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Monday, February 7, 2011

Complimentary Treatments: Infertility Yoga

In case you missed it, The New York Times had an article about the benefits of yoga for those undergoing infertility treatments.

While complimentary Eastern practices were for many years discredited by Western medical establishments, it seems that these days they have become an integral part of infertility treatments.

Acupuncture for one has been scientifically proven to help increase success rates for IVF patients. For others, acupuncture has improved FSH levels, blood flow and overall health.

Herbal supplements, on the other hand, may or may not help with infertility treatments. Some attest that it may actually counteract the intended results of fertility drugs.

As for yoga, besides its clich├ęs of making you more Zen, at least for that hour, it helps keep your mind and body active. The physical aspect of the practice is not to be underestimated, especially when you are restricted from doing any vigorous exercises while undergoing IF treatments. Your body is no longer your own when you're doing IVF, but with yoga, you have the opportunity to do something that has a physical component to it and hence, hopefully give you more control over how you feel about yourself.

I think it's a wonderful thing that clinics are combining Eastern practices with their Western methodologies, but at times it seems disingenuous. Many of these clinics offering complimentary treatments fail to incorporate them in an organic way. The offices and general attitudes of the staff are still very rigid and clinical; devoid of anything that makes you feel at ease or whole. Maybe the future of IF centers will take on a more integrated approach expressed both in the available treatments and attitudes.

While relieving stress and having a positive attitude is essential when coping with infertility, I know it can be very difficult to take the time for yourself. Additionally, you can quickly find yourself caught up in trends that make you feel as though you are not doing enough to increase your chances for success. I fear that this article may insight such feelings. Certainly attending an infertility yoga class can be beneficial, but it is not the only thing that's going to give you access to a more peaceful place. You could attend regular yoga classes (with more modified poses) or just take a class that will tap into your pre-IF self (it's in there somewhere, I promise). Attend a cooking class, a book club, a writing class, or simply close the door for 30 minutes everyday and meditate. The point is, try to get out of your own head for a little bit everyday and surround yourself with supportive people.