We live in a world of ever-increasing work pressures, persistent over-stimulation and less than optimal nourishment for our bodies, minds and souls. If we look at life realistically, most of us are subjected to relatively constant stress, unless we make a conscious decision to live differently.
When this stress is compounded with a diagnosis of infertility, the emotions a woman might experience can be very difficult if they don’t know how to deal with them.
Chinese Medicine is a very well known and effective form of treatment for both natural or assisted conception. By working with acupuncture needles and/or herbs a Practitioner is not only working on the Fertility issue at a physical level but also on the inter-connection of body, mind and spirit. In other words, Chinese Medicine can explain the effects our minds and our emotions can have on our bodies and this is the reason why the treatment itself offers great emotional support for women who are trying to conceive.
Our practitioner’s role is not as psychotherapist, but anyone who has ever dealt with infertility knows that serenity is one of the key feelings that can escape most women at this time. We also know that the increased stress after a the diagnosis, can give the opportunity to more disruptive emotions to arise.
Chinese medicine theory says that if the body is in harmony or balance, it is able to resist pathogens (agents that produce disease). And one of the major internal causes of disease are the Seven Emotions: anger, worry, fear, shock, anxiety, sadness, and joy.
All of these emotions are perfectly normal and everyone experiences them at different time but if the emotional responses are out of normal proportion, chronic or deﬁcient in response to the situation, disease and injury can enter the vital organs.
If we look at the common causes of infertility in Chinese Medicine and the emotions attached to them (*) it is not difficult to see how this can easily become a vicious circle, meaning that, the unbalanced emotions can be the cause of the initial diagnosis of infertility and at the same time, if we don’t deal with the emotions, they can cause further blockages in our body.
* Common diagnosis of Infertility in Chinese Medicine and the Seven
1. Kidney deﬁciency
2. Heart and Liver Qi stagnation
Sadness, Joy, Shock, Anger
3. Blood Stagnation
Anger, Sadness, Joy, Shock
Worry, Over Thinking
As important as it is to deal with the emotions, we also need to keep in mind how important it is that our Clients don’t get too stressed by hearing too many recommendations. In general, by the time they come to our clinic they have already heard a lot of advice on what to do and not to do with trying to increase their chances of becoming pregnant.
Clients for example, might already know how to calculate their ovulation to know their most fertile days and take their temperature. We, as Practitioners, have lots of useful advice to give and ways we prefer to work with them in order to optimize the treatment. For example, we could advise on taking prenatal vitamins & folic acid, eat organic, eat more alkaline foods, exercise, not to drink coffee or alcohol, don’t smoke, have intercourse in the missionary position and ﬁnally to control their stress levels and relax! But as we can see from reading this short list it could sound like a lot to a person who is already dealing with the emotional disappointment of the recent diagnosis.
It is not the amount of information, but the way we deliver this information, and as practitioners, we need to pay close attention to our Clients state of mind while making suggestions. As a general rule with my own clients, as part of the ﬁrst treatment, I would speak about the importance of eliminating as many of the external stressors in their life. In other words, to explore aspects of their life that may be causing them stress and ask them to reﬂect on what they can and can’t change.
During further visits I will start to suggest the introduction of small positive changes in their life but again, always depending on the Client and how much they are willing to change. My intention for their journey to restore their fertility is to teach my Clients to live more consciously while I do my job, restoring their energetic roads, that we call “Meridians”.
Article by Natalia Gonzalez
Zanar Acupuncture & Integrative Healthcare
Killenard Village, Co. Laois