Growing scientific research reveals the physiology behind the mind body connections and the relationship between stress, infertility and wellness. Imagine that you are a deer in the headlights of a large vehicle at night. Imagine the anxiety you feel with your life at risk. The deer needs to move fast and get out of the way. Imagine having this feeling for a prolonged period of time. This feeling is called stress and it is likely impacting your body on a physiological level.
The Science of Stress
When the mind and body are at an optimum level of balance and not in a state of stress, the hypothalamus is set to secrete specific hormones that regulate our brain and sexual organs. However, when the body is stressed, something else happens. The hypothalamus signals our adrenal glands a message that it is time to produce the hormone called “glucocorticosteroids” (women have glucocorticoid receptors all throughout their bodies, including on their follicles, corpus luteum, and ovaries). As this hormone takes effect, the ovaries are given the message that the timing is not right for reproduction. When a woman is under great stress, her energy is used to address the stress. The mind and body are told to fight, flee and survive.
How Mind Body Coping Can Help
Using Mind Body Coping can help address the stress effects surrounding infertility. Whether the stress felt is anxiety related to an upcoming IVF, the two-week wait or feelings of sadness, jealousy and hopelessness, mind body coping can help you rebalance on a physiological and emotional level.
The goal of mind body coping is to activate the body’s parasympathic nervous system. This system holds all the natural hormones that heal, calm and relax both our body and mind. With regular practices such as meditation and yoga, our bodies can rapidly go to a place of deep relaxation. Once this pathway for calm has been cultivated, your brain improves its ability to calm itself in times of stress. You actively learn how to elicit your own calming effect.
There are many mind-body techniques that can be used. It is important to find one that resonates with you. Meditation can be difficult for someone who has a type A personality. Mindful walking and yoga may be a better choice. Guided imagery, visualization, breathing and the relaxation response are just a few of many mind body techniques that can calm your stress cycle and re-balance your system.
To find out about our upcoming Mind Body Fertility Group click here.
To find out more about our Individual Mind Body Program click here.
Amira Posner is Healing Infertility’s lead clinician. Amira is a professional therapist with Bachelor and Masters Degrees in Social Work from the University of Manitoba. Amira has unique mind body training. She is a certified hypnotherapist and is currently in the process of completing the Fertile Body Method Practitioners program.