Infertility Relaxation and The Power of Ten Minutes


We started off our infertility support group meeting this past Tuesday with an old familiar friend from our Harvard Mind Body retreat back over a decade ago: the 10 minute breath focused relaxation tape.

I was a little hesitant to begin the group with a tape that required you to close your eyes and focus on your breath.  I remember feeling a little weird about that the first time I did it around a bunch of strangers, and found myself opening up my eyes to make sure I wasn’t the only one doing it.

We did the breath focused side of the tape (yes we still have a cassette player), and within seconds of the opening music, something in my brain immediately let go.   I was untethered from the stresses of my work day, or the nervousness of starting up another Resolve support group after all these years, and when I woke up, I could feel a difference across the back of my neck through my shoulders.

It is amazing how reflexive your mind and body become to relaxing as soon as the tape begins.  It’s like your brain sends a signal saying “hey—take ten everybody—we can go off high alert and do NOTHING but basic maintenance here while this guy actually gets out of his head for 600 seconds.”

Lisa and I were religious about those tapes, especially in the months and days leading up to our final IVF attempt in New Jersey.

The amount of stress we were both under was absurd on the surface, but the tapes helped keep us centered, giving our minds enough of a break each day that when we returned to the room at the end of the 10 minute session, we were clear minded and able to focus on the things we could control in any given day, hour, minute or second.

I believe the Harvard Mind Body Institute is now the DomarCenter for Mind/Body Health.

I went on the website and there is a  “Relaxation CD” (sorry you cassette lovers are out of luck) available for purchase.

If nothing else, the next time some insensitive dolt says “you need to just relax”, you can pull out your Relaxation CD case and slap him across the head with it.

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