Archive for November, 2010

Taking the Romance Out of Baby Making, Writings of infertility specialist, Dr. Randine Lewis

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

This week’s theme happens to be taking the romance out of fertility. Don’t get me wrong – I love the ability to wrap myself up in my fantasies and see if life can participate in making them manifest. Many of my dreams have come true; some have not. The outcome is not my business; only showing up for the opportunities as life presents them.

Harsh realities:
Children are born in famine stricken and war torn countries.
Pregnancies come from rape.
Babies are born to those who seem more undeserving than you, who are homeless, addicted to drugs, and to those who cannot provide for them.
Far more babies are born to those who are not trying to conceive than to those who are.

Romantic ideas:
Because my spouse and I are so compatibly in love, a baby will be given to us.
Since I’ve always been able to achieve whatever goal I’ve set my mind to, I will be able to create life through my desires and actions.
If I think positive thoughts, and send out baby intentions, I will be more fertile.
If I do the right things, I can make myself pregnant.

Kinder realities:
The body is a physical copy machine of your mind.
That which you emotionally perceive (especially subconsciously) translates into hormonal messages to reproduce yourself (internally directed) or produce what you want (externally directed.)
Desire will not raise the chances of life’s ability to come through you.
Removing mental and emotional obstructions will.

I love meeting people for the first time on retreat. I can see the romantic ideas they have of me in their eyes, and how they want to trust me to help them. I often begin the retreat process by breaking this romance. I have never made a baby. I will not be able to make one for you. Nobody else will. I will not feed your romantic dreams to keep you on the treadmill of unfulfilled desires. I will not cheerlead anyone into “You can make this happen if only you believe.” As hard as it is, I can feel them let go of how they have even tried to control their thoughts and emotions. We encounter something crushingly real when we let go of control. An utter relief happens when we meet life as it is.

This process is hard. It hurts. It can be the greatest anguish in life to find that we may not be able to bring about our most deeply cherished longing. I know that wound, deeply. I had to let go of my ideas of how life was supposed to look for me, release my grasp, and surrender to all possibilities, not just the ones that I had locked into my right brain and tried to force with my left. Something else opened up when I stopped believing that I could control life through my positive affirmations, and dropped into the reality that I couldn’t control life. I stopped trying to create life and began living it. It was already here, waiting for me to stop my externally directed efforts so it could get back to the business of reproducing itself.

Just for this moment, see if you can let go of trying to force your wishes through your thinking process. It doesn’t lessen the ability of life to show up; in fact it emphasizes life’s ability to move in ways far greater than you ever could have envisioned when you were trying to orchestrate life to suit your desires.


Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

Have you ever taken notice of the ongoing cycle of tension and resolve? One needs the other. In Chinese medicine, we discuss the concept of the interdependence of the seeming opposites, yin and yang. Cold cannot exist without comparing it to its opposite, heat. Darkness cannot exist without knowing light. Wetness oscillates with dryness. Sleep and wakefulness. Life requires both. Hunger gives us the impetus to feed ourselves. But we don’t remain satiated; we don’t eat once and fill the never-ending cycle of filling and emptying. Our entire systems are set up to keep this requirement going. Every body system has a corresponding “fu” organ, whose job it is to fill up and empty itself to keep the “zang” organ going. The stomach, intestines, gallbladder, urinary bladder, and the reproductive organs fill up and empty, inflate and deflate, hold and release; to keep the cycle of life going.

In the same way, we look for resolution of all tension. Our muscles, lungs and heart, contract and expand. We mentally perceive a problem so we can work it out. We feel a particular emotion that we either like and want to keep, or don’t like and want to let go of. We seem to be drawn to one side of this equation. We prefer the known and aren’t usually fond of the unknown. We are drawn toward happiness and tend to turn away from sadness. We prefer health over disease; life over death; love over hate; have over have not. In reality, however, we could not and would not do without the one we move away from. When one reaches its apogee, the opposite emerges. Life ebbs and flows, waxes and wanes.

Tension, by the way, is not “bad”, it is just the other side of release. We cannot remain in a state of resolution; it is simply not possible. I recently held a conference call with past retreat participants. A few who already had their families complete discussed the recognition that babies did not cure their fertility issues. First they longed for a positive pregnancy test; then getting through the first trimester. Next resolution: birth. Then when breastfeeding could be over so they could work toward the next pregnancy test… And yet, children present, there was still an emptiness in the heart that a baby could not fill. They only thought it could when they were in the body/mindset of “infertility.” I thought of the organization RESOLVE, whose name sets up the illusion that once you get the goal, the problem will go away. It will not resolve. There is no such thing as resolution in life.

