Jingshen

May 14th, 2012

Our June retreat in Southern California will focus on bringing jing and shen together, wherever you are in your reproductive years.

According to Chinese medicine, regardless of age, fertility is the proper combination of jing and shen.

Jing is essence, governed by the kidney system of energies (water); and shen is spirit, governed by the heart system of energies (fire)

Life comes from the combination of essence (water) and spirit (fire). When we are younger, we have more essence; as we age we have more spirit. The older we are, it is more essential to nourish essence with tonics, diet, rest, herbs, acupuncture and exercises that increase blood flow to the reproductive organs. But because of the percentage of shen as we approach our perimenopausal years, its even more important to attend to the spirit.

Nourish your spirit, and live the passion of your own existence first. Only then can you provide adequate essence for another.

Listen to the call here: http://thefertilesoul.com/randine_lewis/?page_id=40

Free Conference Call Tomorrow – Tuesday, April 3 @ 9 PM EST

April 2nd, 2012

Free Conference Call Tomorrow – Tuesday, April 3 @ 9 PM EST

Pregnancy Enhancement during PeriMenopause

Q&A with Dr. Randine Lewis

This daunting term is almost meaningless. It simply means that hormones are fluctuating in women during their later reproductive years. Perimenopause can last for many years, during which time a woman is still capable of conceiving.  One study reported that when a woman enters perimenopause, she still has, on average, ten thousand eggs remaining.  It isn’t until a woman has been without a period for one year that she is considered to be in menopause. Then she is no longer capable of bearing children with her own eggs.

This transition occurs at multiple levels – ovarian output fluctuates; blood flow to the ovaries diminishes, and the biopotency of the FSH molecule changes. The hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis becomes more delicate.

According to Chinese medicine, this is one of the most rich times in a woman’s life. Although she may experience symptoms of this transition – like reduced libido, decreased cervical fluid, irregular menstruation, moodiness, insomnia, hot flashes and night sweats, these are not considered symptoms of disease. They are an invitation as the energies shift from a focus on lower reproductive output to one where the spirit dominates.

Most all energetic transitions will produce symptoms. When you know that they are natural and necessary, they will become less problematic. When they are resisted, it exacerbates liver qi stagnation, aggravating the symptoms. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can help ease this transition and reduce symptoms, while one is trying to conceive.

Reducing sugar, wheat and refined carbohydrates helps the metabolic changes. Supplement with essential antioxidants, minerals, CoQ10, and fish oil. Light exercise like walking, biking, or swimming helps reduce depressive symptoms, especially when performed out of doors. Inner body meditations can help ease symptoms of anxiety. Perform the femoral massage daily before ovulation if you are still trying to conceive. We also have formulated a Fertile Soul herbal blend to assist and enhance fertility during this time.

The Call to Motherhood

March 12th, 2012

I recall the first stirrings in my heart to bring forth life. It was the deepest, most personal and authentic need I’ve ever known. It seems to me a man can’t know this feeling in the same way. It felt like an invitation to be overtaken by a love that would consume me completely. I couldn’t love each of my three children more. But none of them could fulfill this need to be consumed by love itself. They were expressions of love, not its fulfillment. Yet each of them has become a part of this extension of love itself, the most powerful force in existence.

I entered medical school after Theresa was born. I still had a deep longing for something unfinished. Chinese medicine followed, as did another marriage and two more children. Some deep current within pushed me unrelentingly, beyond the confines of a satisfied, comfortable life. Restlessness prevailed, guided by a love beyond satiation. I could not be fulfilled.

Chinese medicine and Eastern philosophy drove me deeper within, as did my own personal search for something which I couldn’t find. I didn’t know what it was, only that I must pursue it.

Fertility became my unrelenting passion. Within it held the direction that led to the source of life itself. The Taoists seemed to me to be closer to the source than any exteriorly focused belief or healing modality. The further I go with it, the more vast and miraculous this opening to love and the source of life becomes.

When I meet with individuals on this journey, it is that source which I try to show them, convey, and help them open to. When they merely are interested in how to control the physical expression. they miss the miraculous source itself. It’s like trying to manipulate the atmosphere by holding your breath.

The Tao te Ching says,

The Valley Spirit never dies.
It is called the Mysterious Feminine.
And the doorway to the mysterious feminine
It is the gateway through which heaven and earth arise.
It is there within you all the while.
Use it as you will;
It will never run dry.

This is the miraculous source. It can’t be forced, manipulated or controlled. It is there within you, beckoning you through this longing for life itself. Bring yourself to that doorway, which never runs dry.

Femoral Reproductive Massage (Fertility Massage)

March 5th, 2012

Eastern Approaches to Pregnancy – Today Show 9/16/08

March 1st, 2012

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Free Conference Call – Monday January 30th at 7 p.m. EST

January 24th, 2012

Happy Chinese New Year!

