Self-treatment at Home
Self-treatment at Home
FIVE MINUTE JOURNAL
Change your life with just 5 minutes each day! It is important to reflect on each day so that you can live the next to its potential
(*CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR JOURNAL NOW!).
I can’t believe how much this simple daily practice (which takes so little time and effort) is changing my perspective in every waking hour…. starting each morning and taking a few moments to think about myself and what is important is like a gift in my hectic schedule – I’m showing myself that my thoughts are valuable and it’s a very powerful tool to shift my perspective to the positive! I’m modeling the importance of self reflection and being thankful to my children and that feels good to me. It’s well worth the five minutes! No matter how the day goes, I’ve set the tone for myself and that positivity spills over to my family and everyone that I interact with. It’s a wonderful feeling.
The journal’s structure and guidance makes it easy to briefly articulate the gratitude that I feel and then get on with my busy life – the simplicity has helped me to stay consistent with the journaling more than I have in the past with self-driven practices like meditation or yoga…and the weekly challenges are interesting and fun! I just started my day with a one minute spontaneous dance! Everyone in my home was entertained, there was much laughter and my healthy heart was beating with gratitude for the ability to dance! Enough said.
BLOOD FLOW TO REPRODUCTIVE ORGANS
One of the major causes of infertility and IVF failure is a thin uterine lining, inadequate blood flow to the uterus, i.e. poor uterine artery pulsatility index. Treatment to increase blood flow is essential to improving fertility and reducing chances of miscarriage. It should be noted that stress, lack of exercise, not enough rest, lack of joy, and certain foods all can inhibit blood flow to the uterus and ovaries. The following are recommended to do at home to help increase blood flow to reproductive organs and optimize your fertility;
Castor Oil & Heat Treatment
Administer for 10 days in the follicular phase of your menstrual cycle (i.e. day 3 to 12). A castor oil & hot water bottle is placed on the skin to increase circulation and to promote elimination and healing of the tissues and organs underneath the skin (i.e. ovaries and uterus). Recommended to do in the evening at the same time as hot water foot soak (below).
METHOD: Castor oil packs are made by soaking (not dripping wet) a small piece of flannel/cotton (i.e. facecloth size folded) in castor oil and placing it on the skin immediately above the pubic hair line. The cloth then is covered with a sheet of plastic (plastic bag cut out), and then a hot water bottle is placed over the plastic to heat the oil for 30-60 minutes each night (while you are doing a warm foot bath is optimal, see below). Be sure and rest while the pack is in place. After removing the pack, cleanse the area with a dilute solution of water and baking soda. Store the cloth in a covered container in the refrigerator. Castor oil should not be taken internally. It should not be applied to broken skin, or used during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Hot Water Foot Soak
Research shows that hot water foot baths (49 degrees celsius) is potentially very beneficial to a woman’s fertility. So every night before bed, especially during the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle, women should give the feet some warm love! Run your hot water tap for 1 minute, most water furnaces are set to 49 degrees celsius (if it feels WAY too hot, check the temp on your hot water heater), and fill a container large enough to fit both feet, then kick back and relax for 15-20 minutes. This is a great time to do your castor/moxa packs as well (above).
Perform from end of menses to ovulation or retrieval date if undergoing IVF. Do 2-3 times each leg (separately), 1-2 times per day. This massage increases the blood flow to the pelvic organs, providing more nourishment to the uterus and ovaries, testes and penis. Compress the femoral artery with your fingers, fairly heavy pressure will be required. When you feel the flow has ceased, hold for 30 seconds. The femoral artery can be located level with your pubic bone, just beneath the crease in your groin between your thigh and lower abdomen. The blood will then back up and increase the pressure gradient in the iliac arteries which forces more blood into the pelvic arteries. This floods the pelvic organs and genitals with more blood. When the hold is released, you should feel a sensation of warmth rushing down your legs as the blood supply returns to the lower extremities. Do not perform this exercise if you: are pregnant, are post-transfer during an IVF cycle, have high blood pressure, have heart disease or circulatory problems (aneurisms, varicose veins, phlebitis, thrombosis), have a history of strokes, or detached retinas.
- Fertility Relaxation Visualization Meditation MP3 Audio Downloads. Incorporate this incredible form of self-care int your daly routine. Browse both CIRCLE+BLOOM and ANJI ONLINE to find the tracks that are best suited to your journey. This is something you can start today.
- Create a detailed list of stressors in your life. Include everything both significant and minute. Then qualify this list into 2 categories; 1. things you actually have control over, 2. things you do not have any control over (except for your reaction). Then decide today that you will reprogram yourself to not worry about the stressors in the ‘have no control over’ category. This will take time but with practice you can change your reaction, and stress levels will reduce. Next, chose one thing at a time from your ‘have control over’ list, and decide today what you can do to minimize its effects on you (i.e. every time this happens I will take a deep breath, I will take an extra few seconds to enjoy washing my hands, I commit to smiling more when someone upsets me as I know this will positively affect my biology, etc).
- Click here to learn about pressure points that can help reduce stress.
