Conference Calls with Dr. Randine Lewis
Falling Pregnant – March 4, 2014
I consider it almost irrelevant to find the dividing line between natural treatment and medical intervention. Your body is a reflection of your thoughts, feelings, dietary intake, actions, and sleep patterns. Hormonal and ovarian output, as well, is a manifestation of your lifestyle. Therefore, what you do to enhance your lifestyle, will invariably impact the overall health of your body. If you live in such a way that enhances your wellbeing and vitality, it reveals itself in a harmonious endocrine and gynecological environment.
Yet, if there have been patterns of imbalance along the way that have left you with medical diagnoses that might impact ovulation or implantation, there may be some confusion as to how to address them. Many people get stuck here: do you treat it naturally – change your diet, lifestyle, go to acupuncture, take herbs, consult naturopathic medicine, etc., OR do you opt for a visit to the reproductive endocrinologist?
And, because of the advancing clock, they are most afraid of not doing anything, and act from fear, jumping into medical intervention without addressing the most obvious, natural course. Why not do both?
Most of the people who come to retreat or meet with me individually arrive at the place where there is no conflict. They adopt certain lifestyle modifications, stress reduction, dietary adjustments, and natural supplements, as they calmly look into whether or not medical testing or intervention is necessary. This tends to breed much less fear, resulting in hormonal balance and better ovarian output.
I work with women who are concurrently undergoing diagnostic methods or treatments from mini-IVF to pharmaceutical IVF, donor IVF, or are using gestational carriers. They do not throw out their natural, balanced approach while purchasing interventional methods. One improves overall health and well-being; one does not. One is meant to be a short-term procedure; the other is not.
When you broaden your approach to your reproductive care rather than narrow it, your options tend to open up.
Staying Focused on the Journey – January 27, 2014
Every time the longing for a child surfaced in me, it brought forth a feeling of joy and passion, like a secret treasure of hope emerging from the depths of my heart. Yet, it was so easy to lose the heart-felt joy and sense of “rightness” when the journey didn’t seem to be taking me where I wanted it to. Month after month of negative pregnancy tests, anovulatory cycles, and the frustrating symptoms of hormonal imbalance turned the joy into sorrow, and rightness into downright anger. My mind led the desperate search for answers as I was brought deeper and deeper into the realm of “It’s not f*(%@ working!” As my mind remained in control, the more my emotions vacillated between hope and despair. If I couldn’t figure it out, maybe the doctors could. They couldn’t – they could only offer intervention. What?! You can’t tell me what’s wrong, but you can offer me a drug anyway? That makes no sense!
It wasn’t until I was brought into a state of surrender that my mind gave up and my heart started to lead the way; first back to me. Then to a child.
The journey toward parenthood can and should be a pathway of love and joy, free of fear or ambition. Ask yourself, right now, before you start thinking: Is there enough joy in your life? This may require deep and scrutinizing self-honesty. And to answer this question truthfully, you cannot lay the burden or your happiness on whether or not you get pregnant. Ask your question of your heart, not your mind. With or without a child, right now, is there enough joy in your life? Yes or no?
If the answer is yes, congratulations. You are on the right path. If, however, the answer is no, which I suspect for most of you it is, ask yourself what brings you joy?
This is not a selfish question; for when your heart is filled with joy, it opens, and its energy flows outward, spreading love and joy throughout your life. Harmony returns, and balance is restored, chemically and hormonally.
When you have a decision to make, ask yourself, “Does this direction/path strengthen my heart?” And intuitively attend to the embodied feeling of presence in your own heart. There is an unmistakeable sense of rightness that comes from following the current of truth that flows through your heart.
If the answer comes with justification, more questions, ifs ands or buts, it is coming from your head. If the answer has a heart-felt feeling of rightness, it means yes. If the embodied feeling is closed off and contracted, the answer is no. It is that simple. The journey toward more peace, joy, and love is always a path of heart. If you want control and assurances, this path isn’t for you. But if you want to live a miraculous life of untold bounty, you may be asked to sacrifice control for moving into the unknown. Only then can you experience the incalculable riches that life has in store for you.
Holiday Cheer in the Mountains – October 20, 2013
Honestly, very few who have been on the fertility journey for long look forward to another holiday season without children. It is painful to sit through family celebrations while everyone else seems to be sharing in the joy while all you are feeling is the ache of emptiness at the center of your heart.
We are having our November and December retreats just prior to Thanksgiving and Christmas/Hanukah for that very reason. No matter what your holiday traditions are, I invite you to join me for our winter retreats in the beautiful mountains of Asheville, NC. In both retreats we will deal with strategies not only to make it through the holidays, but to truly join in the spirit of holiday cheer in fertility enhancing ways.
