Can reflexology help with IVF?

Can reflexology help with IVF?

More and more women are reporting that a commonly used foot massage technique has assisted them in getting pregnant. As a result, a medical investigation has been initiated to determine the validity of these assertions.

Reflexology, an ancient form of therapy with roots in Egyptian and Chinese culture, is centered around the manipulation of pressure points in the hands and feet. This method is frequently employed to alleviate a variety of ailments, including menstrual cramps, migraines, sinus and back pain, as well as the negative effects of chemotherapy. (1)

What is reflexology?

Reflexology is an age-old practice that focuses on manipulating specific pressure points located in the hands and feet. These points are believed to correspond with different organs and systems within the body. In fertility reflexology, the points targeted relate specifically to the fallopian tubes and ovaries, which play a crucial role in the production of eggs.

Through massaging these points during a reflexology session, energy blockages in the body can be released, allowing the body to restore its natural balance and facilitate self-healing. This technique may also aid in addressing fertility issues by supporting the healing process and promoting conception. (2)

Is reflexology good for infertility?

There is some anecdotal evidence that reflexology can be beneficial for infertility by promoting relaxation, reducing stress, and helping to restore the body’s natural balance. Reflexology treatment can also target specific points related to the reproductive system, such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes.

However, there is currently no conclusive scientific evidence to support the use of reflexology as a standalone treatment for infertility. It is always recommended to consult with a qualified healthcare professional to discuss any potential treatments or therapies for infertility.

What are the potential benefits of reflexology for IVF?

Reflexology has shown to be a useful aid for IVF treatment, and skilled reflexologists know how to administer it without interfering with hormonal therapy. Consistent sessions can help individuals stay calm and optimistic, and the treatment can prime the body to receive and fertilize eggs.

Medical research in the UK has investigated the efficacy of reflexology for fertility, and the results are promising. In a two-year clinical trial involving 26 women with various fertility issues, 50% of the group (13 women) became pregnant after receiving reflexology treatment. Some participants even reported getting pregnant quickly due to feeling more positive and having their bodies prepared for conception. Notably, reflexology does not increase the likelihood of multiple pregnancies, unlike certain medications. (3)

Is reflexology supportive treatment?

Infertility affects one in seven couples, and 30% of those cases involve a lack of egg production. Reflexology can be utilized throughout most of the menstrual cycle, but it may be particularly beneficial between menstruation and ovulation. Working with a reflexologist during pregnancy can also be helpful.

In addition to promoting deep relaxation, reflexology offers a reprieve from the fast-paced nature of modern life and provides an opportunity to emotionally, physically, and mentally unload. It creates a calming environment where patients can become more peaceful in accepting  the fact that they cannot control the timing of conception. (4)

When should reflexology be done for fertility?

Reflexology for fertility can be performed at any time during a woman’s menstrual cycle, but it may be most helpful between menstruation and ovulation. During this time, reflexology can target specific pressure points related to the reproductive system, such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes, which may aid in conception.

It is important to note that reflexology should not be used as a substitute for medical treatment for fertility issues. It can be used as a complementary therapy alongside medical treatment.

Is reflexology safe for everyone undergoing IVF?

Reflexology, a holistic healing method, targets specific points on the feet to improve overall health. This technique is widely considered safe for individuals undergoing In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). However, it is essential to approach reflexology with caution. Firstly, it is paramount for clients to disclose all medications to their reflexologist. This transparency ensures the therapy is customized, reducing the risk of inadvertently affecting the efficacy of IVF treatments.

  • Medications: Sharing medication details with the reflexologist is vital.
  • Specific conditions: Consulting a doctor is recommended for those with medical concerns.

Certain conditions, such as blood clots, high-risk pregnancies, and specific foot ailments, may necessitate abstaining from reflexology. Moreover, the initial phase of pregnancy presents unique challenges. Reflexology in the first trimester is often discouraged. The concerns stem from the stages of implantation and the heightened risk of miscarriage. Therefore, individuals must seek advice from healthcare professionals before beginning reflexology. Opting for a reflexologist with experience in treating pregnant women is also crucial. Ultimately, while reflexology can offer benefits during IVF, it demands careful consideration and professional guidance to ensure it is conducted safely and effectively.

Source:

Stein, J., & Harper, J. C. (2021). Analysis of fertility clinic marketing of complementary therapy add-ons. Reproductive Biomedicine & Society Online13, 24-36.

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