The Skinny On Acupuncture For Fertility

How soon should I come in for treatment?

The sooner the better. This doesn’t mean we can’t help you if you are late in your journey. We’ve seen it all from, “I’m trying to decide if I want to have a baby,” all the way to, "I’m having an IVF procedure in two weeks and I heard acupuncture can help.” After 10 years of doing this, my personal preference is to come 3 months prior to IVF if possible and as soon as you have made the decision to start trying to conceive. 

With natural conception the sooner we can regulate a menstrual cycle, educate and correct any timing issues, do diagnostic tests, and introduce the concept of becoming more Yin in order to receive life, the sooner we usually have success.  

With IVF we want to build the foundation to its peak level BEFORE going into a cycle. This is even more important when you consider the fact you will potentially harvesting eggs that will ultimately turn into more than one child. The length of follicular genesis of an egg ready to ovulate from the germ cell that it originated from deep within the ovary is 90-120 days. By treating the woman during this portion of the growth you can potentially have an outcome on its genetic expression that is positive while circulating as much nourishing blood to the ovaries and regulating the cycle to create an optimum uterine lining. 

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What Does Meditation Have to Do With Trying to Conceive?

Why should you meditate when trying to conceive? Here is the simple easy to digest answer. When you are stressed, even in low grade fight or flight, our sex hormones drop. Our brain tells our body that our surroundings are not safe enough to create and sustain life so it short circuits our hormones before we can even try. When you meditate 15-30 minutes a day, you actually move your nervous system from fight or flight into a state known as rest and digest or breed and feed sending the message to your body that all is well and normal programming can begin again. Your body wants to create life, just not in the face of stress. The problem is, the reptilian part of our brain that sounds the stress alarm bells and ceases hormonal production hasn’t caught up with modern day society. It thinks your email dinger or that doctors appointment you have scheduled is the equivalent to a saber tooth tiger waiting to make you lunch. After 8 weeks of meditation your brain actually starts to reshape itself, specifically in the hippocampus and the amygdala, the areas that help with our resolve to keep trying and proper emotional responses.

Nod with me if you could stand to be a little less emotionally reactive and strengthen your resolve to keep trying to having a healthy happy baby.

Thirty minutes of meditation has even been shown to be more powerful than REM sleep. How can this be? Well, after the sun has risen and we are still trying to sleep, our pineal gland stops making melatonin and serotonin (feel good calming hormones). Our skin actually relays the message to our pineal gland via mitochondria that the sun is up and it’s time to stop making those hormones.

When we meditate during the day, it by passes this message affecting the pineal gland directly turning on our ability to continue to make these super calming hormones enabling us to sleep better and fight the, “Where’s my baby blues?” 

I often describe fertility struggles as a path of spiritual endurance, because no matter whether you practice religion or not, your resolve and faith is tested over and over. Meditation can help you dig deep and find your resolve and confidence. 

This is exactly why I created the first ever Fertility Meditation challenge.

This is something that has been on my mind and in my heart for years now and it’s really cool seeing it all finally piece together in this work of art really. It’s been huge for me to be able to creative express myself and teach a population that deserves as much help as they can get. And it’s allowing me to affect the lives of as many people as possible. If I can teach people how to know themselves better faults and all, how to love a little deeper, how to stay cool and calm under stress, and how communicate in a more conscious manner BEFORE they become parents, I actually get to help shape the trajectory of lives before they are created and to me that’s just so cool. Men and Women spend so much money on anything that will help them try to conceive, and I wanted to create a free place of sanctuary for them. 

These practices will help you to ease suffering, break through limiting beliefs, regain touch with yourself and your partner, and increase your resolve to keep trying and your enhance your faith in your body.

My beloved teacher, davidji pioneered this path by creating the first ever meditation challenge when he was Deepak Chopra's right hand man for a decade. All of those Deepak & Oprah challenges are a result of his day dream and I now I have followed his path crafting a challenge that is truly unique to the needs of a couple trying to conceive. 

Because Meditation has its roots in other cultures I thought I would go over a couple basic terms so you feel confident along the way. You'll also get a feel for the types of meditations you will be doing during the challenge.  

You’ll hear me say Mantra a lot. The word mantra means Mind Vehicle or Mind Tool. It is the tool we will use as a point of light focus. Learning to direct your attention where you want it rather than being reactively tossed around like a ping pong ball certainly has its benefits when you think about doctors appointments, procedures, giving blood, awaiting test results or even the two week wait. You’ll learn how to redirect yourself from that recording in your mind to a happier calmer place. I don’t know about you, but the recording that replays in my mind can say some pretty harsh stuff when it gets going. The mantra meditation will help you to understand that you have thoughts, but you aren’t your thoughts and that you have the ability to place your awareness anywhere you want, even when that recording is really really loud. 

The other term you will hear a ton is chakra. Chakra means wheel. I like to think of it as an energetic gear with a certain job. Sometimes that gear is well oiled and moving nicely, other times it gets clogged and rusty. Being that all 7 gears or chakras interlock with one another like the insides of a watch, if one is stuck it can throw the entire system off. Chakras are energetic centers that have the ability to house our emotions and beliefs. And because energy precedes matter, energetic accumulations or depletion in these areas starts to affect our physiology over time. We are going to spend a lot of time in this challenge, cleaning them out, oiling them up and examining and tossing any belief that don’t serve you and your ability to become a parent. 

Here's an example of what you'll experience each day.

