How Can Reflexology Help with Infertility?
Research has shown that stress can have a huge affect on the reproductive hormones contributing to infertility, and as reflexology is a deeply relaxing, holistic experience it will leave you feeling rejuvenated and de-stressed, helping your body to work more harmoniously.
The relationship between stress and infertility
Is reflexology the new cure for infertility?
Reflexology: can it aid fertility?
Reflexology support for fertility
I have had some great results for my clients, and most of my work comes via referrals and recommendations. Please see below a small cross-section of some of my clients I have had the privilege to help.
My client initially came to me to help prepare for IVF...4 treatments later my client conceived naturally (15 weeks at the time of posting)!💜
After difficulty conceiving and recurring miscarriage, my client was finally diagnosed with Natural Killer Cells (NK cells) as a possible reason for her miscarriages.
Taking onboard everything I recommended, by following an anti-inflammatory diet, taking the right supplements, along with weekly treatments, 4 treatments later my client conceived naturally, therefore not needing IVF.
15 weeks at the time of posting, I’m VERY pleased to say baby is growing perfectly, with a strong fast heartbeat!💗
My client was struggling to conceive due to still breastfeeding her 2 year old at night, as a consequence she wasn't ovulating. I'm pleased to say my client is now 15 weeks pregnant at the time of posting💜
My client had been struggling to conceive for 18 months, primarily due to stress (20 weeks pregnant at the time of posting)💜
My client was 21 weeks at the time of posting💜.
Treatments with Gaynor are as relaxing as they are effective. I first started seeing Gaynor to help with my sinus trouble which improved significantly and then when we were planning our first baby. She was a valuable source of advice and relaxation and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend her to anyone looking for a reflexologist.
My client has PCOS, which can be problematic in terms of pinpointing ovulation, it can be anovulation (no ovulation), or sporadic💜.
I have PCOS and while I conceived my first child without difficulty when we started trying for our second I discovered I wasn’t ovulating. After seeing the GP and Consultant I was prescribed clomid and luckily we conceived on our second cycle of 50mg and I am now 16 weeks pregnant. I started seeing Gaynor a couple of months before I started taking clomid. I was very anxious about everything and had read good things about reflexology. Gaynor was wonderful and really helped put my mind at ease. She is extremely knowledgeable and has lots of experience working with women in similar situations to mine. The sessions were very relaxing and she always had lots of useful tips for me to try. She kept in regular contact outside of our sessions which I found a big source of support. I honestly couldn’t recommend Gaynor highly enough.
Reflexology Treatment for Sub-Fertility in Men and Women
Following medical investigations, you may be considering Assisted Fertility Treatments (AFT) including IVF, ICSI, GIFT, IUI and ZIFT.
Reflexology will help to ensure that you are in optimum condition, both physically and emotionally, leading up to and throughout these procedures, helping you to feel calm and relaxed, easing the anxiety you may be feeling at this time.
Some Hormonal Factors affecting Fertility include:
• Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
• Irregular Periods
• Amenorrhoea (absence of periods – sometimes caused by long term contraceptive pill use)
• Sporadic Ovulation
• Anovulation (not ovulating)
• Low Sperm Count, Motility, Morphology, DNA Fragmentation.
• Erectile Dysfunction
• Premature Ejaculation
•Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STI’s)
Soya 'link' to male infertility
For more information on the Major Causes of Infertility click here.
Health habits that can attribute to Sub-Fertility or Infertility
Modern life with our busy schedules may result in patterns of behaviour that can have an impact on our health and also our fertility. These include:
• Erratic eating patterns
• Poor diet and ‘convenience’ foods
• High alcohol consumption
• Too much or not enough exercise
• Long working hours
• Not getting a proper nights sleep
All of the above can affect sperm and egg quality.
Huge physical and emotional changes have taken place over the space of 9 months, and in the days following delivery a change in hormone levels may make you feel overwhelmed, taking a bit of time for your body to return to a more balanced state.
