Posted on March 19th, 2020by RMANY

Ep 11: Acupuncture and Pulse Therapy for Fertility with Miriam Pineles

Fertility Forward Episode 11

Eastern medicine offers many unique diagnostic techniques and treatments to patients embarking on their fertility journey. We were fortunate to speak about some of these on the show today with Miriam Pineles who is a doctor of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine that specializes in women’s health concerns and perinatal health in particular. Miriam is the founder of Conscious Health and Wellness Inc. in Manhattan, is a diplomat in Oriental medicine, and has studied under well-respected practitioners such as Dr. Richard Tan, Robert Doane, Dr. Jimmy Chang, and Heather Bruce.

Transcript of Episode 11

Rena: Hi everyone! We are Rena and Dara and welcome to Fertility Forward. We are part of the wellness team at RMA of New York, a fertility clinic affiliated with Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. Our Fertility Forward podcast brings together advice from medical professionals, mental health specialists, wellness experts, and patients because knowledge is power and you are your own best advocate.
Miriam Pineles is a doctor of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine and founder of Conscious Health and Wellness. She has a diplomat in Oriental medicine certified by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and Licensed in Acupuncture by the State of New York. She has studied under some of the most respected practitioners in the United States and around the world, including Dr. Richard Tanne, Robert Done, Dr. Jimmy Chang and Heather Bruce. All these outstanding practitioners taught her unique and exceptional methods in acupuncture, pulse analysis, herbal prescription writing and treating women's perinatal health. Miriam specializes in women's health concerns, in particular perinatal health. She has worked with hundreds of women to achieve healthy pregnancies and to ease common pregnancy ailments and discomfort. She treats a variety of gynecological disorders, including PMS, painful and heavy periods, PMDD, PCOS, endometriosis, cysts, fibroids, and more. In this episode, we talk with Miriam about pulse therapy and how it can be used to help with fertility and emotional processing of the fertility journey, how acupuncture can be used to help with fertility, and the importance of Eastern medicine in conjunction with Western medicine.
Dara: Today we have on our podcast a dear friend of mine, Miriam Pineles. She is a doctor of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine and is also the founder of Conscious Health and Wellness Inc in Manhattan. She has treated me for sleep, but her specialty is working with fertility patients. We’re so happy to have you on today. Thank you.
Miriam: Thanks so much for having me. It's so good to be here.
Dara:It's been way too long since I've seen you and I’ll take this podcast to bring us back together.
Rena: I’m so excited Dara brought you on and before the show we were talking a little and you said I could take your pulse and see if you have endometriosis or PCOS or depression. And I said, what? Sign me up. Can you take mine? That's fascinating. What does that even mean?
Miriam: Yeah, so happy to share this information. So pulse diagnosis is a diagnostic method of Chinese medicine it has been for thousands of years. It's not just assessing the heart rate, but there are multiple positions on the pulse and I’ll point -- our listeners can't hear, see -- but there's about several positions on the wrist that we’re palpitating. Each position represents a different organ system, a different body system and so we can assess the health of your liver, the health of your uterus, the health of your cardiovascular system all through the pulse. Based on what we feel, we are able to assess the root cause of a disease or a symptom a person is having, or perhaps even a route obstacle to conception like endometriosis or polycystic ovarian syndrome just by feeling the pulse. And then we use this information in our treatments to guide our acupuncture treatments and then to guide our herbal prescriptions. So I can just by feeling a certain area on a woman's wrist, yes, I can assess if she has endometriosis, I can know if she has polycystic ovarian syndrome before I've seen any blood work and it's amazing because then we can effectively treat the root cause of their hormonal imbalance or why they're hot, potentially why they're having trouble getting pregnant. And if it's not the only reason it is definitely amazing support to Western medical intervention, specifically fertility treatments.
Dara: So is this the first line? When you when someone comes in, I'm struggling getting pregnant. Is this the first line of action before you do acupuncture? Or does this help guide you of where maybe acupuncture can be most useful?
Miriam: Yes, every patient that I meet, we first sit down and talk about their symptoms and their goals. And then I start a diagnostic assessment that includes a pulse reading. It also includes looking at their tongues. It includes looking at the colors in their face, the shape of their ear. All of this gives us information about why and where they're struggling and the root of their symptoms.
