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Five Reasons You Should Try Acupuncture

When I get asked what my career is and I reply that I’m a Licensed Acupuncturist and Chinese Medicine practitioner a common response is “Cool! Tell me more.”. I love these moments as it’s an opportunity for me to educate an individual about the amazing benefits of acupuncture.

5 Reasons You Should Try Acupuncture

Acupuncture has been performed for thousands of years, but has only gained popularity in the United States since the 1980s. The fact that as the years go by, the number of people using this form of holistic medicine is growing exponentially is an indication of it’s effectiveness and depth of health conditions it can treat. As acupuncture has become more mainstream, the amount of research studies and clinical trials have increased only further proving it’s efficacy.

There are a number of amazing benefits to regular acupuncture care. The following explains just some of the reasons why you should add it to your health regime:

1) It treats the root cause of your symptoms

We take an over-the-counter pain reliever or NSAID for our muscle tension and headaches, an anti-histamine for our allergies, birth-control pills for our menstrual cramps and an anti-diarrheal for our IBS. These medications, though, are masking your symptoms and not treating the root cause of why you have the symptom in the first place. They may be a temporary relief, which at times is necessary, but when a condition becomes chronic, the issue lies in the person’s body constitution. That’s where acupuncture and Chinese Medicine come in. It treats each individual uniquely, based on what their body needs and what traditional diagnostics are showing. By treating the root cause of a health condition, the individual’s health stabilizes and their body becomes more in balance.

2) It reduces the body’s stress response

Your stressors aren’t going to disappear with acupuncture, unfortunately, but your body’s response to potential stress will be reduced. Acupuncture helps to relax the sympathetic nervous system, which kicks in to high gear when we are in “fight or flight” mode. We need our fight or flight response when we are in danger, but do we need it sitting in traffic or at our job each day? Daily activities will be more enjoyable when we are in a more relaxed, coherent state.

3) It can balance your hormones

Monthly irritability, mood swings, food cravings, cramps, sound familiar? These are all signs of hormone imbalance, all of which acupuncture can help to correct. By increasing circulation to the ovaries, uterus, hypothalamus and pituitary glands, acupuncture can treat the underlying cause of these unenjoyable symptoms. It is also effective at helping the liver remove toxic estrogens from your body, a common cause of hormone imbalance.

4) Better sleep

When our sympathetic nervous systems don’t feel the need to release cortisol all night long, the body can more easily go in to “rest and digest” mode and sleep soundly through the night. Our bodies heal and repair when we sleep. If we don’t sleep, we don’t heal, period.

5) Improved digestive function

In my opinion, Chinese medicine is one of the best forms of therapy for digestive imbalance. If digestion is not functioning properly, other body systems will be affected. By bringing circulation of fresh oxygen, nutrients and hormones to the digestive tract, the system can rebuild and begin to digest our food and fluids efficiently. Signs of an out-of-balance digestive system include constipation, diarrhea, bloating, gas, upset stomach, heartburn, immune system weakness, such as seasonal allergies, and much more. When the digestive system is working properly, food and fluids are turned in to blood and energy which result in more energy and a stronger immune system.

If you are experiencing any of the unfortunate symptoms listed above, consider treatment of the underlying cause of your health concern. By tailoring acupuncture treatments to your needs, the body is the ability to heal and flourish.

About the Author

View More: http://alycarroll.pass.us/stephanieStephanie Braunwarth is a board-certified Licensed Acupuncturist with a special focus in womenʼs health, fertility and nutrition. Stephanieeducates her patients about the importance of treating the underlying cause of a health condition and encourages them to take an active role in their health.

Stephanie serves patients at Des Moines Acupuncture Clinic in Des Moines.

Des Moines Acupuncture Clinic

MommyCon Chicago 2016

MommyCon has kicked off their tour across America and will be in Chicago March 4th – 5th! I was able to attend the MommyCon Chicago two years ago, while I was pregnant with Amelia. I had a blast and learned so much.

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The great thing about MommyCon is you can attend a conference every year, or go more then once a year, and you still learn so much at each event. No conference is exactly the same. Each MommyCon may differ by speakers, vendors and exhibits.

The Friday before the main event, are the VIP sessions! Check out this years VIP sessions at MommyCon Chicago! For additional cost you can attend once of these sessions and receive a majorly awesome swag 🙂 Last year, I attended the Cotton Babies session and met Jenn Labit!

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This year, MommyCon Chicago is adding something new! They are offering Little Make + Play Camp! This is the perfect option if you are wanting to attend the conference and have children ages 3 years and older.

