

They, they may have you know, especially with endometriosis, I had one patient where she had both of her fallopian tubes removed. She had a bowel resection. So, you know, IVF was the only option for her. So IVF definitely has its place, but I just think that there is a lot of women that don’t necessarily need IVF if they understood their women’s bodies and they understood their women’s wisdom. If they understood their fertile zones, how to time sex correctly, how to understand what their cervical mucus is doing, you know, but we’re not taught this information. We’re not even taught as a child, you know, what is a normal period? Yep.

Felicity Cohen: What do you think has been some of the contributing factors to the rise in IVF treatment?

Dr Fiona Tassoni: I would say endocrine disruptors. I would say, you know, this fast-paced reality that we live in. It’s like a formula one lifestyle. We don’t sleep enough. We don’t have the right nutrition. We’re eating out. We’re eating on the go.

We’re eating in a hurry. We’ve got stress on our minds. Do you know, fertility is where, you know, it’s about the middle path, you know, being receptive, being yin. And most of us are depleting that yin, you know, with this fast formula in lifestyle. So I think if we could learn to take a step back. To be in the present moment to meditate, to be, to learn how to just even simple things, chew your food, like a Zen, Buddhist monk.

You know, most of us inhale our food. It’s like 1, 2, 3, 4 swallow, you know, there’s then Buddhist monks. They have 36 chews per mouthful, which brings them. So in the present moment we’re so not in the present.

Felicity Cohen: A hundred percent agree. And I know my mother taught me that 36 choose to the mouthful was the norm. So I’m very familiar with that number, , you know, and that yes, you know, meal times and taking your time and slowing down.

It’s a big part of what I advocate for my patient population here and feel that it’s such an important thing to do that we disconnect from technology that we reconnect with each other, and that we do, you know, definitely slow down, especially at mealtime.

Dr Fiona Tassoni: Well, even little things, you go to a cafe, right? And the first thing they say, would you like a coffee? Then you get your menu. Then they say, would you like another coffee? Now coffee is an enema. It acts as an enema on the body. So literally if you’re doing caffeine before you eat already, you’re stimulating those digestive events. To really move fast.

So it’s not like you’re digesting the food, then you follow it up with another coffee. It’s going to move through you and people wonder why they have IBS. I say, take, I’m not saying I’m anti coffee. Cause I think coffee has its place. It has its ritual. But I tell all of my patients try to have your coffee in now, before you eat or an hour after you eat, but never around the metabolism of food.

Cause it really does affect that metabolize. And it’s the same goes with even drinking if it’s alcohol as an imperative habit before the meal or after the meal as a digestive, but not with the meal and the same goes with water, because basically what you’re doing with the water, you’re diluting all those amazing enzymes in the mouth, which produced that amylase, which is so important for the breakdown of food.

So we’re really diluting all of our gut enzymes. And that’s why I’m seeing such a rise in the IBS when I really broke it down and started to see patients and what they were doing, how they were eating, but most of them were either having coffee with meals, water, with meals or alcohol with meals.

Felicity Cohen: I think, you know, we’re so bombarded with so much information about what’s right what’s not, I think I’m also a little bit confused myself with coffee. You know, there are so many evils, but yes. Is it still okay? You know, and when is it okay. , tell me a bit more about coffee, because I’ve seen so much information about some of the more dangerous and harmful impacting effects of drinking coffee and maybe too much of it.

Maybe sometimes it’s what we’re putting with it. What w what’s your take on coffee?

Dr Fiona Tassoni: Look, I’m a coffee lover. I’m married to an Italian man, so it’s very, it’ll be like the, I’d be the antichrist. If I said I don’t do coffee, , you know, but the thing is I also am perimenopausal. So I understand that. It does affect my hormones.

So I try and limit it. It’s a balance and Chinese medicine works like that. Find a balance with it. I’m saying, don’t say no to coffee, but just find a happy balance. Maybe one to two cups per day, no more than. And if you’re doing it, have a glass of water after it, so you’ve rehydrating. Don’t do it with food so that you’re not affecting your food metabolism.

But with fertility, because we’re trying to get the hormones so optimal and it can just fluctuate your hormones out of control. So with fertility, when I’m working to get people pregnant, I tend to avoid coffee and caffeine at all costs.

Felicity Cohen: Interesting. So what, what does your program involve and how are you actually supporting, helping and guiding couples to achieve healthy pregnancy?

Dr Fiona Tassoni: Well, a fertility coach, it’s no different to being a doctor or a consultant. Basically. It just means that it’s all via zoom or whatever the platform is Skype has you’re using, but it just means that we meet week to week. And it’s an hour where we go through. What, what strategy is you need? So, first of all, it might be looking at their differential diagnosis, looking at bloods and things.

