Thursday, February 5, 2009

Traditional Chinese Medicine

**WARNING** This post may contain excessively girly information!

So, if you read my previous post, you saw I was looking into practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). I had my first visit yesterday, with a doctor who's office I pass on my way home. It was a quaint, quiet office. Very clean and smelling of incense. But not a strong, patchouli type smell or what my husband would call a "hippy" smell. There was only one elderly gentleman in the waiting room and he was waiting for his wife.

I didn't have to wait long before the doctor took me back to her office. She was extremely nice and very thorough. I can't even begin to tell you all the questions she asked! Some of which you probably don't even want to know, believe me! After going through a very detailed interview about various aspects of my health history, she took my blook pressure. I'm used to the cuffs they put around your arms, but she had a much smaller cuff that goes around the wrist. It was electronic and reminded me of a heart rate monitor. I didn't like her machine AT ALL! My blood pressure has always been on the low side of normal, but not here. She took readings on both wrists and both gave extremely high numbers, like 167/110. HOLY COW! That's not like me at all. She assured me that it happens to many people, including a priest she sees.

After that she looked at my tongue and took pulse rates from several places on both my wrists. In TCM, the tongue can tell a lot about someone. I was familiar with this because of the books I'm reading. TCM is all about balancing your body's internal climate and the five organ systems which are: kidney, liver, heart, spleen, and blood. You don't want your body to run too hot or too cold. You don't want you chi to be stagnant, deficient, or excessive.

My dr. could tell by my tongue and the respnses I gave during the interview, that my body tends to run warm. She explained that when she took my pulse, she was actually taking the pulse of each of the different systems. I, most definitely, have a deficiency in my kidney system. This is the system that is responsible for reproduction and life. But, she then told me that all of my pulses are slow for being as young as I am. Surprise! Even in the practice of TCM, my body is out of whack! We need to strengthen all of my systems, most importantly the kidney, in order to make my body strong enough to carry an egg. My body is not ready to be pregnant because it's not strong enough. I also need to get my blood flowing better. When I start menstruation, it lasts for literally like a day and a half, maybe two at best. I know this is not normal. And I've had a gut feeling all along that I probably won't get pregnant until that gets fixed. This is my dr's goal!

We then went into the acupuncture room. I've had acupuncture before, so I wasn't too worried about it. She stuck me w/ about 14-18 needles. The one that I felt the most was on the bottom, side of my right ankle. When she stuck that one, I actually said. "Oh!". She told me that spot's a kidney spot. The ones that I feel most are responses to the systems that need the most help. Interesting! She placed a heat lamp over my abdomen, turned on relaxing music, turned off the lights, and left me to relax. Which of course, I could not do. I was too busy thinking of all the different things she was telling me and whether my responses to her questions were sufficient enough. Before I knew it, she was back in the room. Luckily, it was only to stimulate the needles and leave me there to relax some more. This time, I actually nodded off.

Before I left, she mixed up a bottle of herbs for me. She created a powder with 8 different Chinese herbs. I have to mix this with 4 oz of hot water and drink it three times a day before meals. It looks like crap! It doesn't taste awful, but it's certainly not pleasant! It has the same taste as an herbal suppliment pill, except much, much stronger! It helps to plug my nose, but as soon as I let go and breathe, I still get the smell and feel the taste in my mouth. The herbs are supposed to help me bleed better, shed my endometrium lining, and then rebuild it. She directed me to eat hot (temp, not necessarily spicy) foods while I'm on my period to also help blood flow. After that, I need to eat lots of fuits, but no refrigerated. I also need to stay away from fatty meats.

I go back to see her in about a week and a half. We need to figure out when exactly I ovulate, which is not an easy thing for me since my body is so kooky. Once we get that figured out, I'll have to come in for more acupuncture and different herbs. I feel hopeful talking to her. It also helps that I've been reading about it and know someone who's gone through the same process with successful results. If anything, I'm sure all the acupuncture and herbs will renew my body and give me a sense of energy, health and wellbeing. How can I lose??


Kelly said...

That sounds interesting...I might have to look into TCM!

Jody said...

I don't want to give you false hope, but Karen Schaaf's daughter did this and it worked and she swears by it. I'm rooting for you.