Spring equinox occurs on March 20th this year and it marks the beginning of an abundance of sunlight and an increase in yang energy until the summer solstice. From a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) perspective, it is the time of year to create the foundation for future projects (like conception), build new relationships and restore health. Cleansing is considered to be a crucial part of this process.
If you are currently trying to conceive or using hormonal therapies, a traditional approach of using cleansing herbs may not be appropriate for you. Instead, focus on diet and eliminate any suspected allergens. Naturopathic Doctors often use an IgG Food Sensitivity test to help pinpoint the body’s reaction to any food allergens. It is a test that can be performed when a couple is trying to conceive and one that I often recommend in cases of unexplained fertility. Some practitioners (myself included) believe that gluten is a hidden cause for many health concerns, including fertility issues. If there are also digestion problems, altered bowel habits or skin concerns this can be an indication for performing the test as part of a routine fertility screen.
TCM dietary recommendations suggest avoiding foods that create ‘stagnation’ in the body. These include red meat, cream, eggs, butter, margarine and alcohol. Coffee and decaffeinated coffee are also believed to congest the liver and fuel the stress response that could impact reproduction. Other recommendations would be including good sources of healthy fats like organic extra virgin olive oil, sesame oil, flaxseed oil, pumpkin seed oil. These can be added to foods or taken directly. Making simple additions to diet or eliminating caffeinated beverages overtime can have a beneficial effect on fertility.
Stress reduction is also part of Fertility Spring Cleaning. This requires taking a proactive role and reducing stressors in your life where possible. If your job is stressful and work demands are overwhelming, be good to yourself in all other respects!!! Eat well, sleep well and take time to laugh. Go for that kombucha tea with a long-lost girlfriend and talk about your concerns. Cleansing the mind of unwanted or negative thoughts creates space for positive ones.
Movement further enhances this cleansing effect. A walk in the beautiful crisp air during March can do wonders to relieve stress. A Naturopathic Fertility Cleanse addresses all aspects of self, mind, body and spirit. It may be time to book that relaxing massage. It may be time to avoid conversations with that toxic co-worker. Surround yourself with people, food, and environments that act to nourish you. If you need some inspiration or a nudge in this direction, consider working with a Naturopathic Doctor who has a special focus on fertility and can prepare a customized protocol for you. March is the season for renewal and change. Let this be your time to awaken and prepare the path for conception.