Ways to practice Self Care when going through IVFRead More
The Scottsdale Fertility Forum will be presented on June 15, from 8 to 11 am. Dana Price DOM, L.Ac., FABORM will be presenting as part of a panel of experts in the field. Follow this link for more information and to purchase your tickets. Scottsdale Fertility Forum Event
This is a rare opportunity to join the Valley's top doctors at an exclusive forum specifically about Fertility.
This is one of the health issues that we have experience treating here at ilumina. Dr. Dana Price is incredibly well trained and experienced and brings a level of compassion true to real health care. http://acupuncturetoday.com/mpacms/at/article.php?id=31821
Mayan Abdominal Massage is an external, non-invasive massage modality that specifically addresses the uterine position and other internal organs to support the optimal flow of blood, lymph, and chi throughout the body.Some common symptoms/conditions this type of massage can benefit include displaced or prolapsed uterus or bladder, infertility, endometriosis, ovarian cysts and uterine fibroids, as well as pelvic or abdominal pain from previous surgeries or scar tissue. Join us August 13, at 6:00 pm at ilumina to learn more about this modality and how it can be a benefit to you. Spaces will be limited so please call 602-957-2602 to reserve your spot.
We are very excited to have the lecture series back in action, we are currently putting together a schedule of topics that promise to be informative and promising.
Also heading your way is a Infant Massage Class taught by our amazing massage therapist Audrey Blanchard.
I recently read a very interesting article by Rossi et al. “Effect of Alcohol Consumption on In vitro Fertilization,” published in the prestigious journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology in January 2011, volume 117, pages 136 to 142. The authors looked at more than 4,700 in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles in more than 2,500 couples. Couples were given questionnaires to fill out regarding their alcohol consumption at the time of the IVF cycle start, not during the IVF cycle or pregnancy. The primary outcome that the authors were interested in was the live birth rate after IVF. They found that for men or women undergoing IVF, drinking four or more drinks per week prior to an IVF cycle is associated with a 48 percent higher risk for failed fertilization and a 21 percent lower chance for a live birth.
On the one hand, it seems obvious that alcohol might have a negative impact upon fertility. However, as the authors point out, while there is an enormous amount of evidence published on the adverse effects of alcohol consumption upon the fetus during pregnancy, there is not much data on the effect of alcohol consumption upon fertility. In addition, they theorize that perhaps couples undergoing IVF are not expecting to conceive without assistance and therefore they may not limit alcohol consumption prior to an IVF cycle, thinking that they will stop once they start their fertility drugs.
In general, infertile couples in this study reported less drinking than the general population – 45 percent to 66 percent reported consuming any alcohol at all, while 62 percent to 74 percent of the general population reports that they are current drinkers.
After I read this article, I started paying more attention to whether or not my patients were drinking. We tell all of our female patients not to drink at all during the IVF cycle, but we do not really say anything about drinking prior to the IVF cycle. We do not pay much attention to the guys at all, unless the wife brings up a concern about too much alcohol. But how much is too much? Until this study, there really was not much data out there.
To my surprise a lot of women and men are consuming significant amounts of alcohol. They have some idea that maybe they are drinking too much, but without their doctor saying something very specific, they really did not think about it too much. I found that many men and women — men more so than women — were drinking four or more drinks per week. Although many of my patients enjoy having a drink, most responded very positively to the recommendation to cut back to fewer than four drinks per week. For my female patients, I also asked them to abstain completely after ovulation (usually around day 14 if you have 28-day cycles). Yes, even the guys were happy that there was something they could do to help with the baby-making plan!
So, bottom line — no alcohol at all during the IVF cycle — definitely for women, and not a bad idea for the guys. Before the IVF cycle, alcohol seems to be OK in moderation. And moderation — at least according to this recent, large study — seems to be less than four drinks per week.
Written By: Serena H. Chen, M.D., IRMS Reproductive Medicine at Saint Barnabas, October 16, 2011
Which type of yoga class has the best possible benefits to aid fertility and conception? By Jaki Nett
—Kelly, Long Beach, California
Jaki Nett's reply: The type of yoga class that I recommend to aid fertility and conception is a restorative class—a class where the body, mind, and spirit learn the art of relaxation. A woman's desire to conceive can be overpowering and can drive her to the point of obsession. If this happens, sometimes logic is overlooked and stress becomes the foundation for coitus.
Since it is the woman's body and mind that has to be healthy and free of stress, it is her responsibility--with the unwavering support of her partner--to create the most favorable conditions for conception. To start the process both partners should have a comprehensive physical and psychological examination to determine that they are both without physical and mental conditions that could block conception.
