EPISODE 38 | MINI MINDFUL MOMENT | Verbal Suggestions So You Can Calm the Frick Down

Todays relaxation response technique is technically called Autogenic Training. It’s a technique that is credited to Dr. Johannes Schultz and was popularized in the 90’s by Dr. Herbert Benson’s book - The Relaxation Response and has to do with the power of verbal suggestion. Now these verbal suggestions called orientations, can be thought of as a type of self hypnosis. This is different than an affirmation because we are going to take the verbal suggestions into the body to help it relax, not just repeat something in our minds. Once you’ve used this phrase though and effectively calmed your body down, you should be able to pull it out in a pinch and repeat it silently to yourself and have some of the same effect. It's perfect to use when your heart is racing before a doctors appointment or during the two week wait when you find yourself extra anxious. When you use autogenic training, you are essentially bypassing your conscious mind in order to instruct your body to relax via your subconscious mind. Autogenic Training sounds so formal and stuffy though- so I decided to rename it today to verbal suggestions so you can calm the frick down.

Today's episode is brought to you by, Pregnancy Brain, by Parijat Deshpande. You can find it anywhere books are sold or at pregnancybrainbook.com.

EPISODE 35 | MASTERING MINDFULNESS DURING A HIGH RISK PREGNANCY | Pregnancy Brain with Parijat Deshpande

Description:

Parijat Deshpande is the leading high-risk pregnancy expert, perinatal mind-body wellness counselor, speaker, and author who guides women to quickly and effectively release their stress during their high-risk pregnancy so they can give their baby a strong start to life. Her bestselling book “Pregnancy Brain: A Mind-Body Approach to Stress Management During a High-Risk Pregnancy” and popular podcast Delivering Miracles® discuss the real, raw side of infertility and pregnancy in an interesting yet expert manner. Tune in for an episode where we discuss the physical impact of hope, how to surround yourself with a team that feels right to you, and making decisions based on clarity and confidence.

 

Takeaway:

[1:45] Parijat’s unique approach has served hundreds of women to manage pregnancy complications and reclaim a safety and trust in their bodies that they thought was eroded forever. Parijat is not afraid to swim in some deep waters and to talk about the tough aspects of infertility and pregnancy.

[3:28] Parijat is both an expert in this field and someone that comes at it from an organic angle. She understands the feelings of fear, isolation, and frustration that are often present in infertility and high-risk pregnancy.

[7:16] It’s very easy to shy away from hope when you have experienced health challenges. Hope is trust and faith in the outcome without the evidence to feel it. Our body (and baby) can feel our hope and faith, and it can also feel our fear and doubt. When we trust and know our body, and are connected with it, that is the building block and shining light of hope.

[10:52] Parijat combines her Clinical Psychology background with her own experiences and stories from the thousands of other women that have all felt and gone through the same thing.

[13:21] We can’t control the outcome of everything that happens in our life, but we can control our hope, the team around us, and the way we take care of and nourish our mind, body, and spirit.

[16:13] When you are going through high-risk pregnancy and infertility, it’s so important to find a doctor and team that conveys information with compassion, hope, and proactive management. Your providers take you much more seriously when you are straightforward and in touch with what’s happening in your body.

[21:28] Knowing the difference between anxiety and fear is crucial to how we manage stress and influence the physiological responses in our body. We isolate things in Western Medicine when they are very much intertwined between our emotions, thoughts, and manifestations within the body.

[27:58] The ego part of your brain would often times rather be familiar with what we know, even if that’s anxiety and worry. Learning how to relax is like working out a muscle, and something you can practice every day.

[31:11] Processing emotions rather than holding on to them while pregnant can seem daunting, but Parijat invites a gentle approach that works towards uprooting grief from the body so it can safely be let go.


[32:47] Parijat is offering a 15% off discount to the Fertile Minds family for her . Use the code fertilemindsat checkout to receive discount.

[36:41] Parijat works with women to recognize their bodies’ anchor points to guide them in making decisions based on clarity, rather than fear.

 

References:

Fertile Minds on LibSyn

Fertile Minds on iTunes

Pregnancy Brain: A Mind-Body Approach to Stress Management During a High-Risk Pregnancy,
by Parijat Deshpande

Delivering Miracles®

Parijat Deshpande

Continue Your Journey:

Link to sign up for free 29-day meditation challenge

@ladypotions4u on Twitter

@ladypotions4u on Instagram

My Website: Ladypotions.com

Disclaimer * 

You must not rely on the information in this podcast as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition you should seek immediate medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website or in this podcast.

 

EPISODE 20 | MINDFUL MOMENT | A Meditation to Help with Implantation While #TTC

A meditation to provide more peace and joy along your fertility road trip.

Description: Feelings of loneliness, fear, and doubt are universal to a woman during her fertility road trip. It is common to feel hopeful and confident one moment and then isolated and frazzled the next. Today’s mindful moment episode will be all about restoring more peace and joy into your space, and to remind you that we are all connected and can send healing energy and love to one another, especially during a time such as implantation.

We will dive deep in a meditation that came out organically as I was working with a lovely woman on her our experience. Today’s meditation will help you connect to your heart, let go of attachment, and breathe in faith and gratitude. To share your own fertility story, please email me at hillary@ladypotions.com. I look forward to connecting with you, as you are what this podcast is all about.

Takeaways

[1:53] The difference between a positive and negative stress experience is the beholder’s perception of time.

[2:35] This episode is dedicated to Lindsey, who inspired Hillary as she is brave and inspiring along her fertility road trip. This meditation that came out organically as they were working together and Hillary recommends this as a useful tool for relaxation during the implantation process.

[8:02] Meditation begins.

 

References:

Fertile Minds on LibSyn

Fertile Minds on iTunes

American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine

Continue Your Journey:

@ladypotions4u on Twitter

@ladypotions4u on Instagram

Special Thanks to Christopher Lloyd Clarke for music


EPISODE 19 | PREVENTING COLDS & FLU'S NATURALLY SO YOU CAN KEEP TTC

How Staying Healthy Will Save You Time When You Are TTC

Description:

Today is a very important and relevant topic, as this flu season has been one of the worst in decades! We are going to talk about when to know when antibiotics may be right for you, how over-taking antibiotics may be hurting the future of your children, how to stay healthy during cold and flu season, and what to do if you or your partner gets sick along your fertility journey during an IVF cycle. I also share what herbs and oils can shorten colds and illness, the difference between strains of the cold, and some other natural remedies you can use as preventative measures!

Takeaways

[7:29] In the United States, antibiotics are very overly prescribed. If you do get antibiotics, you want to take some extra special care. Today's episode is all about how to prevent colds and the flu, and what to do if you actually do get the bug.

[9:44] We talk flu vaccine, what it does to our body and some tips for if you and your children do decide to get the vaccine and have some symptoms.

[13:16] I share the differences between strep, sinus infection and bronchitis and some preventative measures to take before you get sick including a garlic neti pot.

[19:49] Acute and complicated bronchitis is the most common complaint that sends people to their primary care physician. It usually resolves in 1-3 weeks. Hot water with lemon and honey and elderberry are two great natural remedies to soothe coughs. If you do feel like it is extremely bad, it is important to get a lung X-ray.

[22:35] Reaching out to herbalists and acupuncturists before and when you get the common cold is a great idea. One herb to help with the common cold is gan mao ling.

[24:52] Strep throat is a bacterial infection and it does require antibiotic treatment. You won't have a cough but you will have a fever. One formula is yin chi and a stronger one is andographis.

[30:22] If you think you have the flu, the most important things are to stay hydrated, rest and stay home for at least 24 hours, and monitor your fever.

[34:37] One of my favorite immune blends is by Saje, and the oil Thieves by Young Living Essential Oils.

Cold+&+Flu.png



References:

American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine

Saje

Young Living Essential Oils

Chinese Herbal Formulas and Applications by John K Chen and Tina T Chen

Continue Your Journey:

@ladypotions4u on Twitter

@ladypotions4u on Instagram



EPISODE 18 | Fertility Lab Tests Explained in Plain English

Description: Today we will be diving into lab values, and specifically what it means to have a complete fertility workup. I cover what it means when we say a fertility workup, what they test for and why, what is “normal” to empower yourself in a non-judgmental way so you and your support system can figure out a plan of corrective action. We also discuss a semen analysis and the total, whole picture of the markers you would be looking at there. This episode is a great way to dive in with understanding what tests should be done based on your age and how long you have been trying, along with who in your healthcare network would be able to help you run the tests.

Takeaways

[1:17] When we say a complete fertility workup, we also mean having a male workup — your partner — as well.

