In the modern context of reproductive medicine and fertility, Acupuncture and Chinese medicine are finding their place and becoming an integral aspect of men’s and women’s reproductive health. Alongside these modalities, a conventional medical diagnosis is an essential way to understand the body and correct treatment often relies on accurate information regarding our hormones, blood levels, and an array of other details. Now, in conjunction with Chinese medicine and Naturopathy, patients have powerful tools and treatment modalities to optimize their chances of getting pregnant and having a healthy pregnancy. One of Chinese medicine’s great strengths is its diagnostic system, which enables practitioners to approach each patient holistically and individually to develop a treatment plan (including acupoints, diet, exercise, herbs, etc.) that will work for that particular person, always taking into account other treatments or medications.
The physiological subtleties at play during a menstrual cycle (and equally in the male version – spermatogenesis), are complex and numerous and as such can be easily influenced by diet, stress, emotion, toxins and sleep. In clinic, we explore the details of these cycles to understand these subtleties and changes within the body. We then do the same for digestion, looking at potential of undernourishment or underproduction of Qi and blood from poor Spleen and Stomach function, or possible inflammation. We explore sleep to tell us the state of blood circulation from the Liver to the Heart and back, and the ability for the Spleen to turn off (rumination). Also, a patient’s mental emotional state can give us insight into their pattern based on the theme of dreams they may be having. Exploring the interaction of these details allows us to properly treat each patient to optimize their health.
I will be presenting a series of short articles that will cover some of the most common conditions and situations that we treat here at Yinstill with acupuncture, herbal medicine and naturopathic medicine, often working with fertility clinics and other health practitioners to completely address the needs of the patient. These situations include unexplained infertility, advanced maternal age, diminished ovarian reserve, male factor infertility, IVF support, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, recurrent pregnancy loss/miscarriage, and stress management. I will give an overview of each condition, a Chinese medicine perspective, how acupuncture and Chinese medicine can help, acupressure points to consider for home treatment and some take home tips that we commonly recommend in clinic for people to improve and optimize their health outcomes as well as to make more informed decisions. We can only scratch the surface here, but hope to inspire people to try treatments that are proven to work and free from adverse side-effects. The power of Chinese medicine lies in what it does and in what it doesn’t do.