Wednesday, January 27

Fertility Acupuncture Video

Watch and learn how The Berkley Center for Reproductive Wellness combines acupuncture, and herbal medicine to improve pregnancy outcomes.

Saturday, January 23

Finding Peace Within

A Full Embrace Excluding Nothing

Most people agree that a more peaceful world would be an ideal situation for all living creatures. However, we often seem stumped as to how to bring this ideal situation into being. If we are to have true peace in this world, each one of us must find it in ourselves first. If we don’t like ourselves, for example, we probably won’t like those around us. If we are in a constant state of inner conflict, then we will probably manifest conflict in the world. If we have fighting within our families, there can be no peace in the world. We must shine the light of inquiry on our internal struggles, because this is the only place we can really create change.

When we initiate the process of looking inside ourselves for the meaning of peace, we will begin to understand why it has always been so difficult to come by. This in itself will enable us to be compassionate toward the many people in the world who find themselves caught up in conflicts both personal and universal. We may have an experience of peace that we can call up in ourselves to remind us of what we want to create, but if we are human we will also feel the pull in the opposite direction—the desire to defend ourselves, to keep what we feel belongs to us, to protect our loved ones and our cherished ideals, and the anger we feel when threatened. This awareness is important because we cannot truly know peace until we understand the many tendencies and passions that threaten our ability to find it. Peace necessarily includes, even as it transcends, all of our primal energy, much of which has been expressed in ways that contradict peace.

Being at peace with ourselves is not about denying or rejecting any part of ourselves. On the contrary, in order to be at peace we must be willing and able to hold ourselves, in all our complexity, in a full embrace that excludes nothing. This is perhaps the most difficult part for many of us, because we want so much to disown the negative aspects of our humanity. Ironically, though, true peace begins with a willingness to take responsibility for our humanity so that we might ultimately transform it in the light of our love.

mike berkley, Licensed Acupuncturist/Herbalist

Thursday, January 21


It is natural to feel resentment or anger when life does not unfold as expected. We consciously or unconsciously anticipated one experience, and we grieve for the loss of it when the universe puts something else in our path. Most of the time, we work through these feelings and they pass. Occasionally, our anger and resentment do not fade and are instead transformed into bitterness. Bitter feelings allow us to become perfect victims in that we no longer feel obliged to work toward healing and choose instead to identify with our pain. Yet as unwholesome as bitterness can be, it is also a natural element of our emotional palette. When we acknowledge that it is okay to feel bitter, we reconnect with our hurt in a constructive way and can begin the process of working through it.

The nature of bitterness is rooted in the fact that the pain we feel provides us with a rationale. We may feel that we deserve to embrace our bitterness to its full extent. And to be bitter is, in essence, to cut ourselves off from all that is positive, hardening our hearts and vowing never to let go of our hurt. But just as bitter feelings can be self-defeating, so too can the release of bitterness be life-affirming in a way that few other emotional experiences are. When we decide that we no longer want to be bitter, we are reborn into a world filled with delight and fulfillment unlike any we knew while in the clutches of bitterness. The veil it cast over our lives is lifted, letting light and warmth touch our souls.

Divesting yourself of bitter feelings can be as simple as truly forgiving and moving on. Even when your bitterness has no concrete object, you can forgive situations too. Healing pain can be challenging but may be easier if you remind yourself that you are the only entity truly affected by your emotional state. In time, you will discover that letting go of your bitterness frees you to initiate the healing process and allows you to once again celebrate the possibility of the more wonderful life you deserve.

m berkley, L.Ac., FABORM

Wednesday, January 20

Baby joy via TCM

SOME couples struggle to conceive, especially when infertility might be an underlying problem.

And besides undergoing Western fertility treatments, some are turning to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for help.

TCM treatments include herbal remedies and acupuncture, which are meant to bring the body into balance and thus facilitate conception.

But those who turn to TCM should know that TCM isn't a quick fix, said physician Loh Kim Gek, 55.

As with Western medicine, a substantial amount of time and patience may be required before a couple sees a successful result.

With TCM, couples need to undergo at least nine to 12 months of consistent treatment, said Ms Loh, who is one of four physicians at the fertility unit in free clinic Singapore Thong Chai Medical Institution.

Ms Loh, who has more than 20 years of experience, added: "I feel a sense of satisfaction when my patients bring along their babies to meet me. It makes me very happy."

She has helped about 30 per cent of some 900 couples to conceive.

She said that the success rate could have been as high as 50 per cent if some of those couples had stuck to their treatment without giving up halfway.

Although women are traditionally blamed for fertility problems, Ms Loh said that, in seven out of 10 cases, the problem actually lies with the male.

She will give a talk on Saturday to explain how TCM can help to boost fertility, and how one can improve one's constitution. my paper gets her to answer some questions from readers.

Why would TCM be better than Western medicine in fertility treatments?


Ms Loh: TCM treatment for gynaecological problems has a long history in China, and has proved to be effective.

To me, TCM and Western medicine serve complementary needs. TCM treats the root problem, while Western medicine tackles the symptoms.

For instance, if you have ovulation problems or problems with the quality of your ovaries, TCM treatment - which comprises Chinese medicine as well as acupuncture - can improve the function of the ovaries. TCM can also help strengthen men's sperm to enable a higher chance of conception.

But if you have problems such as a blockage in your fallopian tube due to ovarian cysts, then I would recommend Western treatment to remove them. My wife and I have been trying to have a baby for two years.

What can we do to improve our chances of conceiving?

MR J. Y. QUEK, 31

Ms Loh: Firstly, you should learn how to be free of worry. When people are anxious, it will affect the quality of a woman's ovaries and the effectiveness of sperm. In my talk, I will share some simple methods for relieving stress.

