What is Reflexology for Conception?
Reflexology is a relaxing treatment which involves a combination of soothing massage movements and specifically targeted firm pressure on the soles, top and sides of the feet.
Reflexology for conception is an adapted and targeted version of reflexology which may help individuals prepare both physically and emotionally if they are considering becoming pregnant.
Who can Reflexology for Conception help?
Reflexology for conception may help you if you:
- are experiencing difficulty conceiving
- are anxious about the process of conception
- are feeling stressed about conception or areas of life in general
- are experiencing irregular periods
- are considering fertility treatment
Whilst zenmindbody is a holistic therapies service for ladies in Ross-on-Wye and Herefordshire, clearly it takes two to conceive! The partners or husbands of female clients wanting to receive reflexology for conception are also welcome to visit us for treatments.
How does Reflexology for Conception work?
There are many factors which may affect conception. Some of these may include:
- blockages in the reproductive systems which prevent sperm and egg from meeting
- lifestyle factors
Initially individuals should have seen their GP should they be experiencing difficulties in conceiving to discuss this.
Some research suggests that stress may affect fertility:
“Almost all parts of the body are affected by stress in some way and there is evidence to suggest that it may also affect fertility. Cortisol (released in response to stress) can cause the release of an inhibiting hormone that reduces the production of FSH*and LH*, both of which are essential for the release of the egg and the implantation of the embryo following fertilisation.”
Stress reduces conception possibilities across the fertile window: evidence in support of relaxation. Buck GM et. al (2010)
* (Follicle Stimulating Hormone which ripens follicles within the ovary and stimulates eggs to grow)
*(Leutinising Hormone which triggers ovulation and the formation of the corpus luteum; a hormone secreting structure which produces progesterone. Progesterone makes the lining of the uterus thick ready for implantation and is a hormone needed to sustain a healthy pregnancy)
Reflexology for conception aims to work on stress reduction in order to help the body to have its optimal opportunity to conceive.
Reflexology for conception may:
- support your body in regulating your cycle through the reduction of stress
- provide you with time, space and support to cope with anxieties and concerns
- provide complementary support should you choose to explore IVF treatment (please see the section below entitled When should I not have a treatment?)
Individuals may have a number of stress-related concerns from a fast-paced life where relaxation and time for themselves is absent through to past difficulties in conceiving which are now affecting thoughts and feelings about the present.
Where did Reflexology originate?
Reflexology is an ancient therapy which is believed to have originated around 5,000 years ago. Evidence suggests that primitive forms of reflexology existed in ancient Egypt, India and China.
In Egypt, at Saqqara, a painting found in the tomb of Ankhmahor appears to show a reflexology treatment being performed. This dates back to the early 6th Dynasty, approximately 2330 B.C. Ankhmahor was a physician and an official of great importance, second only to the King.
How is Reflexology for Conception different to a Reflexology treatment for someone not trying to conceive?
Every single treatment at zenmindbody is different – we do not follow a ‘set routine’. In an initial consultation, your specific circumstances will be discussed in confidence and the treatment then tailored to you.
In the case of reflexology for conception, if for example an individual’s menstrual cycle was irregular, this would be one of the first areas reflexology would try to support. Reflexology does not make any claims to either ‘diagnose’ or ‘cure’ but it does aim to help to bring the body into balance and a sense of homeostasis (maintaining internal balance and equilibrium, regardless of external circumstances)
By working on specific points related to the endocrine (hormonal) system within initial sessions and utilising stress reduction techniques, reflexology for conception may assist in regulating the menstrual cycle. Clearly this is vital in order to establish when ovulation takes place each month in order to have knowledge about the most likely time for possible conception.
Depending upon individual circumstances, some reflexology for conception sessions may be more stimulating than other reflexology treatments. This will depend upon a number of factors such as whether your menstrual cycle is already regular, whether you are actively trying to conceive and at what stage in your cycle you are at when you come for each session.
This will be clearly explained, discussed and agreed with you prior to your reflexology sessions.
What happens during a treatment?
After an initial consultation during which some personal details such as diet, lifestyle and general health are discussed in confidence, you will be asked to sit or lie on a comfortable massage table. Your shoes and socks will be removed and you will receive a foot cleanse and relaxing foot massage. The therapist will then perform an evaluation of the feet followed by a treatment tailored to your specific needs. This involves firm but comfortable pressure being applied to areas of the soles, sides and top of the feet. The therapist will identify any areas of imbalance, working on these points to encourage the body to address them.