How can we improve, you know, if they’re going through IVF, what can I value add to that process? Or how can I prep them before a stim phase? Or do you know, how do I support them? Not with just Chinese medicine, but Chinese herbs or acupuncture. I’ll often give them breathing techniques. I’m I’m also a yoga instructor.

I’m trained in the Iyengar system. So I, I infuse so many tools. So because I think breathing women, when women are stressed, they forget to breathe. So I infuse a lot of breathing techniques. She called them diet and lifestyle, and then it’s like looking at helping them make better decisions.

Do you know what I mean? Learning to create the right fertility, affirmations, the right mindset, cultivating that struggles they might be having in their relationship. Because I know that this process is stressful on both the male and the female. So it’s about really bonding them back together. I love Dr. Gary Chapman’s book, the five languages of love. So I try and infuse those languages of loving to that framework so that women and men can communicate in one.

Like I have a thing where I say to women, Do not mention ovulation. It’s the no-go zone word. You know, men don’t want to hear that word. I’m ovulating, let’s have sex. No, we have to use those nonverbal cues because men are very sensitive. They’re no different to us. They have performance anxiety. They feel like they’re letting their partner down. So I say to them, find out what your partner’s love language is, whether it’s physical touch, words of affirmation, quality time, you know, gift giving what, find out what that language of love, and then do those strategies to connect you in ways that can lead to tantra and sex.

You know, so there’s so much to the coaching. It’s kind of hard to describe it all in, in one sentence.

Felicity Cohen: I loved it. So all encompassing, all encompassing in such a holistic approach that incorporates so many different modalities. I love Iyengar yoga. I wished it was more Iyengar yoga around, there’s only one studio up here on the gold coast where I live that offers Iyengar yoga. During lockdown or, you know, during the, over the past year, then they can’t use any of the props. And so you lose the ability to be able to practice Iyengar yoga. I think it’s so spectacular. Why do we not see more of it?

Dr Fiona Tassoni: I don’t know. Like, you know, when I first got into I’ve got in Iyengar yoga, partly when I had that back injury, I was telling you about, and I needed something that could rehabilitate my spine and I got into the Iyengar yoga, and that’s what really rebuild the back, like made it strong. And I thought it was so powerful that I became an instructor. and I saw the power of it because you know, so many styles of yoga you know, power flows, not everyone could do a power flow and there’s, you know, acro yoga and all this stuff, but it’s not for everyone.

Whereas Iyengar doesn’t matter if you’re a child, if you’re an old man or you don’t, you know, you’re, you’re having a baby, what are you have an auto-immune condition? It. Everything Iyengar has a prop or a pose, and it’s quite static. It’s very nurturing. It’s not, they do have elements of it where it is power flow, but, but the majority of it is it’s tailored to whatever your condition is. That’s what I love about it.

Felicity Cohen: It’s great for alignment and brilliant tool or yoga kind of solution for alignment is so, so good with Iyengar, yeah. Great fan. I think it’s fascinating.

Dr Fiona Tassoni: I went to India back in 2006 and met Mr. got to Richie. We call him. And I remember being in the class there and we had, it was a waiting list to get into the Institute you go from.

And 200 people in the class, you know, and it was just fascinating. And in we’d had like, , the medical class where you’d go and you’d learn about people that had high blood pressure or people that had couldn’t walk. People were coming all over India to the Institute and we would work with them as you know, a team of teachers teach.

And we would work on their issues, whether it was, you know, they just had a heart attack or they’ve got the worst sciatica and haven’t walked and we would rehabilitate them with the . Iyengar yoga practice. So it was amazing to watch.

Felicity Cohen: Amazing. I love it. I do have a studio in. In Melbourne.

Dr Fiona Tassoni: I tend to go to yoga hall when I’m, when I am doing yoga in Melbourne, but now I’m up in Kings cliff.

So I’ve found there’s a beautiful place here called waves, but it’s not Iyengar S as in terms of the Iyengar practice. So I am, I’m like you, I’m on the hunt for an Iyengar teacher up here in Northern new south Wales.

Felicity Cohen: Yeah. Okay. Well, we’ll have to keep looking to that. There’s one. Yeah.

Amazing. So tell me some of your favorite stories in terms of outcomes, results, and you know, beautiful stories of those who’ve you’ve guided and supported two who’ve come to you because they just want to fall pregnant.

Dr Fiona Tassoni: Well, The one that comes to mind just recently, this is the one that I spoke to you before she, she had been trying to conceive for five years. She had a bowel resection. She had her fallopian tubes removed. She had, she’d been doing IVF, but for five. And literally when she came to do the fertility coaching with me, we stuck, we strategized, we changed her reproductive endocrinologist.

We tried a new protocol and I supported that process with her. And it was just amazing. Like I only worked with. With one cycle and she got pregnant. She’s now in her third trimester, which is very exciting for me. When I see something that was against all odds. Now, she also had NK killer cells, so hostile or uterus.

