Archive for January, 2013

Fertile Soul of YOGA is Now Available!

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

It’s back! We just received our new shipment of The Fertile Soul of Yoga:

You can find it here in our TFS store: http://thefertilesoul.com/shop/the-fertile-soul-of-yoga

Resetting The Cycle of Hope vs. Despair

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

No matter what your TCM diagnosis is – kidney yin deficiency, dampness, blood stasis… when the pattern of imbalance is addressed, we also need to address the mental pattern of effort and frustration as an inherent aspect of the fertility journey.

I have had three children. Each began with a dream, as a gift from beyond; but not one of them came through my efforts to bring this dream into actuality. They came of their own accord. The only thing that got in my way, causing my state of “in-fertility” were my efforts to control or to think that I could bring about their coming. This trying blocked off the light of spirit and depleted my yin, as I wound myself deeper and deeper into frustration and despair.

Remember when you first visited the possibility of having a child? Most often, hope was high, and effort was low. There might have been a great amount of excitement as you looked toward the possibility of having a child. Yet, when desire itself did not bring forth the results you expected and time went on, hope dwindled and you tried harder.

This is the typical cycle of hope becoming despair, and effort resulting in frustration. There comes a crisis point at which your body/mind goes into a state of panic. It seems that no matter what you do, nothing happens. Frustration mounts. When trying results in frustration and hope results in despair, the human condition cannot continue for long without building up an immense reserve of stress hormones. This cycle itself interferes with conception. The cells become less receptive to hormonal cues. Adrenal hormones rise as the reproductive hormones take a back seat. We are in crisis.

Regardless of where you are on your fertility journey, you simply cannot go back in time to try to recreate a false sense of hope. You cannot fight what is – your inner truth and wisdom won’t allow it. Yet, when you find yourself in a state of despair, don’t fight it. Feel the feelings that are associated with despair and frustration. Usually this state is bound up with fear, worry, anger, and grief. When you can feel these feelings, then you can move beyond them. Be where you are, as you are, how you are. Then the system can be reset. Frustration unwinds and hope can shine through again. Hope is already there, moment to moment. It is not something that we can create in the future. We lose sight of present hope when we are trying to figure out how to have hope again.

Free Conference Call with Dr. Lewis: Mon January 21 @ 7:30pm (EST)

Friday, January 18th, 2013

Free Conference Call with Dr. Randine Lewis – Monday, January 21 @ 7:30 PM EST

“New Hope”

To Join in dial 605-475-4000 then access code 794774#

(Those calling from Canada should call 805-360-1075 and then you will be prompted to enter the original number and access code)

Call-In Instructions:

1. Please DON’T announce your name when you dial in – there will be many callers on the line and the conference call may have already begun.

2. Immediately press *6 to MUTE your phone line (or use the Mute button on your phone) – this will prevent any unnecessary background noise and static on the line. You can press *6 to unmute your line once the call is opened up for discussion.

3. There are only 100 callers allowed on the call – make sure to call-in early to reserve your space.

4. Please keep topics and questions during the discussion related to the specific call.

Menstrual Phases (Part 3): The Yin Phase

Monday, January 14th, 2013

Our yin-yang representation of energies rising and falling, transforming from one to another provides a model of the yin phase of the menstrual cycle, from 3:00 to 6:00. Here, the yin energies (deep, dark, inner movement) increase. This is the phase from the end of menstruation (the blood emptying phase) to maximum growth (ovulation.)

Here we can visit the dynamic intersection of rising hormones and the deep, inner menstrual response. The endocrine energetic is a forward, post-heaven (or earthly)

response to life as it is. We are building the foundation through which life can come.  The kidney energies, emptied from the previous cycle’s menstruation, are now ready to give rise to new possibility. The kidney essence will feed the liver blood, which will rise until it reaches its apogee and begin the conversion of yin into yang. The endocrine response will raise estrogen as the follicle grows. In response to the rising estrogen (a yin hormone), the inner menstrual reverse cycle is occurring.

At the gynecological level, the reverse of the endocrine response is underway as the blood, created by the spleen, rises to the heart, is cooled by the pericardium, and directed to the liver to build which recruits kidney essence in the form of the uterine lining.  One energetic system moves up and out as the other moves in and down.

This cycle can be interrupted by anything that over extends the inner reserves out in the world.  Overabundant desires can deplete the blood and stagnate the qi. Overextending your energy in worldly affairs can deplete the spleen qi and kidney yang; leaving very little to invigorate reproductive essence. Any frenetic activity in life – physical or mental, can disrupt the heart kidney axis, shortening the follicular phase. The resulting TCM diagnoses can include:

Qi or kidney yang deficiency – usually will delay ovulation. Signs of fatigue and coldness. May include blood deficiency, as spleen qi makes blood, and ascends to the heart.

Too much heat – a short follicular phase, early ovulation. Liver fire and heart fire are often exacerbated by forcing movement instead of resting. This scatters the qi, and can be associated by concurrent qi deficiency.

Inadequate yin – lack of cervical fluid, Might be associated with blood deficiency or heat. Often accompanied by a deep inability to accept what is.

Deficient liver blood – might delay ovulation; usually accompanied by scant menses. Often accompanied by lack of hope, and despondency, which stifles the liver qi.

