The Role of Trauma in Women's Reproductive Health: A Five Spirits Approach II

Lorie Eve Dechar L.Ac
Lecture Type: 
Breakout Session
Lecture Day: 
Day 2
Fletcher Challenge Theatre


The diagnosis of infertility impacts a woman like a death sentence. IVF and other radical interventions in the birth process may be traumatizing and difficulties during labor and birth may be stored as trauma memory in the body for a lifetime. In addition, childhood abuse and sexual trauma can interfere with a woman's ability to conceive. Shock, trauma, and PTSD have massive and often unrecognized effects on women's reproductive health. In this three hour talk, we will explore the role of trauma in the domain of gynecology. We will begin with a basic overview of trauma work from a modern Western and ancient Chinese perspective. We will look first through the lens of modern Western science to understand the neurological and endocrine responses to shock and trauma and how they affect a woman's capacity to conceive, carry to term, and experience a safe and satisfying labor and birth. We will then shift to the lens of the ancient Taoist system of wushen - the Five Spirits - in order to deepen our understanding of the psychospiritual effects of trauma on women dealing with issues related to infertility, pregnancy, and birth as well as on the developing fetus. In the second part of the talk, participants will be introduced to safe and simple ways to calm and heal the shen - the spirit - including flower essences, essential oils, spirit points, and simple clearing treatment protocols. In addition, participants will learn simple practices that can be safely shared with patients to help alleviate the effects of trauma on the body, soul, and spirit. The importance of auxiliary support and timely referral will also be discussed.


Learning Objectives

  • understand the overlaps and distinctions between the modern Western and ancient Chinese approach to trauma
  • understand the implications and possible effects of shock, trauma and PTSD on conception, pregnancy, labor, and delivery
  • be introduced to safe and simple ways to work with trauma in the arena of women's reproductive health
  • learn practices that can help alleviate the effects of trauma
  • recognize when other forms of support are needed for their fertility patients
Lorie Eve Dechar L.Ac.

Lorie Eve Dechar's intuitive work as an alchemical healer, mentor, and teacher is supported by a strong foundation of theoretical understanding and clinical experience, including thirty years of Chinese medical practice, twelve years as a senior faculty member at the Tri-State College of Acupuncture in New York City as well as years of teaching at conferences, institutes, and retreat centers throughout the United States, Canada, Israel, the U.K, and Europe. Lorie is the author of Five Spirits: Alchemical Acupuncture for Psychological and Spiritual Healing. She holds a Master's Degree in Acupuncture from the Traditional Acupuncture Institute in Columbia, MD, 1985. Lorie has trained in Jungian and Gestalt psychotherapy, is a certified Focusing-oriented psychotherapist, and has become recognized as a modern interpreter of classical Taoist practice.

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Symposium Location

Simon Fraser University at Harbour Centre
515 West Hastings Street
Vancouver, BC