THE FERTILITY SUPPORT CONFERENCE 2023: THE BRIDGE
Programme and Speakers
These speakers are what makes this conference so different!
I got the first break which raiseed my profile as a practitioner at the Naturechild Conference 16 years ago when Jani White asked me to speak.
It's been a long time coming, but finally I can pay this forward by having my own conference and bringing some of the best practitioners I know to help you supercharge your fertility treatments.
It is no coincidence that all of the speakers at this conference have completed the Advanced Level Diploma in Fertility Acupuncture and are now leaders in our community of Fertility Support Experts. Every single one of them is pushing our profession forward in terms of how we understand, treat and communicate around Chinese Medicine and fertility.
Regardless of how experienced you are as a practitioner, this is going to be an amazing day to learn, share and celebrate with your colleagues.
Endometriosis: An integrative approach for supporting your fertility patients, Louise Collyer
Understanding and treating irregular cycles in clinic, Hannah Pearn
How to build a successful practice - a step by step guide, Rachel Sherriff
Miscarriage over 40 Panel Discussion, Dr Yau Thum, Mr Colin Davis and Naava Carman
A simple approach to AMH and the terrified client, Alex O'Connor
Play on, player: How to produce, maintain and improve male fertility, Naava Carman
Meet the Speakers
Endometriosis: An integrative approach for supporting your fertility patients
Patients with endometriosis have complex presentations and unique fertility issues. This presentation will explore the many different aspects of endometriosis outside of the usual discussions of menstrual pain and heavy bleeding.
Using up-to-date clinical experience, in this session we will be looking at:
- Immune dysfunction
- Microbiome issues
- Gut health
- Digestive issues
We will also look at advice and interventions you can use with your patients to improve both fertility outcomes and the lived experience of those battling this condition.
You will leave this session with clear instructions as to how to assess your clients needs beyond your TCM diagnosis, how to use the additional information you can gather in these cases to improve your TCM diagnosis and your results and with effective point selections and herbal medicine formulae to support your treatment.
Louise is a highly experienced TCM acupuncturist, Chinese Medicine herbalist and Functional Medicine practitioner. She specialises in optimising women’s gynaecological and reproductive health, removing the pain, negative health impacts and life constraints of such issues.
She enables people to conceive and nourish the healthy babies they long for by bringing together an expertise in the ancient wisdom of Chinese medicine with a specialism in the cutting edge advances of Functional Medicine to bring you the best of both worlds.
She has a particular passion for releasing people from the vicious constraints of endometriosis and endo fertility issues, enabling them to seize a life without limitations. And have the family they long for, whatever hand they’ve been dealt.
Understanding and treating irregular cycles in clinic
This session will look at what a “normal cycle is” and what is considered irregular. We will look at the main underlying reasons for irregular cycles we see in clinic, presentations of BBT charts and treatment approaches. This will include PCOS and Post pill amenorrhea .
By the end of the session you will be able to:
- Diagnose and treat from a TCM perspective
- Help support your clients with investigations and testings
- Able to offer appropriate lifestyle advice and support to compliment your work
- Educate your clients on tracking to support your work and improve their own understanding of a good healthy cycle.
Hannah is a fertility acupuncturist and educator, who has spent the last ten years supporting people who are Trying to Conceive. She runs two busy clinics in South London and has a team of specialists dedicated to supporting fertility issues. Alongside this she campaigns for better fertility education and information through press, teaching, information events, an online community, and a podcast “Don’t Tell Me to RELAX”.
How to build a successful practice - a step by step guide
Join Rachel's session to learn the key steps to building a financially and ethically successful practice. She will teach you how to find the balance between work and home whilst still making a healthy income and getting the clinical results that you want.
In this session you will learn Rachel's top tips for:
- Gaining your ideal clients
- Utilising social media and free marketing options
- Creating the perfect website
- Overcoming imposter syndrome and gain the confidence you need to push out of your comfort zone.
All together, you will come away with a step-by-step guide to building your practice and taking it to new heights.
