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Your Fertile Journey - Preparing Your Heart for Conception

This blog is a tool to sustain emotional well being, positive empowerment, and to maintain loving connection within your relationship for those struggling to conceive.

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JAN
26

Giving Acupuncture a Try

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Have you tried acupuncture before, but didn't have a good experience? Maybe you thought it was painful , or it just didn't help. I urge you not to give up on acupuncture, but to give it another try. Like all things acupuncturists come in a wide range of skill levels and abilities.

An old patient just wrote me who had moved across the country, telling me about a negative experience he had trying to find a new acupuncturist to help with his back pain. I had successfully treated his lower back pain years before with a fairly simple treatment. And he responded really well.

Here are some of the things he said:

- the bed was uncomfortable (really hard)...no face hole, so my neck was jacked the whole time
- the bed did some massaging and heat, but wasn't really relaxing
- she left me on the massaging bed for about an hour before she got started
- needles all over my body and most of them hurt

"Needless to say I didn't have a good experience. Only went twice. I'm so glad she wasn't my first time or else I probably would never try acupuncture again."

I wonder how many people have had an experience like this and decided not to go back? It's a shame, because more likely then not, acupuncture could have been very helpful. Sometimes the practitioner and patient are not a good fit, or the practitioner just doesn't have enough experience in that area.


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JAN
5

Fertility Health Challenge Forum Help Text at top

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Note if you wish to post to the forum you will need to click the log in link below to log in or create a new account.

If it’s the first time you've participated in the forum, set your preferences where it says "Click here to set your preferences." Next, Read through the discussions and posts, start new threads within discussion topics or reply to existing ones.

 


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JAN
5

Fertility Health Challenge Forum

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Welcome to the Chang Acupuncture Forum



1 Comment     Comments

GABY, Mexico , January 5, 2011 at 11:47 PM | Reply
Hello everyone, Im excited, to start this challenge and a NEw Year, hope to get more support and meet other women that are going to the same process.

I have more than 2 months in the treatment.
my favorite product is the nanogreen.
It gives me a lot of energy and im feeling happier.



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NOV
29

Change for Everyone

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Change Ourselves. Change Our Families. Change the World.

I recently read an amazing article in Time Magazine about just how important the fetal environment is to the health of it's offspring, possibly even more important than genetics and lifestyle! (Murphey Paul, Annie. "Fetal Origins." Time Magazine. Oct. 4, 2010: p. 50+.)

For example, doctors discovered that pregnant women subjected to starvation or extreme stress give birth to children with a higher risk of schizophrenia. It's as if the environment to which the mother is exposed tells the baby what he/she can expect from the world. In extreme stress and starvation, already deprived of its needs, the baby anticipates instability and insanity rather than a calm, stable, and joyful existence.

In addition, when pregnant women experience chronic depression and anxiety, their fetuses are more likely to display their own nervous system disturbances when the mother is stressed during pregnancy. It could be because the fetuses' nervous systems are already being shaped by their mothers' emotional states.

Babies born with a low birth weight are also more likely to develop heart disease as adults. In cases of malnutrition, their bodies prioritize building their brains before their hearts. These discoveries reinforce the importance of nutrition and emotional support long before conception. If the mother experiences severe morning sickness, she may endure starvation during pregnancy. Having built up a reserve of nutrients before pregnancy will help to meet mother and baby's needs throughout periods of starvation.

This also underlies the need for the mother to feel supported in her life prior to pregnancy so that she is emotionally stable. If she is burning the candle at both ends or doesn't feel secure in her environment, her baby's nervous system may be wired for mental and emotional health issues throughout its life. If she has already established healthy emotional coping mechanisms prior to conceiving, she is more able to maintain equanimity throughout her pregnancy.

Another study discovered that a mother's exposure to environmental toxins during pregnancy may lead to DNA changes, cognitive delays, and lower IQ scores in her child. This goes to show that the health of our earth impacts the health of future generations and their cognitive abilities to maneuver through life and change the world thereafter! Indeed, everything is connected.

If the mother is obese during pregnancy, the child is more likely to be obese and diabetic. "The bodies of the children who were conceived after their mothers had weight loss surgery process fats and carbohydrates in a healthier way than do the bodies of their brothers and sisters who were conceived at a time when their mothers were still overweight," says John Kral, a professor of surgery and medicine at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in New York. During pregnancy, a diabetic woman's high blood sugar appears to disrupt the developing metabolism of the fetus, predisposing it to diabetes and obesity. (All in reference to the above cited article.)
Thankfully, studies also prove that what we do right can also have a positive long term impact. For instance, evidence concluded if a mother eats broccoli during pregnancy, her baby is less likely to get cancer for the rest of his or her life.

