Reflexology treatments are often pegged as a 'cure' for infertility but could this alternative therapy actually help boost your fertility and help you to conceive?
What is reflexology?
Reflexology is a complimentary therapy that uses foot massage to help balance the body. Its use as a healing therapy dates back to ancient Egypt and Greece although it has only been formalised into the treatment we now know in the last 70 years.
Reflexology takes a holistic approach to healing that is founded on the principle that reflex points in the feet are intrinsically linked to internal organs. It assumes that when touch is applied strategically to the feet the benefits are passed on to the corresponding area of the body.
Will it help me get pregnant?
Reflexology practitioners believe that by massaging the feet in certain places toxins can be removed from the body, circulation can be improved and the endocrine system that regulates hormone production can be brought into balance, all of which are said to help promote fertility.
However, reflexology is also known for its ability to relieve tension and promote the ability to sleep, all of which can help minimise the stresses that are so often associated with trying to get pregnant.
There is very little official research on the impact of reflexology on fertility and while some studies have shown that complimentary therapies like this can hider fertility, others have shown that they do seem to help women fall pregnant.
So, while, as research shows, it is currently unknown as to whether reflexology can help you conceive directly, it is possible that it may indirectly help you conceive by reducing stress and generally making your body a better place to grow a baby. All in all, there is no guarantee that it will work however if you are open to more alternative therapies and enjoy having your feet massaged, it may be worth giving it a try.
What does a treatment involve?
When you visit a reflexology practitioner they will ask about your general health, whether you require treatment for any particular issue and if you are on any medication. They will then assess both the look and feel of your feet.
Any areas of tension will be identified and specifically worked upon to help to release blocked energy in the corresponding part of your body, however, the reflexologist will usually work on your foot as a whole to help restore balance to your entire body.
Treatments usually last between 45 minutes and an hour and the reflexologist is likely to recommend a course of treatments for maximum results.
How can I find a reflexologist?
Reflexology is not currently regulated so you do need to be careful about which practitioner to consult. However, above all the most important thing is that you feel comfortable with the reflexologist administering your treatment as otherwise any potential therapeutic effects will be lost.
It is generally a good idea to go on the basis of a recommendation either from a friend or from your doctor. However, the following organisations can also help you find a trained reflexologist in your area - The Association of Reflexologists
, The British Reflexology Association
and The British Complementary Therapy Association
Finally, if you are currently taking medication or suffering with a particular condition, fertility related or not, it is important to consult your doctor for advice before having your first treatment.