No one would argue that the health of our reproductive system - whether we want to conceive right now or not at all - is deeply impacted on by the health of our body in general. If we’re not eating and digesting well, doing an appropriate amount of exercise, resting adequately and managing stress, we’re not creating an optimal environment for healthy cells and balanced hormones. Gynaecological or urological complaints may be a way our body lets us know it’s not doing so well. Maybe there’s issues with pain, irregularity, erections or libido. Maybe a condition like endometriosis or polycystic ovarian syndrome has been diagnosed by your doctor.
How does this translate into a modern acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine clinic with a passion for working with fertility and reproductive health issues?
It is important to understand that Jodi is trained to look at you within a Chinese medicine framework. Essentially, as a unique individual with a set of signs and symptoms which indicate disharmony or an imbalance in your overall state of wellness. According to Chinese medicine, this imbalance may potentially have detrimental impacts on your health, including that of the reproductive system or fertility.
So, get comfy and settle in for a host of questions about your entire system and each aspect of your health - body, mind and spirit. Jodi wants to know all the glorious details:
- How is your digestion and what and when do you eat and drink?
- How is your sleep quality and quantity?
- How is your energy level and does it drop or feel excessive at particular times?
- How is your emotional well-being and stress levels? Do you get/take time to effectively relax and recharge?
- How is your lifestyle - now and historically? Do you exercise? Smoke? Work shifts or FIFO? Get exposed to lots of toxins or other endocrine disrupters in your work or home?
- How is your libido and sex life?
- Have you any medical diagnoses or take any medications, herbal prescriptions or supplements?
- Are there any health complaints from your childhood or past? Or a family history of any significant health concerns?
Man or woman, it’s otherwise all about the fluids:
- Ladies, how is your menstrual cycle? Fertile mucous changes throughout, regularity, length, duration, blood quality/quantity, spotting, pain, breast changes, pms?
- Guys, do you have semen quality issues within one or more parameter of count, motility, morphology, volume or DNA fragmentation?
Disharmonies identified through careful and comprehensive questioning and observations like this, lead Jodi to your Chinese medicine diagnosis. It is this diagnosis, grounded in modern understanding, that now guides your individualised treatment plan. This may involve any or all of:
- Acupuncture - including treatments timed to your menstrual cycle
- Chinese herbal medicine
- Temperature charting - how to do and what it all means
- Nutritional and lifestyle advice and adjustments
Whilst Jodi will certainly have a detailed understanding and interest in any medical diagnosis (such as endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome, or sperm issues) you have been given, please understand that it is not at the heart of your Chinese medicine diagnosis or treatment. Jodi is working within a Chinese medicine framework, bolstered by her modern understanding of health and medicine. She does not aim to replace or supersede any medical diagnosis or prescribed treatment but instead to consider this and work alongside it in a supportive manner.
What do we mean by that? How is a Chinese Medicine diagnosis and treatment different to standard medical care?
Essentially, when you see an acupuncturist or Chinese herbalist, you are always treated according to a Chinese medicine framework and your unique Chinese medicine diagnosis. Whilst the goal of improving well-being is shared, this is distinctly different to a western medicine framework, using different words, treatment intentions and approaches. Let’s use endometriosis as an example. Acupuncturists undeniably treat many women who also happen to have been medically diagnosed with endometriosis. Acupuncturists study a bachelor of health science for 4 years and commit to ongoing education throughout their career. They well understand what endometriosis and other western medical diagnosis mean and how they might affect your body. To be absolutely clear though, acupuncturists aren’t technically treating endometriosis. We don’t open an acupuncture or Chinese herbal medicine text book and look up endometriosis. It’s simply not there. What is there, are large sections on gynaecological symptoms like pain - an example of something often experienced in endometriosis. There are then multiple and different causes for this pain. They involve words like cold, dampness and blood stagnation. An acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist asks a myriad of questions to work out which of these are relevant to the individual’s experience of pain. “Is the pain better for warmth?” for example. They consider your whole symptom picture and how this effects your overall wellness. They put all the pieces of the puzzle together, look at your tongue, feel your pulse and formulate your Chinese medical diagnosis. The many different causes of gynaecological pain, according to Chinese medicine, explain why five women presenting to an acupuncture clinic with period pain may, in fact, all receive five slightly or even very different treatments. The acupuncturist and herbalist is treating the individual, their unique presentation and consequent Chinese medicine diagnosis, never the western diagnosis like endometriosis.
What is the suggested treatment frequency?
The reproductive health program offered at Moxa would ideally work with individuals weekly for at least three months. There is naturally flexibility within this to suit your requirements. Three months is:
- Time to establish an understanding of any patterns in the menstrual cycle which may emerge from temperature charting and prolonged and careful observation
- The maturation cycle of sperm
- Time to begin seeing the impact of treatment as well as nutritional and lifestyle changes on health and wellbeing
For further information on other programs, please select from below:
- Natural Fertility and Preconception Support
- IUI, ICSI and IVF Support
- Pregnancy Care and Labour Preparation
- Post-Natal Care
- Fertility and Reproductive Health
Still some questions? You are most welcome to enquire with us further for more personalised information as to how we may be able to assist your specific situation.