Fertility Matters | Paddington Clinic, Acupuncture Brisbane & Natural TherapiesPaddington Clinic

Fertility Matters

25 May, 2012 - Acupuncture, Blog

by Peter Delaney, Acupuncturist and Naturopath.

Fertility Matters

At the moment of conception when the egg is fertilized by the sperm, the egg which is dark in colour immediately starts to glow like the lights have been switched on. Electron microscopes have given us a small look at the moment of creation, a humbling sight.

Fertility, at its most basic understanding from a Chinese medicine perspective, will happen when there is a balance of Yang, Qi (energy) or sperm and Yin, blood or ovum. The concept is simple but in reality is is a very diverse and complex coming together of two opposing forces. This can be difficult to happen unless our our body, life and mind are in balance.

Qi is the energy that motivates us, makes us feel alive, interested in life and makes us feel up to the task of nurturing a baby once it arrives. Qi also needs to be abundant as it is the spark that initiates the magical moment of conception “the spark of life”. This energy needs to be abundant in both the egg and the sperm for this to happen.

Yin is what the Chinese call the physical substance; the thing we see when we look at something, unlike Qi which we don’t see.  Blood is part of Yin in the body. It is more than the stuff that flows through our veins, it has energy and sustains life. It is the thing that gives us form and makes us feel solid and whole.

The blood and the Qi is what makes a baby, mixed with love of course. The healthier those things are, the easier the pregnancy, the easier the labour and the healthier the baby.

Dietary balance, emotional balance and physical balance are all important and necessary for the body to accept, nourish and develop a new life. If we are not happy, feel that we or our partner are not capable of supporting (both emotional and financially) a new baby, and other life worries, obstacles to pregnancy can occur.

Our diets are the first and easiest area to deal with and have probably the most profound affect on fertility. As an example, eating foods which are to cold in nature can block the energy in the digestive system (spleen energy in Chinese medicine) which can lead to problems of circulation. This can create problems like PCOS or Endometriosis which are poorly understood or dealt with in western medicine. By regulating the diet based on the patient’s energy imbalances, it is possible to bring about harmony in the body halting or reversing these conditions, and leaving the body ripe and ready for conception.

Diet is one way of balancing the body. Acupuncture also can regulate energy imbalances in the body and thus bring it into a more fertile state. There are a number of channels of energy which flow through the lower abdomen circulating around the sexual organs and delivering the Qi and blood necessary for conception. These channel may be blocked, stagnant  or deficient which can be caused by emotions, trauma, diet and many other reasons. The channel which runs up the centre of the front of the body is called the “conception vessel”, another channel is called “Chong Mai” which translates as the potential to conceive. Understanding these channels and imbalances is the reason Chinese medicine has such a great success in treating “unexplained” fertility problems.

Climatic factors can also have a major affect on our fertility. As mentioned earlier, cold can affect the way the Qi and blood flows in our bodies. This can happen because of dietary choices but can also be initiated by the weather around us. What I’m talking about is living in accordance with our environment. Dressing to keep ourselves warm in the cold weather and keeping cool in the warmer months. Cold, particularly, can enter the uterus through having the back exposed to cold or eating cold foods during the menstrual cycle like ice cream. Equally, men have the problem of over-heating the testes and damaging the sperm with activities like bike riding.

Ancient Chinese texts make many mentions of the affects of all these things on our body and the importance of being in the best possible health possible long before we think about conceiving a child. Once conception has taken place there are specific treatments in the ancient Chinese classics which help deliver the correct energy to the baby throughout pregnancy to make it strong and robust. These treatments, of course, also benefit the mother so she is strong and ready to nurture her new baby.

Chinese medicine has a 3000 plus history and has considered fertility a major area of study. The ancient medical sages have designed and structured treatments for fertility for before conception and right through the gestational period and beyond. Their understanding and methods are as relevant today as they were right in the beginning.

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