Archive for May, 2011

Randine Lewis and The Fertile Soul return to Asheville

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

Dr. Randine Lewis and The Fertile Soul will be in Asheville’s historic Biltmore Village for this retreat June 17th – June 20th at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel, located in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Asheville, North Carolina.

The retreat will begin on Friday afternoon around 3:00 – 4:00pm with an introduction to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and an overview of the schedule ahead (specific times will be posted upon registration). This is a great opportunity to meet with Randine and your fellow guests that are on a similar journey! The Retreat will continue Saturday and Sunday morning and go throughout the days until early evening. The Retreat will end at 12 noon on Monday afternoon with a group Healing Circle and acupuncture treatment with Dr. Lewis. 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.
For mor information or to make a reservation go to:
www.thefertilesoul.com/shop/retreats

Pregnancy Preparation

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

The Guest is inside you, and also inside me;
You know the sprout is hidden inside the seed.
We are all struggling; none of us has gone far.
Let your arrogance go, and look around inside.

The blue sky opens out farther and farther.
The daily sense of failure goes away,
The damage I have done to myself fades,
A million suns come forward with light,
When I sit firmly in that world.

- Kabir
The Fertile Soul wants to help you achieve a healthy child. A gentle, holistic approach can help you avoid unnecessary infertility diagnoses, pregnancy problems, and birth trauma.

Improving blood flow to the uterus and ovaries helps prepare your body. Gentle exercises to open up the body, mind, and soul to the life force helps prepare your life to accept a new soul into your world. Mindfully approaching conscious conception can open you up to a whole new aspect of the creative life force that you may have previously been unaware.

Learn to check in with yourself. How open and receptive are you? How open and receptive is your world? Write down any feelings – positive or negative – that you may be having regarding issues surrounding conception. How do you feel about: becoming a parent, being a mom, caring for a child, sharing your spouse, modifying your work load, reducing stress, how you will deal with your expanding body? Our Fertile Soul Conception Journal [LINK] can help you monitor your menstrual cycle before you begin your attempts toward becoming a parent.

How are you expressing the role of motherhood in your present world? Motherhood is unconditional love, and you do not need to have biological offspring to practice mothering. Do you experience appreciation for new life in your world? Can you honor someone else’s expanding pregnant belly? Can you honor other forms of new life? Do you have a garden? Do you cook? Do you create art? Do you dance? Do you have pets?

Some of the practical ways we express motherhood help prepare our lives for a new child. One of the most difficult aspects of treating infertility is seeing women limit their lives to fighting for a biological child. The more they struggle to conceive, the further away they get from the inherent creative life force within themselves. As you prepare yourself to bring a child into the world, do not let your life come to a screeching halt.

Take qi gong. Go for walks. Take yoga, Meditate. Honor your close, open relationships. Share your feelings with others.

Play well. Eat well. Try to eliminate alcohol, all forms of prescription and over the counter pharmaceutical drugs, coffee (even decaf, but tea is okay), nicotine, and refined carbohydrates. Stay away from preservatives if you can. Include as much locally grown organic produce in your diet as is practical. Try to eliminate cow’s milk (goat milk is much easier to digest). Stay away from sugar if you can, although don’t deprive yourself for the purpose of childbearing. This will set up a very negative psychic stressor on you and your future child!

The Fertile Soul conception plan is one of abundance. We encourage you to remain and remain open to the creative life force in every way you can– living, loving, and experiencing the inherent joy of life itself.

Our old ways just don’t work anymore. Forcing a baby into an already too stressed life just doesn’t work – for you, for your future family, and for the future of our planet.
Fertility IS life itself. Work with and connect to that which creates life – in you and in your world. Let your soul be fertile!

What about Chinese herbs? Are the safe?

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

Most Chinese herbs are concentrated food substances found in nature – twigs, leaves, roots, seeds, flowers, berries, some animal products, seaweed, and shells. Each has a certain energetic propensity to address the pattern of imbalance. Unlike Western herbs, Chinese herbs are prescribed for the energetic pattern rather than treating the manifestation of disease. Single Western herbs might be prescribed for conditions such as hot flashes and night sweats, whereas a Chinese herbal blend would be prescribed for yin deficiency with heat.