The choices we make before pregnancy not only impact our lives and our children's lives, but also our ancestors' lives. If diabetes may be inherited or disinherited via the uterine environment, the cycle of passing disease on to our offspring and so on can be broken and replaced by a stronger, healthier cycle.

The uterus is a house, a foundation for which to invite another spirit. The mother houses the uterus. The uterus houses the baby. The home life of the mother is reflected in the home life of the uterus. The spirit, mind, and body of the baby will be formed as a reflection of the mother's experience during those 9 months and will have a ripple affect on generations to come.

This may sound scary, but I find it empowering. If our child's health is determined by genetics alone, we have no say in the matter. But this news offers us a new sense of control. In fact, we get to play God. We are not simply helpless victims doomed to carry out a genetic destiny in hopes that we deal our children good hands. With accountability for our choices, we gain control. And feeling a sense of control is empowering.

Do you want a child at any cost? Is your family bond and health a priority? Will the child be entering a loving, calm, nurturing and balanced environment?

We can choose to create a healthier family foundation before getting pregnant as an offering of love. And everyone plays a part. The father can strengthen his physical and mental health to protect and support the mother and to contribute strong sperm carrying vital DNA. We don't know if the father's state of mind during fertilization has an impact on his offspring's health at this point, but it's certainly possible it may also be an influential factor. In any case, the bond established between mother and father will be the thriving roots from which your family tree grows.

One may also liken this scientific evidence to the metaphysical theory of the Law of Attraction. Like attracts like. Prepare your relationship, your hearts, your bodies, and your home to attract a soul with the mental, emotional, and physical traits you consider ideal. A new baby will not fulfill you and your relationship if you are not already fulfilled. Strengthen your will to fulfill your highest potential as a means to preparing fertile grounds in which another soul wills his or her roots to settle and thrive within you.

"How am I going to live today in order to create the tomorrow I'm committed to?"
-Tony Robbins

Practice:

This is a great exercise to practice individually and as a couple.

1.) Create the Ideal

Write in your journal the ideal world in which you would like your child to enter. Do you idealize peace? Serenity? A healthy environment? An active environment? A loving environment? Open communication?

Write a list of the attributes you'd like your child to inherit. Do you want a strong child? A calm child? Playful? Healthy?
Happy? Is there a family disease you want your child to be free of?

2.) Take Inventory

Is your home and lifestyle a reflection of your ideal?

First write a list of positive attributes upon which you can build. What are you doing right? What are you proud to offer your child?

Next, write a list of anything that may be detrimental to your fertility and does not support the above ideal. Be honest with yourself. Carefully examine any discrepancies between your daily choices and creating your ideal.

First make a list of habits impacting your physical health. Look in your cupboards. Is there nutritious fertile food or sugary snacks and junk? Do you drink soda? Caffeine? Do you eat regularly or skip meals? Are you making time for exercise? When you eat, are you rushing and stressed or relaxed?


Next make a list of unhealthy emotional/mental health habits. Are you at a computer all day? If so, do you get up a stretch frequently? Do you overwork? Do you make time for yourself to relax? Do you beat yourself up? Do you criticize others frequently? Do you obsessively worry? Do you exercise?

Now make a list of unhealthy relationship habits. Do you spend quality time together? Do you constantly criticize each other? Do you think of ways you can help each other? Do you physically connect? Do you listen to each other? Do you have the same goals?

For each category, prioritize changes that need to be made.

3.) Plan of Action

For each detrimental health habit, starting with the ones you prioritized, think of a possible solution. Set concrete and realistic goals for implementing changes. Determine when you will take each action.

For example, if your cupboards are stocked with cans of soda, toss them. Stock your kitchen with a healthy substitute such as sparkling water and a splash of natural fruit juice.


If you and your spouse rarely have quality time together, find a babysitter and schedule regular dates. How can you and your spouse better support each other? If undergoing fertility treatments, can the husband take care of the financing so the wife can avoid the additional stress? Maybe you can create a cooking schedule taking turns preparing healthy meals and snacks. Compliment each other on your positive physical and emotional qualities.

