Whether as a couple or as an individual, the notion of fertility and procreation can be a daunting one. Questions arise as to what creates the perfect stage to create a new life? How should you eat? How much should you sleep? How should you exercise? What stimulus does your body need to allow this seemingly biological magic to happen? This is where Qigong for Fertility just might be the answer.
From a western perspective, in normal healthy adults trying to conceive, the odds of falling pregnant is really only 15-25%. That being the case, being mindful of the 5 pillars of health, namely how you eat, move, breathe, feel and think, has a tremendous effect on increasing your chances of bumping up your odds.
How Does Food Affect Fertility
When it comes to health, everything starts with food. Whether you're counting calories, macros & micros or approaching nutrition from an eastern perspective and applying the 5 Element theory, there is no getting around the fact that “Food is Medicine”.
This statement was once discovered written on the wall of an Egyptian pyramid.
“One-third of what a man eats feeds him, the other two-thirds feeds his doctor.”
The food we eat provides the building block to continually rebuild the components of our bodies and when the time is right, to replicate us. 37 trillion human cells and 38 trillion bacterial cells all being supplied with the proteins and sugars necessary to carry on their functions.
If they are supplied with nutritious food, they are able to rebuild their cellular components and replicate themselves when the time arises. If they are supplied with toxins, rebuilding and replicating begin to break down. As you compile the trillions of individual cells together, the tonic or toxic effect translates into Epigenetic effects on the individual. Tonic building blocks allow for a healthy new version of your body, whereas toxic building blocks allow the creation of disease.
How does Exercise affect Fertility?
Once you have squared away your eating, next you need to focus on how you breathe and move. To maintain a healthy functioning immune system you need to move…period. The lymph system doesn’t have a pump like the heart to move fluids around the body to where it's needed. Muscular movement is needed to move lymph around the body.
Our bodies are not designed to sit in a chair for hours a day. We are built to move! We don’t need to be constantly beating our PR on clean and jerk, but movement is a must. When it comes to what is the right kind of physical conditioning to promote health as well as fertility, once again it comes down to tonic or toxic stimulus.
Lifting weights can be healthy or unhealthy. Yes, yoga can be healthy or unhealthy. Even walking can be healthy or unhealthy. It all depends on how you do it and the mindset you have when you do it.
If being at the gym makes you feel unattractive and unfit by comparison, then the whole workout becomes an exercise in cortisol production. If taking a yoga class makes you feel mentally inept, inflexible and rigid, then your body becomes a physical representation of the same.
It is so important to find a physical activity that you enjoy and can become lost in. That way you become connected to your body, to your breath, and to the movements, and nothing else. In doing so the physical exercise becomes a moving meditation, and that’s where the true health and wellness benefits happen.
How does your mental and emotional health affect Fertility
Whether you are dragging stresses of the past or pushing anxieties of the future, for some reason the path seems to always be uphill. What I mean, is that whenever your mind is connected to any moment other than the present, pain and disease are created.
This is why seated and moving meditation have been used for thousands of years to create a reconnection to the present. As the profound line goes in Kung Fu Panda, “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, all we have is the gift of today, that is why it's called the present!”
Any activity that induces a meditative connection to the moment turns on the body’s healing and regenerative power. That activity could be knitting, hiking, baking, painting, swimming or martial arts. Of course, it goes without saying that Qigong practice has a profound effect on the body’s ability to harmonize and heal itself.
A mind and body in harmony promotes not only health but creates the perfect foundation upon which to build a new life.
How Does the Practice of Qigong for Fertility Work?
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the ability to produce a new life is dependent on the proper function of several different organs in the body. Although the eastern and western perspectives share the notion of the importance of a healthy reproductive system, the parts that contribute to the whole are somewhat different.
When it comes to healthy mensuration, fertility and pregnancy, there are three different organs and several energetic meridians that come into play. The health of the kidney, liver and spleen play the biggest role when it comes to the nourishment of blood and Qi needed to create a new life.
In TCM, menstrual blood is not exactly blood in the strictest sense. The kidneys provide the essence or “Jing” from mom and dad. Think of it as the DNA passed down from parent to child. It is the spark required to produce the energy or Qi needed to create life. The kidneys are the foundation of all other organs in the body and control the regulation of developmental and reproductive cycles in the body. Without healthy kidney Qi, it's kind of like trying to build a building on swampland.
The Spleen then supports the kidney by adding the nourishment derived from the food that’s digested. This acquired Qi, called Gu qi (food Qi) completes the menstrual blood production that the Prenatal Qi of the kidney provides.
Lastly, the Liver has two important jobs. First, a healthy liver promotes the movement of Qi around the body. Liver moves Qi, Qi moves blood, blood nourishes tissues. Kind of important! But the liver also has the job of storing blood and making new tiny humans takes a lot of stored blood.
So with all this in mind, when doing Qigong for fertility, the program should include exercise that not only cleanses the energetic meridians of the liver, spleen and kidney but also tonifies the organs themselves.
Lastly, there are two different energetic meridians that are directly related to the healthy functioning of the reproductive system. The Sea of Yin, otherwise known as the Ren channel, and the Sea of Blood, known as the Chong channel. These two channels act as reservoirs that provide fluid nourishment to the organs of the body. Their energetic pathway runs over the torso and abdomen providing help and support to all digestive, cardiovascular and reproductive functions of the body.
By connecting your mind to the movement and nourishing function of the Ren & Chong channels combined with the regulatory, development, and storying functions of the Kidney, Liver and Spleen organs, using Qigong for fertility can become a powerful addition to your birth plan. Give it a try!
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