82B1F8F5-DA66-5452-1D8960765866E764You can sign your kiddos up for a whole day full of sessions which include:

  • Hand and finger puppets
  • shadow puppets
  • paper beads & tassel play
  • making things that fly, and more!

Other activities include: 

  • Large-scale building
  • Stories with dancing, singing & yoga
  • Gross motor art and movement activities
  • Quiet corner available
  • Snack central

You can pay $15 per session (if you pick and choose) OR you can purchase a whole day pass for $50. Sounds like an awesome deal! Check out the entire details here!

I am so bummed I am not able to make this year’s Chicago MommyCon! I would love to sign Monte up to check this out! Hopefully, if everything goes well this year, they will offer it at their other MommyCon conferences next year!

 

Don’t forget you can use Midwest16 to receive $5 off! 

MommyCon 2016

I am so honor to be a MommyCon Sisterhood Blogger, again!

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I have been to this amazing conference two years in a row and truly believe this is the best conference for expecting mothers, new mothers, or moms with toddlers! AND it’s not just for moms! Spouses can learn so much too! The focus of MommyCon is to focus on natural parenting methods. Whether it be babywearing, cloth diapering, breastfeeding, or car seat safety there is a topic you can learn more about.

There are five main components to a MommyCon Conference:

  1. VIP events are hosted the Friday before most of the MommyCon Conferences. For an additional amount of money (amounts vary) you can attend a smaller, more intimate seminar to learn more about a company or topic. You will also receive another awesome swag bag! 🙂 Check out when I attended the VIP event with Jenn Labit from Cottonbabies last year!
  2. The swag bag. This is just one of the many ways you can receive amazing freebies! There have been blankets, cloth diapers, full size samples, and so much more. A swag bag is included with every MommyCon ticket!
  3. There are awesome seminars to attend through out the day that may include Cloth Diapering 101 with Jenn Labit (love her!), Babywearing 101 with Beco and Ergobaby, The In’s and Out’s of Natural Birthing, and more. Each conference location differ with seminars and guest speakers!
  4. The shopping is fun! Throughout the day, there are booths set-up that may include cloth diapers, babywearing carriers and accessories, bottles, clothes, games and toys, breastfeeding support, breast pumps, car seats, and much, much more. A lot of the booths giveaway freebies and it’s a great place to touch, ask questions, and test out products before you buy!
  5. At the end of the day is a massive giveaway to all attendees for the conference! EVERYTHING and EVERYONE is free game! You could win an entire car seat travel system, crib, breast pump, gift certificates, and so much more. It is so much fun!

You have several chance to attend a conference AND maybe you can attend two 🙂 Check out the dates and locations below! Check out specific details about each event here!

  • MommyCon Atlanta: Saturday, February 6th
  • MommyCon Chicago: Saturday, March 5th
  • MommyCon Seattle: Saturday, April 2nd
  • MommyCon Austin: Saturday, June 25th
  • MommyCon DC: Saturday, July 23rd
  • MommyCon Orange County: Saturday, August 20th
  • MommyCon Orlando: Saturday, September 3rd
  • MommyCon San Jose: Saturday, October 29th

This year there are two additional conferences that focus on infant feeding and babywearing! You will NOT want to miss these either!

  • WEAR: Babywearing Conference in Chicago: May 27th – 29th
  • MILK: An Infant Feeding Conference in Orange County: Nov 11th – Nov 12th

If you are planning to attend, make sure you use the discount code Midwest16 to receive $5 off your ticket for any conference!

If purchasing tickets make sure to use my code for $5 off!

Keep your eyes open! I will be giving away tickets to the MommyCon Chicago conference very soon! 🙂

Share the Love: Drop-Off Location!

Share the Love is an awesome program that connects cloth diapers with families in need. There are so many families through-out Central Iowa, who cannot afford basic necessities. Share the Love helps with taking one of many expenses off their shoulders, diapers.

Drop-Off Location!

To be able to connect families with cloth diapers we need DONATIONS! Do you have cloth diapers at home, that you no longer use? It is okay if they are not in the best shape, we can make them work!

We now have an official drop-off location! Little Padded Seats, located in Valley West Mall, was gracious enough to offer their store as a drop-site for donations. If you come across any cloth diapers or accessories (i.e. wet bags, cloth wipes) bring them into the store and place them in the Share the Love basket! 

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Are you a family in need? Please follow this link and fill out the application. We will get you connected with diapers ASAP!

