NEW STUDIES, ANCIENT WISDOM

by Meredith Nathan, LMT

A recent NIH study used infrared thermography to compare the abdominal skin temperature of fertile women and those struggling with infertility. The results? Women struggling with infertility had abdominal temperatures lower than fertile women, ranging from 1.42 to 1.89º F. The study hypothesized that the lower abdominal temperatures might be due to poor blood flow to the core muscles and body tissues. Are we surprised?

Not at all.

For thousands of years, Traditional Chinese Medicine has referred to ‘cold uterus’, an imbalance of the yin and yang in the body leading to a colder core temperatures. Without enough warmth in the uterus, the follicles may not fully ripen, like a fruit tree that starts to blossom but gets exposed to an early frost. Without the proper yang, the body temperature won’t rise sufficiently after ovulation to support and nurture a growing embryo (if ovulation is able to occur at all). And if the uterus is cold due to lack of blood flow, old dead cells can accumulate (think of a stagnant swamp versus a flowing river). This can cause masses to form, further blocking healthy blood flow, and a vicious cycle is born.

Also for thousands of years, massage has been a fundamental of holistic healthcare and known for it’s huge impact on blood flow. As massage melts rigid connective tissue, loosens tight muscle bands, and stimulates various systems of the body, circulation gets a boost and the whole body benefits. Blood is the body’s natural healing agent, encouraging recovery and regeneration, and nourishing our muscles, tissues, and organs. Blood flow warms the body and ultimately may improve your fertility.

Today’s studies are confirming ancient wisdom. But since knowledge is nothing without application, here are a few tips you can try today to warm your belly and boost your blood flow:

  • keep your feet warm
  • eat warming foods and spices
  • use castor oil packs (only in the follicular phase of your cycle)
  • try acupuncture
  • get a blood building massage (only in the follicular phase of your cycle: Enhance the Blood™ and Open the Breath™ are both powerful reproductive blood builders, or if you don’t live near one of our centers, try a Mayan Abdominal Massage)

Here’s to happy, healthy, warm bellies!

Link to NIH study:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ pubmed/27712655

AGING WITHOUT LOSING PERSPECTIVE

by Kelly Lyons L.Ac., MSOM

I hear often, in session, that vibrant women feel down about their age, due to their doctors and the internet telling them that they are approaching an “advanced maternal age.”

At a time in society when women are dialoguing more strongly about gender respect, I feel that it is an important topic to discuss in fertility circles.

A benefit of living in a globalizing economy the last 20+ years, is that we have learned a few different cultural perspectives. There are as many ways to view aging as there are people aging.

There is hard truth to the advanced maternal age story. Yes, the older we get, the less eggs we have, and the more degraded the quality might be. That said, there is a timeless quality to who we are as women. It is our responsibility to nurture that non-physical aspect of ourselves and let it be vital and well.

I don’t think harsh ageism is entirely personal. So try to hear it at face value—someone on your team is telling you what THEY know, statistically. As a patient, you need to take ownership of what YOU know about you. You can cultivate your own perspective on aging, and contribute that perspective to the work you are doing with your fertility team.

I encourage you to blow up the box, and enjoy your thirties and your forties, as a whole person. Wrangling your reproductive life is a part of that wholeness. We all know that something stronger than our physical bodies is driving the desire and the dreams we chase.

It’s important to keep this “aging thing” in perspective.

10 EASY WAYS TO EAT MORE GREENS

Green vegetables, especially leafy green vegetables are rich sources of nutrients, not only for your overall health, but also for fertility. Leafy greens are rich in folate, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Spring is a great time to work on increasing your intake of greens, as they start to become available locally at farmers’ markets. Here are some easy ways to incorporate more greens into your diet:

1) Add sautéed greens like kale, chard, or spinach to scrambled eggs or an omelet, frittata, or egg bake.

2) Add greens like kale or chard to soups toward the end of the cooking time, and the greens will take on the flavor of the soup.

3) Add baby kale, chard, and/or spinach to taco meat to boost your intake of greens. Do the same for other meals like enchiladas.

4) Roast Brussels sprouts or broccoli with olive oil and sprinkle with lemon juice and/or sea salt.

5) Add spinach to tomato sauce used for pizza, pasta, zucchini noodles, or spaghetti squash dishes.

6) Sauté mushrooms with garlic and spinach or kale for a nutrient rich side dish.

7) Make arugula pesto by blending arugula with olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and pine nuts or walnuts. Serve on spaghetti squash with white beans or chicken and veggies.

8) Sauté chard, kale, or collard greens with garlic, and make a sauce out of tahini and soy sauce for a savory side.

9) Add some sauerkraut or kimchi to your meal to get your daily dose of probiotics.

10) Make some kale chips. These are so pleasingly crunchy, that it hardly feels like you’re eating a vegetable at all.

Let Acupuncture Put a Spring in Your Step!

Let Acupuncture Put a Spring in Your Step!

By Anna Pyne LAc MSOM FABORM

Acupuncture is a great remedy for alleviating depression due to any cause. In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) every organ is paired with a season. Springtime can bring with it a seasonal sense of melancholy. According to TCM spring is the time of the Liver (not to be confused with the Western medical organ). The Chinese medical Liver is responsible for the smooth even flow of the energy in the body. When the energy flows unobstructedly the emotions are then enabled to flow evenly and smoothly, keeping depression at bay. Springtime can be a trigger for people with a tendency towards Liver problems such as depression as it is the season of the Liver. I have helped many patients successfully who suffered with depression whether it was seasonally caused, a result from undergoing a medicated fertility treatment cycle, or even postpartum depression. Fertility treatment cycles can be quite stressful for example hearing the results of monitoring, not knowing exactly what an optimal response is to the medications, keeping all of the medications in order and administrating them correctly, let alone the physical and emotional side effects felt as a direct result of taking the hormones. Acupuncture can help mitigate or eliminate emotional stress while going through a fertility journey, if its seasonally related, or when dealing with postpartum depression.

Click to learn more about Anna

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