Rachel Sherriff is an acupuncturist specialising in fertility and pregnancy. She came to acupuncture through her own fertility journey when she had acupuncture throughout her last and successful round of IVF. She found it so beneficial that she retrained to become an acupuncturist and set up The Fertility Suite, based in Oxted, Surrey.
The Fertility Suite offer acupuncture, reflexology, functional medicine, nutrition and pharmaceutical support through a team of 5 practitioners and plans to continue growing. These practitioners work in an integrated way to support many couples on their path to parenthood, which can look very different for everyone.
Miscarriage Over 40 - Panel Discussion
Mr Colin Davis is one of the UK's leading IVF surgeons with over 30 years of experience in the field. He has developed a particular specialism in developing new endoscopic and microsugery techniques to treat gynaecological and fertility conditions.
In addition to his medical practice Colin has taught at many of London's leading teaching hospitals including Barts, Hammersmith, and UCH.
He undertook a fellowship in the USA in 2000, where he developed new minimally invasive surgical techniques for gynaecology. He then established a minimally invasive national training centre at Barts (St Bartholomew’s Hospital).
He has authored a number of published papers and books on tubal surgery and endometriosis and continues to have an active research programme.
In 2018 he co-founded The Evewell, which quickly became one of London's leading IVF clinics.
Miscarriage Over 40 - Panel Discussion
Dr Thum is a leading fertility consultant and research. He is at the forefront of global research into and treatment of reproductive immunology.
His practice is at The Lister Hospital in London were he is a fertility specialist. His research work at Kings College, London, has covered natural killer cells, recurrent failed implantation after IVF treatment and recurrent miscarriage of immunological origins.
He has also published widely on his research in reproductive immunology, women with elevated FSH and IVF treatment in conjunction with egg-sharing.
A simple approach to low AMH and the terrified client
Drawing on her extensive knowledge of research into the causes of low AMH and its impact on natural fertility, Alex's session will be a game-changer for your confidence as a practitioner, and the results you can get with your clients.
AMH testing is a cornerstone of many IVF clinics' fertility assessment process, and this has helped to fuel a significant amount of fear about the AMH test results - a false narrative that AMH alone can be used to assess fertility. In this session Alex will look at pivotal research about the myth of the impact of AMH on fertility that we as practitioners struggle against.
This session will empower you with a clear understanding about what the AMH test does and does not mean so you can support those clients who come in to your treatment room terrified by a diagnosis of low AMH.
Alex uses real life examples from her practice to:
- Explain her approach to working with clients with low AMH
- Look at the four key scenarios that you need to hold in your mind when working with a couple when there is low AMH in the picture
- Share a simple, easy-to-use chart that highlights this open-minded approach that you can refer to when faced with a client worrying about low AMH.
Alex is a fertility acupuncturist, fertility mentor and ebook author who specialises in supporting couples struggling with unexplained infertility. She gets a ridiculous amount of job satisfaction from helping clients to avoid IVF if possible and helping those that really need to use IVF to go into it with the best possible potential for success. Alex brings her inquisitive, problem-solving mind to this work. Alex offers simple, uncomplicated acupuncture to support fertility and expert advice and guidance about additional tests and investigations to help her clients to solve the riddle of unexplained infertility.
In Alex's experience, this combined approach should be the obvious choice for unexplained infertility, and yet society pushes IVF instead. Alex is passionate about spreading the word and drawing attention to the incredible impact holistic fertility support can have in this space. For many, this approach offers a gentler, more holistic option than IVF, for some it offers a solution when IVF has failed.
Living in East Coast Essex and working in Essex and the City, in her spare time you will find her mucking out a stable, walking her dogs or lost in a puzzle.
Play on, player: How to produce, maintain and improve male fertility
In my slot at the conference I will be talking about the practical side of treating male infertility.
- I want to talk about strategies for how to get men into our clinics.
- I want to break down the list of tests that need to be done, why you need to do them, and how to do them.
- I'm also going to tell you what to do about what you find, who to refer to when the findings are sub-optimal, and how to talk to your clients about these results in a way that brings them on board for treatment.
- We'll talk about how to ask delicate questions, and what to do with the answers you get, so that your personal and professional boundaries remain intact and you're safe in your clinic.
