Archive for September, 2010

Increasing Male Potency through Nutritional Support

Friday, September 24th, 2010

“We need … validation and acceptance that we receive only from our gendermates. There is much about our experience as men that can only be shared with, and understood by, other men. There are stories we can tell only to those who have wrestled in the dark with the same demons, and been wounded by the same angels. Only men understand the secret fears that go with the territory of masculinity.”?

Sam Keen, Fire in the Belly


In the United States, it is estimated that approximately 15-20 percent of the population have difficulty conceiving. In these couples, male and female factors are equally accountable for the problem, and one in four couples has multiple factors contributing to their failure to conceive. Whether or not sperm factors impact the physical challenges, emotional issues between the couple most definitely impact the ability to heal and overcome fertility difficulties.

Sperm health depends on having adequate underlying vitamins, amino acids, and antioxidants. We recommend men take the following:

Vitamins C, E, B12, beta carotene, zinc, selenium and CoEnzyme Q10
L-Carnitine and L-Arginine
OPC, or Pycnogenol

High quality essential fatty acids like deep sea fish oil or flaxseed oil.

Sperm do not thrive when heat or pressure are applied to the scrotum, which is why excessive cycling or hot tub usage is not recommended. They also do not fare well when cell phones are worn around the waist, when laptops are used over the lap. Avoid environmental toxins, Rogaine, nicotine, marijuana, and overindulgence in caffeine or alcohol.

Even if the fertility issue is due to sperm problems, the woman is often the one who goes through interventional procedures, while the man feels more and more helpless.

A note about clinical Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (used with many In-Vitro Fertilization procedures): After the woman has gone through hormonal injections and follicle extraction, the eggs are wait expectedly in the Petri dish to be fertilized. Meanwhile, the embryologist is looks under the microscope at the sperm sample. When a good one is selected, it is whacked on the tail to paralyze it. Before it recovers, the sperm is sucked into the needle and injected into the egg. Without any real involvement of the man, fatherhood may have happened.

How Seeking Fertility Affects Couple’s Relationships

Friday, September 24th, 2010

The declining fertility relationship usually looks something like this: The couple begins their lives together in a state of love, hope and abundance. They decide to expand upon this process and create another. In most cases, the woman has the intense desire to start a family. The man may be ambivalent, or may have some fears about increasing obligations, but usually agrees.

The couple begins trying to conceive, adopting timed intercourse, which already disrupts the spontaneity of the relationship. Now lovemaking becomes purpose oriented, and the couple begins to lose each other, as the goal of their practice seems further out of reach. The woman starts to become worried, fearful, and frustrated. As she shares these concerns with her partner, he begins to feel less capable of supporting her because he doesn’t have the answer. He can’t fix it. She becomes more withdrawn, he can’t help, and the basis of the relationship switches to one of deprivation. Often the man, frustrated by his inability to provide a solution, will pull back from the relationship. He holds his own feelings inside, and may feel as if he’s walking around on eggshells as he doesn’t want to add stress to his wife’s already palpable pain. She may then feel like he doesn’t care. The harder they try to have a baby, the more the relationship suffers. She just wants a baby. He just wants his wife back.

So, how do we begin to put a life back together during or after the fertility struggle? A relationship is like a three-legged stool composed of the self, the other, and the partnership. Through the process of effort based conception attempts, it is as if this three-legged support has lost a leg; each partner is standing alone, and the stool is in constant risk of toppling over. “Infertility” is one of the leading causes of divorce – even if a child is conceived.

Many people find that fertility struggles move the relationship from one of positivity into one of negativity. This process has become one of the leading causes of stress for a couple who is afflicted by it. Now the relationship has moved from a place of love and support to one where the relationship is actually defined by the problem.

