Today’s topic is worry and fertility, because. One of the main emotions that are fertility challenged patients, or some people call them infertility patients have is worry.
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Hi, it’s Dr. Martha Lucas here to talk with you today about fertility. I am very happy to be here and want to thank the American Acupuncture Council for sponsoring this webinar. My offices are located in Denver and Littleton, Colorado, but I teach everywhere. And my teaching website is lucas teachings.com.
So let’s go to the slides.
Today’s topic is worry and fertility, because. One of the main emotions that are fertility challenged patients, or some people call them infertility patients have is worry. And as you know from the history of Chinese medicine, emotional conditions can cause physical disease or physical symptoms, and we are the.
When we’re in utero, we are the vibration of our parents, especially of our mother. So there is a reason for an additional reason for the mother to try to get rid of that worry pulse, that worry, that anxious energy. At least when she’s pregnant. But as I will say later, most of the time it doesn’t go away.
Which is why we need to treat her throughout her pregnancy. Because even when the end is having a healthy baby, right? That’s the end goal. Healthy baby. Healthy mother. A long struggle to conceive can take a brutal toll on the couple, the both people involved, women and men who have lived with things like anxiety, worry, sadness, depression, and other emotions that are associated with fertility challenges, they c may even have those patterns.
After the healthy birth. So even seeing the couple or the mother after the birth is important. There is a quotation by Van Golf that says there may be a great fire in our soul, but no one ever comes to warm himself by it. All that pastors by can see is a little smoke. Now we know about the fire within, right?
How many people do we pass by every day that we just see the outside? We have no idea about the raging fire, the raging worry that’s inside of them. They may have a passion or a pain inside that is so great. They feel like they can barely contain it, but we don’t see it on the outside. Now, we as practitioners, Who specialize in treating fertility, know about that raging fire.
All of us know that cousin or aunt who loves kids or a friend of ours, and we see the sadness in her eyes at baby showers, but we don’t really know the depth of that person’s pain. We can see how coworkers light up whenever people talk about their children, but we don’t really know why.
He or she didn’t have any children. In fact, it becomes a little bit of a topic that you’re not really certain how to address or begin talking with people about it. We read something once in a while about. Recurrent miscarriages and we feel sorry for the person, or we felt sorry for the person, but we couldn’t picture anyone who we knew who had lost multiple consecutive pregnancies until, as I said, we are treating fertility challenges and then we know all of these people.
And the fire inside their passion, their desire fire can leave serious damage behind. And it’s hard unless you’re treating it to fully grasp what fertility challenges involved, unless you are dealing with it personally. As I said, the worry we’re gonna talk about doesn’t go away lots of the times when you get pregnant.
One of my fertility patients, Finally, got pregnant, had a healthy live birth, then she got pregnant again. In fact, she came to see me and she said, oh, I was coming to see you because we wanna get pregnant again, but guess what? I’m pregnant already, but I’m worried. And I said, are you worried about having a miscarriage?
Because she had miscarriages already. And she said yes. And again, I still had to deal with that worry, even though. She’d already had a baby, which does not necessarily mean you’re gonna get pregnant again or easily get pregnant or pregnant at all. And I needed to explain to her, are you having symptoms of a miscarriage?
No. Okay, then let’s work on that. Worry. Like I said, many people believe that the end game is have a baby, and if they can just get that prize, all their worries about infertility will go away. But that is not how it is in real life. It’s much, much bigger than that. It the. Experience they’re going through really affects their physical and mental health in insidious and sometimes long lasting ways.
Because struggling to have a biological child is a complicated emotional process and. , it’s an invisible loss, right? There aren’t any rituals for miscarriages. There aren’t any rituals for somebody who gets pregnant and at six weeks they realize, oh, there’s no heartbeat. Or genetically speaking, where this is not gonna be a viable pregnancy.
There aren’t any rituals for that. So these people are experiencing these losses without being able to go through. Hey, I’ve had this loss and I need to grieve, and I need people to grieve with me. Now we can grieve with them, right? And we get them through it. However, There aren’t any formal rituals for it.
And then they start to feel like there’s something wrong with them. I’ve had, and I’m sure you have to, women who had previously had an abortion who feel like, oh, that’s my punishment now my punishment is I’m never gonna get pregnant. That’s of course not true, but because of their.
Feelings about it because of this constant try and lose. Try and lose. Try and lose. What happens is they start to take it internally. They start to think of themselves as a bad person or lose some of their self-esteem. They may also experience shame. And part of shame is why can’t I be happy at my girlfriends?
