For most modern gals, holistic and alternative medicines are no longer just for the misunderstood, patchouli scented mystics of yore, but have increasingly become part of the bigger picture of our overall health. Yoga, echinacea and aromatherapy are just a few of the more obvious mainstream practices that have gained a following and an appreciation by mindful millennials. After all, who doesn’t want to boost their potential for happiness and health by adopting the wisdom of both east and west simultaneously? While scientists continue to explore and expound on the values of “traditional” medicines, consider these 3 classic, complimentary holistic avenues that can potentially up your odds with fertility and just keep you feeling at your best.
Better than cute stretchy pants and sexy glute building poses, yoga is a powerful mind bender that can help you to manage stress. Reaching a purposefully meditative state of mind has been proven to lower the negative impacts of stress and boost your mental and physical energy. And stress remember, is that dogged companion of aging, exhaustion and illness. So doing what you can to keep this in check can only benefit your well-being. While the somewhat acrobatic aspects of yoga may seem alienating for the less flexible, there are many meditative, breath-centric, restorative style classes that can help you to increase resilience to stress and get in shape, inside and out. There are even specific fertility practices and postures that may help to get the energy flowing to your limber lady bits. And remember, the real benefit of all those down dogs is not just to loosen those hamstrings, but that you learn new ways to manage the resistance. And always take it slow to avoid injury.
Even if you shy away from the pinpricking pokes of flu-shots and forearm flower tats, acupuncture is far less painful than you might think. The tiny, thin needles used in this traditional Chinese medicine, pack a (relatively) painless punch. Recognized by both eastern and western doctors, acupuncture has been touted for its ability to potentially reduce pain, promote healing, increase blood circulation and, not surprisingly, stimulate the nervous system. While the east considers the benefits to be ascribed to the unblocking of energy known as chi, the west has well documented MRI studies that show reductions in chemical indicators of stress that come from willingly submitting oneself as a human pincushion. So, if you can handle a little extra poking, a little short term discomfort may lead to worthwhile, long term benefits. Let your practitioner know if you want to prime for possible reproduction, since it’s thought that targeting specific areas can impact your receptivity physically and emotionally.
Before you relegate nutrition to the swampy depths of protein powders and magic greens, consider that your body’s tie to food is one of the most powerful and primal ways in which we can directly affect our health. While there are myriad studies to indicate the specific health boosting properties of antioxidant rich fruits and veggies, let’s start with the basics.
Primarily, you need a balanced diet to balance your body’s needs. Smoothies can’t replace food (no matter how expensive) and supplements can’t fill in what a chronically poor diet leaves out. Eating enough and eating right means mixing proteins, carbs (yes, carbs), fiber and vitamins found in real food in multiple meals a day. You don’t have to banish caffeine and give up gluten to benefit from simple shifts in your diet. It’s about moderation and respect for what you put in. While there are plenty of venues to get a more detailed guide for meal planning and incorporating supplementary herbs, you should always talk with a medical professional if you’re planning to conceive before you go gung-ho with dietary doctoring.
Remember that none of these options represent a quick fix but rather a continued, daily practice of healthy choices. They should not be expected to replace fertility screening, medical assistance or additional measures that you might need to stay healthy or conceive. Think of them as part of the bouquet of your life balance, not the whole arrangement.