Infertility is the result of many factors over a prolonged period of time. This article focusses on the main concepts from the point of view of Chinese medicine which is one of the diagnostic models in Shiatsu therapy.
In Chinese medicine our base resources (essence) are thought to be passed on to us by our parents at conception and birth. This makes a lot of sense as bringing a foetus to birth takes considerable effort, strength and vitality from the mother which if not sufficient does affect the birth. In terms of the father the concern on the quality of the sperm in term of it's strength and genetics which of course will affect the foetus. So our proverbial birthright or initial health is dependant on the health and vitality of our parents.
This inherited vitality is thought to be housed in our kidneys. This initial charge is replenished on a regular basis from the energy (Qi) derived from the food we digest, the air we breathe and subsequently metabolise. If this daily replenishment is insufficient in amount, quality or our physical exertions are excessive our reserves will over time run down. Then there is the question of regular deep rest. Long term taxing emotions such as anxiety, fear, depression or ruminating. Demanding careers can and do add further sizeable draws on our stores. If our reserves are allowed to run down to such a low level we will see effects start to exhibit in our daily life. We are talking about running on adrenaline. As an example you may have heard about athletes and very stressed women without periods despite of excellent nutrition. It isn't a coincidence that sperm quality is at al all time low either.
The energies stored in our Kidneys are used in many bodily processes and can easily lead to many pathologies one being infertility.
The sexual organs with insufficient resources can cease to produce good quality sperm / ovum or even hormonal messengers to start these processes. It isn't just Kidneys that are involved, Liver and Spleen have a part to play in providing quality blood and smooth abundant Qi to be able to line the uterus and hold the implanted embryo. I have listed just a few organs that form key roles in these processes. This is however a very incomplete picture as other organs support and complement them.
The organ relationships and functions are affected by many factors. Adults are likely to have a combination of unsuitable nutrition, excessive work, stressful career, excessive sex activities, many births, emotional instability all over a prolonged period of time.
Shiatsu addresses these by first calming the nervous system, taking it out of the fight or flight mode. Then the organ relationships are balanced. Lifestyle factors and diet play a big role and these are also addressed with advice.
It is important to mention that long term chronic deficiencies require persistant corrective actions to ultimately result in good outcomes.