Learn more about Share the Love: Central Iowa here!

Babywearing Exercise Classes in Central Iowa

It is International Babywearing Week!

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Babywearing has been a blessing in my life. It has kept me sane as a parent with small children. I was introduced to it when I had Monte and fell in love even more when I had my daughter!

There are so many options with babywearing and living in Central Iowa, we are truly blessed with the amount of resources available to us, to learn. If you have not checked out our local Babywearing International of Central Iowa group, you NEED to. It is a great place to ask questions about wearing, certain carriers, support, and to just meet other like-minded parents! They offer several meetings in different locations in the metro area, so check out their Facebook page!

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Since the babywearing community has grown and lots of parents are wearing, there are fun exercise classes being created right here in Central Iowa! I am so excited to share information about these classes with you!

• BUDAPEST •

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Pied Piper Studios & ClubFit Studio

Created by Caeli Esser of ClubFit, she is bringing fitBaby to you at two different locations! You can check out her babywearing class at Pied Piper Studios or at the ClubFit studio. Baby wearing optional. Stayclose to your baby, while giving yourself some love. We’ll safely guide you through exercises to improve posture, give your metabolism a boost and leave you feeling energized and ready for anything (whether or not you got any sleep last night).

Locations:

  • Pied Piper Studios – 3892 NW Urbandale Drive
  • ClubFit Studio – 2614 Beaver Avenue, shared space with Livable

Times:

  • Pied Piper Studios – Sunday; 10 am – 10:45 am
  • ClubFit Studio – Monday; 5:15 pm – 5:50 pm

Prices: Check out here for details on pricing options!

Roots Healing Movement Class

The Family Tree Yoga & Massage

Enjoy great music and easy to follow moves and stretches in a supportive atmosphere. Open to all women and safe for pre/postnatal students. Baby wearing welcome.

Location: 3900 Ingersoll Avenue Suites 106 & 108

Dates & Times: 

  • 4-week session begins Wednesday 10/21 weekly thru 11/11 from 11 am – 11:45 am
  • Offered once monthly on Saturdays from 10:30 am – 11:15 am on 10/31, 11/21, and 12/12.
  • A minimum of 4 registered students are required to hold this class. You will receive an email the evening before if we do not have enough participants

Prices: $25/class for Saturday drop-ins (may be used with 4 week class pass and Monthly Unlimited Memberships), or $89 for the four-week class series. All participants receive a complimentary guest pass with purchase!

Check out other classes they offer and sign-up here!

Babywearing Dance

Uplift Fitness Studio

This class is a wonderful activity to help you be fit, give your metabolism a boost, and leave your body feeling energized all while having fun with your baby or toddler! Dancing to music is beneficial to your body, soul and your baby! Whether you have danced in the past or only dreamt of it, these 45 minute classes are open to everyone! Each class includes simple stretches and dance moves designed to give you and your tiny dancer a bonding connection and fun time together. This class is also great for expecting mothers.

Location:  300 SE Grimes Blvd.

Dates & Times: Saturdays; 10:30 am – 11:15 am & Wednesdays; 10:30 am – 11:15 am

Prices: Check here for all pricing packages and to sign-up!

Make sure you keep an eye out! I will be checking out all three of these locations and doing a Featured Post, so you know what to expect!

 

 

National Diaper Need Awareness Week

This week is National Diaper Need Awareness Week.

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Never heard of it? I hadn’t either; in fact I didn’t even know that diaper need was an issue for families across the country until I attended MommyCon a couple years ago. Low income families can qualify for many assistance programs like SNAP and WIC that help cover the costs of food and formula but that still leaves the cost of diapers. We all know diapers are expensive!

When I had my daughter 7 years ago I was introduced to cloth diapers and soon realized that not only are they super cute but they saved me a ton of money and I never had to worry about how I was going to make diapers last until next payday.

According to Share the Love, an organization that provides cloth diapers to needy families, 1 in 3 moms have struggled to pay for diapers. The truth is 8% of moms have used or attempted to use a disposable diaper longer by leaving the baby in a wet diaper or attempting to reuse a diaper that is meant for single use which can cause health issues like rashes or yeast infections. There are many great organizations that provide diapers to families in need like Share the Love. The thing I love most about this organization is that it was started because the founder of CottonBabies, Jenn Labit, started the organization based on her personal experience of not being able to afford diapers.

How can you help? Visit Share the Love to find the closest host site to donate cloth diapers you no longer use or to buy new diapers to be donated for a family in need.