To further alleviate stress about trying to conceive, start mapping your cycle of fertility. When entering a fertile time, start practicing restorative poses. As you practice, soften the abdominal area and begin to consciously remove tension from around the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries.
My teacher, Geeta S. Iyengar, author of Yoga a Gem for Women (Allied, Publishers Limited, 1983), writes extensively on women's issues. She stresses the importance of practicing several asanas to aid in conception. Salamba Sirsasana (Supported Headstand), Salamba Sarvangasana (Supported Shoulderstand) , and Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Supported Bridge Pose) are recommended because of their hypothesized effects on hormonal balance.
She also recommends the following poses:
Forward bends—To make the poses more restorative, place a chair in front of you and rest your head and arms on the seat for support, or use a bolster for support.
- Dandasana (Staff Pose)
- Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)
- Janu Sirsasana (Head-to-Knee Forward Bend)
- Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend)
- Upavistha Konasana (Wide Angle Pose)
- Malasana (Garland Pose)
Reclining Poses—These poses are helpful because they open and elongate the abdominal area.
I also recommend Viparita Karani (Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose) after coitus (which will theoretically keep the sperm inside the body and close to the opening of the uterus) to encourage the opportunity for sperm penetration. Before coitus set up for Viparita Karani (Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose). As you move into and out of the pose, keep the abdominal area soft-your partner can assist you to make this possible. The amount of time you spend in Viparita Karani is up to you.
To set up for Viparita Karani: Fold a sticky mat into quarters and place it two inches from the wall. Place a round bolster or a firm folded blanket on top of the sticky mat with the back edge of the bolster or blanket in line with the back edge of the mat. Place the buttocks on top of the bolster with the sitting bones as close to the wall as possible and the legs up the wall. The tailbone should tilt toward the ceiling so that the vaginal area is pointing upward. The shoulders, arms, and head rest on the floor. Once in the correct pelvic position, allow the legs to soften and bend the knees to allow the abdominal and pelvic floor to relax.
Jaki Nett is a certified Iyengar Yoga instructor in St. Helena, California, and a faculty member of the Iyengar Yoga Institute of San Francisco. She teaches public classes in the San Francisco Bay Area and leads workshops in the United States and Europe, including specialty workshops on female issues. Written by: Jaki Nett
Infertility is an emotional journey, especially when the reason for your infertility is unexplained. After going through all the tests and still not getting any closer to an answer, you’re mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted! Up to 25% of couples trying to conceive are given the diagnosis of unexplained infertility. However, approximately four to eight percent of these cases are found to have a hereditary disorder known as celiac disease. This underlying cause of infertility is typically found in people who have an unfavorable reaction to gluten, which damages the lining of the small intestine and prevents it from absorbing parts of food that are important for maintaining good health.
The disease may not be diagnosed initially because people with celiac disease often have no symptoms of the body’s adverse reaction to gluten. However, others experience bloating, diarrhea, abdominal upset or pain, foul-smelling or grayish stools, as well as weight loss, making diagnoses easier. Celiac disease may also present itself in less obvious ways, such as:
- Irritability or depression
- Joint pain
- Muscle cramps
- Skin rash
- Mouth sores
- Dental and bone disorders (such as osteoporosis)
- Tingling in the legs and feet (neuropathy)
When tested, antibodies and genes associated with celiac disease are present. People with celiac disease have higher than normal levels of some autoantibodies, which react against the body’s own cells or tissues. Eventually, because celiac disease decreases the body’s ability to absorb nutrients, vitamin deficiencies can prevent vital nourishment to an individual’s brain, peripheral nervous system, bones, liver, and other organs.
The Mayo Clinic reports that while celiac disease can affect anyone, it’s most commonly found in those individuals who have:
- Type 1 diabetes
- Autoimmune thyroid disease
- Down syndrome
- Microscopic colitis
Gluten is found in items like bread, pasta, cookies, pizza crust, etc. and is the combination of the gliadin and glutenin proteins. The disease causes the body’s immune system to overreact in response to the gluten in food. Some of the more well-known food items to avoid are:
- Graham flour
- Spelt (a form of wheat)
After removing gluten from your diet, the inflammation of your small intestine begins to subside within several weeks. However, you may begin to feel better in just a few days. Complete healing may take anywhere from several months to as long as three years. In addition, by modifying your diet to completely eliminate gluten, normal reproductive functions often occur.
To help you with your understanding of and planning for a gluten-free diet, ask your practitioner at ilumina Healing Sanctuary.