If you criticize yourself regularly, make a list of qualities you love about yourself. Each time you catch yourself putting yourself down, neutralize the thought by reviewing what you like about yourself.

If you obsessively worry, make a list of your most common worries and write a reassuring statement to yourself to be repeated each time the worry pops into your head.


***Remember, when making changes, be gentle on yourself. The goal is not perfection, but rather balance and lasting change. Real lasting change happens slowly but with persistence over time. Old habits will dissolve with determination. If you fall down, laugh about it then get back up. Review your goals and move forward. Give yourself rewards. Remind yourself of everything you're doing right.


Thank you for your participation. If you've found any great tips for replacing unhealthy habits, I'd love to share them with others.

In Good Health,
Heidi Brockmyre, L.Ac.


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OCT
26

Create Your Fertile Life

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***This exercise will require a blank piece of paper and either markers, crayons, colored pens or pencils.

You want a baby and so wish to be fertile, but what exactly does it mean to be fertile?

There are many definitions of the word fertile. Here are a few taken from Dictionary.com:

1.) adj. capable of conceiving and bearing young.
2.) adj. capable of growing or developing.
3.) adj. highly productive; rich; abundant; a fertile imagination.
4.) adj.
bearing, producing, or capable of producing vegetation, crops, etc., abundantly; prolific: fertile soil.

You've probably been focused on the first meaning. And because you have yet to succeed by this definition, you may consider yourself not fertile. And so by this definition, you must feel out of control and helpless to create the life you want.

I think of being fertile as being creative. And we all have the gift to create. In fact, studies have shown that even those suffering from dementia are still capable of astounding works of creativity. So while all of our other faculties are stripped away, leaving us with very little by which to define our "selves," we still possess the limitless power of creativity. We are creative, and therefore, fertile beings by nature. It is what makes us unique as humans.

By utilizing your powers of creativity, you become the master of your universe. You are no longer helpless and out of control. You are fertile, as in highly productive, abundant, and rich. You are capable of growing and developing.

By exercising your creative mind, you engage your right brain as well as your left brain. Usually you operate from your left brain, which governs speaking and logic. Your right brain is the creative side. When you approach problem solving using creative methods, you integrate both spheres of your brain, thereby exponentially increasing your powers of creation. In other words, your brain becomes more fertile. You are able to better see "the big picture". Solutions may suddenly appear obvious where there were no prior solutions.

Being creative often makes us feel calmer. We are able to shift to a positive attitude through playing or listening to music, dancing, cooking, drawing, painting, etc. Perhaps it is because engaging different areas of the brain releases happy neuro-chemicals such as dopamine, which calms our nervous system. Maybe it's because it allows us to forget about our problems and remain attentive to the present moment, like a meditation in motion.

Remember, relieving stress is a key factor for improved fertility, both physically and creatively. Not only does stressful linear thinking impede creative problem solving abilities, it impedes blood flow to the reproductive organs.

Our creative experiences connect us to each other, nature, and our community. We are moved by an artist's painting. Brought to tears by a poem. We dance in joy to a drum beat. Draw a landscape. Cruel dictators have been stripped of their powers by people taking to the streets and singing together.

Creativity inspires a sense of fellowship. We communicate from our hearts through works of art.

We create family.

By engaging your powers of creativity, you are fertile. You envision your garden. You till your soils in preparation for growth and development. You weed out that which inhibits abundance. You nurture your garden with water, light, and nutrients to support the vibrant seeds. And then you are still. You wait in patience, maybe making minor adjustments here and there. Producing abundance also requires knowing when to stop, when not to be productive, so natural integration can work its magic. Sustain your efforts while you allow time to pass and when you aren't looking, flowers bloom and fruits ripen. Then you enjoy in awe as your vision, your creation came to be.

This gardening is important for creating a physical and emotional environment ideal for your baby to come into fruition.

"Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them." -Albert Einstein

Practice:

Part 1.) Reflection

Reflect upon how you are fertile/creative in your life. How are you the master of your universe? What do you wish to cultivate more of? You can cultivate relationships, art, your imagination, love, intellectual pursuits, athletics, politics, health, church or community involvement. Or maybe you need to produce less. Maybe your are spreading yourself too thinly. What ideal would like to create?

Are you in control of your life? Are you the gardener? What weeds are inhibiting fertile growth? How can you better prepare the soil?

Part 2.) Create your Fertile Life

Use your crayons, markers, or colored pens to create the picture of your ideal life. Put yourself at the center of the picture. You can use a word, symbol, or picture to represent your self. Feel free to use pictures cut from magazines or any other medium you feel inspired to incorporate.