DIET AND NUTRITION
- A primarily whole food high fiber, paleolithic, low glycemic, diet (http://www.glycemicindex.com) focusing on reducing portions if necessary is of utmost importance when optimizing fertility and restoring hormone balance.
- Ask your practitioner whether how much raw food is right for your body type.
- Include cruciferous vegetables of the Brassica genus. Some of these vegetables include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, collards, cauliflower, kale, kohlrabi, mustard greens, rapeseed, and root vegetables such as turnips and rutabagas. These foods help the liver detoxify and restore hormonal balance.
- Eliminate foods that may be causing inflammation and candida. Start by eliminating gluten, dairy and sugar (especially white refined, glucose-fructose, or high fructose corn syrup). Consider doing an anti-inflammatory dietary cleanse such as Mediclear Plus by Thorne Research. This is an ‘elimination-reintroduction’ style of cleanse which can help determine foods you may be sensitive or allergic to, i.e. the foods that are causing problems.
- Emphasize: dark leafy greens (spinach, kale, collards), complex carbohydrates high in fiber such as non-starchy veggies, small servings of whole grains (with cold pressed extra virgin olive oil sprinkled on top), lean meats/poultry or seafood (crab, mussels, clams), and organ meats, fresh fruits, bananas, and foods fortified with B12.
- Reduce or eliminate coffee and alcohol intake. These have both been associated with increased risk of miscarriage and elevated homocysteine levels.
- Eat good fats – Good fats are in foods such as fish (salmon, sardines), avocado, nuts, seeds, and olive oil. Bad fats are in foods such as dairy products, meat, cookies, pastries, processed foods, some margarines. Good fats contain omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, these are essential and must be obtained from the diet. It is easy to get omega 6 fats, but less easy to get omega 3 as they are mostly in fish. Omega 3 fats have anti-inflammatory effects. You can also get some omega 3 from flaxseed oil or from a mixture of nuts and seeds.
- Local organic foods should always be a focus.
- Drink Spearmint tea to help lower androgen levels.
- Learn to use buckwheat, it is gluten free and high in D-Chiro inositol
- Add apple cider to your daily intake as it helps rid the blood of excess sugars.
- Use extra virgin cold pressed olive oil on your grains or starches to lower the glycemic index.
- High fiber intake aids the body in eliminating excess hormones and helps manage blood sugar levels.
- ELIMINATE high fructose corn syrup and all its derivatives (also called glucose-fructose in Canada). This man-made sweetener acts differently than regular sugar; 1. it by-passes the body’s normal function of knowing when it has enough food in the gut, 2. it is stored in the liver as triglyerides and fat, 3. it is chemically similar to alcohol so it can damage liver function.
- Ensure the following ‘Dirty Bakers Dozen’ foods are always organic; celery, nectarines, apples, grapes, strawberries, peaches, bell peppers, spinach, cherries, pears, lettuce, potatoes, and ALL animal products.
- Chew food sufficiently.
- Relax when eating.
- Drink enough water.
- Avoid processed foods (shop on the perimeter of your grocery store).
- Add Cinnamon to anything you desire to aid in regulation of blood sugar levels.
THINGS TO AVOID
toxins in your environment that are known to disrupt hormonal balance which are major contributors to conditions such as infertility (PDF handout guide click here). Basically; avoid or completely eliminate the use of;
- Non-organic animal products (meats, eggs, dairy)
- Excessive consumption (especially non-organic): flaxseed, soy, whole grains, sunflower seeds, fruits, legumes, alfalfa sprouts, pomegranate, fennel, hops (beer), coffee.
- Water that has been stored in a plastic container
- Cleaning agents that contain scent (laundry, body, hair, dish, household)
- Dryer sheets and fabric softeners
- Cosmetic lines that are not completely transparent about their ingredients
- Microwaving food, especially in plastic containers
- domestic and agricultural pesticides
- Phthalates (used to soften plastic).
What are the things that you love to do that you have stopped doing because you are ‘too busy’? Things that you know fulfill you. It is time to bring these things back into your life and make them a priority. It is important not to lose yourself, particularly in these difficult times. Now is the time to dedicate to bringing more joy into your life, and commit to including time to do things that nourish your spiritual side – this needs to be emphasized. What is it that you need to do? Dedicate time in nature, her healing effects are unmatched, bring more joy into your life, and commit to including time to do things that nourish your spiritual side, this cannot be understated. Consider volunteering, journalling, more time with your friends.
- 4x ½ hour brisk walks per week.
- Yoga 2x/wk.
- Moderate weight lifting 2x/week.
- Deep relaxation & breathing exercises (i.e. Qigong, meditation).
Get help understanding how to correct issues with your posture. Eventually it will become instinct and your body will be reprogrammed resulting in better overall and reproductive health.
DISCONNECT AND RE-CONNECT
Leave all mobile tech devices at home, leave the home or office, and go out into nature.
Get enough quality sleep, this may be the most important single thing you can do to increase your fertility potential.
BBT charting, Ovulation strips, observation of cervical mucous is highly recommended (click here for temperature charts and ovulation strip use instructions).