Mercier Therapy and Fertility


Statistics show that fertility challenges affect 15% of the reproductive-age population. This accounts for approximately 7.5 million people or 1 out of every 6 couples. Really common, right? Due to the high prevalence of these challenges, women and men are becoming more educated about their fertility and are realizing there are more options out there besides IVF. You have probably heard of many alternative and complementary approaches that treat infertility, with the most popular being acupuncture, abdominal massage, and yoga. In our practice, we see quite a few women that are experiencing fertility challenges and one of the most common threads is stress and anxiety. Calming the nervous system and re-connecting to your body plays an important role, not only in healing but hormone balance which is essential for healthy conception. 

What is Mercier Therapy

Mercier Therapy is an alternative fertility treatment that can be utilized on it's own or as a complement to any other natural fertility treatment, or assisted reproductive technology (ART) such as IVF or IUI. Combining Mercier therapy with chiropractic, acupuncture, and/or other bodywork can be so emotionally AND physically healing that we often recommend combining treatments to our patients. Mercier Therapy is a safe and gentle, soft-tissue pelvic organ visceral manipulation technique that addresses scar tissue, adhesions, malalignment and/or decreased mobility of the pelvic and reproductive structures. Mobility plays an integral role in proper blood flow and optimal function of all structures in the body. By improving the mobility of any structure in the body, whether it’s a musculoskeletal structure or a uterus, you optimize and enhance the function of that structure. Many of the women who seek our support have a history of pelvic surgery or have conditions such as endometriosis or PCOS,  potentially creating adhesions or scar tissue. Restrictions can affect the function of these organs and can cause pain, lack of blood flow,  hormone imbalance, just to name a few, and can lead to a further cascade of effects that can diminish fertility. 

How the protocol works

The Mercier Therapy protocol consists of 6 hours of therapy that is generally broken up into one-hour weekly sessions. We do offer treatment intensives consisting of 4 days of therapy for women who are traveling to see us from out of town or for those wanting to have the therapy work done prior to their stim start.  One of the great things about this protocol is that it can be used as a stand alone treatment in and of itself or can be used to prepare for a medically assisted cycle. We consider this "training and preparation" similar to what you might do prior to running a marathon because, let's be honest, working through fertility challenges can feel like a life marathon with all of the ups and downs. In order to have the best possible race, you train both physically and emotionally. Most people would not run a marathon without adequate preparation and we think that preparing the body and the mind optimizes your chance at a successful first cycle.  The moment the word 'fertility' is mentioned, the stress and tension affects a woman and her partner. In our experience, we have found that it is helpful to have someone knowledgeable and in your corner, walking through the entire process with you, answering questions about diet, lab results, prognosis, etc.

If you are struggling to conceive, here are a couple of reasons you should consider whether Mercier Therapy is for you: 

  1. Mercier Therapy has an 83% stand-alone success rate supporting women to conceive and can complement other fertility treatments

  2. Mercier Therapy is restorative and therapeutic and creates space for healing, aiming to treat the root cause of fertility challenges

  3. Mercier Therapy is individually tailored to each woman, depending on her specific history, symptoms, and goals 


Mercier Therapy is beneficial for the following:

  • Amenorrhea (lack of period)
  • Anovulation
  • Blocked fallopian tubes
  • Dysmenorrhea (painful periods)
  • Endometriosis
  • Infertility

  • Ovarian function
  • Painful intercourse
  • Pelvic scarring from previous trauma or surgery ( laparoscopy, laparotomy, D&C, LEEP, abortion, cystocele or rectocele repair, cesarean section, or hysterectomy)
  • PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome)
  • Uterine Fibroids
  • Follicle quality
Mercier Therapy™ completed an on-going four year medical study to show an 83% pregnancy success rate within one year of finishing the Shared Journey Fertility Program. The study concluded in September 2012 and was published in Midwifery Today, Spring 2013.

