Archive for March, 2012

IVIG and Intralipid Infusion Treatment

Friday, March 30th, 2012

Treatments such as intravenous immunoglobulin therapy or intralipid infusions are sometimes suggested for women with autoimmune conditions whose immune systems react negatively to an implanting embryo. An embryo, composed of “self” and “non-self” can confuse a weakened or stressed immune system, whose primary job it is to kill off the foreign (non-self) invador. When the immune system is confused, it often reverts from its highest directive, to differentiate, to its lowest default, which is to kill.

The woman’s body can react negatively against the pregnancy itself, to components of the cell wall, and develop antibodies, which protect her from accepting in what her body perceives as threatening. She may have elevated antiphosphlipid antibodies, antithyroid antibodies, anticardiolipin antibodies, antinuclear antibodies, anti-lupus anticoagulant, or elevated (and activated) natural killer cells. The blood is often thickened so it can clot off the blood supply to the offending threat, and starve it.

The infusions of protein and blood products listed above are intended to bind the antibodies and deactivate them. While it can temporarily clear the blood of the activated immune system components, it is not curative.

Chinese medicine seeks to diagnose and treat the cause of the autoimmune reactivity, not its manifestation. When you look for the underlying cause, you are working at the level of energy; not strictly at the level of identifiable form, where it is more important to specifically identify and suppress the elevated marker of immunity. So, whether it is ATA, ACA, APA, ANA, PTT or elevated NK cells, we look at the energy that gives rise to the expression. Almost always there is a weakening of the Spleen system of energies, which governs internal recognition, and a strong sense of self.  The weak spleen energies will allow for some excess factor to be present, energetically expressed as dampness, stasis, stagnation, or heat.

When we can fortify the weakened spleen energies and reduce the presence of the excess factor, the conditions for the autoimmune reaction go away on their own. In my experience, it is much more potent to work energetically than to chase around the manifestation. Yet, the two approaches can be quite effective together; you don’t have to choose natural healing over those which are more invasive or vice versa.

I have worked with many women who had autoimmune infertility, who were concurrently being treated by Western medicine. When we can address the reason for the weakened spleen energies (diet, anxiety, over-thinking, poor sense of self), we can nourish them, and bring the body into a state where it doesn’t perceive components of self as a threat. We reduce the excess factors through herbs and acupuncture, and the internal fight abates. In the meantime, IL or IVIG treatments can bind up the circulating antibodies while the body is in a state of healing. We have treated the cause and the manifestation

Husband/Wife Imbalance

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

Chinese medicine has a diagnostic pattern known as “husband/wife imbalance,” a rather severe disturbance where the creative, expansive, life giving forces within have been surpassed by the contracting, catabolic energies. Acupuncture treatment involves helping the individual restore equilibrium, and return to a state of homeostasis.

Sometimes life challenges our normal patterns of creation and destruction. At times the forward trajectory that we have been traveling can no longer remain unchecked. Our procreative energies are not meant to move ever forward until death. Human beings are in a constant state of breakdown and catabolism as well. Our forward moving energies can become exhausted from chronic stress, moving us toward a more dense or compressed state of energy, where we are no longer in procreative mode. We must let something die.

At birth we were endowed not only with an abundance of “source qi”, we were also granted the seed of our original nature. Throughout life, we forget our true nature by moving toward worldly goals and achievements, and away from our original nature. We exchange worldly experience and a false sense of self for our true face. When we become locked into a fear based state of separation and lose nature’s intended destiny for us, we pave the way for separation of yin and yang energies within.

At certain times in our life we are granted turning points, where we are provided an opportunity to turn within, and restore our original nature. Rarely are these turning points happy times. They usually appear in the wake of a deep inner or outer challenge – a chronic illness, loss of outward identity, divorce, infertility… One now has the opportunity to wake up to the memory of their lost original nature, or their true path will remain hidden, unfulfilled, and yin and yang will continue to separate toward disease and death.