There are colors associated with each chakra. Some people see or sense them immediately, others do not and it takes some time. Just like some people are a visual learner over auditory or kinetic which is learning by feeling and doing, your strengths in meditation will take on one of those characteristics. I was one of those people that couldn't see the colors at first, though I was acutely aware of the feeling of the chakra in my body when I placed my attention on it. So don’t worry if you don’t see the colors, or if you can’t seem to hold onto a mantra, or you don’t feel what I’m describing. This is the very reason I am presenting you with three different ways of meditating so you can find your strengths and or develop your weaknesses. 

And finally, why acupressure points? I wanted to help bring your meditations into the body so I choose to add them in. The meridians or what are known as the extraordinary vessels in traditional chinese medicine that I have chosen for this challenge, are the ones I use in my practice when treating fertility and gynecological issues with great success. I wanted to give everyone the experience of being able to tap into these areas, regardless of where you live or whether or not you can afford acupuncture. Don’t worry about getting the point perfectly right. There will be pictures and you’ll hear me describe where to go during the meditation. It’s more about the intention and using your mind to connect with areas of your body than it is about getting it exactly right so don’t get hung up on perfection. 

There will be a place at the end of each meditation where you can comment about what you liked or didn’t like and if you feel open to sharing any questions or experiences you had, great! 

This challenge begins August 26th. I’m keeping the doors open for the first 3 days, until August 29th. There's great power in a collective group of people doing something together and I want to keep everyone at relatively the same place to capitalize on the power of this unique collective.

If you know anyone that could benefit, reach out to them and lift them up by inviting them in! 

 

Click the image below & you’ll find the path to a brief chakra meditation that goes over all seven chakras.

Some days we will be focusing on one or two, but truly they work together as a system which is why you will be starting with all of them. I wanted to give you a little taste of the kind of meditations we will be doing. I’ll see you then!

 

 

So What Are Your Chances of Getting Pregnant? 9 Things to Consider if you are Putting Fertility On the Back Burner

Preserving your fertility starts here.

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What is PCOS? And how did my ovary end up with a pearl necklace??

Polycystic ovarian syndrome or as it is currently referred to as PCOS is not as pretty as it appears on your ultrasound.  At first glance it looks like your ovaries have adorned themselves in your mother's pearls. Tiny cysts strung close together, suspended from your ovaries in a sea of abdominal fluid are not this season's new fashion accessory, but none the less this diagnosis is certainly on the rise. It used to be thought that only women who were obese and displayed amenorrhea (no menstrual periods) were the only ones that harbored these troublesome cysts, but that is no longer the case.  More and more I am seeing women turn up in my clinic who are not overweight (in fact some are underweight), who do not display secondary sexual characteristics (hair in the wrong place), and who have had some periods or even have normal menstrual cycles with a diagnosis of PCOS.  Many of these women have no idea that they have PCOS until they try to conceive without success and go looking for answers, until one of the cysts bursts sending them to the hospital thinking their appendix is rupturing, or they start noticing they are sprouting hair in the wrong places. Possible Causes and Solutions

  • Imbalances in hormones-Avoid commercially-raised, non-organic meats such as beef, chicken, and pork and commercial dairy products including milk, butter, cheese, and ice cream – Use only organic products that do not contain bovine growth hormone to avoid adding to the existing hormonal imbalance.
  • Insulin resistance- cut back on carbs! Excess blood insulin is thought to confuse all the receptors in your body, with the exception of your ovaries. They accept the extra insulin further disrupting the hormonal imbalance causing more pearls (immature, unreleased eggs that form a cyst). Losing 5-10% of your body weight if overweight can rebalance your hormones, cut your risk for diabetes, and re-stimulate your thyroid to work properly. Remember, alcohol turns into carbohydrate (sugar). 20 min of exercise ( a brisk walk) after your largest meal helps to lower insulin levels in the blood stream.

Additional tips to avoid Xenoestrogens (hormonal disruptors)

  •  Do not heat food or water with plastic in the microwave. Do not drink hot liquids in foam styrofoam cups or receptacles.
  • Avoid plastic water bottles all together! Not only is the plastic turning your water in to a hormonal disruptor, but its destroying the environment for your unborn children!
  • Do NOT use dryer sheets or fabric softener.
  • Do not use anything on the skin with parabens or phenoxyethanol in them. This includes shampoo, soap, makeup, hand lotion, body lotion, and toothpaste. Oral substances are 90% filtered by the liver. Skin-absorbed substances are 100% absorbed by the body, thus, a skin dose is 10 times an oral dose. Personally I love Nardo's Naturals.
  • Avoid coffee. Avoid decaf coffee. No caffeine. No colas. Caffeine increases estradiol levels by 70%!
  • No sunflower oil, no safflower oil, no cottonseed oil, no canola oil. (Guess that leaves olive oil).
  •  Avoid weak estrogens such as soy and ground flax seed.
  •  Many sunscreens are estrogenic. Use a hat and long sleeved shirt, or better yet, actually get some Vit D3 through good judgement of how long you should be outside and enjoy the sunshine!
  • Use cosmetics with minerals or grapefruit seed extract as a preservative.

Diet and exercise are key to getting control over this imbalance.  Herbal formulas prescribed to your specific presentation of the syndrome can drastically speed up the recovery and prevent reoccurrence. Herbs are especially helpful when birth control or insulin lowering pharmaceuticals such as metformin (current western treatment)  are not appropriate or desired. It is completely possible to fall pregnant with PCOS and to deliver a healthy baby or two (higher occurrence of multiples) with the diagnosis of PCOS. It is, however, important to know that there is a higher risk of gestational diabetes and high blood pressure during pregnancy with a diagnosis of PCOS and you should be monitored accordingly. Contact the clinic if you have additional questions or wish to schedule an online or personal herbal consolation.