Author: Dr. Maryam Mahanian, DTCM, RAc
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Keep Your Feet Warm to Boost Fertility
If you’ve been trying to conceive and you’re seeing a fertility acupuncturist, you may have been told to keep yourself warm…particularly your feet!…but Why??
What does warm feet have to do with fertility?
Well, Chinese medicine has been saying for thousands of years that warm feet is equal to a warm uterus. A warm uterus is needed for the embryo to implant and thrive in.
Your feet are connected to your uterus because the channels that start in your feet connect up to the reproductive organs. This means that if cold enters these channels, the cold will then run into the uterus causing what we call in Chinese medicine a “cold uterus”.
A cold uterus indicates lack of proper blood circulation. This makes complete sense because cold causes constriction and lack of movement. Blood needs warming energy to help it to circulate.
An embryo needs to be properly nourished in a lush warm environment to thrive…not a cold, stuck, stagnant uterus with a lack of proper blood flow and lack of nourishment.
Signs of a Cold Uterus
Some commons signs of a cold uterus are lack of libido, cramps, clots in your menstruation, luteal phase defect, lack of progesterone, low BBT temperatures, needing to urinate at night, cold hands, feet and whole body. If you have any of these signs, then you should take special care of those feet!
It’s important to know that progesterone, the hormone responsible for maintaining the uterine lining in the second part of your menstrual cycle is referred to as the ‘warming’ hormone in Chinese medicine. Are you convinced yet that our bodies need to be warm in order to conceive?
In women with low progesterone levels, it’s particularly important to remove cold and increase warmth. You can do this with acupuncture and moxibustion as well as by adjusting your diet and lifestyle. This will have huge impacts in boosting your fertility.
Some signs of low progesterone are low BBT temperatures, a luteal phase defect, long menstrual cycles, miscarriages, low libido, irregular menstrual cycles, weight gain and low thyroid function.
Some Helpful Tips to Keep Your Feet Warm
- Always wear socks…even to bed!
- Use a heating pad on your feet at night
- Warm foot soaks every day. You can get fancy by adding essential oils or ginger..or you can just use plain old water. Avoid using plastic containers and use glass or stainless steel instead.
- Always wear socks or slippers around the house…especially on cold floors
- Even in summertime, try to wear closed toed shoes and if dressing up wear those small hidden footie socks. Try not to wear flip-flops in the summer because you’ll inevitably end up in air conditioned environments and your feet will be little icicles.
- Moxa on the sole of the foot: This is an ancient Chinese tool called moxibustion (moxa for short). It uses an herb called mugwort. Basically you just heat the end of the moxa stick with a flame and then you hold the warm end over your feet..particularly the soles of your feet. There are tons of tutorials on this online and you can buy moxa sticks on amazon.
Diet is Important
Unfortunately, modern diets and lifestyle habits are contributing to people having more cold in their bodies which can negatively affect fertility.
Many people feel that it’s so healthy to have a morning smoothie with frozen berries, yogurt with granola, or to have salad for lunch and dinner…and who doesn’t love having sushi and ice cream?!
BUT these foods are too cold for our digestive systems and can slow down and weaken digestion. Your body then has to work harder to digest which takes energy away from the reproductive system. That’s not what you want especially when trying to get pregnant.
If digestion is weak, your reproduction will be weak.
Chinese Herbal Medicine
Taking Chinese herbs to warm up the uterus and increase your warming energy will have a positive influence on your levels of progesterone as well.
Herbal medicine should of course be prescribed by a qualified Chinese medicine practitioner.
Other Helpful Things to Consider
- In addition to keeping your feet nice and warm, you can also pay attention to keeping your lower abdomen and lower back warm. Use a heating pad for 20 minutes every night on those areas
- Take extra care during the winter months but don’t be slack in the summertime either. Be mindful of always keeping those toes cozy.
- Also avoid swimming in cold pools, eating cold raw foods, not being appropriately dressed in the winter,
- Get Acupuncture: Acupuncture is wonderful to increase blood circulation to the reproductive organs and boost the body’s warming energy!