For more information about celiac disease, you can visit:
Polycystic Ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is the most common female endocrine disorder. PCOS is a hormonal disorder that involves multiple organ systems in the body. It is characterized by a condition in which the ovaries develop multiple small cysts; it is often associated with abnormal or absent ovulation and, accordingly, with infertility. The most common symptoms of PCOS are an irregular period, lack of ovulation, infertility, increased hair growth, insulin resistance, and unusual weight gain. The cause of PCOS is a mystery, but it is known that PCOS sufferers have a higher sympathetic nervous system activity than other women. Conventional medicine deals with PCOS by treating the symptoms associated with it. For example, PCOS is one of the leading causes of infertility; the most popular conventional treatment uses ovulation inducers such as clomid, hCG, and gonadatropin. These drugs may trigger ovulation but they do not effectively address the underlying causes of poor ovarian health.
In Chinese medicine PCOS is usually attributed to kidney yang deficiency and damp accumulation and can be treated with a combination of Chinese herbs and acupuncture. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine are used to stimulate the body’s own natural production of hormones and regulate the menstrual cycle by helping correct the underlying deficiencies and/or eliminating disruptions. Regular treatment can help in restoring reproductive energy in the kidney system, balance the liver system to control smooth flow and distribution of blood, build an adequate supply of blood to maintain normal menstrual cycles, and soothe the sympathetic nervous system to relax the body, reduce stress, and influence healthy ovulation.
In addition PCOS sufferers can incorporate the following changes for enhanced fertility and better health and well-being:
- Eliminate processed foods from your diet.
- Eat a wide variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, and low-fat protein.
- Avoid sugar, artificial sweeteners, and refined carbohydrates. Balance blood sugar by limiting carbohydrate intake, but do include healthy carbohydrates like whole grains, oatmeal, and brown rice.
- Practice stress management; incorporate yoga or a regular meditation practice into your day.
- Exercise regularly; try to get in a half hour per day.
- Get plenty of rest and keep regular sleep patterns.
- Avoid alcohol which can lead to a disturbance of hormonal balance.
- Get regular acupuncture treatments.
- Have Ilumina prescribe an herb formula that will help reduce cysts and balance your hormones.
If you’re a woman undergoing treatment for infertility chances are you’ve heard the phrase “ovarian reserve” (which refers to the number of oocytes, or eggs, available to be fertilized, a number that drops as a woman gets older) and probably a related term, “Anti-Mullerian hormone,” or AMH. According to the National Institutes of Health, the AMH gene gives instructions for making a protein that’s important in the development of a male fetus. But knowing a woman's level of AMH gives doctors other information as well. In the past, most fertility doctors would measure a woman’s follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) on day three of her cycle to get an idea of her ovarian reserve (which is linked to her odds of conceiving, since the more good-quality eggs you have, the more likely you are to get pregnant, of course), but more physicians are now using AMH, as well as inhibin-B, to determine this since they are direct measures of a woman’s ovarian reserve (FSH is an indirect way to measure it). A recent study in the medical journal Human Reproduction reported on 769 UK women undergoing their first cycle of in vitro fertilization (IVF) with fresh embryos; 346 underwent a conventional stimulation procedure with medication, and 423 were treated with a protocol that took into account each woman’s individual AMH level.
The results were encouraging: Pregnancy rates and live birth rates were significantly higher in women who got a customized treatment plan based on their AMH level. There was more good news too: The cost of drug treatment dropped by 29 percent per patient and the number of women who experienced the rate of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) also dropped. Symptoms of OHSS can include abdominal pain and bloating; weight gain; and more serious problems, like severe pain and abdominal swelling, problems urinating, and shortness of breath. Talk to your doctor if you experience any of these while undergoing fertility treatment.
If you’re undergoing fertility treatment has your reproductive endocrinologist discussed your AMH level with you?
By Lorie Parch for conceiveonline.com
ilumina Healing Sanctuary is honored to offer these amazing free events that you do not want to miss. To register please call ilumina Healing Sanctuary at (602) 957-2602.Women’s Circle led by Marion Light M.Ed.6:00pm-7:00pm1st Monday of the Month (November 1st)For women looking to connect with other women in an environment that encourages inner growth and healing. This meeting encompasses setting the space, clearing negative or stagnant energies, a guided meditation and sharing. In our society, many women have become overstressed and overburdened with family, work and their own high expectations of themselves. The age-old tradition of sitting in a circle and sharing has been replaced by hectic, isolated lives that lead to distraction from our deeper selves. These groups allow a space for community, inner discovery and healing. This renewed energy then goes forward with each woman and touches al those they encounter.Couples Communication with Marion Light6:00pm-7:00pmMonday, November 8thA large percentage of communication is non-verbal. Most problems in a relationship are caused by an inability to speak the truth to each other about what we feel and what we really need from each other. Come and learn how to communicate and listen with compassion. Spend a evening with Marion Light, Emotional Wellness Therapist and Polarity Practitioner to explore the effects of this process in your relationship.Fertility Circle led by Marion Light M.Ed.6:00pm-7:00pm3rd Monday of the Month (November 15th)For women on the journey to motherhood who are seeking connection with other women on the same path. This circle includes guided visualizations and will remain small to ensure personal attention.
