|Chinese Medicine and Assisted Reproductive Technology for the Modern Couple |
Correct dietary and exercise habits are just as important for the preconceptive mother as for the father. Eating salads (cold nature food) for a year is not the best diet for a person who has generally a low basal body temperature (BBT). Sometimes eating meat such as lamb (warming food) can help tonify a "cold" barren uterus. For male factor and unexplained infertility there are specific physical and mental exercises to be done by couples to generate the right environment necessary for creativity and conception.
Combining conventional reproductive technologies with ancient acupuncture and herbal techniques demands accurate communications between team members which includes the patient as captain. Communication between the patient, the acupuncturist and the reproductive specialist is a delicate process. It is important for the physician to have knowledge of the procedures of the acupuncturist/herbalist and vis a vis. Lacking knowledge of an herbal program that a patient is on can effect the results of an ART procedure. It can even be detrimental as alternative therapies are effective in changing a persons body. Likewise it is important for the patient to inform the acupuncturist of any herbs or vitamins that are being taken while undergoing treatment, other than prenatal vitamins. Over the counter herbal remedies might be effective in some cases but may not be indicated for a particular cycle. It could be like having carpet delivered for the newborns room before the concrete foundation was poured for the house.
Traditional Chinese medicines and acupuncture work quite differently than western medicines. They are gentle and deep acting rather than flashy and bright. Expect to feel a growing subtle influence that permeates your life like the smell of star jasmine on a summers night.
What if you have already had a course of acupuncture treatment in the past? When selecting an acupuncturist or any healer it is important to know that they are suitably qualified to do fertility work. Communication, experience and skill are important. Having a state acupuncture license means that the acupuncturist has passed a course of study that qualifies them as an entry level practitioner. Usually this is about a 3000 hour training, though there are some physician programs that are only 300. A growing number of practitioners have a greater than entry level experience of treating couples that are integrating oriental medicine with conventional reproductive techniques. These practitioners are to be sought out, as treating an infertile couple demands not just general practice but also specialty skill. General practice skills help remove pre-existing conditions. If these conditions are the cause of infertility then the couples fecundity quotient will be increased. However, if either reproductive function or biological age of the endocrine system is the primary contributory factor then specialty skills and experience is necessary.
- The Infertility Book, A Comprehensive Medical and Emotional Guide, Harkness, Carla, 2nd edition 1992, Celestial Arts, P.O. Box 7327 Berkeley, California. (510) 845-8414
- Infertility: A guide for the Childless Couple, Menning, Barbara Eck, New York, Prentice Hall rev. 1988.
- You Can Have A Baby, Everything you need to Know about Fertility, Bellina, Joseph H., M.D., Ph.D., Wilson, Josleen New York, Crown Publishers Inc., 1985.