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Are All Your TTC Systems Go?


a blog by Beth and Tami of Pulling Down the Moon

When we are trying to conceive, it is important to maximize our body’s ability to get rid of environment we live in is filled with substances that can negatively impact fertility. Pesticides used on factory farms mimic our reproductive hormones and modern building materials and cleaning compounds can trigger allergic responses and promote inflammation in the body.

Add to that the stress hormones and the hormone medications that are part of fertility treatment and it’s easy to imagine that our body’s detoxification capacity can be overwhelmed!

So what do we mean when we talk about “detoxification capacity”?

Basically, there are three main organ systems involved in clearing toxins from the body: the lymph system, the circulatory system and the digestive system:

  • The lymph system is a system of “drainage tubes” that collect fluid (interstitial fluid) from our bodily tissues and eventually merge it with the blood. This interstitial fluid contains the by-products of cellular metabolism, hormone metabolites and immune-system components. Once collected in the lymph vessels, the fluid is eventually moved into the blood and sent to the liver for filtering and excretion. The lymph system is relatively passive as it does not have a central “pump” like the heart.

    Muscle contraction and movement is one way to facilitate better lymph function. For fertility, we can support the optimal function of the lymph with techniques like yoga and massage. Yoga postures stretch tight musculature, releasing toxins into the interstitial fluid. Folding, bending and twisting promote movement and clearance in the lymph vessels.
    Massage has a similar effect. Manual manipulation speeds the release of toxins from tissues into the lymph and massage techniques like manual lymphatic drainage direct lymph to drainage sites.

  • The circulatory system is the second major organ system at work in detoxification. Metabolic by-products, excess hormones and other substances enter the blood from the lymph and are carried to the liver where they are literally filtered out by specialized liver cells called kuppfer cells. A strong circulatory system is important for the optimal clearance of toxins. Physical exercise, including yoga, helps to strengthen the heart and improve circulation. Staying hydrated also helps support good blood volume.
  • Finally, the digestive system is important for limiting toxicity in the body. The liver, as mentioned previously, filters waste from the blood and packages it for excretion. When a liver is sluggish or overloaded with toxins, this filtering ability is affected and greater amounts of antigens, foreign compounds, etc. enter general circulation. Metabolic waste and undigested foods end up in the large intestine. If digestion is sluggish, this waste sits around in the body and in some cases the toxins in this waste can be “re-digested” by gut bacteria and released back into circulation.
  • The best detox defense is a good offense. To keep your body’s detoxification systems in good working order, take the following steps:

        1. Eliminating caffeine and alcohol, which are toxins and place extra stress on the liver.

        2. Eat a hypo-allergenic/anti-inflammatory diet to lower inflammation and promote good digestion.

        3. Stay active, engage in moderate intensity/low-impact exercise.

        4. Buy a book and learn about yoga poses that stimulate detoxification.

        5. Practice stress reduction each day.

    Be present, be positive . . . be non-toxic!


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