I remember being at my lowest when somebody asked me what I was grateful for. All I could squeak out was “nothing.” I was horrified at how empty my life felt when, from the outside, everything looked good. All I was aware of was what was missing. Yet the energy of gratitude is one of the strongest, most life enhancing energies we can participate in. Yet we can’t fake it. Until it is real, it is just a lie. Our November retreat will bring you to the place of true, unadulterated abundance. There is nothing more irresistible to the grace of new life.
December will take us into the depths with the true meaning of the winter solstice – rebirth. Imagine if this holiday season you could come into the very depths of your being, your most fertile self, and make it manifest. While this may sound like it would be a miracle, it is. Yet, have you ever really recognized the miraculous potential you have within? We will be utilizing traditional rituals and inner work to maximize your most fertile potential. And, like all retreats, the diagnostic aspects of traditional Chinese medicine will be offered, as well as energy work, acupuncture, and individualized herbal prescriptions.
Whether you are a returner or this will be your first retreat, I hope you will be able to offer yourself a gift to yourself and join us during these powerful retreats.
With love and blessings,
Viewing Your Fertility Through an Eastern Lens – September 1, 2013
The Western medical attitude about fertility is not all that complex, but can be limiting. Reproductive medicine views fertility as a function of young ovaries, unblocked fallopian tubes, a uterus with no obvious obstructions, and laboratory values within normal limits. Chinese medicine, on the other hand, views the lab values and reproductive organs as mere reflections of our underlying fertility, which is a function of the the spirit, the blood, the heart, kidneys, spleen, liver, how our various life energies interact with our environment, and how much “essence” we have available to support new life after it has taken care of the demands of our own.
For those interested in learning about diet, Kathryn Flynn leads a discussion on nutrition and fertility following Randine’s call.
Manifesting Your Fertility – August 10, 2013
The longing for a child has arisen in you. Have you ever investigated its power, its source, its life within you? When we are in harmony with this desire, we are also in harmony with its power. When we are out of harmony with it, it cannot come through. We tend to get lost in the obstructions and focus on “What’s wrong?” rather than on the power of the longing itself. It can remove obstructions to its expressions, but your external efforts cannot. I will work with the August retreat participants in maximizing the power of this longing’s ability to manifest itself through you. August is a powerful month; in Chinese numerology eight represents abundance and fulfillment. Eight days after the eighth full moon, Life’s longing for itself begins the process in the spawning of the coral reefs.
Eight also is signified in the eight extraordinary meridians that hold and circulate the essence of our life potential. Eight winds carry the eight transformational energies that manifest through the body/mind. We will work with these energies in maximizing fertility and overcoming the obstructions to its expression.
Trusting Inner Guidance – March 17, 2013
I recently was invited to give a keynote address at a large fertility symposium in Los Angeles. Thousands of “customers” attended talk after talk, and booth after booth of infertility vendors. The amount of information was stupefying. At the end of the day, people were laden with pamphlets, notes, product information, samples, and overwhelm. I could feel the excitement of new hope quickly turn to fatigue. Their senses had taken in an onslaught of possibilities, and their minds were locked. Which RE is the best? What type of alternative therapy will help? What’s wrong with me? Who will fix it?
No matter where you are on your fertility journey, the “what to do’s” can be paralyzing. No “Do this” strategy will work for everyone. So, how do you find your way through the maze of options? Learn to trust your own inner guidance system. This subtle wisdom resides in your body, not in your brain. Your brain is a computer that takes in, sorts through, catalogs and retrieves information; but confusion sets in when you go to the brain for direction.
Information will never get you pregnant. According to Chinese medicine, all inner wisdom, all healing, and the source of life itself comes from the heart.
New Hope – January 21, 2013
Dealing with the Holidays – November 18, 2012
Dealing with the Holidays – Turning Potential Holiday Blues in Holiday Cheer
Turkey, cranberries, pumpkin pie…
Holiday decorations, Christmas lights, family gatherings…
Are you looking forward to sharing the blessings of this upcoming holiday season, or do you feel the onslaught of stress? The winter holiday season can bring out the best or worst, especially when one is on a fertility journey.
How do you deal with unwelcome questions of friends or family members?
How do you stay on the spleen qi diet?
What can you find to be grateful about when your heart’s greatest desire has not been met?
The Hypothalamus – October 25, 2012
The Hypothalamus – Your link between the inside and outside world
Learn how the entire functioning of your reproductive system is based upon harmonious interaction between your internal and external world.
