What’s the best way to find a good herbal medicine practitioner to work with on this kind of protocol?
Before using the protocols I’ve described, go to a conventional medicine practitioner or a TCM practitioner. I would recommend seeking the guidance of a TCM practitioner who specializes in gynecology or who comes well recommended. The California Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine has a practitioner list. That’s only going to be a list; you would want to do a little more investigation to find somebody with a good reputation. It’s a lot harder to find a practitioner who uses multiple traditions, because usually people are steeped only in Chinese medicine, only in Ayurvedic medicine, or only in Western herbal medicine, and there’s often not a lot of crossover. Nevertheless, Chinese medicine by itself has extremely effective protocols. Then you also have the benefit of acupuncture, which according to TCM promotes the circulation of both blood and energy.
There are some important things to know whenever you do this. The first thing I always tell people I work with is that once you start this protocol, you want to do it for at least three to four months, ideally six months. If you’re trying to conceive, don’t attempt conception during that time period; take the time off to help your body heal. I try to get my patients to look at their reproductive system as if it were a garden. Before you ever plant the seed, till the soil. The herbal protocols are designed to make the soil ripe for implantation, but you don’t want to try to conceive too soon. Don’t plant in the middle of the wrong season.
The second thing is: Expect the cycle to change. Either the first or second cycle is almost always earlier than normal, heavier than normal, or clottier than normal. That’s to be expected, so don’t be concerned.
These herbs are typically taken throughout the month, except during bleeding. When bleeding starts, you stop taking the herbs. When bleeding stops, you can start taking them again. In some cases, especially with fibroids and endometriosis, sometimes the bleeding starts right back up again. Remember the cardinal principle: Don’t use during bleeding.
This last principle is very important. In some cases of fibroids and endometriosis there’s really heavy bleeding. Again, before using the protocols I’ve described, go to a conventional medicine practitioner or a TCM practitioner who could first control the bleeding. If there is menstrual flooding, do not use the protocol I’ve described; other protocols are needed. And this protocol is not to be used in pregnancy.