Fertility and IVF Support
Being unable to conceive when one feels ready can be an emotionally exhausting and traumatic time. It triggers a huge range of emotions ranging from grief and anger, through to frustration and anxiety...to name but a few. Everywhere one looks, other women are falling pregnant easily. Babies seem to be everywhere. This can also create feelings of inadequacy and despair.
However, these are the very emotions one wants to avoid as they cause untold stress in the body. Stress which prevents the body from functioning as it should. The first important step is to begin giving your body exactly what it needs to reduce these feelings of 'fight or flight', which circumvent the body's natural functions.
Make sure you get enough sleep, exercise, water and fresh food and do whatever you can to lower your stress. Reflexology factors in the equation as one of the best modalities to produce the relaxation response, allowing the body to transition from that chronic state of 'fight or flight' to a relaxed 'vessel' that can successfully carry a baby for 9 months.
Reflexology can boost fertility by working these reflex points:
- Pituitary – this is the master gland of the entire endocrine system
- Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) is produced in response to stress, which stimulates the adrenals to secrete cortisol. Glucocorticoids inhibit ACTH.
- Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) stimulates production of thyroid hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). Inhibited by T3 & T4.
- Growth hormone (GH) is important for all tissues of the body. Stimulated by GHRH, inhibited by somatostatin.
- FSH and LH are stimluated by GnHR; inhibited by sex steroids (sex hormones).
- Prolactin stimulates milk production.
- Adrenals – Sex steroids, androgens DHEA (the precursor to estrogen), testosterone, androstenedione and some estrogen/progesterone. These supplement sex hormones secreted by the gonads (testis and ovaries).
- Hypothalamus – This gland is the primary link between the nervous system and the endocrine system. Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) stimulates the secretion of both follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and lutenizing hormone (LH).
- Thyroid – thyroid issues can impact fertility. The thyroid is also responsible for proper growth, development and repair of the body. It is extremely important for the development of the central nervous system. The metabolism of every single cell in our body is dependent on thyroid hormones.
- Thymus - The thymus may play a role in immune related fertility issues.
- Solar plexus – can reduce panic, stress and anxiety
- Reproductive organs – Ovaries - the two main sex steroids produced by the ovaries are oestrogen and progesterone. One of the main actions of progesterone is to help support a developing embryo. If pregnancy occurs, the production of progesterone from the corpus luteum continues for about 7 weeks
Fallopian tubes / Vas Deferens: stimulate the points to release any blockage that may exist.Uterus / Prostate gland – to increase the blood circulation and promote normal functioning.
Trapped emotions also need to be addressed. I have found there can be suppressed emotions of guilt from failed pregnancies, miscarriages or even suppressed childhood traumas, which need to be addressed, so the body is in a receptive and relaxed state to proceed with whatever healing it requires. HeartSpeak is a simple yet effective emotional healing tool that I utilise to help with this process.
Reflexology can be used throughout IVF to help relax and reduce anxiety, (except for the period when injections are given as it tends to balance hormones). If women are planning to undergo IVF, it is a good idea to start with regular Reflexology treatments 3-4 months before the program starts. At the time when a woman is receiving the hormone treatment, emotions can be at an all time high, and after the 10 days of injections, it can be a good time to treat yourself to a Reflexology hormone balance.
For best results it is recommended to attend at least 4-6 weekly treatments which can then be reduced to forthnightly once hormonal balance is achieved.
For more information, here is a wonderful article from Nicola Gregory, a Reflexologist in the UK, which explains beautifully how Reflexology can support women through sub-fertility and IVF:http://www.findingflow.co.uk/sub-fertility-1.html
A recent article from The Daily Mail Australia ~ Is Reflexology the new cure for Infertility?