It is a known fact today that fertility rates have and are continuously decreasing in our world. Currently it is estimated that about 1 in 7 couples are affected by fertility problems and scientists warn that this percentage is only going to increase.
In fact Professor Bill Ledger, a fertility expert from Sheffield University estimates that this problem is set to double in the next decade.
The continuous decrease in fertility has been linked to medical, environmental and social factors. We simply bombard our bodies today with too much junk food, too much stress and too many toxins. Many of us terribly underestimate how much these factors affect our hormones, our bodies and thus our fertility.
Hence, in the pursuit of natural living, Evolving Wellness is also going to focus on giving women and men information and practical applications on how to have optimal fertility.
With this in mind, I am thrilled to share with you a review of a recently published book entitled Fully Fertile: A 12-Week Holistic Plan for Optimal Fertility, which provides a wealth of knowledge on achieving fertility in a natural and holistic way.
Fully Fertile: The Origin
Fully Fertile is a new book, published in the spring of 2008, which approaches fertility in a holistic manner. Its main areas of focus are yoga, nutrition, acupuncture, meditation, relaxation and spirituality.
Fully Fertile was written by Tamara Quinn, Elisabeth Heller and Jeanie Lee Bussell. Tamara and Elisabeth are the co-founders of Pulling Down the Moon (PDtM) and previous fertility patients. They, along with Jeanie and others, work together at Pulling Down the Moon, a center dedicated to being an oasis in the stressful world of pre-conception.
PDtM has been offering holistic fertility treatment since 2002. PDtM offers a secluded yoga room, treatment rooms for acupuncture and massage therapy, a tea room and a place of support and comfort on the fertility journey.
The book itself was inspired by Tamara and Elisabeth’s own fertility journeys and creation of PDtM, and along with Jeanie’s expertise of Oriental Medicine is an extremely rich and balanced source of information for women and couples who want to approach or enhance their fertility in natural and holistic ways.
Fully Fertile: The Structure
Fully Fertile begins with a heartwarming introduction from Beth and Tami about their beginnings together and the idea of PDtM.
The book then has a “How to Use this Book” section where it introduces the reader to the rationale behind the 12 week program and some of the ancient teachings and ideas that govern the philosophy of PDtM and its practices.
Next follows a section entitled “Our Stories“, where Beth, Jeanie and Tami all share their own personal and deeply moving stories of their fertility journeys and how they were each brought together to PDtM.
The book is then organized into 3 sections: The Physical Practices, A Fertile Mind and The Esoteric Tools (Spirit).
Like the book’s full title states Fully Fertile: A 12-Week Holistic Plan for Optimal Fertility, the book is hence organized into 12 chapters, amongst these 3 sections, where each chapter is dedicated to one topic of the subsequent 12 week regime.
In my opinion, this is a fantastic organization as it allows the woman to be introduced to 1 topic at a time and have time to really absorb and put into practice the core ideas, without being bombarded or overwhelmed by too much at once.
The 12 chapters (weeks) are as follows:
Chapter 1 – Yoga Program for Fertility
Chapter 2 – Oriental Medicine and the Philosophy of Fertility
Chapter 3 – Fully Fertile Diet
Chapter 4 – In the Bedroom
Chapter 5 – Strengthening the Letting-go Muscle
Chapter 6 – Identifying and Eliminating Your Stressors
Chapter 7 – Letting Go of Attachment and Disappointment
Chapter 8 – Letting Go of Your Negative Attitudes and Thoughts
Chapter 9 – The Koshas: Giving Up Your Erroneous Definition of Self
Chapter 10 – Learning the Value of the Breath: Pranayama
Chapter 11 – Seeing the Forest from the Trees: Meditation and Visualization
Chapter 12 – Prayer
Throughout these chapters, aside from the easy-to-understand information, there are also clear and very user-friendly photographs of yoga positions and their descriptions. As well, there are templates for personal charts and journals, detailed activities for incorporating the learned theories into practical applications and personally inspiring messages from Beth, Tami or Jeanie.
