Before setting out on a long car journey, one would plan the route and that the vehicle was road worthy, had oil and water and fuel and tyres inflated to the correct pressure, GPS at the ready, with an estimated time for how long the journey to last.

So, when it comes to preconception what preparations do you make for that journey?

When it comes to fertility, it is equally important for the male partner to have a pre-conception check, especially if the couple have been having difficulty conceiving. If you and your partner have been trying to conceive for a year, but no success, it is usually recommended to seek advice from your GP.

The most important step in checking male fertility is a semen analysis. It is a simple test, but a critical step in helping couples to understand why they may difficulty in conceiving.

Semen issues may involve quantity and/or quality or motility. A semen analysis looks at:

–        Sperm Count, number of sperm (volume).

–        Sperm Morphology, shape of sperm.

–        Sperm Motility, movement of sperm.

The number, shape, and mobility of sperm are important for testing for male factor fertility. Your doctor may recommend testing up to three samples of sperm at different visits to get an accurate analysis.

If you are trying to conceive,  healthy sperm  is necessary. It takes one sperm and one ovum (egg) to conceive, the healthier the sperm the better your chances of conceiving.

What approach can you take for optimal male fertility?


The temperature of the testes is particularly important, as sperm are heat sensitive.

Avoid hot baths, saunas, tight clothing.

Do not use laptops on the lap.

Do not keep mobile phones in trousers pockets (for up to three months prior to conception).

Smoking / Vaping

Smoking reduces the fertile phase of a person’s life by one to four years. Sperm tests of smokers tend to be worse than those of non-smokers, showing decreases in sperm concentration motility and percentage of normal shaped sperm, as well as increases in sperm DNA damage.

Smoking can also decrease the success rate of ART (Assisted Reproductive Technology)

So, no smoking!


Alcohol, sometimes referred to by the chemical name ethanol, is a psychoactive drug that is the active ingredient in drinks such as beer, wine, and distilled spirits. Ethanol is a toxin and as such has an adverse influence on sperm.

Sperm damage from alcohol is dose dependent.

One beer or a glass of wine per day does not harm sperm according to research.

So, watch the alcohol consumption.


Some research studies show that cannabis has an adverse influence on sperm DNA.

So, no cannabis.

Prescription Drugs

Prescription drugs such as antibiotics, corticosteroids, psychotropics, antihistamines anti-hypertensives, ibuprofen, anabolic steroids and testosterone derivatives can all harm sperm. Discuss this with your doctor.


Physical exercise, generally speaking, is health promoting, but excessive exercise can keep the body’s energy focused on the musculoskeletal system, and sometimes at the expense of the reproductive system.


Sleep plays a key role in moderating hormones and stress levels and can thus affect fertility.


Many studies have shown that an unhealthy diet has a negative impact on male fertility.

A study in 2017 shows that following good nutrition / diet has the most positive impact on sperm. Men who wish to conceive are recommended to stick to what is called the Mediterranean diet.


Correct timing of intercourse is essential for conception.

To achieve the greatest chance of fertilisation the couple should have intercourse daily during the woman’s fertile period, starting four days prior to ovulation.


Studies have shown that acupuncture treatments have shown statistically significant improvements in sperm quality.

It is advised that one to two acupuncture treatments a week, over a period of ten to twelve weeks …. Or 100 days … to help with conceiving.

Acupuncture is a highly effective quit smoking method and especially for those who had been unsuccessful with other methods to stop smoking. Acupuncture has the ability to reduce cravings and alleviate withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, anxiety and difficulty concentrating.

Acupuncture works to adjust cravings by balancing the body’s brain chemistry and is also useful to help heal the damage caused by smoking. The effects of acupuncture in the smoking cessation process are:

  • Acupuncture helps to eliminate the nicotine withdrawal symptoms
  • Acupuncture can detoxify the body of nicotine
  • Acupuncture changes the taste of cigarettes

How many treatments?

Although some patients quit smoking after 2-3 sessions,, an average of 5-8 sessions can help most of the smokers quit or greatly reduce the amount of cigarettes consumed.

For more information on using acupuncture to support quitting smoking click here

Unlike Botox®, which carries a large number of possible side effects, Cosmetic Facial Acupuncture is a totally natural and holistic anti-ageing treatment that aims to reduce fine lines and wrinkles.

Cosmetic Facial Acupuncture will require a course of treatments to show pronounced results. However, the whole face is treated and as body points are also used, a patient’s health and well-being can be greatly improved by undertaking a series of treatments. Facial patients often report that they feel healthier, sleep better, have brighter eyes and feel more balanced; those are the kind of side effects we like!

