Using Tai Chi to Relieve Stress and Anxiety

Tai Chi

A graduate of Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, Shulamit Glaubach, MD, serves as a psychiatrist in San Francisco. Dr. Glaubach completed extensive training in psychiatry, including fellowships at Cornell University and New York University. Knowledgeable in both Western medicine and alternative medicine, Shulamit Glaubach, MD, recommends tai chi to relieve anxiety and depression.

A Chinese martial art, tai chi is now being used to relieve stress. A low-impact form of exercise, the practice is generally safe for people of all ages and fitness levels and requires no equipment.

Tai chi involves a series of stretches and movements performed slowly with deep breathing. Combining physical movement with mindfulness exercises, tai chi teaches practitioners various ways to move energy within their bodies.

The psychological benefits of tai chi include reduced anxiety and depression. The movements can also enhance aerobic capacity, energy level, flexibility, balance, and muscle strength. Some individuals also notice improved sleep, a stronger immune system, and decreased joint pain.

Psychological Aspects of Infertility Treatment

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Shulamit Glaubach, MD, is triple boarded in child, adolescent, and adult psychiatry. As well as working with children and adolescents, Shulamit Glaubach, MD, works with adults dealing with life difficulties like infertility.

Many couples (heterosexual and homosexual) and single individuals who struggle with infertility experience a variety of negative feelings stemming from their difficulty in conceiving and having a child naturally. They might feel stigmatized or unsupported, develop feelings of low self-esteem, or become anxious or depressed. After trying unsuccessfully for a child, the individual(s) may decide to pursue specialized fertility treatments, such as in vitro fertilization. While these efforts can lead to positive results, they are also associated with new psychological struggles or difficulties that are important to be aware of.

For instance, hormonal medications and fertility drugs can have side effects such as difficulty sleeping and irritability, which can create tension in the relationship or poor overall well-being, such as headaches. The individual(s) may find that their lives seem to revolve around fertility treatments and the woman’s ovulation cycles, factors which may take away spontaneity from their love life and add stress. With having a baby being a key focus in their lives, the individual(s) may decide to postpone reaching personal goals such as going back to school or traveling. This can lead to general feelings of dissatisfaction over time. Finally, on top of these factors, the costs of pursuing fertility treatments can create a financial burden. The individual(s) may find that they argue more due to money worries and other anxieties.

Since the course of infertility treatments can be a difficult time, individual(s) should not hesitate to seek help. Counseling and psychotherapy can help them talk through and understand their emotions. They can also learn techniques to help them manage anxiety or feelings of sadness. Some techniques include but are not limited to, acupuncture, breathing techniques, mindfulness, and meditation.

How Endometriosis Impacts Pregnancy

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A board-certified psychiatrist, Shulamit Glaubach, MD, treats patients at her private practice in San Francisco, California. In addition to providing behavioral therapy utilizing a holistic approach, Shulamit Glaubach, MD, leverages her expertise to counsel couples struggling with infertility due to endometriosis.

In the United States, 11 percent of couples of reproductive age have experienced difficulty in conceiving a child or sustaining a pregnancy. Of this population, one-third of cases are related to female fertility issues, such as endometriosis. A woman diagnosed with endometriosis has clumps of tissue known as implants that grow outside the lining of the uterus in locations such as the abdomen or pelvis.

During a woman’s menstrual cycle, the tissue that lines the uterus, which is known as endometrium, thickens and breaks down. Subsequently, the body sheds it as blood.

However, in endometriosis, the blood does not leave the body. This results in irritation and pain that develops into scar tissue or cysts. Both limit a female’s chances of becoming pregnant.

Surgery has been typically implemented to rectify this condition in the past. Currently there are various alternative modalities that are not as invasive to help with fertility in those who suffer from endometriosis. Doctors may also prescribe fertility drugs with or without artificial insemination to help a woman conceive a child. With early detection and proper care, a woman may be able to become pregnant within three years.