If you are in an intimate partnership, the dynamic of the relationship can impact your ability, or inability, to accept a new life into your environment. According to Eastern philosophy, the coupling of the mother’s yin with the father’s yang is precisely what ignites the call to the soul of the unborn child. If there is discord in the partnership this will impact the energies that will or will not come together to create life.
Couples are drawn to each other for many reasons – because of their desires, past experiences, childhood caretakers, present needs and future goals. Together, these composite aspects combine and subconsciously project onto the partner all that goes into our relationships.

Each partner contributes these unconscious fragments into the relationship, which then form the container, or ‘vessel’ that will eventually house the child. When the container becomes filled with toxic debris after years of suffering through fertility struggles, the relationship is no longer a place for loving support, but one where we tend to resent the accumulated rubble, and the ‘other’ who is responsible for putting it there.

The Fertility Enhancing Diet

Friday, September 24th, 2010

THE “SPLEEN QI” FERTILITY-ENHANCING DIET: Asian dietary therapy provides a powerful tool for correcting disharmonies within the body. Sun Si-miao, a famous doctor of Chinese Medicine, believed the most important therapy was the regulation of a patient’s diet, which then could be supported and enhanced with acupuncture and herbal treatment.

Step #1: Begin to adopt the Spleen Qi diet to help ensure optimal intake of nutrients and digestion and distribution to the reproductive and other organ systems.

Basic Guidelines:

Model your meals on an Asian diet—visualize a plate filled with mostly steamed vegetables, some whole grains and hand-sized portions of protein.

Favor cooked or lightly-steamed foods over raw foods. Avoid cold food and drinks that put out the digestive fire.

Chew food slowly and mindfully. For optimal digestion, avoid drinking at mealtime and one-half before and after your meal.

Eat organic foods, especially if consuming meat.

To stabilize blood sugar levels throughout the day, consume a protein and carbohydrate at each meal and snack.

Eliminate all refined sugars and artificial sweeteners. Use low-glycemic natural replacements sparingly (e.g., agave nectar, Stevia, xylitol).

Replace cow-based dairy products with rice milk, almond milk, or sheep or goat’s milk.

Eliminate refined carbohydrates and wheat. Look for sprouted breads (e.g., Ezekial, Food for Life) and products made with spelt flour, rice flour, oat flour, corn flour and polenta. Choose brown rice over white rice. Use pasta alternatives including spelt, brown rice, spaghetti squash and quinoa.

Cook with unrefined organic oils: extra virgin olive oil, sesame oil, peanut oil and high oleic sunflower oil.

Replace coffee (caffeinated and decaffeinated) with any of the vast array of healing teas: chamomile (calming), ginger (warming, supportive of digestion), red clover (believed to enhance fertility) and peppermint (cooling).

Avoid alcohol

Spleen Qi tonics improve the quality of available energy in the body. Eat these foods if you are often fatigued, especially during your period, and if you have low blood pressure or bruise easily. They are also helpful with certain conditions of luteal phase defect and premenstrual spotting.

Beef, cherries, chicken, coconut, date, eel, fig, ginseng, goose, grape, ham, herring, Job’s tears, barley (coix), lentil, licorice, mackerel, microalgae, molasses, oats, octopus, potato, pumpkin, pumpkin seeds, rabbit, rice, royal jelly, sweet potato, shitake mushroom, squash, sturgeon, tofu, yam.

The Eastern Philosophical Approach in Fertility Enhancement

Friday, September 24th, 2010

In our support of couples seeking to conceive a child, we acknowledge the spiritual coming of a child depends upon the planes of consciousness, or particular bandwidths into which the soul may incarnate. The larger the bandwidth, the greater the opportunity for souls to enter at various vibrational levels. The more contracted the husband and wife’s energies are, the lower the degree of likelihood for a soul to enter at the place where the vibrational planes meet. The more each member can open up to higher planes of consciousness, the more the opening can occur for souls to enter. While our integrated process can help increase your bandwidths, it is each person’s responsibility to keep their energy at an expanded level, or the combined energies can revert to their lowest common denominator, and contract to their previous habituated patterns of imbalance.