A healthy diet can help contribute to a healthy conception, but does it matter if the milk you drink or the veggies you eat are organic? Sometimes it does…There’s no shortage of advice on what you should eat when trying to get pregnant. Much less is known about how food—or more precisely the preservatives, hormones, pesticides, and other toxic chemicals lurking there—could interfere with your ability to conceive. To be on the safe side, some experts think now may be the time to go organic with at least some of the foods you consume. “The science is still inconclusive, but there is some suggestion that women exposed to persistent organic pollutants have more reproductive health problems that can lead to problems with fertility,” says Tracey Woodruff, Ph.D., director of the Program for Reproductive Health and Environment at the University of California at San Francisco.One of the proponents of going green is Robert Greene, M.D., medical director of the Sher Institutes for Reproductive Medicine of Northern California. In his new book, Perfect Hormone Balance for Fertility (Three Rivers Press, 2008), Dr. Greene notes that about 90 percent of our total intake of pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, preservatives, additives, and antibiotics comes from the foods we eat. Most of these chemicals, he adds, are hormone disrupters, which interfere with the body’s hormone balance and can reduce fertility or lead to miscarriage.While organic foods are becoming more widely available, they still tend to be more expensive. If cost is an issue, Dr. Greene recommends focusing organic purchases on animal products (meat and dairy), which he says are likely to contain the highest levels of hormone disrupter chemicals. Dr. Greene also writes, “The most harmful BioMutagens are contained in the fat of meat and fish, so always buy lean and low-fat products.” Another good strategy is to take a good look at your daily diet, and then buy organic versions of the foods you eat most frequently.Among fruits and vegetables, levels of pesticide residues can vary significantly, according to the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP). Opt to go green at least with the fruits and vegetables that are most likely to be contaminated (see chart below).The IATP also advises that consumers buy produce from small, local farmers whenever possible. Not only is this produce generally fresher and more flavorful, but it also tends to harbor fewer chemicals than foods grown on large industrial farms. Whatever their source, fruits and vegetables should be thoroughly washed in cold water before being eaten. Washing can remove at least half of pesticide residues, as well as pathogens such as E. coli and salmonella, which can cause illness.Through the foods you choose, as in all things, the goal is to maintain optimum health when you’re trying to conceive. “Anything you can do to improve overall health is likely to maximize your fertility and ensure a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby,” says Louis DePaolo, M.D., chief of the Reproductive Sciences Branch at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.Highest Pesticide ResiduesApplesGrapes (imported)NectarinesPeachesPearsRed raspberriesStrawberriesBell peppersCarrotsCeleryGreen beansHot peppersPotatoesSpinachModerate Pesticide ResiduesApricotsBlueberriesCantaloupeGrapefruitGrapes (domestic)HoneydewOrangesCollard greensCucumbersKaleLettuceMushroomsSweet potatoesTomatoesTurnip greensWinter squashLowest Pesticide ResiduesApple juiceBananasKiwifruitMangoesOrange juicePapayaPeaches (canned)PineapplesPlumsTangerinesWatermelonAsparagusAvocadoBroccoliCabbageCauliflowerOnionSweet cornSweet peasA version of this article originally appeared in the Summer 2008 issue of Conceive Magazine .
Scientists have been learning more about environmental hazards and chemicals that can affect fertility, and now they’ve added another potential threat to the list: polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), used as a flame retardant. A recent study of 223 pregnant women, published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, found that those women who had the highest concentration of the chemicals in their blood took longer to become pregnant.PBDEs are surprisingly common, used in foam furniture, electronics, fabrics, carpets, and plastics. Because of safety concerns, most manufacturers have been phasing out their use, but they are still readily found in products made before 2004. PBDEs are also present in some foods, particularly dairy products and higher-fat meat and fish. An earlier study found detectable levels of PBDEs in the blood of 97 percent of Americans.For more information on environmental hazards and fertility, download the free brochure, “Toxic Matters,” by the Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment (PRHE) at the University of California, San Francisco, at prhe.ucsf.edu/prhe/tmlinks.html.Written by Conceive EditorsTuesday, 22 June 2010
Join Marion Light this Monday, July 19, 2010 at ilumina Healing Sanctuary. To reserve your space please call. (602)957-2602.Monday July 19, 20106:00pm-7:30pm7520 E. Camelback RoadScottsdale, Arizona 85251(602)957-2602ilumina is honored to offer a FREE circle for women on their road to motherhood. This women’s circle includes guided visualizations and is small to ensure personal attention. Our intention is to create a safe and nurturing environment for women to receive comfort and support in their journeys. Something magical happens when our stories are witnessed in a neutral, loving and supportive environment. This enables us to listen and hear our own wisdom and to share that wisdom with others on the path of good health and emotional healing.
