The Fertile Soul December Retreat with Dr. Randine Lewis
Posts Tagged ‘disease’
LIMITED REGISTRATIONS – ONLY 12 SPACES AVAILABLE!
Dr. Randine Lewis and The Fertile Soul will offer this special weekend retreat in conjunction with Jane Gregorie, M.S., L.Ac., Dipl.Ac., Dipl.C.H. FABORM, CEFP, for this retreat event hosted at the Acupuncture Denver Clinic located centrally in downtown Denver, CO.
We have secured a room block at the Warwick Hotel – within walking to Acupuncture Denver Clinic. Rooms are held at a group rate of $179 per night. Contact us for more details.
Check out more details on this retreat here: http://thefertilesoul.com/shop/retreats/re12-1012-the-fertile-soul-retreat
Free Conference Call TODAY – Monday, May 7 @ 7 PM EST
Q&A with Dr. Randine Lewis
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)
Our June retreat in Southern California will focus on bringing jing and shen together, wherever you are in your reproductive years. According to Chinese medicine, regardless of age, fertility is the proper combination of jing and shen. Jing is essence, governed by the kidney system of energies (water); and shen is spirit, governed by the heart system of energies (fire)
Life comes from the combination of essence (water) and spirit (fire). When we are younger, we have more essence; as we age we have more spirit. The older we are, it is more essential to nourish essence with tonics, diet, rest, herbs, acupuncture and exercises that increase blood flow to the reproductive organs. But because of the percentage of shen as we approach our perimenopausal years, its even more important to attend to the spirit.
Nourish your spirit, and live the passion of your own existence first. Only then can you provide adequate essence for another.
Looking forward to connecting with you all on Monday night!
“… 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.
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.
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!
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
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:
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.
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.