Midwest Mom & Wife is an official Share the Love host!

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Written by Kara Bush

Want To Boost Your Family’s Immune System? Go With Your Gut!

Itʼs Monday morning, you are getting yourself ready for work, walking the dog, making breakfast, packing lunches, thinking about what to make for dinner that evening, as well as having at least 10 other thoughts running through your mind when one of your kids wakes up with a terrible cold. Thoughts change to, “Who will stay home from work to watch him or her?”, “What does my child need to feel better?”, “When will the next family member fall to this illness?”. Sound right? What if you could reduce the number of times this event occurs in your household? By strengthening your familyʼs immune system, the number of missed work and school days can be dramatically reduced. Save your paid time off and sick leave for something fun, like a vacation!

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Building the bodyʼs defense system is much easier than one may think. Here is an easy way to start:

Focus on Gut Health

At least 70% of the bodyʼs immune system lives in our digestive system. Because of this, it is of the utmost importance to keep our gut healthy if we want to experience less sick days. To do this, one has to focus on removing foods that donʼt agree with their body constitution, as well as any foods a person is sensitive or allergic to. Adding pre- and pro- biotic foods and supplements are a great way to feed the healthy gut flora we already have, as well as make more good bugs. Examples of these include:

• Non-dairy yogurt (no sugar added)
• Plain Yogurt (if you are not sensitive to dairy) • Kefir (non-dairy coconut is my favorite)
• Kombucha
• Raw, Unpasteurized sauerkraut
• Unpasteurized pickles!
• Probiotic supplements

Chinese Medicine also focuses on the importance of a healthy digestive system, as well as digestionʼs relationship to the lungs. Focusing on consuming a majority of your food cooked versus raw allows for the digestive system to not have to work as hard to break down food and turn it in to energy. This is especially important during the colder months of the year.

Reduce Stress

Stress has a huge impact on the immune system. Long-term stress causes more bad bugs to consume our digestive system leading to poor immunity.
When we are stressed the body releases a hormone called cortisol. An increase in bodily cortisol, over time, has been shown to decrease the bodyʼs defense system. Things that increase cortisol besides stress include, sleep deprivation, caffeine, alcohol, and refined sugar consumption.

While stressful situations are impossible to ignore completely, there are things you can do to help your body handle it more gracefully and reduce the number of times cortisol is being released. These things include:

• Mediation
• Breath work
Mindfulness
• Acupuncture
• Massage Therapy
• Essential oils
• Homeopathy
• Yoga
• Light walks
• Dietary changes (i.e. reduce caffeine, sugar, alcohol, and refined carbohydrates)

With the never-ending “to do” list that can come with a busy life, taking care of yourself and family when sick with colds and flus shouldnʼt be one of them. Adopt healthy immune system habits now and impact your familyʼs health for life.

About the Author

View More: http://alycarroll.pass.us/stephanie Stephanie Braunwarth is a board-certified Licensed Acupuncturist with a special focus in womenʼs health, fertility and nutrition. Stephanieeducates her patients about the importance of treating the underlying cause of a health condition and encourages them to take an active role in their health.

Stephanie serves patients at Des Moines Acupuncture Clinic in Des Moines.

Des Moines Acupuncture Clinic

The Honest Toddler & Signed Book Giveaway!

One individual I was very excited to see at MommyCon Minneapolis was Bunmi Laditan aka The Honest Toddler. I had been following her on Facebook, Twitter and had subscribed to her hilarious blog. She was even more funny in person!

The Honest Toddler does NOT hold anything back. She lays it out just as it is. It is amazing how many things she describes and explains hit so close to home. It seriously is a relief knowing that you are not the only parent out there dealing with all the things, with a toddler. As she explains, toddlers are entirely another species!

The Honest Toddler just recently published a book called Toddlers are A**holes. “Toddler a**holery is a normal part of human development—not unlike puberty, except this stage involves throwing food on the floor and taking swings at people who pay your way in life.”

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I just finished reading the book and loved it. I will give you a heads up … yes, you can relate to a LOT, but some of the things may be taken to an extreme. I have no doubt in my mind though, that there are parents out there that deal with these extremes! Honestly, any and every parent who has a toddler or has graduated out of the toddler stage (lucky you) can and will relate to this book!