Individuals and couples may benefit a great deal by learning and implementing methods to support fertility. Proper nutritional support, Chinese medicine and herbal treatments and relaxation exercises and other activities can be very helpful.

Each partner must do their own healing to remove obstructions of their own body, mind, and soul, and within the field of the relationship. The accumulated debris becomes the fuel to transform the present relationship into a supportive container made up of the highest vibrational components (love, emotional support, creative energy) of each partner, so that together they may energetically attract the child they know they were meant to have.

Through the healing process, an individual may find the need to learn to communicate in a fresh way that supports your new process. As a result of healing process, the woman feels loved and supported, and the man feels like he doesn’t have to take on the burden of an unfulfilling relationship and a problem that he can’t fix. One can learn how to stand tall and proud in the partnership.

When couples take part in our healing retreats, support comes from our multi-faceted approach, as well as the way that each person knows that others around them are going through the very same issues. Imagine healing deeply, and learning to live and love fully again. As one man put it, “I finally have my wife back. We have our love back. How could a child have come to us when we were in such a state of constant anguish? My wife always felt a connection to a soul, and I felt like I wasn’t really involved in the process. Now. I feel a whole new hope for living, loving, and inviting our child into our family.”

Ultimately, the growth experienced by men and women seeking improved fertility with us through deeper means can bring us increased expansiveness and enjoyment. An integrative approach that is both practitioner-based and self-help based and is a natural, non-invasive method of supporting fertility.
Healing retreats are an excellent opportunity, as are phone consultations and in-person visits with Chinese medicine practitioners and acupuncturists.
And, ultimately, there are many techniques and ideas we may implement at home to enhance fertility. We invite readers to visit our website and enjoy learning more through articles and blogs there.

Factors Affecting IVF Success Rates

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

A relatively recently released Stanford study predicted that four “new” factors can help assess the likelihood of IVF success; up to 70%. These factors are:
1. total number of embryos,
2. number of eight-cell embryos,
3. percentage of embryos that stopped dividing and would die, and
4. the woman’s follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) level

The truth is that these factors are not new at all; in fact they are rather outdated. Reproductive clinics have known of these four factors since drug companies started playing the game of assisted reproductive technology. This “new information” is relatively meaningless – it’s like predicting the outcome of the game in the fourth quarter.

Because women who come to The Fertile Soul often have high FSH, low numbers of embryos retrieved, high percentage of cell division failure, and few that make it to the eight cell stage, most would not even be chosen to be on the team. If you’ve been through this drill long enough, you already know the outcome. The reproductive coach urges you to move over for a younger, more fit player to take over for your tired, old eggs so you can wrap up the season.

I don’t know why I’m using this ballgame analogy; I don’t care much for professional ballgames. But I always liked movies like The Bad News Bears, The Mighty Ducks, Hoosiers, and A League of Their Own. It’s not just that I root for the underdog; I’m a sucker for human potential. I don’t care about the statistical success rates of reproductive doctors. They know how to place their bets. I care about the 30% who have been told they are not allowed to play this game.

So, let’s go back to human potential. The quality of the egg, which resides in the follicle that responds to FSH begins to practice for the game months before it is released onto the playing field. During this 90 to 120 day cycle of folliculogenesis, the egg enters into its tonic growth phase where protein synthesis occurs. If the reproductive system is subjected to stressors like poor nutrition, imbalanced physiology, negative internal messages, and lack of circulation during this “practice” season, there is a very low likelihood of showing up for the game with low FSH, and high quality embryos.
However, if the team includes a coach who can help the players reduce stressors, improve internal messages to the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis, increase reproductive organ circulation, hormonal balance, oxygenation and nutritional status, there is a far greater likelihood of success.

The Fertile Soul Method utilizes the age old, proven techniques of Eastern and complementary medicine, along with modern natural therapeutic modalities to bring your body and mind back in the game. In fact, you don’t even need to enter into the high tech playing field if you don’t want to. You can just get out the ole’ bat and ball in your own back yard and hit a home run the old fashion way.