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Unable to Get Pregnant, She Turned East in Quest of Fertility

Catherine McDiarmid-Watt | Wednesday, March 28, 2007 | 0 comments

I stand in a hotel conference room with 15 other women simultaneously bending down to scoop up imaginary piles of dirt. In unison, we bring the make-believe soil to our pelvic regions and then, as instructed, reach up as high as possible to funnel energy from the skies through our heads and down to our uteruses.

"Collect the yin energies from earth and the yang energies from heaven, then blend them in your center, where all life begins," directs Randine Lewis, creator of the five-day alternative fertility retreat in which we are taking part.

This ancient Taoist moving meditation Lewis has us doing, part of a discipline called qi gong, is an integral part of our healing process, apparently, and so we wake to scoop and reach every morning at the crack of 7:30. Most of us can't really envision yin in the dirt or yang in the sky, but we try. Oh, man, do we try.

If someone had told me a year ago that I would soon combat my infertility by tossing myself headlong into an ancient Chinese regimen including herbs, acupuncture, daily meditation and sweeping changes in my diet, I would have wondered what kind of herb she was smoking.

But she would have laughed last. Because earlier this year, at the age of 37 and after 2 1/2 years of very conventional, very Western attempts to conceive, I threw myself into such a program.

And why not? Six months on fertility drugs, two inseminations and one $13,000 attempt at vitro fertilization (IVF) had all failed me -- or I them. I felt I had to try something else. In February, minutes after I realized the IVF hadn't worked, and knowing my husband and I would have a rough time financing a second round of treatment, I hit the Internet looking for an alternative.

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Image: The Infertility Cure: The Ancient Chinese Wellness Program for Getting Pregnant and Having Healthy Babies, by Randine Lewis. Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (March 21, 2005)The Infertility Cure: The Ancient Chinese Wellness Program for Getting Pregnant and Having Healthy Babies
by Randine Lewis

-- Infertility affects one out of six couples today.

Dr. Lewis presents a groundbreaking alternative approach to infertility, explaining how she used traditional Chinese medicine to treat her own infertility, successfully conceiving and giving birth to two children.

In Lewis's experience, women who have undergone three to six months of the dietary changes, herbs and acupuncture treatments become pregnant with no further effort.

Lewis intersperses her somewhat technical examination of the program with anecdotes about her patients, weaving in discussions on diet, herbal supplements, acupuncture, older women and problems related to infertility.

Image: Buy Now on Amazon.comPaperback: 320 pages
Click to order/for more info: The Infertility Cure - US | CDN | UK

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About Catherine: I am mom to three grown sons, two grandchildren and two rescue dogs. After years of raising my boys as a single mom, I remarried a wonderful man who had never had a child of his own. Unexpectedly, I found myself pregnant at 49!
Sadly we lost that precious baby at 8 weeks, and decided to try again. Five more losses, turned down for donor egg, foster care and adoption due to my age and losses - we have accepted that there will be no more babies in our house.

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