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Learn how to get pregnant with Chinese medicine, positive thinking & the mind-body connection from San Diego fertility acupuncture expert, Heidi Brockmyre.

Do you feel like less of a woman?

Many women have expressed to me that they feel like they’re failing as a woman because they haven't conceived yet.

I understand these feelings. After all, as girls we were taught growing up that mothering is a woman’s role. We pretended to feed our dolls and rock them to sleep. My best friend and I envisioned our future as having children and getting married at 20 years old. That was what it meant to be a grown up woman in our eyes.

Undoubtedly, it’s not just how we were conditioned. Many of us instinctively feel the need to procreate.

Regardless of whether it’s nurture or nature that drives you, your identity as a woman may feel crushed if you haven’t yet conceived.

First, let me reassure you woman to woman that you are absolutely NO less of woman for not being a mother. Plenty of amazing women do not have kids.

Would you consider Mother Theresa any less of a mother because she didn’t have her own biological children? Do you think Oprah is less of a woman because she doesn’t have kids?

You certainly don’t need to be as accomplished as Mother Theresa and Oprah to earn your worth as a woman. You’re enough for simply being you in all your feminine glory, however it manifests itself.

I challenge you to appreciate your unique expression as a woman. Maybe it’s in being creative, nurturing others, showcasing beauty, enjoying physical activity or all of the above.

You deserve to enjoy your womanhood in this moment independent of whether you’ve yet become a mother or ever will by choice or otherwise. 

In loving support,


Is infertility as traumatic as cancer?

Research has proven that the stress levels of women with infertility are the same as women who’ve been diagnosed with cancer, AIDS or heart disease.

Infertility is stressful. Period.

If only it were as simple as, “Just relax and let it happen.”

Yeah, right.

And the kicker is, this same research proves that stress makes it harder to conceive.

In a study published online in the journal Fertility and Sterility, the scientists reported that women who stopped using contraceptives took longer to become pregnant if they had high saliva levels of the enzyme alpha-amylase — a biological indicator of stress.

In fact, women with the highest concentrations of alpha-amylase were 12 percent less likely to become pregnant each month than those with the lowest levels.

Sounds like the makings of a vicious cycle to me.

The longer it takes to get pregnant, the more stressed you get. The more stressed out you get, the longer it takes to get pregnant.

So how do you break this nasty cycle?

The researchers suggest that finding ways to reduce or manage stress may be a low-tech solution for some infertile couples.

Chinese medicine doctors have been saying this for thousands of years.

You see, in Chinese medicine we understand how stress affects the body. We call it liver qi stagnation. We know that it directly affects blood flow to the reproductive organs, hormone balance, and drains your life force energy needed to make babies.

We know that using mind-body tools is the key to offsetting the effects of stress on your health.

Dr. Buck Louis, the study’s lead author, said, “Stress is the one most consistent factor that shows an effect on how long it takes to get pregnant, of all the lifestyle factors studied to date.”

So if you’re NOT practicing stress-management tools, like meditation, exercise, journaling, acupressure, and acupuncture etc., it NEEDs to be part of your program.

Most women that walk through my clinic doors are Type A personalities. Sound familiar?

Do you get stressed out when things are out of your control? Or when you can’t DO something to guarantee immediate pregnancy success?

All the more reason to follow a stress-management program, so that you can harness that need to take action without getting yourself more stressed out.

Dr. Sarah Berga, head of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Emory University who has studied the effects of stress management on women who aren’t ovulating,  said, “The surprising finding was that even low levels of stress can have an impact on conception.”

In other words, you don’t need to be a total head case for stress to affect your fertility. You just need to be a normal woman with normal concerns and anxieties over why it’s taking longer than she hoped to get pregnant.

If that’s you, then please seek out stress-management solutions.

(If you’re interested, you can read the study here, or the article Psychology Today summary here and the NY Times summary here.)

Here's to breaking the vicious cycle, 

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"Your eggs are old.": How to cope with negative fertility messages.

You visit your fertility doctor in hopes solving your fertility issues. But unfortunately, you might walk away feeling more defeated and hopeless than you did before you made the appointment.

Especially when your doctor tells you messages like...

"Your eggs are old."

"You’re too old."

"You have less than a 3% chance."

"You have bad eggs."

I’m not one for living in a state of denial. Genetic and lifestyle factors may well have impacted the health of your fertility and egg quality and quantity. A poor prognosis means it’s time to do something about it.

But I often worry that doctors use words like ‘bad eggs’ and ‘old eggs’ too liberally. Or in some cases, they assume that just because your numbers don’t like great now means that the picture can’t change no matter what efforts you make to improve your lifestyle and health.

When you walk away in a pit of despair because your doctor tells you it’s pretty much hopeless and that your ovaries might as well go ahead and retire altogether because they’re useless, it’s not helping the cause.

Why?

Because the negative messages you believe about your body create additional stress.

And what does stress do?

It ages you more quickly!

Dr. Lisa Rankin, author of Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof that You Can Heal Yourself, says,

“The studies show that, even in light of these things we can’t always prevent, what we believe, especially what we fear, has a tendency to manifest itself in reality because negative beliefs fill our bodies with harmful cortisol and epinephrine, while positive beliefs relax our nervous systems and allow our bodies to heal.”

So why don’t you give yourself a break and choose to believe in your body?

To be grateful for the millions of ways it’s working for you?

To nurture it in every way you can?

To tell it positive messages?

To be in awe of it’s self-repairing abilities?

Action Step:

Try writing down all of the negative messages you believe about your body, especially your fertility. Consciously choose to mentally throw out those messages that aren’t serving you and replace them with messages that make you feel empowered and proud. Use the messages as motivation to give your body what it needs to thrive, like nutritious food, exercise, meditation, sleep and stress-reducing therapies like acupuncture and acupressure.

Remember, your doctor is making an assumption based on limited evidence. While there may some truth to that assumption, your body may defy the odds.

Yours certainly wouldn’t be the first!

Here's to your gorgeous & youthful eggs!