By Amira Posner MSW
“A basic emotion such as fear can be described as an abstract feeling or a tangible molecule of the hormone adrenaline. Without the feeling there is no hormone; without the hormone there is no feeling. The revolution we call mind-body medicine was based on the simple discovery; wherever thought goes, a chemical goes with it.”
The mind body connection is very real. The intricate relationship between the mind and body can produce lasting physiological changes that can help or hinder fertility. Every thought we have as humans is followed by a physical, chemical change in our bodies. For example, think back to when you had your first crush in high school. Remember the feeling that followed when you saw your crush or danced with him/her at the school dance. Recall the butterflies, the anxiety and that feeling in your stomach that might even have moved your bowels.
Negative thinking can produce an emotional response that impacts our bodies and health. The prolonged stress of infertility influence our stress response. When we experience a negative thought, emotion hormones are automatically released into our bodies. These emotion hormones are chemical messengers that alter physiological changes. Prolonged periods of emotions such as fear, anxiety and feelings of hopelessness can disturb the body’s natural system. The excessive stress on the body can influence the menstrual cycle, ovulation and overall fertility health.
The good news is that you have the power to alter these emotions. Working with our fears and anxiety is something that is in our control. If we hold unhealthy beliefs about a situation, we will undoubtedly experience the associated negative emotions. However, if we choose to put things in a more positive context, we are going to intercept the negative emotions and alter their bodily effect.
Mind-Body Scientist and Author, Candace Pert (Molecules of Emotions) has demonstrated how thoughts and feelings called “neuropeptides” have receptor sites all throughout the body. As we experience the negative emotion, these neuropeptides are triggered, setting in motion physiological changes. Any situation that we deem as “not being okay with” can trigger this negative emotional arousal. If we resist what is happening and unfolding in our lives and want it to be different, we are giving ourselves the mental message that something isn’t right and we must make it different. Unfortunately, this resistance is the very catalyst for triggering our stress response.
Mind Body Medicine is an excellent approach that addresses the negative emotions and the stress response. It is a perspective that creates balance, inner calm and acceptance. The built up stress, tension and fear is very real and needs to be attended to. Mind Body Medicine puts us in touch with the things we can control. It improves fertility by targeting the feelings and emotions that are wearing us down. Mind Body Medicine addresses the mental, emotional and physical factors that may be impacting fertility.