Reflexology for Fertility

Reflexology for fertility

My work as a reflexologist has meant that I have treated many women with fertility issues over the years. I have seen how powerful the use of reflexology can be in aiding conception.

Maybe there is a particular fertility issue, or maybe pregnancy is just taking a little longer than expected. In all cases, I believe that reflexology plays an important role in re-balancing both the body and the mind to make way for the best chances of success. Practicing some "Self-Care", taking some time out to relax and take a much needed moment to try to address the anxiety created by the situation is often all that is needed.

There is now some evidence to suggest that elevated stress levels may affect fertility. Cortisol (a stress hormone) can cause the release of an inhibiting hormone that reduces the production of follicle stimulating hormone and luteinising hormone. Both of these are crucial to the release of an egg from the ovary and the implantation of the fertilised egg into the lining of the womb.

Can you have reflexology while having medical treatment?

There is no evidence to suggest that reflexology treatments are detrimental when also receiving medical assistance for conception. If reflexology helps to regulate stress levels during this time then the whole process will feel easier.

The Benefits of Reflexology

Since becoming a qualified reflexologist, I have undertaken additional training for Maternity Reflexology and have had the pleasure of working with many women throughout their pregnancies and sometimes even labour.

Reflexology during pregnancy can help prepare you physically and emotionally for the arrival of your baby. It may ease particular pregnancy related complaints such as morning sickness, backache, fatigue, fluid retention and difficulty sleeping, as well as to promote general well being.

A note about induction - Reflexology supports the natural processes of pregnancy and birth, it is gentle and supportive, and is most unlikely to force your body into an early induction, or a birth that you or your baby are not yet ready for. I prefer to approach the situation differently: if you are feeling stressed, fearful or anxious, you are probably in a "fight or flight" state, where the last thing your body will want to do is to give birth. Gentle, relaxing, stress-busting reflexology treatments are more likely to relax the nervous system, and encourage the release of oxytocin, which is sometimes all that is required for the birthing process to start spontaneously.

There are two recent studies that have shown that reflexology in pregnancy significantly reduced pain during labour *, reduced the length of first stage labour*, and improved the quality of sleep in post-natal women**.

First Trimester

This is the period during which your body sees huge changes in hormone levels, coupled with excitement and maybe some anxieties, you may be feeling weepy and exhusted, reflexology at this point may help de-stress, aid relaxation and offer support.

Second and Third Trimester

While it is not a cure, Reflexology can be particularly helpful in managing many health conditions, especially constant or recurring ones that we might have come to accept over time as being a normal part of life.

Post maternity reflexology may help ease anxiety and give you a well earned hour in which to relax. It may also ease pain and discomfort and aid recovery after surgery.

Baby reflexology

Baby reflexology is a special kind of reflexology desiged specifically for babies and infants. It is a fantastic way of strengthening the bond between parent and child, and can easily be built into your baby's daily routine. I teach parents to gently work specific points on their own baby's feet to help baby to be calmer and more relaxed, thus aiding better sleep. There are also certain areas of the feet that can be worked to help improve the pain and discomfort associated with teething, tummy ache and colic.

Baby reflexology can be taught is a small group, (maximum 5 babies), so a great excuse to get your mummy friends together. The charge for this service is £15 per baby. Special individual tuition can be discussed if a group session is not possible.

© Louise Dodd

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