Secondly, you need to build up your constitution and prevent development of illnesses. Illnesses during the ovulation period can greatly affect conception.

Thursday, January 14

The Wisdom of Surrender

Relying on Others

Most of us pride ourselves on our self-sufficiency. We like to be responsible for taking care of ourselves and pulling our own weight in the world. This is why it can be so challenging when we find ourselves in a situation in which we have to rely on someone else. This can happen as the result of an illness or an injury, or even in the case of a positive change, such as the arrival of a newborn. At times like these, it is essential that we let go of our feeling that we should be able to do it all by ourselves and accept the help of others.

The first step is accepting the situation fully as it is. Too often we make things worse either by trying to do more than we should or by lapsing into feelings of uselessness. In both cases we run the risk of actually prolonging our dependency. In addition, we miss a valuable opportunity to practice acceptance and humility. The ego resists what is, so when we move into acceptance we move into the deeper realm of the soul. In needing others and allowing them to help us, we experience the full realization that we are not on our own in the world. While this may bring up feelings of vulnerability, a deep feeling of gratitude may also emerge as we open to the experience of being helped. This realization can enable us to be wiser in our service of others when we are called upon to help.

It takes wisdom and strength to surrender to our own helplessness and to accept that we, just like every other human being, have limitations. The gifts of surrender are numerous. We discover humility, gratitude, and a deepening understanding of the human experience that enables us to be that much more compassionate and surrendered in the world.

Mike Berkley, L.Ac., FABORM

Monday, January 11

Dr. David Kreiner of East Coast Fertility has put together your Fertility Resolutions for 2010

East Coast Fertility's Top 10 New Year's Resolutions for Fertility: Follow These if you are Trying To Conceive

Dr. David Kreiner of East Coast Fertility has put together your Fertility Resolutions for 2010. “Whether you are just starting to think about having a family, or if you’ve been struggling with infertility for some time, the following list can provide some helpful tips,” says Dr. Kreiner. Here are his top 10 suggestions for trying to conceive.

(Vocus/PRWEB ) January 11, 2010 -- Is having a baby at the top of your list of New Year’s resolutions? Dr. David Kreiner of East Coast Fertility has put together your Fertility Resolutions for 2010. “Whether you are just starting to think about having a family, or if you’ve been struggling with infertility for some time, the following list can provide some helpful tips,” says Dr. Kreiner. Here are his top 10 suggestions for trying to conceive.

1. Get your health in order now. Before you get pregnant, get a checkup! Get your pap smear done - go to the dentist – have your blood pressure and lipids checked. If you are over 35, get that mammogram done. Go for preconception testing for infectious diseases and hereditary disorders that can affect a baby. Whatever has been on your list, check it off before you get pregnant.

Whether you are just starting to think about having a family, or if you’ve been struggling with infertility for some time, the following list can provide some helpful tips

Whether you are just starting to think about having a family, or if you’ve been struggling with infertility for some time, the following list can provide some helpful tips

Infertility can be extremely stressful on a couple's relationship. It is especially important at this time to support each other and work through any problems together.

2. Make sure your partner is in good health as well. Make sure your partner takes his health seriously as well. Get him to stop smoking since it affects quantity and quality of sperm. Encourage your partner to avoid tight pants and underwear, hot tubs and saunas. Excess heat in the testicular region affects sperm production.

3. Consult with your doctor about any medications you are taking. You never know what might get in the way of your fertility and hinder conception. Have your partner check with his doctor as well. Visit Dr. Kreiner’s blog to find out more about how specific medications may affect fertility.

4. Pay attention to your nutrition and exercise regime. Your weight can affect ovulation and preparation of your uterine lining either because it is too high or too low. If you are overweight, get on a healthy diet and exercise. If you are underweight, try to increase your body weight. Some experts recommend eating more organic foods especially chicken, meat, eggs, fruit and vegetables. Others may tell you to limit your carbohydrate and caffeine intake. Consult with your doctor about what foods are best for you and if you should start taking prenatal vitamins.

5. You and your partner should stop smoking. Cigarettes can affect a woman’s ovarian hormone production and egg development. In males, they can affect the quantity and quality of sperm. Quit now to avoid harm to your reproductive health.

6. Find ways to diminish stress. Stress can affect your health and physiology in a negative way. Go for a massage, exercise regularly and communicate with your partner and your friends. Let them know how you are feeling. Go to a support group or mind and body program. Learn relaxation exercises. Try yoga or acupuncture.

7. Consult with your Ob/Gyn and see if you need a reproductive endocrinologist who specializes in infertility. It is recommended that you consult with a RE if you are under 35 and unsuccessful in getting pregnant after 1 year of trying, and if you are over 35 and have been unsuccessful after 6 months. Don’t wait.

8. Conduct research on fertility clinics and doctors in your area. Get references or check their history and success statistics. Find a reputable program where treatments are documented to be successful and affordable.

9. Research your health coverage carefully! Read your insurance policy to see what types of fertility treatments are covered if any, and what stipulations are placed on such treatments. Get the best insurance coverage for infertility that you can, and be prepared for what costs you may be responsible for.

10. Chart your cycle. Use ovulation kits or basal thermometers to learn about your menstrual cycle. Not only will it tell you a lot about your reproductive health, but it will help you best time intercourse to achieve pregnancy.

It is important to educate yourself and be prepared for what is involved in starting a family. Talk to your doctors, and communicate with your partner. Dr. Kreiner states, “Infertility can be extremely stressful on a couple's relationship. It is especially important at this time to support each other and work through any problems together.”