(+) naturally moves toward (-). Life longs for more of itself. It does not wish for the final resolution during love making; nor is it made to stuff in enough food that we never have to eat again; exhaust itself so it never has to exercise again; waterlog so it doesn’t have to drink; sleep so it never has to wake; have enough children so it never has to feel alone or empty again. May we all grow up and be rescued from the fairy tale illusion of happily ever after.

My husband didn’t solve the longing of my heart; nor did my children, my occupation, or anything. There is no resolve. I live in the unresolved state of the heart’s yearning for its own source. There is no problem to resolve there. I hunger, I eat, I release. I experience joy and despair. One is not better than the other, although one feels better. There is joy in the despair; despair in the joy. Here life is a paradox, not wishing to resolve itself; desiring only to experience the all of itself. Neverending. Keep this paradox as you notice your body emptying itself of menstrual blood each month; feeling hope and despair, joy and loss. Feel the agony of the longing, and feel the rightness of knowing both. As you are willing to move between the extremes, holding each of them loosely, life can move more freely, as it needs the spaciousness through which the tension of opposites can come together, and create the friction through which life emerges.

The uterus, implantation and receptivity

Monday, November 8th, 2010

The basis of uterine function is endometrial receptivity; yet Western reproductive medicine can offer very little to assist women with uterine
receptivity. The wisdom of TCM takes receptivity as the central theme in fertility. If endometrial cells are not receptive, they will not open up to hormonal messages, appropriate protein expression, or the ability to receive an implanting embryo. Our focus is on overcoming hindrances to receptivity, and therapeutic modalities to help women become more receptive to life.

The sun was humankind’s first unit of measurement. The earth’s relationship to the sun set up our initial awareness of duality: day and night; light and dark. Our brains are set up to respond to these biorhythms through the pineal gland’s output of chemicals like melatonin and serotonin.
Interestingly, the first biological unit of measurement was the uterus. The Greek word Maitra, which is the initial unit of measurement, parallels the Sanskrit root mater (root for matter, mother, meter, dimension, immense, menses), meaning uterus.

The uterus gives rise to life; the primary means for measuring this state of existence we find ourselves in. To be born, from nothingness into this dimension. To become material. The uterus is seen as a potential. The Chinese word for uterus is Bao, or wrapper, which emerges from the Dan Tien, or source of life that we tap into with our Qi Gong exercises. The Tao te Ching reminds us that the utility of anything is in its potential space; not in that which fills it up:

We join spokes together in a wheel,

But it is the centre hole

That makes the wagon move.

We shape clay into a pot,

But it is the emptiness inside

That holds whatever we want.

We hammer wood for a house,

But it is the inner space

That makes it livable.

We work with being,

But non-being is what we use.

Western medicine offers very little in the treatment of uterine issues, other than shutdown or removal. That’s because Western medicine focuses beautifully with being, once it has already been manifest and can be measured and manipulated. But when we are use non-being, we must tap into the unmanifest potential for true healing to take place.

During the retreat process, we move from the state of diagnosis and treatment with Chinese medicine, into the spaciousness of the unborn, where true healing takes place: in the heart, another potential space. The heart is a void through which the spirit of existence is made manifest. The heart connects directly to the uterus, allowing it to bring forth life from the spirit of existence.

When we work with the connection between the heart and the uterus, most manifestations of “infertility” disappear. POF, amenorrhea, endometriosis, and implantation failure. When the heart – uterus link is impaired, it doesn’t matter how great or poor egg quality is; implantation cannot occur. One patient with “unexplained infertility” went through 27 IVFs with her own eggs; and 9 with nine different donors. The blastocysts were top quality, but couldn’t find a home in her unreceptive uterus. Had she started out with Chinese medicine, she could have avoided every unsuccessful attempt.

A recent patient had been told by her Chinese doctor, “I’ve done all I can do for you. The rest is in your heart. You can only do this alone.” I agree with half of it; the real healing work can only be done by you. But we are here to help you, so you don’t have to do it alone.

Randine Lewis, MSOM, L.Ac., Ph.D.

