Epigenetics - Rooting, Resilience, & Reaching

I’ve been studying how Chinese medicine relates to epigenetics, and the deeper down the rabbit hole of science I go, I realize Chinese medicine IS epigenetics. Its about balance, integration, and ultimately reaching a state of wholeness - where nothing is lacking and nothing is in excess. We just are as we are, in our inherent perfection.

There seem to be three aspects involved in the process of evolving to our highest capacity: rooting, resilience, and reaching

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The higher we reach, the more we must be rooted in ourselves. Anchor yourself in something that provides a sense of grounding. It could be meditation, or walking barefoot while you focus on the feeling of your foot meeting the ground. The most important quality to rooting, however, is that you are internally quiet, aware of your own presence, and what it feels like to be you - down to your feet.

Resilience is becoming aware of the places where we experience tension. Notice how pushing against these conflicts produces internal resistance. These are usually associated with fear or desire (fear we won’t attain something we want, or fear we’ll lose something we have), the internal ways we contract and become stiff. Once we see beyond them, we can start to behave more flexibly.

On to reaching - not the type of reaching associated with desire and setting goals, but being aware of what inspires us into NEW action. Try a new food, move a different way today. Challenge your routine. Watch less TV. Spend less time searching the internet or flipping through your phone. If you walk, run. If you run, walk. Turn in circles, touch the ground, reach overhead. Using body awareness and mindfully challenging yourself to move differently can open your mind to things you hadn’t previously noticed. 

While these three little tools might seem simple, watch what happens when you try them. Rooting tonifies the kidneys. Resilience nourishes the liver and reduces qi stagnation. Reaching lifts the spleen and invigorates the heart. And these three simple daily practices change action into embodiment - impacting your mind, your cells, and the expression of your genetics: strengthening the integrity of the cells and reducing fragmentation, while guiding you to a more fertile, healthy, and happy life.

The Power of Non-Action

Ancient Taoist teachings inform us that a superior being, one who is at One with The Way, does not waste time meddling in external affairs. She makes certain of her Self first, then appropriate action arises - without any strategy. She knows, with absolute certainty, that all things will take their proper course, and she moves along with them. She is at one with creation - a “spirit-like” vessel. When we apply this to fertility, most women are drawn to the potency of this innate wisdom. Yet, they are also usually conflicted. They desperately want to know what to do, and are deeply conditioned to strategize and control, imposing their will on creation, and taking on the stress of whether or not their actions will come to fruition. They trust their intellect and their doctors more than they trust their inner urgings. They are almost deathly afraid to let go into the truth that their desires are urging them toward becoming a spirit-like vessel of creation.

Although it is damaging to our health and holds us back from our destiny, it feels safer trying to control. It seems as if our efforts keep us away from the fear of the realization that we are not in control. And the paradox is that if we can move past the frustration, fear and sorrow that we are not in charge, we then become masters of our own destiny. We are in the flow of the great unknown, and then can trust and follow the inner urgings of our own soul, and become at one with the forces of creation.

The potency of “Wu Wei,” translated as the action of inaction, could more appropriately be understood as spontaneous action which is correct according to the moment. Because most of us did not grow up learning this method, it takes some practice to become adept at flowing with the world, and not getting in our own way. We do not become inactive; we become effortlessly potent in all of our actions. Qi gong, Tao Yin, and certain yoga practices can bring our bodies into alignment with this way of being, and through practice, it informs our thoughts and actions.

Our TFS body wisdom retreat will teach you the way to capture the power of Wu Wei, so you can put into action the spirit like vessel that you are.

TFS Retreat Now Available ON DEMAND!

SELF RETREAT OVERVIEW:

The Fertile Soul now offers a personal fertility enhancing retreat, a 14 hour recorded retreat that delivers everything a live retreat does, except the “live.”  This two day session is broken down into two segments, where Dr. Randine Lewis provides:

  • A vision of hope
  • A new approach to your fertility, shifting paradigms from “efforting” to “allowing”
  • Using the energetic view of Chinese medicine: Yin/Yang; 3 Treasures, 5 Elements
  • Acupressure for fertility
  • Microcosmic orbit breathing process – open the life gate
  • Age and the ovarian cycle; what hormones really mean
  • Qi Gong
  • Spleen Qi diet and nutritional recommendations
  • Supplements for various conditions
  • Guided meditations
  • Releasing Exercise
  • Physical, mental and emotional components of your fertility
  • Exploring limiting beliefs and obstructions to the life force
  • Patterns of imbalance that manifest as various fertility diagnoses
Dr. Lewis guides you through these pre-recorded sessions, and provides multiple exercises and self inquiry processes for you to complete at your leisure.
Q: How is this different from the live retreat process?
A: Dr. Lewis has encapsulated what she considers the most important elements in the retreat process and concentrated it in this very informative two day session. You are not “on the spot”, and don’t have to share any personal information with anyone else. You can go through the information as many times as you wish and have one full year to complete the process on your own. The main difference is that you will not be meeting with Dr. Lewis live. However, the recorded retreat process allows you the opportunity to meet with Dr. Lewis for an individual session after you have had a TCM consultation and have been on the program for three months.

