Mary Wong, a Toronto-based acupuncturist who helps women struggling with infertility was in New York recently to promote her new book Pathways to Pregnancy,and talk to YogaCity NYC about her successful middle path to pregnancy.
The 40ish, athletic and passionate Wong has built a practice based on helping clients find their own pathway to pregnancy—which can mean anything from going full-on with Chinese medicine to choosing a mix of methods. Perhaps equally important, she helps them find hope in their situation so they stay strong and healthy. “I want to educate people who are having issues with infertility, so they know there is no shame in it and that it can be overcome despite what some doctors may say, ”says Wong.
She points out that women often feel silenced when they try to talk about infertility, because people don’t understand how devastating it can be. The ups and downs of trying to conceive, whether the issue is with the woman or her partner, can cut deep. Wong brings them to light in Pathways to Pregnancy, providing support and giving readers hands-on ways to feel better, such as using acupuncture to not only nourish the reproductive system, but release those feels of sadness, frustration and grief.
Wong saw the power of Chinese medicine when her grandmother was given only a few weeks to live. Her brother suggested trying Chinese medicine, and her grandmother recovered, living another eight years. At that point Wong, who had decided to go to medical school to become a psychologist, started down different path. "My whole purpose in life," she says, "is to bridge the gap between Eastern and Western medicine.”
Her work truly came home when Wong tried to conceive herself. Her Fallopian tubes were blocked, and her only choice was going the Western route. When the shock wore off she realized something else: "I couldn't expect Western doctors to embrace Eastern medicine if I couldn't embrace Western medicine.” Today she is the happy mother of one.
For clients who want or need to add in Western treatments, Wong tells them what to expect when heading out to see the fertility doctor. “What they say is not necessarily the only reality. It is an opinion based on research. But I’ve seen women conceive naturally when they are over 35.She points to a research paper released in 2015. The study followed 1200 women who underwent IVF, and found that “women who did acupuncture, herbs and made lifestyle changes, had higher take-home baby rates than women who didn't.” That is useful information.
Wong offers a wide range of practical information that women can use to promote fertility and enhance hormonal and overall health in her book. She suggests what foods to eat bone broth,organic fruits and vegetables among the lists fertility-promoting supplements, and recommends forgoing plastic water bottles.Reducing stress is key, and she recommends taking a yoga class, learning to say “no,” meditating, walking, simply taking slow breaths or doing acupuncture.
Wong is a treasure trove of practical information. You can find more information on her by clicking here.