If you lived in China right now, you would probably be hearing a lot of conversations about having a baby. In Chinese culture, the first year of a millennium has tremendous positive energy. Besides being the beginning of a millennium, the year 2000 is also the year of the Dragon, which is another token of good fortune.
If Consequently, lots of Chinese women have been anxious to get pregnant and have a "lucky baby." It looks like it‘s going to be a lucky year for several of my clients at TCM Health Center who come for infertility treatment. One of them delivered twin boys in January, and several more will have babies in the next few months. When infertility treatments are successful, it is one of my favorite things about practicing Chinese medicine.
A woman who came to my clinic for infertility, said, "I read that infertility rates are higher in this country than anywhere else in the world. Why is this so?" This is a very good question. The United States does have a high infertility rate, 17 percent, and this rate continues going up.
If you were to look at the data about fertility across the world, you would find that the Chinese have the lowest infertility rate, less that 3 percent. What could make this kind of difference? Some people even think that the Chinese must be born with a stronger or better reproductive system than other people. This is not true. All people are born with the same potentials. Differences in fertility potentials depend to a large extent on environmental and cultural factors. If you visited any full-service hospital of Chinese medicine in China, you would find the infertility clinic to be one of the busiest places there. Most hospitals have two infertility clinics - one for men and one for women. Many doctors of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) specialize in this area of practice. It‘s not that the Chinese have fewer problems with infertility than Americans; it is my belief that, for a majority of infertility patients, Chinese medicine provides more effective approach than that the approach that has been taken in the West to address the problem.
From what my patients have told me, Western medicine tends to approach conception as a full-scale strategic battle, where the emphasis is on sperm, eggs, and reproductive organs. Often, the wants, needs, and even the overall health of the patient are secondary considerations. This process also tends to be very high-tech and expensive, prohibiting many people form even making the attempt. Chinese medicine assesses the state of health of an individual or a couple in a holistic way, taking everything about them into account, paying attention to what the typical diet is like, how much exercise or how much rest a person gets, etc.
TCM treatment for infertility is generally a combination of acupuncture treatments, Chinese herbs, and dietary modifications. In some cases, where the Fallopian tubes are completely blocked by scar tissue, for example, surgery is the best treatment. But most cases, where conception is prevented by an underlying hormone imbalance, low sperm count, or endometriosis, Chinese medicine is generally extremely effective.
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