I'm Joanne Verkuilen, founder and creator of Circle+Bloom, and I’m passionate about helping others understand the power of their brain and how to unleash this power to improve fertility, well-being and general health. Having struggled with secondary infertility, I felt strongly moved to help others use what I learned about fertility and the mind-body connection. In this first blog, I'll share the basic concepts.
We all have a superpower and it is called the internal communication between mind and body. The fancy and scientific name for it is Psychoneuroimmunology, which means your thoughts and feelings (psycho) affect the chemicals in your brain (neuro), which affects the hormones that fight disease or replicate viruses (immunology). Research centers have sprung up at Harvard, Ohio State, The University of Rochester, and the University of Miami, and UCLA to continue to expand the understanding around the mind-body connection.
A growing number of people are turning to acupuncture for help with infertility
A growing number of people are turning to acupuncture for help with conditions including infertility, chronic pain, depression and menopause symptoms. And they are turning to it even though financially it remains a largely out-of-pocket form of health care.
In a 2007 survey, 3.1 million adults reported using acupuncture in the previous 12 months, up from 2.1 million in a 2002 survey, according to the government’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, a unit of the National Institutes of Health.
High-Tech Tools Show How Acupuncture Works in Treating Ills
Acupuncture has long baffled medical experts and no wonder: It holds that an invisible life force called qi (pronounced chee) travels up and down the body in 14 meridians. Illness and pain are due to blockages and imbalances in qi. Inserting thin needles into the body at precise points can unblock the meridians, practitioners believe, and treat everything from arthritis and asthma to anxiety, acne and infertility.
A new study shows acupuncture can treat depression.
A new study to estimate the efficacy of acupuncture for depression during pregnancy in a randomized controlled trial examined 150 pregnant women who met Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Fourth Edition) criteria for major depressive disorder. They were randomized to receive either acupuncture specific for depression or one of two active controls: control acupuncture or massage. Treatments lasted 8 weeks (12 sessions).
Find out if the new "fertility spa" trend can help you get pregnant.
by Rachel Lehmann-Haupt, Jan. 21, 2010
The Tiffany Kim Institute, a medical wellness spa in Chicago, has started to offer a “Fertility Boot Camp,” that promises participants a variety of aids to help ready their “bodies, minds and spirits” for fertility. The one day retreat advertises its ability to “whip your eggs into shape” and costs $195, which includes advice and consultation with an acupuncturist, a reproductive endocrinologist (fertility doctor), a pre-natal yoga instructor, a personal trainer, and a nutritionist. “People are busy and we wanted to create a retreat for women to get a lot of information in one sitting so they can have tools and information to improve and preserve their fertility,” says Jeanie Bussel, the spa’s director of Oriental Medicine.
The Fertility Boot Camp is part of a growing trend at spas -- both medical and traditional -- and wellness centers that is targeting a market of older, well-heeled women who are trying to conceive. The question remains, however, whether paying for fertility spa treatments or wellness advice is really going to help you get pregnant – especially when factors like age are involved. Are these spas worth a visit?
It’s that time of year again when the New Year brings about a renewed sense of energy to get rid of bad habits, shed those few extra holiday pounds, or perhaps commit to a fertility-friendly exercise program. No matter what your resolution, the New Year allows us to turn the page from all that went wrong or all that we found frustrating in 2009.
For those trying to conceive, the stress from the process can often make us feel as though we have lost our sense of self and our resolution might be to bring a sense of peace, contentment and self-love back into our lives. Luckily, if this is one of your resolutions, meditation and the mighty Tiger can help you get there!
Many women going through infertility tell us that they can do yoga but they just can’t meditate. Others tell us they have tried, but they feel like they’re doing it wrong. The moment they close their eyes, the crazy activity of the brain takes over and they feel anxious or impatient.
Infertility causes stress that is comparable to dealing with any serious illness. The stress affects us both emotionally and physically, and the Catch 22 is that it can further affect your chances of getting pregnant.
Many leading fertility clinics are now turning to traditional eastern medicine, specifically, acupuncture, to help regulate menstrual cycles, nourish eggs with blood and Qi, regulate stress hormones, and create a better overall physical environment for in vitro fertilization (IVF) and a growing fetus.
We just returned from the annual American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) meeting in Atlanta, Georgia. During the conference, we were very excited to attend a presentation on recent research findings by Dr. Alice Domar. Her research revealed that women who participated in a stress management program prior to or during their second IVF cycle had pregnancy rates of 52% while those in a control group who did not attend a stress management group had pregnancy rates of only 20%.