So just what are the ingredients for the fertile soil in a woman’s body that supports healthy pregnancy and birth? This is an important question for a woman trying to conceive. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has some solid contribution on the topicFirst, a woman’s blood must be ample, nutritionally and hormonally healthy, and flowing unimpeded throughout the body and, in particular, the uterus. Second, her Chi needs to be flowing smoothly in all her organs, muscles and channels (including the uterus). Third, her mental and emotional energy system needs to be balanced in such a way that a woman trying to conceive, is enhancing her overall health versus burdening her overall health.
Whew, that’s a mouthful. And what does it all mean? Well, let’s look at each piece individually.
Ample, nutritionally and hormonally healthy as well as, Flowing Unimpeded throughout the body Blood: In Chinese Medicine we refill our tank daily with energy or life force, via our food, drink and breath. We must sleep at night in order to repair, rebuild, regenerate and rejuvenate our entire system. This repair work requires a foundation of nourishment that we supply ourselves each day.
One of our energy systems in Chinese Medicine, The Earth System which includes the organs Spleen/Pancreas and Stomach, is responsible for receiving the food and drink we ingest, breaking it down into usable nourishment for the blood (called transformation in TCM), and then transporting nutrients, via the blood, to our entire body. Optimal function of our body can only be as good as the quality and quantity of the food we eat. Quality refers to how healthy, vital and nutrient-rich the food we eat is. Quantity refers to the eating of food in proper portions. If we eat too little, we become deficient in nutrients. If we eat too much, our system becomes burdened in having to deal with the excess that cannot be transported or is unusable, for example excess sugar. If either deprivation of necessary nutrients, or over-burden becomes the norm, our system suffers greatly.
If deprived or over-burdened, at night, during rebuilding and regenerating, our system is mostly trying to keep up with robbing “Peter to pay Paul,” or figuring out what to do with the excess and repairing the breakdown in our system from the excess. This is quite a wasteful expenditure of our energy when we need our energy available each day and night for the important job of keeping our organs, tissues, hormones, and cells operating healthfully.
If misuse of our energy goes on over time, our soil may become infertile. We absolutely need healthy blood on a regular basis and we need this rich, nourished blood flowing throughout the uterus. When our blood becomes tired, lacks oxygen, or is nutritionally deficient, it can become sluggish, slow down and even stagnate. This means our smooth flow of blood is compromised, thus compromising fertility.
Enough Chi flowing smoothly in all organs, muscles and channels (including the uterus): Chi is a Chinese word for life force, or energy, or molecular energy. It is what we are made of in that, if we have no Chi, we have no life force. Simple stated, when we are born we have a full tank of Chi, and when the tank is empty, we die. While alive and during the reproductive years, it makes sense that in order to create a new life inside of you, you must have a reasonable life force yourself. If you don’t have enough Chi or life force in your own system, where do you think the Chi will come from to create a new life for 9 mos.? Nature, and infinite wisdom, just knows that if a woman’s Chi tank is too low, then reproduction falls below the line of possibility. It’s a no-brainer, in that, for a fetus to grow it needs a certain amount of Chi and blood.
Mental and emotional energy systems need to be balanced in such a way that a woman trying to conceive, is enhancing her overall health versus burdening her overall health: Thoughts and emotions are as much Chi as your elbow or liver is. They are just a more subtle form of Chi. Much like the wind, in that, we don’t “see” wind, but it exists because we see the effects of wind even though it is invisible. This more subtle form of Chi, like our thoughts and emotions, are just as important as the food we eat. Every time we think a thought or have an emotion, there is literally a chemical reaction in our body. To put it in simple terms, the by-product of these chemical reactions are either toxic and thus, burdensome to our system; or the by-product of these chemical reactions align with optimal functioning of our system.
When I teach a woman to observe herself in this more subtle form of Chi, it is often surprising to her that she is much more plagued with thoughts of fear, worry, or depression, in relation to her fertility, than she realized consciously. Some of it she was aware of, but the extent of it is more the eye-opener. The chemical by-product of these thoughts and emotions over a prolonged period of time, become burdensome to the system, contributing to a decreased flow of Chi and Blood. It requires practice to become aware, and then become intentional about our choice of thoughts.
“Ingredients,” or choices, are either enhancing or inhibiting our fertile soil. Either our fertility switch is ‘on’ or ‘off.’ No woman purposely turns her fertility switch off, but, unknowingly, she could be making choices, day after day, that are preventing optimal and fertile soil. Start where you’re at and begin making the best choices you can in order to fertilize your soil in such a way that pregnancy and healthy birth are a natural outcome.