- I'll walk you through the genetic and epigenetic implications of untreated male infertility in a way that allows you to share this with your clients in a powerful way, as a means of helping them prioritise treatment with you.
- Finally, I'm going to give you some treatment strategies; my favourite point selections and herbal formulae for the three main issues I see in my clinic when it comes to male infertility.
Originally from Melbourne, I now live in London where I have been in practice as a TCM Acupuncturist and Herbalist for 23 years and spend most of my time working with tricky multi-faceted Reproductive Immunology issues in people over 40 such as recurrent miscarriage, unexplained infertility and multiple failed ART cycles, and supporting diverse folk and those in bigger bodies on their reproductive journeys.
I am also an educator and coach, an area of my career that has grown out of my creation in 2017 of the Advanced Level Diploma in Fertility Acupuncture, which sets out my approach to integrated TCM and biomedical fertility treatment through the lens of reproductive immunology. This is the most comprehensive post-graduate integrated medicine course available in this field and is designed to help Chinese Medicine practitioners gain an in-depth understanding of some of the most complex areas issues in fertility, such as the role of the immune system and how Traditional Chinese Medicine can support artificial reproductive techniques like IVF, IUI and ICSI.
Creating the Diploma led me to start Fertility Support Training, my training business which has now spans everything from my free Facebook community, through group mentoring programmes, to our community of Chinese Medicine fertility experts, and now this conference.
I have lectured all over the world on Chinese Medicine, fertility and business skills, but this is the first time that I've lectured at my own conference!
Free Bonus Session: Building Confidence, Connection and Community
The first 20 in-person ticket purchasers were offered the chance to join one of two exclusive facilitated supervision sessions to help prepare for the conference.
These supportive sessions, led by the highly experienced supervisor Caroline Haigh, were a chance to explore how we can build confidence and increase our connection to others working with similar interests and passions, in order to broaden our personal sense of community.
The aim of the sessions was that participants come away with a sense of what these issues mean for each of them and feeling supported and invigorated with new ideas to take forward and new people to reach out to. The sessions were held online the week before the conference so those who participate will have the chance to build their sense of community before meeting up in person at the conference.
Supportive networks are so important for us as practitioners, enabling us not only to look after ourselves and our personal resources but to help provide the best service that we are able to offer our clients.
Caroline qualified from the Northern College of Acupuncture (NCA) in 1997 and has been in practice for over 25 years having considerable experience in the Acupuncture profession. She runs a busy fertility-focused clinic in Leeds, West Yorkshire working alongside two Acupuncture Associates. Caroline is also qualified in Chinese Herbal Medicine.
She has undertaken subsequent postgraduate training which includes visiting China to train at the Women’s Health Department of a leading Beijing hospital. Caroline also holds a postgraduate Advanced Level Diploma in Fertility Acupuncture.
Being a Fertility Support Trained Acupuncturist she undertakes monthly specialist CPD which enables her to keep abreast of the latest developments in all aspects of male and female fertility. She is a lecturer to acupuncture practitioners including Zita West affiliated practitioners from around the UK and Ireland.
Caroline is qualified to offer professional Mentoring Supervision support to Acupuncturists and others in the caring profession both on a 1:1 and group basis. She runs supervision groups for Acupuncturists around the country as part of the Practitioner Hub linked to the NCA which offers ongoing professional development. Caroline also offers her own 1:1 and group supervision sessions. She is on the BAcC list of registered Supervisors as well as part of a national network of Mentoring Supervisors.
Her further teaching includes facilitating sessions at the Northern College of Acupuncture for the Professional Development part of student learning. This covers self-care as well as the role that Supervision can play in the Acupuncture profession to provide support and build professional networks.
Caroline has a degree in Psychology. Prior to working in the Acupuncture profession she worked in the mental health field. This involved direct client support as well as managing and supporting teams and whole services, working with a person centred approach. Caroline has been involved in planning and providing training in mental health and a wide variety of other issues across a large social care organisation.
She remains passionate about building confidence and promoting supportive relationships and networks in the Acupuncture profession.