Dara: So it's not internally. It's actually external.
Miriam: Yes.
Dara: But you know a lot of times we take blood work, we do urine samples, we do stool samples.
Miriam: Right, so before that was available before practitioners and healers knew that they had to had to use what the body was telling them, and that's what we that's what we do still today.
Rena: That’s fascinating.
Miriam: And the blood work helps. And the blood work is a support and of course, you know, the treatments and the ultrasounds are a big help. But for someone you know, you know, I've had patients who you know have needed to take Valium to get a simple ultrasound or what we call simple. But for some women you know who have vaginismus or have other even emotional concerns, a simple gynecological exam can be very difficult. And not to say they don't need it eventually. But sometimes the pulse we can we can learn a lot already just by, you know, without being invasive.
Rena: Wow. So how does it feel? A pulse, someone that has endometriosis or PCOS how does their pulse feel different than someone that doesn't.
Miriam: Great question. So every different pulse qualities we’re feeling so when you put you know, if you put your finger down to the wrist you might feel the vein there you might feel it pulsing
Dara: And it could be, is it the same in the left or the right? Or they're different things that you can feel on your left, then on your right?
Miriam: It’s different. So, yeah, you can feel a different quality in each place that you might be feeling maybe just like a straight vessel straight vein, like maybe it's pushing against your fingertips. Maybe it's not. Maybe feels a little rounded. We're feeling all these very subtle differences in the artery, and those differences tell us what is going on. So if there's a very tight vessel under my if it feels like a guitar string under my vessel, that's pointing to a certain pattern diagnosis in Chinese medicine
Dara: Guitar string?
Miriam: Yeah, so thats top very top very tight, right? If I feel that in the neck area, I know they have muscle tension in their neck. If I feel that in their digestive area, I know there's perhaps IBS. And if I feel that in the uterus, I know that there's going to be painful periods maybe clotty periods, okay, and then endometrial pulse also feels that way. It's very tight, but then there's other qualities, so sometimes you’ll put your finger on the artery and your finger just pushes right through. There's no bounce back. It's just mushy. And and we it feels like you could push right through the vessel. That's pointing to a different set of patterns and issues, and those people are more weak they’re more fatigued. There may be a history of anxiety, excessive crying. And this is what acupuncturists do they're trained to feel acupuncturists are trained in these methods to feel for these subtle differences in their feelings based on what they feel. They know that the root of the issue, that they can formulate a diagnosis then they can treat, and we choose from hundreds of herbs to treat the tight vessel or the weak vessel or the mushy vessel. And that's why we're so successful because we're treating the individual. Their body.
Dara: That's specific for them. But this is one thing that I have always wondered, you know, like the typical I don’t know what they call it, the white lab? The white lab coat or the lab coat. You go see a practitioner and you get nervous? How can that’s the hard part is how do we distinguish, you know, just day to day normal anxiety, oh I'm going to see I don't know what she's gonna tell me. I'm a little afraid or that chronic stress. But of course, we see often with fertility patients. But, you know, I wonder if that kind of can give us I wouldn’t say a false reading.
Miriam: Good question. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So we see that too. So, you know, I’ll be reading a pulse on any patient, I’ll think I got it, and I'll say ok this is it. And then I'll step away to the other arm. Then I'll come back and it's a different pulse. And so we feel different qualities of a whole different level. So if I feel the the vessel up, you know at, the right at the skin or do I feel it closer to the bone? And let's say I felt it closer to the bone and then I came back around, and now I'm feeling it high I know that I'll be able to relate it to something. So if we just brought up a difficult childhood memory or her fertility struggle. It's I'll know it could be that that some anxiety in the moment can raise change the pulse, but it won't stay. Eventually, it’ll get back. When she comes down and breathes, I'll get back to to the real reading.
Dara: So that's good that you go back often to double check, because sometimes they could give you a false no not necessarily a false reading, but a temporary false reading in the beginning until they get used to and feel comfortable with what you're doing.
Miriam: Right.
Rena: And what about I mean can someone’s pulse do they drastically change, too? Like what if someone you know, is fairly stress free, you know. They don't really have anxiety. They're living their life, and then they enter a fertility treatment, which, as we all know, is very stressful and they get really stressed and anxious and they don't sleep well. Does that then change your pulse forever or kind of just in that situation. And then it goes back to what it was. Once that situation is resolved like how does that work?
