Family, Natural Fertility and Facials: A conversation with Crystal Dmytryk, owner of Eastgate Acupuncture in Hartsdale and NYC
Crystal Dmytryk, owner of Eastgate Acupuncture
As co-owners of Eastgate Acupuncture, husband-and-wife team Crystal Dmytryk and Paul Marks have made family wellness their focus. Along with senior clinician and licensed acupuncturist Dr. Stephen Jackowicz, PhD, they offer Chinese medicine and therapies for patients at every age and stage in life, including adults, teens and children. Among their specialties: treatment for prospective parents, chronic pain relief and even facial rejuvenation.
How do you help couples become pregnant?
Women have a monthly gauge of physical and mental well-being that can provide a lot of insight into their health, even beyond fertility. Using this information, I am able to determine where there are disturbances in a woman’s qi (metabolism) or blood. Being fertile requires that a woman have enough blood to create a nourishing and tranquil environment and enough qi, or force of metabolism, to complete a very complex hormonal process. Using Chinese herbs and acupuncture together, I work with women to establish a healthy, regular cycle and teach them how to gauge the right time to conceive.
I can prescribe supplements, exercise routines, diet modifications and even self-massages that will help them, as well.
When should a woman start treatment?
For women with mostly normal cycles, I usually recommend coming in three months before trying to conceive in order to improve egg quality, uterine lining and hormonal balance. A woman with more complicated issues—endometriosis, for example, or irregular menstruation—needs more time, sometimes up to six months. In this case we work to correct the issues as much as possible before attempting to conceive, so that both conception and the resulting pregnancy can be as healthy as possible.
Do you provide similar help for men?
We can work to improve sperm quality, if this is an issue, which will require a minimum of three months to take effect. In fact, I always ask to see a sperm analysis and work on improving male fertility factors, as well. What passes for a normal sperm analysis these days is 30 to 50 percent lower than what it was in the 1950s. So if a partner’s analysis comes back borderline, we always work to improve those numbers.
How is acupuncture used as a complement to Western fertility treatment?
One of the fastest-growing areas of Western and Eastern integration involves acupuncture with IUIs (intrauterine insemination) or IVFs (in vitro fertilization), as several studies have shown acupuncture to increase the chances of conception. Because of this, acupuncture is often used leading up to and during an IVF cycle. In fact, an acupuncture protocol has been developed specifically for use immediately before and after an IVF transfer.
Do acupuncture and herbs help women during pregnancy, as well?
Chinese medicine can be great for many of the ailments that are common during pregnancy. Headaches, sciatica and carpal tunnel are just a few of the most common complaints we hear. Also, using a technique called moxibustion (which does not use needles), an acupuncturist can help to turn a breech baby. The success rates are higher if we can see a woman before week 38, but I have seen it work later, as well. Acupuncture can also be helpful in preparing a woman for labor or to encourage labor if a woman is past her due date.
Your husband, Paul Marks, has a high success rate treating people with migraines. What does he do that works?
Paul has a really in-depth understanding of headaches and migraines, and that’s the source of his success. In Chinese medicine there are many categories of migraines—even knowing the exact location of a patient’s migraine pain is very informative for us. Paul’s success lies in his ability to find the true root of the migraine. For some people it’s a general circulation problem, while for others it may be muscle tightness or even emotional.
Do you treat other categories of chronic pain, as well?
Absolutely. Migraines are only one type of pain that we can help with! Pain management is what acupuncture is best known for, and we have many tools to help address all different types of pain, from the head to the feet.
What type of work do you do with cancer patients?
Acupuncture is often used in and out of hospitals to help support the immune system as the patient undergoes chemotherapy, as well as to mitigate side effects. Often we treat people after Western intervention in order to help them regain their health and vitality. Just last year we ran a study assessing the efficacy of acupuncture and herbs in relieving the after-effects of prostate cancer intervention. We had very good results.
Dr. Jackowicz sees children at your center. How is acupuncture for children different from treatment for adults?
Dr. Jackowicz is a clinician with more than 20 years of experience, and he has trained in Korea, China, Japan and the US. Because of his vast experience, we usually refer children under the age of 14 to him. Children have different metabolisms than adults, and as a result they change more rapidly and require more delicate treatments. Often in the treatment of children, it is also necessary to do a lot of lifestyle counseling with the family. Dr. Jackowicz sees patients in our Westchester office on Tuesdays and our Manhattan office on Thursdays.
What other services do you offer at Eastgate Acupuncture?
One of our most popular services beside acupuncture is the Acupuncture Facial Rejuvenation, which is a form of holistic cosmetic medicine. Facial acupuncture helps to firm the muscles of the face, rebuild collagen and elastin, and brighten the complexion. We offer a standard version and a deluxe version of the Facial Rejuvenation: the deluxe includes two herbal masks, some massage, and a full-body acupuncture treatment along with the facial acupuncture.
We also offer Medical Qi Gong, which is a traditional Chinese form of energy healing that involves hand mudras, breathing and sound work. Using the practitioner’s expertise in manipulating qi, Medical Qi Gong treatments can help rectify metabolic pathways on an energetic level.
Do you have any lectures coming up?
On September 1 at 11 a.m. I will be offering a lecture on gynecology and fertility at our Hartsdale location. This talk will be useful for women of all ages, as I will be discussing basic Chinese concepts about women, the menses, and problems that arise from the onset of menstruation through menopause. Anyone who is interested should call us to reserve a spot.
Any wellness tip?
Breathe. It seems simple, but it’s the number-one piece of advice that I constantly have to tell my patients. Breathe deep into your belly, nice and slowly. Pay attention to your breathing. Hear the air come in through the nose and out through the mouth. Breathe in and notice the areas that you are holding tension in. Breathe into those areas and let the tension go as you breathe out. You can do this anywhere you are and it will increase your circulation, relieve your stress, and calm your spirit.
Eastgate Acupuncture is located at 177 E. Hartsdale Ave. Ste. LLA, Hartsdale, NY. For more info, call 914.713.1000 or visit EastgateAcupuncture.com.