[7:14] The first step is a comprehensive wellness panel or CBC with add-ons. Second is the semen analysis and third is the complete fertility workup for a woman.

[11:06] Most often the tests will be blood tests, however, some will be urine, diagnostic, and imaging.

[11:39] I break down what a CBC, lipid and metabolic panels are, what they test for, and how to read the different markers.

[14:41] Hypoglycemia is a somewhat common culprit when looking at disruptions in reproduction. Thyroid health is extremely important as well. The TSH and T4 and T3 Uptake are the most looked-at markers in the panel.

[19:57] Vitamin D has a variety of effects on the body, including GI health, skin health, mood, and immunity.

[25:02] The semen analysis; you want to look at the whole picture of total motile sperm, and calculate it using volume, concentration, and motility.

[33:18] High levels of prolactin may affect the ability to ovulate and the regularity of a woman’s menstrual cycle. 

[44:51] I explain the PCOS diet and why this way of eating may be beneficial.

EPISODE 17 | HEART ADVICE FOR SUFFERING FROM MISCARRIAGE | Erin Gray

Permission to Pause

 Advice for what to do when you or someone you love has a miscarriage.

 

Description: Welcome back and happy 2018 to you. I am happy to be back in the new year and to be able to share some insights with you. Today’s episode covers the tough topic of giving yourself permission to pause when you or someone you love is experiencing grief. My lovely co-host Erin Gray and I discuss how we

help ourselves or another through profound loss, specifically a miscarriage. I provide a mini-meditation to open us up to love and warmth, then we share on the topics regarding ritual, things to say and not say to others that are grieving, and how to reach out when you are feeling most alone and isolated. This show is dedicated to all of those who have recently lost someone. You know who you are and we are here for you.

Takeaways

[2:59] I share a little of my experience with loss and grieving during the recent months. We open up discussing the parallels between Alzheimer’s and not really knowing the person, with a miscarriage and others not feeling a connection with a potential life.

[5:42] Understanding and allowing for things to not be okay for a period of time is one of the main key factors to ride through and weather the tough times of loss and grief.

[12:55] We do a quick meditation to help bring in some warmth and light for those suffering a loss, or helping someone else who may be experiencing loss.

[16:24] The stages of grief are: depression, anger, bargaining, denial, and acceptance. It is totally normal to go in and out of these stages very intensely in no particular order, or even block out several of them before feeling them completely.

[24:33] Shame lives in secrets. The more open and authentic one can be with themselves and their loved ones about what they are going through, the easier it is to grieve.

[39:19] Ritual helps us say goodbye, let go, and accommodate a new reality. It is also an opportunity for those grieving to come together and support one another.

[49:12] We discuss the things not to say to someone that is grieving. No spiritual arrogance, minimizing their pain or trying to force another person’s example upon them. It is okay to say nothing, and even admit that you may not know exactly what to say, but you are there to support them.

 

References:

Fertile Minds on LibSyn

Fertile Minds on iTunes

Polishing the Mirror: How to Live from Your Spiritual Heart, by Ram Dass

EPISODE 16 | MINDFUL MOMENT | Chakra Clearing for Manifestation

Mindful Moments  

Using Chakra Clearing Meditation for Manifestation

 

Description: When I thought about creating this episode, I wanted to keep the intro short and sweet. We already spend so much time thinking, processing, and worrying. Sometimes we just need to “do it” and this comes to manifesting our dreams. Today’s episode features a meditation to help clear clutter internally to manifest the life of your dreams. After today’s episode, we encourage you to lighten your load from the inside out and to remember that you have access to your center anytime, at anyplace.

Takeaways

[3:06] As you go through this meditation, observe what areas are easier to open and close. There is no right or wrong way to do this, just listen and observe.

[4:04] To download this meditation, text “chakra clearing” to 44222.

[4:24] Meditation begins. Today’s journey will take us through the chakras within our body, to help cleanse and purify.

[50:01] Meditation ends.

 

References:

Fertile Minds on LibSyn

Fertile Minds on iTunes

 

Continue Your Journey:

To download this meditation, text “chakra clearing” to 44222.

 

Special Thanks to Christopher Lloyd Clarke for music

EPISODE 15 | SACRED POWERS OF TRANSFORMATION | davidji

Description: Davidji is the voice that woke me up many years ago, and I am forever grateful for finding his work, as it changed my life and path and this podcast would not be here today without him. Today I am honored to have him on as our guest. He graciously gives us tips on how to manifest true transformation in any area of your life from within, and answering the question “How Do I Stop Being Attached to The Outcome of Something I Want So Badly?” It’s a talk of rejuvenation, renewal, and rebirth.

Takeaways

[1:02] Our guest today is my meditation teach and mentor, davidji. He is an internationally recognized stress management expert, corporate trainer, meditation teacher and author of the critically acclaimed Amazon #1 Best Seller Destressifying

[3:06] Davidji guides us through a gentle meditation to center us and get us in the same place energetically.

[8:33] Shedding our old stories and outdated paradigms are necessary for rebirth and renewal. It’s easy to get stuck in the same way of thinking and mindset, and we have to be able to give ourselves permission to empty what is full to make space for the new.

[10:14] Meditated and Liberated in January with Libby Cartensen will be held in San Diego! For more information or tickets visit: here. Many programs promise the experience but don’t set you up for success when the workshop ends and real life begins. This is what sets MEDITATED & LIBERATED apart from other programs; you’ll have the experience and receive the tools to thrive when you return home.

[14:13] His third book, Sacred Powers: The Five Secrets to Awakening Transformation, just came out, and helps people to make the best decisions in the most important moments of their life with clarity and intention.

[19:08] Being detached from the outcome doesn’t mean you don’t care, it means you are open to controlling what you can and letting the rest come up spontaneously with grace and gratitude.

[22:37] A perspective shift of opening up our hearts for whatever may come is important to feel close to our own joy and our partner’s. Whatever pushes us apart from our partner is the same thing that has the ability to align us and get us even closer.

[30:31] Medical technology and adoption going global has opened up the opportunity for anyone to have children. This can be a beautiful thing but also can bring a lot of blame and pressure to couples or singles trying for a child. This is why we need the tools and ability to help us during the stressful times.

[34:12] Connecting to stillness and silence is a big lifestyle shift that can help ease stress during the fertility and pregnancy process. Davidji shares some personal experiences with past frustration and lessons learned in his own fertility process.

[47:51] Ask yourself, “What is distracting and what is nourishment?” A way to break it down into what is working vs. what needs some space can be found in the 5 teachings:

  1. Path of One — Awakens powers of presence, ripple, and spirit 

  2. Path of Awareness — Attention, Intention, and Action

  3. Path of Rebirth — Acceptance, Release, and New Beginnings 

  4. Path of Infinite Flow — Trust and Abundance

  5. Path of Inner Fire — Passion and Purpose

[52:09] Davidji gives us a gift of a free download type in the code: SacredGifts

 

References:

Fertile Minds on LibSyn

Fertile Minds on iTunes

Continue Your Journey:

Davidji 

Sacred Powers

40 Days of Transformation

Three Sacred Gifts Audio Lesson

EPISODE 14 | PLACENTAS, PUSHING & THE 4TH TRIMESTER | PT2 w/ Dawn Herring

Why we use our placenta, how to get labor going, and understanding when an intervention is medically necessary.

Description: We are thrilled to have the awesome Dawn Herring of Empowered Birth Series back as our guest today. Like myself, Dawn wants to change the conversation in labor to where it can unfold throughout the process and the woman finds it easier to trust her body through grounded knowledge and preparation. Every woman is different, every birth is different, and we are here to share our full-circle journeys to help empower and free us from an exact perception of what birth should look like. I talk with Dawn about the Bishop Score, placentas, and the importance of taking labels off any judgment of looking at any and all options during childbirth and conception. We hope our talk inspires you to allow what is and listen to your own body as a guide.


Takeaways

[7:16] Dawn shares how some of the complications of her own birth experience helped to heal her own judgment and expectations on how birth should be. Now she can provide information neutral and evidence-based.

[18:26] When discussing an intervention, it’s important to first check upon the health of mother and baby.

[19:10] Dawn discusses what a Bishop Score is, and how women can use it to their advantage as a powerful tool and dialogue to determine what type of intervention, if any, is appropriate.

[28:01] Dawn shares the tricks of encouraging labor to begin that she teaches in her Class 4. She is a huge fan of acupressure, herbs, a chiropractor trained in the Webster Technique, and nipple stimulation. It is very important to be in touch with your practitioner and/or midwife regarding these plans so everyone can be on board with the plan.

[35:44] Most women’s water breaks while they are in labor. If the water does break before labor, Dawn likes the use the COAT method to know what to look for: Color, Odor, Amount, and Time.

