A healthy diet and exercise are clearly key if you are trying to get pregnant. But equally important is your mental well-being, your stress levels and emotional state. If you are strung out and exhausted, your body is just not in the optimum state to grow a baby. Why is stress so key in infertility?
Well, when you are stressed, the reproductive system is affected first because it’s the only system that you can live without. Under stress, blood flow is diverted to your muscles and away from your reproductive system – and your fertility shuts down.
From a Chinese medicine perspective, fertility problems can stem from several different issues. In Chinese wisdom, the uterus and the liver are closely related. The liver, spleen and kidney channels run through the pelvis and can all affect menstruation. If any of these channels is blocked, congested or deficient, this will usually manifest in women as some sort of menstrual problem.
Kidney deficiency is often one of the most common factors for infertility – and one of the easiest to rectify.
In Chinese culture, the kidneys are often called the ‘Root of Life’, and people are careful to look after them. The kidneys have many functions in Chinese medicine including responsibility for your ageing, fertility, bones, libido, hearing, hair, willpower and wisdom. The kidney is known as the ‘Minister of Power’ and is regarded as the body’s most important reservoir of essential energy, or jing. It manages your ‘constitutional health’ – what keeps you going when you skipped breakfast or had a dreadful night’s sleep.
In Chinese wisdom, looking after your kidneys is key for good health. They are depleted by the cold – low slung trousers, not wearing a vest and particularly cold weather, for example. Impaired fertility is a sign of kidney imbalance. Others include: dizziness, tinnitus, vertigo, poor memory, deafness, night sweats, a sore back, ache in bones, urine issues, fear, weak knees and sexual issues.
To build your kidney energy back up, learn to do nothing. Try to find time just to be still, to rest. Get enough sleep, maybe have short naps in the afternoon. Meditation is the single best thing you can to do support your kidneys other than good sleep. Start with something simple like my Rescue Breath technique.
Practice the healing sound for your kidneys. This is Chui (chooeeeeeee). You can find a demo video on my you tube channel.
A word on food
In Chinese wisdom, ‘damp’ food causes blockages in the form of cysts and fibroids that can make getting pregnant difficult. Try eliminating damp food like milk, cheese, yogurt, butter, ice cream, greasy food and alcohol. Wet clothing and damp, humid environments should also be avoided.
Incorporate as much miso soup, seaweed and bone broth as you can into your diet.
Make sure you are drinking enough water and avoid excess salt.
The body is a hugely complicated ecosystem, and there are of course other imbalances that could be affecting your fertility. I’ll be covering everything in depth in my first Fertility Masterclass, next Monday 1st March.