Baby shower. Because you’re disappointed, because you’re sad, because you’re grieving your own loss, or the potential loss, or the idea that maybe you’re never going to have a biological child, but lots of people envy makes them feel shameful. So there’s that underlay of I can’t be happy for anybody else because I can’t be happy for myself.
And then that goes into worry that they’re going to lose friends. If I can’t show my happiness at my girlfriend’s baby shower, maybe she’s not gonna wanna be my friend anymore. So you can see that their worry about it, their constant thinking about it about. Whether or not they can get pregnant, how are they gonna have to go to a baby shower?
I think we have all heard the stories of, wow, I’m trying to get pregnant, and everybody around me is pregnant. It’s amazing how many patients tell us that, that, yep, am I Another coworker came in today. They weren’t even trying, and they’re pregnant. So it’s just all consuming sometimes. And they also have the worry that their relationship will suffer and relationships have been damaged by reproductive issues because there’s so much pressure to have that biological child.
And that affects intimacy. And this is partly why I always treat the man and the woman. That’s my protocol. I do not only treat the woman. I started doing that years and years ago, because we all know it takes young and it takes yin. And if the young part of the picture is. Over here and out of it.
Then how are we going to succeed? And remember, 40% of the time, reproductive challenges are on the male side. That’s a huge. Piece of percent you can. It would theoretically suggest that your success rate could go up. Success rate, helping people get pregnant by 40% if you treat the male. So find out about and treat the male.
And partly I can tell you in terms of the pressure I’ve had men be very grateful that I’m seeing them because they say they’re a nervous wreck. They’re on call all the time. Their wife is always checking her temperature and her phone app on when she’s gonna ovulate. And it’s just a lot of.
Tension for them. Plus remember the hormones that are involved in if a woman’s gonna get I V F or some fertility clinic treatment and getting hormones, boy oh boy, those can really intensify her emotions so everything can get worse. Anger, worry, depression, all of those can be escalated and. And sometimes your easiest target or your most available target is your partner who is really trying to help you, but can feel a little helpless.
So I’ve even ex, guided couples in how often to have intercourse. Studies show that if you have intercourse every three days, you are going to within three months, hit ovulation at the right time. I’ve had men. Thank me for giving their wife that information because again, they feel pressured to have intercourse.
Too often they are happy. It’s a pleasant experience, but it starts to become unpleasant when they’re on call, when it’s pressure, when it has to happen right now. So then even their intimacy gets in this negative cycle because of the woman’s worry. And men worry about it too, about being able to have that biological child.
And remember about their experience of loss too. Fathers to be, experience a loss of a miscarriage or having to end a pregnancy because of genetic problems and unsuccessful I V F treatment cycles. Remember, they are affected too. They would like to have a biological child. They get this thing done, they, it looks good.
The wife is. Pregnant, every, the woman is pregnant, everything’s looking good, and then it doesn’t work out that way. Remember, they are a part of it too. It is an emotional loss experience for the male of the partner also of the partnership also. So again, it’s, it can be very complex. Then there’s what is called unexplained secondary infertility.
Very nebulous term, right? It starts with the word unexplained, and this is when women have successfully given birth already. , but for some reason they are not able to easily get pregnant a second time. And there are timelines on this, it’s a shock, right? They feel like wait a minute. I got pregnant so easily the first time.
Why isn’t it happening now? Why shouldn’t I be able to have another baby? Why is this happening? Why won’t my body do what it’s supposed to do? So there’s not only the first time trying to get pregnant, but also. Future times can be affected by fertility challenges and you need to obviously look at everything, health conditions, surgeries what did they have, a previous C-section, and maybe there’s some scar tissue there.
Looking at all of that for the second time around. and research has also shown that women dealing with fertility challenges have depression and anxiety levels similar to those who are suffering with cancer, H I V and heart disease. And through our work, we can help resolve that worry. And also I consider it a trauma.
I consider these losses, this journey a part of trauma. The fertility struggle has. Traumatic. Traumatic impact. Now, some people don’t think it deserves the label trauma because it isn’t life threatening, but it is fulfilling, life threatening. It is having a happy life, living a life threatening. So I feel like there is no problem with.
Treating fertility challenges, especially when there are a lot of losses as though the person has been traumatized. In fact, there are research scientists and psychologists who feel like the word trauma or the idea of trauma should be expanded to include psychological and emotional responses, not only physical.
Threats or the physical threat of life. So these people are experiencing a Ma major shift in their life. They are planning a major shift in their life that sometimes isn’t working out for them. They are exposed to constant reminders of their condition or of the fact that they can’t seem to get pregnant from everyone, from family members, coworkers, friends, medical, the people that they go to for their medical treatments and other, and pregnant women.
