I’m beginning to get a reputation around town for getting women pregnant. Literally, I have a following of women who tell their friends and family that if they want to get pregnant, they need to come and see Kimberly. Now, you and I both know that I can’t really get them pregnant. But I do play a very important role in helping women conceive.
From a TCM perspective, there are a number of patterns that can relate to infertility.
- Kidney Jing Deficiency: Kidney Jing is the life force energy that is stored in the kidneys. Women who easily have babies in their 40’s tend to have good Kidney Jing and tend to live longer in general. As kidney Jing declines with age, egg production begins to decline.
- Kidney Yin Deficiency: Yin pertains to the viscous fluids in the body. Kidney Yin deficiency can be caused by a constitutional deficiency and/or overwork. This is very common for women today who, due to career building, try to conceive a little later in life.
- Kidney Yang Deficiency: This is commonly due to an invasion of external cold into the kidney channel. Cold causes qi obstruction which eventually affects the body’s yang energy. Women who walk around barefoot when it is cold tend to have excess cold enter the Kidney channel through open exposure at Kidney 1. Women who spend a lot of time in the ocean can also have an invasion of cold in the Kidney channel.
- Blood Deficiency: Not enough protein in the diet, a prolonged period of heavy menstrual cycles, and past illnesses can cause blood deficiency.
- Shen Disturbance: Emotional stress can wreak havoc on the reproduction system–especially with inconsistent ovulation cycles. The heart qi is a key factor in maintaining a balance between Kidney yin and Kidney yang. If Kidney yin and yang are not transforming correctly during ovulation there will be problems with ovulation.
- Liver Qi Stagnation: Movement of Liver qi is important to prepare the body for menstruation. The Liver channel runs right through the ovaries. Obstruction in this channel can affect the fallopian tubes. Liver qi stagnation is a big component in causing blood and phlegm stasis in the uterus and causes problems such as fibroids and cysts.
You can see how important it is to have the organ system in balance when dealing with infertility. When I treat women who are preparing for pregnancy, I ask them to give me two or three months of treatment time to regulate their bodies before they begin trying to conceive. I treat them once a week during this time period.
It is important to reiterate to your patient that it will take time to prepare them for having a baby.
Balancing the graph is the first step of each treatment because when the graph is balanced 80% of the disharmonies within the body disappear. Once the needles are inserted to balance the graph, I add in points that are specific to her TCM pattern diagnosis.
It takes some continuing education to be really effective in choosing points for the treatment of infertility and pregnancy. If you want to pursue this path, I recommend the following excellent books.
Once your patient becomes pregnant, you can continue to treat her for an array of symptoms that will occur during and after the pregnancy such as:
• Morning Sickness
• Heart Burn
• Low Back Pain
• Preparation for Labor
• Breech Babies
• Promoting Lactation
• Postpartum Depression
AcuGraph is a great tool to use if you want to gain a reputation for helping women to get pregnant. Just remember that the first step in a successful pregnancy is a balanced graph. Once the graph is balanced, everything else will fall into place
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Kimberly Thompson, L.Ac.
Acupuncture Research Analyst
Miridia Technology Inc.