So she had so many things against her and yet it was just an amazing success story. I was in a coaching call and I could see my phone ringing and I knew it was, she was pregnant. So it’s just. Those stories are really exciting for me, you know, when women have given up hope and like, that’s what she said.

You, you really held that pillar of hope for me and gave me hope. And now, yeah, I’m sure it’s stories like that, that drive you to keep going and to do what you do. Beautiful story. I love that. Well, I’ve had, I’ve had another one where a girlfriend, she had, , a baby and it was still born. So she had to actually birth the baby and it was just traumatic, you know, and she went into a massive depression and, , she started working with me to just.

Build up the hope again to even try. So part of it was regulating her cycle again, to open up her heart, to warm her uterus. And you know, now she’s had two more children with me and that was so exciting because it was just such, such huge loss because she was 38 weeks and had to birth this little baby boy.

And so that was that was a tragic story, but a really happy outcome. You know, I’ve had another lady that catatonic depression. She had such bad depression and she was on antidepressants antianxiety, anti psychotics. She already had one child, but this postnatal depression was so bad. So she came to see me and we worked just with acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine.

And we worked over a period of six months, but we got her all her meals. And as she came off all the meds, she wasn’t even trying to get pregnant, but she got pregnant.

Yeah. So it was just incredible mental health and the power of it, because I think she was so down. She didn’t have to have the words to be able to talk about it in therapy. And that’s the beauty of acupuncture. You can lie there and the needles do the work. It’s like, step aside, let the needles do the work.

Amazing. There’s also a cost equation to consider, you know, someone who’s been going through IVF for five years, they’ve invested a lot of money before they actually get to you and achieve an amazing positive outcome.

Indeed. You know, I had one lady that came to me, she had done 19 rounds of IVF. Before she came to see me and it was, you know, we’re talking a quarter of a million dollars here.

It’s it was big bucks. she’s now got twins, which was amazing, but it’s, you know, the cost. So this is part of what the treatment that the pre pregnancy program is about is trying to reduce the number of IVF cycles on the body. Because when you’re getting your ovaries to do you know, to work at such a rate, And to do that over and over and over again, it taxes the body, you know, there’s a price to pay.

So we want to avoid the amount of rounds of IVF that women do. And part of that strategy is getting women into the best optimal health, the best hormonal health, the best emotional, you know, so their not only their mindset, but their mental health is right, so that they can avoid those costs and the cost on the body.

Felicity Cohen: I think the mental health issue is a big one. When we’re talking about IVF and I’ve seen the impact post treatment, that it can have some pretty debilitating long and far-reaching effects on mental health. And it can actually be a precursor as well for depression and other mental health conditions that may not have been present prior to just because of the texting conditions, you know, and what they’re actually putting themselves through going through the IVF.

Dr Fiona Tassoni: Absolutely. And this is the thing in Chinese medicine. We have, we call it the fourth trimester. This is the postpartum thing. So not only do I follow people from preconception, but during all those stages of your pregnancy, but that fourth trimester, we call it, you know, we do mother roasting, we call it, I love the metaphors in Chinese medicine, but after you’ve had the baby and the body’s depleted, you know, Things like, you know, bone broth and, you know, Barelas broth and things that will nurture the body and warm up the uterus.

And we use a herb, which is a compressed herb called mugwort. And we use that over the belly and what that does, it helps shrink the uterus makes the nipples lactate, but it really helps with that postnatal depression. So we call that mother roasting and you know, a lot of women. They follow the process through, but they forget about the fourth trimester and I’m like the fourth trimester is the most important trimester.

That’s when you need me the most.

Felicity Cohen: Yeah. Amazing. I read it something very interesting that you posted on Instagram about the use of castor oil and castor oil packs and how you use them. I always thought that castor oil was used for its medicinal properties and that, you know, you maybe you’d drink. I dunno, I’ve heard it used for severe constipation, but I’ve not even heard of using casserole and the packs and what you’re doing with them.

And can you tell me a bit about why you do that and what it’s for?

Dr Fiona Tassoni: Yeah, sure. Well, I mean the castor oil, it’s an anti-inflammatory oil. It is it’s so potent and it has therapeutic applications, not even just for the fertility and you know, I’ve used it for hair loss. Cause I’ve had that with my peri-menopause hair loss.

Um, but you can use it for losing your eyebrows and your eyelashes, teeny tenia. Yeah. It’s, it’s so amazing. So you can use the castor oil on the gut, on the horror, on the. And you can use that. Even if you do have IBS, you can massage it into the belly, or you can make like a, you know, if you mentioned that you’ve got a cloth like this and you know, pouring about three or four tablespoons onto the cloth and putting over the.