Miriam: So that’s a good question. It's like chicken and the egg. So maybe that person wasn't manifesting anxiety before their fertility diagnosis. But they had an underlying vulnerability. Right, and the fertility diagnosis triggered something. So we see that a lot. So I mean, I've had patients who say I've never had anxiety before. I don’t know what's happening, but I'll feel in their pulse, it's really tight, constricted, someone who's been, you know, let's say type A their whole life I'll know that they had a vulnerability, they were living their lives in such a way that now that a challenge has come to them, they're struggling.
Rena: I feel like I mean that’s so many of my patients that was certainly me myself going through this. I think that's a lot of women, really.
Miriam: Absolutely. It throws them, I mean, everything they thought they knew what they wanted for life they thought might be easy can be flipped over.
Rena: Right. So what do you do with a patient like that?
Miriam: With an anxious fertility patient?
Rena: I mean someone’s who’s very type A and maybe they didn't have to be vulnerable before. Maybe everything kind of came very easily. And it was, you know, you had a problem. Okay? You put in the work and then you get that reward at the end, which as you know, in fertility it doesn't always work like that. So what would you say to someone who comes in kind of presenting like that? Just cause I feel like that's a lot of my patient population.
Miriam: Absolutely. I see that a lot, too. You know,working just midtown New York City. Very accomplished, smart women. What do we do?
Dara: It’s customized.
Miriam: It is. It's customized per person, and I'll say a lot of what I do is actually outside of Chinese medicine. It's a lot of life coaching and lifestyle recommendations. What's really cool about Chinese medicine is that just so let's say a woman's come in. She's having trouble conceiving. She has a history of cysts and endometriosis. Just by treating the endometriosis by enhancing blood flow into the reproductive system into the uterus she's already getting calmed. Just by treating her, not because we're getting her closer to her goal of getting pregnant, but she has the endometriosis and these cysts these blockages in her body because there's a lack of flow, there’s a lack of health. She's not thriving, right. There's a lot stuck in her pelvis. So just by enhancing blood flow and getting things moving within her. She's already feeling calmer.
Dara: And I wonder also, if the inflammation goes down. And that could also be a subset.
Miriam: Yeah, absolutely
Rena: And I think mentally too knowing okay, she's coming to you. You're doing these active things that are then leading to change in her body. And that feels like you're moving forward too.
Miriam: Yes.
Rena: I think the mind body thing with what you do too is pretty powerful.
Miriam: Yeah, and also, the reason why I got into Chinese medicine is because when you're working with a practitioner that is listening and holding space for your journey and is compassionate there is a big sense of relief and a big healing that takes place. That helps to be having a partner in all the in the struggle.
Dara: Support is so important. And also, if someone goes to you, they're taking some time for themselves. That's why I say at the most basic level. Whether they come to see Rena, whether they come to see myself, whether they come to see you, which I feel like selfishly I get the most when I come to see you, like I'm lying on a bed. Is this an hour? I can actually close my eyes. I could be in the moment. I don't need to think about what I did yesterday or I need to do tomorrow. So for me, at its most simplistic form, I think it's a great first step to managing stress. And then on top of that, being able to get so much insight in so many different areas and even, I mean, I love speaking with you in terms of diet. Because, of course, the way I was trained was very science-based and the way that you were trained is very Eastern medicine based, and they both have their own validity and their own strengths. And I think they in some ways they can be combined. And my thing what my question to you, speaking a lot, I wanted to know why isn't there a lot of research? But I mean, it's been going on for forever. Eastern medicine where’s the research. Why why haven't we done any research on it?
Miriam: It's not easy to do. People are trying, people are doing it. Um, it's something that's heavily emphasized in our medical training. You know we have at least I did at least two classes on research because we are encouraged to help contribute to medical literature, it's important. You know, there's a lot there is this research coming out of the East, you know, but it's different when it's done in your home country. Chinese medicine is not it's not easy to control for factors, and that's what research wants. It's so hard to control the environment, the practitioner patient relationship, how the needle is inserted. There's so many ways to insert a needle, sizes of needles. The ways to insert.
Dara: So there’s a lot of variability.