A further exacerbation of this imbalance can be found in relationship. Oftentimes the expansive male energies have been suppressed by the needs of the couple for a child. The wife occupies a place of control, and the relationship itself is no longer one of spontaneous love and creative expansion; it has become heavy, toxic, and unfulfilling. This dynamic of control will need to be interrupted or the marriage is doomed. The yin/yang equilibrium must be restored.

When a woman with a husband/wife imbalance is trying to conceive, she will be unable. Balance must be restored by turning inward; paradoxically away from the outward pursuit of a child. She must restore herself first, and this is often the last thing she feels capable of doing. It takes a tremendous amount of energy to turn inward when it seems like the only way to survive is to have a child. She must stop the heavy, toxic, stressful patterns. She must move inward, see herself and her life as it is, and reintegrate these distorted energies through loving self-acceptance, and returning to her original source. The disintegration of the old allows a creative reversal, and a new emergent pattern of creation can be restored.

The Spiritual Pivot

Monday, March 19th, 2012

One of the earliest recorded works of medicine; the fundamental doctrine of Chinese Medicine is the Huang Di Nei Jing So Wen Ling Shu, dated approximately two centuries BCE. These two volumes (Su Wen and Ling Shu) comprise a dialog between the Yellow Emperor and his physician, Qi Bo, on the workings of nature as it pertains to the human body, the origin of disease and its cure.

The second volume, called the Ling Shu or Spiritual Pivot, discusses the theory and application of acupuncture.  Chapter 8 of the Spiritual Pivot makes the recognition, “Before needling, one must be rooted in spirit.”  My interpretation of this sentence is that until one is in touch with one’s spirit – both the practitioner’s and the patient’s, the treatment will be ineffective.

All rue healing comes through the heart, the home of the spirit. If we take this all the way through, there are no healers, unless their primary motive is to bring one in harmony with one’s spirit, where all healing originates.

I teach and work with a community of practitioners whom I consider experts in Chinese medicine and fertility. I don’t call them healers; nor do I refer to myself or anyone else as a healer. We are so cut off from the healing power of our own spirit, if we place our healing in the hands of another; we potentially place ourselves at the mercy of someone who is one step further away from the healing power of our own heart. The word pivot refers to an essential turning point, where one turns away from outer help and toward the power of ones own inner wisdom.

Chinese medicine has shamanic roots where unless a turn is made to the spiritual source within, there will be no remedy, no cure. One will continue to be overtaken by what used to be considered evil spirits. These are no different than what we would consider origins of disease:

External pathogens;

Dietary or environmental toxins;

A posturing of anger that keeps one in a state of internal distress;

A state of victimhood, where one is at the mercy of another;

Unexamined, subconscious fear.

These can show up as chronic inflammatory conditions, hormonal imbalances, cancer, strokes, bleeding disorders, reproductive disturbances, heart attacks, you name it. Where disease has appeared, its origin is in losing ones resonance with ones own heart and place in the world.

Healing can be addictive, if one continues to rely on outside sources for ultimate healing. If there were a true healer, they would render their work irrelevant and put themselves out of business. So, in my view, real healing is helping someone to raise their energetic level to the point where they become their own healer. They transcend the need to be healed.

SPACES STILL AVAILABLE: Omaha Retreat – March 23-25

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

Dr. Randine Lewis, author of The Infertility Cure and founder of The Fertile Soul MethodTM, will offer this Workshop in conjunction with Donna Huber(Thirteen Moons Acupuncture) to focus on the unique challenges couples and individuals face through the fertility journey. We will incorporate five-element energetics, our foundational retreat process, diagnosis, qi gong exercises, diet, massage/acupressure, energy healing, nutritional enhancement, and healing support in a comfortable group environment.

Our LOWEST tuition of the YEAR is offered for this event ONLY! The retreat begins on Friday, March 23 (starting time around 3pm) and goes through Sunday, March 25 (closing time around 6pm).