Mercier Therapy is a highly effective technique and even I am amazed at the results our patients have. One of the most common questions we receive is "Who is Mercier Therapy most beneficial for"? This is a difficult question to answer because we have seen positive results in so many of our patients. In our practice, we have treated women that:

  • Have had difficulty conceiving naturally and wanted guidance and support
  • Have had repeated unsuccessful IVF attempts and conceive naturally after the Mercier Therapy protocol
  • Wanted to prepare the body prior to going through ART
  • Decided to stop trying to conceive after multiple unsuccessful IVF attempts and wanted to heal the body only to conceive naturally after a protocol of Mercier Therapy

we are here to support you as you go through this process regardless of whether you are a patient in our office or not. please reach out if you have any questions.


Dr. Brook Merkel is a Chiropractic Physician and acupuncturist and is the founder of Nurture Women's Wellness



Chiropractic and Pregnancy


Prenatal Chiropractic 

Pregnancy and chiropractic go together like peanut butter and jelly, macaroni and cheese, milk and cookies. Chiropractic care is an important component of birth preparation. Supporting the body during pregnancy helps to facilitate a smoother process making the duration of your pregnancy more comfortable, and therefore more enjoyable. In order to really understand how chiropractic can support a more comfortable pregnancy and more efficient labor, we need to take a look at the neuro-biomechanics throughout pregnancy. 

Pregnancy is a time when the body goes through some pretty dramatic transitions. The musculoskeletal system and nervous system are working constantly to adapt to all of the structural changes that occur during pregnancy.  It is also a time where any muscle imbalances, previous injuries, poor postures, tend to be exacerbated. The growing belly can contribute to numerous biomechanical and postural adaptations while the hormone relaxin can lead to increased mobility in the joints causing pain. All of the physical and hormonal changes that take place can lead to things like low back pain, SI joint pain, headaches, coccyx pain, tenosynovitis of the wrist aka de Quervains.  

why is balance and mobility important?

The technique most commonly known for it's use during pregnancy is the Webster Technique. The Webster Technique is a specific chiropractic analysis and adjustment for pregnant women. The analysis and technique focus on the function and balance of the sacrum and sacroiliac joints. The goal of the Webster technique is to promote proper mobility and balance of the pelvis. The alignment of the pelvis is extremely important to create enough room so that the baby can move into an optimal position for labor and birth. Aligning the the bony and soft tissue structures creates more space within the pelvis, kind of like loosening elastic that is too tight around your waist. Once you remove the restrictive elastic, you feel more comfortable and have more room to move! 

so what...

Dr. Brook is certified in the Webster Technique and incorporates this into all of her pregnant patients care. In addition, she provides recommendations on ergonomic positions, home exercises to promote proper positioning of the baby, functional movement/rehabilitation, uses kinesiotape to further support the body to help reduce pressure, pain, or discomfort, and provides nutrition support to further nurture a pregnant mom's body. We highly recommend every pregnant woman get checked by a practitioner who specializes in pregnancy to best prepare their body and mind for labor and delivery. 


Winter Immune Support


Keeping ourselves and our household healthy during the winter can be a challenge and I’m sure as other mothers can attest, something as benign as a cold can wreak havoc and cause nothing but misery as it spreads from person to person. 

We don’t spend as much time outside in the fresh air, especially during the cooler months, the indoor air is warm and dry, and we’re usually in relatively close quarters with others which makes germ-spreading too easy! Unfortunately, conventional medicine is unable to provide much support for a simple cold or flu.  One of our favorite immune boosting remedies throughout the year, but especially during the winter, is elderberry syrup.

Elderberries (sambucus) have been long used in traditional European medicine to help combat colds, the flu, and to improve general immunity. They pack a nutrient punch and are chock full of antioxidants, flavonoids, potassium, beta carotene, vitamin C and minerals like iron, potassium, phosphorus, and copper. Research done in Norway studied the efficacy and safety of oral elderberry extract in the treatment of influenza A and B viruses. Symptoms were shown to be relieved on average 4 days sooner and the use of medication was significantly less in those receiving elderberry extract versus placebo.