I think that. We can truly believe that fertility challenges affect how you see yourself and the world along the way. A lot of women have so much worry and so much doubt that they just feel like they can’t even trust themselves, that this kind of doubt and experience is just a part of who they are.
They’re just always gonna leave live in a. State of worry, a constant state of worry. And as I said, this does not turn off when they become pregnant. It does not turn off when they hear that heartbeat. It’s a pattern in their body and they, we are gonna help them get past it. using acupuncture and sometimes herbs they’re always bracing themselves, right?
They’ve gone through fertility treatments that didn’t work. Some have failed adoption attempts. That’s also a traumatic experience for women. They’re bracing themselves all the way through their ivf, sometimes through a C-section, so they, you might think they’re invincible and a lot of people do. I think.
Feel like these women are invincible cuz look what they’ve been through. But that’s not true. They are extremely delicate inside and they are always thinking the other shoe is gonna drop. They are pregnant, but they are always waiting for something bad to happen with that pregnancy.
And even women who have a child after the child is born still feel like. Guilt over, oh, I have this baby finally. Or is something gonna happen to this baby because of that worry that they went through sometimes the years of their fertility treatments. So it’s that constant rollercoaster and unfortunately sometimes it’s off the rollercoaster and you’re still in defeat.
Plus, of course, these women, these worried women very often and something to pay attention to with your fertility patients, they very often deal with postpartum depression because again, even though it seems like the golden ring is that live healthy birth, It doesn’t take away the patterns of worry that they had while they were going through all of their treatments.
We need to be aware of that, a after our patient has their babies. So what has all this got to do with worry? In this picture of the right pulse side, so the right positions, you can see that worry earth is in that middle position there. And worry makes the energy go backward toward the kidneys.
Now, as you know for if you’ve heard me talk about pulse diagnosis, my system before the kidneys, and we know this, the kidneys fund everything, so we really don’t need a perverse movement going back toward the kidneys, but that’s what worry does to your digestion. So that’s one of the problems with worry is that it wrecks the Earth’s spleen stomach position and sends it back toward the kidneys.
The part that I talked about with trauma, the trauma can empty that earth sector. That’s what a trauma pulse feels like. These are, this is where unresolved, that continuous cascade of worry and other. Emotions that come with the experience. Leave the pulse, the earth, spleen, stomach, our digestive, our nurturing center can become empty.
In fact, it can be so empty that under your finger, it feels almost like that arrow, like it’s sucking down. This person is so needy and empty that their, literally, their earth is sinking. And then you’ll notice in the lung, large intestine position, I put a little arrow just to remind you that the positions flow through each other like those little sine waves on top of the line.
If earth is empty, Then there is no energy going to the large intestine in the lung. So you’re gonna have an out of balance lung, large intestine pulse. And as earth and metal make the immune system so that whole, those two whole sectors are liable to be empty and out way outta balance.
Now, as you can imagine from me showing you those, Pulse when Earth is not working, when earth is empty, when Earth is going back toward the kidneys, when digestion isn’t working, this person is not making good quality energy. They cannot make good quality blood, which. We’re trying to create a warm, fertile environment, a blood filled environment in the uterus, but they’re not making good quality blood.
Their ability to nurture themselves decreases because Earth is how we nurture ourselves. Digestion, working well is how we make our energy, make our blood, nurture ourselves, keep ourselves alive, and then their immune system can also suffer well. We don’t really need them catching frequent colds or that sort of thing.
Having bad allergies, having skin problems. We don’t need to add immune system problems onto their fertility challenge. And as I said, their skin might suffer. They might start to have hair loss. That is because partly that spleen, stomach sector, that earth sector is not moving into the lung large intestine.
So the immune system is suffering. The skin is suffering, the hair is suffering. And they basically just are losing their core, right? The where would be under my middle finger, the core, nothing is flowing from the kidneys into the earth, into the long, large intestine. So again, we, that’s a major part of treating fertility.
That’s why I always tell my students, treat digestion on every fertility patient because, They have to make good quality energy, make good quality blood, have enough blood to flow to the uterus, have a good solid immune system, and the only way they’re gonna do that is if we can keep their earth, their spleen, stomach, sector of the pulse strong.
Now the second pulse picture I showed you, which was the earth sector going down, that, as I said, is related to old trauma patterns. Now this could be. Worry from childhood sometimes I treat an awful lot of trauma. I treat an awful lot of people who today’s issues are because of what happened way back.
Because your pulses remember everything. They’re your Rosetta stone. So all that stuff is in there. Even if your conscious mind has blocked it out, your subconscious mind and your energetic body has those patterns in there. So I will ask them, do you feel like you worried as a child? and then you can say other things like, did you feel like your life was outta control?