For more information on Cosmetic Facial Acupuncture click here

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), water is cold and yin by nature, yet the stomach is the stove of our body. It’s our fire pit that we throw logs (food) into to keep us going throughout the day. If it’s not burning up, our metabolism and ‘inner fire’ (energy, libido) won’t be burning up either. Our “logs” will sit there, not digesting properly. We need fire to cook and transform nutrients to different parts of the body. Long term consumption of cold water slowly turns off the heat, resulting abnormal function of digestion, leading to malnutrition & poor immune system. Too much cold accumulation in our body also cause poor circulation, intestinal cramps, & abdominal pain.

For young children, their organs are delicate. After consuming lots of cold foods (cold milk, ice cream, sandwiches, salads) and cold water/juices, their stoves become colder and colder, leading to all kinds of digestion problems, sinus problem, allergies, hay fever, asthma, etc. In the “Yellow Emperor’s Master Classic of Chinese Medicine” a cold constitution with cold drinks hurts the lung (cold constitution here means overconsumption of cold foods which turns our body type to cold). In the 5 elements, the stomach is the mother of lung. When the mother (stomach) is sick, it can’t take care of the son (lung). After a while, the son gets sick (allergies, sinus infections, & asthma). We need to keep up the fire of the stove, thus helping the mother (stomach) to get healthy, in order to cure and save the son (lung). Just like when we travel on an airplane, we need to put the oxygen mask on ourselves first before our son. Excessive drinking of cold water also affects the development and physiological functions of the reproductive system. For young ladies, it can cause menstrual cramps, menstrual disorders & excessive discharge. Over-accumulation of cold creates a “chilled palace” which is an extremely cold uterus, ovaries, ovarian tube & leads to overgrowth of dampness (candida, parasites), fibroids, ovarian cysts, tumors, dysmenorrhea, infertility. When we get hurt, we use an ice pack to calm pain/swelling. When we drink ice water while we are eating, it’s like putting an ice pack on our stomach! It slows down our fullness sensations, causing overeating.

If you look at a thermal imaging camera, the stomach is always red/orange (hot) even though our hands may often be green/blue (cold). Our hands/feet will be especially cold if we have fatigue, swelling, and menstrual cramps; which are all yang (heat) deficiency symptoms. On that same thermal imaging camera, water is very dark blue. The water element is yin by nature. If you drink that dark blue cold fluid, your red hot stomach begins to turn blue/cold as well … NOT good.

What happens when you put sautéed vegetables, soup, or steak in the fridge? The fat solidifies. We eat healthy fats all day. What happens if we put cold drinks on top of that fat? That’s right! It solidifies in our stomachs, building up that gunk. If you drink HOT liquids, they will literally help your body melt away the fat/food and use it for energy (helps with weight loss!)

Some of you may be thinking… okay, but what about in the summer? What if it’s hot outside? A cold drink is refreshing, don’t we need it for balance? Not quite. What happens when you have a hot pan? If you put a drop of cold water on it, steam and moisture explodes. The same thing happens in your body (as above, so below!) Putting cold water in a hot body creates moisture and dampness. What loves to grow in damp areas? Bacteria, candida, and parasites… especially in your stomach and uterus. “Dampness” in TCM actually means pathogens and parasites.

Lots of benefits:

  1. Drinking hot water can be like spending time in a sauna, it purifies your body. As your body temperature rises and you begin to perspire, hot water flushes the toxins out. Add a piece of lemon first thing in the morning and it can assist in daily cleansing—helping prevent constipation.
  2. I suffer from sinus and nasal congestion, especially when the air is dry. Drinking hot water helps in clearing your nasal cavity, relieving congestion and sinus pressure.
  3. Drinking hot water is a great way to stay hydrated and keep warm. You might say, why not drink tea? Consuming tea with caffeine may keep you alert and warm, but it doesn’t help in hydration. The caffeine element is what can cause dehydration.
  4. Hot water can improve your digestion, especially after meals. Drinking cold beverages/water during and immediately after a meal can be dangerous. (I remember my father scolding me about this, giving me an example of what happens when you mix cold water and oil.) Think about it. Drinking cold water solidifies the oil in the foods you consume—harmful for digestion. This can cause the oil in your food to breakdown faster than the solid food you’ve consumed. This lines the intestines turning into fats and possibly cancer.
  5. Blood circulation is improved by drinking hot water.
  6. And again with some lemon first thing in the morning, hot water is great for getting the metabolism going—perfect as a weight loss strategy.
  7. Just as drinking water in general is important to maintaining healthy skin, hot water is excellent for your complexion as well!

Original article by Nature’s Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture Clinic-Geraldton

I often get asked how acupuncture works – here is an article I wrote to explain what it does.

How does acupuncture work?