When we know the reason for the diagnosis, we choose the formulation based on the underlying energetic blockages or deficiencies. Chinese herbs treat underlying patterns, not manifestations. We prescribe numerous herbs to treat deficient blood flow, excess heat, not enough energy flow, or whatever the imbalances are. It is their synergistic properties that make them so safe and effective. It is also why herbs are more difficult to study in a laboratory setting. We cannot use double blinded placebo controlled repeatable studies on different energetic properties. The myriad patterns of life do fit into a lab.

Chinese herbal tonics must be prescribed according to an accurate diagnosis, or they will be capable of side effects. For example, if estrogen is deficient, blood and yin tonics can improve the ovaries ability to produce estrogen. However, if you have adequate estrogen and supply the body with more, the excess can lead to fibroid formation.Likewise, if the yang energies are insufficient, and you tonify them, it can increase progeterone production. However, if the body already has too much heat, the extra unopposed yang supplementation may cause shorter cycles, early ovulation, or raised testosterone levels.

The standard of care in Chinese herbal medicine is to prescribe teas, which are decocted from the raw herbs. The herbal pharmacy can prepare the herbal tea for you and send them to you in premade bags. This is often easiest, strongest, most effective, but also the most expensive way. You can also receive the raw herbs to prepare at home. They are soaked in water for at least two hours, then boiled and simmered for at least 45 minutes. The tea is strained and drunk three times per day. This method is the next strongest, but a little more time consuming. One of the advantages of making the tea is that you are involved in the preparation. You can use it as a meditation, becoming involved in each aspect of the healing process, including making the medicine yourself. Other herbal preparations include powdered concentrates, capsules, tablets, pills and tinctures. These are less effective, but easier to obtain and prepare. Safety depends upon adequate diagnosis, and also where the herbs are grown, harvested, and distributed. Many Chinese herbal pharmacies try to obtain organic herbs whenever possible; many have to be imported. Because growing practices in China do not have to adhere to US guidelines, the herbal pharmacy can ask the FDA to inspect the herbs in their pharmacy to make sure they do not contain toxins like heavy metals. Certain herbs are not recommended during pregnancy, and a knowledgeable fertility practitioner will ensure your formulas are safe during pregnancy.

If you are undergoing assisted reproductive treatments, be advised that your reproductive clinic often will not condone the use of herbal substances during a cycle because they are unsure of its effects. I find it somewhat comical that many physicians are comfortable prescribing hormones with known carcinogenic effects and propensity for birth defects, while they are uncomfortable with herbs, which research has been unable to prove harmful. While I am very comfortable prescribing the appropriate herbs during a stimulated cycle, I will do so only with the doctor’s permission, so as to not cause stress for the patient.

How to find a good fertility acupuncturist

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

I am often asked by retreat patients, “How can I find an acupuncturist that
practices like you do?”

While my approach may be unique, there are many ways you can find a good match for yourself, no matter where you live.

Here are a few starting points. Call the acupuncturist and ask:
- if they are Fertile Soul Affiliates )www.thefertilesoulcefp.org)
- If they are members of The Fertile Soul’s Continuing Excellence in Fertility Professionals Program (CEFP – www.thefertilesoulcefp.org)
- If they have been certified by the American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine (ABORM – www.aborm.org)
- What their experience is with fertility (I advise keeping this an open question, rather than saying “Do you treat fertility?” They will all say yes.
- Other questions might include, “Do you work with assisted reproductive technology?” or “What is your experience treating women with high FSH and low AMH?” “Do you prescribe herbs for fertility conditions?”

Once you have ascertained whether it appears that the acupuncturist has some knowledge of treating fertility, it is my opinion that the most important factor in forming a relationship with an acupuncturist is your confidence level in them, and your relationship with them. Even if they are new in practice, how do you feel under their care? Do you feel heard and understood? Do they explain how their treatments are helping you? Are you experiencing changes through their treatments? If you can’t answer these questions positively, it may be time to look for another practitioner.

I often hear comments like, “My acupuncturist does the same treatment every time.” “I don’t feel like I’m making any improvement.” If you don’t have trust in the process, and you are not feeling any noticeable changes in your menstrual cycle or reproductive status, you are likely not with the right practitioner. Although I have treated many thousands of patients over the
years, if I did not feel they were resonating with me, I would encourage them to seek help elsewhere. Even the most experienced practitioners aren’t a right fit for everyone.

If you cannot find a practitioner that meets your satisfaction, the Fertile Soul offers phone consultations wherever you live, where you will be diagnosed and prescribed supplements and herbs to improve your reproductive status.