Moments of Magic: Fertility, Fat Soluble Vitamins, and Chinese Medicine
Larry Welsh M.Ac. M.A.
A few years back, I had a patient who had severe polycystic ovary syndrome and she was having a heck of time conceiving a second child. She called me up and asked me if Chinese medicine could help her conceive. She was skeptical for sure. I said yes, acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine will enhance her fertility, help resolve the PCOS, and help with returning balance to her body, mind, and spirit. So we started treatment with weekly acupuncture and daily Chinese herbs. We also increased her daily intake of fat soluble vitamins from chlorophyll, butter, organic certified liver and much more. Within about 8 months she and her husband were incredulous and overjoyed that she was pregnant. Then she came in towards the end of her pregnancy because the baby was breech and she wanted to have a vaginal birth. Once again, she was very, very skeptical. I treated her 3-4 times with specific acupuncture points to turn the baby and had her do daily home moxibustion treatment on the same points. Within 2-3 weeks, the baby shifted position and was no longer breech. She had a vaginal birth even though her first child had been cesarean.
What does good nutrition have to do with fertility? From the great doctors of the past, like Dr. Royal Lee and Dr. Weston A. Price, we know that the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, F, K1 and K2 all support healthy endocrine hormone production especially when they are consumed from whole food sources like butter, ghee, chlorophyll, certified organic calf liver or buffalo liver, cod liver oil, wheat germ oil and other nutrient dense foods, especially fermented foods like natto, hard cheeses, and sauerkraut for example. In fact vitamins A and E were known as the anti-sterility vitamins for supporting optimal fertility. Fat-soluble vitamins were also understood to help prevent miscarriages if taken for 3-6 months before conceiving. When the fat-soluble vitamins are combined with Chinese medicine, we have a non-toxic approach to enhancing fertility from two wisdom traditions. Everyone who wants to bring a child into the world should know about this. Not only do the nutritional insights of these doctors support fertility of the mother and father and help to prevent miscarriage, but they also help the mother and father to give their baby a strong foundation for health as a child and as an adult.
Here’s another beautiful story. A woman came in who had been unable to conceive and desperately wanted a child. She was in her 30s. I treated her with acupuncture weekly and I suggested she obtain a flat rock, about the size of her hand. You’re probably thinking, “Why the heck is that?”
I told her to take the rock and place it in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, then wrap it in a towel, carefully to avoid burning herself, and place it on her lower abdomen to warm up her “lower heater” because it was very cold to the touch. She did this everyday for about 15 minutes per day. This is an old Japanese folk treatment. 6 months later she was pregnant and eventually gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. When I saw her again the next time with her baby, she told me “I passed the rock on to a friend of mine to use to help her conceive”. This is called it “paying it forward.”
Dr. Weston A. Price thought that our daily consumption of fat-soluble vitamins had dropped off significantly and that during his world travels, he saw many indigenous cultures consuming much more of these precious fat-soluble vitamins. He observed that these cultures had a lot less fertility problems, less heart disease, and had wonderful dental health as well. Over the last 40-50 years, it seems our American culture has become fat phobic thinking that fat was the cause of heart disease, obesity and other health issues. Now we are coming around full circle and re-evaluating carefully this fat phobia that had become an accepted “truth.” Is it possible that our turning away from consuming fat soluble vitamins combined with consuming excessive amounts of refined sugar and processed foods has contributed to infertility and miscarriage problems? Obviously there are other contributing factors to infertility and miscarriage including the total body burden of endocrine disrupting chemicals that we all now carry. That’s worth knowing about in our day and age. I’ll save that for another future blog.
Lastly, I recall a male patient. He and his wife already had a boy but truly wanted a second child. In this case we were not concerned about the wife. But the father needed some support. He had some gut issues because he had been exposed to glyphosate, aka RoundUp, as a boy on his father and mother’s farm. He used to walk through the fields applying glyphosate to crops every year. We worked on healing his gut with acupuncture and nutrient dense wholefoods. But here’s the magic. The father came in 24 hours before conceiving their next child and I treated the acupuncture points with moxibustion and needle that are called “Door of Infants” and “Great Brightness” on the Kidney meridian combining that with the Conception Vessel point “First Gate”. These points are treated within 3-4 days of conception to enhance fertility and harmony. The Kidney meridian is the meridian connected to the water element. Today, the family has a second beautiful healthy son.
Water is the gift of life and the power of water is to regenerate and to bring vitality. When we treat a person with acupuncture, moxibustion, and Chinese herbs, we are calling on nature to do as she intends with balance, power, and harmony. When we embrace Chinese medicine in all its wonder and the fat soluble vitamins that are robust in butter from cows that have eaten fresh spring grass, we see a confluence of two rivers coming together to create an ocean of health. Why not give our children and ourselves the best health possible?
Larry Welsh M.Ac. M.A. has been a practitioner of Chinese medicine and healing with whole foods for 24 years. He has helped many couples conceive when they thought it was not possible through these two wisdom traditions. He is senior adjunct professor at Naropa University teaching Taijiquan for 40 years. He teaches nutrition for Standard Process West and has a full time practice in healthcare in Boulder, Colorado. See him at www.larrywelshacupuncture.com.