Newly pregnant or planning to become pregnant and looking to enhance fertility? Have you considered Chinese medicine? Morning sickness, check. Headaches, check. Indigestion, check. Chinese medicine has got all of your fertility and pregnancy concerns covered.
Chinese medicine offers a myriad of modalities to address your fertility and pregnancy needs as they happen. Cost-effective and whole-health conferring, Chinese medicine works for people at the personal, constitutional level. These modalities include acupuncture, moxibustion, Chinese herbal medicine, food therapy, cupping and castor oil packs. What makes Chinese medicine so ideal for fertility and pregnancy is that synthetic medications are removed from the picture often offering a low-intervention pregnancy.
Let’s take a look at the modalities:
Chinese Medical Herbology
Chinese medical herbology is based on personalized herbal formulas. Chinese medical formulas are developed to change with you as you change. In the case of pre-pregnancy, an herbal formula may be altered or altogether changed or transitioned in each week of a woman’s cycle taking into account all of the various physiological changes that are occurring week by week. Because favorable, common conditions exist to become pregnant, Chinese medical herbology is ideal to help women optimize at the personal level based on their constitution.
Once pregnant, Chinese medical formulas can be used for various pregnancy concerns such as digestive issues, pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, metabolic management and pain management.
Herbology and Acupuncture Used Together
Both herbology and acupuncture have been used successfully for fertility and pregnancy in conjunction with one another. Research has shown that both are beneficial on their own, yet likely mutually accentuate the effects of one another. In some cases of nausea, women are unable to swallow their pre-natal vitamins. Acupuncture can help optimize digestion so that not only does it become easier to ingest the pre-natal vitamin, it also helps heal and upgrade digestion overall. Toward the end of pregnancy, acupuncture may help reduce low back and joint soreness.
For anyone who has gone past their due date, the waiting can be frustrating. Acupuncture treatments can be given to help activate labor in a gentle, non-medicated way.
Moxibustion is the use of mugwort herb as both a warming agent and to help reduce pain and discomfort. In the case of sluggish digestion, moxibustion can be added to any herbal or acupuncture point prescription. If you are new to moxibustion, the herb when lit and held over the skin’s surface, it warms the body removing cold and stagnation that can interfere with fertility. Moxibustion can also be used to help turn a breach baby and to bring on labor. In a study by 88 % went on to have a natural birth while only 12 % delivered cesarian. Another advantage of moxibustion is the convenience of self-administration.
Castor Oil Packs
If you suffer from polyps, PCOS or painful periods and need a way to break through to fertility, castor oil packs are an effective, inexpensive Chinese medical modality. Castor oil packs are placed on the abdomen along with heat to help the oil penetrate into the directed region. This therapy can be performed by your acupuncturist, or may be done in the comfort of your own home.
Have you ever seen someone’s back covered in red or purple circles wondering if they have gotten a strange tattoo? This is cupping. Cupping can be used on the abdomen, or, along the Chinese meridians to restore the proper flow of qi (life force that moves blood and essential fluids throughout the body to maintain vitality).
In Chinese medicine, you are certainly a reflection of what you eat. Chinese medical food therapy firstly points to digestion—optimize digestion and everything will favorably follow—this is especially so for fertility and pregnancy. Chinese medical practitioners suggest you keep your digestive system warm. This means that avoiding ice cream, cold salads or cold food in general is not that high on the food list. Like Chinese herbal medicine, food therapy is often personalized to some degree.
Ready to try Chinese medicine for fertility and pregnancy? Find an acupuncturist near you.