Every year spring comes. I don’t know about you but each time it does it feels like a miracle. The colors shift slowly from winter gray to a piercing, almost electric, green and there’s a deep sense of movement and becoming everywhere we look.
Contrast that with the fertility journey – this endless round of cycles and injections, measurements and outcomes. In the midst of these struggles it seems like spring will never come and we will never have that moment of awakening that is signaled by the positive beta test. We feel as if we are in limbo. And we feel apart from life.
But this does not have to be so. One of the biggest gifts of the holistic practices we offer at Pulling Down the Moon is that they help us come to life. They do this by helping us release what is old and begin to cultivate a present moment that is more grounded, whole and free. If this sounds like a big promise I can assure you it is one I am confident making. The essence of yoga, acupuncture, massage and nutrition work is change and growth.
Yoga. Over the last three months we have been conducting a study looking at the impact of yoga on the fertility journey. With preliminary results collected we can say with surety that women who participated in our Yoga for Fertility class experienced significant decreases in anxiety. When anxiety is decreased we are healthier and happier. We make clearer decisions and listen to our heart more closely. The measurable decreases in the anxiety scale were more than just numbers. They translated into real life experiences. Patients in these classes found the ability to have better interactions with their physicians, partners and families. Hard decisions (Move to donor? Another round? Genetic testing?) were made from new a place of strength. Positive betas were received and nerve-wracking first trimesters were survived. What’s more, lasting friendships were made. Above all the women in these classes woke up to friendship and community and what is more grounding and life-affirming than that?
Acupuncture . Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for fertility are about creating the optimal “soil” in which to plant the seeds of pregnancy. Each of us brings a lifetime of patterns, both good and bad, to the present moment. Our habitual patterns impact our physical health and can constrict growth. If we are anxious we may be depleted of life energy and essence. Anger and frustration can cause stagnation. While these statements may sound like poetry (or superstitious mumbo-jumbo), modern science is beginning to recognize their value. In the field of fertility, for instance, research has shown that treating kidney deficiency – a pattern of depletion common in women experiencing infertility – improved egg quality ( Zhongguo Zhen Jiu. 2015). Using acupuncture and herbs a TCM practitioner helps to bring the body back in to balance so that it can do as natures intends it to do. Read more about the Whole Systems TCM approach in this month’s Anna’s News column.
Massage. We offer five amazing massage sessions as part of our Fertility Enhancing Massage Protocol and each has a different role in helping prepare the body for fertility. From moving and clearing stagnant tissues to unlocking deep areas of stress and tension, massage is a deeply healing process. And the medical community is beginning to explore more tangible benefits. A recent study 30 minutes of massage leading up to transfer was associated with higher pregnancy rates ( Altern Ther Health Med. 2015). Touch therapies like massage have been shown to reduce anxiety and depression, decrease pain, decrease blood pressure and help new born babies to thrive. In a journey like infertility, filled with isolation and stress, massage can lead us back in to our bodies for a new awakening.
Nutrition . You know how you feel when you are making great nutritional changes. Perhaps more than anything else the food we eat gives us a sense of energy and wellbeing. Many of us know what to eat, but often what makes it into our mouth doesn’t always jive with best intentions. Having a consult with a nutritionist can be both motivating and revelatory. Our nutritionists stay on top of the latest research and help to translate the science into concrete advice. From learning the latest about the supplements that may support fertility and egg quality to truly getting your sugar cravings under control, a change in diet can create a complete shift in the rest of your life.
So whichever path you choose, or if you choose something completely different like starting belly dancing or taking an art class, do something that will help you come alive. Our programs, practitioners and community are here to help!