Fengshui and IVF / Fertility treatment

I have reached a point of desperation after several failed IVF attempts, and am now willing to try everything, even something crazy like Feng Shui. But before I throw my money on a Fengshui master in a desperate gamble, I would like to hear the personal experiences and testimonies of former patients who had previously tried this route to conceive.

This might surprise you. I actually heard from a few of my well-connected friends that some IVF clinics and laboratories in Singapore and Malaysia utilize fengshui in their setup, from location to arrangement of furniture and medical/lab equipment.

For example, one of my friends, who is working as a personal financial consultant at a major investment bank, has a client who is quite a well-known and respected fertility specialist in Singapore. In setting up his clinic and IVF laboratory, this doctor followed the advice of a popular fengshui master. My friend initially thought that this was some kind of marketing gimmick by the doctor to attract patients to his clinic. But in fact, when she had a heart-to-heart chat with the doctor, she was rather surprised that this well-educated fertility specialist sincerely believed in the positive effects of fengshui in helping his patients get pregnant, and even swears by it in private.

In fact, she was told that quite a few IVF clinics in Malaysia and Singapore employ fengshui in their setup, but are reluctant to admit it upfront, least they be seen as superstitious and unprofessional by their patients.

I would therefore be most interested to hear the views and opinions of IVF patients on this subject.
Why highly-educated fertility doctors incorporating Fengshui into their IVF clinics may actually be doing something rational

In recent years, Fengshui has caught on in popularity in the West, with media reports of numerous celebrities and entrepreneurs incorporating Fengshui into their lives, homes and business premises. It maybe rather impossible to believe that fertility doctors with their many years of higher education and advanced degrees would be willing to incorporate something as illogical as fengshui into their IVF clinic. After all, fengshui is widely dismissed as a pseudoscience and superstitious quackery by the medical and academic establishment, both in the West and the East.

However, I surmise that fertility specialists incorporating Fengshui in their clinics (within Singapore and Malaysia) may actually be doing something rational, based on the following thought processes:

(1) In Singapore and Malaysia, a large proportion of the patient base at IVF clinics are ethnic Chinese, which have been brought up with certain cultural biases, for example to associate certain animals, symbols and motifs with good luck, prosperity and fertility. By using Fengshui to incorporate such good luck and fertility symbols and imagery within their IVF clinics, this would psychologically appeal to their ethnic Chinese patient base, who would consciously or sub-consciously associate their IVF clinic with good luck and fertility. Hence, incorporating Fengshui into the IVF clinic may in fact be a form of marketing gimmick to attract more patients, particularly among the ethnic Chinese.

(2) Numerous reports from the medical literature have confirmed that the patient’s psychological state and personal beliefs might be an important contributory factor to the success of medical treatment. Or else, why does the phenomenon of “Placebo Effect” often occurs in drug-testing and clinical trials? By using fengshui to create a psychologically-conducive and comforting environment within their IVF clinic for their ethnic Chinese patients, this might possibly boost IVF success rates.

(3) Despite rapid scientific and technological progress in the 21st century, there are many things that are still unknown about the natural and physical world, which are waiting to be discovered. Take for example the situation before the invention of the airplane. Jules Verne in his famous novel postulated that with the technology of his time, one can at best travel around the world in 80 days. Who would believe during his time that the space shuttle can now orbit around the earth in 90 minutes, and that the supersonic Concorde can traverse from one continent to another within a few hours? In the late 19th century, anyone who suggested the possibility of real-time face-to-face communication from opposite sides of the globe could have easily be laughed off as being mad. Yet today, this is routinely being achieved by modern smart phones. Hence, it is possible that Fengshui may in fact be based on some yet unknown natural phenomenon, which might be discovered in the future. By incorporating fengshui principles into their IVF clinic, highly-educated fertility specialists might in fact be keeping an open mind.

(4) There is much scientific evidence for natural biological and physiological processes in animal and humans being influenced by the Earth’s magnetic field. Most well-known are the use of the earth’s magnetic field for navigation by various animals. Less well-known is how the Earth’s magnetic field might influence the reproductive cycles of animals and humans. Recent evidence suggest that low frequency electromagnetic fields emitted by electronic devices might have a detrimental effect on human fertility, and more research still needs to be done in this area. It is well-known that Fengshui takes into account the Earth’s magnetic field through the use of a specialized fengshui compass. Could this possibly have a rational basis?

(5) How much does it cost to hire a Fengshui master compared to the millions of dollars that need to be invested in opening up a new IVF clinic? Is there much harm in spending a little extra money and following the advice of a popular Fengshui master? Because if it really works, then the payback would be huge compared to spending a little extra money. It is like taking a gamble to win big by throwing away a few dollars on a lottery ticket. This somewhat reminds me of the financing of Christopher Columbus discovery of the Americas by the Queen of Spain. Despite being advised against financing the expedition by her trusted minsters due to perceived low chances of success, the Queen eventually went ahead with the gamble by investing a relatively small amount of money on three old rickety ships and giving Columbus an unpaid crew of pardoned criminals as sailors. The outcome of the story is well-known. Spain won herself a global empire by daring to gamble a relatively small amount of money on a seemingly hopeless expedition.

Yet it must be noted that fertility doctors and IVF clinics fear for their reputation, and they will be most reluctant to admit upfront and openly that they utilize Fengshui, least they be seen as unprofessional and superstitious by their more well-educated patient base, as well as fellow medical colleagues. Most probably, they will dismiss Fengshui as bullshit and superstition in public. Who knows? Maybe, just maybe, it could be their best-kept and most-cherished trade secret?
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