I stumbled across this article and found out about the “fertility ball”
Actress and Yoga4Fertility creator Brenda Strong
There’s nothing desperate about the strong, confident woman who strides into the photo shoot at Yoga Works, a Los Angeles yoga studio. While actress Brenda Strong is best known to the public as Mary Alice Young on the ABC hit show Desperate Housewives, she also has other important roles in her life. One of these is her vital role in the world of fertility. Strong is a spokesperson for The American Fertility Association and serves on board. She’s also a “500 E-RYT” (Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher) who developed Strong Yoga4Fertility to help women maximize their reproductive potential.
“It’s my mission to help women to wellness and empower them to feel good about themselves, their bodies, and their lives, regardless of whether they become parents,” says Strong. “This is a journey. Learning to find peace in the process will make you a better parent when the time comes.”
And now there’s a new component to Strong’s program: The new Strong Fertility Ball Yoga Method enables women to add the benefits of self-massage and acupressure to their yoga workouts. The ball, just five inches in diameter, targets acupressure points for fertility, and can help stimulate circulation, massage internal organs, and decrease stress.
“The Fertility Ball literally arrived as what I can only call a ‘download’ while I was meditating one day last year,” says Strong, 50, describing how she developed the product. “My husband [Tom Henri, also a yoga instructor] has practiced acupressure for 16 years and assisted many of my former fertility clients in conceiving.” Realizing how powerful yoga and acupressure could be together, says Brenda, “The Strong Fertility Ball Yoga Method was born!”
Women at any stage of trying to conceive—even just thinking about it—can benefit from using the Fertility Ball, says Strong. Here’s how:
For women who are not yet trying, but thinking about it:
“For younger women who aren’t ready to try but are thinking ‘someday,’ it’s an ideal way to increase health and vitality. The ball can help them get in touch with themselves and build healthy circulation of blood to their pelvic organs, to maximize their chances of conceiving when they’re ready. It will also help ease PMS symptoms and balance their cycles and endocrine hormones.”
For women who are trying to conceive naturally:
“This is the perfect match. I believe that acupressure and yoga helped me to conceive after trying unsuccessfully on my own for three years in my early thirties.” Strong’s son Zakery is now 15.
For women taking fertility medications:
“Yes, you can use the Fertility Ball while you’re on medications, but if you’re being hyper-stimulated there are certain poses that need to be avoided.” She cautions, “Don’t do full inversions [upside-down positions], and avoid some deep forward bends for your comfort and safety.”
For women trying in vitro fertilization (IVF):
“As always, consult with your physician. However, many reproductive endocrinologists are using acupuncture before and after transfers as studies show it helps keeps healthy blood flow to the area and minimizes uterine contractions that prevent implantation. Doing yoga and acupressure with the Fertility Ball would have these same calming and enhancing qualities. But avoid full inversions or forward bends if you’re bloated from stimulation, retrieval, or transfer.”
The actress is planning to release a video that includes Fertility Ball poses. In the meantime, the 10 exercises are described in a booklet that comes with the ball, and are also printed on the ball itself. It’s recommended that the 10 exercises be performed daily in an ordered pattern. Each posture takes two to five minutes, so the entire sequence can be performed in as little as 20 minutes (although doing them more slowly is recommended for women who are trying to conceive).