STRESS: The Kryptonite of Fertility
Ladies, this month a new research article came out that I have been eager to share with all of you. Annals of Epidemiology release a new research study from the University of Louisville Public Health and Science, concluding what we ALL suspected- Stress has a negative effect on fertility. Although this might seem old news, in actuality, not a lot of research has been done of stress and how it affects fertility. This study showed that you are 40% less likely to conceive if you are stressed during ovulation. 40%!! This clearly shows us that women who are proactive in decreasing their stress, will help their chances of conceiving.
Here is the good news- Acupuncture can 100% help you reduce stress.
What is stress?
Stress is the experience of a perceived threat (real or imagined) to one’s mental, physical, or spiritual wellbeing, resulting from a series of physiological responses and adaptations.
It is a survival mechanism, only meant to occur on rare occasions. Only now it is associated with the development of disease and illness that claims the lives of millions of people worldwide.
· 43% of all adults suffer adverse health effects due to stress
· 70-90% of all visits to primary care physicians are from stress related complaints and disorders
The Stress Response is a natural process our bodies go through when we are experiencing stress. This is a whole body system endeavor involving our nervous system, endocrine system, and immune system. You also may have heard of it referred to as our “Fight or Flight” response.
Our body’s physical reaction to stress is designed to fuel the body to get away from the perceived threat. This has been developed over thousands of years of evolution. What is happening exactly?
· Increased ventilation to muscles
· Increase glucose in blood for energy
· Decreased gastric movement and abdominal blood flow
· Release of corticosteroids, cortisol, adrenaline, norepinephrine, epinephrine
· Vasopressin and antidiuretic hormones released from the hypothalamus
Chronic stress leads to lower immune system, adrenal fatigue, low energy, poor memory, thyroid disease, heart disease, digestive diseases including IBS, reproductive health issues, including infertility.
How can acupuncture help?
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, stress is often equated to “liver qi stagnation”. This stagnation can lead to many issues. Acupuncture moves qi, allowing it to flow freely through the body. Acupuncture has been proven to help reduce stress by:
· lowering the hormones responsible for stress
· strengthening the immune system
· strengthening the digestive system
I think we can all acknowledge that we are stressed. What can we do about it? Here are my tips on relieving some stress, increasing your chances of conceiving and having that baby of your dreams.
1. Rid yourself of toxic thinking. Are you beating yourself up? Talking negative? This is creating a negative energy which surrounds you. Ask yourself “Would I say these things out loud to someone I love?” No, you probably wouldn’t, so start loving yourself. Seek out a counselor, life coach, or professional if this is something you struggle with.
2. Be assertive and learn to say no. Learn to delegate tasks, and do not let fear keep you from saying no.
3. Journal writing- expressing your thoughts and emotions are a healthy way to deal with stress.
4. Art therapy- paint, color, draw, these have all been shown to calm the nervous system and mind
5. Humor therapy, laugh a little. Watch a funny movie, go out to a comedy club with friends
6. Managing time and money- one of the biggest forms of stress in money, so get control of this by learning to budget. Take the time each month to set aside money for different needs. You can get someone professional to help you, or use www.mint.com. Manage your time, plan out your week and month, and set aside specific times to de-stress.
7. Social support groups, forgiveness, and faith all play an important role in stress management.
8. Deep breathing
10. Hatha yoga or restorative yoga
11. Mental imagery and visualization
12. Music therapy
13. Massage therapy
14. Eating a healthy nutritious diet- staying away from processed carbohydrates, sugars and soda, and inorganic meats
15. Physical activity- Find an activity that you love to do and do it! This is not about losing weight this is about enjoying moving and nourishing your body with activity.
Take a deep breathe, pick 3 of these to implement, and start your journey to a stress free, baby filled life today! And always call me, or schedule an online appointment today.