A Concept Called Jing

Monday, November 8th, 2010

In Chinese medicine, Qi is the invisible life force which enables the body to think and perform voluntary movement. The power of Qi is evidenced in the movement of energy in the world and in the cosmos at large. However, Jing is a force that is less known about in the west, but is key to working with fertility.

The Chinese concept called “jing” or “essence” and provides the very framework from which life unfolds through DNA. Governed by the kidney energies (2d chakra in Ayurvedic healing), strong jing provides us with a robust constitution, genetic makeup, and a great ability to reproduce ourselves. When jing is depleted, our ability to reproduce ourselves is the first to go. Our body has no intention to make more of us when our own energies are waning.

In Chinese medicine, Jing is seen as the first Treasure , or “Regenerative Essence”. While Qi is life force that allows us to function on a daily basis, Jing is the more refined, stored and concentrated energy within every being. Jing is the source of our vitality and is associated with the aging process.

The store of Jing helps each of us manage stress in daily life. Behind many key human functions is Jing: within the reproductive organs, the chemistry and function of the organs, as well as the health and function of the mind. Jing is behind the very constitution of our physical bodies, and is a blend of Yin and Yang energy.
The essence of Jing is permeated within the ova and sperm.

Jing is depleted through age, stimulants, hard living, lack of sleep, poor diet, too much stress and external stimulation, overthinking, overworking, too much noise, and lack of restoration.

When we are trying to conceive, we are going right for the jing. If our stores are low, the result will be nil. In addition to reducing the demands of your body, you can help restore the jing by:

Supplementing a healthy, organic diet with 2000 mg of fish oil per day. We recommend Biomega from USANA. Fish oil not only lubricates the body and helps improve blood circulation, it restores the jing.

Dr. Randine Lewis and The Fertile Soul return to The Crossings in Austin TX!

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

We are very excited to announce The Fertile Soul is coming to back to The Crossings – Austin! We will be offering a Fertile Soul Retreat hosted by Dr. Randine Lewis starting Friday, December 3 at The Crossings retreat center.
The retreat will begin on Friday afternoon around 4:00pm with an intoduction to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and an overview of the weekend ahead (specific times will be posted upon registration). This is a great opportunity to meet with Randine and your fellow guests that have been on a similar journey! The Retreat will continue on Saturday and Sunday morning around 8:30am and go throughout the days until about 6:00pm (Specific Schedule Times TBA). There will be intermission breaks for Lunch on Saturday and Sunday and a few shorter breaks to stretch your legs and get some fresh air throughout the day. Retreat will end on Monday afternoon around 12 noon with a closing group circle and lunch before your departure.
All meals are included in your stay and there will be refreshments and snacks available in the meeting space during the day. We recommend that you stay close during these breaks as the schedule is full and we will need to start each session promptly in order to maximize your time with Dr. Lewis. There is also a wonderful spa onsite .

Make your reservations early as spaces and availability fill up fast! For more information and reservations CLICK HERE!

Dr. Randine Lewis Brings The Fertile Soul to Atlanta, GA

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

We are very excited to announce The Fertile Soul is coming to the Atlanta area! We will be offering a Fertile Soul Workshop hosted by Dr. Randine Lewis starting Saturday, November 13th at the Hilton Atlanta Downtown. This workshop is rooted from the Foundations Retreat Education basics and will offer over 15 hours of actual meeting time with Dr. Lewis. The retreat’s educational/lecture material will be identical to our 4-day retreats and you will not miss any educational content by attending this event over another Fertile Soul Retreat. This workshop will be limited by time for any extra-curricular activities such as movement classes and group sharing circles.
The retreat will begin on Saturday morning around 8:30am with an introduction to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and an overview of the weekend ahead (specific times will be posted upon registration). This is a great opportunity to meet with Randine and your fellow guests that have been on a similar journey! The Retreat will continue Saturday and Sunday and go throughout the days until early evening. There will be intermission breaks for Lunch and a few shorter breaks to stretch your legs and get some fresh air throughout the day.
Meals will be entirely on your own during these breaks, but there will be refreshments and snacks available in the meeting space during the day. We recommend that you stay close during these breaks as the schedule is full and we will need to start each session promptly in order to maximize your time with Dr. Lewis. There are a five restaurants on-site at the Hilton and other dining options in the area.

Retreats go fast so CLICK HERE NOW for more information and reservations!