Holistic Reflexology is an excellent therapy for both women and men wishing to conceive. Lifestyle changes that can support fertility can be discussed and incorporated at the most beneficial stage...actually several months before the couple wish to begin their journey towards pregnancy. The deep relaxation promoted during treatments is a wonderful aid to conception. Individual or couples sessions are available. See Treatments and Couples for details.
During pregnancy regular treatments provide time for intense relaxation that's great for you and your baby and can help you to:
Prepare your body for labour and birth (see 'Reflexology for a Shorter and Less painful Natural Labour Research Findings below)
Soothe your pregnancy ailments
Relax… conserving energy for you and your baby
Bring increased oxygen to your body and in turn your baby
Reflexology can also address any particular concerns you have at each session.
It may help to alleviate common pregnancy conditions such as:
General aches and pains in the latter stage
Reflexology For Priming Labour (Labour Induction) from 37 weeks onwards
After the 37th week treatments change to incorporate specific reflex points relating to glands that are directly involved in bringing about labour...stimulating these reflex points may encourage the body to prepare for labour, but will never cause anything unnatural, like a premature delivery. Although there is no hard empirical evidence that reflexology can induce labour, the general view is that at the very least it will help support the body to prepare for labour and promote relaxation at a time when anxiety levels are often high. You may wish to increase the frequency of sessions as your due date approaches (from 37 weeks) as stress hormones may delay the onset of labour. Having reflexology more regularly at this time can leave women feeling more confident, calmer and better prepared for labour. It’s recommended that clients start having reflexology at least 6 weeks before their due date for maximum benefit.
Labour priming sessions are 60 minutes minimum, although a slightly longer session of 75 minutes (£70) is ideal.
During pregnancy and immediately following labour huge physical, hormonal and emotional changes take place. Reflexology can support you to recover more speedily post birth: boost milk supply, balance the body’s systems, help lift your mood and lower anxiety levels.
Although it can seem difficult to return for reflexology following the birth of a baby due to the new demands and lack of sleep , the first 6-8 weeks when things are at their most tiring and demanding can be just the time when reflexology can be of great support and provide that much needed 'pick me up' to put things into perspective. A relaxed and calm mum will find coping with a new baby much easier.
If you are able to get an hour of alone time, wonderful...but if not, reflexology is a perfect treatment to have while cradling and feeding your baby. We can organise a set up that works and is comfortable and relaxing.
Reflexology for a Shorter and less Painful Natural Labour: Research Findings
1. A recent research study has shown that reflexology in pregnancy significantly reduced pain during labour and reduced the length of the first stage of labour (Valiani M et al - 2010 "Reviewing the effect of Reflexology on pain and outcomes of the labour of primiparous women" Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research. 15 Dec p302-310)
2. An earlier research study showed that first time mums who received 10 foot reflexology sessions from 20 weeks into their pregnancies to term experienced a better labour time than textbook figures. The average for those receiving reflexology work was: first stage, 5 hours; second stage, 16 minutes; and third stage, 7 minutes. This compared to textbook figures of 16 to 24 hours’ first stage, and, 1 to 2 hour’s second stage. In addition, 89.0% of the women experienced a normal delivery. It was noted that the group treated with reflexology needed far less pain relief during labour too. (G. Motha and J. McGrath - 1992 "The effects of reflexology on labour outcome" ).
Reflexology for Improved Sleep Postnatally: Research Findings
65 postpartum women reporting poor quality of sleep were assigned randomly to either an intervention or a control group. Participants in both groups received the same care except for reflexology therapy. The intervention group received a single 30-minute foot reflexology session at the same time each evening for five consecutive days. Sessions were administered by a certified reflexologist.
The study concluded that an intervention involving foot reflexology in the postnatal period significantly improved the quality of sleep, and could accordingly increase maternal biopsychosocial well-being.
LI C-Y ET AL (2011) Randomised controlled trial of the effectiveness of using foot reflexology to improve quality of sleep amongst post partum women. Midwifery. 27. P181-186.