Remember, never give honey to a baby 1 year of age or younger. Talk with your physician/pediatrician should have you have questions or concerns. 

elder blog.jpg


How to make your own elderberry syrup:

{adapted from Wellness Mama}

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour

Total time: 1 hour 5 minutes


  • 2/3 cup dried black elderberries (we purchase from Mountain Rose Herbs or here)

  • 3 ½ cups filtered water

  • 1 teaspoon organic cinnamon powder

  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped ginger root

  • ½ teaspoon cloves

  • 1 cup raw honey (from local farmer’s market or here)

Have you tried elderberry syrup? What other remedies have you tried to keep you and your family healthy?

Holiday Gift Guide

2016 Holiday Guide {with a natural spin}

You guys, the holidays are here. I'm already having to calculate shipping times to make sure everything arrives in time! If you're stumped as to what to give the awesome women in your life, I've put together a few ideas!!!

Beautycounter: Beautycounter is a movement towards safer beauty. These products are luxurious and a fantastic middle-ground between conventional beauty products and completely plant based and organic beauty products. It can be really difficult to navigate all the ingredients in products, what to avoid, and why. Beautycounter offers some really great information for those who are dipping their toe into "greening" their home. They have some really beautiful products and I've used almost everything.  My favorite products include their lip glosses, the detoxifying charcoal mask, the sugar body scrub {heavenly for winter weather}, and the body butter {this is the GOOD stuff!!}.  Don't forget your teachers and holiday party hostesses!! 

:Amazon Prime Membershipdoes anyone not have a Prime membership at this point? FREE two day shipping. Need I say more. Oh, and it's only $99 for the year. 

Instant Pot: Best gift for  ̶m̶o̶m̶ anyone.  Life saver. One pot meals, super easy, and your friends and family will think you spent hours slaving away in the kitchen. Great for paleo, keto, gluten free, no diet restrictions...

Eden's garden essential oils: I absolutely love this brand. It's a woman owned company based in Southern California. Love all of their oils and their safe for kids blends. SO good. And high quality, third party tested. 

Essential oil diffuser: I am of the belief that everyone should have at least 1 diffuser in their house. This + a few essential oils is such a beautiful and thoughtful gift. And it keeps on giving because...the proven health benefits of essential oils! #winning

Vital proteins collagen peptides: we LOVE our collagen peptides. Amazing health benefits for your skin, gut, and more. I highly recommend this for all mamas whether trying to conceive, pregnant, or postpartum. We put a scoop in just about, dinner dishes, smoothies. 

Pink Himalayan salt lamp: these help ionize and purify the air as well as provide beautiful calming light which is good for your brain. I want one in every room!! I also keep a couple in my office!

Bkr glass water bottle: Gorgeous glass water bottles. If you know anyone who still drinks out of plastic, do them and the environment a favor and get them one of these. 

Adult coloring book: one form of meditation. Calming, centering, and who doesn't like to color? 

Facial Konjac sponge: I started using mine a few weeks ago. I have the French Red Clay sponge for dry skin. I'm really liking it so far. It's actually a root vegetable that has been used in Asian cultures for years. It's apparently chock full of antioxidants and minerals, is non-toxic, and biodegradable. I use every other day and only in the morning without cleanser since I'm only trying to rid of any sweat or anything else my skin may have come into contact with while sleeping. There are lots of "flavors" to choose from depending on your skin type! I also use the konjac sponge for your body and am really liking that as well. 

I for one love when gifts are thoughtful, aesthetically pleasing, but also practical. As a mama, I want something I will use that also makes my life better. Oh, and don't forget to take care of yourself this season. The holidays are a time of of festivity, cheer, and love, but also stress, anxiety, and more stress. Remember that self-care isn't indulgent but a necessity. Taking care of yourself is truly taking care of your family. merry christmas and happy holidays!!


{Affiliate Disclosure} I may receive a small commission from the sales. Becoming an affiliate with a company is not something I take lightly. Please keep the following in mind:
  • The prices of the items are the original price; they are not inflated in any way
  • Unless otherwise disclosed, all products were originally purchased by me






Safer Sunscreen...why many brands might not be your friend

Summer is quickly approaching and it's time to think about how we can keep looking fabulous while also protecting our skin! Sunscreen in recent years has been touted by doctors to be 'absolutely necessary' to prevent skin cancer or other skin conditions. The problem with this is that sunscreens are not created equal and in many cases may be harmful. In addition to this, research is now demonstrating that sun exposure is important for a number of biological processes and a research article in the Journal of Internal Medicine states

"...avoiding the sun "is a risk factor for death of a similar magnitude as smoking"... 