[46:53] Dawn and I both have seen a lot of information on the placenta, and discuss the possibility of eating your placenta. There have been thousands of years with research to back up that for the right situation it can be beneficial and healthy.

[57:30] Dawn’s last class talks about the 4th trimester which I think is so crucial. This is where every new mom really starts to doubt herself and I’ve seen education and grandmothers and friends make a huge difference at this stage in a woman’s life so I love that she broached this subject.

 

References:

Fertile Minds on LibSyn

Fertile Minds on iTunes

 

Continue Your Journey:

Bishop Score Research

Debra Betts — Acupuncture and Acupressure for Pregnancy and Childbirth

Placenta- buddha belly doula & placenta services

Acupressure App on google Play

More Placenta! Research

EPISODE 13 | VAGINAL STEAMS & THE ARVIGO TECHNIQUE | Jen Poll, LMT

Why You Might Want a Steam Bath for your Lady Parts and How Self Abdominal Massage May Help Your Fertility

 

Description: Our guest today is my dear friend, Jen Poll. Jen is a Licensed Massage Therapist in St. Petersburg, Florida. We have a great talk with Jen on the techniques of vaginal steams, abdominal massage, and her inspiration from teachings of Don Elijio Panti and Rosita Arvigo. Steaming and Abdominal Massage can be a great way for women to maintain and achieve uterine health, to reconnect with their own body and reclaim any power they may have previously surrendered. We cover what a vaginal steam is, and why a woman may want to steam her lady parts. The massage and steam can be as ritualized as you want or can be a scheduled simple self-care technique. We also cover what to expect during the process and situations where you may want to wait before jumping in.

Takeaways

[:49] Jen is a Licensed massage therapist in St. Petersburg, Florida. In 2008, Jen traveled to the Pacific Northwest to train as a practitioner of The Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy. Having personally benefited from the techniques, Jen was eager to learn the work and share this ancient healing with others. I had the pleasure of working with Jen in a previous practice so I know first hand the transformative work she provides as I’ve referred countless patients and even been a client myself.

[3:22] Jen was having bad cramps and was working with a skilled midwife Anne Hirsch, who suggested the Arvigo massage to help alleviate some of her symptoms. She felt great relief and wanted to learn more so she could help women in all phases of life, from preconception to menopause; her passion is empowering women through transformative bodywork.

[6:41] They do a lot of work structurally and work with nerves to make sure all the ligaments are open and free so the body can do its job of maintaining balance and homeostasis within.

[12:21] Men can benefit as well, and it helps with prostate health to release congestion and blockages.

[16:03] One of the reasons we know about this work is based off the work of Don Elijio Panti and Rosita Arvigo. Jen explains how each of them carved a path for healing and didn’t give up despite many challenges and setbacks.

[21:35] The massage can be a great complement to other elements, including herbs and IVF. It can help women reconnect with themselves and partners.

[23:25] All about vaginal steams! Vaginal steam is used commonly in places like Korea and Central America. Please DO NOT use essential oils as they can burn the delicate skin of the vagina. The idea is to extract the oils safely out of the dried or fresh herbs during the steam.

[26:35] Jen explains why she uses a unit now with her clients, and during what time of the cycle it’s best to steam.

[28:56] There are many amazing herbs that can be put together for the steam, and it is important to go over each option with a trusted professional.

[29:40] Do NOT do the vaginal steam if there is a chance you are pregnant, during menstruation or an excessively heavy period.

[32:08] Focusing on the woman’s health is the safety net and most important investment.

[36:59] Post birth, it is a great practice for toning the pelvic floor and Jen recommends waiting at least 6-8 weeks.

[44:07] The uterus may retreat and hide due to stress, trauma, and age. In Chinese medicine, they call the uterus one of the “curious organs.” They can empty and fill at will and can be an outside indicator of what’s going on inside the body.

[47:48] One of the most important things we can do is love, trust, and support our own bodies.

How to Perform a DIY Vaginal Steam from the Maya Tradition or ATMAT

About five years ago a group of my friends facebook messaged me dying with laughter over an article they had found on vaginal steams asking me if this was legit? I had a chuckle because it was rather common place to me and I had forgotten about the shock value at first blush with it because I prescribed it so often in my fertility practice AND because I had such high regard for the Mayan Tradition. Long story short- I educated them all with some jokes here and there and I believe most of them have tried it by now with glowing comments like,

"It's actually quite nice."

"Who knew my lady parts deserved a facial."

and, "Why have I never heard of this?"

Recently, I sat down with Jen Poll LMT and registered Arvigo practitioner and we did an hour long podcast on all things in the Maya Tradition taught by Rosita Arvigo. Listen here to hear more about Vaginal Steaming, the difference between Maya Abdominal Massage and Fertility Massage and other techniques this heritage incorporates like castor oil packs and dietary therapy. Here are the basics on a  long overdue instructional blog post on how to DIY a vaginal steam.

Why To Do a V- Steam

  • To potentially increase your fertility both naturally or with IVF (consult an Arvigo practitioner for best times during an IVF cycle)

  • Increase cervical fluids and eliminate dryness

  • To nourish and tonify the uterine lining

  • To potentially regulate an erratic cycle

  • To release any energetic attachments to past lovers or hurts that may be a blockage in your womb

  • As a natural way to assist the body in naturally dissolving ovarian cysts or small fibroids

When To V-Steam

  • For preventative care – 1 week before the 1st day of bleeding.

  • For cysts, prolapse, pelvic pain, fibroids, endometriosis– 2 – 4 x a week

  • After a DNC or miscarriage – wait 3 weeks; make sure there is no infection prior to steaming.

  • Post delivery, wait 6-8 weeks, making sure you are not bleeding and there is no infection

  • If trying to conceive TTC, perform after period ends or before fertile window starts

  • At end of your period as a way to ritualize this monthly flow and make friends with your body

When Not To V-Steam

  • If there is any chance you are pregnant; if trying to conceive TTC, perform after period ends or before fertile window starts

  • When infection is present

  • If there are symptoms of damp heat in the pelvis, vagina or colon i.e. vaginal infection, candida, yeast infection, bacterial infection, active herpes outbreak

  • IUD- most are metal and could conduct heat and burn you

  • During menstruation- We want everything to come out, not in

  • If your periods are excessively heavy- having to change a pad, tampon or cup more than every two hours

Herbs to Consider Using For Vaginal Steam

  • Herbs that have an affinity for the urinary and reproductive organs; Red Raspberry Leaf, Juniper, Motherwort, Peony and Dong Quai/Tang Kuei, and Mugwort leaf

  • Herbs that move blood like  rosemary or Hong Hua for cramping, endometriosis or fibroids

  • Herbs that clear dampness like Pau’darco, Sarsparilla, or dandelion root for chronic conditions like cysts, non pathological cervical discharge

  • Herbs that contain volatile oils; Basil, Oregano, Lavender, Rosemary, Marigold, Garden Sage, Peppermint and Lemon Balm.

  • Herbs that are astringent or tonifying for conditions like hemmroids or prolapse; Witch Hazel, Yarrow, Cedar Berries, Rose and Juniper.

  • Traditional herbs the Maya use are dried basil, Calendula, Oregano, Yarrow and Lemon Balm. 

  • Herbs to avoid if you have sensitivity to Estrogen are Red clover, Dong Quai also known as Tang Kuei

  • Available for purchase here  https://www.arvigotherapy.com/rainforest/products3?tid=24

  • Individual herbs available for purchase at www.starwest-botanicals.com

  • If you are a patient for Hillary Talbott Roland DOM, FABORM at Art of Acupuncture or Virtually consult her for the best herbs and times related to your specific situation.

How To Steam Without a Special Chair (using your toilet or slatted chair)

  • Things you will need- toilet or slatted chair, 1-2 blankets made from natural fibers if possibly, socks or slippers, a stainless steel pot, a large ceramic or pyrex bowl to but the herbs into, your choice of herbal blend, and preferably an hour of alone time or quiet

  1. In a medium to large pot place chosen herbs (about 0.5-1 cup of dried herbs) and approximately 8 cups of preferably purified water into a vessel

  2. While putting herbs into pot, if you feel called to- clearly state your intentions for these healing herbs, say a prayer, or enter a state of pure mindfulness. This was a very ritualized practice in the Maya tradition where this was normal place, however, it is not a must for it to work so go with your instincts and what feels right for you.

  3. Bring water and herbs to a slow boil for about a 5 minutes, place lid on pot and bring down to a low simmer and allow herbs to steep for another 5-10 minutes with the lid on to contain most of the essential oils. 

