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Local Spotlight: Pin It Up Acupuncture with Hannah Wood Sykes

Sometimes you meet a new friend, share a deep love of Outlander, and you find out she has a really cool business! Meet Hannah of Pin It Up Acupuncture! 

Hannah is a local business owner, and mother of two. She's located in Sykesville, MD. 

Hannah is a local business owner, and mother of two. She's located in Sykesville, MD. 

How did you discover acupuncture?

I had a horse that was rearing. It was getting dangerous. I spent a year trying to figure out why and how to help him. I knew he was in pain but that was it.

A friend’s horse, that was a lunatic, was calm one day. I asked what she did, and her reply was Acupuncture. I snarfed at it, but I had tried everything else. We tried it for 6 weeks. In the middle of a New England winter. Horse was clipped and standing in cross ties. After the first needle his head dropped so low I had to pull off the ties. His head was between his knees, eyes closed, lip flapping open, and drooling by the end of it.

I figure that was not a placebo reaction and there must be something to this.

Fast forward to college, I’m planning to major in theoretical physics, but quickly figured out I would not want to work in a lab of any kind.

So I google practical application for quantum physics and acupuncture came up.

Further research and it seemed like the best of both worlds. Ground breaking research that has centuries behind it and so much to do to explain why it works; I would have a large variety of work to choose from as the field expands.

Plus it combined 2 things I liked to do: help people, and work with theoretical physics.

So now I’m licensed to treat people and animals and really enjoying it.


 

What benefits can you expect from an acupuncture session?

Acupuncture is really  phenomenal. Short answer is it does everything. More generalized answer is you will feel much calmer and serene after a treatment. You will be able to focus better and see things more clearly.

Acupuncture is just a tool used to remind your body how to be well. If there is a place where things are getting stuck, the acupuncturist will diagnosis through a series of tools we use, and the pins will go in to coax the body into its intended rhythm rather
than its upset one.

Stress can manifest itself as physical pain. Like migraines. Acupuncture will address the need for the energy, also called qi, to move, while I will help draw attention to things that could be causing the stress as well as ways to maintain your body post acupuncture.

How can acupuncture help during pregnancy? Labor?

Acupuncture is great for conception. So far I have 100% success rate for women wanting to get pregnant. And all of them had either been struggling with it or already doing alternative methods to conceive.

During pregnancy regular acupuncture treatments can ease morning sickness, back pain, knee pain and it can help with that strange mind fog that sets in.

Regular treatments can also help ease hormone spikes that can cause some crazy out bursts of emotions.

Acupuncture can also help turn a breech baby without being invasive. It’s all kind of amazing!

Pregnancy during labor was the best. I used 2mm long pins on adhesive tape and applied them to points used to induce labor. I had my water break early. We kept him in a few weeks longer, then on week 34 we planned to deliver. So I set myself up the night before, and when morning came I was 3cm dilated but 10am. He was out by 12:15 with only 15 minutes of that being active labor.

These pins also help to allow the sinews to stretch during birth and cause far less pain. I had him naturally, but he was also quite small

Where can we find you for a session?
I’m located at Coreworks in Columbia, as well as Merritt Athletic Club in Eldersburg. You can check our weekly schedule at https://www.pinitupacu.com/our-practice-keene

 I’m a member of Sykesville Wellness Group, and will be helping people to navigate to their needed wellness provider. You can find us at the Sykesville Farmers Market. 

You can follow Hannah on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/PinITupAcupuncture/. 


 

 

 

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Diastasis Recti: Things to try and Resources

So back in March I had strained my stomach muscles while carrying in my daughter from the car. I had ignored my diastasis recti (DR, separation of abdominal muscles) and weakened core muscles from my pregnancies, and paid the price.

 

That injury set me back a lot. I couldn’t baby wear my toddler. I had difficulty cleaning my house, specifically vacuuming. I had to slow down physically which is extremely difficult for me. (Please don’t make me ask for help!)

Nope, I'm good really. I got it...

Nope, I'm good really. I got it...

 

I had started looking online for help when my care provider couldn’t offer me any answers. Here are my three favorites:

·         Sarah Elis Duvall of www.coreexercisesolutions.com

She has great workout programs and free workshops with in-depth information. Her newsletters have great tips on postures and simple solutions to build up your pelvic floor and core strength.

 

·         Beyond fit mom (beyondfitmom.com) has several blogs and workouts geared towards correcting DR. Also included is information on pelvic floor issues, because unfortunately the two can go hand in hand. If the pelvic floor is weak you need to take extra care in building that first. The site includes a 30 day diastasis recti challenge to help kickstart healing. You can find it here:

       http://beyondfitmom.com/how-to-heal-your-diastasis-recti/

·         Diastasis Recti: The Whole -Body Solution to Abdominal Weakness and Separation by Katy Bowman.

Written by a biomechanist, this book gives great insight into how the body develops DR, and how we can heal from this condition without surgery and spot treatments. By correcting our misalignments, changing how we move, and exercises specific for correcting a host of issues alongside DR (weak pelvic floor, lower back pain, hip flexor tightness, etc.).

 

 

Initially after my injury I began wearing a belly support band. It seemed to help with posture and keeping my core engaged. However, it was constantly rising, shifting around, and being generally a nuisance to wear. I wore it faithfully for a month, before relegating it to only when I was doing something strenuous like vacuuming (it’s so sad for me to type this) or days where I was picking up and holding my toddler alot. I had to ease back into my normal activities, and often I was sore afterwards.

