Top 5 Tips for Fertility Using Chinese Medicine

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I love learning about simple and effective methods that couples can use to help improve their chances of conceiving. Simple fertility tips that make sense and are easy to adopt in our every day lives. This is one of the reasons I love practicing Chinese Medicine.  This type of Eastern Medicine supports the use of a traditional type of fertility diet along with lifestyle adjustments. I wanted to pass along my top 5 tips for fertility using Chinese Medicine.

Chinese Medicine Diet For Fertility
Food is one of the most important things we can do to help our fertility and overall health. We are eating drinking through most of the day, every day! There are foods which help to keep us healthy and others which bring us down. If you are constantly eating foods that bring you down it's obvious you will begin to feel "bad" over time. If you are sticking to a more healthy type diet, over time you will begin to feel "better". As you need to eat every day this offers an opportunity to really support your body on a daily basis.  
The basic Chinese Medicine style diet which supports fertility isn't complex at all. It's probably similar to that of what your grandmother would have taught you. A diet high in vegetables and fruit with whole food type grains, good quality fats and protein is all you need to do. Stay away from processed foods, foods high in sugar or eating too many grains.  
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Sleep For Fertility
Sleep is an often overlooked aspect of our health today.  I hear day after day by my patients that they only NEED 6 hours of sleep, or I can "function" after having 5 hours. Unfortunately for almost 99% of the populations this isn't true. Yes many people can function or get by with less sleep but they are not working in optimal levels. Their work suffers as well as their fertility. I even have read one study showing smaller testicle size and lower sperm counts in men who had consistently less sleep. Chinese Medicine supports both men and women needing good quality sleep. This means trying to get the recommended 7-9 hours per night and being in bed sleeping by 11:00. I have met several doctors while I was in China who wouldn't even work with a patient who wasn't consistently going to bed before 11:00.  
If you are suffering with insomnia and trying to conceive it may be a good time to find out why you are not getting a proper sleep and try to remedy this. There are many ways that help sleep. From having plants in your bedroom, limiting screen time before bed or having acupuncture, simple solutions often make a difference.
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Acupuncture For Fertility
Acupuncture has long been known for its effectiveness with different types of pain. What people are more recently becoming aware of is that Acupuncture is a great treatment for those couples trying to conceive. From treating irregular periods with women diagnosed with PCOS, Painful periods due to endometriosis, Poor Ovarian Reserve due to Age or Poor Sperm Quality in Men. Acupuncture plays an important role in improving blood flow and hormones which boosts fertility in both men and women.  
At Acubalance almost all of our patients are receiving acupuncture to help their fertility. We treat couples who are trying naturally, with medication, undergoing Intra Uterine Insemination (IUI), InVitro Fertilization (IVF) and even Donor Egg Cycles. No matter where you are in your fertility journey Acupuncture can help.  The points we use change drastically from person to person and diagnosis to diagnosis. To learn more about this approach give us a call for a free 15 minute phone consultation. It's a quick and easy way to find out if Acupuncture can help for your specific situation.  
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Exercise and Chinese Medicine Fertility Tips
In China exercise is more of a way of life than a type of event. When I was working at a hospital in China after finishing my schooling every morning most of the population was out doing some sort of exercise. I was lucky enough to join the masses. I was able to join a small martial arts class where I was the only one  who spoke English. As my Chinese was almost non existent it made for a interesting time for both me and the instructor. I learned so much, felt great after every class and have many fond memories of my time spent in the park practicing with that amazing group.  
Chinese Medicine supports daily activity such as martial arts, Tai Chi, Qi Gong and other simple, low impact exercise. Yoga, Pilates, Walking, Rowing are all movements which would also be supported by Chinese Medicine when trying to conceive. What I love about this medicine is that one exercise good for one person may not be good for another. We look at a patients constitution and other aspects of their health before suggesting any type of an exercise routine. What Chinese Medicine does support is the consistency of doing exercise every day to help build your fertility. From Walking to Martial Arts all have their strengths and weaknesses.  
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Eastern Medicine Tips For Stress and Your Fertility
Chinese or Eastern Medicine has long found stress to be a root of many illnesses. It's often related to the Chinese Medicine Liver and it's role it has on many of the other organs in the body. Stress directly effects how the liver is able to direct or control these other organs. Short term imbalances lead to insomnia, shortness of breath and head aches. Long term stress may cause a deeper level of problems. Western medicine sees long term stress that causes many disorders such as adrenal fatigue and deep seated anxiety. Unfortunately there is nothing we can do to eliminate stress in our lives but we can choose on how we deal with our stress. Eastern Medicine has many strengths in natural and effective ways to deal with this!
One of the simplest concepts if finding balance in Chinese Medicine. Anything in too great a quantity can cause disease. Too little or too much exercise are both problems. We need to find balance! When you find you are loosing the battle to stress take a step back and see where your balance is? Have you been working too many hours in the office (or your home)? Have you had any time with friends or family to just enjoy their company? Have you been prioritizing sleep to get about the 8 hours you need? Has your diet been derailed in some way (too much coffee? sugar?)    
Taking time to do an audit on your own health using the mindset of Eastern and Chinese Medicine can really put some clarity in why you are not feeling well. Once you know the cause you can make a choice to keep going and loosing the battle or finding a solution.  
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My own personal experience as well as research support I see Chinese Medicine as an important role in anyones fertility treatment. Applying these ideas of Eastern Medicine to your fertility goals you will provide you a greater chance of success.
Best Of Health
Dr Ryan Funk
Doctor of Chinese Medicine
Fellow of the ABORM