  4. Place a ceramic or stainless steel bowl under a slatted chair or snuggly under the toilet seat

  5. Pour half of the water/herb mixture into the bowl. Replace lid on remaining mixture in pan and leave on stove top on low simmer.

  6. Wave your forearm above the herbal water and make sure the steam isn't too hot so you do not burn your lady parts. Do not sit down until the steam is comfortable for you. There is no prize for who can sit on the hottest pot!

  7. Remove your underwear and sit on the seat above the steaming water. 

  8. Cover your entire lower half to the ground with a blanket, sort of making a tent to keep the steam in.

  9. Make sure you are warm, socks, blanket around upper half of you if you aren't in a tropical climate

  10. You should feel warm, rolling heat for about 10 min. Try and be mindful during this time, simply observing how it feels to give yourself the gift of self care and quiet reflection without judgement.

  11. When the steam dies down dump the water mixture into the toilet or sink and repeat with the rest of the mixture starting at step 5. Don't forget to retest the heat before you sit!

If you can continue the gift of self care after this age old tradition, maybe give yourself permission to take a nap, read a yummy book or do something outside helping you to stay grounded while enjoying more of mother nature's special gifts. 

 

Continue Your Journey:

Dr. Rosita Arvigo

Jennifer Poll Website

Arvigo Therapy

Star West Botanicals

ThankYou-Mama.com

EPISODE 12 | MINDFUL MOMENT | Gratitude Meditation w/ Hillary Talbott

Practicing the habit of developing an attitude of gratitude.

Description: I am very thankful for the ability to share today’s episode with you. Creation of life is INTERNAL and it needs a relaxed state to begin, which is exactly why a gratitude practice can help. I invite you to see what unfolds when you commit to an attitude of gratitude. We talk about why it is a matter of health to call on positive emotions, how to start the process of being grateful, and why it’s important to stop waiting until things “are better.” I guide you through a meditation for gratitude to take with you on your day and ongoing journey with fertility.

Takeaways

[1:30] Oftentimes I’m asked, “What is the quickest way to get healthy or get pregnant?” My answer is simple. “Start focusing on the good things in your life. Take stock of what is benefiting you (people, behaviors, habits, environments) and lean into those areas of your life. Place less emphasis on what you don’t have or what is irritating you, especially if it is a physical symptom or the lack of a child.

[2:02] When the body is in a state of homeostasis or balance it wants to create life.

[5:06] It’s actually a matter of health to learn to call on positive emotions like gratitude when we are feeling challenged, fearful, or untrusting. Creation of life is INTERNAL and it needs a relaxed state to begin which is exactly why a gratitude practice can help.

[7:30] The idea here is just like our meditations; there is no right or wrong way to do it. Make it your way so it will stick and you’ll want to do it and before you know it it will become part of you!

[8:11] In order to start believing or recognizing miracles it begins with the process of being grateful for what is right in front of us, especially the little things AND the things we might think of at first blush as not so great.

[11:07] The meditation for gratitude begins.

If you need to come back to this meditation, text TURKEY DAY to 44222. A digital copy of the meditation portion of this series will be emailed to you so you can play it anytime, anyplace, when you’re ready.

EPISODE 11 | EMPOWERED BIRTH PT 1 | Labor Positions, Stages & Breath w/ Dawn Herring

Labor Positions, Stages of Labor, and Breathing During Birth with Dawn Herring of the Empowered Birth Series Pt. 1

 

Description:

Today I welcome special guest Dawn Herring, wife and mama of two beautiful babies and Happy Birth Way (HBW) Certified Childbirth Educator. Dawn shares with us how she became a childbirth educator and what inspires her to educate couples on evidence to have the most empowered birth experience possible. We cover three very important lessons that Dawn teaches in her class recording breath and movement, the stages and phases of labor, support techniques, the role of mindfulness, intuition and movement, and some practical tips to be armed with information throughout their journey.

Takeaways

We welcome to the show our special guest, Dawn Herring.

[4:45] Dawn knew when she was pregnant with her first baby and sitting in her HBW (Happy Birth Way) birth education class — and marketing the training — that she wanted to teach. She herself had some healing to do — both of her births were beautiful water births but ended in transfers to the hospital due to complications from a retained placenta. It took her taking her own training to really begin to heal from the self-judgment, doubt, and disappointment that she was carrying with her because things didn’t go quite as planned.

[5:40] Giving women and their partners the education AND open space to have a conversation of compassion, empathy, and understanding is her catalyst and passion.

[10:20] Radical self-acceptance and love is the place to start in the process of an empowered birth. Accept and forgive knowing you did the best you could, and practice mindfulness with being present with your loved ones.

[12:08] Dawn shares what an empowered birth and labor experience looks like. Knowledge is power and the more meaningful dialogue a mom has prior to the labor the more set up they are and the easier to navigate through the process, should things change.

[17:04] The ability to connect with our babies early on in pregnancy helps to foster a sense of trust in the process and to surrender to the perfection in what’s happening.

[18:47] Her first class is “Breath and Movement.” We kick off our series by understanding how important breath and movement are during labor. Breath during labor is so important because how we breathe is directly correlate to how our nervous system and hormonal system respond in labor. Using the breath to cope during labor helps to keep our minds “right” and our body to do what it needs to do to keep labor progressing. 

[25:43] The second class is “The Letting Go of Labor – Stages and Phases and Labor Support Techniques.” 

This includes how knowing what’s happening in your body during labor, and what your baby is doing, is key to setting yourself up for an empowered experience. In this class, the focus is on what’s happening during Stage

1 labor — early, active and transition. In this class, Moms will learn how to use movement to bring awareness to what you and your baby need during labor. This also empowers labor partners to give practical tips on how to help the mom.

[35:02] Attending birth classes is a very important part of men being empowered, because this is new to them, too. Giving them as much info as possible can help set them up and make them feel comfortable with what lies ahead.

[40:22] “Learning Labor Positions.” The third class is practicing some labor positions in an environment that simulates the intensity of a contraction that can help moms and dads practice their breath along with movement and get some of the “awkwardness” out so that they can remember it when the time comes.

[49:40] For any of Dawn’s students where interventions became part of the equation, they have ALL said that they felt in charge of those choices, informed, empowered and less scared about them. We can also tell you that where you labor makes a huge difference vs. birth center, home, etc.

[56:57] We don’t want to be in fear or defensive, and the more we can dialogue — the earlier possible — the better. It’s a good idea to get everyone involved with the birth on board before the actual labor begins.

[66:30] We give information on Dawn’s classes and how you can take them if you are currently in the Tampa area. 

Links to take you further

To Reach out to Dawn for private sessions

empoweredbirthseries@gmail.com

Link to register for Dec 7th Class - if  you don't have a mindbody account, it will take a brief minute to create one. 

http://bit.ly/2y384df

Links on induction - I will preface this with that these are for women who enjoy reading statistics and lots of detailed info. I find them fascinating but also get taken out sometimes with all the dates, etc.  But for the most part, Evidence Based Birth does a great job of compiling data and getting to a bottom line:

https://evidencebasedbirth.com/friedmans-curve-and-failure-to-progress-a-leading-cause-of-unplanned-c-sections/

https://evidencebasedbirth.com/evidence-on-inducing-labor-for-going-past-your-due-date/

Maternal Age:

https://evidencebasedbirth.com/advanced-maternal-age/

EPISODE 10 | 5 STEPS TO CLEARING UNFINISHED BUSINESS | Erin Gray, LCMHC

Unfinished Business & How it is Wrecking Your Fertility

Our topic today on Unfinished Business may feel really uncomfortable but it can be a game changer. It’s worth every ounce of your energy to shine a light on it so you don’t have to spend an eternity’s worth of energy repressing it. I am joined by the great Erin Gray and together we cover our definition of unfinished business, give specific details on how they could affect fertility, share some exercises to release repressed emotion, and help you decide when you may need to seek professional help on this topic.

Today's sponsor is Organic Conceptions, the online program designed to help you work through the emotions of an infertility journey with your partner yielding a better understanding of yourself, each other, and your relationship, all from the comfort of your own home.

Takeaways

[2:35] Disclaimer: This is a messy yet powerful topic. It only seems overwhelming because it may be something that’s been hidden away for a long long time, what we like to call a sleeping dragon. It’s really rather simple to address though and we’ve seen it be the difference maker in some really tough cases.

[3:03] Erin’s definition of unfinished business is anything that could be getting between you and an unsuccessful pregnancy or anything that doesn’t seem complete.

[5:45] Long before something hits your physical system, it has first run through your energetic, emotional and mental system. This is important to understand for treating and supporting all aspects and being sure not to blame yourself.