Make the picture look pretty to your eye. Have fun creating it. Notice how you feel imagining and creating your perfect life.

Be the master of your universe.

Part 3.) Observe

Notice any ideas that come to mind that you hadn't thought of before while creating your fertile life. If no new ideas come during the creation process, that's fine. Simply enjoy the process. Hang your picture somewhere that your eyes will fall upon it frequently. Make note of any ideas that may pop into your head as time passes that may help you to increase your fertility, whether it's changing lifestyle habits or joining a choir.





1 Comment     Comments

Sonia, Lahaina Hawaii , December 10, 2010 at 5:27 PM | Reply
Dear Dr. Heidi,

I really appreciate the activities you post particularly because of the mind body connection that few practitioners embrace.

Years ago, before child and before I read your blog, my partner and I actually created vision boards of the lifestyle we wanted to create with images from magazines. I framed them and put them on the wall in our bedroom. Interestingly enough, both myself and my daughter's father have dark hair. I have brown eyes and he has blue eyes, but the picture of the baby in the vision board had blond hair with light eyes. When my daughter was born, she looked like a baby out of a magazine with light hair, light eyes and her own beautiful peachy skin.

In regards to the practice of de-stressing your life, I can not agree more. A few months after the vision boards, my daughter was conceived on vacation in Australia.

Thanks for sharing your message with the world.

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OCT
20

Living Your Dream

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Living Your Dream

Our hearts set themselves on dreams we create throughout our lives. Maybe you envisioned these dreams when you were a child and they rooted themselves deeply within you ever since. Maybe they were born at a later point in your life. They've probably taken on new shapes as life's experiences molded them into something that still resembles the original dream but in a newly relevant form.

I help people achieve the dream of starting a family. You may have dreamed of this since you were a child. The dream can mean something different for everyone. And none of us know when, with whom, and how our family dream will take shape.

When I was a child, I dreamed of being a "runner and a writer and a veterinarian" when I "grew up". I still have to remind myself that I actually have "grown up"! I am not a veterinarian. In fact, I don't even own a pet. But I do practice healing and prefer that my patients walk upright and talk. I also run and am obviously writing. (Although I couldn't have dreamed of writing a blog at that time since they didn't exist.)

My dreams came to be in ways I couldn't have imagined when my heart first delighted in creating them. My life's experiences prepared me and allowed me to get in better touch with why I wanted those dreams. I didn't know this was exactly the path I wanted to follow, but there has always been some consistent themes along the way that spoke to the essence of who I am. While other dreams fell away as I discovered they were motivated by external influences.

Traveling opened my mind to other philosophies and an appreciation for connecting with people from all walks of life. Communing with nature put me in touch with nature's gifts for healing ourselves. Writing developed my ability to communicate and to cultivate my artistic abilities, for healing is an art. My numerous mistakes have made me more empathetic. Competing in sports taught me about the body and gave me the drive to accomplish goals. Motherhood motivates me to do my best and teaches me patience. All of these attributes have proven indispensable as I walk my path as a healer and help others to conceive. Without this array of experiences, my healing practice, if I even had one, would not fulfill me as deeply in the way it does now. Nor would I have prepared myself as thoroughly.

I didn't realize at the time where I was going. I was simply fulfilling my spirit. Our paths rarely lay themselves before us precisely the way we anticipate them. But if we remain unattached to the outcome, they often present themselves in more beautiful, fulfilling, and wondrous ways than we ever could have imagined or planned.

We don't always need to know exactly where we're going. And there's no way of knowing if we'll definitely get there until we are there because of variables that are out of our control. But we should know why we want to go there. Is it because we think we should seek that dream. Is it because someone else wants us to seek that dream? Or does it fulfill an innate sense of purpose? Does it speak to your heart? Do you feel it in your core?

If your dream touches the very essence of who you are, what about your dream resonates so deeply within you? The more you're in touch with how your dream sings to you, the more fulfilled you may be as you pursue it. You can manifest pieces of what that dream means to you on a daily basis. Regardless of the outcome, you can seek the fulfillment of what that dream offers you in every moment.

As you embark on your journey to fulfill your dream of being a parent, it is important to get thoroughly in touch with why you want to be a parent. There is no right or wrong answer. It's obviously a very personal decision and the answers are unique to each individual.

