Traditional Chinese Medicine approach to Reproductive Health
During this time of uncertainty I thought it would be helpful to share some insight that my acupuncturist, Niseema, shares with me. Only this time she was kind enough to write down her throughs for you guys, to hopefully help you feel a little more at ease and in control of your situation and well being.
Please feel free to comment with any questions you may have so that I can relay those back to her. Anything we can do to help right now we will!
TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE APPROACH TO REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH
Niseema Agarwal, L.Ac eastwesthealth.net
For many of you, your egg retrieval or IVF transfer may have been delayed or cancelled and you are feeling frustrated, anxious and a myriad of other indefinable emotions. What are you suppose to do now? When can you resume? These are natural and understandable questions and concerns Possibly a more empowering question to ask yourself would be“what can I do for myself right now while I am waiting so I can have the best possible outcome when I can resume."
I want to share the perspective of Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM includes acupuncture, Chinese Herbology) and offer constructive ways to use this time to achieve your peak fertility potential and have the desired outcome with the assisted reproductive technologies you are choosing. It is important to remember that it can take 2 to 3 months to achieve peak function and there is no time like the present to start.
“NOURISH THE SOIL BEFORE PLANTING THE SEED”.
What this means is that to have the the best results you want to focus on maximizing the egg quality, maximizing the sperm quality and then placing it is an optimized environment - your uterus/body. When seeds are placed in rich fertilized soil they will produce plants that will give off abundant fruits and flowers. I often ask my patients “do you like to garden?” I do this because I want them to adopt the gentle feeling of tending to their garden rather than “trying to get pregnant” which is a very different feeling.This information I am sharing is equally relevant for men and women in achieving the best possible reproductive health.
In TCM we consider the four aspects of our physiology, the physical, the emotional, the mental and the spirit (PEMS) as four legs of a table where each aspect must be healthy and strong to support robust fertility. This perspective of how TCM views the body systems is unique and I will elaborate on that more in a later post. If any one of these “legs” is not addressed it can contribute to a sub-optimal environment which may lead to undesirable conditions such as:
inflammation nutrient deficiency infection
Free radicals Poor blood flow
So how do we achieve this optimal environment?
First, take some time to reflect.... Are there aspects of your physical, emotional, mental, and spirit aspect that you have been needing to address and have not done so even if you don’t think they are directly related to your fertility?
As an example let us consider the emotional aspect of our beings since that is in the forefront of our psyches right now. According to TCM when we are anxious, afraid, depressed, agitated for long periods this will affect the energy flow and function of the liver, the kidney, the heart, the lungs in specific ways. It is vital to mange these emotions through the best means we know how, perhaps moving our bodies, meditation, talking to a friend, journaling etc. In addition you may choose to have Acupuncture and/or Chinese herbs to facilitate the smooth flow of your emotions.
We must remember whatever approach you choose you will need to be consistent in order to get the result you want. The most important message here is that we need to address our emotions proactively so they do not impact us negatively. Emotions and their effects can be as real as any external threat as viruses or bacteria out there.I will elaborate on the other aspects of “nourishing the soil” in an upcoming post.