Reproductive Health, Fertility & Maternity
Reproductive Health Reflexology
If you find that you have irregular periods, have been diagnosed with Endometriosis or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or that your periods haven’t returned since you stopped taking the contraceptive pill then reflexology seems to have a very positive effect on balancing hormones and may therefore help ease some of your symptoms. Some of the feedback from those attending regular treatment sessions has been:
• a regulation or return of their menstrual cycle
• less bloating, irritability and other PMS symptoms
• less discomfort for those with dysmenorrhoea
• a more condensed menstrual flow
If you are going through fertility investigations or are about to embark upon an Assisted Conception programme such as IVF you may feel as if you are on an emotional roller coaster, but reflexology will support you throughout your fertility journey and can help you to stay calm and positive through each stage of your treatment. During these sessions I work with fertility clinic protocols and treat accordingly.
Whilst fertility reflexology can never claim to cure any particular condition, complementary therapy can provide help and support to enhance fertility:
• On a physical level it can tackle medical conditions that may be present.
• Psychologically it can help address the complex mental and emotional facts which may be affecting fertility. It is an excellent way of reducing stress and by encouraging the body to work in a more harmonious way, it can create a healthier environment for possible pregnancy to occur.
Fertility Reflexology encourages the body to function efficiently, enhancing your own natural fertility.
Reproductive or Fertility reflexology can be used as a stand-alone treatment to enhance natural fertility or alongside conventional treatments.
The initial consultation will involve discussing all aspects of health, from diet through to lifestyle choices, in order to advise my client on how best to prepare their body for conceiving a child.
I would prefer to see both partners if possible, but this is not essential.
Maternity Reflexology is an area of reflexology aimed specifically at women during pregnancy, labour and the post-natal periods.
For most women finding out they are pregnant is a time of joy and celebration but there are also times throughout the pregnancy when women may need some additional support - reflexology is one option for improving wellbeing.
Clients may choose to have maternity reflexology as a way of relaxing and unwinding in a secure space before their baby arrives. Some clients may feel anxious, emotional or worried and a benefit of receiving reflexology during pregnancy is that it allows time away from often busy lives and provides a time and space where you can focus purely on yourself and your growing baby.
Research has shown that regular reflexology treatments during pregnancy can:
• Significantly reduce pain during labour (1, 2) and reduce the length of the first stage of labour (1).
• Improve the quality of sleep in post-natal women (3)
• Significantly reduce the second stage of labour by 44.3 minutes (4).
• Reduce pain and stress levels for women with low back pain or pelvic girdle pain (5)
• Have a positive effect in lowering the total anxiety scores of women in labour (6)
• Increase breast milk volume among mothers who have given birth (7)
There is also plenty of anecdotal evidence of women benefitting from having reflexology during their pregnancy and their post-natal period. Maternity conditions that may respond well to reflexology are: nausea, morning sickness, hyperemesis gravidarum, constipation, fatigue, heartburn and acid reflux, emotional disturbances and mood swings, insomnia, fluid retention, back pain, anxiety, sciatica, pelvic girdle pain (PGP), symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD), carpal tunnel syndrome, insomnia and sleep problems, shorter and natural onset of labour and pain relief.
Please Note: Reflexology is a totally safe and complementary treatment but it does not replace medical treatment. If you are in any doubt at all, please consult with your GP prior to treatment
(1) 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
(2) Iran Red Crescent Med J 2011; 13(7):475-479 ©Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal
(3) Lic Y C et al (2011) Randomised controlled trial of the effectiveness of using foot reflexology to improve quality of sleep amongst postpartum women. Midwifery. 27. p181-186
(6) The Effect of Foot Reflexology on the Anxiety Levels of Women in Labour. Yılar Erkek Z, Aktas S. J Altern Complement Med. 2018 Apr;24(4):352-360
(7) September-October 2018 issue of the Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research, 23(5), 371-375.