Clarifying what being a parent means to you can help you put your actions and thoughts in better alignment with accomplishing that dream. Understanding why you want a baby will help you to seek fulfillment in similar ways along your journey instead of living in a state of constant dissatisfaction until that dream comes true.

“Dreams are illustrations... from the book your soul is writing about you.” -Marsha Norman

Practice:

Part 1.) Take out your journal and answer the following questions:

When did you first dream of having a baby?

Why do you want to be a parent? (Explore all the reasons you want to be a parent. To nurture? To fulfill a familial duty? To pass on your legacy? To reinforce the bond between you and your spouse?)

How will being a parent change your life (for the better and the worse)?

How will being a parent fulfill me?

What positive traits about yourself do you feel being a parent will accentuate?

Part 2.) Reflection

Read over your answers to the previous questions and reflect upon them for a moment. Think about how you can incorporate aspects of how being a parent fulfills you in your present day life. For instance, if you feel having a baby will strengthen the bond between you and your spouse, imagine ways you can strengthen the bond in your relationship now. If you long to nurture, think of ways you can nurture now. Perhaps you can nurture your friends or family, a niece or friend's child, a pet, a plant, a co-worker, or yourself.

Think of how those positive traits of yours that you think parenthood will accentuate can be expressed in your daily life.

Is the way you your life currently in alignment with the reasons why you dream of raising a child?

Journal any more insights you've developed through reflecting.

Part 3.) Affirmations

If you've discovered discrepancies between why you dream of being a parent and how you are living your life currently, write affirmations to help you bring your dreams and actions into alignment. For example, if you dream that having a baby will strengthen your bond with your spouse, yet you currently feel distant from one another, an appropriate affirmation may be something like, "I contribute to the healthy growth of my relationship." If you long to nurture, yet don't feel very nurturing in your current relationships, then an affirmation may be, "I nurture my loving relationships."

Write and repeat your affirmations several times.

Thank you for participating in this exercise. I welcome you to share your experience with others. What ways did you find you could fulfill your dream of what being a parent means to you in the present?

In Good Health,

Heidi Brockmyre, L.Ac.


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OCT
14

Open to Change for Healing

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Your Fertile Journey
Prepare your Heart for Conception



Open to change to allow for healing.

By the time patients find their way to our office, they've usually been told many disappointing messages and given an infertility diagnosis or lack thereof by a doctor. Maybe they haven't made it that far, but the frustration of repeated negative pregnancy tests has led them to invent their own negative beliefs about why they're not conceiving.

Most of the time, nobody really knows the answer. That's part of the beauty and part of the frustration. Whether the baby is made the old fashioned way or in a lab, magic will always be an essential secret ingredient. So they can stick cameras and dyes and all sorts of spy gear up into that sacred space, but still nobody really knows if you're eggs are "bad", exactly how many are left, or whether the situation can change. It's not like at the supermarket where the eggs' shells are visibly broken, they may smell funny, and are separated by the dozens. With humans, it's all just speculation on everyone's part. And nobody has that secret magic ingredient that can guarantee the miracle of conception.

But because you're going to the doctor and paying for an explanation, they're going to give you one to the best of their ability. And then they'll plan treatment accordingly. In some ways, you may be relieved to have an explanation. Or further frustrated if you're told it's "unknown." And while everyone's intentions are good, you may be left with what feels like a sad diagnosis that you keep repeating to yourself over and over like a mantra. Then you hypnotize your body, your mind, and your spirit with this message.

"You have old eggs."
"We don't know why you're not conceiving."
"Unexplained infertility." It's just a mystery. (In other words, maybe you're cursed.)
"You have a 10% chance (or worse) of conceiving."
"Don't get your hopes up."
"Your eggs are bad."
"Low sperm count."
"Poor sperm quality.
"Your eggs are like those of a woman 10 years older."
"Your tubes are blocked."
"You have a lazy ovary."
"You have polycystic ovaries."
"Your FSH is high."
"Your progesterone is low."
"Your going into early menopause."

Etc. Etc.

Each time you think and say this thought, you're probably having a stressful emotional response. In fact, you may be having a stressful (sad, angry, frustrated, anxious) emotional response each time you think about a baby, sex, or any other trigger that reminds you of your diagnosis or beliefs regarding your fertility.

