Guest Blog Appearance by Christine Keller, L.Ac., Dipl.O.M.
To become pregnant is a wonderful experience, but to have it suddenly taken away is traumatic. Having a miscarriage can be both physically and emotionally draining, and when it comes to having recurrent miscarriages, the body becomes both physically and emotionally exhausted.
In Chinese medicine the body functions as a whole and is as interconnected with our emotional health as the dirt is to the earth. You cannot separate the two as both are one. The body and mind need time to heal. The emotional distress that comes from such an experience is very traumatic. In Chinese medicine, emotions can greatly impact the physical body. Without the proper time to heal, physical symptoms may start to manifest. Some examples of symptoms include: lowered energy, headaches or migraines, hormonal imbalances, gynecological changes such as heavier and painful periods, or the lack of periods, depression, anxiety, lung issues, insomnia, heart palpitations, weight gain or loss, digestive changes and early aging just to name a few. These may sound like “normal” things that are dealt with day-to-day, but the root can be the emotional stagnation that originated from the physical stress of miscarriage. Eventually these “normal” things become bigger problems. If body and mind are given the space to heal, these symptoms may be avoided. If one were to try again before properly rebuilding as a whole, high-risk pregnancies, recurrent miscarriage, or the ability to conceive may be at risk.
Chinese medicine is a safe, natural and effective medicine. When it comes to rebuilding, Chinese medicine can greatly help, while simultaneously improving overall health. Chinese medicine encompasses many modalities as it is a complete medicine. Such modalities include acupuncture, herbs, diet and nutrition, and exercise like qigong or taiji. Acupuncture helps to bring back balance by moving the energy, or qi, of the body. With physical or emotional stress, energy tends to stagnate, or get stuck. Because it is not flowing smoothly, physical symptoms start. An example of this would be energy getting stuck in the chest. From here the chest can become heavy, heart palpitations may occur, frequent sighing, postural change with shoulders curling inward, cough, weak voice, and even frequent sighing. Qi can stagnate anywhere in the body so different symptoms can occur. If qi were to get stuck in the uterus, it may block the flow of necessary nutrition it would need to support and maintain pregnancy. Acupuncture is a safe and very effective therapy. It, like herbal and diet therapy, encourages balance, treats the root of the problem, and addresses symptoms.
Herbs are prescribed to help the body work harmoniously, treat the root, and address symptoms. Many herbs are actually food like licorice, rice, beans, salt, mint, wheat, dates, and seeds. Each herb has a specific property, function, and action. Herbs encourage the body to work smoothly and soundly. Often, trauma will cause a depletion which then leaves the body weaker and unable to function like it should. Herbs are a natural and safe way to encourage the body back to wellbeing.
Diet and nutrition is a huge piece of Chinese medicine. Just like herbs, each food has a specific property, function, and action. Depending on the constitution of each woman, specific foods can be eaten to help bring back balance. After miscarriage, women will want to nourish and replenish their blood and energy. By eating foods like dark leafy greens, deep red foods like cranberries, cherries, and beets, the body can use these sources to rebuild and replenish. It is essential to bring back optimal health. Again, when the body is at its best it can then support the mental and emotional health.
Qigong or taiji are exercise like routines that help physically strengthen the body as well as calm the mind. It is common for acupuncturists to prescribe this to patients in conjunction to the other therapies. If qigong or taiji are not used, the mind still must have an outlet to relax. Meditation or talk therapy is often advised so that emotions can be felt, processed and moved away from. Emotions that do not get addressed are the main reasons qi gets stuck and we see the physical stuff come about. It then becomes a vicious circle.
It is very important to understand that you cannot have one without the other. Emotional stress can cause physical stress, and physical stress can cause emotional stress. In recurrent miscarriages, it is clear that the body must be brought back to balance to support fertility, a healthy pregnancy, and healthy baby. If the body is both physically and emotionally drained, it will be unable to support another. On the other hand, if the body is both physically and emotionally healthy, it will be able to support another pregnancy.
Christine Keller, L.Ac., Dipl.O.M.
Christine graduated with a Master’s of Science degree of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine from the American Academy of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in Roseville, MN. She is a licensed acupuncturist as well as a board certified herbalist. She holds the Diplomate in Oriental Medicine certification from the National Committee for the Certification of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). It is her goal to help her patients achieve health and wellness through an all natural and effective approach. This is what drives her passion to help others through Chinese medicine. Visit White Lily Acupuncture