Out of Balance: Infertility in a Busy World
Understanding Yin & Yang:
In Chinese medicine there are two opposing yet mutually enhancing types of energy. These two polar opposites are called yin and yang. Although these words may mean little to us and seem strange when compared to our western model of medicine they are actually useful concepts and fairly simple to understand.
Yang energy is associated with moving, action and “doing” and also with heat, speed, drive and force. It is the dominant energy in summer, daytime, and men.
Yin energy is associated with stillness, nurturing, and “being,” and also with coolness, tranquility, and with letting go. Yin is the dominant energy of winter, nighttime and women.
Yin Yang & Fertility:
One look at the world around us will show that we live in a culture that is predominantly yang. We eat and run, are super moms, weekend warriors, jet setters, experts at multi-tasking and are proud of it! Even the idea of women’s liberation is largely based on the idea that in order to become empowered equals women could and should become the same and act the same as men.
But where is the yin and how does this all relate to fertility? Why doesn’t our culture value what is naturally yin and why isn’t true women’s liberation achieved when feminine qualities are valued equally to masculine ones?
Take a moment and picture a seed in the palm of your hand. Imagine what it would need to grow... sunshine (yang energy), warmth (yang), soil & nutrients (yin), water (yin), and patience (yin). Conception and a healthy pregnancy are no different than that small seed. If the environment within the body is balanced life will thrive and miracles happen.
Unfortunately, so many people are out of balance that fertility struggles are becoming commonplace. Recent studies show rates of infertility skyrocketing with one out of every six couples taking more than one year to conceive. Women who once took time to protect and cultivate yin energy now neglect it and consequently lack the yin necessary to nourish a new life. Many women have worked so hard at being yang that they deplete their yang energies too! What’s worse, the stress and urgency to get pregnant by any means necessary often lead to even more imbalance!
With these types of imbalance, infertility isn’t the only problem. Other physical and emotional signs of imbalance often result. Feeling hot, hot flashes, night sweats, dryness, thirst, irritability, frustration and anger are all common signs of yin deficiency. While feeling cold, frequent urination, low back & knee pain, low energy, low sex-drive, anxiety, and worry are all signs of yang deficiency.
Fortunately traditional Chinese medicine can rebalance the body and heal the underlying causes of infertility. Chinese Medicine, especially acupuncture and herbs, can help break old cycles, rebalance yin & yang and get the body back in balance. Chinese medicine also has many lifestyle suggestions to help preserve yang and nourish yin such as:
Eat well: avoid foods with artificial hormones and pesticides. Eat a balanced diet and eat in moderation. Eat slowly while sitting down. Enjoy your food. Incorporate foods that help treat your Chinese medical pattern.
Sleep Well: Try breathing or visualizations before going to bed. Establish a nighttime routine. Allow yourself enough time to sleep at least 7-9 hours.
Nourish Your Yin: Cultivate stillness and tranquility in your life. Go slowly and take time to relax. Do things that take time like gardening or reading a good book. Journal.
Breathe: Remind yourself to breathe deeply. Learn breathing exercises and allow yourself time to relax.
Embrace gentle exercises that cultivate yin and protect yang. Let go of unrealistic “yang” ideals of beauty and embrace the yin curves and beauty of the female body.
Enjoy Life: Do things each day that make you smile. Cultivate your relationships. Make conscious choices to live in a way that is true to your spirit. Laugh, Live & Love!
If you would like more information on Chinese medicine & fertility please feel free to contact Life Healing Life or attend one of our classes on finding fertility. --Nicole Lange Lic.Ac. MA.OM.