Join Marion on Monday evening for this free event that you do not want to miss! We still have a couple of spaces left so please call to register. (602)957-2602March 8, 2010 (Monday) 6-7:30pmatilumina Healing Sanctuary7520 E. Camelback RoadScottsdale, Arizona 85251Healing through the Emotions with Marion Light M.Ed.Our emotions, both conscious and unconscious play an important role in our learning. It is through the emotions that we gain deeper access to who we really are and what is important to us in our lives. Living an inner guided life does not ensure an absence of difficulty in your life. Leaving your emotions and tapping into your intuition will however allow you to move through these transitions with ease and grace without becoming unbalanced. Come for an evening to learn about the emotional aspects of your physical, financial and relationship issues.
Women in Bloom is honored to offer a healing circle at ilumina Healing Sanctuary for women on their road to motherhood. Our intention is to create a safe and nurturing environment for women to receive comfort and support in their journeys. Something magical happens when our stories are witnessed in a neutral, loving and supportive environment. This enables us to listen and hear our own wisdom and to share that wisdom with others on the path of good health and emotional healing. This women's circle will include guided visualizations and will remain small to ensure personal attention.For more information or to sign up for the Fertility Healing Circle please call ilumina Healing Sanctuary at (602)957-2602.Monday, June 15th6:00pm to 7:00pmilumina Healing Sanctuary7520 E. Camelback RoadScottsdale, Arizona 85251(602)957-2602
Ghandi wrote, “Forgiveness is choosing to love. It is the first sign of self-giving love.” True healing occurs when we have the courage to be present with all aspects of ourselves and move through the processes required to return to wholeness. In working with a diverse array of clients, I have found that often the most difficult step of the healing process is forgiveness. As difficult as it may be, forgiveness is necessary to free oneself from the painful emotions that have bound our lives and stifled our Spirit. Of course, once we let go and forgive, we become fully responsible for our own feelings and behaviors and can no longer make excuses or stay stuck in our patterns or stagnation. That can be daunting, so it is understandable that some people resist forgiveness and choose to remain comfortably stuck, but in doing so we limit ourselves, and our lives do not open fully to their potential.Many people hang onto anger and blame out of a misplaced sense of justice. A common misperception is that forgiving someone means accepting their behavior, or letting them off the hook. This is simply not so. We can forgive and also choose not to allow people into our lives who hurt or betray us. We can, if we wish, offer the kind of forgiveness that might free the person we are angry at, but the greatest impact is within. Forgiveness frees us from the low vibrational energies of anger, blame and resentment and allows our heart to open to a more joyful and expansive life.Carrying anger, hate or resentment in your heart will weigh heavily on your life, preventing you from truly healing and moving forward. When you have been hurt or betrayed, there is a process you can turn to in order to release the experience and find alignment with yourself again. The key steps are firstly, AWARENESS of what needs healing or what is holding you back. The second step is to TAKE RESPONSIBILITY for the feelings that were triggered by the experience without blaming yourself or others. Next, it is essential to find TRUST in a deeper part of yourself, and know that you are more than your pain. Acknowledge the perfection of every experience and what it has brought to your life. It may be hard to imagine a painful experience as a ‘perfect’ experience, but this simply means that the experience ‘is what it is’ in the fabric of your life, and every experience is full of potential. It becomes ‘what you make it’ and that will shape the tapestry of your future. Seeing the greater picture of your being and your life will allow you to FORGIVE AND LET GO. The final step is to experience a RENEWAL or REMEMBERING of who you really are. In this state, all the energy you have bound up in anger, resentment and pain becomes available to you again in a pure and positive way, resulting in increased joy, vitality and enthusiasm. You find yourself more present in your life and trusting that your inner self can not only handle the experiences of life, but can appreciate them –all of them, for the great gifts they are. This is not an intellectual exercise, but an opening of your heart. It is a gift you give to yourself and your world.Love and Light,Marionwww.marionlight.comwww.womeninbloom.orgilumina Healing Sanctuary, located in Scottsdale, is a unique clinic that combines acupuncture, Traditional Chinese medicine, emotional wellness, general and fertility massage, and whole food nutrition. We are the only clinic in Arizona with board certified practitioners of Oriental Reproductive Medicine. Our highly trained and experiences specialists provide therapies that support the body, mind and spirit through all phases of a women’s life.ilumina Healing Sanctuary7520 E. Camelback RoadScottsdale, Arizona 85251(602)957-2602
Please register early for these special events early as space is limited. (ilumina Healing Sanctuary: 602-957-2602) Unless listed, all special events are complimentary but donations are accepted and will take place at ilumina Healing Sanctuary. All donations received will be used to fund microloans for women starting businesses in developing countries through Kiva www.kiva.org.