Miriam: Yeah, and I think that's a big part of it. Where I've tried is I mean, I'm just I'm currently trying to publish a case report of a patient that I worked with on with anxiety for posttraumatic stress disorder. So I'm in it. It's been months now. The paper gives keeps getting sent back and for further editing for further editing. So it's it's hard to get in.
Dara: So you might have the content, but it's not getting to where it needs to be, perhaps.
Miriam: Yeah
Rena: But you know for yourself that you're doing this amazing work and making a difference to people.
Miriam: Yes, I mean, we know. We know the magic and and yeah. But with time Chinese medicine is becoming more and more accepted. We are being accepted by more insurance companies. The word is getting out and hope maybe with that, we'll have more research.
Rena: Yeah, the dialogue I think is certainly changing around it. So if you're a fertility patient how often would somebody come see you for treatment?
Miriam: Great question. Again, always depending on the person. But most people in the beginning of their journey, I will see them 1 to 2 times a week for the 1st 6 to 8 weeks. The twice a week usually is if the symptoms were pretty severe. If I'm working with someone who has very severe menstrual cramping to the point of nausea in bed for three days, if it's that kind of severe blockage of pain I'm gonna see them twice a week, so I can get them better, faster. The acupuncture will still work if I only see them once a week or once every other week. Maybe sometimes that's all people can afford. It will just take longer. And so it takes us about 2 to 3 months to regulate a woman's cycle, to take menstrual cramps down from a Level 10 pain level of 10 down to Little three or two. It takes time.
Dara: In the grand scheme of things if you’ve been suffering for so long.
Miriam: Women with 15-20 years with debilitating cramping and it's gone within two to three months.
Dara: And I'm sure it depends also depending on the cycle. And also, I believe you’ve spoken about this in the past. You also meet with patients, so let's say they are going into an IVF cycle throughout certain parts of their, you know, ovulation. You'll meet with them or suggest meeting with them to help with blood flow or things like that.
Miriam: Sure, yeah, we have. We have people come in. I'm glad you brought this up. During IVF, we can do acupuncture but most physicians prefer we don't use Chinese herbs.
Rena: Right.
Miriam: Right because of interference. So because of that, we really encourage patients who are pursuing IVF who think they might need it, or even just starting to think about having a baby to come in a good 3 to 4 months minimum before treatments, because then we have a lot of tools available to us to help them either conceive on their own or get them in the best shape possible before they start IVF. So because that's when we can use our herbs, right? We're very limited as practitioners once women have started medications because we can't use herbs, and they really accomplish a lot so.
Rena: What types of herbs do you use for fertility?
Miriam: Chinese herbs, this Chinese herbal medicine. There's hundreds that we pull from to help. Each has their own character. Every herb has its own flavor. It's own look. Its own action
Rena: And is it really tailored to each patient or is there kind of a general like ok these work for fertility, so
Miriam: It’s tailored to the patient and tailored to the pulse and that’s why the pulse is so important
Rena: Oh it’s tailored to both things? Oh that’s fascinating.
Miriam: Yeah.
Dara: And I think that's probably interesting why probably you do need to meet with them more frequently when they're starting to take their herbs because you want to see how effective it they are and tailor it depending on their response.
Miriam: Yes, yes. So I love to see people, but for, you know, a good three or four months, because sometimes they will get pregnant on their own.
Dara: That's why I often say that my patients is people often come to you when they've already struggled, and that doesn't mean that you can't get them into a great place. But you know off when they're looking for answers that sometimes when they seek out alternative or outside of the medical realm and I think it could be used in conjunction and the idea of perhaps when you're thinking of getting pregnant, that may be a perfect opportunity to come just to get a baseline.
Miriam: Baseline. Yeah. And also, you know, even if there's something like migraines, women who have suffered for migraines forever and they get their told, you know, these might get worse during pregnancy or they might go away. Come in before three months before let's work on your migraines. Let's enhance blood flow into the neck and head and hopefully get you into a better position for pregnancy.
Rena: Wow there’s so much you could do.
Miriam: Yeah, just to circle back to your question, Dara, about IVF. So once IVF has begun, there are certain times we’ll say to come in for your treatment, certainly around retrieval to help facilitate a easier retrieval. Definitely on transfer day. But even in the beginning when they start doing their injections. This doesn't happen to every woman, as you know, but some do get nauseous. Some do get painfully bloated.
Dara: Yes
Miriam: And some get very anxious. And acupuncture can help with those symptoms to lighten them.