Click HERE for Registration Information

Grandmothering

I recently became a grandma. I don't even know how to talk about this. My grandson isn’t even 1 year old yet. His little personality is only starting to emerge. The love I have for my daughter, his mother, now rests, magnified, on her son. It obviously isn’t that I love him more than her. I couldn’t love anyone more than I love her. But when you are one generation away, you don’t have these bonds of being attached, like you do to your children. What you don’t like in yourself becomes an obstruction to fully relating with your children. My oldest daughter will be 32 this year. I had her when I was 21. All of the hopes and dreams I had for her from the day I found out I was pregnant became filtered by that which I couldn’t recognize in myself. I loved her more than I loved myself. That, I promise you, is not a statement to be proud of. I could not give her what I didn’t have. So the lack of ability to give her what I wanted to give her turned to guilt. I always thought I could do better, I knew I could do better. I had two more children, when I was 34 and 38. With each one I had the same experience, to a lesser degree. I loved them more than I loved myself.

You can never be the type of mother who is good enough for your children in your own judging eyes. These amazing, perfect beings are always far more deserving than any separate human being can measure up to. And I know I didn’t. I couldn’t measure up because I saw them as different from me.

All three of my children are out of the house now – one in boarding school, one in college, and one married with a family of her own.  So the role of caring for my children’s day-to-day needs is history.

I had the great pleasure of being present for the birth of my grandson. And I have never had a prouder moment in my life, than seeing my daughter being able to bring forth life; watching the power of life’s longing for itself come through her. Her labor was prolonged and difficult. Her husband was a great coach – strong and loving. They were an admirable team. And about 24 hours later, this perfect little boy entered the world.

I can honestly say that I don’t love him more than myself. I love him as myself; as an expression of the love that I am. Without dreams or aspirations, without wondering if I will measure up to the task of being his grandmother. Without wondering if his parents will measure up to the task of being his parents. I watch them being the perfect parents for him, loving themselves through each other, and through him. And I watch in awe, how Kahlil Gibran describes:

Their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams. You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you. For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

Mothering

Mothering is not a role; it is love. The role of mothering can be from love, but doesn’t have to be. You can look around the world and see women in the roles of mother, whom we can easily judge ought not to have this privilege. Animals, as well, occupy mothering roles as they care for their offspring just until the little ones are capable of surviving on their own. When the role of motherhood is coveted more than the ability to express our inner love, it can become an energetic obstruction in the body/mind. We want what we don’t have, and don’t want what we have. This produces a tremendous amount of stress in the body/mind, which the energy of love does not produce. At our last retreat, one woman stated that her highest aspiration was to learn to love herself. Within two days, she had recognized and began living from the strength of this self love.

I recently was discussing with a friend of mine how I didn’t occupy the role of motherhood very gracefully, as far as conventional standards go. Each of my three children would agree that I wasn’t a typical cookie, soccer, PTA mom. They would also agree, that I did not put my children first. As much as I was able, their needs were cared for. They were and are fiercely loved. And I hope from this modeling they learned to pattern the ability to always put themselves first. I know this is not highly valued in our society. Women especially are taught that it is esteemed to put others first: your spouse, your family, your children, your boss, your work, your friends, your reputation, etc.

It comes as a great shock to step out of these roles that have become carriers of your esteem. What if you were none of these roles? What if your worth came only from yourself? Some wise sages throughout the ages have made this very declaration:

Be a light unto yourself.

Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven. The kingdom of heaven is within.

To thine own self be true.

Do not lie or do what you dislike.

Be as you are.

Attend only to the sense of your own being.

Can you imagine what it would be like if you were to be fully and wholeheartedly responsible only to the truth within? You would be responsible for your life, your health, your fertility, your happiness. Do you really want this? When one learns to live from this inner truth, the world tends not to be so problematic. Our minds tend not to cause us disturbance. But the price is we no longer can blame anyone or anything for our unhappiness.

NEW! Connect with Dr. Randine Lewis Live on Tuesday, March 4th at 7pm EST

Falling Pregnant:
The Fertile Soul Method vs. Western Reproductive Medicine:
Which Medical Approach is Best?

I consider it almost irrelevant to find the dividing line between natural treatment and medical intervention. Your body is a reflection of your thoughts, feelings, dietary intake, actions, and sleep patterns. Hormonal and ovarian output, as well, is a manifestation of your lifestyle. Therefore, what you do to enhance your lifestyle, will invariably impact the overall health of your body. If you live in such a way that enhances your wellbeing and vitality, it reveals itself in a harmonious endocrine and gynecological environment.

Yet, if there have been patterns of imbalance along the way that have left you with medical diagnoses that might impact ovulation or implantation, there may be some confusion as to how to address them. Many people get stuck here: do you treat it naturally - change your diet, lifestyle, go to acupuncture, take herbs, consult naturopathic medicine, etc., OR do you opt for a visit to the reproductive endocrinologist?

And, because of the advancing clock, they are most afraid of not doing anything, and act from fear, jumping into medical intervention without addressing the most obvious, natural course. Why not do both?