Qi stagnation – will often delay ovulation, which will be symptomatic.

Blood stasis – lack of inner life movement.

Dampness – may have abundant cervical fluid, but cycle is still sluggish.

As you’ve been reading this, your attention may be focused on your particular TCM diagnosis, while ignoring the cause. If you go to an acupuncturist to treat the pattern of imbalance without addressing its cause, it won’t take root. It might clear up symptoms, but rarely will a doctor be able to restore your fertility without your help in curbing the energies that are causing the imbalance. Addressing the diagnosis is relatively superficial; addressing the cause requires some depth and courage. If your longing outside and the frustration over the lack of fulfillment of your desires are too strong, the spirit of the heart literally cannot reach the kidneys.

You must always care for yourself first. Then what’s showing up as imbalances. Then on the goal of a child. It simply doesn’t work the other way.

Menstrual Phases (Part 2): Menstrual (Blood)

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

According to the yin/yang model, the blood phase governs the 12:00 to 3:00 position.

Release

The beginning of the menstrual cycle is heralded, as all new beginnings are, with a release. A viable pregnancy was not supported. The corpus luteum involutes, progesterone levels and temperatures drop, and as one cycle turns over, the next one begins with letting go. This is a crucially important time. Energetically, the lung initiates the movement of release. Like a finger on top of a straw, when its holding capacity is withdrawn, the liver directs the release of menstrual blood, as the heart-kidney axis pours its heavenly essence through the vaginal canal. The bao mai or envelope of potential, causes the uterus to liquefy and shed its lining.

Downward

The energy of this internal channel, directed inward and downward, must be unobstructed. There must be an outlet through which the life force, in the form of blood, can flow. Energies are directed within and down, not up nor without. We release and let go. With any process of letting go and moving on, there is sadness and loss.  We may feel depressed. That’s because the energies are depressed. This is natural and normal, and nothing to be resisted. Grief experienced and expressed, allows a new cycle to begin. If we inhibit this movement, we can halt the resetting of a new cycle, upsetting the delicate balance. For example, if we do not experience the internal sadness and instead cover up with a false positive attitude, we are going against the flow of nature. If we overindulge in despair, we can cause too much of this downward movement, holding the energies of renewal down, inhibiting a new cycle of creation.

Inward

This can result in blood stasis, where the blood remains congealed in the channels, blocking the upcoming cycle. During the blood phase, we are to be at rest. TCM tells us not to expose ourselves to severe temperatures, too much exercise, immersion in water, or intercourse. Because the cervix is open, it can take in during this time if we are not calm and releasing from within.

Outward

Any disruption of the natural flow can result in blockage of the heart kidney axis, counterflow qi, blood stasis, and inability to turn over to initiate a new hormonal cycle.

Renewal

Days 1 – 3 of the menstrual cycle indicate the menstrual expulsion, and the hormonal resetting. If this cycle is complete, estrogen, progesterone, and FSH should be at a low on day 3. Complete release then initiates a rise in yin. Hormones will start to rise; the uterine lining will start to fill.

Problems:

Scanty blood flow – blood deficiency; the uterine vessels have not received adequate nourishment.

Early menses, spotting – can be due to blood stasis, heat, or qi deficiency

Continued bleeding – same as above, interrupting the “reset” of  a new cycle.

Failure of temperatures to drop – heat, inflammation, incomplete release

Pain during menstruation – cold, blood stasis, qi stagnation; interrupted outflow

Emotional stagnation – unwillingness to go within and experience the full release

All of the above issues can be obstructed by blockage in the heart-kidney communication. The vibrant energies of the life force, love itself is not adequately directed to or not capable of being received by the deep kidney energies.

Menstrual Phases (Part 1): Shen

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

Endocrinology + Gynecology = Potential for Life

Introduction to the Menstrual Cycle: Part I

On the left, we have the energetic generating cycle of the endocrinological system, whose job it is to respond to the patterns in life that are already in existence.

On the right, we have the Taoist cross model of interaction, which illustrates the ability to jump to a higher level of possibility – evolution. This also allows us to look at the interface of the “reverse generating” cycle, which takes us into the “preheavenly” realm, where the unborn is brought into the earthly realm.

The menstrual cycle is the interplay between the generating (hormonal) cycle, and the reverse generating (menstrual) cycle.

During menses, the full uterus empties itself, and the hypothalamus returns to a zero point to reset the entire process. At ovulation, the full ovary empties itself, as the hormones are high. The generating cycle creates hormones in response to the way we perceive the world. The reverse generating cycle occurs invisibly beneath the surface, pulling out possibility based on the interface between our response to the world and how the spirit of existence wishes to manifest itself as a reply to the messages we have transmitted.

12:00 – onset of the blood phase.

The uterus empties itself as the hormones begin to rise.

3:00 – we move into the yin phase.

Hormones support follicular growth and proliferation of the uterine lining.

6:00 – yin transforms into yang.

Yin and hormones peak as a conversion occurs to a more active secretory endometrium.

9:00 – we enter the qi phase.

The uterus will either hold, or direct a new cycle to begin. Hormones will either rise to support conception or will reset to begin another new cycle.

We will go over each of these cycles in more depth as we look at the interactions, hormonally and gynecologically between the earthly generating and pre-heavenly cycles of conception.