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The Power of Positive Thinking for Fertility
a blog by Joanne Verkuilen, Founder, Circle+Bloom, May 17, 2013
Stress negatively impacts our fertility. And unfortunately, stress is compounded when we try to conceive month after month, creating a downward spiral that is difficult to break.
Studies actually show women who are experiencing problems getting pregnant have similar levels of depression and anxiety as those suffering with life-threatening diseases like cancer or heart disease. This makes sense to us because infertility impacts every facet of ones life, similar to life-threatening diseases.
You may have heard countless stories of couples who give up on pregnancy and finally elect to adopt, and then miraculously get pregnant. Or, they go on vacation to forget their tribulations with their infertility struggle, and then viola, they get pregnant while away. Up until now, such anecdotal stories were just that – wives tales that had the effect of causing even more stress on infertile couples making them think the failure to conceive was their fault. Not so anymore!
Recent studies conducted by leading researchers in the infertility field are impressive and starting to gain increased attention from the medical establishment.
Emory University’s Dr. Sarah Berga describes the link between stress and infertility with the fact that the hypothalamus is fertility’s “master of ceremonies,” a major nerve center in the brain that ALSO is the regulator and receptor of stress, emitting cortisol when needed to keep our bodies in balance. Let us repeat this extraordinary fact: a walnut-sized portion of our brain – the hypothalamus - handles BOTH stress and the functioning of our reproductive system, underscoring that every month there is a very delicate interplay of hormones leading to successful ovulation.
This is where the mind-body connection comes into play. By using guided imagery to communicate with your body, you can leverage this innate and powerful mind-body connection to achieve real and physical changes in your body.
It is now believed that packets of data originate from our senses, mixing with our beliefs and subconscious, and then are sent to our bodies and cells. And here is the powerful fact – if your senses and subconscious have a direct effect on the messages that are sent to the cells, then we have much more power over our physical health than we realize.
And this is why visualization works! When we are “seeing” or visualizing, our subconscious mind does not know the difference between what we are simply imagining versus what we are physically seeing with our two eyes. In other words, you could bite into a juicy green apple, or you could simply imagine biting into the same apple, either way, your mouth will water the same.
This is why our perception and beliefs make such a huge difference in our health. Ever hear of the placebo effect? When someone is given a sugar pill instead of the real drug, she believes that sugar pill will do certain things - and guess what - it does. Her belief in that pill helps to bring about real physical changes in the body. It's time to begin to use this power in a proactive way.
While we visualize, we work through our subconscious, and signals are sent to the body accordingly. This is why being relaxed, being fully present when visualizing, is so important. It’s the power of your subconscious that does the work! This is how utilizing the connection between the mind and body can in fact have a real impact on stress and hormone balance, and can ultimately impact fertility.
Joanne Verkuilen is a health and fertility-focused entrepreneur, having founded Circle + Bloom in 2008. Having served thousands of women in over 80+ countries across the world with their innovative suite of mind-body programs, Circle + Bloom was created by Joanne through the desire of wanting to help other women work through fertility-related issues after having infertility herself. Her experience with the detrimental effects on the body of such extreme emotions lead her to research the link between stress and fertility. Over her two year journey of creating Circle + Bloom, her excitement grew as she learned more information about the link and the power that the mind has on the body, and how negativity captures excess energy that could be redirected elsewhere in the body – most importantly the reproductive system. By freeing this negative energy through relaxation and meditation she saw how we can begin the wonderful process of recovery and healing. She started Circle + Bloom to help others in this process of taking a more proactive stance to helping themselves. Through the power of the mind-body connection along with the stress-infertility link – we have the knowledge to take matters in our own hands.