History of My Work
How Movement For Fertility™ And Fertility Pilates™ Evolved
I have been teaching and practicing Pilates since 1998 and throughout this time I have stayed abreast of our understanding of the role movement has in health. Thus I was shocked by what I found investigated natural ways to support fertility.
First, I realized that most approaches were not at all what I was looking for at the time because the care was intended for women and couples trying to conceive at that very moment and that was not where I was at then. Acupuncture, I thought then, may be something I would consider in the future but it did not feel like what I wanted then.
The second thing I noticed in my research at that time was that all the natural approaches to supporting good reproductive health focused on diet. I knew that diet was only a part of the full picture and so I kept digging in hopes of finding someone specifically talking about movement or exercise. Sure, I did come across fertility yoga, but the supposed benefits of the practice were not clearly defined and when physiological processes were mentioned the information given was inaccurate.
I then decided to look at the academic studies on the subject. I came to see that a handful of studies have explored the matter at the two ends of the spectrum: too much exercise in the case of athletes or too little exercise in the case of obesity. This research is problematic on a few levels and has become a subject of debate in more recent scholarship. Regardless though, it tells us nothing about the variants of fertile health in between these two extremes, and, moreover, such studies do not inform us on the role that movement does play in normal reproductive function.
Unsatisfied I kept looking for some sort of practice that had valid foundations for the exercises that were recommended. My search brought me to contact Jennifer Merciér and we had several enlightening conversations at cafés. I then decided to get trained in her method of fertility care while I started putting together a series of exercises that addressed specific aspects of my fertile health. More research and training ensued and I soon started shaping a program for myself (and others) that was built up from latest scientific research on reproductive function.
As I completed the development of my Movement For Fertility™ (MFF) program, thinking of all my efforts as enhancing my fertility for the future, I was totally surprised by a pregnancy. You might say MFF worked too well for me. It was also at this time that I began teaching Level 1 of my work to my clients. Each woman is different, with different desired goals for seeing me. Some women have sought assistance with getting pregnant after assisted reproductive technologies (like IUI and IVF) or “fertility” drugs were unsuccessful. Others have wished to improve their egg quality for oocyte cryopreservation. With each unique situation I made individualized sequences for the client’s specific needs. But I also started to see a general sequence evolve, and thus the format for the upcoming video program came into being.
After a late-term miscarriage my journey toward motherhood proceeded down a different path than I had been on previously – I was now looking for my efforts to improve my fertility in the present. It was also at this time that I started reconsidering my personal Pilates practice in light of these new health objectives. With some shifting in the classical Pilates repertoire and by applying unique alignments to my technique, I created multi-leveled Pilates routines that support fertile health and address particular fertility challenges.