But...this is a post for another time. If you ARE going to purchase sunscreen, make sure you check the ingredient label. I personally have thrown out all of our old sunscreens because they were filled with awful chemicals many being known carcinogens. KNOWN!! Why would you put something in a product if it is known to cause cancer??? And if that isn't alarming...The EWG (Environmental Working Group) tested 1,400 different sunscreens and only 5%, met their safety standards and over 40% were listed as potentially contributing to skin cancer. 

Check to see if any of your sunscreens contain:

  • Oxybenzone
  • Retinyl palmitate
  • Synthetic fragrance

If they do, toss them and find a safer option...ESPECIALLY if you are trying to conceive, are pregnant, or are using your sunscreen on your littles. These chemicals potentially cause hormone disruption and may even increase the speed at which malignant cells grow and develop. Synthetic fragrance is a really tricky one because it allows companies to hide harmful chemicals under one umbrella. Fragrance can include any number of chemicals but most commonly parabens or phthalates which are considered carcinogenic and hormone disrupting. 

There are SO many safer options on the market and this makes my job as a mom SO much easier! Not only am I not wasting time perusing the aisles at Target wondering if I chose the "right" brand, I know that the product I have chosen for my guy is safe.  My personal favorite is Beautycounter's Protect All Over in a tube and in a stick. We are now stocked up and for those of you who have tried to put sunscreen on a squirming baby or NEED this stick. (FYI, babies 6 months and under don't need sunscreen...cover them with clothing and hats and keep them in the shade!) I keep one in my purse, my son's bag, my work bag, and our stroller. They're so easy to apply and don't leave those white streaky clouds on the skin! Everyone wins. 


Click here to learn/shop


In the spirit of full disclosure, this is an affiliate link, which means that I may get a commission if you decide to purchase anything from Beautycounter. However, I only recommend products & systems that I use and love myself. 

Blocked Tubes?

Quite a few women have inquired recently if Mercier Therapy is beneficial for blocked tubes so thought I would post since more women must be wondering as well. The short answer is Yes. Fallopian tubes can become blocked by adhesions/scar tissue that forms when the body heals from a previous surgery, infection, inflammation, or trauma. Adhesions and scar tissue are very binding and can prevent the fallopian tubes from functioning properly. Mercier Therapy can help reduce and sometimes eliminate these adhesions allowing the tubes to open and natural fertility to return. 

For more questions, schedule your 15 minute complimentary consultation at 323. 863. 5154. We look forward to supporting you to get pregnant naturally!

Chamomile & Lavender Gummies


As a mom of a toddler, I sometimes have to get a little creative with snacks. He eats well, I cannot complain, but  it's nice to have special treats he gets excited about that also have health benefits! We follow a predominantly 'Paleo' diet meaning we don't eat much processed food, sugar, soy, or grains and our toddler eats exactly what we eat. I absolutely credit his expansive palate and willingness to eat most foods, to our eating habits in addition to our pantry being pretty clean. 

Anyway, my guy helped "cook", pour, and pop the gummies out of the silicon molds. This is also such a fun activity with a toddler who is interested in counting and helping. {Such a fantastic way to give toddlers/kids meaningful context in terms of numbers/counting instead of rote memorization! But, that's another post for another day...} We make our gummies with grass-fed collagen from Vital Proteins. We also use these star and cube silicon molds. 


There are so many amazing health benefits to eating gelatin some of which include improvements in skin/connective tissue, digestive, and mental health. I highly recommend women who are trying to conceive and women who are pregnant, and postpartum to incorporate gelatin or collagen into their diets. I'm only listing my personal top 2 benefits. There are many!

1. Joint Health - Research shows athletes who took a hydrolyzed collagen supplement experienced less pain in their joints. 

