This is the part that I love and I can probably adjust the acupuncture question a little bit. I love acupuncture as long as the acupuncture provider is somebody that is well versed in women’s health and reproductive health. There are certain acupuncture points that can cause uterine stimulation. Obviously we do not want these, we don’t want uterine contraction or stimulation. Acupuncture, acupressure, reflexology, a lot of them work on the idea that our emotions are energy, they’re vibrations in our body. Ideally, we want these vibrations to be able to flow easily and not have any blockages. A lot of times something causes a blockage and this is more of an Eastern medicine principle but there are meridians, channels, through which the vibration flows. By unblocking these channels which can be done in a couple of different ways, you might have the energy flow, increase your vibration, experience good feelings of well-being and expansiveness, the opposite of contracting. By doing that it makes you much more resilient, both mentally and physically, to deal with infertility treatments and to be able to achieve a pregnancy. I think acupuncture is great. I’ve seen with reflexology they need to be having knowledge of reproductive health so they’re not hitting those other points.
The other thing is tapping, EFT. EFT is a way of just getting the acupressure, the meridian points at their beginning and end. There are eight acupressure points, karate chop points. As you tap these points, you’re saying “even though I am worried about my infertility treatment I choose to love and accept myself.” Then you would do these points in these three places. EFT is another great way if you have acupuncture to keep those acupressure points up, expanded and open.
I also love journaling. It is great. I gets the crazy out of your head and onto a piece of paper. I also tell people when they go with fertility treatments because of that feeling of lack to keep something called an achievement journal or achievement diary. I know a lot of people who know about gratitude diaries and I think gratitude is amazing. But I want people who have this sense of “nothing’s working for me, I can’t do anything right” to feel a sense of achievement. You can use a calendar that has a couple of lines. Make a couple of bullet points and write down what you did that day, as little or as big as it was. It could be “I got stopped at every red light and I didn’t lose my mind”, “I wanted to react this way and I didn’t”, “I was able to turn my phone off or notifications off and I was able to work on this project fully through for an hour and a half or really do some deep work”. The achievement journal does two things: one is that you can go look back on all the things you did throughout the day; the other thing is it prepares your mind to write in the journal as you go about the day. It allows you to see these little things that maybe you didn’t see as a big deal before as being an achievement.
In terms of the tips and techniques to getting good quality sleep, sleeping in a room between 68-72°F (20-22°C) would be really helpful. Cold room, dark if you want is best. If you’re too cold, you can put a warm blanket at your feet and it will keep your core cooler. Doing the achievement journal at night or having a piece of paper and a pencil at night where you can write everything down (so called brain dump), helps to get it all out of your system. When you wake up in the middle of the night, you don’t have other things to think about because you already wrote them down. Also, you should not be doing stuff in bed other than sleeping. If you need to read to go to sleep, then read and go to sleep. I have people that wake up at 3 or 4 in the morning and they cannot go back to sleep. They stay in bed and start to panic. If you can’t sleep and it’s been a couple of minutes to get out of bed to go to the other room, get a book, a cup of tea or do something that makes you sleepy. Then as soon as you start to get sleepy, go back to bed because you’re strengthening that muscle in your mind that makes you realize that your bed is for sleep. That way when you wake up your body will recognize the bed is for sleep, this is what I’m supposed to be doing. I’m not supposed to be checking my computer. In terms of electronics, this is something that I tell a lot of people and nobody likes me. You should not have electronics on about an hour before you sleep. It’s not only the stimulation. It’s the blue light that stimulates substances like adrenaline, epinephrine, etc. they can keep you up. If you want to read, you should read an actual book, newspaper, magazine if that helps you get sleepy. Any electronics start to shut you down if you use them. If you watch TV, I’d love for the TV to be not in your room. When you’re watching TV and as you start to get sleepy, turn the TV off and go to your room to bed. Watching TV in bed or falling asleep with it the background is conditioning your body to not see your bed as your respite, oasis, as a place where you sleep. It’s just like you don’t sit at the dinner table waiting to be hungry. You get at the dinner table once you are already hungry or once dinner’s prepared. I hope that helps.