Women We’re Watching: Aimee Raupp of Yes You Can Get Pregnant
Aimee Raupp is an acupuncturist, herbalist, fertility expert and bestselling author of Yes You Can Get Pregnant: How to Improve Your Fertility Now & Into Your 40s. When she decided being a neurosurgeon wasn’t her thing, she stepped into the world of Traditional Chinese Medicine and never looked back. Aimee’s mission to help women optimize their health, success supporting women along the fertility process, and passion for improving the way we communicate with ourselves makes her a woman we’re watching.
How did you initially dive into the world of acupuncture, herbalism and wellness? Was this always your dream?
It was always my dream to be in the field of medicine. I always had that on my radar. Growing up, I worked at the health food store in town and I loved sciences in high school. I went to college and studied biology and chemistry so I’m a bit of a science nerd. But I didn’t even get a glimpse of Chinese Medicine on a serious note until I was in graduate school.
I was trying to get into medical school, working as a research scientist, and the mentor I was working with was really fascinated with Chinese Medicine. He pushed me, and that’s where it really started. He would say, “You have so much compassion—you should really be one-on-one with people.” At the time, I was on a path to be a neurosurgeon, and would get frustrated with my teammates because they’d compartmentalize health. I would be more interested with the person’s diet and lifestyle; like you can’t treat Alzheimer’s in a petri dish.
It was one of those Universal things, and it kind of fell in my lap from there. One of the guys in the research lab—a neuropharmacologist who taught herbal medicine at the acupuncture school—suggested I go and check out some classes. I was very ego-driven at that point, and he was trying to convince me how serious the program was. So I started getting acupuncture and took a leap of faith. I enrolled in the program… and never looked book.
You focus on reawakening wellness rather than curing illness. Can you explain what you mean by that or give an example from your own life?
We can become so illness-focused; when we have an illness, it becomes our identity and way of life and it defines us. If only we just looked on the other side of the coin and focused on wellness; we grow what we focus on. That came to me six or seven years ago, when I heard an Abraham Hicks lecture saying you have to stop being illness focused; you have to be wellness focused. It was an a-hah for me.
My job is to hold space for the wellness and shift the thinking. Even in my own life, if things aren’t working the way I want them to, I try to focus on the things that are working. [I try to be] solution focused instead of problem focused.
A lot of your work has been through the teachings of Traditional Chinese Medicine. What would you tell someone who may still be skeptical of Eastern Medicine? What frustrates you most about the current Western medicine system?
I would tell someone who is skeptical to look at the amount of time [Traditional Chinese Medicine has] been around. It’s been around for thousands of years and it does seem to work! From a research science perspective, it’s hard to quantify the results, but if you look at the subjective and the people who experience acupuncture and TCM, you can’t argue that it’s helping. You can also look at the basics: We’re sticking needles in the body, it’s causing a response and the response is basically to get the body back to homeostasis.
My frustration with the current Western model is that doctors have seven minutes to spend with patients, so they’re missing a lot of things. That’s not their fault, but that’s how the system is. I truly respect Western Medicine, I just have an issue with how the doctors are forced to practice.
Your bestselling book, Yes You Can Get Pregnant, gives hope to women—even in their 40s—to get pregnant naturally. What is one of the biggest misconceptions women have about the fertility process?
It’s that after the age of 35, you basically fall off the fertility cliff and all your eggs are going to be bad. I think that’s a huge misconception. Women will think after 35, they’re screwed and will have to do IVF. That’s fine and there’s nothing wrong with that if you need it, but what many don’t realize is there’s so much they can do to optimize their health and fertility.
What would you tell someone who has been trying to conceive for a while now, who may be feeling discouraged?
Step back and look at the overall health picture. How is your health in general? Not so much fertility but your overall health—nutritional, physical and emotional. It takes a lot of the pressure off that way. You can’t really track your fertility, so why don’t we track our overall health instead?
I’ll often call my patients out, like, “You don’t eat enough protein. Your blood sugar is dropping and it’s impacting your health and your hormones. So before you go to a fertility specialist, let’s make these changes and really start to commit.” You can’t just show up to your acupuncture appointment and that’s it.
Your latest book, Body Belief, is on treating autoimmunity. What inspired you to cover that topic and what can someone expect from reading your book?
I went into the autoimmune conversation because I noticed that the majority of fertility challenges, especially the unexplained ones, are because of a misdiagnosed or underlying autoimmune condition. Autoimmunity is affecting women 75 percent more than men and there’s a 40 percent increase in autoimmune over the last 30 years, especially women in their prime (20s, 30s and 40s). These are the exact women I’m seeing trying to conceive.
It’s all rooted in the same thing—environmental toxins, diet and products but also stress and the toxins in our mind. In Body Belief, people can expect a game plan on shifting the entire landscape of their health, how they view it and most importantly, how they communicate with themselves. We’re really tough on ourselves, especially women, so when we begin to shift that conversation, we create change.
With a private practice, digital coaching programs and a little one at home, how do you create time for your own wellness?
I schedule it in. I try to start my mornings off with meditation and movement; I just make it a priority. If I exercise three, four, five days a week, that’s great but meditation, breathing and journaling I try to do daily.
I see my nutrition and food as a main part of wellness. It’s a lot of what I talk about in Body Belief—staying in check with the conversation I have with myself or realizing it’s okay to be five minutes late for something. I’ve softened and it’s allowed me to slow down. And only saying yes to the things that I really want to do! I get acupuncture, I mediate, I have a coach and I do all the things I do to keep Aimee flowing.
What’s one small change someone can make now to start taking charge of their health?
Eat within the first hour of waking up, ideally some sort of protein, and set an intention for every day. How do you want to feel each day? You don’t need to make it a mission because that can seem stressful. But ask yourself how you want to feel, and try to bring that intention in with most of what you do.
Want to learn more about Aimee’s work? See how our writer fared when she tried Aimee’s autoimmune protocol to treat her Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.