[9:35] We give some examples and more detail about sleeping dragons that need to be set free to open up your fertility. Some of these may include miscarriage, abortion, divorce, ‘ex’ relationships, kids from another relationship, fear of change or losing identity, inculturation, affairs, losing your body, remorse over past medical decisions, family relationships.

[27:37] We share some exercises for you to do on a separate piece of paper to just yourself.

 

[29:36] If you experience feelings of shame, crying, big emotions like anger or resistance, shutting down, or disassociation, physical feelings like those are the sleeping dragons and it’s very healthy and OK to get professional help.

[31:14] What are the steps to cleaning up our unfinished business?

  • Realize it may not be as big of a mess as you think it is.

  • Own your mess. No blame allowed here, only righteous ownership.

  • Decide if you need help, and what type of help works best for you.

  • Forgiveness of self or those that are involved.

  • Realize that just because you had unfinished business, it isn't a prognosis suggesting infertility. This is about you doing the work that is required to make sure there are no loose ends energetically because this is work only YOU can do.

[35:02] The mind is truly a powerful tool. We’ve witnessed this be a game changer for women that had multiple failed IVFs who went on to conceive naturally, to Advanced Maternal Age cases, to Sperm Donor cases where the pregnancy finally took after unearthing and addressing some unfinished business, so we know this is powerful stuff.

[36:56] We provide a quiz to hear more from you and to give you some of our expert advice on this topic.

 

Continue Your Journey:

Caroline Myss

Christiane Northrup



EPISODE 9 | MINDFUL MOMENTS | Forgiveness Meditations for Your Fertility Journey

A Fertility Meditation -Honing the Skill of Forgiveness

We are in interesting times. Everywhere you turn there seem to be intense emotions and angry accusations flying. From the #metoo to righteous anger over recent violent events, I thought it was a good time to record an antidote to all of this anger. Today we will be focusing on the skill of forgiveness. It's a skill that needs to be practiced in order to make it a permanent part of ourselves & anyone who's been trying to conceive can attest to the myriad of ways the Universe is presenting them with an opportunity to learn to forgive yourself and others. 


Takeaways

[:57] Anger is a powerful emotion and one that can cause great harm or tremendous growth. It's completely up to us how we choose to use it in our lives. And I say use it because it can create great movement in our lives and a fertility journey. Finally letting ourselves off the hook for something we did when we were 20, forgiving our partner if they have some sort of block to having a child whether that’s mental or physical, or forgiving ourselves for something we did or said, especially if when hormonally hijacked on something like Clomid can be key to opening up space within ourselves.

[1:15] Remaining angry with someone is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. Imagine what it does when the person you are angry with is you! Refusing to acknowledge our anger with ourselves or someone else can cause great harm on all three levels — physically, emotionally, and mentally. From a TCM perspective, we actually diagnose a type of depression that is the result of anger and frustration being turned inwards and pushed down until it eventually eats up all of a person's joy and turns into a smoldering depression. Sometimes I see this as a major cause of unexplained infertility.

[2:23] So what is the solution? First, identify what you are actually angry about, who you are angry at, and what part you played in the situation. After we identify it, we accept it as something that happened in the past or a past version of ourselves if we are to blame and then we commit to continue to release it as many times as it takes until we reach a state of complete forgiveness for everyone involved. This takes great patience and commitment but it’s the greatest gift we can give ourselves.

[3:20] Forgiveness is never for the other person. It's always for ourselves. It's letting go of something that is causing us great pain and it takes incredible strength and repetition to continue to forgiveness. One must not confuse this with weakness or with letting the other person or ourselves off of the hook.

[3:58] When you find you are having trouble forgiving, remember we are all human. And just as you’re not the culmination of one thing or one action or mistake, neither is someone else.

[4:04] In today's meditation we will be quietly asking ourselves some questions so we can zero in on where we carry the anger or frustration in our body and we will use a mantra to help release the bodily feeling or the obsessive thoughts that sometimes occur with anger. According to Ram Das in Buddhism mantra means “mind protecting.” A mantra protects the mind by preventing it from going into its usual mechanical habits, which often are not our optimal conscious perspective.

[4:50] Mantras can be super helpful when we are feeling consumed by a feeling or replaying someone's word or a situation in our head. Not only can you use this as the mantra during sitting meditation, but you can use it in your waking day when you become aware that your thoughts have drifted back into replay mode. When you become aware this is happening, simply repeat the mantra to yourself several times until you feel some space or peace open up inside of you.

[5:54] Today we will be using a mantra heralding the archetype of the Green Tara. In the Mahayana Buddhist tradition, it is believed that she is a Bodhisatta, or a Buddha, who has chosen to stay accessible to humans to help relieve their suffering. She is said to awaken our wisdom so we see the truth of our reality and to heighten the compassion of the person repeating her mantra or focusing on her figure.

[6:22] Buddhists say her qualities are accessible to anyone regardless of religion or creed, so fear not if aren't Buddhist, it can still be a strong practice. However, If you have a strong Christian background and this makes you uncomfortable I wish to stress that this isn't worshiping false Gods, rather it is asking to have the same qualities the figure was known to embody.

[7:27] The Sanskrit mantra we will be using is a bit of tongue twister, "Om Tare Tu Tare Ture Swaha" but that's okay because it will act as a magnet of concentration. Sanskrit mantras are interesting because they are based on seed syllables or Bija mantras, that set up vibrations fields though sound. They work even when recited silently, reverberating within.

[7:49] Meditation begins.

TEXT FORGIVENESS TO 44222 TO DOWNLOAD MEDITATION

[23:28]  Anytime in your waking day if you sense anger, or frustration, silently to yourself use the mantra to help release it as you remember your commitment to forgive for the sake of yourself.

[24:01] POEM from Prayers of Honoring, by Pixie Lighthorse.

 

Continue Your Journey & References:

EPISODE 8 | DO YOUR LADY PARTS NEED A COACH? | Mary Ellen Kramp, PT

Understanding the role physical therapy can have in treating infertility.

Today I am here with Mary Ellen Kramp, Physical Therapy Specialist as well as a technician in craniosacral therapy, lymphatic drainage, and visceral manipulation. We have a lively and in-depth talk on the importance of structural integration when you are trying to get pregnant, as well as during pregnancy, and then my favorite part of this topic, what you can do for yourself postpartum. Mary Ellen’s gentle approach has helped many women with issues both during pregnancy and postpartum. It’s rare that women get referred for physical therapy related to fertility issues, but Mary Ellen works hard to change any stigma, open up a dialogue, and be an advocate for the benefits and health-related gains of seeing either her or a practitioner with a similar approach. Finally, we talk with her about self-care being one of the most important things you can do for yourself, your partner, and your baby, along with her advice for those trying to have a baby.



Takeaways

[2:15] Mary Ellen gives the background of her becoming a physical therapist. Both she and I are nerds at heart with a love for the human body and healing! She ended up getting a reputation as the person to see when no one could figure out what was going on with them.

[5:20] The normal fertility rate is 57% of couples trying by 3 months will become pregnant, and her results were bringing people up to the average.

[9:27] Mary Ellen raised therapy guide dogs and now there are puppies at her office!

[11:49] Mary Ellen takes a very gentle, yet effective, approach to physical therapy for infertility. She looks for trigger points, muscular and structural issues, and acts as a catalyst to get the body to release what it does not need.

[16:21] Mary Ellen looks at both the pelvic muscles to see if there is anything to be released and then next the lymphatic system. The lymph system and fascia are both two crucial elements often overlooked when it comes to fertility and women’s health.

[20:43] She often treats women during pregnancy around week 36 to help prevent birth trauma. Some need just one appointment, and some need more frequent treatment.

[24:05] Postpartum work is super important to help a plethora of issues that women may think they are stuck with for the rest of their life.

[34:46] Women in France take a few weeks after giving birth to get physical therapy for their pelvic floor walls.

[37:29] Mary Ellen and I both stress the importance of self-care after giving birth.

[39:36] Her one piece of advice for women trying to get pregnant: there is so much more than just Western Medicine. You have to do what you need to become pregnant, but keep an open mind to the body/mind connection and “alternative” treatments.

[42:10] With some women who have abuse and trauma in their past, their pelvic floor holds a lot of tension. Usually, it helps to deal with the emotional portion first, and then it will help to unblock the head and the heart. Then a physical worker can help clear some of the trauma.

Screen Shot 2018-09-27 at 3.14.10 PM.png

Special thanks to Dr. Frank Netter for spending his life creating such amazing anatomy drawings for geeks like me!

 

Continue Your Journey:

NCCAOM.Org

American Herbalist Guild 

Atlas of Human Anatomy

Pelvichealthresearch.org 

Mechanicalinfertilitystudy.com

Reliefathand.com

Episode 7 | Is Adrenal Fatigue Behind Your Infertility?

