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Chinese Medicine and Assisted Reproductive Technology for the Modern Couple

© Roger C. Hirsh OMD, LAc

Background
Acupuncture and Herbal Therapy are ancient Chinese methods used for the treatment and prevention of disease. These systems are as ancient and effective as any other medical techniques used in the world today. They have been practiced consistently for the past five thousand years in the Orient. Seventy percent of one quarter of the world's population uses acupuncture and herbs as their main form of health care. Although acupuncture has been used in England, France, and Germany for several hundred years, only in the past two decades have Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) been recognized in the United States. The benefits of Acupuncture and TCM in treatment for the infertile couple can be found in early Chinese medical literature dating back to the 11AD. Not only do these techniques assist in regulating the menstrual cycle and invigorating the sperm, but they also serve to enhance the function of the whole body. This "whole body" health approach, in turn, provides a key to unlock unlimited potential in healing. This is especially appropriate for the over 40 couple as it stimulates overall health to effect reproductive health and a reduction of biological age.

PMS, amenorrhea, endometriosis, blocked fallopian tubes, immune system incongruities, and infertility related hormonal problems yield to many of these old world (traditional) procedures. Furthermore, herbal formulas that tonify the Kidney energy (renal and adrenal function), and Kidney essence (jing) are especially beneficial in raising sperm count and motility. The highly technical and expensive methods used in Western Medicine are supported by the complimentary set of procedures and herbal recommendations. In addition to the use of Acupuncture, TCM and herbal formulas, complete treatment programs also include a series of Qi Kung (pronounced chee gung) healing energy exercises to enhance the flow of specific meridians. These exercises, which were developed by Chinese Taoists (metaphysicians) over 3,000 years ago, stimulate the flow of intrinsic energy in the body which, in turn, enhances health and benefits organ function. The meditative dance-like movements which coordinate with specific visualizations, exercise and oxygenate the blood, while at the same time, enhance one's artistic nature. In the oriental sexological literature there are also specific sexual positions that enhance a man's sperm count and motility as well as regulating a woman's cycle. There are currently a number of studies being conducted in the United States and Europe that are focused on understanding the effects of these techniques. Longevity and regaining a persons youthfulness are key topics.

There are several advantages to using Traditional Chinese Medicine as an approach to heightening a couple's fertility.

Some Advantages of Using Traditional Chinese Medicine

  1. TCM sees the person as an integral Mind/body organism, thereby does not treat just symptoms/diseases. TCM ventures to stimulate the bodies natural healing potential by treating root causes rather than just symptoms.

  2. TCM, used in the treatment of infertility, minimizes undesired side effects and accumulated toxicity from invasive procedures and drug therapies, known and unknown.

  3. Traditional Chinese medicine may be used to strengthen and balance one's general health so that IVF, GIFT, ZIFT, ICSI, AHT and TET procedures are more effective. The TCM patient derives general health benefits and endocrine system balancing from specific acupuncture and herbal regimes. Pregnancy becomes easier to achieve and postpartum recuperation happens faster. Medical studies have been done in China to verify this type of whole body health enhancement.
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