“Stress plays a role in 30 percent of fertility problems, yet it’s often the last thing women address”


Last night I was reading an article in Whole Living, May 2011 about natural fertility cures. Much of what the writer included was not unfamiliar to me (e.g., the benefits of fertility massage, acupuncture and herbs (from a licensed professional), etc.). One piece of the article stuck out most however, and quickly caught my attention.

“Stress plays a role in 30 percent of fertility problems, yet it’s often the last thing women address.”

 All I could think to myself was, “duh Shannon, why do you still need to learn this lesson?” You see the onslaught of all my physical symptoms, which later were connected to my challenges with fertility, arose during what may have been the most stressful time in my life. It was only when I had about six months of non-stressful time that my body returned to “normal.”

However, I didn’t learn my lesson then. Recently I spent four-months under the same type of self-imposed damaging stress. No surprise, the hot flashes returned, sleepless nights ensued, digestive problems and irregular cycles quickly became the “norm.”

Recently my acupuncturist had me compare my tongue to hers in the mirror. Wow, clear as day, my tongue was white and hers a bright red. In eastern medicine the tongue is a signal as to the health of our body, the blood flow.

“Women struggling with infertility may be branding themselves with a modern-day scarlet letter: S. Stress plays a role in 30 percent of fertility problems, studies find, yet it’s often the last thing women address. ‘We’re programmed not to reproduce when we’re under stress,’ says Elizabeth A Steward, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine (p. 121).

As women in a society programmed to never stop, never turn off, it can be excruciatingly difficult to press the pause button. Yet, for those of us who desire a healthy body, the pause button may be the best treatment any doctor could prescribe.

One way to halt the constant forward momentum of life is to meditate. You need not be some guru in India to practice meditation, and you need not even sit motionless. Going for a walk in nature can be an act of meditation, working in the garden with the music of the birds singing can be a meditation, and even laying quietly on the grass in the sun can be a meditation.

The point of meditation is to clear our minds and bodies of the constant need for movement, for occupation with something other than stillness.

So today, a rainy and cloudy day here in the east, is a perfect day to carve out a few minutes to heal our hearts, our minds, and ultimately our bodies.

To help you get started, click below to listen to a Full Body Relaxation meditation by Sue Demais.

Full Body Relaxation

And may today you find yourself in the peace and quiet of not doing, rather simply being.

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