Treating Adrenal Fatigue Naturally to Restore Your Fertility for Both Males & Females

Description: In today’s episode we are talking all about burnout — how it happens, how to recover naturally, which herbs to take and why meditation helps. I will also cover how long it takes to fully recover, and why so many of us in our culture experience a higher level of stress than ever before. As we mentioned in previous episodes, our society puts an emphasis on “doing” rather than “being” and accomplishment rather than relaxation and rejuvenation. While both are necessary for a balanced and successful life, we’ve seen more cases of burnout and adrenal fatigue than ever before, and I wanted to tackle the subject of which herbs could help those of you who are just plain burned out. Today, I'll be going through the main adaptogens and highlighting their functions when it comes to treating fertility in both men and women, along with their general functions, so you can make an informed choice for your situation.

Takeaways

[:59] We have seen more cases of burnout and adrenal fatigue recently in my clinic due to the effects of Hurricane Irma.

[1:49] Burnout happens when you’ve pushed your stress response system past its limit of nightly repair. You’ve been ‘stretched’ for so long that you’ve actually started to put a strain on your body rather than simply being mentally fatigued. It begins to take a toll on your physicality and your reproductive hormones take a nosedive,  along with your immune system, energy, and cognitive repair mechanisms. Your brain starts saying, “I can’t let you keep pushing yourself like this anymore, so I’m going to basically send you into exhaustion and breakdown so you have no choice but to hit the brakes and pull over to the side of the road.”

[2:25] Dr. Hammer, my mentor, used to describe adrenal fatigue like this as a type of protective depression that comes over the body in order to force you to rest.

[3:32] Here are just some of the many common symptoms and health problems caused by adrenal burnout:

  • Blood sugar problems and insulin resistance, which is both prediabetes and hypoglycemia

  • Brain fog, concentration problems

  • Difficulty falling asleep (you feel “tired and wired”) or restless sleep

  • Digestive symptoms

  • Fatigue, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

  • Feeling stuck in the “on” position – overwhelmed and overdrive

  • Food cravings, especially for sugar, carbs, or fatty foods, and afternoon sugar or caffeine cravings

  • Frequent colds, infections

  • High blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes

  • Hormonal imbalances, PMS, fertility problems, menopause symptoms

  • Inflammation, joint pain, fibromyalgia

  • Irritability, anxiety, or depression

  • Waking up tired in the morning

  • Weight gain (especially that “spare tire” or those “muffin tops”) due to cortisol being released

[5:49] Today I'll be talking exclusively about my favorite category of herbs called adaptogens to help you heal your adrenal fatigue and burnout. Adaptogens are a group of herbs that were first categorized with that name around the 1940s, though they’ve been used in traditional herbalism for thousands of years for their ability to improve stamina, fertility, and immunity, and as general tonics to promote longevity and well-being. Adaptogens help to regulate the hypothalamus and adrenal glands (your HPA axis), which are in charge of your stress response and cortisol production. In a stressful situation, adaptogenic herbs maintain and restore balance, normalizing your physiological response to prevent your body and mind from jumping into overdrive and becoming exhausted at every stressor. This protects your skin and body from the toll of stress and the damage of hormones like cortisol that stress releases.

[7:32] The herbs that I am discussing in this series all fall into the “generally regarded as safe” category, but that does not mean they are safe for everyone. There aren't many studies done with these herbs during pregnancy, and not all herbs are suitable for all people, so just something to keep in mind along your journey.

[8:28] Many herbs work synergistically with other herbs, so even though I am going to outline individual herbs in this series, keep in mind that most of them, if not all, are going to work best when they are combined with other compatible herbs. This is also an area where an herbalist's training and skill can take healing to a whole new level. That said, there is also value in the practice of “simpling,” where you focus on using just one single herb so you can intimately connect with its effects before using in a more powerful combination.

[9:06] While you'll start to feel improvements in as little as a week, I tell most patients to stay on them for 3-6 months and then come off and see how you feel. It all depends on how depleted you are and it takes some time to reverse damage from prolonged stress.

[10:45] Rhodiola Rosea

Rhodiola Rosea is one of the most clinically researched adaptogens with widespread traditional uses. With the ability to aid in regulating the production of cortisol, it manifests anti-fatigue, anti-inflammatory, and antidepressant benefits. Rhodiola has been studied for the ability to reduce stress in night duty physicians and fight off the fatigue of students caused by stress during exams. Strong scientific evidence for Rhodiola Rosea SHR-5 extract exists in improving attention, cognitive function, and mental performance in fatigue and in chronic fatigue syndrome. Rhodiola extract helps promote a calm emotional state and supports strong mental performance, optimal immune function, and hormonal balance. If you've ever seen it in its raw form you immediately notice its light pink color and sweet rose scent. Its cooling nature helps to avoid jitteriness that can sometimes be a side effect of other adaptogens like ginseng. This is why I reach for Rhodiola when I'm trying to reduce anxiety in a patient. It also improves mental and physical stamina, improves sleep, and reduces, “burn out,” and irritability. It boosts the immune system, decreases the frequency of colds and infections, and reduces inflammation. It is used in the treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome as well as fibromyalgia. It can be beneficial for poor appetite and as part of a treatment plan for chronic stress headaches. It's helpful in the treatment of ADHD, especially when coupled with high doses of essential fatty acids like fish oil. Personally I have used it multiple times while climbing the Pyrenees to avoid altitude sickness. It works exceptionally well for this when combined with cordyceps, reishi mushroom, and holy basil. In Tibet, it's been used for eons before ascending Everest. If you are interested in coming to the Pyrenees with me next year, check out our retreats page for more info.

[14:02] This herb has been coveted and used as medicine by many over thousands of years.The ancient Chinese had such regard for this herb that they sent expeditions into Siberia to obtain it. Siberians also secretly transported it down to the Caucasian mountains where it was traded for wines, honey, and garlic. And newly married Siberian couples routinely receive bouquets of Rhodiola as a sentiment towards increasing fertility. In men it improves erectile dysfunction, low libido. In women it relieves amenorrhea and infertility caused by minor hormonal imbalances or stress. And because of its additional ability to control blood sugars, it can be useful in the treatment of Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).  

Dose: 200-400 mg in capsules or tablets daily OR 2-3 mL (40-60 drops) of tincture, in water, 2-3 times daily. As a decoration simmer 1-2 tsp with 8-10 oz water for 15 min covered for then steep for an additional 45 minutes. Strain and consume 1-3 cups per day as needed. Use products standardized to 2-3% rosavin and 0.8-1% salidroside and of the Rosea variety.

Cautions: Avoid if you have bipolar depression with manic behavior. Rarely it can cause insomnia in very sensitive people.

Adrenal Response by Innate 

Adrenal Response CC by Innate 

HPA Axis by Gaia

Cortisol Calm — paired with the next herb Ashwagandha

[15:42]  Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha, sometimes known as Indian ginseng, is one of the most commonly used adaptogen herbs in Ayurvedic healing to help balance and restore the body. Ashwagandha is a powerful calming agent, naturally lowering cortisol, reducing fatigue, balancing thyroid hormones and regulating immune function.

Ashwagandha has over 4,000 years of traditional use in India. It is considered both a food and a tonic medicine for improving energy, memory and learning, promoting libido, and preventing premature aging. Ashwagandha is calming and anti-inflammatory. It is used to improve sleep, reduce anxiety, improve memory, and reduce inflammation and oxidative stress (damage from inflammation). It boosts the immune system, is included in the treatment of arthritis, and can be beneficial in the treatment of fertility challenges.

It has been used in Ayurvedic medicine mixed with ghee and honey to treat low sperm count and sexual debility. In a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial that investigated a group of 46 male patients between 26 and 40 years of age who had low sperm count, between 5-20 million/ml. The group receiving the treatment were given 225 mg per day of a full spectrum root extract of ashwagandha. Ashwagandha root has also been used traditionally as an aphrodisiac and has been found in numerous studies to increase the secretion of testosterone in humans and animals.

Surprisingly, after just 90 days of therapy, the study found that the Ashwagandha group experienced a whopping 167% increase in the amount of sperm when compared to the control group. It was also found that the Ashwagandha group experienced a 57% increase in sperm motility. Serum testosterone also increased in this study by 17%, and LH (luteinizing hormone) by 54%. It is quite clear that ashwagandha is a tonic to the male reproductive system when the information from this study and previous studies are combined. It is for this reason that I recommend that women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome do NOT use Ashwagandha for stress, fertility or adrenal health (even though it is present in many fertility formulas for women). Women with PCOS already have high levels of male hormones and in theory, Ashwagandha could take the hormones the wrong way. It is thought that ashwagandha works not only through improving male hormone parameters but also by reducing stress. it is known that stress increases the amount of radical oxygen species that can damage the sperm. It can be helpful for a woman that is experiencing weakness from repeated heavy menstrual bleeding or recurrent miscarriage. I like it mixed with holy basil and nettles for this indication.