 

Whenever I had over exerted myself or was just having an extra painful day, I treated myself with arnica (topically and internally) and lemongrass essential oil. Arnica is a homeopathic medicine for trauma, bruising, and swelling. Lemongrass essential oil is known for helping with inflamed tendons. I also would ice my stomach or take ibuprofen on rough days.

 

I have had to learn my new limits with this injury, and go slow with my recovery.

 

I returned to somewhat normal functionality around five months later. I can now haul my vacuum up and down the stairs without being in pain.

 

My gap was close to three fingers, and is now reduced to two. I think posture, belly breathing, and the belly band has been the start to healing my DR. I struggle with making exercise a priority, and am hoping to correct that.

Definitely not me. I'd be in pain. And probably on the side of the road catching my breath. A girl can dream though right? She looks so calm. She's owning this road. I need to own my body again. 

Definitely not me. I'd be in pain. And probably on the side of the road catching my breath. A girl can dream though right? She looks so calm. She's owning this road. I need to own my body again. 

 

 I will be completing the 30-day challenge from Beyond Fit Mom starting September 1. I’m hoping that having a short daily regimen will help me get into a routine. I’ll keep you posted!

 

Are you healing postpartum? Share with us!

 

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Self-Care: A Case for Taking Care of Mom

It was a Thursday, and everyone in my house woke up on the wrong side of the bed. My oldest was whining, the baby was throwing herself on the floor in epic fashion. I was just done. I wasn't about to try to muddle through the mess that day. I texted a friend and we made plans to head to the aquarium in Baltimore for the day. (We had a membership; a thoughtful present from the grandparents!)

 

Our escape plan turned our day around. No more tantrums. No more whining. Just fun with friends and fish.

When in doubt, get out of the house!

When in doubt, get out of the house!

 

Both girls fell asleep on the car ride home. I pulled up to our house and began to unload the car. I picked up my sleeping four-year-old, thinking, "How did this girl get so dang heavy?!" and didn't think anything of it. I laid her on the couch, and went back for her sister. The rest of our evening was normal.

 

And then I woke up the next morning with a painful and swollen stomach. What did I do?!

 

I had ignored a big problem, that's what I did. After my second baby was born, I was sure I had a wide diastasis recti (gap in the abdominal muscles, DR) and was very weak in my back and core. I would struggle to sit up from a laying position. Any abdominal muscle strength I had was gone. I had asked my OB to check my stomach at my six-week appointment, and all he could tell me was that I didn't have a hernia. No guidance on what to do for the gap in my muscles, regaining any strength in my core, and recovery for my pelvic floor.

 

I knew I needed to exercise. I needed to heal this body that was battered by my pregnancies. But where was the time? Kids had to come first. Then errands. Who else would clean our house? I needed to get work done towards certification. I was too tired by the time the kids were in bed.

 

 I continually added to the forever growing list of reasons to put off dealing with me.

 

Until I hurt myself.

 

I couldn’t pick up my 18-month old. I couldn’t vacuum. I needed to rest until I could get in to make sure I hadn’t given myself a hernia. I hid in my bedroom for the weekend and rested. It felt so odd, but so good. I hadn’t been sleeping well for months, and the extra rest paid dividends. I added some arnica and essential oils in to my recovery. Ordered an abdominal brace in the hopes it'd be helpful.

My four year old snapped this while playing on my phone. I was resting on the couch, and couldn't help clutching my stomach. I hurt. Badly.

My four year old snapped this while playing on my phone. I was resting on the couch, and couldn't help clutching my stomach. I hurt. Badly.

 

Jump ahead: two doctor visits and an ultrasound later there was no detectable hernia. But they also couldn’t tell me why I was in so much pain and why I looked 5 months pregnant.  I also couldn’t get in to the physical therapy I was hoping for unless I did more testing. The results would determine if I could get in or not. I may have normal test results, which would exclude me from the therapy, even with the issues I had. Dude, totally lame.

 

I have taken matters into my own capable hands, and started finding tons of moms like me who have healed their bodies. They are on YouTube with awesome videos for healing diastasis recti and strengthening weak pelvic floors. I do my best to get in gentle and DR safe yoga every day. Even if it means the kids are crawling on me and dishes are undone. It makes my inner OCD twitchy, but I must keep in mind that my self-care needs to be a priority. If I am broken and hurting, I cannot serve my family. If I am exhausted and run down, my family feels that too.

What you want exercise with your kids to be like...

What you want exercise with your kids to be like...

What exercise with your kids actually looks like. Blurry cell phone photo, messy living room, and I am attempting to do pelvic floor exercises with my kids around. Mom on the floor = jungle gym.

What exercise with your kids actually looks like. Blurry cell phone photo, messy living room, and I am attempting to do pelvic floor exercises with my kids around. Mom on the floor = jungle gym.

I have been neglecting my own care, and have been trying to rectify that, even beyond the injury. Even just keeping in mind things like, have you washed your face? Read a book? Used essential oils today? All things that keep me grounded and take care of the introvert in me.

 

I’ll be writing and sharing more about healing my belly in the weeks to come. How do you take care of you, while caring for others?

 

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