How TCM can help in fulfilling the desire to have children
“The “pressure to perform”, just like at work, and to achieve your goal, in this case a pregnancy within one to three months, can be confidently tossed aside for once.” Dr. Nina Roy
TCM and the desire to have children
Dr Nina Roy is a general practitioner specialising in TCM and naturopathy. In her private practice in Düsseldorf, she treats people dealing with exhaustion, allergies or sleep disorders on a daily basis. In this interview, she tells us how the ancient knowledge of TCM can help us in our hectic world and why it is especially important for people who want to have children to recognise their own body as a miracle.
Dear Nina, why is the “ancient knowledge” of Traditional Chinese Medicine so valuable in our fast-paced, hectic world?
“TCM is guided by the natural laws of the universe, which in turn are unimpressed by our fast-paced daily life. This applies, for example, to the course of the day and the seasons.
And between the individual circumstances of a person and the conditions of nature, TCM mediates the possibilities of health, prevention of diseases as well as curative procedures. An upset stomach in a stressed office worker with little time for cooking, emotional pressure and an urban environment most likely has different causes than in a person in the countryside with a nature-loving and physically demanding lifestyle.
TCM does justice to precisely such differences in lifestyle. In addition to age and physical shape of a person, it also takes into account all life circumstances such as climate and social factors of the person. In order to take into account all of those factors, time is needed. TCM doctors usually take this time for their patients. This is very pleasant and unusual for most of them. Here they are allowed to tell everything that is on their mind. I personally devote a whole hour to most patients at every visit.”
Your fields of activity are acupuncture and working with herbs. In addition you offer nutritional counselling. Your patients certainly deal with their lives more comprehensively than simply swallowing a tablet 3 times a day. To what extent does your work also presuppose self-responsibility for one’s own body, an active involvement?
“If someone is really interested in consciously becoming healthier, the comprehensive consideration of body, mind and soul is indispensable. And that is why this actually is a prerequisite for working with me. Not because I don’t feel like taking work off people’s shoulders. But because I am convinced that true health comes from within. I like to support this with everything I can. Also with physical treatments. Above all with questions to find out what the real blockages of the energy flow can be. But no one can simply hand over responsibility for their health. Unfortunately, few people learn this. Some are shaken awake by strokes of fate, serious illnesses or losses. This may sound harsh, but this opportunity is not the worst. It often requires a fundamental questioning of one’s own values. And quite a few people say to me “health is my greatest asset”.
The areas of life that require rethinking and real change are mostly similar in general. But what the individual needs to change specifically is a matter of type. Some need more exercise, others less. A change in diet can also be fun and is not a hard, lifelong fun-free diet. Rather, it is a matter of sense, moderation and body awareness.
The topic of relaxation is also almost always one. Because “couch and Netflix” is not what I mean by that. But neither does permanent meditation without any spontaneity. For me, it’s about a fundamental cleansing for body and soul. It’s not about blindly following every health trend, but finding out more and more independently what really does you good in the long run.”
Many couples, but especially women, have problems getting pregnant. Can TCM help?
“Yes, TCM can help and does help many already. However, ideally, it should be preventive. In TCM, this means that couples should prepare for pregnancy for one to two years. Because in TCM it is quite clear that if the parents have a healthy constitution, there is a good chance that the child will also be strong and healthy. In the end, this benefits everyone.
The problems in the field of gynaecology are manifold. In Germany, pain during menstruation, is considered “normal”. However, from the point of view of TCM, it is actually not.
The topic of infertility is also dealt with in TCM. The causes are different and they show symptomatically themselves in the absence of menstruation, pain, irregular cycles, endometriosis and other gynaecological problems. In men, too, there are causes for a couple’s involuntary childlessness. Symptoms include exhaustion and weakness, low sperm count, premature ejaculations, inflammation.
This is accompanied by many emotional issues for the couple and the individual. Inevitably, fears, one’s own weaknesses and strengths as well as self-doubt and needs such as security and control come to light in this situation.”
For example, after training, studying and working, many women are used to being successful and independent. But unconsciously inherited patterns of “how women should be” are complex. When a woman wants to have children, questions arise about how to cope with “all that”: a child, the responsibility, one’s own lifestyle and the idea of partnership and family …
“All the answers to these questions are totally individual. And when one’s own values no longer match one’s lifestyle, things get difficult. This can cause stress, which in turn is unfavourable for getting pregnant.”
What methods are used to positively influence the fertility of men and women?
“Acupuncture, cupping, gua sha, herbs and medicinal mushrooms are used, as well as constitutionally adapted dietary tips. In addition, I often advise meditation or other relaxation methods to calm the mind and body.”
What is the specific situation during IVF or ICSI treatment? Can TCM be used as a support?
“All TCM methods can be used as a support after an individual anamnesis, yes!”
Can you share a success story with us?
“Yes, one of my favourite successful pregnancies came true when I treated a woman in her early 30s who had been trying unsuccessfully to get pregnant for about a year. With dietary tips, regular acupuncture and meditation, she announced to me after five months that it had worked. She took no hormones, there were no artificial insemination attempts. Relatively simple, and therefore so inspiring!
With just a few sessions, she found her inner peace and had confidence in her body again. I essentially put this down to the fact that she was able to get pregnant so soon.”
An unfulfilled desire to have children is accompanied by many hardships and losses — how can couples get through this time together? What tips do you have for couples on the way to having children?
“It’s not bad if it doesn’t work out “to go”. Rather, partners should see it as an opportunity to improve their personal energy and body health in order to conceive and give birth to a healthy child. In TCM, as mentioned before, it is absolutely common for couples to really prepare themselves for up to two years in order to have a child in the best possible condition.
“The “pressure to perform”, just like at work, and to achieve your goal, in this case a pregnancy within one to three months, can be confidently tossed aside for once. Rather, it is an advantage that disbalances in the body and psyche are unveiled. I believe that this aspect should be cherished more.
To recognise one’s own life and that of the unborn child as a miracle, in addition to all the knowledge of how conception, pregnancy, birth and life “function” materially, is an aspect that is so often forgotten and that should be brought back to our attention. Shame, fears of failure and feeling worthless or incapable are real energy robbers and I always find it great when people show themselves with exactly this vulnerability — this can strengthen a partnership, but also a society enormously!”
About Dr. Nina Roy:
The very likeable doctor has gathered over 20 years of professional experience in the field of orthodox medicine, TCM, western natural healing methods and holistic philosophy. In addition to working in her Düsseldorf practice, Dr Nina Roy also offers online consultations. Her book “TCM Your Life” has been published by Knaur.
Social freezing: success rates
What is the ideal age to freeze my eggs? This is an often asked question in the context of social freezing. A simplified answer would be that it is generally better to freeze at a younger age than at a later age. However, it is not quite that simple.
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