Free Conference Call Next Monday

The Basics of Fertility Enhancement

Q&A with Dr. Randine Lewis

Monday January 30th at 7 p.m. EST

I strongly believe that even just finding out about The Fertile Soul has a powerful, ripple, helpful effect, especially for those who cannot travel, but who nevertheless read – and listen– ask questions, wonder, benefit, and grow, grow, grow. L.H.

I am looking forward to a rich retreat in January, where we will focus on aging, overwhelm, and turning into the wellspring of deep inner guidance. In this inner sanctuary there is no aging or overwhelm. When we can reside in this place, a more fertile response to life is possible, which of course, is reflected in our reproductive response. Our New York session filled up quickly, but we do have openings in February in my hometown of Asheville, NC, February 17-20th, where our focus will expand to include welcoming in the year of the Dragon, a powerful and dynamic expression of the Chinese New Year. We will use this power to deeply connect with the life-giving source within. I love witnessing the power of retreat participants as they learn to live the miracle!

We will also offer a free conference call on Monday, January 30th at 7 p.m. EST. I will go over some fertility basics and open the call up to your questions and answers. I hope you will be able to join us – whether you are new to the Fertile Soul or have already embraced this process. I look forward to connecting with you.

To Join in dial 605-475-4000 then access code 794774#.  Those calling from Canada should call 805-360-1075 and then you will be prompted to enter the original number and access code.

Herb-005 Tonify Kidney Qi: Luteal Phase Support and Luteal Phase Defect

December 6th, 2011

A luteal phase defect is when the uterus does not adequately respond to progesterone to hold the typical 14-day luteal phase. Progesterone output from the corpus luteum may be adequate, but the tissues are unresponsive. Thus, progesterone administration rarely cures luteal phase defect. At ties, the uterine lining does not exhibit the proteins that are necessary for implantation to occur. Sometimes, the immune system reacts against an implanting embryo, and lowers the response to progesterone. Occasionally, the endometrium thins and sheds before menstruation, which does not allow an implanting embryo to remain.

Chinese medicine views the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle energetically. We see that the kidney essence must be adequate to produce progesterone and hold the heating aspect of the menstrual cycle. Spleen qi must be able to “hold” the energies that allow implantation. The qi and blood must be unobstructed, without excess heat or dampness.

HERB-005 Tonify Kidney Qi: Luteal Phase Support helps the body encourage progesterone production by strengthening corpus luteal function. It encourages your body to develop the vascularization, glandular development and proteins necessary for implantation, and hold the kidney energies. This formula may be used following any follicular phase formula. It may be used alone or can be combined with Vitalize Spleen, Resolve Stagnation, and Invigorate Blood formulas.

Soaking your feet in a warm Epsom salt bath each night can also help tonify the kidney energies. Eating walnuts,, pumpkin seeds and yams can also help build up the energies that support progesterone production.

I do not advocate limiting your activities during the luteal phase, unless you tire easily. Any mild exercise that you enjoy during the first half of the cycle is appropriate for the latter half of the cycle. Throughout history, nature did not intend that you even know that you might be pregnant until a period was missed. Nature wasn’t mistaken. I think the wisdom of nature was well aware that if the human psyche got involved in thinking we could control implantation, our own stress mechanisms would make it worse. Relax. It’s the best thing you can do for your fertility. Live your life as if your future child was evaluating what life with you would be like. Would they want you to be stressed? Neurotically trying to control their entrance?

I had some luteal phase issues, and the one month I thought there was no chance I could be pregnant, I stopped supplementing with progesterone. I stopped taking my herbs. I went on a ski trip that I never would have gone on if I thought I might be pregnant. Nature knew better. That was the month I let go, and all of the things that I had been doing (acupuncture, meditation, qi gong, and herbs) were finally allowed to take hold. The one missing ingredient was that I was trying to control all of these things. When I let go the energies opened up and allowed a pregnancy.

HERB-004 Invigorate Blood: Uterine Health Formula

November 28th, 2011

Endometriosis is a laparoscopic diagnosis. Endometriosis is suspected when the individual presents with mild to severe menstrual cramps, pain on intercourse, and may experience dark, clotty menstrual blood. A laparoscopy is performed to confirm the presence of endometrial cells outside of the uterine cavity, to which the body has mounted an inflammatory reaction. The affected tissue can be “burned” off with a laser, although this is not curative. Another medical approach for endometriosis is to induce a temporary state of menopause with hormonally suppressive drugs such as Lupron. This is also not curative. The presence of endometriosis may also affect ones fertility. Occasionally scar tissue can develop which can impede the ability of the ovary to release the egg and be received appropriately within the fallopian tube. The degree of inflammatory reaction, however, is the greatest indicator. When the inflammation triggers the involvement of the immune system, the body can be programmed to view its own uterine lining as foreign and dangerous, and immune cells are mounted to destroy the endometrial cells and anything that might be implanting in them.

