During our journey to become parents so far I have picked up a few books on infertility. I am a typical “Type A” personality and when I am in a situation I can’t control, I’d like to at least become an “expert” on my situation.
I found some of them more helpful than others and would love for others out there struggling for understanding and control to read them as well to gain some peace and understanding about things that are out of our direct control. So every month I thought I would feature a different book that I have read.
By: Randine Lewis, Ph.D.
I thought it fitting that my first book review would be the first book that I read about infertility. It came to this book by way of my SIL who is very big into natural remedies and holistic health. I was not previously one to put any weight on natural treatments or holistic health. I thought it was just for hippies…Turns out it may be for hippies, but I have turned into one!
This book is written by someone with both Western and Eastern (called Traditional Chinese Medicine or TCM) medical knowledge. The book starts off with some success stories introducing her method of helping women conceive. She then breaks down the Western medicinal approach to infertility, followed by the TCM approach.
She then breaks down the TCM method of diagnosis. This part was really cool. There was an actual tick list where you recorded things you may experience in life that you would never relate. For example, I ticked that I bruised if a feather touched me, get up several times in the night to go to the bathroom and my feet always feel like ice at night—who knew those were all symptoms of Kidney Yang deficiency. This was a great hook because after seeing how easily I fit into certain categories, I “bought it”.
Then come diet, lifestyle and TCM remedies such as herbs and acupuncture. Also a great recourse all throughout my journey. I wasn’t going to completely change everything about my life, but I did think “hmm I shall put black sesame seeds on this dish” or “I should really eat some wild rice this week”. Really most of the changes are healthy no matter what (avoid excessive exercise, avoid white bread and pastas…)
The second half of the book breaks down individual fertility diagnoses and how TCM can help either solo or in conjunction with Western treatment. As I don’t have a firm diagnosis as to what my issues are, I perused some of this, but didn’t read it super carefully. It seemed to have some good information along with success stories (which sometimes you like and sometimes makes you want to throw the book at the wall).
So…the elephant in the room. A Christian seeking Eastern Medicine, isn’t that bad?!?! Well my thoughts are that God made us with such specificity and purpose, why wouldn’t he make us so perfect that all our body systems balance? Wouldn’t he make our ailments treatable using other things he made (foods, herbs) rather than toxic chemicals? I’m not going to a voodoo doctor and chanting curses, just thinking in a way outside of the box of western medicine. Again I’m not a theologian or doctor of any kind, just an average, humble Christ follower and person of some medical knowledge– and that’s just what I think!
My rating: I wouldn’t use this as a “bible” to live by, but just something to add to your repertoire of things to have in your corner against infertility. Why not pray about infertility, go to your doctor, exercise and eat wild rice? It doesn’t hurt! I’m not relying on this book or TCM to heal me. Only He can heal me, but why not make changes you can to help you deal in the mean time? I chose to buy this book so I could have it on hand whenever I wanted to look something up. Also worth just checking out from the library first to see if it’s something you are interested in.