The details of the initial consultation will also inform which areas the therapist works on predominantly.
Why do I need an initial consultation?
There are some occasions when treatment is not advised. The therapist needs to be aware of these for your safety and comfort. This information also enables the therapist to tailor the treatment to each individual client.
Every individual and their circumstances are different and we want to ensure that you personally get the most from each session.
How long will a treatment last?
Each reflexology session lasts for one hour. In the case of reflexology for conception, it is important to understand that any change takes time. For example, regulating a cycle is unlikely to take place overnight. It is for this reason that clients are advised to commit to a period of around 6 months from their first session.
You can, of course, cease sessions at any point but expecting results after just one or two treatments is unrealistic. Ideally, individuals would receive a reflexology session once a week for 6 weeks in order for treatment to occur at each point in their cycle. Sessions would then take place fortnightly.
How much does the treatment cost?
A one hour treatment is £25, however there are a number of special offers available, including 20% off the cost of your first ever treatment. Please see the information on our website under treatments and prices for further details of special offers.
What are the benefits of Reflexology for Conception?
Reflexology for conception may support clients in:
- stress reduction
- emotional and physical preparation when endeavoring to conceive
- cycle regulation via hormonal re balancing
Other benefits may include:
- removal of wastes and toxins from the body
- improved mood
- improved sleep
- improved blood circulation
- drainage of lymph fluids associated with fluid retention (oedema) causing swelling in areas such as the ankles
- improved digestion
- support to the immune system
- stimulation of the release of endorphins, the body’s ‘feel good’ hormones and natural pain reliever
- aiding joint mobility in the area being massaged
When should I not have a treatment?
Should you become pregnant, Maternity reflexology would be offered from the beginning of the first trimester onwards.
Because of the profound effect of IVF upon the body, reflexology for conception would be suggested up until eggs are harvested. To allow the body to adjust, reflexology for maternity would then not be recommended to commence until the beginning of the second trimester (13 weeks of pregnancy onwards). Maternity reflexology can then be used to support expectant mothers during their pregnancy. Please see the page on Maternity Reflexology for more information.
Your therapist will discuss your individual circumstances with you during your free consultation. However, clients:
- being treated for or in remission from cancer
- with a heart condition
- with uncontrolled high or low blood pressure
- with diabetes
should obtain written permission from their doctor prior to proceeding with treatment.
No treatment will be given:
- immediately pre/post operations
- if clients have gangrene or any contagious conditions such as athlete’s foot/ verrucae
After the treatment:
The effects of Reflexology are unique to each individual. Most people experience a deep sense of well-being and relaxation. Some find it energising and uplifting.
Because the treatment stimulates the body and encourages the release of toxins, you may experience one or more of the following over the next 24 hours:
- increased energy levels
- deep sleep
- increased urination/ bowel movements
- some conditions which have been suppressed/ are just beginning to present symptoms (i.e. colds) may flare up temporarily before they get better. This is a ‘healing reaction’ and is a sign that the body is beginning to eliminate toxins and starting to heal itself and is part of the re-balancing process
- tearfulness/ emotional feelings
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Aside from following regular after-care advice for reflexology (see end of page), please see the specific lifestyle advice for those interested in reflexology for conception:
- reduce alcohol units to 1-2 per week (both males and females) – excessive consumption of alcohol may be linked to semen quality
- avoid smoking – this is considered likely to reduce fertility and affect chances of conception along with semen quality
- assess your diet and weight – it is thought likely that conception will take longer in females with a BMI of more than 30. Equally, it is recommended that females with a BMI of lower than 19 who are experiencing irregular menstruation or not menstruating should increase their body weight in order to improve their chances of conception.
- avoid tight underwear (males) – the temperature of the testes need to be kept cooler than average body temperature in order to protect semen quality
- visit this Fertility the Facts link to the NHS website to read more about conception and to view a clear and informative video about the menstrual cycle
- visit this Protect Your Fertility link to the NHS website to read more about giving yourself the best chance of conceiving
You are also advised to:
- avoid strenuous physical exercise for the next 24 hours
- drink plenty of water/ herbal teas
- eat light meals and plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables