The basis of uterine function is endometrial receptivity; yet Western reproductive medicine can offer very little to assist women with uterinereceptivity. The wisdom of TCM takes receptivity as the central theme in fertility. If endometrial cells are not receptive, they will not open up to hormonal messages, appropriate protein expression, or the ability to receive an implanting embryo. Our focus is on overcoming hindrances to receptivity, and therapeutic modalities to help women become more receptive to life.
The sun was humankind's first unit of measurement. The earth's relationship to the sun set up our initial awareness of duality: day and night; light and dark. Our brains are set up to respond to these biorhythms through the pineal gland's output of chemicals like melatonin and serotonin. Interestingly, the first biological unit of measurement was the uterus. The Greek word Maitra, which is the initial unit of measurement, parallels the Sanskrit root mater (root for matter, mother, meter, dimension, immense, menses), meaning uterus.
The uterus gives rise to life; the primary means for measuring this state of existence we find ourselves in. To be born, from nothingness into this dimension. To become material. The uterus is seen as a potential. The Chinese word for uterus is Bao, or wrapper, which emerges from the Dan Tien, or source of life that we tap into with our Qi Gong exercises. The Tao te Ching reminds us that the utility of anything is in its potential space; not in that which fills it up:
We join spokes together in a wheel,
But it is the centre hole
That makes the wagon move.
We shape clay into a pot,
But it is the emptiness inside
That holds whatever we want.
We hammer wood for a house,
But it is the inner space
That makes it livable.
We work with being,
But non-being is what we use.
Western medicine offers very little in the treatment of uterine issues, other than shutdown or removal. That's because Western medicine focuses beautifully with being, once it has already been manifest and can be measured and manipulated. But when we are use non-being, we must tap into the unmanifest potential for true healing to take place.
During the retreat process, we move from the state of diagnosis and treatment with Chinese medicine, into the spaciousness of the unborn, where true healing takes place: in the heart, another potential space. The heart is a void through which the spirit of existence is made manifest. The heart connects directly to the uterus, allowing it to bring forth life from the spirit of existence.
When we work with the connection between the heart and the uterus, most manifestations of "infertility" disappear. POF, amenorrhea, endometriosis, and implantation failure. When the heart - uterus link is impaired, it doesn't matter how great or poor egg quality is; implantation cannot occur. One patient with "unexplained infertility" went through 27 IVFs with her own eggs; and 9 with nine different donors. The blastocysts were top quality, but couldn't find a home in her unreceptive uterus. Had she started out with Chinese medicine, she could have avoided every unsuccessful attempt.
A recent patient had been told by her Chinese doctor, "I've done all I can do for you. The rest is in your heart. You can only do this alone." I agree with half of it; the real healing work can only be done by you. But we are here to help you, so you don't have to do it alone.
Randine Lewis, MSOM, L.Ac., Ph.D.