Monday, November 23, 2009

Traditional Chinese Medicine

Ever since I found out that we were moving to China, I have been saying that I would investigate traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for infertility.  And, I had the opportunity to scratch the surface on that two weeks ago.

I went to a session on the use of tea as a medicine and was entralled.  Ironically, the TCM expert that gave the presentation was an American, but he has been practicing TCM for 20 years and has lived in China for seven years.  He is 52-years old, but looks about 40, so that was sale enough for me to start believing what he was saying.

TCM can definitely help with infertility.  According to Chinese medicine, it is very important to keep the yin and yang in balance.  Women have a stronger yin than yang, but if their yin is too out of whack, it can cause health issues, one of which can be hormone imbalance and infertility.   Having a cold reproductive system because you have too much yin, can be a reason for infertility. 

Women in China do not drink cold beverages, at all.  They believe that it inhibits their reproductive organs (again, the not too much cold theory).  So no more ice infertilies.

This TCM practicioner said that he has recently helped two couple get pregnant - he treats both the men and women.  Sometimes it's a combination of teas, herbal pills, acupuncture and massage, it just depends on the diagnosis (which he does by checking six different pulse points on the body, looking at your tongue and two other things that I can't remember).  So, no blood draws or wand ultrasounds here gals!

I didn't take diligent enough notes to get to detailed, but so much of what he said made perfect sense to me.  In fact, I can't believe there isn't a larger TCM market in the U.S., especially for the population of 6 million infertiles.  It seems like it'd be an easy enough second option after the traditional romps in the hay don't work, and before we start injesting Clomid and jabbing ourselves full of horse urine.  And, it'd be tons cheaper than an IUI.

I think this guy is missing a gigantic opportunity not coming back to the states to treat infertiles.

Will Jack Bauer and I go seek his TCM insight?  I'm not sure, and not because I don't believe in this.  I just turned 37, and am now wondering if conceiving at my advanced maternal age is such a good idea to try to get pregnant.  The verdict is still out.

Yesterday, I bought a herbal tea concoction that was for "beauty" but it does much more than that - it is a detox tea that apparently clarifies your skin, balances female hormones and is good for digestion. We'll see if it works.

Regardless, if you haven't explored TCM yet, you might consider it.  It's much more than just the acupuncture side, which is something I know many of us have tried (and mine worked for some ailments, just not getting pregnant).

There are some legitimate TCM practioners in the U.S., you just might have to do some research.  I'm just wishing I would've thought of this earlier in my TTC journey.


  1. I've heard that about not drinking cold drinks, but I've also heard ice-cream is helpful. An idea I choose to fully embrace!

  2. I have never studied TCM, it sounds interesting.

    Stopping by for an ICLW visit...
    No. 2: the unfair struggle (mfi, speedskating, nanowrimo)

  3. I find these concepts pretty interesting - however, I love cold water and not sure I could ever give that up!

  4. I find this to be so interesting! I keep seeing accupuncture and the like mentioned on blogs and message boards. I wonder if there are any accupuncturists in my area? hmmm...

    The TCM sounds pretty interesting, too! You'll have to keep us posted on how it goes!

    Happy ICLW!

  5. Intrigued and looking forward to learning more about TCM!
    Happy ICLW :)

  6. That is fascinating. Good luck and I hope whatever route you chose works for you.

  7. The Infertility Cure has a lot of info about TCM and the book's website is how I found my wonderful TCM practitioner here in SoCal. He's been the most helpful doctor I've had on this whole TTC journey!

    And wow, moving to China?! What an adventure!