At the end of the book there is also a helpful “Appendix” section that empowers the woman with resources for finding a holistic practitioner, understanding her menstrual cycle, basal body temperature and diagrams and explanations of the male and female anatomy.
Thus, based on content and its organization, the book pretty much has it all and leaves the reader with little to be desired.
Fully Fertile: The Content
Not really knowing what to expect out of this book, I have to tell you I was very, very pleasantly surprised and impressed.
Fully Fertile’s theories and practices are very much in line with what Evolving Wellness practices and stands for, which first and foremost is to understand the body from within and create a body, mind and spirit balance for optimal health. From the first, right to the last chapter, the book consistently weaves a beautiful balance between these three elements.
Although the book and the PDtM center can be used in conjunction with traditional fertility treatments, I would strongly encourage women to read the book first, and try the suggested practices before embarking on any drug-based medical treatments. (This is of course given, that based on a physical exam, your doctor gave no medical reason for yours or your partner’s infertility.)
Remember, just like when you have a headache you can take a pain-killer and take the masking, easy route out OR you can get in touch with your body to understand why the headache occurred in the first place and avoid it for the future. The same goes for fertility.
I understand that for some women, getting pregnant can turn into an emotional and sometimes painful experience and hence they rush to drugs and modern medical practices for solutions. But would it not be better to avoid the pain, the nasty side-effects and the financial costs, and really get to the core of the issue of why your body is not fully fertile? Sometimes it may be as simple as loosing some weight or changing one’s diet, which is a bonus for better health anyway in the long run.
What I loved most about this book is how it integrated ancient and modern wisdom as the basis for its ideas. It brought up examples and healing methods from various traditions that have naturally brought people healing for centuries, but ones that traditional Western medicine chooses to ignore.
I was also thoroughly impressed with the book’s credibility as it also has a lot of solid science behind it with full references.
Every idea and activity is very well explained of how to put it into practice, but what was even more appealing is that the reasons or importance of each practice are also fully explained.
Based on a first impression, many might get the idea that the entire book is dedicated to yoga, and although yoga plays an integral part in the holistic treatment towards your fertility there is so much more to consider and incorporate.
As I have already mentioned the Yoga section is extremely well explained and the photographs are very easy to follow. The Oriental medicine section was a breath of fresh air to our oppressive Western medical system’s solutions.
The activities to incorporate are fun and unique and will teach you more about yourself than just how to be fully fertile. There is also a strong focus on breathing and meditation techniques and as well with these, the reader is clearly given the reasons for their importance and a choice of ways to incorporate them.
Finally, I was especially impressed by the authors’ lively and yet deeply reflective write-up in the section of the book that focuses on thought and mind patterns, because ultimately it really does not matter what we eat or do if we do not have the “right” thoughts within us. They are our number one limiting factor to any goals or obstacles in our life and until we learn to understand our thoughts and how they shape us, our feelings and our emotions, and hence change them accordingly, we really will not benefit from any help, regardless of its source.
I read this book in order to review and share it with some of the readers here for whom it is applicable, having actually no intentions at the present time to get pregnant myself and I have to tell you that I was personally, deeply touched by this book.
It is in my opinion, not only a book that any woman or couple interested in conceiving at the present time should read, but one that any woman really over the age of 20 with any thoughts of a child in the future should read.
Prevention is your best way to ensure the type of health and quality of life you desire and thus Fully Fertile is a book that can give many women some critical information and something serious to think about where their bodies and lifestyles are concerned in respect to their future fertility.
It was truly a pleasure to share in Beth, Tami and Jeanie’s stories and learn so much about alternate and holistic approaches for the mind, body and spirit for not only a healthy fertility but simply a healthy body.
This book is by far a 10 out of 10 and I applaud the ladies for such a wonderful contribution to our society.
If you are currently dealing with fertility issues and have the luxury of living in the Chicago area where PDtM has locations, I would greatly recommend going and exploring what the center has to offer. If you do not have this luxury, the book offers some ideas in its appendix section of how to locate a good holistic fertility center where you live.