[19:27] Aviva Romm suggests It’s suited for when you might say:

  • I’m tired and wired.

  • I struggle to fall asleep.

  • I have chronically achy and painful joints or arthritis.

  • I deal with memory and brain fog.

  • I’m nervous or anxious.

  • I have chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, or chronic muscle tension.

Dose: 3 to 6 grams of the dried herb in capsule form daily OR 1 to 4 mL (20-80 drops) of tincture, in water, 3 times per day. Decoction: take 1/2 tsp dried root in 8 oz of water, simmer for 10 minutes, steep for an additional 30 min. Consume 4 oz 2-3 times a day as needed.

Cautions: Not for use in pregnancy; though not likely to be a problem, use cautiously if you are sensitive to plants in the nightshade family; avoid with pharmaceutical sedatives and pain medications. Avoid if you have hemochromatosis (excess iron). Avoid using if you have hyperthyroid.

[20:04] Holy Basil: The Vitalizer

Holy or “sacred” basil has been revered in India for over 5,000 years as an herb that calms the mind and spirit and promotes longevity. In Ayurvedic medicine, it is called Tulsi, which means “incomparable one.” It is used to improve energy and relieve fatigue, for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant actions, and to lower blood glucose, triglycerides, and cholesterol. Holy basil may also protect the liver, helps with nicotine withdrawal, and elevates the mood, especially providing relief from mild depression. While this herb is related to common basil, it is a different species and common basil is not a substitute. Not only is it used as a medicinal, it is sacred to the Hindu religion and is used in the morning prayers to ensure personal health, spiritual purity, and familial well-being. Strings of beads from the plant's stems are used in meditation to give clarity and protection, hence its name. Daily use of this herb is believed to help maintain the balance of the chakras of the body. It is acclaimed as possessing sattva (energy or purity) and as being capable of bringing on goodness, virtue, and joy.

Properties: adaptogens, antibacterial, antidepressant, antioxidant, antiviral, carminative, diuretic, expectorant, galactagogue (promotes the flow of breast milk), and immunomodulator.

Dose: 2-3 mL (40–60 drops) of tincture, in water, three times daily

Cautions: None known.

[22:32] Shatavari: The Hormonal Harmonizer, Queen of Women’s Adaptogens                            

Shatavari is considered the “Queen of Herbs” in Ayurvedic medicine, where it is beloved as one of the most powerful rejuvenating tonics for women. It is nourishing and calming, as well as hormonally balancing; it is used for irritability and many hormonal imbalances affecting the mood, for example, emotional symptoms of PMS and menopause. It is also used as a fertility tonic and may be used for vaginal dryness, low libido, and sleep problems and perimenopause. In addition, research suggests benefits for improving immunity, antioxidant activity, improved insulin secretion, reduction in gastric acidity, and the prevention of stress ulcers. It has mild estrogenic and cholesterol-lowering effects.

Dose: 2-4 mL (40-80 drops) of tincture, in water, 2-3 times daily

Cautions: Avoid if you have a history of estrogen-receptor positive cancer.

“Due to lack of safety data, I do not recommend adaptogens for use during pregnancy, however, they are considered safe for use while breastfeeding, and can help new moms to cope with the stress and demands of sleepless nights! I also do not recommend adaptogens if you are taking any medications that suppress the immune system, unless your doctor also approves, as there can be herb-drug interactions in this case.”

— Hillary Talbott

 

Continue Your Journey- Links, References & Citations:

Herbal Consult

You wouldn't take your car to the plumber to get it fixed so why wouldn't you consult an herbalist when looking for the safest natural fertility solution when you are trying to conceive? Customizing herbal blends and sourcing them from safe and reputable suppliers is what I do all day long every day and I want to help you and your partner feel better and conceive faster. With this option you will undergo the same evaluation I put my acupuncture patients through before prescribing anything. We will go over your history & your partner's history, current medications, past bbt's, and any past labs so you know you are receiving a custom herbal solution unique to you. 

EPISODE 6 | MASCULINE & FEMININE ENERGY | Erin Gray

Description: Hello and welcome to a fun and juicy episode, all about male and female energies. Today we will be answering the question: what’s the difference between these energies and why does it matter when it comes to conception? Our guest on today’s show is the lovely Erin Gray, mental health counselor and licensed massage therapist extraordinaire. We also talk about balancing the male / female energies, the cultural background of how we got here in the first place, what not to do, and solid examples you can try out today.

 

 

Takeaways:

[1:15] I invite you to join me in Sweden this summer at my Relax & Recharge Retreat in the Land of the Midnight Sun. Imagine doing daily yoga and meditation surrounded by horses and alpacas, being served farm-to-table organic meals, and hiking or journaling as you practice simply BEING. Of course, partners and friends are welcome, but this meditation retreat is designed to help you get in touch with your male and female energies and the balancing act of giving and receiving. To learn more about that you can visitladypotions.com/retreats for specifics.

[2:23] We welcome our guest, Erin Gray. Erin was featured in Episode 4, as well, where we talk about “Doing vs. Being.”

[3:16] I’m a woman married to a man, why do I need to how to operate from my male or female energy? First, the biological functions. It throws our cortisol levels off, throws us into fight or flight mode, and creates a cascade of hormonal imbalance.

[6:22] In order to optimize your fertility, it’s important to balance the energy of womanly “receiving” and male “doing.”

[9:14] If culture values doing over reflection, how did we get this way? Culturally women want to feel valued, so it is natural that we would align to try and fit in. However, the tides are changing and more women in society are owning their femininity.

[12:39] What happens to men when we compete with them, and how do we correct it when it happens? We each have masculine and feminine energy, and the ideal situation is where there is a polarity between the two.

[15:16] Men want to show up for the feminine. If we emasculate them, they will shut down and not engage with us.

[17:23] What would you tell a listener who just realized she’s been operating from her masculine side? We hear my own personal story about it! One of the best ways to jump quickly into the feminine is to softly ask for what we need and what would make us happy. We also need to soften to our own desire to our feminine place.

[24:19] We give some examples of how to step down from your masculine energy and invite your man to step up from his. It’s like magic!

[28:49] Praising your partner has energetic benefits for both you and your man.

DOWLOAD YOUR CHEAT SHEET HERE

Continue Your Journey:

To learn more about the Relax & Recharge Retreat:ladypotions.com/retreats

To connect with Erin Gray: Erinmgray.abmp.com

About Erin:

Erin M. Gray is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and a Licensed Massage Therapist. She graduated from Nova Southeastern University with a Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling and from Bhakti Academe School of Intuitive Massage and Healing with a diploma and certifications in Level V Bhakti Massage and Bhakti Energy Work. She is also certified as a Level I Aromatherapy Practitioner.

 

EPISODE 5 | MINDFUL MOMENTS | Don Miguel Ruiz - The Four Agreements

“Your beliefs become your thoughts, Your thoughts become your words, Your words become your actions, Your actions become your habits, Your habits become your values, Your values become your destiny.”

— Mahatma Gandhi

 

Episode 5- Mindful Moments and The Four Agreements

Thank you for joining me for the first installment of Mindful Moments on Fertile Minds Radio. If you listened to episode 1 or you have worked with me in the past than you already know meditation is a large part of what I do to keep rising towards the best version of myself AND a big part of what I teach to my patients in order to help them have a deeper inner awareness and to achieve high mental clarity. Now, you might be asking yourself what this has to do with fertility? 

In my opinion it has everything to do with conceiving and here’s why. I think of meditation as a tool that we can use to help cultivate peace during stressful times. It’s a practice that starts to leak into the rest of our daily life, helping us to feel calm and clear even when we are in the middle of the storm with big decisions to be made. Further more, it’s a tool that we can use to calm the nervous system. 

When the nervous system is in fight or flight, it’s broadcasting the message to every single sell in our bodies that the world is not a safe place at the moment and it’s certainly not a good time to procreate. It’s telling our immunity and sex hormones to drop, our blood to clot incase we get cut and shunting our blood flow to our limbs away fro our organs so we can fight or run away. Now most of us have pretty stressful lives and end up in a low grade fight or flight most of our day. The problem is, that the reptilian part of our brain that governs our body's reaction to whether the Nervous System is broadcasting the message “fight or run” vs “it’s time to feed and breed,” doesn’t realize that normal stressors like your boss, a full email inbox, or getting your period when you were sure that you were pregnant this time, isn’t exactly the same as a saber tooth tiger ready to make us their next meal. This is why meditation is a valuable tool now more than ever. It can over-ride this very primal part of our brain that hasn’t yet caught up to the immense stimuli we come into contact with moment to moment. Life has changed at a rapid pace, but our brains are a little slow to catch up- and believe it or not the tool of mediation can help us to hack our own nervous system. 

