In the UK and worldwide 1 in 6 couples are affected by fertility problems. Support around optimizing health, diet and lifestyle can be hugely beneficial. Emma Cannon started her career as an acupuncturist and supported fertility naturally to such success she soon became known at ‘The Baby Maker’. Her clinical work has evolved over the years and is a truly personalised approach that can include checking pulses, tongues, taking a full patient history, emotional reviews, stomach massage, counselling and other aspects of Chinese medicine. Emma’s fourth book Fertile contains a wealth of practical advice and information alongside delicious fertility enhancing recipes by nutritionist Victoria Wells.
Throughout the book Emma demonstrates the benefits of Chinese Medicine for cultivating wellness which is a very different approach to Western Medicine. She finds the system hugely beneficial for supporting the menstrual cycle, menstrual pain, endometriosis and polycystic ovaries. She also believes that the emotional background of the patient plays a huge part in fertility, though she’s realistic about alternative methods and knows there can be limitations so working alongside other practitioners and doctors is essential.
- Flexibility – try not to plan or control everything and navigate your way around life’s problems. If you are able to adapt you are likely to be less frustrated.
- Creativity – be creative, resourceful and passionate in whatever form you like. Nurture your creative side.
- Nourishment – includes both food and people. Surround yourself with non-toxic people that give you something in your life.
- Transformation – turn difficulties into positives, less ‘victim’ more ‘beauty and wisdom’. If you are able to turn these bad times into good times you are also teaching others to become more positive.
- Believe – keep the belief, it’s at the heart of all healing. When we put our heart into something we respond better, we will still be disappointed if something doesn’t work but we will be able to cope better rather than starting off in a place of fear that something might not work.
Living a fertile life encompasses so many aspects such as nutrition, exercise, getting outside in the fresh air, being supportive of our environment and spending time with people who support and nourish you. Emma actively encourages her patients to carry out self-diagnosis and consider the tendencies of their body. 4 key tendencies and their signs that Emma discusses include:
- Cold – symptoms can include water retention, pale urine, put on weight easily, menstrual pain, period is dark purple in colour
- Damp – symptoms can include a fuzzy head, sticky taste in your mouth, may suffer from thrush, may suffer from skin conditions
- Heat – with symptoms such as feeling thirsty, throw covers off at night, have a temper, periods are very red in colour
- Stagnant – examples of symptoms are sighing a lot, random aches, belching, irregular periods, swollen breasts, discomfort after eating
Preparing the body for fertility Emma feels can be likened to clearing out your food cupboard. It’s importance to get rid of processed tinned foods and replace with fresh, exchange aluminium with glassware and clean up your lifestyle. She recommends lemon and hot water in the morning and no food after 7pm. Emma avoids labelling certain foods as ‘fertile’ as she feels that labels in general encourage guilt and shame so she would rather that women ate a wide range of foods. However, she does advocate nutrient rich foods and encourages more nuts/seeds and good quality fats. She suggests we shouldn’t stress too much about food as this in itself can impact on our ability to absorb nutrients.
Emma also recommends relaxation and quality sleep as essential. Her top tip to support both of these is her ‘Fish and Chip’ bath, twice a week. You simply add organic vinegar & Epsom salts to the bath, which contain natural properties that can relax the muscles and support a restful sleep.
Other information in Fertile includes digestive health and understanding miscarriage. As the digestive system is considered the route to the body if this isn’t functioning properly then no amount of lifestyle changes and supplements are going to be effective. As many menstrual problems have been associated with an unhealthy digestive system improving eating habits and the digestive environment can be beneficial. Emma also feels that miscarriages are not well supported with many women suffering in silence so she suggests it’s important to surround yourself with supportive people. It’s also worth investigating potential causes such as thyroid function, blood clotting problems and family history.
The book is also packed full of some amazing recipes with some favourites being chicken broth with a twist, dahl and porridge made the night before with butter and honey. ‘Fertile’ was released on 2nd March 2017 and can be purchased from Amazon. It’s the perfect read for every modern woman thinking about having a baby, perhaps one day on the horizon or maybe trying to conceive right now.
To listen to this interview in full visit The Food Teacher on UK Health Radio
If you have an interest in a particular topic or comments about the show please email: email@example.com
To find out more about Emma and ‘fertile’ visit:
Web address: www.emmacannon.co.uk
If you’d like additional support around fertility nutrition please do consider a consultation with Emma Cannon or myself, The Food Teacher. Please contact The Food Teacher Clinic for a free telephone chat.