Fertility Massage is a unique form of massage for women, combining various techniques, focussing on the abdomen and digestive and reproductive organs. Self-help fertility massage is a wonderful way to enhance your health and fertility and connect with your body. I made fertility massage part of my nurturing and self care plan and really enjoyed reconnecting with my body in this way. Victoria Thomas who is a Natural Fertility Therapist, Fertility Massage Specialist and Reflexologist has kindly written this guest blog that includes a how-to guide to allow you to experience this technique for yourself.
You may be wondering why you should do this type of massage to your abdomen? This is an area that ladies frequently tell me is rarely (or never) massaged and they are often filled with horror at the thought of it! Many are very surprised by how relaxing it is to have their abdomen massaged in a treatment and how much they come to enjoy their daily self-massage at home. The positive changes that they notice never fail to amaze and fascinate me.The self-help fertility massage is designed to support reproductive health, the menstrual cycle and your fertility in several different ways. It is a fantastic part of your pre-conception plan whether you are preparing for natural or assisted conception. Some of the key benefits include:
I could go into great detail about why each of these is vital for fertility and reproductive health but all you need to remember is that improving blood circulation to the area brings with it the necessary oxygen and nutrients to produce healthy eggs; healthy eggs make healthy babies! It is also a wonderful way to connect with your body and your womb. Many of us live ‘up in our heads’ with busy, stressful lives. Without allowing time to slow down and focus our attention on our body, we are unable to listen to what it is telling us. Giving ourselves a few minutes per day to rest quietly and tune in to our bodies while doing the self-help fertility massage can be a real eye-opener for many women.
This is (briefly) how: Massage is known to increase the blood flow to that area, thus bringing with it oxygen and nutrients to enhance the health of the cells (including eggs) and removing toxic build up. By regularly working around areas of congestion, we can help to soften and break it down and by massaging the ligaments that support the reproductive organs, we help to gently stretch and soften them so that they do not pull so tightly on our internal organs. This is turn leaves the organs with much more space, allowing vital blood to flow more freely without obstruction and encourages the uterus into a more upright position (a tilted womb may cause uncomfortable menstrual symptoms).
There are many links between the digestive, immune and reproductive systems and thus by working the digestive organs, you will also be greatly benefitting the hormonal and reproductive systems. Lastly, taking a few minutes to perform your daily self-help fertility massage encourages you to focus your attention away from external stressors and towards your body, which naturally enhances relaxation, thereby influencing hormonal health.
Before we learn how to perform the self-help fertility massage, it is important to know when it is safe and when you must not perform the treatment. It will depend whether or not you are actively trying to conceive.
For those who are NOT actively trying to conceive:
The self-help fertility massage can be performed at any time throughout your cycle, except during menstruation and for 3 days beforehand. So for most women, this will be from day 5 or 6 or your cycle right through until 3 days before your period is due.
For those who ARE actively trying to conceive:
The self-help fertility massage can be performed between the end of menstruation and ovulation. IT MUST NOT BE CARRIED OUT IN THE SECOND HALF OF YOUR CYCLE AFTER OVULATION. So for women with a standard cycle of 28 days and ovulating on day 14, you would perform the massage between day 5 or 6 and day 13 (if you don’t know when you are ovulating or your cycles are irregular, get in touch with a practitioner specialising in natural fertility to help you with this).
Other cases when you must not carry out the self-help fertility massage:
If you have a coil fitted
After any recent abdominal surgery (usually within 6-8 weeks)
If you have any active infections or fever
If you have any medical conditions or are taking any medication, it is important that you consult your medical caregiver before performing the self-help fertility massage.
Now, the fun bit! You will need two pillows and some pure organic oil such as coconut or sunflower oil.
So that is it! I hope you have enjoyed connecting with your body and womb. This is a simple routine that you can practise for 5-10 minutes at home. It may take some practise so don’t get too hung up on doing it ‘right’. Just work gently and slowly, in a clockwise direction and you will be doing wonders for the health of both your digestive and reproductive organs.
1. Eat red food – foods such as beetroot, rhubarb, pomegranate and goji berries are fantastic for supporting a healthy womb. Eat organic and in season where possible.
2. Keep your womb warm – your womb is a nest; a little incubator in which to grow a new life. Ensure you keep it warm (especially in the cold weather) with hot water bottles, warming foods and spices. Also wear warm socks and slippers and don’t walk barefoot on cold floors, as blood flows up from your feet to your womb.
3. Keep active – many women experience conditions of stagnation and this is exacerbated by sluggish circulation. Circulation is the key to life and to the health of our cells, including our eggs so make sure you move around during the day and take part in gentle and strengthening exercise such as yoga or pilates.
4. Love your womb! – for all the wonderful and miraculous things it does for you. Give your womb some attention and nurturing. Nurture yourself with things you enjoy and find a creative outlet to enhance the power of your feminine energy.
5. Of course, self-help fertility massage for all the wonderful reasons we have discussed.
This guest blog was written by Victoria Thomas who is a Natural Fertility Therapist, Fertility Massage Specialist and Reflexologist. She supports women in their preparation for natural or assisted conception and those with conditions of hormonal imbalance, using various holistic techniques. She sees clients in Claygate, Surrey and Clapham and Waterloo, London. For more information and to contact Victoria please visit www.thenaturalfertilitytherapist.com.
Many of us can feel disconnected and resentful of our bodies while trying to conceive, if you would like to change how you feel towards your body consider teaming fertility massage with my ‘Attitude of gratitude body scan’. A meditation that focuses on cultivating feelings of gratitude for your body and all that it allows you to do while trying to conceive and perhaps feeling let down by your body.
Gratitude is a powerful emotion, it counteracts our stress response, it is like a reset button reducing cortisol and adrenaline and elevating feel-good chemicals in your body dopamine and serotonin, allowing your body to relax and become peaceful.
I will guide you through and ask you to focus on each area of your body in turn, I will suggest a reason for being grateful for that area and then allow a few moments of silence in which I suggest you take another three breaths while thinking, thank you, thank you, thank you and focus on feeling gratitude deep from within your heart.
Please do add in your own reasons why you are thankful and if you find it difficult to be grateful for areas that perhaps you are having problems with then just do the best you can to be gentle and loving with that area and you may find that the more time you take to be grateful for your body, the easier it is to feel grateful for your body.
There are many scientific studies that have shown that by focusing gratitude on the body and visualising a body part being strong and well influences the cells of the body. I wrote this meditation last summer after my laparoscopy as I wanted to do everything I could to support my body.
This meditation serves a deeper purpose than mindfulness practices, each statement is an affirmation, declaring something as truth even if it is not yet so. For example I include the affirmation:
“I deeply and profoundly love and respect myself.”
You may not feel that this is true but by listening to this meditation repeatedly you are planting the seeds in your subconscious and you may find in time that you soften towards these statements and develop a new connection with your body and yourself. Visit digital download store.
Have you tried fertility massage? If so what was your experience like? Post a comment below, email or tweet me or come and join the conversation on our fertility support page.
(Thank you to Adam Selwood for the photograph.)
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