 

 

So it can help us to stay calm not only while trying to conceive, but while we are pregnant which is super important because that baby is being bathed in a biochemical reaction you creating in reaction to every thought you have. Think about that for a second. You have a thought, an emotion occurs, neurons in your brain fire changing your biochemistry and bam, your baby absorbs it. This is why I love to teach women to meditate BEFORE they get pregnant. 

And lastly, don’t forget the ultimate test for which you will be super glad you have access to this tool called meditation- parenting. 

Your kids are going to challenge you to grow on every single level more than you could ever dream. They’re like little mirrors of self realization beaming back at you 24/7 and we all know self awareness or constructive criticism is easier to take when your calm, so why not cultivate this practice now?

At the beginning of the episode I read a quote for Ghandi that I absolutely love. It’s such a great reminder that it’s our minds that ultimately create our destiny.

There is alignment between our inner dialogue and our outer dialogue... between what we’re thinking and what we’re doing; between how we’re feeling and how we’re living life; between what our thoughts are and what we’re saying.

It’s easier to speak from the heart when there’s alignment.  It’s easier to not have to wonder, “Is this person really on my side?”  There’s passion and excitement in your alignment, there’s freedom and a code that lets you live your human expression from a more universal space.  This couldn’t be more important than when you are communicating with your partner and your health care providers during this vulnerable time of trying to conceive. 

Today’s meditation is based on a simple code that I find relevant to clarity, daily evolution, & personal transformation: the Four Agreements by the author don Miguel Ruiz. Now, my meditation teacher davidji has encouraged me to get this meditation out there because it’s so useful to so many. It’s so simple, yet so true. I used to have a print out of the four agreements hanging on the wall next to my desk during graduate school, because it seemed that every patient I had that was emotionally suffering could somehow be relieved by simply adopting one or a few of these agreements into their lives. 

It's a powerful code to integrate into every word, thought and deed, and mostly likely –these four timeless truths- are already integrated in some way into your Sacred Values.  If nothing else, they can act as a powerful opener of your heart; and that will allow you to create more love in your life, feel more love and give more love. If you are asking yourself right now, I don’t know what my sacred values are, I encourage you to check out davidji’s new book Sacred Powers launching this Winter. In it you’ll find powerful exercises to execute after you meditate to help you design your divine code. Once you decide the principles you are committed to living your life by, making decisions big and small get a whole lot easier. 

The Four Agreements are:

#1.  Be impeccable with your word. 

#2.  Don’t take anything personally

#3.  Don’t make assumptions

#4.  Always do your best

For today’s meditation I’m going to give you examples of how don Miguel Ruiz’s concept of the four agreements could pertain to a fertility journey. So Get comfy and let's meditate together. 

If you love this meditation and want to own it without this intro so you can do it anytime anyplace simply text 4Agreements to 44222. 

 

Continue the Journey

Your Brain On Meditation- What Happens?

My beloved teacher davidji

The Four Agreements- Audible

The Four Agreements- Amazon

Special Thanks to Musician

Christopher Lloyd Clark

This Meditation- text 4Agreements to 44222- if you get a message that say service access denied call T mobile and ask them to "enable short message codes."

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EPISODE 4 | DOING VS BEING | Erin Gray, LCMHC

I had the pleasure of working with today’s guest, Erin Gray, in a previous practice and fell in love with her unique style and impressive skill set. She can unravel problems and focus on the root of the issue by working with the patient in partnership with their energetic and emotional body. She helps women everywhere gain clarity and insight along their process towards wellness. Today’s episode is all about doing vs. being and the false notions that we are lazy or passive when we receive. Our generation has been raised to be goal-oriented and to go after what we want, whether it’s a law degree or a new car. While being independent is great and what the culture values, infertility is way different and it’s important to value receiving to get pregnant and stay pregnant. There's power in learning how to lean into doing things for the purpose of feeling good rather than to achieve a specific result. Finally, Erin and I give some tips for self-care that hopefully will provide listeners with a feeling of hope, relaxation, and gratitude.

“You have a right to perform your prescribed duties, but you are not entitled to the fruits of your actions. Never consider yourself to be the cause of the results of your activities, nor be attached to inaction.”

— BHAGAVAD GITA CHAPTER 2 VERSE 47

“We are talking about divine timing. That is absolutely not the same thing as setting and achieving a goal.”

— ERIN GRAY

Takeaways:

[7:15] Today’s episode is specifically on doing vs. being. Doing is masculine, directive, and action-oriented. Being is subtle and feminine and receptive.

[10:54] Learning how to receive can be uncomfortable and a foreign experience. You are not alone and many women wonder what’s wrong with them or what else they can do.

[17:42] It is normal to feel frustrated or sad when what you are hoping for doesn’t happen right away. Many times it’s between 3-5 months before the feeling kicks in for most women who are trying to conceive.

[21:23] We introduce the pleasure principle of women learning how to have joy and kindness to themselves and to listen to what their body is telling them.

[24:42] Some self-care activities that are free (mostly) include: reading a nice book, journaling, taking a relaxing bath, and meditating.

[29:45] Learning to be alone is one of the most important gifts you can give yourself and the loved ones around you.

 

Continue Your Journey:

Erin Gray

Pussy: A Reclamatio

“Your willingness dictates the pace. Instead of just giving you the answers, a great healer helps you find yourself.”

— HILLARY TALBOTT

About Erin:

Erin M. Gray is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and a Licensed Massage Therapist. She graduated from Nova Southeastern University with a Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling and from Bhakti Academe School of Intuitive Massage and Healing with a diploma and certifications in Level V Bhakti Massage and Bhakti Energy Work. She is also certified as a Level I Aromatherapy Practitioner.

EPISODE 3 | Can Herbs Treat Infertility & How to Use Them Safely

HERBS FOR FERTILITY- PART 1

This episode is meant to give you a glimpse at how herbs can be safely used in treating infertility. I could do an entire show just on herbs alone, but today I'll be giving you the basics so you have a better understanding of how herbs might help and why exactly we are prescribing what we are. Herbs can seem scary for a gal that’s used to prescriptions and my hope is that this episode can shed a little light on not only how helpful they can be, but to help you feel more secure about how and why to use them. And if you are one of those that wants to do it all yourself, I’ll point you to some resources to find more information on your journey of self-discovery. For those of you that want to know why, but prefer to let a board-certified practitioner diagnose and prescribe, I’m going to tell you how to find one of those too. So let’s dive in.

 

 

Takeaways:

[4:20] Herbs are amazing tools to treat infertility and have been used by most cultures on the planet to enhance fertility for thousands of years. There is historical evidence that the Egyptians, Greeks, Chinese, and Indian cultures all used them in this fashion.

[5:57] The 8 Pillars and the philosophy behind enhancing fertility when using TCM is this. Balance the body out and it will get pregnant on its own. Truly it’s that simple.

If there is heat, cool it.

If there is cold, warm it up.

If there is dryness somewhere in the body, find it, find the herb that moistens that part of the body and use it. 

If there is dampness, dry it.

If there is deficiency, supplement it.

If there are signs of excess, drain it.

[6:59] Western Herbalists like an “eye for an eye” treatment; where they match the biochemical makeup of the herb to the condition, looking at it's proportions of flavonoids, glycosides, and terpenoids. Eclectic medicine was a branch of American medicine which made use of botanical remedies along with other substances and physical therapy practices, popular in the latter half of the 19th and the first half of the 20th centuries.

[9:22] TCM, or Traditional Chinese Medicine can treat the unexplained and confusing occurrences in the body that sometimes Western medicine can’t.

[11:41] Aryuvedic medicine uses the doshas as a diagnostic paradigm and relies heavily on herb and food as medicine.

The three doshas — Vata, Pitta, and Kapha — are derived from the five elements. Also known as mind-body types, the doshas express unique blends of physical, emotional, and mental characteristics. In Ayurveda, health is defined as the dynamic state of balance between mind, body, and environment. You can achieve and maintain a vibrant and joyful state of health by identifying your mind-body type and creating a lifestyle that supports your unique nature.

Continue Your Journey: 

Deepak Chopra

Dosha Quiz

Adrenal Thyroid Revolution

Find an Acupuncturist

American Herbalists Guild

National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine