Fertility Beyond the Physical with Michelle Oravitz

April 10, 2024

I’m Clarissa
A Certified Fertility Health Coach who works with career oriented women to improve their cycle health and optimize fertility before pregnancy. 
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Hey there friend! Today I’m interviewing our very first guest expert on the show, Michelle Oravitz. Michelle L.Ac, FABORM, is an acupuncturist, specializing in Fertility Health. She found her love in Chinese medicine after it helped her through her own menstrual cycle challenges and this inspired her to change her career from architecture to acupuncture. 

Michelle is the host of a top rated podcast called ‘The Wholesome Fertility Podcast’ and has been endorsed by best-selling authors such as Aimee Raupp, Jessica Ortner, and Dr. Lisa Miller. 

She recently authored a new book, The Way of Fertility, which dives deep into the energetics of fertility through the lens of ancient wisdom. Michelle believes that our bodies are hardwired to procreate and by connecting to our inherent wisdom, we can awaken our natural reproductive vitality. 

During the interview, Michelle opens up about her personal journey and what led her to acupuncture. We also get into the inspiration for her new book and she shares practical advice and wisdom for those who have been on their fertility journey for a while.

Listen to the Full Episode Here

From Architect to Acupuncturist

Michelle was living in New York City working in a high stress corporate job as an architect. Starting with her first period, her cycles had always been irregular and would only come every 2 or 3 months. The only solution she was given at the time by mainstream medicine was to go on the birth control pill. Her intuition told her something was off, but she didn’t know what exactly. 

For 12 years, she was on and off the pill and finally decided to come off of it for good. Her period didn’t return for 3 months, so that’s when she saw an acupuncturist for the first time to regulate her period and it worked! This was her first taste of the effects of natural medicine and it was truly incredible because for years she was never provided with a solution to her period problems. 

The effects went beyond just her period though, as she started to feel better in her body, but also throughout her life. This is when she came to the realization that her work didn’t feel in alignment anymore. She was intrigued by natural medicine and acupuncture, so the idea of helping people felt like her true calling. From there she moved to Florida with her husband, had her children, enrolled in an Ayurvedic Medicine school and went to school to become an acupuncturist specializing in fertility.

When Dreams Become Reality

Michelle tells the story of her own mother and the challenges she faced when trying to conceive her. Despite it being a difficult time, her mother fought to have her. Before she went on to get pregnant with Michelle, her mother had a dream of a little girl with curly hair and envisioned her skipping along. Michelle is the only one in her family with curly hair, so her mother had this vision of her in her dream before conceiving her. Talk about being meant to be. 

She goes on to share the dream she had of her youngest daughter, before she ever had children. In her dream she envisioned this little girl with blue eyes and blonde hair. Both her and her husband have brown hair and brown eyes, so the likelihood of having a blonde blue eyed little girl was slim. Sure enough, her youngest daughter has blue eyes and blonde hair. It’s so inspiring to look back and realize how they were meant to be connected all along.

The Inspiration for Her New Book—The Way of Fertility

Her main source of inspiration for writing her new book was the many conversations and experiences she had with supporting clients, the interviews on her podcast, and the years spent honing her craft in the fertility industry. In a way it’s become the essence of who she is and this wisdom can now flow through her to share with others. 

She’s always been drawn to Chinese Medicine and Taoism. Based on her experience, Michelle believes that fertility can be restored, which is all about coming back to our essence and our nature. If something is off with our natural expression, it’s because we’re living out of alignment in some way. Living in accordance with the Tao, or the way, means living in balance. This ancient wisdom has been in place for thousands of years and modern medicine is just now catching up and proving a lot of this to be true.

Our bodies are eloquent and poetic, with an innate intelligence that is usually overlooked by conventional medicine. When we live in accordance with ourselves and in that alignment, we realize that our thoughts and our emotions do impact our physical body. This book serves as a reminder that you are so much more than just a physical body. 

“A lot of the teachings from ancient wisdom, they always say go within. All the answers are found within.”

Feeling Your Feelings From A Place of Neutrality

Michelle goes on to talk about the importance of approaching things from a place of neutrality. That way you’re more likely to fall back into flow and your original state of intelligence. She recommends really being with your emotions and seeing them from a place of neutrality, because they are neither good or bad, they just are. 

