I often hear infertility comments such as, "My husband and I have been trying to conceive for years and the doctors say there is nothing the matter." Many women, men and couples who have come in to see me about their infertility have gone on to conceive healthy, beautiful babies! I use different healing methods such as Neurolink which relies on the neurological feedback from the brain to determine and correct any issues with fertility. I also use Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which incorporates acupuncture and herbal medicine, to help my patients increase fertility and/or treat the root causes of their infertility.
The benefits of acupuncture and TCM for male and female conception problems can be found in early Chinese medical literature dating back to 11 A.D. It can be useful in any phase of pregnancy planning, whether it is in the early stages of trying to get pregnant, or after several years of unsuccessful efforts. Chinese medicine can also increase the success of conventional Western procedures such as in vitro fertilization.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, we believe conception originates in the kidneys, where our essence (genes from our parents) is stored. The kidneys govern birth and reproduction, and also control the vessels - particularly the conception vessels which are the "ruler" of the fetus.
Causes of infertility
From the Western medical perspective, the cause of infertility might be a hormonal imbalance or a blocked Fallopian tube, but from the Chinese perspective, the cause is determined to arise out of underlying patterns of disharmony. There is either a "deficient" condition that leads to poor nourishment of the body and organs, or an "excess" condition that obstructs the organs and meridians (energy channels).
For example, many women experience infertility due to:
- anemia, leading to fatigue and hormonal imbalance
- cold kidneys which lead to frequent urination
- menstrual dysfunction, such as hot blood resulting in excess bleeding possibly with clots
- a warmer body temperature overall
Factors that may cause male infertility include:
- low sperm count
- low volume
- abnormal sperm size and shape
- reduced motility
- lifestyle, genetics and physiological changes
Assessment and diagnosis
Infertility tests in western medicine use blood tests and hormonal checks, while the Chinese medicine way is to rely on external clues such as the pulse and tongue. These concepts might seem a bit strange, but the thousands of years of practice of Chinese medicine has systemized these concepts into a highly effective system of diagnosis and treatment. When you see a Chinese Medicine practitioner, such as myself, a detailed case history is taken and any helpful Western information is welcomed. We look at your complexion, eyes and take a pulse and tongue diagnosis.
The tongue has 6 pulses on each side and indicates a variety of imbalances and weaknesses as well as the general health of the body. The tongue will indicate hot, cold or damp problems, or a blood weakness. Here are the areas on the tongue that the TCM practitioner looks at. They also look at color and coating - just to name a few. (image to right) Here are the areas on the tongue that the TCM practitioner looks at. They also look at color and coating - just to name a few.
The treatment I provide to you is always individualized and targets not only your infertility but your overall health as well. Through using acupuncture, meditation and relaxation techniques, your kidneys, blood, energy and general health are restored and rejuvenated.
Treatment also includes recommendations regarding food cures and herbal medicine, other lifestyle changes such as stress reduction and regular exercise to accompany treatment. Everything you do to better your chances will be worth the effort!
Women, men and couples are always welcome.
I look forward to helping you attain a clear mind, light heart and balanced body!
Carla Wiseman DTCM, R.Ac, RMT