Monday, June 8th 6:00pm-7:00pmIntroduction to Polarity Therapy with Marion Light
All living things are intricate arrangements of energy. Your physical body, thoughts, and feelings are all patterns of energy. When your energy fields are aligned in smooth-patterned states, their natural expression is health and happiness. However, when the patterns of your energy fields become chaotic or distorted by stressful life experiences, it can have a negative impact on your well-being. Polarity therapy works to restore the intregity and flow of your energy patterns using touch, toning, breathing and communication techniques. A comprehensive system of Eastern and Western modalities, polarity therapyworks to bring your energy field back into thier natural state of alignment.
Come for an evening with Marion Light and learn about the value of having a balanced energy system and how to connect to your own energy and imbalances. You will learn how to listen to your own body's messages and where you might be blocked in your life, on the physical, mental/emotional, financial or spiritual levels.
About Marion Light
Born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa, Marion Light has lived in the United States for 20 years. She has three adult children, a son, Roscoe and twin daughters, Kelsey and Megan.
As a young adult, Marion was a top athlete, selected to play for the national field hockey team. She earned her bachelors degree, with English and Physical Education as a double Major, and received her teaching credentials in South Africa, where she worked as an educator for five years. After moving to the United States, Marion taught physically and mentally challenged children for five years in Los Angeles while earning a Masters Degree in Education at Cal State.
It was after moving to Phoenix that Marion's own health issues compelled her to explore holistic healthcare and alternative therapies. She was drawn to pursue a life in the healing arts, and from that time on, she has felt her life has been divinely guided. She began to follow her intuition and studied energy medicine, including Master level training in polarity, cranial sacral and massage. She also began teaching classes in cranial sacral unwinding, polarity therapy and communications.
Marion feels her practice is the fulfilling of her life's purpose. For over 10 years, she has successfully helped men, women and children find deep relief from depression and anxiety, physical pain, illness, infertility, grief, childhood and sexual abuse, attention deficit disorder and many other issues. She is honored to guide individuals on a journey of self discovery, helping them achieve a greater state of well-being.
ilumina Healing Sanctuary, located in Scottsdale, is a unique clinic that combines acupuncture, Traditional Chinese medicine, emotional wellness, general and fertility massage, and whole food nutrition. We are the only clinic in Arizona with board certified practitioners of Oriental Reproductive Medicine. Our highly trained and experiences specialists provide therapies that support the body, mind and spirit through all phases of a women’s life.ilumina Healing Sanctuary7520 E. Camelback RoadScottsdale, Arizona 85251(602)957-2602
Acupuncture: A Cure for Infertility?Tuesday , April 26, 2005By Catherine Donaldson-EvansNEW YORK —At 36, Lucy Appert has suffered through two miscarriages, a stillbirth at 8 1/2 months and, because of a rare pregnancy-related liver dysfunction, intensive illness and surgery.Yet after enduring five painful years of trying to have their own baby, Appert and her husband Edward finally saw their dream come true last month when their son Henry was born — premature, but healthy.For all the fertility treatments, technologies and prenatal care available to women today, Appert credits the success of her pregnancy to an ancient Chinese secret."I recommend acupuncture (search) to everyone," Appert said. "It does work. I did everything possible for years to have a baby. I almost lost hope."The millennias-old Asian medical practice — in which the acupuncturist places tiny needles in various pressure points, or "Qi" (Chee), in the body to improve circulation and reduce stress — has been around in the United States for years as an "alternative" treatment for numerous ailments.But recently, acupuncture has been picking up steam as a possible remedy for female infertility, with a handful of American and European studies showing that it enhances the success rate of in vitro fertilization (IVF) (search).“Do I believe in it? Absolutely,” said Dr. Paul C. Magarelli, an infertility doctor at the Reproductive Medicine & Fertility Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., and co-author of an ongoing study into the use of acupuncture with IVF with Dr. Diane K. Cridennda. Cridennda is a licensed acupuncturist with a master's degree in Oriental medicine from the International Institute of Chinese Medicine (search) who owns East Winds Acupuncture, also in Colorado Springs.Magarelli said he joined the study at the urging of Cridennda, who had approached him about using acupuncture with IVF based on her knowledge of its history as an Eastern fertility treatment. A skeptic at first, Magarelli said he dismissed the idea for a while before signing on."I thought, this is rubbish — it can't be true," Magarelli said. "But no matter how I look at this data, I see an improvement. ... I'm pretty much a convert."In general, studies seem to indicate that doing acupuncture about 30 minutes before and after in vitro fertilization can increase the chance that the embryo will be implanted successfully and reduce