It has been several months since I have had the time to write a post. While I have had many things I wanted to share with you, I just did not have the opportunity. Throughout the summer, autumn, and now winter I have been feverishly reading up on subjects such as mechanobiology, inactivity physiology, and the reproductive system. This was partially because I immersed myself in two new certification programs and partially because I have become fascinated in the subjects. The topics may appear unrelated in many ways, at least they were in my mind to begin with, yet, at some time during the countless hours of research and studying I started to see connections between them.
A Change of Focus
In 2015, I will shift my focus to elucidate these connections, but before I start a foray into months of posts on fertility and reproductive health, I would like to give you a little background into why I am writing on such a topic. Heretofore (I just love this word), I have strived to address a wide audience of Pilates teachers as well as those interested in Pilates and its health benefits. This is about to change to some extent. After a few months of consideration, I have decided to specialize in an area that, as I have come to discover, has received little attention.
I will continue to work with a diverse clientele and I will certainly share any information that I research and feel is relevant to you all, but I will be talking a lot more about fertility and reproductive health, primarily female but male as well.
A Little History
Okay, so here is the brief back-story. It all began earlier this year when I started reading up on the Justisse Method. This is a method of charting the female cycle that provides: 1) a hormone-free, natural birth control method or 2) a method to improving the chances of conception through awareness of the fertile period in a woman's cycle. Once I learned about this method I was pretty disappointed in my personal medical practitioners: my general practitioner, ob/gyn, and genetic specialist. Not once did any of them even allude to any such possible alternative that happens to be safer for me than the options they presented when my genetic disposition to blood clots was discovered. In a broader respect, I was dismayed that charting our cycles is not discussed more as an additional way to be better attuned to our health. There is a lot we women can learn about our health through charting. It was actually the insights into my own health that sparked these last months of research on women’s reproductive health.
After reviewing my charts with a Fertility Awareness educator, I was made aware of some possible health imbalances. This information really surprised me because there were no other signs even hinting at underlying health issues. When looking into these concerns all my research turned up the same handful of suggestions: eat a healthy diet (and there are countless different versions on what that exactly entails), try acupuncture, manage one’s weight, and avoid excessive exercising but do exercise to some extent. Of course, the last one caught my attention.
Cue Hours in Libraries, on My Computer, & Talking to Experts
So, I set out to learn more. A hefty collection of books and journal articles has cluttered my computer, studio, and home. I have become aware of so much and I have been amazed at some of the wonderful alternative and complementary approaches to the more visible medical interventions, like IVF and medications. However, detailed information on exercise and fertility is shockingly meager.
The most popular exercise recommendation is: “exercise 3 times per week for 45 minutes at a time.” However, this is vague and may be ineffective depending on a person’s level of daily activity. On the other end of the spectrum, scientific research has dedicated some time (still meager in comparison to other health matters) and resources to studying the extreme exercise habits of athletes. But in all this research, I did not find anyone talking about the impact that inactivity may have on reproductive physiology. Granted, the research into this field is still relatively new and is for the most part just beginning to be applied to optimizing health in general by physical culturalists (to borrow a word from Joseph Pilates). Nevertheless, the new paradigm of inactivity physiology can expand our understanding of how modern lifestyles (with its paucity of whole-body movement even among those who engage in regular bouts of intense exercise) factor in the dysfunction of the reproductive system.
Fertility & Physics
Layering physics into this picture opens the door to natural and non-invasive approaches to tackling fertility challenges that have mechanical causes. There are mild and proactive approaches and there are techniques that are a bit more accelerated (for those women facing infertility now). So, to circle back to my opening, yes, physics does have a bearing on fertility. In the months to come I will flesh out this and the other topics I have touched upon and hinted at here. The goal of this post was simply to introduce the subject and share a little bit on how my personal journey has developed into my specialization in women’s reproductive health.
My hope for this work is that by sharing just how significant alignment is to the health of all our systems and specifically our reproductive system, we will see a decrease in idiopathic and mechanically infertility. I also hope to join with the many educators I have met these last few months who are teaching women about the many natural approaches we have to supporting a healthy, full-functioning body. Lastly, I hope to learn more from all of you. Because the more I research, the more I realize just how much there is to know and I cannot possible cover it all. So, I welcome your comments, questions, and valuable insights.
Ultimately, there are many paths toward optimal health (which is vital for reproductive health) and we will not all benefit from walking down the same avenue. I will share with you everything that I have learned (and will learn) in hopes that it might expand the conversation beyond the talking points that have dominated thus far.
The greater our breadth of knowledge, the more informed we will become—which leads to a thorough consideration of all aspects when we make decisions that will change our lives.