I was able to get my hands on two signed books and am giving one away! All you need to do is …

  1. Comment below one crazy thing your toddler has done!
  2. Like” Midwest Mom & Wife on Facebook

I am really excited to hear all your crazy toddler stories 🙂 I will announce a winner Saturday, May 23rd! Let the craziness begin …

Share the Love: Central Iowa

I am so excited to announce that I am officially a Share the Love host for Central Iowa! What is Share the Love? I have mentioned it a few times since I returned from MommyCon Minneapolis, but I wanted to wait to go into more detail.

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Share the Love is a National Cloth Diaper Bank. In 2012, Share the Love was created and began in St. Louis, Missouri. The sole purpose of this program is to distribute and provide cloth diapers to low-income families. A study was done, that one in three American families were forced to choose between food, household items and diapers. Jennifer Labit, owner of Cotton Babies, wanted to help change this.

“It feels like yesterday that my family was in this situation,” Labit said.” Ten years ago, I had a $30 weekly grocery budget and a WIC check. My family had to choose between diapers and food. If it wasn’t for a friend who generously sent my family cloth diapers as a gift, I don’t know what we would have done. Her gift helped my family and changed our lives, and I hope Share the Love will do the same for others.”

Since 2012, there have been host sites created in all 50 states across America. Many states have several host sites. To receive diapers, eligible families must apply for assistance. All of the diapers that are donated to Share the Love sites, are donated from other families who no longer need or use their cloth diapers.

So, what can YOU do?

  1. Donate! You can donate any cloth diapers you no longer use. If they need a little tending to, that is okay. We will make sure they get put back into working condition, before they are distributed to families. You can also donate cloth wipes and/or changing pads!
  2. Be a drop site! Do you own a business or work within a business that would be a great place for people to leave their diapers for donation? We are looking for several places in Central Iowa to leave baskets and information about the program. We would provide the basket & materials and would pick-up as often as needed!
  3. Help spread the word to low-income families! Do you know of a great place or organization that we can spread the word about Share the Love? Share the Love is new to Central Iowa and many low-income families may not know of this option. With your help, we can help ease the minds of these families by getting them cloth diapers!

If you can help in ANY of these areas or have questions about the program please contact me at SharetheLove@cottonbabies.com.

 

Five Reasons to Love Cottonbabies

While at MommyCon Minneapolis I learned a lot about the company Cottonbabies. I was familiar with the company, knew they sold some awesome cloth diapers, but learned that they are so much more! Not only do they sell amazing diapers, but they strive to help people less fortunate, support mothers, honest, and owner Jen Labit is amazing! Let me break down some awesome reasons to love and support this amazing company.

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1. Jen Labit is a working mother and wife. When I attended her VIP session at MommyCon, I learned that she may own and run a very successful cloth diapering company, but she is a mother and wife first. She has the same struggles to “fit it all in” as we do. She is a very inspirational woman and believes that mothers should have the “permission to dream”.

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2. Jen Labit supports working mothers. Not only does she support them, she allows the mothers who work for her, to bring their children to work. She recently wrote a blog post, that explains how important it was for her to have her babies with her, when trying to grow and make Cottonbabies successful and how they make it work now.

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3. Cottonbabies gives back to the community through Share the Love. I learned about this amazing program while at MommyCon! Share the Love is a National Cloth Diaper Bank. People are able to donate any cloth diapers, they no longer use to Share the Love. Hosts from all around the country, volunteer and help distribute the cloth diapers to families who are in need. Think about it … families who have little ones in disposable diapers and who are struggling, could save so much if they no longer had to buy disposable diapers all the time! Yes, it is an investment to start cloth diapering, but Share the Love is here to help those families do it! I was so inspired by this program, I am now a Share the Love Host for Central Iowa families! Keep your eyes and ears open for more details 🙂

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4. They offer several types of cloth diapers. Cottonbabies has created four different brands including: Bumgenius, Flip System, Econobum and Hemp Babies. By offering four different brands, there is surely something you will find and fall in love with. It’s important to have options and when it comes to cloth diapering there are a LOT of options and systems out there. It’s important to find what works best for you and your family. I just recently fell in love with the Flip System!

5. The Genius Series is freaking adorable 🙂 I want and need all of these! I love how Cottonbabies got unique and created some fun diapers representing some genius people in history! Geniuses that are represented include: Albert Einstein, Nelle Harper Lee, Louis Armstrong, Alicia Boole Stott, Osa Johnson, Matin Johnson, Ada Lovelace, Wangari Maathai, Steve Irwin, Jules Verne, Lewis Carroll, Audrey Hepburn, Charlie Chaplin, Marie Tharp, and Dr. E. Lee Spence.

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Make sure you are following Cottonbabies and Jen Labit on Facebook!