Post COVID lockdown finding the best reflexology isn’t as easy as it once was. It’s not just the reflexologist and their training that you need to check out. But also their safety practises to make sure that your entire health is being taken care of whilst you’re having your reflexology treatment. Settling down for a relaxing foot massage with no other considerations is now a thing of the past.
That’s why we’ve got you covered at Essential Feeling in Gidea Park, Romford. Karen your MAR reflexologist will work your feet whilst ensuring your health is being taken care of.
We’re taking into account all the COVID health practises advised by the Association of Reflexologist’s which we’ve listed below. And then we have installed some additional safety precautions to maintain a healthy environment for but you as our client and us.
We have installed a unique simultaneous air conditioning unit which has groundbreaking virus filter technology in both our massage and reflexology therapy rooms.
Besides this, for the reflexology, we now also have a large perspex shield. This folds out once you are seated comfortably so that both it protects you and your therapist not only by the mask which is now a legal requirement but also by this shield.
Why do we take extra precautions during your reflexology therapy?
We all want to be safe. You’ll notice from our current online reviews that we take your reflexology treatment seriously. And we’re good at it, we hope we’re the best. But we want to do more. We want you to know that when you come to us that our holistic approach to your wellbeing aren’t just empty words.
And second, reflexology is a transference of energy. If we’re uptight and dealing with stress, that’s not the right situation for you to get the best out of your session. And we strive to give the best reflexology treatments in the area, so every technique we can use to relax your body and your mind just enhances your treatment outcomes.
Giving the best reflexology is about more than thumb walking and pressure points. It’s about ensuring that you’re enjoying your time to the max.
Want to know a little more about reflexology?
Some people confuse reflexology with a foot massage. Both work on the feet and use a relaxing massage motion which eases tension and eeks out tightness.
However, besides this, reflexology uses targeted pressure techniques to help your intrinsic relaxation resulting in stress reduction. As doctors now say that 80% of all health issues they see in the GP surgery are stress related, then this practice has many benefits over and above a person being chilled out.
We can aid sleep by working your big toe, ease hay-fever by working all the toes, and reduce migraines by working a distinct part of your big toe.
We read your feet, for instance, hard and cracked skin around your heel could be a sign of hormone imbalance, or pain in your back. Hard skin on the ball of your foot could mean that you have issues with your chest, or that you’re carrying some emotional heartache.
We use these techniques and combine them with using the correct reflex to give you the most healing outcome for your personal experience. Sometimes, it can be over one step, we’re using building blocks to support your ongoing health improvement. Other times, you will only need one session and will leave feeling like you’ve received the right level of support for you to walk out on air.
Having the best reflexology is more than a physical therapy. We’re not just pressing randomly to relieve pressure. Our practitioner uses hands and thumbs to keep you relaxed and comfortable but also to help your body cope with specific disorders, including nervous conditions, calming your overactive brain and improving your circulation and lymph flow.
What is the theory of reflexology?
Reflexology began almost simultaneously in the West and Chinese medicine. The theory of both are similar because it uses the effects of gentle pressure whilst your reflexologist focuses their attention on different organs and systems that need help in functioning optimally. This brings about a state known in the medical profession as homeostasis.
Association of reflexology recommendations post COVID government lockdown:
*Additional cleaning measures to include disinfecting any areas that clients touch.
*Airing out the treatment room between clients and not using our waiting room.
*Scheduling clients so that there is no crossover within the therapy rooms
*Using sheets over the reclining chair in which you’ll relax and even sleep during your reflexology treatment
* Hand gels (which we’ve always used) This is besides the cleaning regimes that we’ve always had in place.
Progesterone hypersensitivity is a challenging disease also known as autoimmune progesterone dermatitis. Heterogeneous skin eruptions characterise the condition which start out feeling like you’re getting a burn.
Your symptoms can be multiforme and range from slight to extreme. Extreme side effects to progesterone can cause
your skin to feel like it’s burning, coming up in lesions and blisters.
Less severe outcomes in women may be hives or a skin rash.
These rashes may happen cyclically during the second part (luteal phase) of your menstrual cycle, post ovulation, because they link it to the rise in your progesterone hormone levels, but this isn’t a fail-safe diagnostic tool.
What does progesterone do for fertility?
Progesterone does a bunch of stuff in our female body, but when we talk about pregnancy, it creates a thick and warm environment in our womb for our embryo to embed.
It is therefore a key fertility hormone.
How does progesterone hypersensitivity affect fertility and miscarriage?
During the stages of your early pregnancy it is imperative to maintain your levels of progesterone because it helps to prepare your uterus for the baby to implant by thickening the lining of your womb.
After about 9 weeks, the placenta takes over this role. But, it’s easy to see why ladies who suffer with the unfortunate but highly rare condition of progesterone hypersensitivity, are more likely to suffer an early miscarriage.
