CHICAGO, IL -The month of October observes a variety of campaigns throughout the U.S. and Infertility Awareness seems to be one that goes unnoticed, yet affects one in six American couples of childbearing age. In honor of those struggling, authors Tami Quinn, Beth Heller and Jeanie Lee Bussell offer hope and holistic guidance in their 2nd edition October release of successful book, FULLY FERTILE: A 12-Week Plan for Optimal Fertility (Findhorn Press/$24.95 Paperback, full color/October 2010). This “DIY” manual offers an Integrative Care for Fertility (ICF)program which uses techniques such as home-based yoga, nutrition, Oriental medicine (acupuncture), meditation and other mind/body/spirit practices designed specifically to enhance chances of conception.
Two of the authors, Quinn and Heller, are founders of Chicago-based holistic fertility center PULLING DOWN THE MOON. Fully Fertile offers a workbook in the new edition along with a step-by-step guide on how women can optimize their fertility and start their own group program. Similar to a book club, FULLY FERTILE: A 12-Week Plan for Optimal Fertility empowers women to combine the power of community support along with expert holistic instruction from the book to achieve the ‘sacred sauce’ (a term used to describe the community component at PDtM).
In addition, a new study has been incorporated that shows women who use stress reduction techniques such as mind/body groups have higher pregnancy rates than those who did not resulting in a strong link between stress and infertility. FULLY FERTILE: A 12-Week Plan for Optimal Fertility highlights the importance of stress reduction and coping techniques for fertility patients and important tools for both men and women who may have feelings of inadequacy, etc.
As a twelve-week program, the book is divided into three sections identifying mind/body/spirit:
The Physical Practices -The Yoga Program for Fertility, Oriental Medicine and Philosophy, Fully Fertile Diet and In the Bedroom
A Fertile Mind -Strengthening the Letting-go Muscle, Identifying and Eliminating Stressors, Attachment & Disappointment, Negative Attitudes & Thoughts
The Esoteric Tools (Spirit) -Giving up Erroneous, Definition of Self, Value of Breath, Meditation & Visualization, and Prayer
Photographs help illustrate proper yoga postures, in addition to highlighted each section’s focus.
Quinn offers an important fact, “Women going through infertility have depression rates equal to women with cancer and HIV! This is something that we, at PULLING DOWN THE MOON hope to change. While women feel okay talking about their cancer, infertility is still very much in the closet. Our hope in sharing our own personal stories and fertility-specific holistic techniques is for women to feel less alone and more supported throughout the infertility process.
A nutrition program is also included which showcases what is currently being offered at PULLING DOWN THE MOON centers featuring the ART Prep/Recovery Program and Therapeutic Nutrition Program. PULLING DOWN THE MOON in Chicago is located within the Fertility Centers of Illinois fertility clinic and offers integrated, patient-centered care. They also partner with Shady Grove Fertility in Washington DC. Heller agrees this should be the new standard of care in fertility treatment as she explains,
"Women have an intuitive sense that restoring balance in their lives and reducing stress will help them in their fertility journey. Many have begun to explore holistic methods and we believe that Fully Fertile will allow them to do this in a way that is safe both for women trying "naturally" and for those in treatment with a fertility doctor."
The foreword in FULLY FERTILE: A 12-Week Plan for Optimal Fertility is written by Reproductive Endocrinologist at Fertility Centers of Illinois, Brian Kaplan, MD, who has recently been featured in People magazine’s story on Giuliana and Bill Rancic and their struggles with infertility. In addition, he will also be seen on the new season of their show “Giuliana and Bill” on the Style Network as the Rancics’ fertility doctor.
About the Authors:
Tami Quinn is co-founder of PULLING DOWN THE MOON and she, along with Beth Heller, are considered pioneers in Integrative Care for Fertility. A registered yoga teacher and ordained Swami, Quinn struggled with fertility and sought to find balance between her corporate career and family. A mother of twins, she has completed advanced studies in meditation, yoga and other stress reduction techniques including iRest, a yoga technique shown to help soldiers returning from Iraq with post traumatic stress disorder.
Beth Heller is co-founder and co-director of PULLING DOWN THE MOON. A registered yoga instructor, Heller has been in the nutrition field for many years and earned a degree in Human Nutrition and Dietetics in 1999. As a researcher for the Women’s Walking Program, she discovered the mind-body connection after witnessing women become less anxious and depressed as a result of walking. When she experienced struggles with infertility beginning in 1998, she sought out yoga and noticed the huge change it made in restoring her reproductive function. After a long fertility struggle, she is the mother of two sons.
Jeanie Lee Bussell is nationally board certified in acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Having grown up in a culture where herbs and acupuncture had long been the primary care of the people, she found her way to one of the oldest Oriental Medicine schools in the country, Chicago’s Midwest College of Oriental Medicine. Bussell began a research proposal to investigate acupuncture’s ability to help improve fertility and met Beth Heller at a local yoga studio…. a relationship was born.
PULLING DOWN THE MOON (PDtM) was founded in 2002 and is a unique place of community and holistic healing for women and couples trying to conceive a child. The name, derived from a Buddhist meditation to White Tara, the bodhisattva of healing, calls to mind the challenges that women may face when trying to conceive. PDtM’s holistic practitioners specialize in fertility and have also been trained by medical infertility specialists to help them blend their specialties in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), acupuncture, massage, fertility yoga and cognitive therapy. The Center is the result of personal experiences from teachers and practitioners who were once patients and have endured the intense procedures, ultrasounds and long waits of fertility treatment.
PDtM does not replace advanced reproductive technology and therefore, works in partnership with medical doctors in treating the whole person: mind, body and spirit. PDtM is located in Chicago, IL and Washington, D.C. and was recently nominated for potential induction into the Chicago Entrepreneurial Hall of Fame.
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