Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Fertility Specialists - Nutritionists, Acupuncturists and Hypno-therapists

I recently attended the Fertility Workshop in Oakland, CA, hosted by the Bay Area Wellness Group, and I met some fantastic people who are dedicated to helping women increase chances of conception through natural, holistic methods. I wanted to share a little about the event because even if these folks are located too far for you to visit, I think it's interesting to learn about what they do--and how what they do can benefit your fertility and health.

The first speaker was Virginia Watkins, a nutritionist who also happens to be on my advisory board. She gave some great tips for healthy eating to improve fertility and included an info-packed hand-out. What's great about hiring a nutritionist is that she works with your specific, individual needs. She collects your food history, finds out the foods you like/don't like, how your body responds to your diet, educates on reading labels, takes you grocery shopping to help you locate and better shop for healthy foods, and more, as needed. She is both coach and educator and can not only help you get pregnant by cleaning up your diet, but can also help you change the way you think about food, or eat, for life.

Jessica Parker, L.Ac., is an acupuncturist and herbalist. Already, there is so much written, including medical studies, about how acupuncture benefits fertility, increasing chances of pregnancy (sometimes dramatically), both naturally and in conjunction with IVF. What I liked about Jessica's talk is the example she gave of Western vs. Eastern medicine's approach. She said, let's say you lose an earing in the rug. The Western medicine approach would be to get on the rug and piece by piece start looking for the earing up close. The Eastern approach would be to stand up on the couch and get a bird's eye view of the rug, to look at patterns and to see where a pattern might be off. I really like this analogy for taking a holistic look at our bodies and our health. Jessica feels it's important to also treat the partner going through fertility, or in the case of a single woman trying to get pregnant with her mom supporting her, to treat her mom too. To keep everyone in the patient's circle stress free and balanced--as much as possible. Like all the women who in this group, they really "get" what a fertility patient is going through.

Kathy Woo, MS, CHT, gave a fascinating talk on the role of meditation and hypno-therapy (a particular branch of it) in fertility--dealing with our emotional side, reaching for balance, calm. Although I have not been one to embrace hypno-therapy in the past, her talk not only fascinated me, but made perfect sense. She left me hungry to learn more, and, if she is willing, I may interview her for a future blog, to share that knowledge with you. She left everyone with a beautiful meditation to practice to increase reproductive energy.

Finally, Rebecca Plum, LM, CPM, spoke. She is a midwife who also aids at home inseminations. Another fascinating discussion from an understanding and compassionate voice.

Loved all the speakers and all that they do, compassionately, helping to make a difference for others. Thanks to Kenda Burke, DC, for sharing her chiropractic offices for the event.

Infertility Awareness Week is coming up in April. There's usually a big conference in Seattle and Atlanta... and many smaller events across the country. I'll let you know more about these events soon.

Wishing you all the best on this (sometimes tough!) journey.

photo by: Holistic Healing Kitchen