For more information and registration, check out our site here:http://thefertilesoul.com/shop/retreats/re12-0323-the-fertile-soul-retreat

or contact us: info@thefertilesoul.com

Fertility Acupressure – Luteal and Pre-Mentrual Phase

Monday, March 12th, 2012

Fertility Acupressure – Follicular Phase

Monday, March 12th, 2012

The Essential Attribute

Monday, March 12th, 2012

I recently met with a couple who had some troubling experiences with their past fertility doctors. She was 46 and he was 48. Her reproductive organs were clear, her hormones were within normal limits and he had an adequate sperm count with average motility and morphology. Yet, because of age, the feeling of frantic desperation was closing in on them.

While I was evaluating the wife, the husband asked me a very interesting question: “In your experience, what is the crucial factor is in women who are successful in conceiving over 45? Is it hormonal, physical, emotional, mental?” I had to think for a moment, as I hadn’t ever been asked this question before. I paused, looked back on the “miracles” who conceived in later reproductive life, and it was clear what that essential attribute was. Strange as it sounded, I responded, “It is without a doubt this: the courage to follow the wisdom of one’s heart.”

Certainly, as a woman ages, there are changes to her reproductive system. At age 25, a woman as 80% more blood flow going to the reproductive organs than a 45 year old woman. Her hormones are more stable. Her uterus is more receptive. She responds better to hormones. Negative life conditioning hasn’t had a chance to take hold. It isn’t as if we need to recondition all these negative life responses, either. We don’t have time for that.

The Chinese philosophy of reproductive aging could be boiled down to this: At age 25, one is governed primarily by the physical world. At age 45, one must follow a different directive: the wisdom of the heart, known as xin. Heart wisdom is that deep inner sense of knowing we each have when our lives are in alignment. It is a felt sense of power and rightness that is more difficult to tap into when we are governed by the physical world of the senses.

One woman was 48 when she came into the power of the courage of her own heart wisdom. She sat across from her doctor as he sat behind his desk, patronizing her with comments such as, “Don’t you realize how old you are?” and “Furthermore, you aren’t even married.” Having had enough of believing other people’s comments of what she was capable of, she stood up with nothing other than the courage of her own heart to guide her, Thoughts arose such as, what if this was the last doctor who would treat someone of her age and reproductive status? It didn’t matter anymore. The only thing that mattered was that she finally stand up for herself. She said, “Who are you to tell me what I am capable of?” and she walked out of his office, determined never again to let anyone rob her of her potential. She found her husband later the same year. They conceived naturally. She gave birth to a healthy baby boy.

It is rare to find someone who is finally ready to take charge of their own life to such an extent that they encounter a level of courage that demands fidelity of a higher order to ones own heart. But when it comes, it is a formidable force. I have never seen it fail.

Fertility Massage – Femoral Reproductive Massage Video

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

Can Women Make New Eggs?

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

A new study confirmed the underlying belief, unproven, that the ovary contains deep, hidden stem cells, capable of becoming new eggs. It was previously believed that a woman’s ovarian potential was determined before birth, and was incapable of being improved upon. While science hasn’t been able to study ovarian potential from healthy, living ovarian tissue, rodent studies have supported the idea that mammalian ovarian cells have a potential to produce new cells. Yet, the only tissue science has previously had to study was pathological or diseased tissue, removed from the body. It was previously proven that menopausal ovaries, when placed in a younger, healthier body, were capable of ovulating again. Science does not know how, why, or under what circumstances those stem cells can produce eggs.

The ovaries respond to cues from the internal environment (the blood circulation, hormones, nutritional status, oxygenation, stress hormones in the blood., toxin and antioxidant levels…) and create a follicular environment to mimic the body’s internal response to its external environment. It is within that follicular environment that the eggs (which have been in a dormant state since before birth) undergo meiosis, and wait to see if they will be selected for maturation and ovulation.

