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Reflexology for Pregnancy and Fertility Issues

 

Reflexology is a particularly helpful complementary therapy during pregnancy, which may relieve common

ailments including raised blood pressure, nausea, insomnia, leg cramps, backache, and swollen ankles.

It may improve the mother's overall health and help the body adjust to change. 

During trials, reflexology has also been associated with reduced time spent in labour.

In the post natal period Reflexology treatments may promote successful breast feeding, and help the body return to normal.

Private London obstetrician Dr. G Motha advocates the use of Reflexology alongside conventional medical care.

Further information can be found on the following Web site: http://www.jeyarani.com .

 

When there are fertility problems Reflexology is a popular treatment  taken to maximise the chances of conception, 

which can proceed alongside medical investigation. 

Recent years have seen a number of my clients, who had previously tried for over a year to become

pregnant, successfully using Reflexology as part of their strategy to conceive.

The objective of Reflexology is to improve energy flow to reproductive organs, and balance hormone levels.

At the same time tension and stress within the body should decrease, improving overall health.

The likelihood of conceiving naturally is therefore increased.

If you are awaiting In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) treatment, a course of Reflexology beforehand is an ideal preparation.

However, during the actual IVF procedure you may be advised not to continue with other treatments.

If you have fertility concerns caused by Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) you may benefit from

Reflexology in addition to appropriate medical treatment.

 

My Published Work

 

 The following article was published in Winter (2004/2005) Edition of the National Childbirth

Trust Magazine - North East Hampshire Branch.

 

Infertility Treatments

 

 

The problem may be on the male or female side, or sometimes a combination of both. Common female

infertility causes include irregular ovulation (often caused by polycistic[1] ovary syndrome), which may

be treated with drugs. Viral or bacterial infection could be the cause of failure to conceive, as could

blockage in the fallopian tubes, which can sometimes be corrected by surgery. Males sometimes suffer from

a low sperm count, which may be corrected with medication or more simple measures such as avoidance

of alcohol and smoking, and over tight clothing. Blockage of the sperm carrying tubes may be overcome by

surgical procedures.

 

When one or more of the above conditions are identified, but treatment proves un-successful, IVF may be an

eventual option. However, if no physical reason for infertility is established it could be that emotional

stress is causing a problem. Psychological factors can stop ovulation, or cause spasms in the fallopian tubes,

which inhibit the passage of the egg to the uterus. Stress is becoming more prevalent in the fast pace of modern

life and consequently believed to be an increasing cause of infertility.

 

One answer to overcoming stress is to take a form of complementary therapy which recognises the close

relationship between mind and body and works to induce relaxation and improve energy flow, thereby

activating the body's self healing ability. Complementary therapies can of course also be used in conjunction

with conventional medical infertility treatment to improve overall health.

 

There are several therapies that claim to help with infertility, but two of the most credible and widely used

are Acupuncture and Reflexology. Both have Eastern origins and work in similar ways to regulate body

energy  (Chi) flow. In Acupuncture fine needles are inserted into specific points along the meridian (energy)

lines, identified in traditional Chinese medicine, and treatment has been found helpful in regulating the

menstrual cycle where infertility is due to hormonal disorders. A study[2] comparing Auricular Acupuncture

with hormone treatment for infertility resulted in similar pregnancy rates in both groups, and concludes

that acupuncture ‘seems to offer a valuable alternative therapy for female infertility, due to hormonal disorders'.

 

Reflexology works on the principle that all the body organs and structures have a related reflex point on the

feet and hands and precise massage to these points will work via the nervous system to stimulate the

corresponding area of the body and restore balance and energy flow. Additionally, most people find that

Reflexology induces deep relaxation.  Devon Reflexologist Jane Holt has specialised in stress related

infertility cases and as a result of her work ongoing research to determine the effectiveness of Reflexology in

ovulation induction is currently being undertaken[3]. A national woman's' magazine recently featured a Yorkshire

Reflexologist who specialises in infertility problems and claims to have helped as many as 35 women, some of

whom had previously been trying to conceive for several years without success[4].

 

If you are affected by infertility problems do seek medical advice to determine what treatments may be available

and if you decide to take the complementary therapy route it is advisable to ensure that your therapist is fully

qualified and a member of a professional association. For acupuncture practitioners contact the

British Acupuncture Council,  www.acupuncture.org.uk , or

The British Medical Acupuncture Society,  www.medical-acupuncture.co.uk  .

For Reflexology contact ‘The Association of Reflexologists', www.aor.org.uk .

 

  


[1]  A condition where too much male hormone is present, causing cysts to grow on the ovaries.

[2] Gerhard, I & Postneek, F. Auricular acupuncture in the treatment of female infertility Gynecological Endocrinology1992 Vol 6 p171-181.

[3] Research trial at Derriford Hospital, Plymouth, and University of Exeter, to recruit 104 women over a 3 to 4 year period. Pregnancies to date equals 30. See: http://www.bbc.co.uk/devon/community_life/features/ivf_reflexology.shtml

[4] ‘Womans' Own' - 4th October 2004.