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Infertility and Holistic Health

Are Instant Results Possible?
by Dr. Randy Martin

When Sandy made her first appointment, she told my secretary she was coming to see me for infertility treatment. But as soon as Sandy sat down across from me, I could tell she had more severe problems than just having trouble getting pregnant. I could tell by examining her pulse, observing her tongue, and reading her patient intake forms.

Sandy’s fertility doctor had told her that her eggs were not of a good quantity or quality, and the doctor wanted her to try in-vitro fertilization (IVF). Sandy thought that she should try acupuncture first, so here she was.

Sandy told me she also had a lot of upper back problems, with pain constantly radiating down her arms, and pain in the head around the occiput. She said that her feet were very cold, that she exercises a lot, and that she is a runner. These are signs of Yin Deficiency when combined with her pulse picture.
When I took her pulse, I could see she was severely yin deficient. Her blood and yin were very weak. Her tongue confirmed this diagnosis; it was fiery red and swollen. She also had fire rising. The fire was causing the neck and upper back pain, and the weak yin and blood deficiency were causing the eggs to be weak.

Sandy also had a job that is traditionally associated with being very yang. She was an adjudicator/adjustor with an insurance company, and she said it was very stressful. And indeed, she looked exhausted and very stressed out.

I told her my diagnosis, and said that if she really wanted to see improvement, it would take about six months. But Sandy didn't like that. She wanted immediate improvement.

I see this pattern quite often, so I want to take some time to discuss it. Symptoms do not arise in a vacuum. In other words, the fact that Sandy and her husband were having trouble getting pregnant was just the tip of the iceberg. Not understanding that, she wanted immediate results and expected acupuncture to work like an IVF program. She didn't realize that acupuncture couldn’t just change an entire constitution overnight.

Of course, all of us want to see rapid improvement—preferably overnight. But one must try and understand that in order to see great results, it can take quite a bit of time to really change the inherited traits and emotional, lifestyle, and dietary habits that we have accumulated. Unfortunately, deeper, lasting, change just won't happen immediately.

Some women seeking to get pregnant do respond very well to just one cycle of acupuncture for four to eight weeks. But in Sandy’s case, because of her severe imbalance, I knew it would quite likely take longer, and that acupuncture alone probably wouldn’t do the trick—she would need to change her diet, learn stress-reduction techniques, and take Chinese herbs and supplements to correct imbalances indicated by her blood test results.

Another thing I hear often is, "I'm doing everything I can to get pregnant!" But in most cases, the woman who says this is not actually doing everything. She is not taking Chinese herbs, is not under homeopathic treatment, is not changing her diet, and is not in counseling or therapy working on her emotional patterns. She could also try getting energy work or reiki, cranial work, polarity therapy, and many other healthy healing modalities beyond acupuncture.

It makes me sad and frustrated when I'm not able to help a woman quickly get pregnant who deeply desires to, because she just isn’t willing to make the commitment to seriously work on her underlying health issues and emotional imbalances. The reality, from what I have seen, is that most people need to make significant changes in their diet and supplement program in order to see fast and lasting changes.

The initial problem might bring a patient into the office, but she doesn’t always take the opportunity to work on a deeper level. Acupuncture is only a start, not the be-all and end-all. In fact, in China, the doctor will first recommend dietary and lifestyle changes prior to acupuncture alone. Here in the U.S., acupuncture is seen as similar to a drug that one would take to cure a problem, and people expect it to work after only a few treatments.

Though it doesn’t necessarily work instantly, over time acupuncture actually is very effective, and it’s something I do myself all the time. I believe in acupuncture. I see it work miracles daily. I urge you to try it. And then maybe we can also discuss diet and take your blood or hair analysis, and begin to make some changes in supplements as well. You really will be amazed at how much better you are able to feel, and in most cases rather quickly.

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