"Nothing in nature blooms all year, don't expect yourself to either" quote

Fertility Suggestions from an Acupuncturist

Hi friend!

This week is Infertility Awareness Week. Being a licensed acupuncturist, there’s so many things I want to tell my patients coming in for fertility treatments. But mostly, I just want to give them all a big hug.

There are so many things that can play into fertility health for a couple.

Acupuncture needles on blue dish

Photo Credit: Amanda Sengbusch

ACUPUNCTURE & HERBS

I’m an acupuncturist so of course I really value what acupuncture and herbs can do for the mind, body, and spirit.

It’s recommended to commit to regular acupuncture treatments (4-8 times/ month) for three full months. The benefits of acupuncture and herbs will do more than just increase fertility. Both partners are encouraged to receive acupuncture and herbal supplement for optimal results.

While we are working to regulate the female’s cycle during those first three months, it’s also recommended to abstain from trying to conceive (TTC). This allows us to treat you more effectively at all stages of your cycle.

TRACKING OVULATION

If possible, it’s also quite helpful if you’re able to chart your Basal Body Temperature (BBT). This helps us see your patterns according to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and treat accordingly. You can purchase a BBT thermometer at most drug stores and online. Instructions should come with. But I also really appreciate Lisa’s podcast, Fertility Friday. It’s a podcast about all things fertility and women’s health. She has multiple episodes going into all the detail with BBT. Fertility Friday is really about empowering women to know their bodies and the signs our magnificent bodies give us! Lisa also wrote the book, The Fifth Vital Sign, which is hands down, the best book for women’s health!

An ovulation test I recommend is Fertile Focus. It’s a mini microscope that’s the size of a small lip stick that can show you when you’re about to ovulate. It’s 98% effective, about $30 on amazon, and can be reused indefinitely. And… it’s inconspicuous, so if you’re traveling, it’s very discreet.

Keep in mind, while some people want to change up and incorporate everything all at once, most people may do better with one change at a time. Find what works for you and your spouse. Some couples may need to improve only one area of their life, while other couples may need to improve all areas. And some of those couples who improve ALL THE AREAS may still need additional testing, medications, surgeries, and treatments.

The 5th Vital Sign Book

Photo Credit: Amanda Sengbusch

GREAT LIFESTYLE IMPROVEMENTS TO INCORPORATE AT ANY TIME:

  • Increase veggies, healthy fats, clean protein.
  • Drink your bodyweight in ounces of water daily.
  • Eliminate caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine.
  • Eliminate any other foods that seem to be a trigger for you.
    • Common culprits: gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, corn, sugar
  • Move regularly: walking, yoga, qi gong, tai chi.
    • Intense workouts are not the best (unless you’ve been doing these regularly for a good amount of time, but if you’re struggling to conceive, incorporating more gentle workouts may be very beneficial).
    • Do not add in any new intense workouts or workout schedules.
    • Walk 20-30 minutes 4-7 days a week
  • Keep your feet warm.
    • Meridians in your feet circulate directly to your reproductive organs.
    • Cold feet means poor circulation to your reproductive organs.
  • Add in breathing exercises.
    • There are so many types of breathing exercises, search for one that fits you!
    • Or just breath in for 4 counts, hold 4 counts, breath out 4 counts.
    • Make sure your belly goes out with inhalation, and belly goes in with exhalation.
    • Repeat breathing exercises for at least a couple minutes a couple times a day. It will get easier to remember 🙂
  • Prioritize your amount and quality of sleep.
    • Sleep helps your body rebuild, repair, detoxify, and regulate hormones.
  • Journal about your dreams.
    • This may help you realize and unblock limited thoughts and beliefs that manifest in your dreams. The act of writing things down is very revealing and healing.
  • Journal about anything and everything.
    • Walking the fertility journey is no joke and it’s not for the faint of heart. It’s hard, with lots of ups and downs, twists and turns. Journaling can help reveal things and help heal yourself by “getting it out.”
    • Journaling to your intuition is a great way to help trust your instincts and intuition while walking this journey. There’s so many options presented when you start the fertility journey, it can be overwhelming. But I’m a big believer that you know your own answer. It may just be very deep, down.
      • Get out a blank peace of paper.
      • Take a few deep, belly breaths and try to relax your mind.
      • Just write whatever comes to you.
      • Write your question.
      • Wait in silence until you feel an answer coming to you.
      • Record the answer you hear regardless of it’s answer.
      • Continue as long as you have questions.
      • It may take a little while to ‘get in the flow’ or you may even feel silly trying to do this, that’s ok! The more you do it, the smoother it should become.
  • Confide in kindred spirits.
    • Some couples may wish to keep their journey to themselves, while others are very open right away. Talk to your spouse about how you wish to handle these conversations.
    • Finding loved ones to share this journey can be very healing. But know, since we’re all human and on our own journey, they may not say or act how you need them to. So be honest with them and tell them if you need someone to confide in and listen, or if you want to know their opinion, or you only want positive thoughts and prayers.
  • Prioritize you mindset.
    • The power of thought is amazing.
    • What you think about impacts your life.
    • Detox your thoughts. When you find yourself thinking all the thoughts ask, especially if they’re tending toward the negative side, stop that thought and reverse it.
      • “What if this doesn’t work” turns into —> “What if this DOES work!?”