Our brains, being the body's control tower, send messages to the body through a series of chemical reactions. Each thought creates a chemical response. If a thought is repeated several times, a chemical pathway is forged, much like consistent running water will eventually carve a river making it more likely that all surrounding water will follow that same path. Eventually, our bodies change physiologically in response to these deep-rooted thoughts and beliefs. Our brain chemistry changes with these thoughts and so alters the chemical state of cells throughout the body, thus affecting our health.

Words have power.

So these discouraging words regarding your reproductive health may fan the flames. This is why it's important to neutralize those words with positive messages. By repeating positive messages to oneself (yourself), you rewire your brain, so to speak, and therefore you rewire your overall health. Or at least prevent exacerbating the condition. The term "infertility" reinforces a disease state, which is why I will always say fertility when speaking of the matter so as to focus on healing rather than feeling permanently broken, regardless of the outcome.

Positive messages aren't meant to deny the reality of the situation or replace treatment. The diagnosis is necessary so that you're informed and empowered to take action. They also aren't meant to deny or feel guilty about your feelings either. It is important to acknowledge and allow your feels (feelings) so that they may be released rather than stored in your body thus causing more tension.

Positive messages promote change. By changing your brain chemistry to respond with a cascade of happy chemicals, you will be physically healthier and mentally more motivated to respond with actions that support positive change, like eating better and exercising.

Positive messages prevent you from becoming attached to the diagnosis or negative belief. It is not denial, but by remaining unattached, you allow for change. You're open to the possibility that your body knows how to resume balance.

Opening to change allows for HEALING.

Practice:

Part 1.) Answer by writing in your journal the following questions:

What beliefs do you have about your fertility?

What messages have you received from doctors, others, or yourself?

What triggers your thoughts about your fertility (sex, babies, pregnant women, your spouse, etc.)?

What feelings arise from these triggers?

Do you notice any physical response with these feelings? If so, what are they?


Part 2.) Practicing Positive Affirmations


After the first exercise, you should be more aware of the negative beliefs you've been telling yourself about your fertility. Now you can neutralize those beliefs by creating positive messages. You can write your own or choose from some examples below.

Instructions:


Always state positive affirmations in the present. (I am healing. vs. I will heal.)

Always state positive affirmations in the positive. (I am healthy. vs. I am not sick.)

Keep affirmations simple. It is easier to create new positive pathways with simple messages for the brain to integrate.

Write your positive messages on notes to be placed around your home or work so that you will see them repeatedly throughout the day. Sticking them on mirrors is a great way to see the messages often. The more often they're repeated, the sooner and stronger the new chemical pathways will be carved. You can even write the messages down several times in your journal.

Use just 1-3 affirmations at a time. Don't overwhelm yourself with too many at once. If you feel you're ready to move on to a new affirmation, do so.

Below are some examples. If you'd like help creating your own positive affirmations, please let me know. I'd be happy to help you.

Examples:

I trust my body.

New balance is coming to my body now.

I allow new beginnings in my life.

I am now a loving parent to myself.

I allow my body to do its job.

I choose a healthy lifestyle that enhances my fertility.

I choose healthy foods every day.

I love my new healthy lifestyle.

I express my feelings and share them with my partner.

I welcome my time to be a parent.

I manifest my decision to have a baby.

I am nurturing my eggs and womb.

I am full of life.

I experience a profound connection to the miracle of life.

I am creating new healthy sperm now.

My hormones are regulating.

I support my health, my feelings, myself.

Part 3.) Integration

Read first then practice:

When you have 5-10 minutes of uninterrupted, get seated comfortably in a quiet location. Take a minute to come into your body by focusing on your breath. Don't try to change your breathing, just notice how it feels coming in and going out. Notice your belly moving with each breath. Feel the sensation of blood in your hands. Notice your heartbeat.

After you've settled into your body, think about the negative beliefs you've accumulated regarding your health. Notice what sensations occur in your body when thinking these thoughts. Does your belly tighten? Your breath become more shallow? Your heart beat faster? Your shoulders raise in tension?

Now repeat the positive affirmations you've chosen. Again, notice how your body responds to these thoughts? Do you feel lighter? Are you smiling? Do you take deeper breaths?

Repeat the positive messages a few more times and relax in this state.

Thank you for being open to trying this exercise. I hope it helps you during your healing process. Please share your experience with others. I welcome all feedback so that I may refine these exercises to be most supporting during patients' journey to conceive.