It’s completely ok and valid to be in the “why me” state at the beginning of the fertility journey. That is natural because it is a challenging time, but you don’t want to get stuck there. The quicker you allow yourself to be immersed in these feelings and really feel them, the quicker you’ll heal and move through them. Emotions want to move through us, but we tend to resist that because it can be uncomfortable. 

She recommends the book “The Untethered Soul” where the author talks about leaning in. After trying that in her own life, and leaning into her emotions, she found a greater sense of empowerment and didn’t have to hide or push the emotions away. When you push them away, you’re actually constricting your body and that creates stagnation energetically.

When you do that, when you create stagnation and resistance within your body and your frequency. You essentially stop things from moving and when that happens we get stuck, which ultimately manifests in our body as a physical symptom. 

Whether it’s fertility challenges or something else, our symptoms arise to let us know to pay attention. Almost like a red flag. This isn’t necessarily good or bad, it just is and it’s something for you to look into from that place of neutrality. When you approach it from a place of neutrality you face less resistance and it’s easier to understand the message more quickly. 

The Importance of Chi Life Force Energy

Michelle explains that energy is a component of Chi, but that is not all that it is. Chi is a very intelligent life force vitality that brings life to the body. It turns on our physical body and keeps it alive, keeps it warm, and keeps it moving. Chi moves through meridians to activate, nourish, and nurture all the different aspects of us as human beings. 

There are a few ways we can obtain this Chi life force energy. One is the pre-heaven essence we get from our parents’ genetics. Second is through things in life like food, sunlight, and exercise. But something that is often overlooked is that we can also optimize our Chi through a balance of our thoughts and emotions. When you think about it, emotions, especially really difficult ones, are not very energy efficient. They can really tap us out and drain our energy, especially when they are on repeat in our minds. 

Another way to improve Chi is through meditation. When you’re present with yourself you connect to that inner intelligence and restore it. Through meditation you’re sourcing a different type of energy that you would through sleep. It’s more of a cosmic energy and that energy connects with your subconscious. It’s almost like you’re charging the cord and plugging yourself in.  

The Power of Presence

She states that there is power in just being present and teaching yourself to really live in the present moment. When you’re living in the present moment, you’re more awake and you’re able to access that life force energy. 

Michelle likens it to getting rid of all the apps in the background and just focusing on that one thing right in front of you. So you’re not focusing on the past or the future—you’re focusing on the present moment. If you reflect back to the profound events in your life when you were really present, didn’t you feel so much more alive?  

She goes on to share a personal example of her father’s passing. Michelle knew that he was transitioning and it felt like she was called to play a role in it. She was there for him every day, and even though it was excruciating, she was able to be so present with him because she knew that every second counted. There was an aliveness in those moments that was difficult to describe. Even though it was a very difficult and sad event, there was something really sacred about it.  

“I felt more alive during that time than I felt really at any other time in my life.”

The Parallels Between Nature and Fertility

In essence, nature is very fertile. Nature wants to thrive and reproduce, as do our bodies, so if something is off, then it is worth looking into what may be causing that. 

When you think about the cycles in nature, like the sun cycles and also the moon cycles, we really do have a similar rhythm that connects us to it. We have a pulse within our own body, and nature has a pulse as well. When we entrain with the rhythm of the sunlight by getting early morning sun so our eyes can receive that light, that helps with our sleep cycle.

Michelle recommends removing artificial light at night, as it’s confusing to the brain and it impacts melatonin at night.  Instead you can use more candlelight or dim your lights towards the end of the night. If you do have to be in front of a screen, you can wear blue light blocking glasses. Grounding is another thing that has been shown to really help lower inflammation and help with sleep. These things do matter for your overall health and the health of your menstrual cycle. 

In today’s world we’ve been conditioned for quick fixes, but that just does not exist in nature. It’s more subtle than that and you have to do something repeatedly over time to see changes, which is how it works in acupuncture too. 

The fact is we are part of nature. We’re an extension. We’re just one of the branches of nature, so coming back to mother nature will help us to revitalize our overall Chi and support our reproductive health.

MIchelle goes on to share an example of the role that both the bee and the flower play in nature. They each have their unique roles and there’s a time and place for both. The bees are very hardworking, because they work hard and go after the pollen. They’re attracted to the smell and they move towards it. This is a very yang energy and it’s like the sperm running after the egg. 