Most of the people who come to retreat or meet with me individually arrive at the place where there is no conflict. They adopt certain lifestyle modifications, stress reduction, dietary adjustments, and natural supplements, as they calmly look into whether or not medical testing or intervention is necessary. This tends to breed much less fear, resulting in hormonal balance and better ovarian output.

I work with women who are concurrently undergoing diagnostic methods or treatments from mini-IVF to pharmaceutical IVF, donor IVF, or are using gestational carriers. They do not throw out their natural, balanced approach while purchasing interventional methods. One improves overall health and well-being; one does not. One is meant to be a short-term procedure; the other is not.

When you broaden your approach to your reproductive care rather than narrow it, your options tend to open up.

Looking forward to connecting with you all on March 4th,

Randine

To join in dial 605-475-4000 then access code 794774#

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Do GMOs Effect our Qi?

Qi is the vital life force of life. Without qi there is no warmth, no animation, no breath, no heartbeat, no life. Although there are more divisions, for simplicity sake we can divide the vital life force into three major categories: original qi, nutritive qi, and protective qi. Original qi is the primary energy necessary to give and sustain life.  It is the basis of kidney qi, and makes up the entire yin and yang functions of the body. It gives rise to the reproductive and primary organ functions. Once this original qi combines with the energy we receive from food and breath, it is refined into two other functional categories: nutritive qi, and protective qi. Nutritive qi is similar to blood, and circulates through the meridians, feeding and nourishing the internal organs. Protective qi is a little more surface, traveling throughout the skin, muscles, and mucous membranes, keeping us protected from the outside world.

Although they all function together as a whole:

Original qi is essential to core functions and reproduction.

Nutritive qi is crucial for nutritient and qi delivery throughout the internal organs.

Protective qi defends us from external influences and pathogenic factors.

We could say that the nutritive qi is the pivot between the original and protective qi.

Now that you have had this basic introduction in the vital life force, let’s introduce the topic of genetically modified foods like most of the corn and soy on the market. In making the plant hardier, it is genetically engineered to have greater protective effects against pests, and a greater ability to withstand the effects of pesticides. In other words, it strengthens its protective qi. These genetically modified plants, however, are no longer able to reproduce. So farmers have to purchase new seeds with the capacity to seed.

When we view this scenario through an energetic lens, we can ask what energetic function is being disrupted. In this situation, the genetically modified plant has sacrificed its original qi for extra protective qi, while retaining the ability to provide its nutritive function. Because of this, the Department of Agriculture gave GMOs their stamp of approval. Laboratory animals seemed healthy and without any untoward effects after 90 days on GMO diets.

However, four, six, 18 months later, the laboratory animals had challenges reproducing, developed alterations in their ability to suppress tumors, and developed overactive immune systems.  Similarly, many of our reproductive issues stem from alterations in our environment. Pesticides, pollutants, and dietary toxins all contribute to ovarian failure, poor sperm production, PCOS, autoimmune infertility, implantation failure, endometriosis, and fibroids.

What can you do? The spleen qi diet asks you to avoid sugar, refined carbohydrates (especially wheat), and dairy. Add corn and soy that have not been labeled “non-GMO” to this list. Eat organic fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, and non-GMO grains as much as possible. Try to avoid farm raised fish and animals that have been fed GMO grains as well. While it may sound daunting, this type of eating plan reduces the likelihood of infertility, inflammatory processes, diabetes, and cancer.

The Spirit of Emergence

The Spirit of Emergence:
New Years Resolutions and The Wood Horse

by Randine Lewis

In Chinese astrology, the next new moon will move from the year of the water snake to the year of the wood horse, representing new beginnings, growth, and emergence. The spiritedness of the horse demands respect, not force; love, not fear. We will continue this theme in our February retreat.

How are your New Years resolutions going? I know - it's only been a week, so chances are they are still strong. Maybe you've vowed to stay on the spleen qi diet and are carefully avoiding sugar, refined carbohydrates, gluten, and dairy products. Good for you. Perhaps you have resolved to focus your efforts more intently on baby making, reducing stressful work obligations in preference to more enjoyable and life enhancing pursuits. Great!

Eat better; sleep more; play more; stress less; more sex; less TV; walk everyday; quit drinking coffee; find a new church; no more wine; put more intention into how to get pregnant. Add whatever you want to the list; manifesting can be a powerful tool. It's an art, really. Whatever you really set your mind to, you can accomplish. Chances are you've done it all your life.  Apply yourself at school and you are rewarded with a good education. Apply yourself on the job and you are rewarded with a good paycheck. Apply yourself to the dating scene and chances are you'll end up with a partner. The New Year brings about new hope, new possibility, and a chance to do things differently this year.

My guess is this is not your first time around making resolutions on the baby scene. And maybe your resolve is wearing thin. Will it work this year? What has been done wrong? What needs to be done better? And the effort mounts, only to leave you where you were last January.