Covering it with a plastic wrap and then putting in a hot compress over the belly, it will help any stomach pain. It will help, , bloating. So, you know, a lot of women that I see they’ve got, you know, adhesions, they’ve got. Endometriosis, they’ve got pelvic pain, dysmenorrhea, any pain of any kind, anything gynecologicly, that’s going on.

It’s amazing for using in that first half of the cycle after you finish your period. So we usually use it, you know, after you finished menstruating up until the day of. And those packs really work on the lymphatic system. They invigorate the blood circulation, you know, and part of it, it’s like that’s the time we were ripening and nourishing the, the, the follicles.

So it’s, it’s so powerful and so simple. And so cheap.

Felicity Cohen: Well, I feel like that’s actually your health hack. That’s kind of unique and different, and I’ve never heard about it before until reading a post of yours. And so do you use the castor oil for hair regeneration and growth? What do you do? You massage it into your scalp?

Dr Fiona Tassoni: So you pour it over your scalp. So it’s like an oil. And yeah, totally. And leave it on. Anyway, I usually leave it on for about an hour. I read glad wrap around my head and it just encapsulates the oil. Now it makes it’s great for dry and brittle hair, but it’s literally growing back all my hair, you know, so hormonally, especially too, you know, if you’re hot headed, you’re an irritable person.

You do a castor oil pack on the head and you just like use Zen you’re Zen out. It’s so cooling. It’s so calming. It’s amazing. You can also use them underneath the liver so you can do a smaller patch. So imagine having that little patch like this and just putting it under the liver, I usually get one of those medicated plastic.

Band-aids to put over and you can put it under the liver. Now you can use that as part of a lead liver detox strategy. It really does help the lymphatic processes of the liver. It helps you detoxify. It helps the liver work more effectively. It’s really quite powerful.

Felicity Cohen: Is it safe to drink?

Dr Fiona Tassoni: It is safe to drink if you’re constipated, but if you’re not constipated, it’s going to make you have the runs.

So, you know, it’s Contra indicated if you have loose stills, but if you are backed up then a tablespoon of castor oil or, you know, can it also induce, , contractions, you know, there’s that old wives tale that be. You can take one to three tablespoons of castor oil and it can see it stimulates that bowl, which can also then as a byproduct stimulate uterine contractions with the prostaglandins.

So that’s quite powerful. It’s a great little remedy from grandma that I think every, every household should have.

Felicity Cohen: Fascinating. Tell me a little bit about how you have opened up your world to consult with people everywhere. Do you find that your patient population exposure and the people that you’re treating, are there any idiosyncrasies or differences in terms of how you treat or things that you’re noticing that are different?

Dr Fiona Tassoni: Honestly, I think people, you know, heart to heart human, to human, you know, we all have the same struggles, the same challenges, you know, physiologically. , I think we are one and the same, , many faces, one race. So I just love the storytelling of being able to talk to someone that’s in Montana and say, what’s it like in the land of the dinosaurs?

You know? How am I using to live and be from Montana? Tell me about that. , you know, learning about. , I’m a people watcher. I love, I love storytelling. I love learning about different cultures and different peoples. So, you know, cultural customs that I learn about whether I’m working with an Orthodox Jewish population or I’m working with the Italians. You know, I’ve learned things all the time, which, you know, it just adds to my repertoire, you know, my fertility recipes and my fertility guidebook just keeps getting bigger and bigger because different customs. I go, oh, I’m going to take a little bit of the bore soup from there and the chicken soup from the soul, which is the Jewish penicillin. And, you know, you just start to build this, you know, world book, this encyclopedia of human beings. It’s amazing. I was actually reading on Instagram about this human library and it says how you can rent people and look at people and read it.

Instead of reading a book, you rent a person for an hour and you get you’d get the storytelling from the person. So it’s a bit like that for me my work now.

Felicity Cohen: Beautiful. Absolutely love it. And it’s been a pleasure hearing a little bit about some of the work that you do, Fiona. It’s really, really interesting.

I find it fascinating. I’d love to ask you just one final question that I ask of all of my podcast guests on the wellness warriors podcast, Dr. Fiona Tassoni, what does wellness mean to you?

Dr Fiona Tassoni: Wellness to me means happy mind, happy body, happy spirit, happy me. It’s such a holistic approach to wellness, you know, because it’s like mental wellness, you know, heart wellness, gut wellness, it’s you know body, mind, and spirit.

Felicity Cohen: Beautiful. Thank you so much for joining me today.

Dr Fiona Tassoni: Thank you you for having me, it’s been a pleasure Felicity to get to know you better.

Thank you for joining the wellness warriors podcast. It’s been a pleasure to have you online with us. If you enjoy the series, please leave a review, subscribe and follow it. And we look forward to sharing many more stories with you in the future.

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