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  • Jennifer Adler

THE FERTILE LAND OF ACUPUNCTURE WITH MARA CARNAZZARO


Some of you may know Mara Carnazzaro from our previous pieces. She is a practicing Doctor of Acupuncture and a Talisman Brand Enthusiast. We are so delighted to share that Mara has recently been married to her new love in Bolinas and moved to Sausalito from the city. She is very fond of her new home and is embracing being around all the Marin redwoods, salty fog, and sweet town vibes. I love how Mara described Marin;


“In Marin the elements come together in a dramatic, sweeping, and vivid way. The glimmering waters and hiking trails that wind over Mount Tam remind me of qi, of vitality, of meridians coursing through our bodies. I am very tied to geography and this is the first time in my life I get to live AND practice in Marin.”


She was also excited to let Talisman subscribers know that she will be introducing an herbal pharmacy into her practice. She will include Chinese and North American herbal formulations in capsules, powders, tinctures, and tea pills. These services will be available with a full medical history intake as well as pulse and tongue diagnosis in order to personalize the formulation and customize the formulation to your exact needs.


I asked Mara to share some of her favorite herbal supplements and she responded with excitement. “I rotate three herbal formulas on the regular: xiao yao san, gui pi tang, and ma zi ren. xiao yao san translates as “free and easy wanderer,” and the name is very apt! I take it for stress relief and emotional stability, especially when I get home from work to transition into the evening. Gui pi tang is fondly known as “student pills” because it strengthens our digestive system so we can think more clearly. And ma zi ren I take with me whenever I travel because it prevents me from getting stopped up, if you know what I mean! I take these formulas in powder form or as tea pills. A singular herb that is my favorite is called he huan hua— mimosa flower. It “lifts the spirit” and alleviates irritability due to stuck emotions. Plus it tastes like nectar if you find it fresh.”


After her response I was ready to add huan hua to my daily routine. I personally have used acupuncture to help with fertility and found it really helpful. Mara will also carry herbs that she has had success using in the past for helping women conceive. There are many she uses, but some common recommendations and herbs she will include in her pharmacy are maca (for libido), ashwagandha (an adaptogen to combat stress), and chasteberry (to boost progesterone production). These herbs all have traditional use and an emerging evidence base supporting their inclusion in women's health.


Not only do Chinese herbs help with the fertility process, but the benefits are most optimal when paired with sessions. During acupuncture, your body returns to homeostasis and hormones are released, including estrogen and progesterone. Mara has the ability in her sessions to increase or decrease your hormone levels to help with conception. Fertility sessions also can reduce stress, increases blood flow to reproductive organs, and balances the endocrine system. It’s a rewarding therapy for women trying to get pregnant and also a wonderful way to support the body through pregnancy.


Helping her patients get pregnant gives Mara a “high qi” moment in her day’s work. A dear patient of Maras was trying to get pregnant for approximately six months when she decided to try acupuncture. Mara treated her once a week for three weeks, and then when the pandemic hit they lost touch for several months. Eight months after those sessions, her patient reached out and told Mara she was seven months pregnant. Mara was ecstatic by the news. She also had success treating this patient during the pregnancy. She was experiencing painful varicose veins so Mara treated her for pain alleviation and stress reduction each week for a month resulting in the pain minimizing. And then to complete the process, when the baby was a few days late from the projected due date, Mara was able to do a house call visit to help move things along. In less than a day after treatment, her healthy baby arrived. What an honor to be involved in all components throughout the pregnancy on the way to motherhood.


I recently went to a weekly session with Mara and she put my body into a deep relaxation of which she calls a needle nap. It was exactly what I needed for my body to reset.


“How is it possible that I feel a high level of euphoria every time I get on your table?” I asked.


She explained, “There is a rather scientific reason why patients report feeling ‘a little stoned’ or incredibly relaxed and peaceful after an acupuncture session. It is because I incorporate points that not only address a patient's physical concerns, but several that treat the underlying cause of their symptoms.”


Mara gave me this example, “If a patient carries a lot of stress in their nervous system, she will incorporate points on the top of the head, the ears, as well as on the feet that activate the sympathetic nervous system. When the sympathetic nervous system is activated, the body is able to "rest and digest." In contrast, when we are constantly stressed, the parasympathetic nervous system, known as our "fight or flight" response, is more active. If the body is sending messages to be on guard of imminent danger, we cannot possibly digest our salad or sleep deeply at the same time. In order for my patients to return to optimum health, I make sure to give them plenty of time with the needles so their bodies are able to switch into the sympathetic nervous system-- a state of cellular restoration. Endorphins and other hormones are released and regulated, giving patients that floaty yet calm and deeply grounded sensation.”


If you're looking to float away for a moment in your day, or to increase your vitality and fertility, we highly recommend a session with the talented Mara. Mara’s humble attitude, given her skill in this arena, is another beautiful quality that I admire. Her repertoire of impressive clients keeps her in demand. I’d recommend booking in advance to get an appointment. You will leave feeling in a state of balanced bliss.

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