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It is said that women are more sensitive then men. This certainly is true when it comes to cases of infertility. In truth the mere word infertility labels a women with a negative connotation. Most of the time it is unexplainable within the Western medical model as to the reason that a women is having difficulty with conception and pregnancy. Asian medicine looks at this in quite a different way. Through the Eastern medical model we investigate the underlying causes that lie embedded within her internal environment. Once these causes are identified, then they can be addressed and rectified. Acupuncture is just one treatment that we can also use to help women get pregnant and carry a baby to full term. Rather than identifying infertility simply as a problem with an ovary or a specific hormone problem, TCM dictates that fertility is a natural state, considering the internal environment as a whole system of energetic patterns. This model tells us that from the onset of menstruation until menopause, women, experiencing their optimal state of balance, are fertile.
Infertility can thus result when the network of hormones, organs, and energy systems are not functioning optimally. These imbalances obstruct normal function, (conceiving a child every time her ovaries release an egg). Restoring the environment is conducted holistically. There is not a separation of mind, body, emotions and spirit as in western medicine. Eastern medicine considers each of these elements to be equal in its assessment of the causes of infertility. Eastern medicines approach is to restore balance to the entire body/mind connective system.
Symptoms such as impotence, infertility, PMS, pelvic inflammatory disease, vaginitis, irregular periods, cramps, or morning sickness are all indicators that point to an out of balance internal environment.
The body understands that one should not carry a pregnancy when under tremendous stress. Our inner wisdom dictates that prioritizing one’s own overall health takes precedence and carrying the burden of an additional life can be an overwhelming strain.
Hormonal response to stress is antagonistic to the required environment for fertility. For example, when under stress, adrenaline is released from the adrenal glands and inhibits the ability to utilize progesterone. In times of stress, the pituitary gland may begin to malfunction. Stress creates false information and creates a serious of assumptions and conclusions the body responds to. When we are under stress, the sympathetic nervous system is stimulated, accelerating heart rate and constricting blood vessels and micro-circulation. This is our “fight or flee from danger” warning system. As this hyperstimulated dynamic is occurring, less blood is delivered to the uterus and ovaries, thus impairing optimal function. One of the biggest stressors for women is the inability to conceive. There are other internal stressors, and external stressors that may also need to be addressed.
Acupuncture can stimulate the bodies hormonal system into alignment, secreting the appropriate hormones at the right time in the right place during a woman’s cycle thus facilitating conception. Acupuncture and herbal therapy are both natural and can be very effective in assisting in successful conception. According to traditional Chinese medical philosophy, this is achieved through the careful assessment and evaluation of the overall function within the body. This function takes into consideration the ebb and flow of vital energy, blood circulation, organ function and balancing the activities that occur in about a daily.
Western medicine is specific and reductionistic, in it’s compartmentalized, mechanical medical model. Little to no attention is focused on the overall cohesiveness of an individual’s health. Eastern medicine strength comes from its overview of balance, harmony and well-being within an individual. Its focus is always on increasing normal or optimal function. The first step is to assess and evaluate what’s happening within your system and how it relates to reproductive organs. Next is to determine what acupuncture and herbal protocol would be appropriate. This is known as a treatment plan. Treatment plans can range from three months (three cycles) to one year. In addition to acupuncture and herbal formulas treatment may include change of diet and therapeutic exercises or rituals to be to be incorporated into one’s daily life.