Why don't the efforts of intention work so well when it comes to pregnancy? When the power of manifestation moves from an activity geared toward what you don't have to an effortless art within the flow of your life as it is. The art of creation involves a feeling in your heart - the same quiet urge that longs to bring forth life. It is silent and non-demanding. The mind interprets this deep longing as something missing - and goes about in mad pursuit of it. That's the problem when it comes to creation - the mind's interpretation. When you are in pursuit of a job or more money, that usually isn't problematic, because a stressed body goes right along with getting what you don't have. But the opposite is true when you wish to bring forth life. When the mind grabs hold of this desire it puts the body into a state of fighting for what it wants; and stress hormones prevent its receptivity.

Go back to the feeling in your heart. Feel its presence. Be with it. Tend to it. Be grateful for it. Have confidence that it isn't there by mistake. Feel it in every moment of every day - prior to any activity that you undertake in pursuit of it. Trust it. Look at any conflict that arises in the mind (which will then be manifest in the body), which puts you in a state of stress.

The last element to this successful art is getting back into the flow of your life, as it is, with indifference to how this desire will be made manifest. Do not give your attention to your mind's imaginings - you do not need to concern yourself with how, or when. No need to think about babies or pregnancies or have dreams of toddlers dancing in your head. The Chinese character for Intention belongs to the soul, and it means resonance with the heart. If what is true within your heart is rooted within your "jing" or essence, your life becomes a walking magnet of intention. If it is not rooted within the jing, it will fly off, leaving you bereft. Jing Shu means, If you have to defend what you believe, it is not in your heart. Remember - respect, not force; love, not fear. Do not break your spirit trying to control the life force. Become aligned with it.

So, eat well. Rest well. Play more, work less. Make the rest of your life how you want it to be. And attend to the origin of life, which resides in the heart. Trust it with assurance, and let go of everything else. Be prepared to meet your life as it is, fully, and do all that is required of you as the granting of your desire unfolds. Trust this feeling in your heart and become its instrument. It is not there by mistake.

Please contact us at info@thefertilesoul.com with any questions and sign up here for our February retreat. If you would like to take advantage of our payment plan please select it at the checkout.

With love and blessings,

Randine

Competition

Who doesn’t love a good competition – whether it be a ballgame, quest for expertise, or to have a physical edge? We have been conditioned to be in pursuit of excellence, and to admire achievement in ourselves and others. This is the stuff the modern world is made of. And it has its roots deep throughout history: War games, hunting parties, territorial superiority – competition is in our blood and DNA. Leaders were chosen for their physical prowess, and their ability to overcome an opponent. Although I loved to play this masculine game in worldly affairs, it was not native to my makeup. I never liked group sports because competition wasn’t very strong in my nature. But I learned to compete in areas where I could excel, namely academic, and worked my way up to medicine. I learned to put on the edge physically, and took up running and working out. I tried to polish the exterior to perhaps look just a bit better than the girls I was hanging out with.

Have you ever noticed when you are in pursuit of a goal or in competition how your adrenaline flows? The stress hormones course throughout your system to keep you on edge. This is a great testosterone booster, but can absolutely destroy a woman’s receptivity. Competition and goal setting are not estrogen-dominated games. In fact, the goal of a child is counter to our fertility. My last conception, the most challenging one, occurred not the month that I got everything right, but when everything had gone wrong.

When I was in medical school, my most challenging class was pathology. I usually made high B’s on my exams. The best grade I ever got, however, was on a test I planned to “toss out” because I had a migraine headache the night before and was unable to study for the exam. I was given a pill that knocked me out, and woke up just in time to make it for class, unprepared and unstudied. I was not on my edge, I was not in competitive mode, I was in “Oh well, this won’t count” mode.  I took the exam in minutes, and found out I had aced it.

There is another way to open up to what we want most, and that is to let go and become receptive. This is not an effort-based game. Effort is a sign of conflict between incompatible desires. Every time we are in pursuit of something, fear of not achieving it is equally strong, contracting access to our creative powers within. It can push us into conquering the world, but we don’t conquer the source of life we carry. We open up to it, leave it alone, and let it flow.

The Three Treasures

The one spirit gives rise to two primary divisions – yin and yang; which give rise to the three treasures, the basic building blocks of all of life – Jing, Qi, and Shen; or Essence, Energy, and Spirit. All manifestations of creation require the interaction of these three treasures. We can think of these energetic divisions as: Creation (Jing) -> Reflection or Interaction (Qi) -> Return or Dissolution (Shen); which must be in harmony in order for life to function optimally.

Growth must be controlled and opposed, or we develop pathologic states like cancer or deformities. Developing tissue must be up-regulated or down-regulated. Without the ovarian hormone AMH, women would be prone to carrying litters. In the developing embryo, growth of the cells between the fingers and toes are down-regulated, resulting in digital separation. All cells begin with Jing, interact through Qi, and dissolve back into Shen.

Oftentimes, when women are trying to conceive, they usually are asking for more Jing, while ignoring the Qi and Shen aspects of the equation. Unopposed Jing, however, is not more likely to produce babies, but pathological states which are detrimental to our health and wellbeing. Yet, when we can examine how the Jing circulates, interacts, and returns, we have greater access to our Jing stores.

