So, you’re ready to get pregnant. Now what? There are many different ways to increase your chances within massage therapy, are there techniques that can increase your chances? In this post, I’ll cover the basics of fertility massage and the most frequently asked questions regarding this unique treatment.
What is it?
The goal of fertility massage is to help increase your chances for pregnancy, therefore certain modifications need to be made throughout the session. It’s true that stress creates a barrier when it comes to an attempt at conceiving and an old fashion Swedish massage can assist with that. However, biologically there are many muscular and ligament restrictions that can be released and a fertility massage consists of assisting with this. So what makes fertility massage special? It may consist of some relaxation (which I recommend for the woman) coupled with a pelvic work, warm castor oil packs and a femoral artery block and release to assist with blood flow into the uterus. Not to mention the massage is a stress reducer. Most women suffer disappointment after disappointment with each doctor visit resulting in insecurity and psychological pain. This can cause immense strain in a marriage or any relationship where the couple is striving to expand their family. It’s at this crucial time that a woman needs self care and to partner with a sensitive and competent massage practitioner that can guide her through education, patience and a whole lot of nurturing.
Your OB Doctor: Friend or Foe
Don’t be surprised if your OB doctor isn’t completely on board with alternative methods for fertility. At this point everything is a risk and you and your partner are in a phase of investing time, energy and finances. After all fertility doctors cannot guarantee results and in all honesty no one should. Health care providers are simply facilitators in assisting your body to conceive. Our role is to work with integrity and humility, helping each woman and creating a hospitable environment for soon to be baby. On the other hand, some doctors are all for alternative treatments including massage. It’s not their fault they weren’t educated on this in medical school and if they were it was a mild dose in their curriculum. Many women are the ones that let their doctor know of other practitioners out there that also offer fertility services; and in turn some doctors are grateful for the information. So don’t assume your doctor will be turned off by the idea of fertility massage and help them know it’s out there.
Timing and Scheduling
With IVF, it can be a tricky situation in terms of calculation the perfect time to have a fertility massage; but make no mistake, timing is important. If you’re undergoing hormone therapy calculate the best possible time that resembles the space between the end of your menstrual cycle and the beginning of your ovulation. This is key when receiving your fertility massage.
*Here’s a tip. Fertility massage specialists do not come in large droves, if there is one in your town or city chances are they get booked pretty fast. Time your window accordingly and schedule your appointment in advance to increase your chances.
Benefits of Fertility Massage
breaks up scar tissue
floods uterus with fresh blood
reduces stress and stress hormones
aligns tilted uterus
Home Care: After the Massage
There are definitely self massage techniques that can be applied at home in between sessions. There are some angles which will be awkward to mimic and are better left done by your massage therapist. However some self massage methods can be learned from your therapist to practice at home as well as applications of castor oil packs which are simple to make. All you need is:
hot water bottle/ electric heater
flannel or wool cloth to cover tummy
Soak the cloth with castor oil generously and set aside in a small bowl. Apply quarter size of castor oil in your hands and begin to massage your tummy, along the border of your pelvic bone and above your pubic bone for about 5 minutes to get things nice and loose. Then, apply the castor oil soaked cloth over tummy. The cloth should be wide enough to cover entire stomach region and long enough to begin just under your rib cage and just above your pubic bone. You may set a plastic sheet (one found in a grocery store for produce will be fine) and place over oil soaked cloth. Then grab a hand towel and place over plastic sheet, lay the water bottle/electrical blanket over and let it sit on tummy for 45-60 min. This will be your chill and Netflix time of day. To do this once every 3 days. This will also help diminish uterus related fibroids, cysts and those suffering from endometriosis.
This period of time can be incredibly painful and draining for most women and I advise my clients find a place to seek comfort. Whether that be their faith, friends and family or an infertility support group. Another important aspect is practicing self care, having the knowledge that you should care for yourself is worthless unless you place that knowledge into action.
Women are magnificent whether they conceive or not. At times we fall into the pressures of our society to get pregnant , at times it’s a very real dream of our own to experience motherhood. There is no path that is superior than another for women. As long as you ground yourself into the identity that your circumstances do not define you but simply surrender and embrace life as it comes. As always, I wish for each woman that desires to be a mother to realize this dream and it is my honor and privilege to work with those that have chosen this path for themselves. I have been blessed to have seen the result of massage therapy combined with IVF treatments and I respect the combination of conventional medicine coupled with alternative therapies. For those of you that didn’t know this type of massage was offered, now you know! Enjoy your life and I’ll see you in the massage room
Michelle Orchid Rodriguez is an entrepreneur,wellness lifestyle blogger and a Licensed Massage Therapist. Her mission is to promote a higher quality of life through healthy living. She is the founder and CEO of Lumina Massage Inc., a Miami-based specialty massage company that focuses on neuromuscular therapy and prenatal bodywork.