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Reflexology and it's role in fertility

Reflexology: Positive results when used for Infertility
There are an increasing number of women who are claiming that reflexology helped them conceive and overcome problems with infertility, either on the part of the woman or partner. Infertility is a complex problem and often what is needed is something that gives the system a bit of a kick start and reflexology can do just that.

Causes of Infertility
Women:
Different known causes in women are mainly Anovulation (absence of ovulation) which after 5 sessions of reflexology had shown improvement, showing that the mucous discharge was constant with fertile mucous during her ovulation. Amenorrhoea (lack of menstruation) again reflexology has shown that as soon as after 7 sessions menstruation has been known to resume. Endometriosis, which is known to sometimes be caused by Polycystic ovaries was also during research been found to have improved. Some other causes of infertility can be blocked fallopian tubes, Pelvic inflammatory disease. Diet, fibroids, hostile cervical mucus (which is the production of antibodies to a partner’s sperm) can also be cause of infertility in women.

Male:
Some of the known causes of infertility in men are Azoospermia (lack of sperm present in the semen); Smoking (over 20 a day) has been found to reduce sperm count and sperm motility. Excessive alcohol drinking will also lead to infertility, due to the fact that alcohol lowers the production of the male hormone testosterone and the production of sperm. During a recent research study, Oligospermia (low sperm count) the men’s sperm count had increased from 1% to 8% in one month after having 5 reflexology sessions and taking Vitamin E tablets, in addition to taking both Folic Acid and Zinc tablets.

Other Contributing Factors of Infertility:
Stress is the highest contributing factor of infertility. Stress can lower prolactin levels (prolactin is a hormone that in excessive amounts is known to inhibit infertility). Stress in women disrupts hormonal connection between the brain, the pituitary gland and the ovaries, therefore, interfering with both the maturation of an ovum and the ovulation process. Reflexology sessions focusing on the endocrine system, the reproductive system, along with other reflex helper areas has been found to aid in the fertilization process. By using reflexology to reduce stress through relaxation the menstrual cycles can normalize, the ovum improves and the likelihood of fertilization and implantation is increased. Reference: Woman’s Health Website
Lifestyle and environmental changes can also be contributing factors of infertility, such as Smoking – Cigarette Smoking impairs fertilization. Caffeine should be reduced for the fact that it lowers the sperm counts and decreases ovulation. Weight should be kept in check due to the fact that it can also affect the woman’s fertility. Women require approximately 17 to 31 % of their body weight as fat in order to have normal monthly periods and ovulate, with that in mind, a 10% change in weight loss or gain might improve infertility. A diet that is poor in nutritional standards will have a negative effect of infertility. When the diet is nutritionally deficient, it is thought that the endocrine system turns the reproductive system off. Reference: Woman’s Health Website
Nutrition plays a large role in assisting with IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) programmes is well documented and there is increasing evidence to suggest that the results of conventional medical treatments are both improved and enhanced when the support of complementary treatments are used. In a recent study one patient had a successful IVF outcome after having several sessions of reflexology, while complementing it with conventional medicine. Reference: Positive Health Website
The entire body and mind will be calmed and all of the body systems (immune, digestive, nervous, reproductive, hormones, etc.) strengthened during the reflexology session. The patient, in this way will be able to nurture self, relax and therefore, improve chances of conceiving.
Reflexology, no matter what route the patient chooses will be able to assist. Should the patient select a conventional conception route, which might at time have moments of stress and worry, reflexology will then help cope with the stresses as well as help the body maintain a balanced state and improve the chance of conception. If the patient selects a more natural route, reflexology can then assist in much the same way by stimulating and balancing hormones and bodily systems. Reference: Harley Street Infertility Website

Purpose
Being unable to conceive is stressful to patients causing feelings of guilt and anxiety. The aim of this article is to educate those who find that they are having issues with infertility both now and in the future, that there are alternative resources that can be use to aid in overcoming the problem of infertility. Using alternative medicines like reflexology – a holistic therapeutic therapy, when paired together with the conventional medicines can achieve good results.

Hospital tries reflexology to boost fertility

Thousands of women trying to become pregnant may find the answer to their prayers at their feet. Reflexology, the ancient healing art that employs manipulation of pressure points in the feet and hands, is being hailed as a possible treatment for female infertility.
The technique - first used by the Egyptians and Chinese more than 2,000 years ago - is to come under serious medical scrutiny for fertility benefits.
After strong anecdotal evidence of conceptions following reflexology, doctors at Derriford Hospital, Plymouth, have begun a comprehensive clinical study of the possible link between the treatment and fertility. Over the next two years, 150 women will take part in trials aimed at determining whether pregnancy rates are affected. The results of the study will offer a direct comparison with the standard fertility drug, clomifene.
There is little scientific evidence to prove the effectiveness of reflexology, which holds that natural energy channels running through the body become imbalanced causing congestion which is mirrored in the corresponding area of the feet or hands. Firm finger pressure is applied by the therapist to "break up" this congestion, dispel toxins and restore normal energy flows.
Devon-based reflexologist Jane Holt approached the IVF unit at Derriford with a catalogue of rapid pregnancies in supposedly infertile women following her treatment, many after fewer than 10 one-hour sessions. She claims 13 of 23 women with infertility problems have become pregnant after being treated by her over the past year. In the medical trials, 150 volunteers, who would have been treated with clomifene to try to induce ovulation, will instead be offered eight reflexology sessions, with half receiving a bogus treatment.
Dr Jonathan Lord, clinical lecturer in reproductive medicine at Derriford, said the trial would be easy to carry out as it focused on how many women ovulate after treatment, not on the number of pregnancies. "We're able to look directly at how effective the reflexology is in prompting ovulation," he said.
Up to 30 per cent of infertile women who try clomifene are not helped by the drug, and 10 per cent who become pregnant after using it give birth to twins. It is one of the main causes of triplets and other multiple births in Britain.
Article written by Clara Penn for the Daily Mail

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