I trained in 2014 with Barbara Scott who founded the Association of Reproductive Reflexologists (ARR) to which I am a full member. My training was extremely comprehensive and required the submission of detailed case studies. I am a member of the ARR which ensures I am up to date with the latest trends/changes in the world of fertility.
I do insist on booking a 90 minute Fertility Consultation with new clients. This is simply because this is such a wide subject and I need to ensure I have as much information as possible to put a plan together. During the first session we go through a detailed questionnaire and I follow up with my own questions (e.g. do you know when you are ovulating? how would you describe your lifestyle, diet, how long is your cycle?, what are your stress levels like and why?). I can then put a bespoke plan together based on this information. I ask about your fertility journey to date and about any tests you have had at the doctors / hospital. Many clients come to see me after given the diagnosis of 'unexplained infertility' - sometimes it is a matter of making some diet and lifestyle changes. Some clients visit me with secondary infertility - the pressure of wanting a sibling for your child is very tough. A client with secondary infertility recently fell pregnant after 5 weekly treatments with me - which was amazing! She found the treatments alone extremely relaxing and was able to totally switch off.
A useful source of information is available from the Fertility Network which includes a really useful page illustrating the different tests available if you need them on your fertility journey.
Recently I had a female client visit me to discuss her fertility problems. She was upset that the progesterone blood test on day 21 showed that she wasn't ovulating. So I encouraged her to temperature chart (I provided her with everything she needed during her Fertility Consultation) and it showed she ovulated on day 17 and her chart clearly showed that she ovulated! The 21 day test is great if you ovulate around day 14 but not later. My fertility clients feel empowered by temperature charting and more positive about her fertility journey. Temperature charting is a fantastic method of following your entire cycle (the follicular phase, ovulation and the luteal phase) and for this reason I encourage my clients to 'ditch' the ovulation sticks. They are expensive and cause additional stress which is not needed when you are trying to conceive. I show my clients how to stimulate/sedate specific reflexes on their hands to encourage the body to do what it should be doing. Working on the hands enables my clients to do this at work, home, well basically anywhere!
The first session is £55 for 90 mins and £35 for subsequent 60 mins sessions. I like to include at least a 30 - 45 mins reflexology treatment during the 90 mins consultation. My clients like this too as they are keen to get started.
Many have asked how reflexology can assist with fertility issues. I work the reflexes according to the clients condition (e.g. PCOS, absence of a period...) and then work the reflexes required to tell the body what it should be doing. We discuss diet, lifestyle and any factors will may affect your fertility. For some clients just a change of lifestyle can make a huge difference! When you ask some clients when the last time they had an hour to themselves they really have to think about it. You may find that you are not necessary 'stressed' but constantly on the go and your body never gets a chance to relax. I find many of my fertility clients have demanding jobs and work evenings/weekends just to keep up. We discuss the impact a very busy job has on your fertility journey.
I recommend weekly treatments to begin with (over a six week period) as I get the best results with this method. This is because there is a protocol for each week of the cycle. Before booking it is worth checking that you can regularly book in with me and ensure that your work or any other plans don't get in the way. I have some fertility clients who book in during their lunch hour which works well for them. They pay for their appointment on the morning of the appointment so they can have the treatment and get back to work. It is recommended that you book in at the same time each week as it is easier to follow your cycle (as there is a different protocol for each week of your cycle). Many potential clients ask if it is best to start on day one of their cycle but as there is a protocol for each week you can start at any time.
Please don't expect results straight away..........some clients fall really quickly but others do take longer. I like to recommend that my clients spend three months making changes to their diet and lifestyle before actively to conceive. But in reality everyone wants to try as soon as they can and I don't blame them - I would do the same!
I recommend that my clients don't put their lives on hold. Book a course, change your job, move house etc. Sometimes infertility can cause you to put your life on hold which causes resentment. You might find you aren't falling due to a long work commute or not enjoying your job but you don't want to leave work as you are worried about maternity leave. Some clients put holidays on hold in case they fall pregnant - you might find a holiday helps you on your journey! I had three clients who gave birth in the first half of 2018 and each of them either booked a holiday, changed their job or slowed down their busy lifestyles. In an age where we have so many machines to do things for us it is interesting that we have less and less 'me' time.