Knowing that ovarian tissue is capable of producing new eggs, and knowing that primordial follicles remain dormant until called into circulation by communicating with the body’s internal environment (which is based on her emotional interpretation of the external environment), let me provide a couple of stories from women I have treated.

A woman underwent high dose radiation and chemotherapy, which “killed” her ovaries. She conceived naturally.

A woman in ovarian failure, with an FSH value over 100, conceived naturally.

A woman conceived during her 7th IVF at age 47.

A woman conceived naturally with ¼ of one ovary.

A woman conceived naturally with only one ovary on the left, and only one fallopian tube, on the right.

A woman gave birth to her first child, conceived naturally, at age 48.

The body is capable of miraculous feats, when provided the right cues. I am less concerned with how to manipulate stem cells in the lab ten years from now, than I am with providing the right environment where the body can call upon its deepest, dormant potential now. While the examples might be clinical anecdotes and not research worthy, the beauty of these stories is that each of the women above had to call upon a higher potential within. According to Chinese medicine, the energy that stirs this primordial potential comes not from the Kidneys (which govern the ovaries), but from the Heart (Spirit’s) interaction with the primordial potential within the ovaries. Energetically, ones highest potential must reach into one’s most basic potential. When an internal pressure cooker is provided (like the fertility journey,) an internal state of tension is produced, requiring one to call upon this higher level of interaction. If it isn’t accessed, the HPO axis continues on its previous (horizontal) pathway of decline. When a woman can access her heart’s highest potential, we can consider it an evolutionary jump, calling upon that hidden (vertical) potential to now manifest at a higher level.

Control vs. Allowing

Monday, March 5th, 2012

If you are on the fertility journey, you have undoubtedly been told by those blissfully ignorant of the frustration this journey brings, comments like: “Just let go and it will happen.” Or, “I had a friend who adopted and became pregnant when she gave up control.” I offered a retreat a few years back whose theme was, Letting Go. One very high-strung woman arrived and said, “I didn’t come here to let go; I came here to have a baby!” At our last retreat, one woman recognized, “I’ve been so wound up trying to force myself to let go, I’ve been controlling more than if I simply let myself control.”

Tight control vs. letting go are two ends of the same spectrum. When we are trying to move the scales over to one side vs. the other, it is still control. It is impossible to falsely induce a state of letting go at this level, because we are invariably going to find ourselves being tugged from one side to the other.  Albert Einstein said, “You can never solve a problem on the level on which it was created.” So how do we move beyond the pendulum of control to a new paradigm? You might start by inquiring within:

What is the underlying desire whose fulfillment you are trying to control?

How do you think you can control its manifestation?

Do you have to alleviate the desire in order to let go?

Can you attend to your heart’s desire while you let go of how you think it must be fulfilled?

Keep your attention on yourself, right now. Attend to the open spaciousness within, the hope you feel in your heart, and the longing that arises to bring forth life. That’s it. Do what you can to restore balance. Balance can’t be forced. It is in harmony with the rest of your life. Let the universe run itself, and attend to your own inner state of being. Don’t attend to yesterday’s errors or tomorrow’s fears. Stay at home, in the wellbeing within your own heart.

There is no need to control your thoughts or emotions, either. Be as you are. Allow life to flow through you, authentically, as it will. Any forced state of positivity is only more control. Don’t you think that the soul of a future child will be drawn to you as you are rather than a forced state of controlling their manifestation? Provide life an outlet, and more will come through.

Be scared. Be sad. Be messy. Have a tantrum about this sucky journey. Stomp and scream when you’re angry. Laugh when you’re happy. Live life fully. Get off the spleen qi diet for a few days. Stop taking your vitamins and herbs. Throw out the BBT charts.  Exercise how you want to rather than how you should. Make love when you have the urge rather than according to the ovulation predictor kits. Find the joy of no control. Act as if you were three and didn’t know any better, and you may find yourself in an open flow of life rather than a static, sterile, controlled approach. Let life live you, breathe you, think you, and emote through you. Let life come through you as it will, in every way. Your hormones will love it!