Rena: And do you see men as well?
Miriam: We do. We do see men. I personally don't in my practice just because they don't come in. It's more men, you know the women coming in would it benefit them? Absolutely, for the same reasons for the stress, for the circulation into the reproductive organs.
Dara: And I feel like we've done talks before - Miriam and myself and our other colleague, Laurie Metz - and they'll come but it's they'll come often with their partner to the talk, but it doesn't always necessarily lead to follow up.
Miriam: Right. I mean, I could really count on my hand how many men I've seen for fertility
Rena: Yeah. I’m thinking, I don't know many men that have sought out acupuncture so much.
Miriam: Many don't want the needles. Many women don't. And so another great thing I love about herbal medicine is we can read the pulse, formulate a diagnosis and send them home with three months of herbs to help with sperm quantity and quality.
Rena: Yeah, I was just going to say can it help with sperm quality?
Miriam: Yeah, and it helps those men who have to have the varicocele procedures, surgeries before they embark on IVF with their wives. So there's many ways men can be helped.
Rena: Is there research on that on the herbs and and men and sperm count and quality?
Miriam: I'm not sure if there is in American literature. I’d have to check.
Rena:That would be very powerful.
Dara: I want to talk a little bit about food because I'm still so curious because again, it's so out of my wheelhouse in terms of I hear a lot. People come to me. I’ve met with an acupuncturist and I always like for me I'm not I never like to shame anyone's ideas or philosophies, but I'm curious. I want to hear more about it and in the background. And there's something to it where I'm a little more open minded now than I have been in the past the idea of warm foods, and I believe I did speak with you way back Miriam that it has to do with is it yin and yang or something, and how women need sometimes that warmth to help nourish. So talk more about that. Because I'm still curious.
Miriam: Sure. Absolutely. Well, we in our medicine we see warm foods as you know, it's on a simple level it’s easier food to digest. The body doesn't have to work hard to bring down cold raw food, right? It’s the same in Western nutrition.
Dara: But I don’t always talk about warm I talk about cooked. The idea of having it cooked so it's easier to break down. But the warm aspect of it.
Miriam: So when we're saying right so warm can be cooked and usually we do prefer cooked cause it's easier on the digestive system and in our medicine what we call the spleen and stomach, the earth energy and five elements the center of our being is largely responsible for all of our energy. And when I say energy, I mean everything mental energy, physical energy hormones. Right we’re producing everything a lot from what we're taking in for our nourishment. So yes, so the easier the better, the warmer it is, the easier it is for the body to assimilate. But then we also have these conditions, which we call cold conditions in the body, where we'll say a person has excess cold. And what that will feel like in the pulse is a really tight, very constricted like super thin guitar string. That's enough aspect of cold in the body often we see with the endometriosis too. And we know this person needs more warming. So if they're eating cold foods and ice drinks and raw foods, it's only getting more cold to the body. We want to warm it up and so we’ll recommend cooked foods. But then we'll also add recommend warming foods things with cinnamon, ginger, meats, certain grains have warming energy. There's a whole book on this. I mean several books now you can read. One is Healing with Whole Foods. He gives the temperature, the nature of each food. So obviously you know ginger would be spicy and more hot, warm. Grains I think millet is considered neutral, but there are other grains that are considered warming, and this is
Dara: So fascinating. But I do like when people come to me and they say I have a really, you know, my stomach's not feeling great. I feel super bloated, descended. One of the first things I say is are you eating a lot of salads? And try cutting back for a week. If it’s something that you love, and it gives you joy you could still incorporate it. But, you know, if you cut back on it, let's see how you feel and take it from there. So it's so funny. I never really made that connection that maybe under the radar I'm still thinking of something that's more Eastern.
Miriam: Right. So, Dara, when you hear that, also, you can ask cause you have their medical history in front of you right, you can you can before you ask, you could take a look and say, oh, she might also have really painful periods and clotty periods if she's reporting so much bloating and gas with salads that there's a lot of cold in her
Dara: Good research paper
Miriam: You could start, yeah, making connections, and then you'll see it on their faces, too. If you have seen the coloring they might be very pale.