Reflexology is a wonderful treatment for new mums giving you that much needed time for yourself, as well as helping with other conditions associated with this postnatal period such as the "baby blues" and postnatal depression, reflexology will help to increase relaxation, de-stress you, improve your sleep, overall mood and wellbeing.
Following a consultation and an initial full treatment to see if there are any obvious imbalances, a treatment for preconception care would follow.
My aim is to give your body the best possible chance for conception with a holistic, preconception tailored treatment for you and your partner (if necessary), helping to bring about calm and balance to your body and mind, at what can often be a very stressful time affecting the emotional, hormonal and physiological balance of your body.
Preconception care would include working reflexes to relax and de-stress you, enabling the Circulatory and Nervous system to balance and then focusing on balancing the Endocrine and Reproductive system, incorporating certain nerve and meridian points.
We simply work through the different stages of your cycle (menstrual, follicular, ovulation and luteal), to ensure each phase is doing what it should be doing, and address any hormonal conditions along the way, such as PCOS, endometriosis, fibroids, anovulation (no ovulation), amenorrhea (no periods). We also address nutrition, supplementation, and ensure you've undergone the right fertility tests appropriate to you and your partner, so no stone is left unturned.
Not only will you be able to feel significant changes, clients report no PMT, feeling more relaxed, energised, reduced pain (endometriosis and periods), no clotting, sleeping better, no sugar cravings, but you'll also be able to see measured changes through charting your cycle (which I'll go into more detail during your consultation). And in some instances through fertility blood tests, for example progesterone blood tests to confirm whether or not you are ovulating, by comparing before and after post reflexology treatments.
Overall, these are all positive signs your body is doing everything it can to achieve conception, and I often hear clients say they feel empowered because they are proactively doing something to help their fertility. For more information please click here @18.
ASSISTED FERTILITY - CLOMID, IUI, IVF, or ICSI
If possible, I highly recommend you come to see me a minimum of one to two months before undergoing your medicated cycle (or natural transfer), the ideal would be 3 months as it takes 90 days for your eggs to mature ready for ovulation. This gives us the opportunity to address your nutrition, supplementation, and regulate your cycle to ensure your body is doing everything it should be doing (within reason) 'to optimise egg health', and reduce inflammation, in order to increase your chances of a positive outcome. But don't worry if you think you've left it too late to start treatments, there's still a lot we can do to help you.
Crucially, treatments would then continue throughout your medicated cycle (or natural cycle if having natural frozen embryo transfer (FET)), and post transfer, working in line with your specific protocol given to you by the fertility clinic.
This certainly wont be the case for everyone, but I have on occasion had clients conceive naturally during this period of preconception care (unexplained infertility), therefore not needing to go ahead with IVF.
When couples start off on their fertility journey the emphasis is often focused on the women’s fertility, when equal emphasis should be put on both partners. Male fertility is often overlooked, but could be the vital key to why couples aren't getting pregnant, or are experiencing recurring miscarriage, or failed IVF or ICSI cycles.
In the first instance it’s vital that all men undergo a semen analysis test via a referral from their GP. If it comes back with any abnormalities, some life style changes could help to improve sperm quality. However, I’d always recommend you have a followup test, as men can unknowingly be under stress on the day of giving a sample, and this can certainly have a big impact on the results (so don’t worry statistically second samples are often better).
In the same way we can help women to improve egg quality through reflexology, nutrition and supplementation, exactly the same approach can be applied to men with poor sperm quality. A course of reflexology treatments over a period of 3 months, before undergoing another semen analysis test is highly recommended, as it takes 3 months for sperm to fully mature in order to fertilise an egg. We’ll also address nutrition and supplementation to encourage the development of healthy sperm.
However, we can not rule out that DNA could also be playing a part too, therefore for men with male factor infertility, or unexplained infertility, you may want to take it one step further to rule out any DNA damage to sperm, especially if your partner has experienced recurring miscarriage or failed IVF and ICSI. @61 offer state-of-the-art testing in DNA fragmentation, priced around £300, and can be taken at fertility clinics close to you. Why leave your fertility to chance?
