Lisa M. Miller. L.Ac.
The Tao of Fertility, by Dr. Daoshing
Ni, is a complete program that incorporates Dr. Dao’s many years of
experience in successfully treating women with challenges in fertility
with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
The Tao of Fertility
includes a 28-day fertility enhancement program to help assist in
conception, with advice on helpful herbs, acupressure points, simple
meditations, and healthy recipes and eating plans that promote
fertility. The book also includes stories shared by many of the women
Dr. Dao has treated. Their comforting and inspiring stories show that we
are not alone in this emotional journey to parenthood.
Q. Dr. Dao, in your experience,
what are some of the causes of infertility?
A. There are various causes of infertility. When a couple comes
to my clinic seeking help for problems with conception, both parties –
the man and the woman – need to be evaluated. Either one or the other,
or even both partners, might have fertility issues. I would have to say
that age alone is one of the biggest factors of infertility. In this
country, more and more women are delaying having children either due to
work or marrying at a later age. The peak fertility rate in women is
between 20–25. Most women do not feel the aging process in their
thirties, but, unfortunately, their reproductive systems are not as
robust as they once were during their early 20’s.
Another obstacle is the male factor. Abnormalities in sperm count
towards almost 30-40% of infertile couples. Age, stress, life-style
choices, such as smoking, drinking alcohol, drugs (particularly
marijuana), and environmental factors can impair sperm quality. Low
sperm count, poor motility, abnormal sperm size and shape (morphology)
can slow down conception or even prevent it.
The female factor consists of both anatomical and physiological hurdles.
A woman can have problems arising from any of the following parts of her
reproductive system: ovaries, uterus, fallopian tubes, and cervix. These
problems can be due to abnormal anatomical shape or diseases affecting
the organs such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), endometriosis,
fibroids, and polyps. Another aspect is the physiological and that
brings up the matter of the endocrine system and hormone imbalance. So,
as we can see, there can be many causes of infertility.
Q. How can TCM help in promoting fertility?
A. Simply put, a woman’s good health is what promotes fertility.
As we get older, our Kidney essence gets drained. It becomes weaker and
weaker. When a woman is younger and her Kidney essence is replete, she
puts out her best and most viable eggs. The older she becomes, the
weaker her eggs become, with more of a possibility for abnormalities.
With TCM, we aim to strengthen a woman’s constitution, improve ovarian
function, promote better blood flow to the reproductive organs, and help
sensitize hormone secretions.
Q. What would say are the most important things a woman can do to
A. There is plenty a woman can do to increase her fertility:
- Nutrition is tops. Eat nutritious
foods, eat at regular times, and never skip meals.
- Do not overindulge in sweets,
caffeine, alcohol, and ice-cold drinks.
- Maintain a regular, moderate
- Find ways to reduce stress, whether
at work or at home. This can include spending some time in nature
such as walking through a park, or hiking moderately in the
mountains or forests.
- Be positive. Mood is important. For
one thing, it reduces stress.
- Begin taking supplements: pre-natal
vitamins and a good quality fish oil supplement (about 1,000 mg).
- Engage in some form of meditative
exercises such as Qi Gong, Tai Chi Chuan and Yoga. Doing some form
of meditation on a daily basis can be helpful to relax the body and
allow the body to be receptive and increase fertility.
Q. Any last words of advice Dr. Dao?
A. Yes. Please don’t panic. Have a clear plan in mind. Try
everything natural first, like TCM, before resorting to IVF or drug
stimulation. Also, do your very best to get your health in order. Find a
qualified health care professional such as an OBGYN, or a
psychotherapist, or a doctor of Chinese Medicine whose specialization
are in reproductive medicine who can help you to plan out your fertility
treatment journey first.
Dr. Dao is a Licensed Acupuncturist in
the State of California and is a Diplomat of Chinese
Herbology NCCA. Dr. Dao has been active in the TCM
profession as well as professional organizations. He was an
examiner for the California Acupuncture Committee and also
participated in the Chinese Herbology Exam development for
NCCA. Well known and respected for his special interest in
reproductive and gynecological conditions. Dr. Dao is a
member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine,
Pacific Coast Fertility Society, and American Association of