Dara: There needs to be a connection. I wish there was a connection with the medical world and, uh, I don’t know the right term if it's holistic or I don't know what the proper term is, but I wish there was more integration, but I'm sure you feel the same way. It shouldn’t be one or the other I think it should be integrated. And I know the more that we’ve spoken to people we see that the idea of the importance of connection and connecting you know what's best for this patient and working together as a team to give the best treatment and support.
Miriam: Yes, and I'm hearing it from my patients actually they’ll say, you know, there are those that say my doctor doesn't want me on herbs. They come in and meet. That's the first thing they say to me. And then I have the opposite side and they'll say, oh, my fertility doctor says good go to acupuncture. Take those herbs. Do whatever you can to make the best result possible. So
Rena: There seems to not be one sort of kind of way, you know, established school of thought you have one doctor that says no, no standard. One doctor that says okay, whatever. I don't believe in them. but they're not gonna hurt you. And I wish, yeah, there was more synergy between the two, especially because I have so many patients who say, you know, they come in and say, look, I'm not someone who likes to take medicine. I never have been someone to even take an Advil in my life. And now you're telling me the only way I can conceive is by pumping my body full of hormones, And I have a huge problem with that, you know, and to be able to say okay, well, let me explain it to you in sort of a holistic, natural way. This is what's happening. I just feel like there hasn't been enough work done on that to really validate someone and calm someone down and explain to them okay, this is what's happening, these are what you're putting in your body. This is what's happening. This is why. And I wish, you know, we had those resources and sort of a kind of standardized source to say okay, well, you know, just go right over here, and this will explain it to you.
Dara: Or basically more open communication. I feel like we need to have you on with the doctor and so just to get different points of view and just, you know, maybe the concerns that you have and the concerns that they have and kind of come to some common ground.
Rena: Meeting of the minds
Dara: Meeting of the minds because you both give so much benefit to a person. But if you can come together and work together, I think two people together, it's like the flame is that much stronger.
Rena: Yeah to better serve the patient.
Miriam: Absolutely. Absolutely.
Dara: So where do you think the world of pulse therapy and acupuncture is going, or where would you like to see it go?
Miriam: I would like to see it go where you just said. I would love to see fertility clinics such as yourselves have an in house acupuncturist, herbalist, pulse diagnostician, working side by side with the doctors, sharing information, sharing the diagnostics. I mean, I think couples would be helped so much faster, and it will save time. You know, instead of having to go through 6-8 months of fertility treatment to only then have someone recommend acupuncture and to only then have had your pulse read and for us to find out. Wait a minute, you can't be doing IVF. Your pulse is showing us that the blood flow in the pelvis is just absent. Of course, your treatments aren't working, you know, and then people are obviously heartbroken and have spent so much money that they may have to spend again, you know? And I want to say that the Chinese medicine is not the last stop. There are times there's only so far we can take a patient, and then we do have to rely on Western for fertility treatments. Then they have to go back. And spend that $10,000 again. So what if we could have made that journey shorter for them?
Dara: So true.
Rena: I love that. I think a lot of people would agree with that.
Dara: So is there anything else that you want to add? And if not, we have one last question for you. We know we want you to have we want you to come back. I think that’s going to be a great follow up to you with a doctor.
Miriam: Yeah, I would love to sit with a doctor and have us, and maybe ideally havea mutual patient, and then we can compare notes and compare labs to the pulse reading, and I convey, you know, show them how we can pick this such and such a with the pulse and how are we going to address that in their treatment? I'll just say that one of the things you had asked me before we met was, Why do you like to treat fertility patients? And I'll say it for everything we've said. How it's it could be less invasive. It makes the journey easier. We could be less expensive, it’s treating the root. It's treating the whole person. It's not just treating their uterus. We’re treating the whole person. That's why I love it. But what I also love is the more spiritual, emotional side of fertility. Um, we know they're there are emotional blockages. There are mental blockage sometimes right on the body. The women who get the unexplained infertility diagnosis when everything is fine on their labs. Everything is fine on paper, and it's still not happening. Sometimes it's that deeper emotional piece, and that, that's something that we acupuncturists have time and space for in our clinics to address with patients, and so I like to help women in that regard. And I have an amazing case story I can share.
Dara: Yeah, please do.