Without this thick bed lining our uterus, it’s difficult for the embryo to nestle in with enough stability to see it through the developments that take place during the first trimester of your pregnancy. It’s difficult for women to control their response to the hormone.
Therefore, if you don’t have enough progesterone, you have an increased chance of early miscarriage.
Progesterone hypersensitivity can happen during a normal pregnancy and also, as we see below, when you’re having fertility treatment.
I’m having IVF, can I avoid this situation?
If you’re a patient of any fertility treatment including IVF and ICSI, then you’ll take progesterone on the same day that your eggs are collected. This is to stimulate a nice, thick lining to your womb.
Some side effect of the progesterone pessary (suppository) or less common, an injection which fertility clinics prescribe their patients are:
*Dizziness and/ or tiredness/ nausea
*Bloating, often accompanied by cramps
As with all hyperstimulated hormonal balancing techniques, there are a ton of potential side effects besides the above. We’ve listed these below this article** for the sake of being diligent. But your fertility clinic should run through these with you. So, please don’t panic, these severe side effects are incredibly rare.
However, today, we’re picking out one of these rare forms of reactions, progesterone hypersensitivity, which results in the reddening of your skin.
Can I get tested to see if I’m likely to suffer with progesterone hypersensitivity?
First off, we’re talking about a rare disease here. But, if you like the idea of getting a standard dermatology allergy test to determine a pre-existing sensitivity, then they are available.
*If you suffer with some common side effects in the latter part of your cycle, then this could be a principled reason to get tested.
*Or, if you’ve been on progesterone only contraceptives such as an oral tablet or implant and had a poor reaction.
This report will determine whether you have a natural predisposition to reacting negatively to the hormone.
This works by putting a negligible amount of progesterone into your skin and testing your results. If you test positive then you can speak to your doctor or fertility specialist about their view on how sensitive you will be during a pregnancy. Particularly if you’re having months of fertility treatment.
How will I be treated for progesterone hypersensitivity?
Legally we need to spell out that we’re not doctors. We’re giving you a run down of the options we’ve heard of, but your medical specialist will treat you in accordance for what is right for your specific symptoms.
Very often your clinical practitioners will give you steroids to reduce the swelling either by cream or injections.
Is there another way to get the same fertility results without using progesterone?
It’s difficult because our body is so attuned to give us what we need, that each hormone has its own role to play.
When you suffer with a progesterone hypersensitivity reaction, depending on the severity of it, your doctor may stop adding this into your treatment plan. An old way that doctors used to help offset this hole in your plan is to add in HCG.
HCG is another hormone produced by your body. The role of this is to stimulate your corpus luteum.
The corpus luteum is the case of the egg, which once you ovulate dies off. This stimulates a surge in progesterone levels. So, by increasing your HCG, doctors are trying to stimulate your body to produce more progesterone. It hasn’t shown significant results from what we’ve read, but your doctors will know more because they will also have a specific view of your personal situation.
Is there anything else that may help?
Sometimes, after your miscarriage, your symptoms will continue for a period. These symptoms don’t last just a few days and then rectifies after you stop taking the drugs.
There is a possible option which you may want to look at in time. The symptoms don’t go immediately into remission. But, once they have, doctors can look at exposing you to insignificant amounts of progesterone over a prolonged period.
Desensitisation therapy works a little like any other allergy where the theory is that when you have exposure to a paltry amount of something, your body learns to build its tolerance. But this takes time.
We haven’t heard of any other medicine that works against this diagnosis.
We may have another solution.
Medical rectification to this disorder may be limited, but you need not be at a complete loss. We have seen repeatedly at Essential Feeling how powerful reflexology can balance hormones.
If we do this prior to you having treatment such as IVF or ICSI, the theory is that your body is more balanced. An autoimmune condition happens when your body misreads the signals and thinks its being attacked. It then does everything it can to rid your system of these invaders.
One way it does this is through your skin. So when you’re sick you’re always told to drink a lot of water, because this is the easiest way for your body to rid itself of toxins. And it avoids these painful inflammations, which is the panic mode used when all else fails. when you’re sick, you’re always told to drink a lot of water, because this is the easiest way for your body to rid itself of toxins. And it avoids these painful inflammations, which is the panic mode used when all else fails.
So, when we add, in this case, a heightened level of progesterone, quickly and unexpectedly, if your body starts out off balance, it tips over the eradication scale faster.
I’m not sure I’m explaining this well.
Think about it like this.
You are stressed at work; you have a bunch of emails, the phone rings whilst you’re trying to answer them and your boss calls you in to talk about the state of a massive project you’re working on.