“So even if your sperm counts are normal you may have too much DNA damage in your sperm. This means that just because a man has a normal semen analysis, he still may not be able to get his partner pregnant”. For more information about DNA fragmentation testing and how it could benefit you, click here @61
The sole purpose of couples undergoing proper investigations, is to reduce risk of miscarriage, thereby increasing your chances of carrying a healthy baby to term, and for some, avoiding paying out thousands of pounds for IVF or ICSI, if you don’t actually need it.
You don’t need to be trying for a baby to have reproductive reflexology, the same protocols are applied to bring about balance to you and your cycle (if relevant), and help with any existing conditions. So whether you’re experiencing signs of perimenapause, in full blown menapause, or a young women experiencing PMS, or heavy painful periods (all signs your hormones are out of whack!), whatever age you are, whatever hormonal imbalances you have, I’ll work closely with you to help bring about balance to you and your body,
How Many Treatments Will I Need?
This is all dependant on the individual, for women it's recommended that we start with 4-5 weekly treatments, depending on the length of your cycle to help regulate your period, while helping with any underlying conditions you may have such as endometriosis, uterine fibroids or PCOS, then we review. From here it may be bi-weekly, or monthly.
For men again it's dependant on their circumstances, and what underlining conditions they have, but regular reflexology treatments can help to promote circulation to the testes, helping to improve sperm quality and sexual health.
Regular Fertility Reflexology treatments, combined with some lifestyle changes can help to give you the best possible chance of a successful outcome.
I recommend CYTOPLAN as a worldwide supplier of the highest quality preconception supplements. Cytoplan sell nutrients in the same form as those in food – wholefood and food state which are the most bioeffective available.
Interesting article on the importance of detoxification before conceiving, and the benefits of supplementation on the fertility journey.
Maternity Reflexology for Pregnancy and Labour
Pregnancy can be an emotional roller coaster taking it's toll on your body, reflexology can support you throughout your pregnancy helping to relax and calm you by relieving you of stress and anxiety, and may help to increase energy levels, alleviate backache, nausea, reduce swelling of ankles and feet and improve sleep. As one of Cheshire's most experienced mobile maternity reflexologists, I have treated numerous pregnant women across Cheshire, and most of my work comes via referrals.
If possible having a treatment once a month throughout your pregnancy until 36 weeks, would be wonderful for mums-to-be, preparing your body mentally and physically for what lies ahead, then progress to weekly treatments until delivery.
Studies have shown that mums-to-be who have had reflexology treatments prior to giving birth have significantly reduced pain during labour, and reduced the length of the first stage of labour (Valiani M et al – 2010 “Reviewing the effect of Reflexology on pain and outcomes of the labour of primiparous women” Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research. 15(Dec) p302-310). An earlier research study showed that first time mums who received 10 reflexology treatments prior to birth had average labour times of 5 to 6 hours. It was noted that the group treated with reflexology needed far less pain relief during labour too. (G. Motha and J. McGrath – 1992 “The effects of reflexology on labour outcome”).
Supplements For Pregnancy
To buy high quality supplements for pregnancy, as used and recommended by practitioners please click the link CYTOPLAN were they'll be happy to give you advice on the best supplements for you.
Or call: 01684 310099
Encouraging Natural Labour
The days leading up to delivery can be quite a stressful time for mums-to-be, feeling apprehensive in anticipation of what lies ahead. If the date for the arrival of the baby runs past the due date it can add to the stress and apprehension of the now tired and uncomfortable mum, reflexology will help to calm and relax you, and a vigorous treatment to stimulate the endocrine system may help to bring on labour.
You may have had reflexology throughout your pregnancy helping to prepare you mentally and physically for what is to come, others might have reflexology when they are in the final stages of pregnancy or past their official due date, having 1-2 hour sessions until they feel contractions coming on. How ever you decide when to begin reflexology, it's important to note that the baby will only arrive when it is good and ready.
Reflexology is a natural, non-invasive, safe treatment, however it is always advisable that you consult your midwife before undertaking reflexology.