Miriam: Um, you know, starting their fertility treatment whether Western or Eastern is a time for introspection. How did they get here? Where is my life gone? Why? Why is this challenge? And how is this challenge changing my life? You know all these, all these things. And so when you're going through that kind of introspection, it could be very anxiety provoking. It’s earth shattering. Acupuncture Chinese herbs strengthen a person. They strengthen the body and the mind to help them walk that scary path. What does my future hold? What does this say about me as a woman? Will I ever have a child? The herbs strengthen them to be able to handle that and not fall apart. That's what I love about this medicine and as I’ll share there was a 37 year old woman, New York City psychotherapist who came in after a year of trying to get pregnant. Um, she was told by her fertility specialists not here, that she could not have her own children and she would need a donor egg. And this came as a complete obviously devastating blow to her, and her periods have always been irregular. She had grown up in a very dysfunctional home, very troublesome relationship with her mother. And when she came in, when anyone comes in I say, Hhey, let's talk about what you want help with in order of importance When she came and she didn't say diminished ovarian reserve for fertility, she said, I can't stop crying. I'm so sad. You have to help me stop crying. And it wasn't about fertility. It was about life as she knew it and it was turning upside down. And she wasn't sure she was gonna have this child she thought she'd always have. And it was triggering all of a lot of childhood trauma for her. And that's what we started with. And her period regulated within 2 months. It had been between 25 days, 35 days, her period regulated within two months. And then within four months, she was pregnant.
Rena: Wow.
Dara: No donor therapy?
Miriam: Yeah, we did the pulse. I prescribed herbs based on what I felt in her pulse. I made sure she was doing her in her work. And she's a psychotherapist, she'd been in therapy every single week for 10 years. We added in meditation, we added in self-love and she shocked her doctor.
Dara: Did she go back and say look what happened?
Miriam: He was thrilled for her. It was really exciting to go from doing the inner work healing. It took four months. It didn't take her another year, it took four months.
Dara: But I also feel like it may have taken her less time because she at being a psychotherapist perhaps she was able to tap into some of those dark places a little better
Rena: But either way you’re the one that
Dara: You were the catalyst.
Miriam: And there’s so many stories like that.
Dara: Well, kind of in the same vein. We always like to end our podcasts. I know you're gonna love this for sure, Miriam. We like to talk about gratitude and what we're grateful for today at this very moment. So we did not tell you ahead of time that we talk about this so to put you on the spot. There's no right or wrong answer. But what are you grateful for at this moment?
Miriam: I’m grateful for this gift I've been given in life.
Dara: Wow. It is a gift.
Miriam: I'm grateful that this is my path.
Rena: I love that.
Dara: Something so simple, but something so deep at the same time. Rena?
Rena: Oh, I'm grateful to I feel like it's the same thing every time I'm so grateful to have met you. You know, come across another strong, powerful woman. But it's true. You know, this gift of being able to be introduced to somebody like you who, you know, when I know our listeners couldn't see. But when Miriam said, she was great before she was I've never seen somebody glow like that. She was truly glowing and beaming, and it's just so clear today’s the first day, you know, that I that I met Miriam and it's so clear she's someone who truly loves her work. So much is so passionate. I can tell she's such a strong, driven woman and so I'm so grateful to you know, be introduced to you and now we have you as someone as a resource for my patients, I definitely want you to read my pulse, I’m very curious but to be around you and your energy, and Dara of course, I'm able to do this podcast with Dara and her energy. It's just it's really amazing. So I know. I know I say the same thing every time, but it really is true that that is my gratitude. Usually, Dara, our guest, it’s powerful to be here.
Dara: Um, similar vein. I'm just so grateful for inspiring women like you inspire me from day one just to to do what you're passionate about, because when you're passionate it shows and every time I meet with you, any time you talk about what you do, they're either it's exactly what Rena said there's a light that comes out of you and what a special gift that you have been able to find that and that people get to share that that are around you. And then, of course, I'm gonna give credit to the woman who brought us together. If she's listening, you're awesome. She's a great connector, and I just always value people that just have a good intuition of like, wow, you're going to get along with that person and we come from different paths. We have lots of connections. But I've learned so much from you beyond what you do just to you as a human being. So thank you. And we’re getting you back on soon. So thank you so much.
Dara: Thank you so much for listening today. And always remember, practice gratitude. Give a little love to someone else and yourself. And remember, you are not alone. Find us on Instagram @fertility_forward. And if you're looking for more support, visit us at and tune in next week for more Fertility Forward.

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