Acupuncture and traditional Chinese herbal medicine

Acupuncture and traditional Chinese herbal medicine in contrast to medical science, considers the whole person. Symptoms such as mood, sleep patterns and your urine and stools can be as informative as symptoms which are more synonymous with the reproductive system.

According to Chinese medical theory, diagnosis is based on the identification of general energetic imbalances (such as imbalances in yin/yang or qi). These imbalances can be reflected in the various organs of the body which leads to a number of possible combinations of organ imbalances. Each of these imbalances has a set of defining symptoms which are called patterns of disharmony. To diagnose infertility, the acupuncturist and/or Chinese herbal medicine practitioner matches the signs and symptoms presented in each patient to these patterns of disharmony. Once the pattern of disharmony is identified, then the appropriate treatment plan is devised to rectify the disharmony and in turn the infertility.

Interestingly, Chinese medicine barely acknowledges the reproductive system and only has a vague concept of the uterus. Strangely, imbalances of the liver and the kidney are key indicators in explaining infertility. It must be noted, the concept of organs in Chinese medical theory is different to that of medical science. In effect the names of organs have been given simply as descriptor terms to account for the various functions within the body. This can lead to a somewhat bizarre infertility diagnosis such as liver qi stagnation or kidney yin deficiency. These would no doubt leave your gynaecologist or IVF specialist scratching their head in disbelief.

Basically, and using the simplest of terms, acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine treat infertility by regulating the menstrual cycle. This means the events within the menstrual cycle are occurring as they should to facilitate conception. During menstruation, the volume and colour of blood is normalised as well as the creation of a clean endometrial wall. During the follicular (post period) phase of the menstrual cycle, egg quality and egg number is optimised. Also important is the creation of a marked and timely ovulation.

The treatment of infertility using acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine is a specialty within the profession. Acupuncture and herbal prescriptions are customised to treat the imbalances as they are presented in each fertility patient. It also requires different treatments at each of the respective phases of the menstrual cycle – period, follicular phase (post period), ovulation, and the luteal phase (post ovulation).

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