As per Naturopathy and Yoga therapy, infertility, by itself, is not necessarily recognised as a disease in every individual. It can be caused due to pathological conditions in the body like PCOD in females, low sperm count in males, obesity, hypogonadism, high prolactin, blocked ducts, lifestyle and environment related issues, stress and anxiety, issues relating to consumption of specific drugs.
So, the primary aim is to identify and correct the underlying causes. Some of the risk factors that can lead to infertility are age, addictions like smoking, alcohol consumption and excessive caffeine consumption, being overweight, having eating disorders, eating a diet lacking in folic acid, iron, zinc and B-12, lack or excess of exercise, STIs, exposure to harmful chemicals, stress inducing environments, among others.
If a specific pathological condition is not found, the doctor treats this as an idiopathic condition, where the focus of treatment is to improve the general health and well-being by bringing the body to a balanced state. Naturopathy & Yoga’s approach towards the management of infertility is holistic and personalised, with emphasis given on stress and lifestyle management. The ultimate aim of the Naturopathy based management is to develop a healthy lifestyle so that the body and mind are ready to conceive, thereby improving the chances of becoming pregnant faster, or improve prostate health.
At CGH Earth Experience Wellness’s NABH accredited clinic, Prakriti Shakti, the Naturopathy and Yoga therapies include treatments that focus on reducing stress levels and giving emotional support to the individual. Diet and Nutrition also play a vital role in improving fertility. It covers a diet that is easy to breakdown and digest, which in turn improves your general well-being.
Specific natural nutritional items are added depending on the condition of the person to increase zinc, folic acid, omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants. Naturopathy treatment modalities like fasting, hydro, mud therapies, body massages, reflexology, acupuncture etc are also given as part of the treatment programme.
How does Naturopathy help improve fertility? Violation of nature’s laws or living away from natural ways lead to lowered vitality, diminishes the immune power, causes accumulation of toxins, abnormal composition of blood and lymph, leading to poor health. And the individual becomes prone to all kinds of diseases. To regain the lost health, Naturopathyor “Return to Nature” science helps restore the balance. The basic principle of Naturopathy way of healing is that body can heal itself, if a chance if given. The ‘Chance’ is rest for the body to aid in detoxification.
Body carries inherent self-curative forces which always work towards optimum health when rest is provided. All that the physician has to do is to educate the patient about the vibrant potencies of our body and help them to establish normal conditions within and around the patient by removing the ignorance, negligence and obstructions. So that the ‘healer within’ can do the work to its best capacity. The role of treatments is to aid in the detoxification, bring balance to the physiological processes and there by accelerate the healing process.
Yoga therapy is effective in certain causative factors like PCOS, Hormonal imbalance, as well as, in modifying the risk factors like addictions, over/lack of exercise, mental stress, eating habits etc and to address conditions that are idiopathic in nature.
How does Yoga help improve fertility? Yoga works according to the Panchakosha theory, where it believes the Prakruthi or nature of a human is divided into a physical, energy, mind, intellect and bliss layers. An imbalanced Panchakosha causes a disease. The beginning of any formation of a disease starts with the disturbance to the mind(‘Adhi’ – mental stress.)
When we have worldly interactions, we develop like and dislikes that lead to varying levels of emotional imbalances. This in turn, leads to wrongful actions or thoughts that lead to stress — ‘Adhi’. A longer duration of ‘Adhi’ or mental stress leads to hormonal imbalance, and an agitated mind and body, which leads to violent fluctuations in the flow of Pranas (life force) in the ‘Nadis’ (channels in the body.) This disturbs the systemic functions like digestion. A Wrong digestion leads to accumulation of toxins in the body leading to ‘Vyadhi’- psycho somatic diseases. These psycho-somatic diseases can lead to infertility.
As part of yoga therapy, the disturbance to the layer of mind or Manomaya kosha is addressed through meditation, prayer and other relaxation techniques, disturbance to the energy layer or Pranamaya layer is addressed through Pranayama techniques and Yoga Kriyas. The Annamaya Kosha or physical layer disturbance is addressed by Asanas, Kriyas and relaxation techniques.
The physiological changes that one can experience through Yoga therapy are as follows:
. Practise of Asanas improve physical and mental functions through down regulation of HPA (hypothalamo- pituitaryaxis) axis and sympathetic nervous system.
. Yoga combines with Pranayama and Asanas to help bring harmony within your body’s chakras.
. Asanas tone and balance the gonadal functions.
. It also regulates the endocrinal glands and autonomic nervous system.
. These corrections aid in improving the fertility in the female body or the prostate health of a male body.
Some of the Asanas that are practiced to improve reproductive health are mentioned below. Please note that these Asanas by themselves will not correct infertility conditions. Please consult a qualified Yoga and Naturopathy doctor for your specific health condition.
. Naukasana — It improves blood circulation to the gonads and decrease erectile dysfunctions.
How to practice this Asana — start by sitting with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. Then tip back and lift your feet up to the knee height, while doing this engage your thighs and lower stomach. Bring your arms parallel to the floor. With practice you can straighten your legs and hold the Asana for longer.
. Salabhasana — Can help to improve prostate health, improve circulation and tone in gonads.
How to practice this Asana — Start by lying down flat on your abdomen and rest your head on your chin. Breathe deeply once or twice and then lift your legs off the floor. Keep your legs together and hold the pose.With more practice the thighs can lift off the floor too.
. Titili Asana — hip opening practices shown to be beneficial, research say it activates the production ofnitric oxide which improves the circulatory functions.
How to practice this Asana — Sit comfortably on the floor, straighten your legs in front of you and keep the waist straight. Bend your knees and make the soles of your feet touch each other. Join your finger to hold your toes or hold your ankles, and pull your feet towards the pelvic area. Then press your thighs down to the floor. Now slowly raise and lower your thighs while keeping your spine straight.
. Ujjayi or Drigha — Can cool and relax the pelvic area by influencing the HPA axis.
. Moolabandha — The practise of moolabandha enhances the awareness of genital arousal sensation. It also relieves spermatorrhoea, preventing inguinal hernia, and controls testosterone secretion levels.
. Kapalabhati — Moves energy into the pelvis and improve the gonadal functions.
Some of the other general practices that can help with the improving reproductive health are Natarajasana, Malasana, Prasarita Padottanasana, Janu Sirsasana, Gomukhasana, Bhuajangasna and Setubandasana.
(Dr. Anand Prayaga, Senior Doctor, PrakritiShakti, Clinic of Natural Medicine by CGH Earth)