Infertility is a common buzz word in the media today. Couples of all types are desperate to conceive and in their desperation are looking now to alternative medicines for an effective treatment. Chinese medicine is one of those alternatives that future parents are investigating. With the recent studies being published out of Britain, and the past Swedish and German studies indicating that acupuncture can be beneficial as an ART, assistive reproductive technique, Chinese Medicine now finds itself at the forefront of the infertility scene. Traditional Chinese Medicine however has always had a strong grasp on women’s issues, including infertility. Most of the focus in the research studies has been on acupuncture as a sole treatment however TCM, is a complete model of Medicine of which acupuncture is only one modality within.
This article is written to illustrate some of the foundational concepts in TCM that are the causes and progression of infertility.
One of the main concepts in TCM with regard to infertility is the concept of constitutional weakness. The blunt nature of TCM information is sometimes hard to hear but is usually full of common sense. For example the concept of age and infertility is exceptionally important. The idea of older women conceiving is generally frowned upon due to the waning of general essence of life. The older you are the less essence you have left to pass on to your offspring. Other issues of constitution have to do with the woman’s parents at time of conception and what level of essence was passed on to her. Even the health of the parents at the time of conception plays a huge part in the ease of conception. The concept exists that hopeful parents should take one full year to become clean in mind, body and spirit before attempting to become pregnant. This includes clean eating, appropriate exercise in body and meditation to create the correct intention with which to create life.
Another concept is that of overwork and excessive physical work. Overwork is in the sense of long hours without adequate rest, this includes an irregular diet. Excessive physical work ie sports or actual work as “on a farm” especially at puberty can cause difficulty in conceiving later in life.
Excessive sexual activity at a young age weakens the kidneys which are the organs of essence. A weakened state of Kidney energy can lead to the constitutional weakness that was mentioned earlier.
Chinese Medicine also has strong conviction in regard to what are termed pathogenic factors. One of the most prolific of these in Chinese medicine is the pathogenic factor, cold. It is believed in Chinese medicine that cold can easily invade the Uterus and thus create an inability to conceive. If you think about it, it would be hard to bake bread in an oven that didn’t have the ability to become warm. This concept always reminds me of the cliché phrase..”a bun in the oven”.
This concept of cold also relates to the excessive consumption of cold or iced foods. This can also lead to cold in the uterus which as we know makes conception really difficult.
Another concept in TCM that leads to infertility is one of the stagnation of energy (Qi). This is very common in our modern world where women are under great amounts of stress. Women do not stop to rest during their menstrual cycles when they are losing what is considered the essence of their energy. Women continue to push until they are exhausted mentally, physically and spiritually. This stress and subsequent exhaustion leads to stagnated energy and causes all sorts of imbalances in health.
It truly is no wonder that infertility and miscarriage are so prevalent.
Most complete models of medicine have the concept that health on all levels is what is needed to conceive easily and then produce a really quality offspring who in turn will pass on their excellent and strong constitutional essence to the next generation.
From this information it is easy to see that while acupuncture can help many of these issues it is not the only modality that is required. Proper alignment and balance of the body, mind and spirit is essential for the desired result.
Remember; to be successful seek out qualified practitioners of acupuncture and oriental medicine. You can find one near you by visiting www.nccaom.org.
There are many factors that can contribute to infertility. Energy levels, age, stress, lifestyle, diet and exercise can all affect how available the body is for conceiving and nurturing. It is easy to see that while acupuncture can help many of these issues it is not the only modality that is required. Proper alignment and balance of the body, mind and spirit is essential for the desired result.