The Bao Mai and Trauma

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The Bao Mai and its role in pregnancy are deeply impacted by trauma

In my last post, I introduced the concept of the Bao Mai, this beautiful channel that links heart and womb. From a Chinese medicine perspective, we need Qi to come down through the heart to warm the uterus and prepare it for pregnancy. For that, we need an open Bao Mai. It’s kind of like needing the HSG to show that the tubes are open, except slightly different. In pregnancy, the channel needs to remain open to maintain a calm environment in which baby can grow.

Since the Bao Mai connects the heart and uterus, it is affected by all of the things that can affect the heart: joy, sorrow, anger, you name it. This is why traditional advice across multiple cultures advise people to engage in calming activities during pregnancy, and avoid arguments.

Even more so, the Bao Mai is deeply affected by trauma. In fact, it is so affected by trauma that this precious connection can be completely severed in certain circumstances. How do I see this play out in my clinical practice? Beyond just difficulty conceiving, this can also affect the menstrual cycle, and in some cases, stop periods completely. When I do a first intake with a patient, I ask tons of questions around periods, because obviously it’s harder to get pregnant if you’re not cycling regularly. Of course, some conditions also cause irregular cycles, like PCOS, but when that’s not present, the next thing I ask about is any past traumas (which I always do with tact and respect), whether physical or sexual. I’d say about 85% of the time, they say something has happened to them. It’s pretty crazy how many irregular cycles are linked to trauma, at least from what I’ve seen in my practice.

Re-establishing that link is possible, and like so many aspects of TTC, it takes a village. Acupuncture to calm the nervous system and re-balance hormones, therapy to integrate and process the trauma, and Qigong Meditation to help move the energy stuck around the trauma, calm and build the body’s resilience back up.

Have you experienced trauma in your life? Did it impact your cycles? How did you move through it, or are you still looking for ways to do that? Drop a comment and let me know. Remember, I want you to thrive.

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