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. Continue reading
Guest Blog Entry by: Kara Yorkhall, L.Ac, MaOM
Whenever a woman comes to my office seeking Chinese medicine treatment for infertility, I always inquire whether her male partner has had a semen analysis. As it turns out male factor infertility or MFI is a involved in up to 50% of all documented infertility cases. Therefore, obtaining a thorough semen analysis is always a valuable component to understanding the whole picture of a couple’s fertility. A semen analysis should not only check the sperm count, or the total number of sperm in an ejaculate sample but also sperm morphology, motility, and the pH and viscosity of the seminal fluid, as well as other measures.
The Western Approach
There are relatively few Western medical treatment options available to men struggling with infertility. The majority of cases are treated using IVF with ICSI (the injection of selected sperm into the egg in vitro). Structural problems are usually best treated with surgery, and hormonal therapies are sometimes recommended as well.
The Eastern Approach
Similar to treatment of female infertility Traditional Chinese Medicine has shown to be an effective treatment modality for treatment of male factor infertility. As with treatment of other conditions, the effectiveness of Traditional Chinese Medicine treatment relies on developing a proper diagnosis and corresponding treatment. Acupuncture and herbal and food therapy based on the individual patient’s constitution is essential. There are also some basic lifestyle changes and supplements that all men could incorporate into their routine.