the chance of miscarriage.There are also indications that the effectiveness of the IVF drugs and procedure may improve if acupuncture is done about once a week in the month or two leading up to the start of IVF and then continued regularly — once or twice a week — during the whole cycle.And, as in Appert's case, there is anecdotal evidence that acupuncture can help with other fertility and pregnancy problems. Appert didn't need IVF to conceive, but she was told she probably couldn't carry a healthy baby to term because of her liver disorder.But some doctors caution that there is no "magic pill" for fertility, pregnancy and IVF troubles — whether it's acupuncture or something else."The jury is still out on that," said Dr. Eric Surrey, president of the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) (search), who has a practice at the Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine. "I don't think we have good data to show that acupuncture before and after the embryo transfer is truly beneficial."And they warn against making too much of claims that acupuncture can help with having babies."It's impossible to say at this point," said Dr. Robert Schenken, president of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) (search), who has a practice at the University of Texas Health Science Center. "In the absence of any controlled data, I don't think we can come to a firm conclusion."Promising ResearchAcupuncture seems to help some women because it improves circulation to the ovaries (search) — which makes for healthier eggs — and to the uterus (search), which increases the chances that the lining will be strong enough to hold those eggs to full-term."Acupuncture provides better circulation and better blood flow to the womb," said Dr. Raymond Chang, director of New York's Meridian Medical Group, who has been incorporating acupuncture into fertility treatments for the past decade. "It will give a better chance for the eggs to be nourished and therefore carried."There's also the fact that acupuncture can be a stress-reliever during an emotional time."Trying to get pregnant is incredibly stressful," said Victoria Koos, the acupuncturist who treated Appert at Yin and Tonic Acupuncture in New York. "They're crossing their fingers. The longer they're trying to get pregnant, the worse it gets ... Part of [acupuncture's success] is simply relaxation. When the body is relaxed, all systems function better."The Colorado study Magarelli and Cridennda presented at a conference this fall is one of a series the pair have done with acupuncture and in vitro.That one looked at 114 patients who had a good chance of IVF being effective, some who did acupuncture and some who didn’t. It found, among other things, that there were fewer miscarriages, more pregnancies and a 7 percent higher birth rate among those who got acupuncture treatment over those who didn’t, according to Magarelli.It piggybacked off other research the team did on 147 “poor responders” to IVF, which found that the pregnancy rate was 40 percent, with 11 percent more babies born, among those who did acupuncture with in vitro fertilization compared to those who didn’t.In March, Magarelli and Cridennda released findings in Italy involving patients with an average prognosis for IVF success. Those yielded clear numbers that the pregnancy rate increased with acupuncture by 24 percent, according to Magarelli.“What got us was that now we were seeing a firm trend toward getting more people pregnant,” he said.The Colorado research seems to support some findings of two earlier studies, one in Germany by lead researcher Dr. Wolfgang E. Paulus — published in ASRM's “Fertility and Sterility” (search) in April 2002 — and one in Sweden by lead researcher Elisabet Stener-Victorin in the 1990s.Of course, even those who believe in acupuncture concede that while the existing studies have yielded good information, there still isn't sufficient evidence, or a broad enough sample of patients tested, to call acupuncture a proven remedy."We are convinced, but scientifically you need proof — or so-called proof," Chang said. "There is a whole set of proof from lab experiments and animal studies to human studies, but it's very difficult to do human studies."Schenken noted that even though there might be one set of data showing positive results, "it really needs to be corroborated, preferably with several different studies and different patient populations." For example, there can be bias when the entire study sample comes from the same clinic, or when patients know they're doing something different from usual.Schenken said he doesn't get asked about acupuncture often, but when patients do, "we don't recommend it, but we do not discourage it."Surrey takes a similar approach. In his opinion, the data "is not bad" on the theory that acupuncture can help when administered before IVF, but as far as acupuncture generally improving fertility or helping after the embryo transfer in IVF, "there really isn't a whole lot of data on that."But at the very least, "there is absolutely nothing to show that it's harmful if it's done with a trained and appropriately skilled acupuncturist," he said. It's a notion that nearly everyone in the medical field — whether they believe in needles and Qi or not — seems to agree upon.Some Eastern medicine-Western medicine rivalry may come into play with how to treat reproductive problems, but Chang said he sees more resistance with the use of Chinese herbs — which are ingested — than he does with acupuncture. Often, it's the in vitro specialists themselves who refer their patients to him for acupuncture after a couple of failed IVF attempts.As for the couples trying to bring a child into the world — particularly through a complicated, invasive procedure like IVF— anything that helps the process along is welcome.