1 Comment     Comments

Frances, Bayonet Point, Florida , December 11, 2010 at 3:37 PM | Reply
I am well beyond child-bearing years but find the information in this article pertinent nonetheless. Practicing positive affirmations is beneficial to your health and well being no matter what your stage of life is. I can definitely see the relationship between eliminating stress and increasing your chances of conception. If nothing else, you will feel healthier both physically and mentally.

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OCT
13

Welcome to Chang Acupuncture's Blog

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Your Fertile Journey
Preparing Your Heart for Conception

Dear Readers,

This blog is offered as a tool to sustain emotional well being, positive empowerment, and to maintain loving connection within your relationship for those struggling to conceive. 

As you surely know, struggling with fertility can be a stressful and emotionally painful process. How disappointing when you probably imagined it would be a ball! You probably didn’t imagine several strangers exploring the depths of your nether regions, discussing your and your spouse’s bodily fluids, or that it would involve various drugs, complicated medical instruments, and several pairs of hands. Whether you are trying to conceive naturally or via ART (Assisted Reproductive Techniques), some emotional wounds may be layering themselves, and possibly on top of already-existing ones.

Dr. Sarah Berga, of Emory University School of Medicine, who has studied the impact of stress on fertility for years, said while humans are designed to deal with a certain amount of stress, chronic stress may prevent some women from ovulating. But for many, stress-related infertility can be reversed. In one study, Berga found ovulation was restored in seven out of eight women who underwent talk therapy, compared with two of eight who did not. Nonstop pressure and chronic stress may have a significant effect on fertility and may prevent some women from getting pregnant, according to experts.” (http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/OnCall/story?id=3825359&page;=1)

Dr Berga says it all starts with the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that controls the release of hormones. The hypothalamus connects the nervous system with the endocrine system. It regulates the release of happy chemicals, like serotonin, as well as prolactin, a reproductive hormone that influences ovulation. In other words, it is a direct bridge between your emotions and hormonal regulation.

Reproductive health imbalances involve a complex entwining of physical and emotional issues. To further complicate the matter, it involves 2 people’s complexities and tests the potential for those imbalances to come together and defeat the odds.

In Chinese Medicine, emotional health and physical health were never considered separate from one another. Symptoms from either category were equally noted as clues to determine the overall greater imbalance. Restoring health routinely included balancing emotions. A healthy body, clear mind, stable emotions, and bright spirit are all indicators that a person is well balanced. The philosophy is quite simple: when you hold on to stress, your body contracts causing a lack of free flow of blood and nutrients. When things aren’t flowing, stuff goes wrong! Blood carries everything the body needs to function and heal, such as hormones, nutrients, immune cells, natural pain killers, etc.

Therefore, it is crucial to address underlying emotional issues while also staying relaxed and processing emotions during the onslaught of invasive procedures and potential disappointments that come with struggling to conceive. Addressing your emotional health is equally, and oftentimes more, important than addressing your physical health.

But it is not always realistic to afford and schedule weekly therapy appointments, let alone for two people, and maybe even couples’ counseling, too! So why not try self-therapy? It is absolutely possible to provide wisdom, support, guidance, and comfort to oneself and your partner. This blog will hopefully assist you in doing so by suggesting different journaling exercises and activities to practice individually and as a couple. Along the way, you will heal emotions that have not been dealt with while learning tools to stay calm during difficult times and lovingly connected in support with your partner.

And whether or not the desired outcome is achieved, you still want to enjoy life and your relationship along the way. Finding out you’re not pregnant again and again may feel devastating, but as with any challenge in life, there is an opportunity for growth. You can improve your overall health thereby extending the length and quality of your life. Your relationship with your spouse, loved ones, and yourself may grow deeper. Your life may be enriched in ways you never would have discovered otherwise.

“Life has meaning only in the struggle. Triumph or defeat is in the hands of the Gods. So let us celebrate the struggle!” - Swami Sivananda

In Chinese medicine, the heart is considered connected to the uterus. In fact, the first thing that confirms a new growing life within the uterus is another heartbeat. So let’s open our hearts and prepare to receive.

This blog is also meant to serve as a forum to seek group support anonymously (if preferred) and from the comfort of your home. You probably feel alone in your struggle, but trust me when I say that you are not. Because fertility is such a personal subject, it can be hard to seek support during the difficulties. Feel free to share with me and others your experience during your shared and supported journey. I also appreciate any feedback so that I may refine the exercises along the way to be most supporting.

I hope you find these exercises useful!

In Good Health,

Heidi Brockmyre, L.Ac. MSTOM

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