Conference Call Series: Part 3 - August 19, 2012
PCOS & Sugar Metabolism
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Conference Call Series: Part 2 - August 12, 2012
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*First 30min of recording lost – we apologize for the inconvenience
Conference Call Series: Part 1 - August 8, 2012
General Nutritional Supplements for Fertility and Ovarian Health
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JinShen – May 7, 2012
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.
Pregnancy Enhancement during PeriMenopause – April 3, 2012
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.
The Basics of Fertility Enhancement – January 30, 2012
We just finished up our January retreat, where we focused on aging, overwhelm, and turning into the wellspring of deep inner guidance. In this inner sanctuary there is no aging or overwhelm. When we can reside in this place, a more fertile response to life is possible, which of course, is reflected in our reproductive response. We will continue our work on the next retreat where our focus will expand to include welcoming in the year of the Dragon, a powerful and dynamic expression of the Chinese New Year. We will use this power to deeply connect with the life-giving source within. I love witnessing the power of retreat participants as they learn to live the miracle! On this call we will go over some fertility basics and open the call up to your questions and answer.
Holiday and ReBirth Call – December 5, 2011
This season already has a different feel to it. Maybe it is going the other way. Many people I know are not doing traditional holiday gatherings, but are paring back, simplifying, and getting back to the root meaning of the holiday season: a time of rebirth. What new, fertile tradition can you birth in your life this season?
Rebirth is not just a seasonal concept; it is a literal transformational process where we come to recognize our inherent, unborn essence, which gives birth to all things. It is the ultimate fertility tonic.
(we apologize for the sound echo – the sound returns to normal at 30:17. Thank you for your patience)
Pre-Holiday Call - November 14, 2011
I’d like to extend a pre-holiday greeting as we move toward the winter celebrations of gratitude, new birth, and the coming of the New Year. Over the years I have been working with fertility, and certainly from my own experience, the holidays can be toughest time of the year. The family gatherings, gift exchanges and parties can actually intensify the feelings of emptiness. I recall a previous retreat participant saying, “I simply cannot show up to another holiday gathering as the only one without a child.” Her younger sister was newly pregnant (again), and she was beginning to feel as if every December was a marker of what she could not hope to achieve. Happily, it was her last year without a child.
This is a great time of year to do a nightly foot soak, an ancient Chinese fertility practice to melt away the stress of the day and pamper yourself. Just put some warm water and Epsom salts in a small tub or large bowl, about ankle deep, and immerse your feet. You may also choose to add holly, evergreen boughs, and essential oils like frankincense or myrrh for a holiday touch. Not only is the soak relaxing, but it lowers the stress hormones, and increases blood flow to the meridians that nourish the reproductive organs. As an added touch, listen to a guided fertility meditation during the soaking process, or simply practice the microcosmic orbit breath.
The Harvest - October 23, 2011
The harvest is a time to appreciate the abundance that the summer growing months have provided. Throughout history, the coming of winter was preceded by the celebration of abundance. Mythological depictions of the harvest brought forth images such as the cornucopia, a representation of spiritual abundance through the fruits of the earth. The Roman goddess Abundantia, abundance personified, is shown with the fertile expression of her horn of plenty.
As the days shorten, one might be prone to feel sluggish and depressed, especially if our lives have not been depictions of abundance. It might be easy to fall prey to the infertile feeling of scarcity, like there isn’t enough to go around. The antidote for scarcity is practicing gratitude for what is. The old “Count your blessings” really works. What can you appreciate that is already present in your life? A partner? A pet? When your attention is called to what you don’t have, practice bringing your attention back to what you already have. Life, love, peace. Gratitude is one of our highest expressions, and it can actually lift the energies of the body/mind.
Answering Your Questions or Questioning Your Answers? - August 31, 2011
Overcoming your fertility challenges is accomplished not only by answering your questions, but by questioning your answers. Many times the paradigm of our body/mind keeps us locked into a pattern of imbalance where the energy of the Life force is unable to express itself fully. Asking questions, finding problems and seeking their solutions keeps us in the mindset of goal oriented pursuit. This mindset of “I need to figure this out and fix it” locks us into an effort based mode where we are not open to new ways of being. I call this mindset “infertility.” We all know what this feels like. For me it felt like a never-ending cycle of despair and shattered hope. Nobody had my solution; nobody seemed able to fix my problem.
Einstein said that a problem cannot be solved at the level it was created. We need to find a higher level of expression where the problem no longer exists; a new way of seeing and relating to the world rushes in on its own. I call this miraculous state of wonder “fertility.” When I ceased my demands upon life to fix me and moved my limited mindset out of the way, a new way of being ushered itself in, through which life could finally manifest.