During the consultation I give each of my fertility clients a pack which includes; a list of high quality recommended vitamins (which I highly recommend), lifestyle recommendations and a thermometer (to use with the enclosed temperature charts). It is important to start temperature charting from day one of your cycle (this is the day you start your bleed). I then ask you to take your temperature every morning as soon as you wake and record it on a chart, it is important to chart for a complete cycle (for 3 months). It is amazing the information you can elicit from this chart (and especially useful for clients who don't have a 28 day cycle). The information can at times give me a potential reason for unexplained infertility.
If you are trying to conceive please do not spend money on high street brands are packed with fillers! The vitamins I recommend contain the highest quality and most important vitamins and minerals scientifically known to help with conception and increase fertility. There are vitamins for both the female and male. Did you know that 50% of miscarriages are due to issues with the semen - a fact which is unknown by many as usually the female takes responsibility for a miscarriage. As an alternative to taking supplements I can recommend some fertility superfoods to boost your body - this is especially important when it comes to supporting an IVF cycle.
I recommend that my clients avoid expensive ovulation tests that only show you if you are ovulating (as they only detect the LH surge) but they don't give you any information about the rest of your cycle. A client with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) may have a 45-60 day cycle and using ovulation sticks is both expensive and stressful. Temperature charting gives us all the information we need and more. Many partners/husbands like the process of temperature charting as it is something visual that they can look at. I encourage my clients to discuss making changes with their partners. I believe in everything in moderation - eating, drinking etc but smoking is a 'no no'! Reduce or cut out caffeine and look at your stress levels - your body physically makes changes when it is stressed and releases the hormone 'cortisol' into your body which can start to shut down your reproductive system. I have a client who didn't ovulate when she was under extreme levels of stress but within two months of reproflexology and making some lifestyle changes she started ovulating again.
If you are unsure when you are ovulating I recommend you make love every other day throughout the month starting the day after your bleed ends. This takes the pressure off knowing the exact day you ovulate and as you have a 5 day fertile window it ensures the sperm has plenty of time to swim into position.
Please note that Fertility Reflexology can also help to improve sperm quality. I prefer the male to have an up-to-date sperm analysis so we have a benchmark to begin with (please do ask for a copy of your results). I then recommend weekly treatments for 8 weeks followed by an updated sperm analysis to check the results. I do recommend some fantastic vitamins. They aren't the cheapest but they come highly recommended by experts in the nutritional field of fertility. Many supermarket vitamins are packed with unwanted 'fillers'. I encourage both my male and female clients to cut out smoking completely, reduce their alcohol intake and minimise their caffeine intake. With reducing the caffeine intake you will find that you sleep better and better sleep reduces the need for caffeine throughout the day. Even male clients with a 'good' semen analysis can still improve on their diets by increasing their zinc, vitamin C and protein intake.
Many clients have had detailed fertility tests at the doctors but their tests come back as 'unexplained fertility'. With Fertility Reflexology it gives clients a chance to conceive by looking at the whole lifestyle for both the male and female clients. Fertility reflexology works for both female and male clients. Please contact me to discuss this further.
I am also trained to support clients who are going through assisted conception treatments e.g. Ovulation induction (clients take Clomid to take for a series of days each month to stimulate egg production), IVF and ICSI. If you are booking in with me for reflexology to support your journey I do require a detailed plan of your treatment. This will ensure that I work to support your treatment to increase your chances of getting the best possible result. Your clinic will willingly give this information to you. I have supported clients on Clomid as well as those going through IVF and ICSI treatments.
I take part in monthly webinars as a member of the ARR (Association of Reproductive Reflexologists) to ensure my knowledge is up-to-date so I can pass it on to my clients.
There is no better feeling than a client announcing that they are pregnant! Many then follow their pregnancy journey with me as I am also trained in Maternity Reflexology.
Please feel free to contact me on (07801 968 211 / [email protected]) if you are interested in discussing your fertility journey with me and how fertility reflexology may be able to help you.
For further details please do not hesitate to contact me.