Archive for April, 2012

IVF Drugs Linked to Childhood Cancer [Article – Telegraph, UK]

Monday, April 30th, 2012

“… Fertility-boosting drugs could more than double the risk of subsequent offspring developing childhood leukaemia, academics warn today.” – Telegraph, UK

4/24/12 – European researchers reported over a two fold increased risk in two forms of childhood leukemia, in children conceived with fertility drugs.

Almost a decade ago, the Wall Street Journal reported: Babies born as the result of IVF with ICSI are twice as likely to be born with major birth defects than those conceived naturally.

Whether or not these research reports can be proven is not significant to me. What I look at is what the drugs are doing. Any drug which stimulates the ovaries to artificially recruit follicles that the body naturally deselected, are already at increased risk. Further, forcefully injecting sperm that are incapable of penetrating the egg on their own, obviously puts the potential of new life at risk.

Nature knows what it’s doing. Our own body’s wisdom selects the follicle that it deems the healthiest to become the dominant ovulatory follicle. Reproductive medicine will sacrifice that one for the drug induced many; just to increase the statistical likelihood that fertilization will take place. IVF drugs cannot and do not increase the health of the germ cells; they force fertilization. If the underlying health is compromised and fertilization is forced, the starting point of the new life is already at jeopardy.

I doubt the procedures themselves are responsible. The drugs? Not so sure. I have always held to the irrefutable fact that nature knows best. When we can enhance the health of the reproductive system during the tonic growth phase of follicular growth when protein synthesis and chromosomal selection occur (months before ovulation), we improve the likelihood of healthy egg and sperm production, no matter what methods are employed.

I lectured on this topic at a workshop which was attended by patients and reproductive clinic staff, including reproductive endocrinologists. As I taught the participants the life cycle of the follicle and what could improve ovarian and sperm health, I asked the medical audience if anything I was saying was untrue. An RE responded, “We know what you’re saying is true; we just can’t do anything about it with what we have to offer, so we don’t pay attention to it. Your method seems to offer that missing ingredient.

Most of the patients I treat are over 40. Most are at an increased statistical risk for chromosomal abnormalities and poor response to IVF. Yet, when they take the time to nourish the health of the body, mind, and spirit, natural conception is more likely to occur. IVF success rates greatly increase. And those that have chromosomal abnormalities, birth defects, and childhood cancers are virtually non-existent. As one of my teachers asked, “What is the truth you are attending to – labs and medical results, or the potential of your own spirit?” To me the latter is where miracles occur; not in the laboratory. Let medicine intervene where it is meant to – after you have done everything humanly possible to improve your own health; not before or instead.

Stop the Problem Solving Approach!

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

Chinese medicine is based on the maintenance of harmony. Yet how can harmony be maintained?  I used to think of harmony as synonymous with balance – almost like walking a tightrope where the left and right sides have to be equalized.

This is how many people approach healing and fertility, too. Moderation, balance, harmony. Not too much of this, not too much of that. While it is true that too much of anything will make the organism unstable, life carries a miraculous ability to return to equilibrium with or without our help. We do not have to keep ourselves walking the tightrope of life, too afraid to be set off balance. Life is meant to be lived, fully, vibrantly, and sometimes in excess.

You don’t grow your hair, beat your heart or create skin cells. Nor can you create a baby through living a controlled life.

I recall a woman I treated who went through an IVF cycle just before the holidays. She carefully managed every controllable aspect of her life, yet her pregnancy test came back negative just before Christmas. So distraught at the unfairness of life when she did everything right, she went to the other extreme – eating and drinking in excess, smoking cigarettes, staying up late and partying until New Year passed. She never got her period. The next pregnancy test came back positive. And yes, the baby was just fine, adjusting to the excesses that are a part of life.

Remember when our mothers thought it was ok to drink, smoke and even diet during pregnancy? We turned out kind of okay. Obviously, I don’t advocate this. Moderation and balance tend to induce health and well being. But what we can control needs to be balanced with what we cannot. We can’t control life itself. Life is not a problem to be solved; it is an organic process to be lived. We try, we fail. We fall, we get back up. Sometimes life works out the way we expect it to, sometimes it doesn’t. We go on and do the best we can, laughing, crying, and  making it up as we go along. Life is not composed of rules to be followed.

Life is the way it is, not the way we would have it be. Our individual life expression is always in harmony with the whole. It’s laws are carried in the heart, subject to a higher law than imposed order. The Tao te Ching tells us that when man forgets the Tao, he creates laws and rules. Order is a poor substitute for the spirit’s unimpeded expression.

Life comes through the friction of opposites – the highest ecstasy of the lowest expression. Birth itself is violent, messy, and life threatening. yet from it comes a love so tender, nothing can threaten it. Stop trying to control, manage, or fix yourself. Give yourself over to life as it is. Let the spirit of life use you as you are, desires and all. You aren’t a mistake to be remedied. You are life’s expression, bursting with harmonious imbalance, longing to be expressed!

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

Monday, 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.

Stop the Problem Solving Approach!

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

Chinese medicine is based on the maintenance of harmony. Yet how can harmony be maintained?  I used to think of harmony as synonymous with balance – almost like walking a tightrope where the left and right sides have to be equalized.

This is how many people approach healing and fertility, too. Moderation, balance, harmony. Not too much of this, not too much of that. While it is true that too much of anything will make the organism unstable, life carries a miraculous ability to return to equilibrium with or without our help. We do not have to keep ourselves walking the tightrope of life, too afraid to be set off balance. Life is meant to be lived, fully, vibrantly, and sometimes in excess.

You don’t grow your hair, beat your heart or create skin cells. Nor can you create a baby through living a controlled life.

I recall a woman I treated who went through an IVF cycle just before the holidays. She carefully managed every controllable aspect of her life, yet her pregnancy test came back negative just before Christmas. So distraught at the unfairness of life when she did everything right, she went to the other extreme – eating and drinking in excess, smoking cigarettes, staying up late and partying until New Year passed. She never got her period. The next pregnancy test came back positive. And yes, the baby was just fine, adjusting to the excesses that are a part of life.

Remember when our mothers thought it was ok to drink, smoke and even diet during pregnancy? We turned out kind of okay. Obviously, I don’t advocate this. Moderation and balance tend to induce health and well being. But what we can control needs to be balanced with what we cannot. We can’t control life itself. Life is not a problem to be solved; it is an organic process to be lived. We try, we fail. We fall, we get back up. Sometimes life works out the way we expect it to, sometimes it doesn’t. We go on and do the best we can, laughing, crying, and  making it up as we go along. Life is not composed of rules to be followed.

Life is the way it is, not the way we would have it be. Our individual life expression is always in harmony with the whole. It’s laws are carried in the heart, subject to a higher law than imposed order. The Tao te Ching tells us that when man forgets the Tao, he creates laws and rules. Order is a poor substitute for the spirit’s unimpeded expression

Life comes through the friction of opposites – the highest ecstasy of the lowest expression. Birth itself is violent, messy, and life threatening. yet from it comes a love so tender, nothing can threaten it. Stop trying to control, manage, or fix yourself. Give yourself over to life as it is. Let the spirit of life use you as you are, desires and all. You aren’t a mistake to be remedied. You are life’s expression, bursting with harmonious imbalance, longing to be expressed!