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  • Staying Healthy for Transfer!

    IVF and IUI procedures are stressful enough when we are 100% healthy, but struggling through a cycle with a cold or other respiratory bug can be a misery. Now before you panic, we want to reassure you that there’s no data to suggest that having a cold while going through a ART cycle will negatively impact pregnancy outcomes. That said, the process of shots and monitoring and the intensity of the two week wait is more than enough on its own without adding aches, shivers and a hacking cough.

    At Pulling Down the Moon we place a lot of emphasis on our body’s immune system. When our immunity is strong, our body has more energy and functions better. To this end we offer a wide range of natural immunity-supporting therapies, from acupuncture and massage, which have both been shown to support immune function, to nutritional supplementation with probiotics and antioxidant vitamins. Another wonderful tool that no TTC gals should go without is eucalyptus oil.

    Eucalyptus, which is obtained from leaves of the Eucalyptus Globulus tree, was first identified by traditional Aboriginals for treating skin abrasions and fungal infections, and even treating fever. Modern science has since proven these benefits and eucalyptus has been shown to be effective as an antiseptic, for preventing and treating respiratory problems including cold/flu congestion and even asthma.

    At Pulling Down the Moon we use Snow Lotus Eucalyptus ( click to view ) because we love the purity and clear aroma.Eucalyptus is a stimulating smell and can be used in the morning when you need an additional boost and caffeine has been taken off the menu by your fertility journey. Eucalyptus may not be the best choice for evening/bedtime as the energizing and stimulating smell can promote wakefulness – for help with sleep and relaxation choose lavender.

    Here are some creative ways to use eucalyptus oil in your daily regimen to stay healthy during fertility treatment and beyond:

    1. Use a cool mist diffuser ( click here to view ) to keep your nasal passages moist and deliver eucalyptus’ cold-preventing benefits.

    2. Sprinkle a few drops on the floor of the shower and breath in the energizing aroma and healing steam.

    3. Add a few drops to the filter of your vacuum or clothes-dryer filters to freshen and sanitize them.

    4. Eucalyptus oil can also be used topically for sore, tense muscles. Add 15-30 drops of essential oil to a carrier oil (sesame, almond, olive, etc.) and massage into tender muscles.

    Stay tuned for more self-care tips from Pulling Down the Moon to keep you happy, healthy and hopeful during your journey to parenthood!

  • Nourish Sea of Blood: Using Aromatherapy for Fertility

    You may have experienced lavender oil during one of your sessions with a Pulling Down the Moon acupuncturist. We regularly use aromatherapy during our fertility acupuncture sessions because the sense of smell is one of the most powerful tools we have to induce the relaxation response.

    This is because smell is part of the limbic system, the oldest part of our brain. Ages ago, when we were much closer to our animal relatives, scent was essential to knowing when it was time to sleep, to eat, to run, to fight and even to reproduce. You can still witness the power of scent when you smell melting snow and find your mood becomes lighter because spring is coming or when wafting smoke from fireplaces on a fall evening makes you want to go home, nest and eat soup. Scent sends us messages that work on physical and emotional levels.

    Based on this knowledge, we can use scent strategically to help support our relaxation and fertility goals. Our featured aromatherapy oil for February is Nourish Sea of Blood. This blend, which consists of jasmine, dong quai, geranium and palmarosa, is designed to balance the menstrual cycle and support fertility. This oil is beneficial for women who are experiencing amenorrhea (sparse or absent menses), thinning of the uterine lining and menstrual irregularity.

    “The name ‘Nourish Sea of Blood’ refers to a specific concept from Traditional Chinese Medicine,” says Pulling Down the Moon acupuncturist Lisa Meyerson . “It refers to the menstrual cycle and uterine lining.”

    There is also an acupuncture point (Spleen 10) which is called Sea of Blood. Its functions are:

    • Invigorates the blood and dispels stasis
    • Cools blood
    • Regulates menstruation and ovulation
    • Supplements blood
    • Benefits the skin

    “Spleen 10 is one of the points we use in our post IVF protocol,” Lisa adds.

    Self Care Tip: The aromatherapy oil Nourish Sea of Blood is appropriate to use both topically and through inhalation.

    Inhalation :

    Tissue (use unscented tissue) Apply several drops of the oil to a tissue and hold up to your nose, inhaling until the scent dissipates.

    Steam : Add several drops of Nourish Sea of Blood aromatherapy oil to a bowl of hot water. Tent your head with a towel or cloth and breathe deeply at any time during the cycle to cultivate fertility and menstrual cycle benefits.

    Diffuser: Use a heat or cool-mist diffuser ( ) to create a therapeutic ambient aroma in any space.


    Foot Bath:

    Add a few drops of oil to a foot bath or dish tub for a warm and relaxing foot soak.

    Aroma Acupoint Therapy:

    Nourish Sea of Blood can be applied topically to that acupoint Spleen 10 at any point in your cycle. Use your finger or a cotton swab to apply to Spleen 10* and hold for about a minute. Nourish Sea of Blood can also be used on the abdomen prior to ovulation and transfer using a warm compress to which you add a few drops of oil.

    *Spleen ten is approximately a kneecap’s height above the kneecap (2-3 inches depending on the person) on the front of the leg (above the medial or inner border of the knee).

    Here is a video demonstrating acupuncture on that point:

  • The Importance of Proper Protein

    The Importance of Proper Protein

    By: Maria Bournas, MS, RD, LDN

    In today’s world, just walking down the aisle of any supermarket is enough to make your head spin. The amount of options we have for protein

    Maria Bournas Image
    Maria Bournas, MS, RD, LDN

    powders (whey, pea, hemp, flax, soy, rice) can be overwhelming, even to a nutrition expert. In addition to these choices, many of us have to worry about things like food allergies or intolerances, and interactions with ART hormone therapies. To help address some of these concerns and simplify the options, we will discuss the effectiveness of rice protein powder in managing weight, cravings and hormone balance.

    More and more people these days are including smoothies as part of their daily diet; and there is strong evidence to support that this is not just a fad, but also a good way to maximize nutrient density and minimize cravings throughout the day. Protein is an essential part of our daily diet that plays a significant role in everything from building muscles to regulating hormones. It can be hard for some to get enough protein at each meal, especially for those with restricted diets or food intolerances.

    Rice protein powder in smoothies is an excellent way to get in a nutrient dense meal or snack anytime of day. It is 100% plant based, soy free and gluten free, so it is an acceptable choice for those with dairy and gluten intolerances. Soy protein can have estrogenic compounds and interfere with estrogen balance, so rice protein is also an excellent choice for those undergoing fertility treatments. In addition to these benefits, smoothies provide a way to include many things in our diets that are sometimes difficult to obtain otherwise. To add extra punch these shakes, we can add in probiotic powder for gut health, leafy greens for fiber and vitamins, and chia seeds for omega-3’s. The options and variations are limitless so that boredom doesn’t become a problem and any type of craving can be satisfied!