Medical research shows us that ovulation dysfunction that results in fertility challenges increases the likelihood for cancer. Chinese medicine could translate this fact by stating that when Jing is held back, bound, or inaccessible, its Qi can’t interact properly and has the likelihood to express pathology rather than creative potential.

We could say that Jing’s biological imperative is to determine whether it should be expressed or held back. Qi’s imperative is also a balance between conservation or interaction, and Shen’s imperative is simply to accept the return back to its origin.

How much energy are you giving to creation, reflection, interaction, and return? Are you demanding too much of your Jing? Depleting your Qi in your worldly interactions? Do you give yourself enough time for reflection, and evaluation? And do you allow the dissolution of those actions in life which do not promote your own wellbeing?

Ovarian Pathology and the Dai Mai

In Chinese medicine, the girdle or belt meridian, (Dai Mai), encircles the waist and hip bones. This is the only horizontal channel in the body and basically “binds” or consolidates the channels that run vertically.  It holds back the kidney potential which gives forth the ability to circulate its essence either to deal with the demands of your life, or to create new life. The Dai Mai also holds back Kidney essence in pathological states like PCOS, POF, ovarian cysts and cancer. When our energy is overly focused on external gratification in the world, our internal reserves can become blocked and inaccessible. Everything that has a potential for pathology at one time had a potential to serve us. It’s all a matter of balance. The Dai Mai binds this life potential until conditions are correct for its circulation.

The Dai Mai also holds repressed energies for us. If a life situation calls for an emotional response that we are unable to meet, the Dai Mai will hold the latent energy until a time when we have the emotional reserves in the blood to deal with it. These energies can be held for years, even decades. When we achieve some level or maturity, the energetic holding can then “leak” into circulation and give us the opportunity to meet it consciously and resolve the latently held energetic pattern. This could be likened to a “cellular memory” that gets locked into the physiology through psychological denial.

We practice a Dai Mai Qi Gong exercise at retreat, which can actively “call out” latent pathogenic factors to be dealt with. There are also acupuncture and herbal remedies which can address Dai Mai issues, but in my opinion, without the light of your own awareness involved in the process, the tools Chinese medicine utilizes are much less effective. Provided the right environment for release, resolution can be complete, within a short amount of time.

Almost everyone I know is aware of some hidden affliction that they have basically swept under the figurative rug; knowing at some time they will have to deal with it. They may not know the details, but in Chinese medicine, the details are not important. The story is almost irrelevant; but meeting it presently with full consciousness, feeling it, and accepting this hidden aspect of our life is essential to overcoming the blocked pathology.

e = mc2: Part 2

Energy cannot be created or destroyed; only transformed. Energy and matter are interchangeable. Your physical body is energy made manifest. This embodiment of energy comprises the ongoing process of breaking down its hundreds of trillions of cells to make more. Each of these hundreds of trillions of cells is composed of hundreds of trillions of atoms - mostly energy, beyond which is space. Space is spirit, energized and made manifest. E = mc2. We are infinite, like the speed of light, energized into the process of creation itself.  If we limit ourselves to working only with the physical form, we can’t access the true power of creation, healing and transformation – that interface between c and E.

Chinese philosophy tells us that the one Spirit of existence becomes manifest as the friction of opposites (yin and yang). This energetic division gives rise to what is referred to as the “Three Treasures” – Jing, Qi, and Shen; or essence, energy, and spirit. m, E, and c.

Your ovaries carry the potential of essence or Jing (m).

Your heart houses your spirit (c).

Your hormones convey the energetic interaction (E) of the two.

Most women who come to see me have been to doctors who have tried to manipulate their ovaries with artificial hormones. This is working strictly at the level of controlling and manipulating the already manifest form, (m). All this can do is utilize what has already been made manifest - the realm of the past, which has literally already exhausted its capacity. It cannot transform, heal, or open up to a new potential. This is precisely why when hormones manifest an exhausted potential (high FSH, low AMH, etc.,) a successful pregnancy is the exception rather than the rule.

Chinese medicine and qi gong practices view the body as a microcosm of the vastness of spirit that brings the universe into existence. You have that same power within you. You have access to bring creation into manifestation. But it is not at the level of m (form.) Form utilizes that which has already come into existence.  The interface of E and c spark the potential that manifests as a new possibility.

When we work with the interplay of energy and spirit through the body, new possibilities arise. Energies shift. Manifestation changes. A new potential, made manifest through form, emerges.

In my clinical practice, I could work with the interface between matter and energy, but I found that an individuals habitual tendencies pulled one back into the patterns that caused the dysfunction to arise in the first place. When I started conducting retreats, we were able to access the interplay between spirit and energy, made manifest. New possibilities are the rule here, not the exception.

e = mc2: Part 1

A Study of Energy When I was about to start my studies in Chinese medicine, fresh out of Western medical school, I asked the dean for some tips. She said, “Forget everything you were taught about Western medicine.” She was asking me to open my mind and begin with a clean slate. She must have come across my type of intellectual arrogance before; those who take pride in the accumulation of learned knowledge.

