Treating Infertility Naturally: The Mind-Body Connection
Alternative approaches to augment or ease your fertility treatment—and overall health!
The Energy of Life
Since ancient times, shamans, wise women, and doctors have touted the strong connection between the mind and the body. The traditional Chinese medical (TCM) system, one of the oldest in existence, has long believed that a diseased mind contributes to a diseased body; thus, if one heals the mind, the body will follow. For some people this means tuning into their own spirituality, often through prayer, meditation, deep breathing, or clinical therapy.
“There are many myths about becoming pregnant. In truth, deciding to adopt a child doesn’t boost the odds of conception. Nor does taking a vacation, having a glass of wine before sex, or trying an unusual new position,” says Dr. Alice D. Domar, PhD, director of the Mind/Body Center for Women’s Health at Boston IVF. “But frustrated couples shouldn’t assume that mind-body medicine is irrelevant to their quest for pregnancy.”
If you’re looking for a head start on fertility, these treatments cannot only help achieve conception, they can help give your relationship a boost as well! Try these ancient practices to assist you in your path to conception and a happy, healthier life.
Ancient peoples such as the Native American Indians, Maya, Hindu, and the Chinese believed that diseases could be cured by a healer who placed his or her hands on an individual. The Chinese call this practice Qigong (pronounced “chee gong”), meaning “working with the energy of life.” The premise of qigong is that the body is made of energy and an individual becomes ill because his or her internal energy has become blocked somewhere within the body. A qigong master or “Chi Healer” uses wisdom and strength to move the blocked energy.
You can practice individual qigong through a combination of aerobics, isometrics, isotonic, relaxation, and breathing techniques. Individual qigong is ideal for warding off illnesses, lowering blood pressure, and stimulating a relaxed nature because it engages the mind and the body.
Qigong exercises require deep breathing, visualization, and physical movement. There is a specific group of exercises within the discipline of qigong that address fertility. These exercises, known as The Art of Clouds and Rain, are simple to perform. (For an outline of the exercises and how to do them, check out The Way of Qigong: The Art and Science of Chinese Energy Healing, by Kenneth S. Cohen, a graduate of the University of Berkeley, a qigong master, and health educator.)
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