Dr. Deborah Corrente AP, DOM, CHT
Whether it be from the continued frustration of not being able to conceive, family life, work life, or just life in general – we all experience feelings of STRESS from one time or another. It is when we allow our minds to continue to feel this feeling, that our bodies take the burden.
When we are feeling stress, our muscles tighten, our breath quickens, our heart beats faster and our blood pressure rises. When we feel stress, cortisol and adrenalin are released as our bodies are preparing for what it perceives as a “fight or flight mode”. This “fight or flight” hormonal reaction is compared our ancestral instinct response related to experiences from having ones life threatened.
Of course we no longer live in the days of our ancestral cave dwellers; as we do not often have prehistoric animals trying to kill us. However, our bodies are not able to differentiate one fight and flight mode from the other; and it uses it’s ancestral instinctual reaction “that your life is in danger”; in return sending a clear message to your body that it’s not a good time to conceive”.
In addition to increased adrenalin and cortisol, stress can also cause elevated levels of estrogen and/or prolactin which, in excess, can impair fertility. It has been well documented that stress (as well as depression) are implicated in ovulation irregularities and abnormal sperm development.
Consequently, when facing fertility challenges, we seem to have no shortage of a double edged sword. Either we feel stress due to our life circumstances (whatever they may be) and that in return makes it hard to conceive; or we are told by Western medicine diagnoses that we are reproductively challenged or infertile and that causes us to feel stress.
With all the emotional upheaval that we all experience when facing any health challenges, what I had learned is that through the fears, the frustrations, and the anguish, is that these emotions are just that - FEELINGS.
In the words of Morpheus from the movie the matrix. “If you are talking about what you can feel, what you can smell, what you can taste and see, then -these sensory perceptions - are simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain”. The mind is an incredibly powerful tool with regards to how it works within our bodies; and it can be used to either make us sick, or healthy.
Unlike in Western medicine, Chinese medicine does not define the individual by their “ailment’ or “disease”, as though they are somehow dysfunctional. Simply put, in Chinese medicine we view ones health as being in or out of balance. As we understand our bodies & minds function of being in or out of balance; it often brings about great understanding and clarity; that in fact if we can harmonize the body that is out of balance into balance then remarkable changes can happen.
When we desire to become a parent, sometimes that desire becomes overwhelming. We feel scared, frustrated, angry, sad, depressed, STRESSED OUT because we are made to feel that somehow we are broken.
What I tell all my fertility patients is that I implore you to allow the “wanting” and the “desire” to have a child in. Don’t suppress the feeling, just watch it in progress. See how it feels within the body. Become aware of the feeling, embrace it, welcome it. See how it feels within the body so you can become more at ease with it.
Opening ones my mind to other ways of thinking based upon a concept of wellness, you should look upon your body as an ally rather than as an enemy. Something that needs nurturing and support in order to support the growth of a child inside it. Understanding that there is always light with darkness; there is always the Yin with the Yang; that there is always balance out of imbalance; well then nothing is definitive, and nothing is impossible.
Often after explaining this to my patients I hear a sigh of relief. When I do, I tell my patients to then allow yourself to breathe in this new realization without fear and anxiety, but with more a sense of excitement of the possibilities. What I say to all my patients, is that when trying to become pregnant, I welcome you to embrace the fun, the laughter and excitement of your life as it is today.
While Integrative medicine Practitioners (I.M.) such as myself, can identify various causes based on your unique physiology, history, and lifestyle, etc. the most common cause of unexplained infertility I find is stress.
As an Integrative Medicine (I.M.) practitioner treating fertility challenges, my job is to not only find and treat the root of the problem, but also to help balance each patients Autonomic nervous system toward a more parasympathetic dominate state; which is the most important first step to becoming healthier in your body, mind and spirit.
Each treatment I provide is custom designed to meet my patients individual needs and provides the utmost comfort and care to support the healing process. It is my passion to help each and every one of you through this incredible journey.
I hope my words have given you some sense of comfort knowing that there are answers, and that you are not broken. Balancing out the imbalance... that’s the key to health and wellness for not only the physical part of our lives, but also for the emotional and spiritual parts as well.
If you should have any questions, or would like to learn how I may be able to help you, feel free to call me anytime at 954-826-9690.
Please watch for more of my newsletters on how Integrative medicine can help.