During my first year, one of my TCM professors was talking about Qi, and said that Qi could best be described as energy taking form. Energy was where the power was; form was not. I raised my hand and argued with her, challenging this obvious mistaken assumption. I knew that mass was mass and energy was energy. We studied behavior characteristics of matter in the form of cells, tissues, organs and organisms. We could say that form had energy, but that was as far as we could go.

She listened to my tirade, and quietly but firmly suggested I look up Einstein’s theory of relativity in the library during the next break. I didn’t need to. She made her point. I had simply forgotten. Blinded by my own intellectual arrogance, I forgot the most basic scientific facts, and had gotten duped into believing that matter, form, and physicality held the ultimate truth. This was the reason I started studying Chinese medicine in the first place; medical science couldn’t rectify what ailed me. Could it be energy?

In the early 1900s, Albert Einstein found that as mass accelerated toward the speed of light, it got heavier. Although mass couldn’t ever move at the speed of light, the closer it approached c2, mass and energy were found to be infinite. This established the theory of relativity, representing the relationship between mass (m) and energy (E). Thus, the conservation of mass and energy proves that mass and energy are interconvertible.

E=mc2

Energy equals mass at the speed of light squared. In other words, Qi could be described as energy taking form. I’ve learned to open my eyes through the years, and not make assumptions. When I think I know something, I am usually in for a good lesson in humility. Life continually shows me that physicality and form are not in charge. That which animates matter makes the difference. When I can show someone ways in which their energetic patterns are causing physical dysfunction, then they have the power to change it. If they believe matter is in charge, they continue to be at the mercy of a medicine that can only manipulate the densest form of energy, matter.

Why I Want a Child

During a recent retreat, a woman who returned to her third retreat asked: “Can we explore the reasons why we want children?” We started an exercise, writing on the board the collective reasons why everyone there so desperately wanted children. Some of the reasons were:

To leave a legacy;

To give my life meaning;

To experience unconditional love;

To be part of a family;

To fit in;

So that we can be like the other couples we know;

To experience the development of a new human being;

To pass on the things I have learned in my life.

Each woman had their own personal reason for wanting a child. When we stood back and looked at the list of reasons, we all saw in black and white the most obvious thing:  None of the reasons required a child for its fulfillment. We can leave a legacy without a child. We can find meaning in life without a child. We can pass on the things we have learned, experience unconditional love, and fit in where we want to fit in – with or without children.

We also realized – if all of the “reasons” were taken care of by living a fulfilling life that doesn’t require us to place our needs on a child; the desire for a child remained. Yet now, it is unburdened by “reasons.”

Can you see that all of the reasons why you want a child are energetic attachments that you place on the desperate need to have a child? This unmet need becomes an energetic contraction, which, as far as the body’s wisdom is concerned, is placed on the category of scarcity. Lack. What I don’t have. And it creates more contraction – the form of stress hormones, which actually deprives the body of the ability to access and utilize the reproductive energies.

I encourage you to get very honest with yourself. You might want to try to journal about the reasons why you want/need a child. And fulfill those areas of lack with other aspects of your life. Then the pure longing for life has a greater likelihood for being fulfilled – unimpeded by the contraction/fear of its loss.

How to Deal with Regret

We just finished an amazing retreat in Los Angeles with women from all over the world. One of the common themes among the women was the topic of regret.  When I returned home, I received an e-mail from a dear friend going through this journey, and the topic surfaced again. Regret, remorse, should have, shouldn’t have, guilt, shame, if only… If we examine the list of our regrets associated with fertility, it might look something like this:

If only I had _______________________, then I’d be a mom.

If only I hadn’t done _________, then I’d be a mom.

If I had known ________________, then I’d be a mom.

If I would have ________________ earlier, then I’d be a mom.

If Dr. _____________ hadn’t done ________________, I’d already be a mom.

If Dr. ____________ would have done _____________, I’d already be a mom.

If my ____________ would have __________________, I would be a mom.

If my _____________ wouldn’t have _______________, I would be a mom.

I feel ____________ about what happened _____________.

If you keep up this line of questioning, the list will be endless. When you finish one group of regrets, another one will come along, tormenting you all the way along the journey.

Yet, as I told my friend, you don’t need to indulge them, figure them out, or push them away.  They won’t get you anywhere, because regret is an imposter. It isn’t real. Nothing could have been done differently than it was. Your past literally could not be other than it is. You are not here by mistake.

Keep dealing with the only time you have – now. Watch the feelings (now) about a fictitious moment in the supposed past, when it was also now. Not a different now; the same eternal moment, which the mind records as memory. Every time the memory captured an event or experience in the now, it also colored it with some feelings about where your emotional body was at the time. It is doing the same thing now – coloring the memories with judgment. Nothing ever, ever, ever, ever, could have happened differently than it happened. Nothing ever is happening other than it is happening. The happening, including your response to what is, happens spontaneously based upon everything else in the universe and your own personal history. Then the mind comes in later and judges it as good, bad, right, wrong, should have, should not have... And creates an energetic knot.