2. Improved Sleep Quality - Glycine is an amino acid found in gelatin. One study found that 3g of glycine before bed helped produce both subjective and objective improvement in sleep quality. In addition, glycine is an inhibitory neurotransmitter and can decrease general anxiety and promote sense of calm. Who doesn't want to improve sleep quality and mental relaxation? 

Chamomile and lavender gummies

Yields 25 {star} gummies 

1 cup of {filtered water} - 6 tbsp Vital Proteins beef gelatin

2 tea bags Traditional Medicinals Chamomile & Lavender tea

1/2 cup raw honey


Prepare the gummies by boiling the water in a saucepan, steep 2 bags of tea for 5 minutes covered. Remove tea bags and let water come to room temperature. Add the gelatin, stir until combined, will look a bit chunky. Set aside for 3 minutes to allow gelatin to bloom. Stir in honey and turn heat on low, stir until mixture is completely smooth. 

Remove from heat, pour into a pyrex or any container with a spout. Pour into any silicon mold. Chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes or until firm. Store your gummies in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks! 


What People with Infertility Want You to Know

If you have never experienced the emotional roller coaster of infertility, it can be easy to say something insensitive to someone who is struggling to get pregnant. And, while you may come from a good place and you are not intentionally saying something judgmental or hurtful, it doesn't mean we shouldn't learn how to react or have a conversation regarding fertility. 1 in 6 U.S. couples face difficulties conceiving so, it's quite likely you know someone that doesn't have kids but would like to, whether or not they choose to disclose that information.

 "I bet you would be able to get pregnant if you could relax"

Telling someone to relax and 'let it happen' is, for lack of a better word, ridiculous. The mind-body connection is not to be disregarded but you cannot assume the reasons behind one's infertility nor can you assume what treatment options they may have already tried.

"Kids are such hard work, you're better off"

It may sound logical and comforting to a parent with little ones that a friend without kids does not have to deal with sleepless nights, cluster feeding, and toddler tantrums. However, this is an incredibly insensitive and hurtful statement. Those who are having fertility challenges are acutely aware of the parenting struggles that come with having kids and would happily deal with lack of sleep for a chance to get pregnant and have a baby.

Secondary infertility is real and also emotionally painful

Secondary infertility is when a couple has one child who was naturally conceived, is unable to get pregnant again. Couples with secondary infertility are generally told to 'be happy with what they have' and 'you should be happy, you have one healthy baby'. Secondary infertility should be treated with as much respect care as infertility.

Addressing Pelvic Pain and Infertility with Dr. Jennifer Mercier

Do any of you listen to podcasts? I've recently started listening to them while in the car and find it's a great way to learn new and exciting things I wouldn't otherwise have the time for.  There are literally thousands of great ones ranging from motherhood to business to health. I especially like Bridgit Danner's podcast because she focuses on women's health - fertility, pregnancy, and lifestyle. One of her recent interviews was with Dr. Jennifer Mercier, the developer of the Mercier Therapy technique and it's an informative one, folks. If you're thinking about pregnancy, preparing for pregnancy, or trying to get pregnant, take a listen!! If you know anyone that might be interested, please share! 

These Shoes are Made for Walking...

Shoes are cute. They also protect little feet against gross sidewalks and potential hazards of living. However, shoes affect gait. They can also affect an infant's development if introduced too early. In walking toddlers, shoes alter ground reactive forces, limit some ranges of motion which can create compensation patterns. Shoes cause an increase in stride length and PERCEIVED stability which increase the stress and strain on the ankles, knees, and hips. Shoes also restrain the normal foot and ankle ranges of motion which decreases overall proprioception. This means there is less talking between the brain and the body about where it is and what it's doing. The first two years of a kiddo's life are extremely influential and an important foundation for the remainder of development. 

Mercier Therapy Helps Infertile Women Achieve Pregnancy


Dr. Brook is a certified Mercier Therapy Practitioner and is thrilled to be supporting women and their partners to conceive.  Studies show Mercier Therapy is beneficial in helping couples achieve pregnancy. An on-going 4 year medical study was performed and demonstrates an 83% pregnancy success rate within one year of completing the Shared Journey Fertility Program. The study was completed in 2012 and was published in Midwifery Today, Spring 2013.