Now, as kids, almost all of our lives are outta control. Let’s face it, we don’t have any control. Our parents control everything. But that’s different than worrying that your parents are gonna get a divorce or worrying that your dad who’s an alcoholic is gonna make it home alive without having an accident.
Worry like that, is going to. Create some sort of old trauma and it can lead these people to feel like their body’s outta control. So that again, would show up as a very deep, empty earth, spleen, stomach pulse, old trauma that is unresolved. Now the beauty of acupuncture is we can recycle that old trauma pattern into.
back into the digestion, back into nurturing the spirit, back into flowing through the kidneys. So like the infinity symbol here, that is the beauty of acupuncture for treating trauma. We can make that. Infinity symbol happened. The pulses from both sides connected to each other. That’s what good health is, that infinity symbol, all of the organ systems communicating with each other, flowing from side to side, everyone getting a continuous flow of energy rather than what I showed you with the spleen, stomach sector going back and forth, or just frankly being empty.
Now one way to accomplish getting the organ systems connected is using the low points. Now I know, I don’t do what I call prescription Chinese medicine. I follow the pulses and I do what the pulses tell me to do with the patient. However, sometimes you do need to connect things like the kidney low, if the, we use that kidney low.
If we s. We think the person is seeing an emotional vent as the worst possible thing that could ever happen to them, thereby leading to fear and sometimes paralyzing fear. All right, these women are afraid they’re never gonna have a baby. That’s their worry. Their worry is, this month is not gonna work.
Next month is not gonna work. I’m never going to have a biological child. So there is. A total acceptance in opening up kidney four to get the kidneys flowing into the other organ systems. Get them supporting the other organ systems.
Some other things are if the patient reacts quickly to everything, they’re, they’ve lost their ability to handle and manipulate their world. Then the stomach is associated with pensiveness and worry. So you can see you can do stomach 40. It’ll help regulate digestion. Spleen four also will help the gut and will help the blood, and it’s the master point of the chok, which is my.
Favorite. Favorite, I think extraordinary, or we’ll say one of my big favorite, extraordinary, I love, love, love the Chong Ma because as it starts in the fire, in the belly, comes up the body, and then encircles the spirit like a lollipop. That’s the vision I give my patients, and then recycles back down a perfect fertility channel.
So spleen four is a great low for you to try heart five. Remember? This person is having a hard time evaluating and articulating their feelings because their main feeling is worry and grief, worry and depression, worry, and anxiety. So this helps them the energetically to help them reevaluate the situation, help them speak to others about the situation.
Remember I said there aren’t any rituals for the losses that happen every month when you don’t get pregnant, however, We can help them with heart. Five. The small intestine low represents redefining. Emotional processes and getting feedback from others and being more accepting of that feedback. So it’s about reprocessing and integrating our emotions.
And the pericardium or heart protector, low, right? P six, PC six, that represents our defense mechanisms and. It can help us get out of those holding patterns and frankly, we might be tempted to go to heart seven when someone is suffering a lot from worry and pensiveness and we wanna nourish their spirit.
But remember, the pericardium might be protecting the heart. So we need to go through the pericardium some sometimes re, as I said, really tempted to go right to the heart, but honestly, sometimes we need to go through the pericardium to the heart, and PC six will help them with their coping mechanisms during these, what are very trying times for them.
Then there’s gallbladder 37 chance to let go of the stagnation of our feelings, illuminating brightness. Nice option for people going through this. And then the liver low. Remember, it’s gonna help when we’re feel like we’re controlled by something else than other ourselves. And they are. If they’re in an IVF clinic who’s controlling them, they feel totally outta control of their own body.
They’re, they might be having negative side effects. They have to do this on this day and this on this day, and this on this day. You can’t create good chi and blood when you’re stuck like that. So that combination is also very nice. Liver five. Gall bladder 37, they’re, they need blood for creation and that’s a part of liver five.
Blood moving for creation and them able to experience their passion, their desire in a positive way. So I wanna thank you very much for watching this. I wanna, again, thank the American Acupuncture Council. I am available to help you with any questions you have. You can go to lucasteachings.com and see course selections.
There’s a contact Dr. Lucas button there. Acupuncture woman is my. Private practice site. There’s a contact Dr. Martha button there, and my email address is dr. M Lucas acupuncture woman.com. Drmlucas@acupuncturewoman.com. If you need, have any questions or would like to talk with me about just anything, Chinese medicine, and next time we’re gonna talk about depression and fertility challenges.