TRYING TO GET PREGGO?
Here’s How Eastern Medicine Can Help
We all know that Eastern Medicine is a great way to balance body, mind and soul, but what many people don’t know is that it can also greatly aid in fertility. Integrated with Western medicine, a wanna-be mother can get a truly comprehensive approach to their fertility plan.
Studies have shown that Eastern Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) helps to improve reproductive health by stimulating ovulation in women who have irregular periods, no period, or polycystic ovarian syndrome, the leading cause of hormonal dysfunction in American women. It is known that incorporating TCM into your daily routine can yield higher pregnancy and birth rates, as well as reducing symptoms of stress.
If you are under 35 and have been trying to conceive for about a year, or are over 35 and have been at it for six months, it may be time to consider TCM with a practitioner.
Chinese Herbal Medicine
Traditional Chinese herbal medicine nourishes the body’s vital organs, and can balance the reproductive system to strengthen over all energy levels. Women who suffer from such as conditions as oligomenorrhea, multiple fibroids or diminished ovarian reserve who were prescribed a Chinese herbal formula saw a more regular menstrual cycle. Consequently, their ovulation increased, resulting in a healthy pregnancy and live birth. Even those with advanced age, up to their mid-40’s saw successful results in conceiving and having a normal birth. Studies have shown that those attempting IVF with unsuccessful results saw vast improvements after months of a TCM regimen.
There are a number of different Chinese herbs, and each targets a specific area of the reproductive region or area of blood flow. Acupuncture is also an excellent way to increase blood flow to the reproductive organs, and to help lower overall stress levels.
Fertile Foods as Medicine
The nutrients a woman takes into her body and circulate through her system have a profound effect on the function of her reproductive organs. With guidance from a TCM practitioner, it is possible to pinpoint what foods you should be eating to promote fertility and which to avoid when trying to conceive. TCM also factors in the energetic qualities of certain foods and their impact on overall balance. Increased intake of local, organically-grown red, purple and dark green foods should be part of the diet. Foods such as:
- Pumpkin and Flax Seeds
- Clams and Oysters
- Shiitake mushrooms
This is by no means a comprehensive list, but you get the idea!
Exercise, Mindfulness and Sleep
Eastern Medicine and TCM encourage the importance of body movements and exercise for fertility, using Qi Gong and Tai Chi. Learning these movements will not only have health benefits, but it also balances the body’s energies. However, if one is using IVF (in-vitro fertilization) it may be that these exercises are not recommended due to the stimulation of follicles, creating a greater risk of ovarian torsion. If this is so, walking is still a good way to keep the body moving and nimble.
In TCM, meditation is vital. But here’s the thing: many of us struggle with this aspect most of all. Our lives are so busy, and it is sometimes difficult to carve out not only the time, but the solace required for meaningful meditation. But it is a priority for anyone undergoing fertility treatment and using TCM. When meditating, pay attention to breath and cultivate the relationship between breath and mindfulness. This will positively impact your mind, body and spirit when you are trying to conceive.
Getting good sleep is another big one, and an essential component to overall health. For women who are preparing for pregnancy and motherhood, this is doubly so. But again, this is easier said than done, as many of us lead hectic lives.
The journey of fertility can be a bit of a marathon; and TCM is long-term process that is arguably the best thing to incorporate into your life. It promotes introspection, healing and overall balance. Whether practiced alone or in sync with Western medicine, TCM can be an invaluable way to not only help you get pregnant, but have a successful pregnancy as you prepare for motherhood.