Fortunately, Chinese medicine has found curative relief for endometriosis. Herb-004 Invigorate Blood: Uterine Health Formula is based on a Chinese remedy to revitalize patterns of static blood in the uterus, reducing the inflammatory reaction and immune involvement.

I do not find it particularly valuable to know if one has been diagnosed with endometriosis. If there are symptoms of menstrual pain; blood clots; sticky black, brown or dark purple menstrual flow; and/or painful intercourse, it is an indication that the static blood needs to be enlivened so implantation can be allowed. This process often takes many months (3 – 9) to calm down, depending on its severity.

In addition to Herb-004 Invigorate Blood, I also recommend the following adjunctive treatments for endometriosis:

-       application of castor oil packs to the lower abdomen and uterine massage

-       follow the spleen qi diet, reduce red meat and animal fat

-       supplement with USANA essentials, proflavanol, and visionex

-       OPC, 250 mg/day

-       Wobenzym, taken between meals on an empty stomach

-       Nattokinase, take as directed

This regimen has been found curative. I have treated patients with Stage IV Endometriosis, who, after a few months on this plan, on repeat laparoscopy, had no evidence of endometriosis. Of course, the symptoms subsided as well.

More information: http://thefertilesoul.com/shop/herbs/chinese-herbs

HERB-003 Resolve Damp: Ovarian Stimulation Formula

November 28th, 2011

This herbal formulation was prepared for those with PCOS, and directs the body’s reproductive energies toward removing obstructions to ovulation. PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome, insulin resistance and glucose intolerance are viewed as “damp” disorders through the lens of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

If you view the connection between the pituitary gland and the ovaries as a river, disorders of sugar regulation could be likened to sludge in the river bed, reducing the flow of communication between the messages from the pituitary gland and how quickly they are received and responded to by the ovaries.

One particular herb in the formulation, gleditsia spine, has been reported to reduce the waxy capsule around the ovaries that can hinder the release of the egg during ovulation. Gleditsia spine is not to be taken during pregnancy, which is why we stress taking this formulation prior to ovulation only.

Women with delayed ovulation may find ovulation coming earlier and earlier with continued use of this formulation during the follicular phase. It does not have this effect in women whose ovulation occurs during the expected mid-cycle range.

Women who have disruptions in sugar metabolism that impact ovulation can also benefit from supplementing the diet with NAC, chlorophyll, chromium picolinate, inositol, fenugreek, and bitter melon.

Sylvia had no formal diagnosis of PCOS, insulin resistance, or glucose intolerance. Yet, she always felt a little light headed when she was hungry, and craved sweets most of the time. She felt sluggish and tired and had a few immunologic markers. Her physician started her on Clomid, and prescribed Glucophage, although her glucose levels were within the normal range. These drugs made her feel even worse, and she did not become pregnant. Before proceeding with the suggested IVF, Sylvia removed sugar, refined carbohydrates, gluten and cow’s dairy from her diet. She supplemented with antioxidants, NAC, and chromium picolinate, and took the Resolve Damp formulation during the follicular phase followed by the Vitalize Spleen Qi formulation during the luteal phase. Immediately she felt the results. Her energy improved, her cycles shortened, ovulation came earlier each month, and she became pregnant in less than six months.

More information: http://thefertilesoul.com/shop/herbs/chinese-herbs

HERB-002 Kidney Essence: Follicular Health Formula

November 28th, 2011

Herbal formulas are focused on gently correcting underlying imbalances; either building up deficient energies or removing obstructions. It is easy for misunderstandings to develop with Chinese herbs. The formulations are complex, to help the body do what it is intended to do. With fertility formulations, most are focused on directing the body’s energies to the reproductive system.  The Fertile Soul herbal formula blend HERB-002 Kidney Essence: Follicular Health Formula is based on an ancient Chinese formulation to build up the “essence” of the reproductive system. It is intended to be taken during the follicular phase (after menstruation until ovulation) of each menstrual cycle, supporting the energies that encourage follicular growth. Unlike ovarian stimulating drugs, this formulation does not overstimulate and therefore deplete the reproductive energies, but nourishes the kidney yin and blood, while resolving any excess stagnant energies. They have no hormones in them, but encourage your body to produce its own hormones.

This nourishing formula may even be used concurrently with ovarian stimulation, with your doctor’s approval. This formulation has been shown to lower FSH, encourage folliculogenesis, raise AMH values and encourage ovarian response. I encourage its use in women with premature ovarian failure, poor ovarian response, advanced maternal age, or to build up the reproductive energies before or after a stimulated cycle.

More information: http://thefertilesoul.com/shop/herbs/chinese-herbs