Barcelona Well Woman Centre
Uby Muñoz is a Traditional Chinese Medicine Acupuncturist and Doula with 22 years of clinical experience. She specializes in natural fertility and women’s health. She has been studying Chinese Medicine since 1977, and has been practising Shiatsu since graduating from the British School of Shiatsu-Do in 1984. Uby qualified as an acupuncturist in 2000 at the College of Integrated Chinese Medicine, the largest institution of its kind in the UK, where she studied both western and Traditional Chinese Medicine. She has taught at the London College of Traditional Acupuncture and the School of Five Elements Acupuncture. She is a registered member of the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC), the professional body for acupuncturists in the UK, which carries with it a strict code of ethics and professional conduct. In 2009 Uby founded Barcelona Well Woman Centre.
Why was Barcelona Well Woman Centre set up?
The Barcelona Well Woman Centre was set up with the aim to provide women with an extensive range of services. I felt that there was a desperate need in Barcelona for an integrated health option for today’s woman combining both medical and complementary care.
What services does it offer?
We are dedicated to helping women achieve optimum health at every life stage. We offer: Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine, Nutrition, Physiotherapy, Psychology, Massage, Naturopathy, Homeopathy, and Counselling. We also offer studio classes such as Yoga, including pregnancy and postnatal yoga, restorative yoga, ashtanga and vinyassa, Pilates and Qi-Gong as well as workshops in Mindfulness, Natural Fertility, Menopause and Breastfeeding Support, all of which are offered in multiple languages including Spanish, English and French.
What philosophy is Barcelona Well Woman Center based on?
Our philosophy is rooted in ancient eastern knowledge (Traditional Chinese Medicine) and adapted for a modern western world, to gently and naturally guide you back into balance. We believe in an integrated East/West medical approach: not only do we want to know how your western treatments are going, we want to make sure that our treatment plans support and facilitate the healthcare decisions you are making with other providers.
Our therapists work loosely together within the clinic team, and with external healthcare providers, to ensure that you are receiving the best treatment for your individual needs and optimum health. This integrated approach means you don’t have to constantly juggle methodologies, educating yourself in two (or more) medical systems so that you can get what you need out of each kind of practitioner. We help you understand how our care will work in and around your western care, so that you can put these different puzzle pieces together for yourself to best effect.
The Centre specialises in Natural Fertility, what exactly does that entail?
I work with couples providing natural fertility enhancement through acupuncture, nutrition, massage and lifestyle interventions. I look at your reproductive system in relation to all the other systems of your body, and am able to tailor your treatment specifically to your individual diagnosis.
The eastern way of approaching fertility is that to conceive and have a healthy pregnancy, you must have a free flow of Qi and blood throughout the body. An adequate supply of blood is required by a woman’s body to sustain a normal menstrual cycle, to successfully implant an embryo within the uterine lining, and to support a growing foetus and a healthy pregnancy. Through acupuncture we can raise your fertility potential by affecting the quality, quantity, balance, and flow of Qi and blood.
At what stage of trying to conceive would you recommend a woman should try your natural fertility techniques?
Natural fertility techniques can help at any stage. Ideally a woman would start preparing her body to conceive 6 months beforehand but it can be useful at any stage and has often been successful when everything else has failed.
What help can you offer to woman during pregnancy?
We support expecting mums by using acupuncture and massage. There are many ways in which acupuncture can help you during pregnancy. There are specific points which are known to calm the mind and relieve anxiety (stress isn’t good for you or your baby). Acupuncture is deeply relaxing and helps to promote internal balance as well as an outwardly balanced perspective.
Acupuncture also helps with the increased production of blood and other fluids in pregnancy. Acupuncture can be used to help to build blood and improve the blood flow to the uterus, boost your energy levels and relieve tiredness. It can also remedy some of the more common ailments of pregnancy like nausea, fatigue or backache. There are also many points that help prevent miscarriage.
From 35 weeks, acupuncture is used to help encourage the baby to engage, to ripen the cervix and to prepare for an efficient delivery. It also strengthens mums body, mind and spirit to have an easy post-partum recovery.
You offer Meditation classes – what do these offer, and what kind of person would most benefit from them?
Everyone can benefit from meditation! Our classes offer an opportunity to follow a guided practice. You are shown how to calm the mind and still the body to create a feeling of inner peace and well being. Too often in our increasingly hectic daily lives, we don’t take the time to slow down and simply “be”. The benefits of meditation are numerous and include feelings of confidence and self control, increased concentration, better relationships and reduced stress levels to name just a few.
For women it is a chance to connect with your own identity – besides being daughter, wife, mother etc. Women begin life as someone’s daughter, and then someone’s lover, wife, someone’s mother. Not only does a woman need an understanding of her body but also needs to connect with the essence of her true self, beyond gender, beyond fluctuations of hormones, beyond family expectations and other superimposed personality patterns.
For mums, meditation puts mothers in tune with their babies. Manta Japa is especially appropriate for pregnant women. After birth, daily meditation becomes a precious time to refocus and make sense of the many new thoughts and feelings which can be running through your mind, brought about by the events of childbirth and new motherhood.
You offer acu-pressure workshops for children, what are they?
This workshop teaches acu-pressure points and gives nutritional advice to alleviate common childhood ailments. Acu-pressure is a simple yet effective technique that has wonderful results in alleviating common childhood ailments such as fever, constipation, colds, toothache, trapped wind, etc. Parents love using these acu-pressure points as they are safe, fast working, easy to learn and to remember, and do not require any special equipment.
For what kind of problems would someone benefit from undergoing a series of acupuncture sessions?
Both the National Institutes for Health and The World Health Organization recognize Traditional Chinese Medicine’s ability to treat over 43 commonly encountered clinical disorders. Among these are:
• Gynecology in general is an area in which Chinese medicine shines. Its treatment is humane, without side effects, and relatively inexpensive for a wide variety of disorders. Chinese medicine may be used instead of or in conjunction with Western medicine for the successful treatment of menstrual problems, infertility and menopausal discomforts.
• Chronic pain, especially joint and muscle pain, arthritis, as well as headaches and other discomforts.
• Fatigue, including chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia or a general feeling of being down.
• Most chronic conditions such as allergies, asthma, and more respond extremely well to acupuncture.
Most conditions that respond to drug treatment, respond even better to acupuncture and Chinese herbs – without side effects. However, as part of our integrated approach at Barcelona Well Woman Centre we insist on partnering with your doctor to determine a proper course of treatment.
How does acupuncture work?
When a needle is inserted into an acupuncture point you will usually feel a sensation of warmth, slight numbness, heaviness or mild achiness at the point of insertion. This is known as obtaining the Qi. According to Chinese medicine Qi is the vital energy which flows through a system of channels called meridians and regulates the bodily functions. All the vital activities of the human body are explained by changes and movement of Qi.
The meridians are the transmission lines among the various parts of the body, making the organism a unified whole. The meridians and their tributaries provide Qi and Blood and thus warmth and nourishment for the whole body and also serve as lines of communication among the organs and the body. They adjust the ebb and flow of Qi in the body and help maintain a balance of yin and yang, blood and Qi and defense and construction.