The energies of regret are twofold – the downward, inward energetic pull of metal (which governs grief and loss), and the upward, outward energetic push of wood (which governs frustration, anger, and resistance) – opposite energetic movements. One pulls you in, one pushes against. It’s a losing game.

When you tease out the sadness and anger, what’s left is the raw emotion of how you feel about what you wish could have been. When it’s projected out in the future, it creates enormous tension in the body mind. Journal about it, if you find it helpful. Do a releasing ceremony. Do a physical release if it feels appropriate. Feel its effects in your body. See what is has to offer you when you see it for what it is. Go into the heart of it. Feel the emotions associated with it. And see what gift remains in the center of it. And in the wake of showing up 100% for yourself, you are left with the only peace possible – acceptance of your past; acceptance of yourself; acceptance of what is, right now.

You have always done exactly what you had to do. And in this ever-present moment, you are doing exactly what you must be doing.

When the contraction of regret is truly released, it can’t obstruct your energetic patterns anymore. Only then you are truly forgiven.

Ovarian Pathology and the Dai Mai

In Chinese medicine, the girdle or belt meridian, (Dai Mai), encircles the waist and hip bones. This is the only horizontal channel in the body and basically “binds” or consolidates the channels that run vertically.  It holds back the kidney potential which gives forth the ability to circulate its essence either to deal with the demands of your life, or to create new life. The Dai Mai also holds back Kidney essence in pathological states like PCOS, POF, ovarian cysts and cancer. When our energy is overly focused on external gratification in the world, our internal reserves can become blocked and inaccessible. Everything that has a potential for pathology at one time had a potential to serve us. It’s all a matter of balance. The Dai Mai binds this life potential until conditions are correct for its circulation.

The Dai Mai also holds repressed energies for us. If a life situation calls for an emotional response that we are unable to meet, the Dai Mai will hold the latent energy until a time when we have the emotional reserves in the blood to deal with it. These energies can be held for years, even decades. When we achieve some level or maturity, the energetic holding can then “leak” into circulation and give us the opportunity to meet it consciously and resolve the latently held energetic pattern. This could be likened to a “cellular memory” that gets locked into the physiology through psychological denial.

We practice a Dai Mai Qi Gong exercise at retreat, which can actively “call out” latent pathogenic factors to be dealt with. There are also acupuncture and herbal remedies which can address Dai Mai issues, but in my opinion, without the light of your own awareness involved in the process, the tools Chinese medicine utilizes are much less effective. Provided the right environment for release, resolution can be complete, within a short amount of time.

Almost everyone I know is aware of some hidden affliction that they have basically swept under the figurative rug; knowing at some time they will have to deal with it. They may not know the details, but in Chinese medicine, the details are not important. The story is almost irrelevant; but meeting it presently with full consciousness, feeling it, and accepting this hidden aspect of our life is essential to overcoming the blocked pathology.

Doctor Patient Relationship

Those who come to retreat often ask what is the most important trait a doctor can have? According to the ancient book of healing, the Su Wen, chapter 39, those who are best at working with people are those who are satisfied with themselves. Without confusion or distress, they can follow the Tao, and reach an illuminated life. Through the deep examination of oneself they can be free of confusion and lift the veil. Commentary by Father Claude Larre:

The most important thing for healing is the relationship between the practitioner, the spirits, and the patient. Heaven represents the organization of nature, and the movement of the four seasons. In our body is the same life that is in a tree or flower, or in the weather. Have the consciousness to observe the natural order and find it again in oneself and in another. If you understand that you must be in harmony with Heaven, you will practice clearly.

Acupuncture has to move the patient’s spirit to be successful – it is not merely mechanical. You first must have a deep understanding of your own life before pretending to know life in another, especially the disturbances in the development of life in another.

You also must not be blocked in yourself, or full of the desire to heal. You have just to do your best, very quietly, and then let go. You must not have inner agitation or desires, even the best of desires. if you do not have desire, then you have a real relationship with the patient and are not forcing the patient to correct his spirits to please you. To be satisfied with yourself means to harmonize yourself. The best way to cure a patient is to remain in the natural expression of your own power of life. To desire too strongly is stagnation and blockage in your intent and will, and it diminishes your ability to cure.

The texts never say that you must desire to cure. They repeatedly say to be calm and quiet without special desire. Wanting something is always dangerous, even if you are wanting the best thing in the world – the tension in you is bad. Let the life of the spirit grow in you, and bring this to every part of your work.

In my opinion, fertility knowledge and expertise are secondary to being real. Having a spirit to spirit relationship with the patient is where healing occurs. What’s important to you? Do you need to emote? Do you need to understand what your practitioner is doing? Then that needs to be part of your treatment. Does your practitioner have a desire to heal you? According to Chinese medicine, that is a problem. Real healing happens when an acupuncturist gets themselves and their desires out of the way and puts you in touch with the source of healing – which is not them. They are merely a conduit of spirit.

Like a Flower

From the movie Inception, Leonardo DiCaprio’s character asks: What's the most resilient parasite?

An Idea.

Who considers an idea, capable of building cities, parasitic?

Taoist originators of Chinese medicine.

