Yesterday I experienced a medical appointment like no other.
One with a Western doctor who after seeing something he was not trained to believe existed, decided to dedicate his life to Traditional Chinese medicine.
My love with Traditional Chinese Medicine comes from years ago, even when I did not even imagine I would face IF.
I had traveled to China for work for a week and had the opportunity to experience several sides of TCM. I had a Tuina massage (amazing. I felt the effects for days), reflexology (very, very strong to the point of hurting), visited a traditional pharmacy more than 400 years old (not for the faint hearted) and visited a hospital which treated only with TCM.
While there I also decided to visit a TCM clinic to get a diagnosis since I had not been feeling well for years. I had nothing to lose and thought it would be an amazing adventure and many people I knew swore by TCM and what better place to experience it than Beijing.
For quite some time I had been having fatigue, my periods were very heavy and in general I was not feeling well .Doctors here told me to either go on the BCP or that it was normal and that I was just stressed. Nobody would listen to me.
The consult was nothing like a Western one. First the doctor was very, very old, I would guess than in most Westen countries he would have been made to retire, but no here, he was one of the very best due to his age and experience. The older the wiser
He did not ask me any questions, just looked at me with a lot of interest, took my pulse for several minutes in several positions, looked at my tongue, smelled me (yes by putting my arm near his nose) and in Chinese told the interpreter his diagnosis . The interpreter told me the words in TCM language, but I was not understanding and so decided to show me the interpretation of this in an English TCM dictionary:
Then he told me to take some pills for different parts of my cycles, put the needles in several positions and told me to relax on a table for a few minutes.
The amazing thing is that his diagnosis I would later find out was the same as the one given to me by Napro after months of tests and several years of visiting local doctors.
The pills he gave me were to give me heat (since I had low progesterone), increase energy ( due to my low thyroid) , my cold uterine environment (polyps and luteal phase defect) and to move blood (endometriosis).
I bought the pills, but did not take them since I was a little bit afraid of how they looked and smelled and doctors here told me that I did not have any hormonal issues.
Years later in the midst of IF I found a local TCM doctor who read the ingredients and told me they were excellent and that I should take them which I did. I did not get pregnant while on this, but I felt better.
Later I went to another local TCM practitioner and together with his acupuncture treatment, the recommendations by Ran.dine Le.w.is (an USA TCM author with whom I had a TCM retreat right after my lap with Dr. H ) and Napro I got pregnant at 39 after 3 years of IF.
After we lost Miguel I went into deep depresion and restarted TTC only in March/ April of last year half heartedly due to fear of having another miscarriage and also since we were focusing on adoption. In more than a year of using days of fertility each month no pregnancies.
Due to my age (I am 40, about to turn 41) my DH and I have decided to give it another try again using Napro 100%, maybe even have another consult with Dr. H and most importantly go back to TCM. I now know deep in my heart if I do not give it another try I will always regret it.
So yesterday I went to a highly regarded TCM doctor that I had started visiting several months ago in my quest to feel better after the miscarriage.
He is a Western trained neurologist who while on his residency here in Mexico at a governement hospital saw an open brain surgery where no anesthesiology was used and the pain was only controlled with needles. The patient came walking out of the operating table fully functional and the doctor was hooked.
He then spent 5 years in China studying.
He is around 60, his practice is packed even on weekends and it takes months to get an appointment.
I brought him my diagnosis by Randine Lewis, told him what they had told me in China and asked him point blank if he thought I had hope after all my medical complications of the last year, my worries since my CM was not as it used to be (very limited even on medicines) , my age and that sometimes ovualtion was even difficult to pin point. .
He told me that he was 100% sure I could get pregnant again and more, have a healthy baby, we just needed to open my energy channels so my body would come back to normal.
His diagnosis was that I have a cold uterus, which makes it impossible for implantation to ocurr or to maintain a pregnancy.
He then went on to explain to me how TCM looks at the hormonal cascade and how energy is the way the Chinese see everything and how Western doctors call them hormones. Energy is not the same as hormones, but hormones are one of the physical manifestations of how energy functions
A cold uterus is in Western terms a uterus which is not getting the energy to make implantation possible, low progesterone is one of the culprits as well as polyps, etc. He then took 15 minutes to explain all of this to me using both Western names and Chinese symbols such as heat, dampness and stagnantion.
He told me that I was very afraid of another pregnancy, that I was even preventing it unconsciously due to my fears and that even if I said I wanted to get pregnant again my desire was buried by grief and fear. .
This really resonated with me. He was putting into words my innermost feelings.
This causes the energy coming from the meridians to get blocked, get very tired and not get pregnant.
My overthinking nature also did not help. This damages the spleen, which in Western terms the diagnosis is adrenal fatigue.
It was not a thing I could control since it was very deeply buried in me, but one that could be addressed very well by TCM.
He said my Western treatment was very , very good (Napro) and to continue with it, but he had to address now the subtle aspects of infertility which Western medicine cannot treat.
He then put needless on several points which hurt (they never had hurt with him before) and he said he was working on very strong points. In some I could even feel the energy move up and down like tiny electrical currents. Then he brought a pendulum made of quarz and put it over several of the main energy points.
The first point is below the belly button and the pendulum did not move at all.
This would relate in Western terms to the uterus.
Then very slowly moved side by side when in fact it should have moved in circles, and so he went one by one in each energy points (the hindus call them chackras).
Most did not even move and some moved in the wrong direction!!!
My energy was completly blocked. The only point where it moved like crazy in circles was when he placed it over my head. I had to laugh when he did this.
Then he moved the needles around and I started to feel a twinge in my ovaries, but he was moving the needles in other points yet I felt it there. It was surreal.
It was Mittleschmerz, the German word used to signal the pain some women have when ovulating .
I was feeling it right then and there!!! And I had not felt it since my miscarriage. I was near my ovulation yet my mucus in the last cycles had been regular at best and this cycle almost non existant and the pain I was feeling I did not even remember!
Then he went back to the pendulum over the energy points and right there in front of my eyes the pendulum started moving in circles like crazy and I am sure he was not moving his hand or anything.
He then told me to continue as I was doing, trying to rest, have a healthy diet and not to worry. I had gotten pregnant once and he was sure I was going to be able to again.
He said please trust in your body´s healing ability.
I went home with renewed hope and today in the morning I woke up to something I had not seen in over a year: 10KL!!!!!!!!!!!!!
From my experience in China , my pregnancy and now this I have seen time and time again proof that TCM can be a very powerful thing. I will continue the next months with him and see where this leads.
Speaking to my DH last night he also feels complete confidence in this doctor and actually told me he believes in his heart that a pregnancy is in our future. He was 100% sure, something I had not seen in the last months.
For the first time since our miscarriage I am daring to believe again.
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