By Tamar Zakon
While conventional reproductive medicine has made incredible advancements in recent decades, many aspects of human fertility remain a complete mystery. Many couples who suffered from fertility problems have managed to bring home a healthy baby thanks to hi-tech interventions such as IVF, surgeries, hormone therapies, using donors, etc. Many others, however, have found themselves childless despite these interventions. The State of Israel is generous with such couples in funding fertility treatments, but couples in other countries struggle to meet the high costs of treatments. Even if money isn’t a problem, the process can be extremely intrusive and disruptive, involving painful side effects and invasive procedures—not to mention the emotional rollercoaster of repeated high hopes and disappointments. It’s an incredibly difficult journey no couple would wish to embark on if not for the longed-for potential result.
Fortunately, there is a form of complementary medicine that has been shown to enhance the effectiveness of reproductive therapies and sometimes even replace them. Tamar Zakon is the founder of Balance Center, a complementary health and wellness clinic in Jerusalem that treats a wide variety of conditions in men, women and children. Tamar’s specialty is traditional treatment of various women’s health issues, including fertility. “We take an integrative approach to health and well-being, and some of our patients are already using artificial reproductive therapies including IVF, but many are not, and are looking to get pregnant naturally with our help,” says Tamar. “Each plan is individualized and sensitive to the needs of each woman or couple.”
A traditional Chinese program for reproductive wellness includes preparing the reproductive system, dietary adjustments based on Chinese medicine, and lifestyle changes including exercise or ways to reduce stress. “We evaluate the woman’s overall health and wellbeing and treat the whole person. The idea is balance yourself, mind, body and spirit, and of course, to bring home a home a healthy baby.”
Chinese medicine cares for the mind and body naturally by clearing energy with acupuncture and using herbal remedies to promote health and restore balance. Acupuncture is generally done in weekly sessions, while herbal remedies are normally taken daily over the course of the month and adjusted as necessary.
Tamar treats many common women’s issues, such as irregular cycles, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), hormonal imbalances, headaches, insomnia, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), infertility, pregnancy and postpartum support, postpartum depression (PPD), and menopause. Tamar also treats women who experience recurrent miscarriage, and provides physical and emotional support after loss.
While Tamar believes strongly in the power of complementary and holistic medicine, she believes in integrating traditional with modern treatments. Tamar has been working in complementary medicine for more than a decade. She holds a diploma in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture from Mayanot College of Complementary Medicine (a branch of the Merav College and the Open University), and has completed advanced certification in holistic and medical massage therapy, infant massage, Tui Na (Chinese physical therapy), herbal medicine, Master Tung acupuncture, moxibustion, fire cupping, nutrition, Hopi ear candling and narrative therapy. She is a member of the Israeli Chamber of Chinese Medicine.
After practicing privately for more than 10 years, Tamar founded the Balance Center to offer patients a wide variety of treatments in a collaborative and holistic environment. Her vision of an integrative treatment center became a reality in 2017, and her diverse group of practitioners—each with their own area of expertise—has treated countless patients, many of whom suffered from fertility issues and were able to bring home a healthy baby thanks to the Balance Center.
“I believe in the importance of patient-centered care,” says Tamar. “I develop a close relationship with each patient and work to understand what you are experiencing, what your expectations are and what your short and long-term goals are.”
In addition to running the clinic and treating patients privately, Tamar volunteers weekly with people dealing with cancer and their families, helping to ease the emotional and physical challenges they face. A firm believer in the importance of professional development and continued education, she vows to never stop learning.
“I want the couples I work with to feel like they can take an active part in their health program and to take control over their fertility and feel a sense of empowerment,” says Tamar. “I want them to understand, both from a Western and an Eastern perspective, what their bodies are going through and what they can do to help themselves.”
About the Practitioner
Tamar Zakon is the founder of the Balance Center, a complementary medicine clinic in Jerusalem offering a wide variety of treatments for men, women and children coping with physical or emotional issues. Visit the Balance Center online at balancecenter.co.il or on Facebook at wellnesstlc, email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call at 058-567-6758.