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Oct 2010  |  By Jane Connell  |  Comments

Integrative Fertility Care: The Best of the East and West

Local clinics are adding ancient techniques to be on the cutting edge of integrative fertility care.

Jennifer Botchway of Evanston experimented with yoga, acupuncture, nutrition counseling and massage when she was going through infertility treatment, and would recommend holistic treatment to women trying to conceive.

Botchway says, “I felt healthier and good about what I was doing, even if it didn’t result in pregnancy.” Fortunately, Botchway was successful after integrating medical fertility treatments with alternative methods and is now a busy mother of three.

Yoga for Fertility
This kind of yoga is all about relaxing and increasing blood flow to the lower body. Tami Quin from Pulling Down the Moon, a holistic fertility center with a location in Arlington Heights, describes it as “gentle yoga, no headstands or anything crazy.” Pulling Down the Moon also promotes yoga as a great way to create a supportive community of women going through similar struggles. The yoga is definitely working for them, with a pregnancy success rate of 75% after 6 months.

Acupuncture for Fertility
Having needles stuck in your body may not appeal to everyone. However, many who try it find acupuncture painless and relaxing, and it may be the new frontline treatment for women looking for infertility treatment without hormones. According to Nichole Hohmann, an acupuncturist from NorthShore University Health System Integrative Medicine Program in Glenview, “acupuncture stimulates the body to regulate hormones and helps blood flow to the reproductive organs.”

Nutrition for Fertility
Eating right is always a good idea, but is especially important when you are trying to conceive. Dr. Jerry Gore at the Center for Holistic Medicine in Deerfield, gives expert advice on lifestyle and dietary considerations for men and women. Gore personally evaluates the patient and her body type and then “customizes a health plan to minimize toxic influences and maximize health and well-being,” both factors that can improve fertility.

Massage for Fertility
If you have ever had a massage, you know it’s a great de-stresser. And sometimes, in the chaos of infertility, that’s all you need. Dr. Sayeed Iqbal of Lincoln Park Infertility says, “If you’re not working on relaxation, you’re wasting your money.” Lincoln Park Infertility has created a medical office mixed with a day spa. So, women can receive medical fertility treatments using the best technology and then hop over for a massage to relax and decrease muscle spasms in reproductive organs.

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