The flowers on the other hand, just sit back and release the fragrance to attract the bees.  This is more of a yin type energy and is similar to the egg that is in a state of allowing vs. running after something and expending a lot of that Chi energy. Ultimately there are two ways to get what we want: we can go after them like the bees, or we can call it in like the flowers. When we’re constantly in a state of doing things over and over again, we’re kind of moving away from our natural feminine attributes. 

The yin and the yang energies both have a role to play, but if you use too much yang in your life it’s going to deplete you. The balance of both is what’s most ideal. She likes to live by the Serenity Prayer, because if you have the ability to change something then do it. Otherwise if it’s out of your control, learn to accept it, so you don’t waste that precious energy. 

Surrender and Trust on the Journey

Michelle explains that a level of trust is necessary on your journey. It’s about really trusting who you are and trusting your body that it’s intelligent. When you can bet on yourself, even if you don’t have proof yet, it’s so powerful because you have so much certainty and trust that your body has the potential to get pregnant. This is a choice you can make, but it is a process that takes time though. Naturally we look at the past and use that data to predict the future, so it can feel like a gamble to bet on ourselves and lean into trust. 

It’s really about being on the path that’s right for you. There’s no right or wrong way and you just need to answer the calling however that shows up in your life. She references a story that’s shared in her book about a woman named Nancy. Nancy had been trying to get pregnant for many years and then one day she heard about embryo donors. Something lit up inside of her and she instantly knew that was meant for her. She moved to Georgia and there ended up being two embryos that had been there for a long time and they were meant to be her daughters. Nancy listened to the signs, surrendered, and trusted she was on the right path. If you’re not sure if you are on the right path, you can always ask for signs along the way. 

The Impact of Love And Emotions

After reading the book, Michelle hopes that the biggest takeaway you have is to really connect to your heart. Your heart is very important and the book even explains a connection between the heart and the uterus. It’s about coming back to your heart, coming back from a place of love, because love is life giving. If you trust your heart it will never take you down the wrong path. 

Everything that comes from love is healing and very life giving. So whether that means forgiveness to oneself or to other people, there is so much power in forgiveness. Physiological changes and healing occur from being in an elevated emotion. This is why just saying affirmations doesn’t always work because your emotion must be aligned as well. That’s what allows you to connect to that energy vibration. 

If you’re finding that repeating affirmations doesn’t work at first, then keep saying it. The repetition will help to eventually get your mind on board. From there your emotions will catch on and then eventually you start to actually believe it.. Sometimes it can take a little longer for us to do it that way, but if you can get to a heightened state of emotion more quickly, that is where changes start to happen in the body.

Encouragement for Women on Their Journey

As the conversation wraps up, Michelle shares some advice and encouragement for those who have been on the fertility journey for a long time. She starts by sending so much love to you and knows that it’s not always easy. Just remember that there is no right or wrong way on this journey. 

If you’re feeling down, that’s okay and is completely understandable. So wherever you are, be with that in its entirety—if you need to cry then allow yourself to fully cry. Allow yourself that grace to just be where you are and look at it from a place of neutrality. Allowing yourself that full acceptance of every single step, even the hard ones.

Allow yourself to realize that sadness and joy can coexist and it’s ok to feel mixed emotions. Love yourself and accept yourself fully.

Learn More About Michelle and Her Work

As an acupuncturist, specializing in Fertility Health, Michelle helps women and couples conceive. She does this both in person and virtually through her one on one work at her acupuncture clinic as well as online. Michelle is on a mission to help women get pregnant both naturally and through IVF preparation. 

I can personally vouch for Michelle and her programs, as she played a big role in my own fertility journey. She is kind, warm hearted, knowledgeable, and passionate about fertility and women’s health. 

You can connect with Michelle on her Instagram, learn more about her services, read her new book, The Way of Fertility, and listen to  The Wholesome Fertility Podcast

I hope this conversation helps you realize that you are on the right path. Trust in the timing of your life, be present, and love yourself unconditionally. You are right where you’re meant to be and your baby is just around the corner. 

If you’re looking for additional support on your fertility journey, be sure to download the Fertility Affirmations Meditation I created just for you. It’s completely FREE and will provide you with a sense of comfort all while helping to reignite your belief in your ability to get pregnant naturally. 

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