That being said, your questions are important. Those of you who have shared on our conference calls know that in the questioning one can find an opening to a new tool, a new path, a new way of being in alignment with life itself.
The Difference Between Healing and Treatment - July 18, 2011
We just finished an amazingly powerful Fertile Soul retreat in Denver, where we focused on the deep power of inner healing. As always, when retreat comes to an end, participants are amazed at the strength of this healing process. A proper diagnosis, acupuncture, herbs, diet, meditation, exercise, massage, and emotional support are important aspects of the healing journey, but the real healer resides in your own heart.
Although patients who come to The Fertile Soul do receive “treatment”, our focus is always on bringing them to the powerful recognition of their own healing power within. Chinese medicine has always had its roots in showing patients how to heal themselves. This is the only lasting healing there is, especially where reproductive health is concerned.
Join Dr. Lewis for a conference call where she will discuss the difference between radical inner healing and the limited concept of “treatment.
Fertility Challenges and Shame - June 15, 2011
The way you feel about your fertility journey is crucial to defining your ability to heal. If you can claim the emotional challenges, fears, worry and anger, you remove many of the barriers to healing. When we are ashamed of our fertility challenges, we tend to move from a place of fear, act out of perfectionism, and obsess with how to do it right. Rarely does healing come from this approach.
The most common phrases I hear from women who consult see me is “How do I do it right?” “What am I missing?” “Tell me what to do!” We are so conditioned to look for external guidance, we lose our internal guide. If someone is “doing everything right,” they usually are not getting the results they want. True healing comes from unmasking the deeply vulnerable side of ourselves. When we expose the hidden fears of not being good enough, feeling ashamed of our journey, our story, or our feelings about who we are and what we are doing, we lessen their hold on us.
Try as you might, you cannot protect yourself from the feelings associated with the fertility challenges. It is hard to be real, admit the pain, and uncover the obstructions to our healing. The most courageous job you may ever have to do in your life is to allow yourself to be imperfect; to get it wrong. When we allow our deepest, most vulnerable selves to be deeply seen and known, we are on our way to healing.
I recently met with a most courageous woman who has gone through extremely difficult life and fertility challenges. And her most courageous act in her life was allowing herself to be seen and known for who she really was. The healing that is emerging from that courageous act is far greater than the healing that came from lowering her FSH. When you are real with yourself and at least one other person, you have the opportunity to find that place of inner worth, of talking this fertility journey with authenticity, and to heal. Find someone to share your story with.
Reproductive Age: Share Your Hope – May 2, 2011
Most fertility patients have been bombarded with information about advanced maternal age, high FSH, low AMH, the risk of chromosomal abnormalities… although medicine has adequately warned the public of the risks of waiting, what they have not been able to convey is that there is much a woman can do to improve her fertility regardless of her age.
In all my years of treating thousands of fertility patients, most have been over 40. Most have had high FSH and low AMH. Except for one women in her thirties who got pregnant immediately after starting the program, none have had chromosomal abnormalities. When you are in charge of your own reproductive health, you can defy the statistical odds of the population that turns their health over to others. Western science doesn’t focus on what you can do to improve your fertility status. This is where you must take charge.
Spring Into Fertility – March 25, 2011
Nature is emerging from the slumber of winter into the new possibilities offered by spring. You can feel the deep potential of life all around you – smell it in the air, see it in the new buds, and hear it in the sounds of the creeks and birds. Pay attention to the awareness of possibility within you, too. You carry the same potential within you that you see in nature. Honor that feeling.
Spring cleaning – what energies in your life are no longer useful? Do you need to discard certain thoughts, attitudes, or ways of approaching your fertility that are outdated or are not bearing fruit?
Dietary changes – are you called to renew a dietary or eating plan? Perhaps our Cooking For Fertility can give you some new inspiration for spicing up your Spleen Qi Diet.
Support – are you getting the support that you need to venture into new and perhaps uncharted opportunities? Could a retreat support you?
Post Holiday Call – January 26, 2011
2011 ushers in the year of the rabbit – noted for calm, comfort, and of course, fecundity. This may produce a bit of conflict as we move into a milder energy, especially for those of us who are type-A doers.
With new years’ resolutions in full force, one may feel a inclined to go slightly overboard in resolving to do it all “right”. Keeping a calm, relaxed focus is the best way to approach fertility. “Am I doing everything right?” or “What more can I do?” tends to produce an internal state of anxiety, raise the stress hormones, and work against the reproductive cellular receptivity.
Surviving the Holidays – December 20, 2010
This is a pre-holiday conference call to help support pre-holiday stress, avoid post-holiday blues, how to adhere (or not) to the spleen qi diet, calmly handle family gatherings and any other holiday-related stressors.