Worms, bacteria, viruses, parasites, are all hidden organisms that feed in the darkness off of your qi and blood. Ideas, hidden in the recesses of your brain, are indulgences that feed off of your qi and blood.  The highest form of these allegorical feeding creatures, and the most seductive (which keeps them resilient) is ambition. In other forms, this sucking energy includes ideas, desires, and goals; all considered greed. Like a parasite, it is never satiated. Other forms of indulgence include gluttony, sexual desires, and physical lust (material wanting.) More, more, more.

All qi stagnation comes from unfulfilled desire, obsessive thinking, and excessive worry. This closes off the life energy, and produces dark, damp conditions for these pathogens to accumulate and feed.

These phantoms that infiltrate the body and mind emit poisons that cloud the light of spirit. Thus, treatment includes stopping the psychological consumption, dispelling the parasitic energy, and calming the spirit.

While herbs addressed at killing the parasites are effective for treating the short-term manifestation, they do not change the inner psychic and physiologic  environment that is inviting their proliferation. Thus, they will return; albeit in another form.

So how do you change their environment? Like any other phantom, you shine the light on it and see it for what it is. You don’t need to know if it is giardia, candida albicans, or ureaplasma. When you find the dark recesses and stay with them, their energy opens up and the pathogen cannot survive in the light.

Like a flower, turn toward the sun.

Turn inward toward the light of your own spirit.

The Abode of Infertility

TCM is not prescriptive; it is applied philosophy. The way one practices is not merely knowing what needle does what; but is a transmission of the state of consciousness through the medium of needles, movement, words, herbs or touch. The power is in the ability to transform from one energetic state to another. Annie and her husband came to retreat, lost and desperate. Her FSH value had risen to over 100. They were looking for hope. While the connection between the heart and womb was not open (hence the HPO disconnect,) she didn’t need a prescription. She needed to find hope within.

She had been residing in the desperate abode of infertility. Her doctors reinforced this position – poking, prodding and trying to force her ovaries to respond. They didn’t, and her FSH kept rising. As I was going to treat Annie, her whole body bristled with apprehension. She had already been violated enough. I never put a needle in her. We sat and talked about the despair and loss of hope; how she felt her body had let her down; and how deep within she knew there was something she was missing, that her reproductive clinics couldn’t seem to give her.

She said the more she was treated, her doctors reinforced the walls that created this infertile home that she couldn’t get out of.

By the end of Annie’s second retreat, she had vacated the position of infertility patient. She took off the uniform, and didn’t return to the place where she had taken on that identity. She found hope. It was within her all the time. I wrote an herbal formula to open the connection between the heart and the uterus. We came up with meditative exercises to reinforce this opening within. And when she didn’t occupy the position of infertility, it no longer existed for her.

Annie conceived naturally and gave birth to her own child. There is always hope. But the hope isn’t “out there,” nor is it in the future. It comes directly from the space within your own heart, and pours down into your own depths. The uterine/ovarian complex is known as the “palace of the child.” When it receives the life giving power from your own heart, it is the palace of pure, fertile potential.

Which home do you occupy?

Laws of the Unborn

TCM identifies two aspects of being – born essence, and unborn essence. Born essence includes all things manifest – your body, mind, thoughts, and that which you take in through your senses. Unborn essence cannot really be substantiated, but we all possess awareness of its existence; outside the senses. We could say it is that which gives rise to potential. That which is born operates by the generative rules. This could be likened to the scientific law of thermodynamics and inertia, which crudely translated say that any manifest thing is energy; but because it has taken form, it tends toward dissipation of energy. Manifest things have no inherent existence, and thus are merely acted upon my outside forces. Therein contain the laws of science and medicine. You are seen and treated as a distinct and separate physical entity, acted on by outside forces as you move toward disorder.

Yet, because we are not merely masses that degrade in energy, there is another scientific truth which science has more difficulty quantifying. Quantum physics has revealed through studying the most minute particles in existence, that we reach a point where the physical laws no longer apply. As we reach the edges of the perceivable, we come to a spacious expanse where we can only define behavior, or energetic tendencies.

The endocrine system operates via the generative cycle, as it tries to harmonize with its environment. There are measurable reflections of endocrine disorders – high FSH, low AMH, estradiol, etc.  The best we can do with the generative laws of Chinese medicine is to harmonize these patterns to be in balance with the individual’s environment.

The gynecological system, however, which interfaces with a woman’s endocrine system, operates via the laws of the unborn, or the reverse generative cycle. Here we actually can utilize pure potentiality itself, or the unborn essence. We can work with the energy prior to manifestation and tap into the laws of creation. How?

By no longer paying homage to the laws of the manifest world. As you withdraw your truth and governance from the external world of manifest form, your energy literally moves into the potential, where all things are possible.

Most women I work with are so locked into the laws of the physical world; they literally cannot do this on their own. They need help extracting their attention from their fears and limitations, which they have endowed with reality.  Hence, on retreat, it is as if we cease orbiting in our habitual track around an old and impotent reality. As they move from being governed by the physical world, they become empowered by the same force which gives rise to life itself, making all things possible.