WHILE MENSTRUATING:

  • Refrain from sweating and excess physical work.
    • There’s a saying in Traditional Chinese Medicine about when you’re bleeding, you shouldn’t be sweating. Blood and sweat are fluids of the body, and within fluids is Yin. If you deplete yourself too much during your menses due to the bleeding and the sweating, chances are you’re unnecessarily depleting the Yin of your body. This can lead to many imbalances of the body, and it’s definitely not ideal for fertility.
  • Eat nourishing, whole foods.
  • Limit caffeine, alcohol, nicotine.
  • Continue drinking your body weight in ounces of water each day.
  • Allow yourself rest.

"Nothing in nature blooms all year, don't expect yourself to either" quote

WEEK OF OVULATION:

  • Eat nourishing, whole foods.
  • Limit caffeine, alcohol, nicotine.
  • Continue drinking your body weight in ounces of water each day.
  • Be sure to have sex regularly, every other day is most recommended, and remember to make it fun!
  • It may be beneficial to stay laying down for a least 30 minutes afterwards.

AFTER OVULATION:

  • Consume 100g of protein daily.
    • This can help with the endometrial lining.
  • Eat nourishing, whole foods.
  • Limit caffeine, alcohol, nicotine.
  • Continue drinking your body weight in ounces of water each day.

Phew, I know that’s a lot to take in. But friend, just breath.

You don’t have to do all of this, or any of it! These are just suggestions from a natural stand point of lifestyle shifts that could improve your mind, body, and spirit. And when things are balanced, all body systems work smoother.

If you’re wanting to implement some improvements into your daily life and feel you need some support and guidance, I would love to help you get started. Please contact Feel Good Clinics to schedule a Health Coaching Session with me (either in person or virtually with Telehealth, whatever you are most comfortable with)!

You’re not alone, and some day you will be able to see the graces you’ve developed from this struggle. You are a warrior!

With faith, hope, and love,

Emily Kappelman

Pink Rose; Joy Essential Oil

The Pains of Infertility

Hi friend,

The week of April 19 is Infertility Awareness Week. 1 in 8 couples suffer with infertility.

Pink Rose; Joy Essential Oil

Photo Credit: Amanda Sengbusch

If you have gone through or are going through an infertility journey, my heart goes out to you. I’m so sorry you’re going through this. As a licensed acupuncturist, I’ve had my fair share of experiences with couples trying to conceive. I’m blessed with being able to have many women confide in me about their journey, and while their stories are unique to them (as with all things), some underlying feelings and emotions are quite similar.

A conversation regarding fertility:

“I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy.”

“Actually if everyone could experience just a little bit of this, there would be a greater understanding of the pain that comes with the uncertainty of fertility.”

While I know there to be great graces with going through suffering, whatever form of suffering you may have experienced, the suffering part of life can be very devastating. Especially during the seasons of suffering. But I pray it’s only that… a season. And I pray your season blossoms into the most beautiful life you could imagine.

"The journey toward hope often begins with desperation" quote

COMFORT DURING INFERTILITY

If you are suffering, please take some comfort in knowing you’re not alone. If you’re not ready to talk about it or reach out to friends or family, there’s a lot of support in readings, devotions, bloggers, and health professionals. While everyone’s experience is different, for so many reasons, I believe the more you hear other stories, the more opportunity for you to help heal yourself.

PAINS OF INFERTILITY

  • The shock when you realize starting a family is taking longer than expected.
  • The disbelief in that this is actually happening.
  • The anger when you realize what you have wanted for your whole life, might not happen.
  • The researching into all the treatments, diets, protocols, supplements, herbs, meditations, medications, blood tests, surgeries, etc.
  • The depression, if even for a moment in time.
  • The loneliness felt at baby showers and birthday parties while trying to put on a brave face.
  • The sadness you feel when your friends and family are getting pregnant and you still don’t know why you’re not able to conceive.
  • The shame you feel for how you’re feeling about other people’s joy.
  • The upward turn when you find a new treatment, or a new reason as to why it maybe hasn’t happened before.
  • The acceptance that all things will work out, even if not how you previously envisioned.
  • The hope that it will be this cycle.

"My feelings and my faith will almost certainly come into conflict with each other" quote

HOW TO SUPPORT LOVED ONES THROUGH INFERTILITY

If you’re not going through this journey but you know friends or family members who are, as a licensed acupuncturist, my best recommendation would be to ask them what they need from you. They may not even know what they need from you, or their need may change daily, but just asking shows them that you don’t know what to do or say because you know nothing will make it better or change their outcome. And sometimes that’s all that’s needed. Just love and support. No one else can fix their situation but they just want other people to know… it just sucks.

With Faith, Hope, and Love,

Emily Kappelman