– Nadia Gazzi
When you plan ahead for a healthy pregnancy and make sure both partners are in optimal health, you give your unborn child the best possible start in life… and every one wants that, don’t they?
Most couples fall into one of two groups: healthy couples who are not anticipating any difficulties falling pregnant or carrying a baby to term; and couples who know that there is a potential problem due to past history or an existing condition. We’re not miracle workers, but we can help you create the perfect environment for a healthy pregnancy, so let’s look at both groups separately.
The healthy couple: Experience tells us that when it comes to fertility the common definition of “healthy” does not guarantee an easy and immediate conception. We find people are delaying having families, which is a lot later than the biological clock warrants. Modern lifestyles are also making it harder than what you may realise. And men’s health at this stage of the process is extremely important. This is why it is advisable that both partners are working on their health with exercise, nutrition, and stress management. Regular acupuncture treatments and Chinese herbal supplements have a good reputation for fertility support.
The problem pregnancy: Even when the woman presents with a history of miscarriages, Poly-Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) or unexplained infertility, we like to treat both partners, because good sperm quality will help immensely to improve the likelihood of a successful pregnancy.
If you have a western medical diagnosis, we begin with that. We will also look at your overall health in our Chinese medicine way, suggest lifestyle choices, and try to work out where your system is blocked. The blockage can be caused by an emotional energy such as stress, fear and anxiety or physically, such as endometriosis and ovarian cysts. In either case, it’s a good time to talk to us.
Two women, same problem, different treatments: Because our body constitutions are so varied, we often find that similar symptoms have different causes and therefore require different treatments. Interestingly, we find we have a higher success rate in treating unexplained infertility – it usually takes 3 months for your body to get ready for pregnancy. So please be patient and give your body a chance.
Please refer to our fertility page for more guidance, advice and information.
Because the abdomen is the seat of most major organs, abdominal palpation can reveal the precise areas which are sapping energy and causing pain, discomfort, and loss of function.
George was 45 and came to us because he felt highly stressed, had constant bloating of the whole belly, and reduced energy levels. Abdominal palpation revealed tightness under his ribs. I treated this immediately with acupuncture and shiatsu; and by the end of the first session the tightness under his rib cage had significantly decreased. He went home with a Chinese herbal formula and some dietary modifications. A week later, George reported that his energy levels were improving and bloating was now intermittent. There was still some tightness under his rib cage and this reduced further at the end of the next treatment session. I changed his herbal prescription and he continues to work on dietary changes and having regular treatments. These days he’s noticed improved energy and moods, no more bloating, less stress, and increased libido.
Louise wanted treatment for her painful periods and preconception care. She had a very cold area in the centre of the belly. I treated her with cupping, moxa and acupuncture as well as prescribing herbs and giving dietary advice. After 2 months of weekly treatment her periods were completely pain-free and her belly felt warm all over. Her husband also had weekly acupuncture and Chinese herbal treatments during the 3 month preconception care period to improve the quality of his sperm and decrease stress. In Louise’s next cycle she conceived naturally.
– Bing Qian
As both a woman and a mother, I have to admire the contribution females make to society and to express my admiration for the women of the 21st century. Naturally, I’m not diminishing the important role men play in families, communities, business, and society, but I think they often get more recognition than women do, and since Mother’s Day is this month I want to talk about women’s and mother’s contributions.
From childhood girls are expected to engage and excel in sports and music, as well as academics which is great, but it can set up expectations of ‘superwoman’ that most people are not able to fulfil. Studies lead to a career which most women find extremely fulfilling as well as stressful, and at the same time their bodies make them conscious that if they wish to have a family they can’t wait too long. Working full-time in demanding jobs makes it hard to give your body the care it needs for successful conception and pregnancy, and many struggle with added emotional stress when conception isn’t as quick and easy as they hoped.
Then there’s motherhood! As if it wasn’t enough to have your body expel a 2-4kg person you’re expected almost instantly to look gorgeous, have a tidy house, and learn to take care of a baby almost overnight. Unless you’re lucky enough to have really supportive relatives or friends around this is an enormous challenge. Even if you do have support, the realisation that you have the primary responsibility for this developing mind, body and spirit is enormous.
Of course, not every woman wants to become a mother. And honestly, when you look around you, do you wonder that more and more women choose not to have children? You may get recognition and appreciation at work. You’re unlikely to get much at home, and you certainly don’t get raises and bonuses no matter what a great job you are doing, and what you sacrifice.
Personally, I think it’s worth the enormous effort it takes to raise a child, but I won’t deny it’s hard work, and I perfectly understand those women who decide not to. Mother’s Day make an effort to show your appreciation for your mother, and if you don’t know what else to get her, a Bing’s Natural Health(BnH) Massage Voucher will help her feel energised and pampered as well as appreciated.
When you call BnH you’ll get to talk to either Julia or Dorothy, our new receptionists who are settling in really well and contributing their own special energy to the wonderful atmosphere at BnH.
Many couples have difficulty conceiving, and it can be a very emotional issue.
Sarah was frustrated with her difficulty conceiving. She had an earlier miscarriage and was also suffering grief over some family circumstances. Acupuncture enabled her to let go of the grief she was experiencing, and a combination of acupuncture and natural herbs regulated her periods and restored her energy.
Because of all she was going through we continued to see her at 2-week intervals throughout her whole pregnancy, and after an uncomplicated delivery she is the proud mother of a healthy boy.
Like many women, Karen felt her body clock ticking, and wanted to be pregnant yesterday! Her husband has a very stressful job with long hours and a lot of travel and that meant that she was stressed over the passing time, and diminishing opportunities for conception. After just a few treatments she conceived and she had a very healthy pregnancy and a safe delivery.
Anna already had a two-year old when she conceived. She had been a client for some time and came throughout her pregnancy for general care and relaxation because she found that acupuncture and herbal treatments gave her more energy for her busy daily life with a toddler and pregnancy. She was delighted with the ease of her pregnancy and delivery, and especially thrilled with her new daughter.
Please refer to our fertility page for more guidance, support and information.
We all know that the health of both parents is an important factor in conception, pregnancy and childbirth. So let’s talk about how Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can help you at every stage…
Conception: Lifestyle, stress, diet and exercise can all affect a couple’s ability to conceive. The good news is that TCM (particularly acupuncture and herbs) can also dramatically improve your chances of conception by balancing hormones, stress-response, and energy in both partners. Many IVF clinics encourage couples to seek TCM treatment to support their IVF intervention and we work closely with them – in some cases your doctor will advise against herbs, and we respect that. Even though a woman’s eggs are fully formed by puberty, the length and quality of her menstrual period can be regulated via TCM to promote a healthy environment for the fertilised egg to implant, and balancing her stress levels is also vital.
Since men produce new sperm every 74 days, TCM can dramatically affect the quality of their sperm in a short time, and this improves the changes of fertilisation and the health of the baby.
Pregnancy: Normally we like to see clients every week throughout their 1st trimester. TCM helps balance emotions and hormones and this promotes the health of both mother and baby. During the second trimester, regular visits may become less frequent, although most of our IVF clients continue coming because of the emotional and health benefits TCM provides.
Childbirth: We usually recommend regular acupuncture during the 3rd trimester (every 2 weeks) as this strengthens their kidney energy, and raises overall energy. Keeping your energy up in this way generally supports the pregnancy. helping you carry the baby to term, and it even helps to promote an easier delivery.