“IVF is so technical that patients feel like they’re being pushed and pulled … with acupuncture, they’re in a sense taking some control,” Magarelli said. "Acupuncture isn't a needle, it's an environment."Added Koos: "They're on these incredibly strong drugs that make the poor women crazy. They're running around like Catwoman. This is to help them stay sane while they're going through the process."The emotional cost of infertility comes with a hefty financial price tag as well — in vitro fertilization can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000 a cycle and generally isn't covered by insurance; acupuncture ranges from about $30 to over $200 per treatment — Koos and Chang charge about $90 a pop — and certain health plans do cover at least a portion of it.Meanwhile, researchers and experts in the field are excited at what they're seeing in the studies. Chang said he's currently working with NYU Medical Center on a trial that looks at IVF with and without acupuncture.Appert, for her part, was at the end of her rope and felt she had nothing to lose. She started acupuncture with Koos about two months before she began trying to conceive — with needles in her toes and a couple of liver points — and continued with the treatments throughout the pregnancy."The first time I went, I was completely terrified. My husband went with me and held my hand," she said. "I could feel the muscles in my liver jump and an electric current going through my body. It was very strange but also felt right."She said being monitored by both her obstetrician and Koos helped reassure her about what was going on during her high-risk pregnancy."She would tell me things about how I was doing physically and then I would go to the doctor and he would tell me the same thing," remembers Appert, who works as a professor.When she got sick late in the pregnancy, both Koos and Appert's OB/GYN were able to detect when her liver went dangerously haywire and get her to the hospital for delivery six weeks early, before the problem harmed the fetus and caused another stillbirth.Regardless of the skeptics, Appert said she's relieved that she was finally able to have a nearly full-term baby of her own. At 4 pounds, 6 ounces, Henry has been in intensive care but otherwise is doing "fine.""It really was a miracle," the new mom gushed. "It's one of these weird things that Western medicine can't explain."ilumina Healing Sanctuary, located in Scottsdale, is a unique clinic that combines acupuncture, Traditional Chinese medicine, emotional wellness, general and fertility massage, and whole food nutrition. We are the only clinic in Arizona with board certified practitioners of Oriental Reproductive Medicine. Our highly trained and experiences specialists provide therapies that support the body, mind and spirit through all phases of a women's life. ilumina Healing Sanctuary7520 E. Camelback RoadScottsdale, Arizona 85251(602)957-2602
For women who are…
thinking about becoming pregnant or trying to conceive,
who have struggled with infertility or miscarriage
who have conflicting feelings or uncertainty about motherhood,
…our retreat will gently guide you to a place of clarity while providing emotional support
and the resources to help you realize your desires.
2009 DatesSaturday, February 7thSaturday, May 9thSaturday, August 29thSaturday, November 21st
9:00am-4:00pmParadise Valley, Arizona
To be the experiences of great joy and expansion that they were meant to be, conception, pregnancy and motherhood require ultimate self-awareness and surrender. For many women, these profound life transitions have become a time of fear, pain, confusion and struggle. Women in Bloom’s retreat is designed to support all women with the physical and emotional issues surrounding fertility, pregnancy and motherhood. For women trying to conceive, having difficult pregnancies, or wanting to sort out conflicting feelings about motherhood, this unique program will bring you to a place of deeper clarity, understanding and balance and provide you with resources to enhance fertility and the experience of pregnancy and motherhood.
Retreat activities include:Discussions on fertility, pregnancy and motherhoodGroup Sharing and SupportGuided MeditationLabyrinth WalkSelf Discovery
$150 for the full day
Retreat size will remain small to allow for optimum healing and growth with these two renowned experts. Please register early as our offerings fill quickly.
For more information please e-mail:Marion Light firstname.lastname@example.orgDana Price email@example.com
To register please call (602)957-2602
Testimonials from previous retreats
“I left Women in Bloom believing in myself and having faith in what is ahead.”
“This was a powerful and transforming circle of women who empowered us to birth a new awareness of ourselves as women.”
Without Dana, Marion, & Women in Bloom, I would still be struggling to find a way to let go of the past issues. Thanks to these wonderful women, I feel a breath of new life has breathed into my future.”
“There is something powerful in the environment you have created for women on their path to conception. I feel extremely supported and nurtured.”
“Women in Bloom has become my sanctuary during a time of great challenges.”
“The workshop helped me create a brighter light within.”
“I feel very free to share and connect with women.”
“This is a great step on your path to self discovery and wellbeing.”