Now, think about that same meeting with your boss where beforehand you know it’s coming, you have spent the night before preparing and you have made some great notes.
Which meeting will mean you get to present yourself and your knowledge in the best light?
This is how the body works.
So, if we let your immune system feel relaxed and at ease, then it’s less likely to spiral out of control, looking to fight fires where they don’t exist.
We can use this to help speed up your recovery after you’ve experienced a symptom such as an eczematous eruption.
Post outbreak/ allergic reaction
The above example relies on you knowing because you’ve already been diagnosed that you have a tendency to react to progesterone. But what happens if you only find out when you’ve already had that reaction. Or an early miscarriage?
This is when we use reflexology to calm the inflammation that results from progesterone hypersensitivity. We aim to balance your progesterone back with your oestrogen through using reflex points on your feet to release that internal stress we described above. This means your body isn’t fighting itself so much with the outcome being that your symptoms decrease.
We have also shown reflexology treatments at Essential Feeling an elsewhere reduce inflammation. If we can do this for you, then we can not only speed up the time it takes for your body to rebalance, but we can also ease the path to your recovery by reducing pain and swelling.
Check out our YouTube video on hay fever. You can see how swelling because of an allergic reaction to pollen goes down in minutes. Without the use of any drugs such as anti histamine,
To book in for reflexology to help balance your hormones and ease inflammation, you can use our online booking system.
** More rare forms of reaction to progesterone stimulation
Signs of an allergic reaction including anaphylaxis, anaphylactic shock
Pain, swelling, warmth, or redness in one or both legs or anywhere on your skin
Chest pain or pressure, a sudden cough or wheezing. Rapid breathing.
Vision problems that appear often with a nasty headache
Insomnia is a sleep disorder. If you suffer with insomnia, it is difficult to fall asleep, to stay asleep, or both.
When you have insomnia you won’t wake feeling refreshed after a night’s sleep. This is tricky because it has a ton of knock-on effects because of the resultant fatigue.
Of all sleep disorders, insomnia is the most common. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) notes that one-third of adults report symptoms. But, what’s more worrying, is that there are between 6 to 10 percent of us who have symptoms of insomnia which are severe enough for us to get a diagnosis of ‘insomnia disorder’.
The clinical diagnosis of this disorder is when you have trouble falling asleep. And staying asleep.
Sleep difficulties for at least three nights a week. This must last a minimum of three months.
Sleep difficulties create a major distress or functional difficulties in your life.
Let’s investigate these types of insomnia in more detail.
There are many causes of insomnia. And it links them to your particular type of sleeplessness.
You may suffer with short-term insomnia. This is an acute condition often created by a spike in stress from e.g. an upsetting or traumatic event. It can even come from changes to your sleep habits if e.g. you’re travelling a lot with work.
Chronic insomnia is a more continued issue. It lasts for at least three months. This is usually secondary to another problem, for example:
A medical condition which causes e.g. pain which keeps you awake. Many of our clients with lower back pain or sciatica suffer with this.
Psychological issues also play a part. If you have anxiety or depression, they wake up at night when the world is lacking distraction.
Substance use including cocaine and alcohol stimulate us and prevent sleep
Risk factors for a reduced ability to sleep
Some people are more naturally pre-disposed to not being able to sleep well than others, although it may occur at any age. Insomnia is more likely to affect females than males.
You’ll know if you’re experiencing insomnia because you’ll report one of these three symptoms.
waking up too early
not feeling refreshed when you wake
Trouble falling asleep. Or staying asleep.
These symptoms of insomnia then lead to other symptoms, including:
irritability and difficulty concentrating
You can get pharmaceutical drugs to help you sleep, but there are also nonpharmaceutical treatments for insomnia. Always speak to your doctor about what treatments are appropriate for you.
A combination of techniques may work best to cure your insomnia. It depends on your personal circumstances. For instance, if your issues are stress, anxiety or depression, then your focus may well be different to someone suffering because of pain from arthritis.
We’ve adopted behaviours that interfere with sleep and cause us to lie awake at night.
Some sleep hygiene routines which may help cure your inability to sleep could be:
avoid caffeinated beverages within a few hours of bedtime
Give exercise near bedtime a wide berth. Whilst exercise is good, it’s also a stimulant so pick your time.
minimise the time spent on your bed when you’re not intending to sleep also helps to train your mind that bed is only for sleeping
Home remedies to help stop disturbed sleep
Lifestyle changes, or home remedies are often effective at curing insomnia.
Warm milk and herbal tea such as chamomile are well known natural sleep aids.
Meditation is one of our personal favourites which we use within our reflexology sleep aid and massage for insomnia. We love it because not only does it work, but it’s a natural and drug-free method for treating insomnia.
Meditation is so effective that the Mayo Clinic says that meditation also helps symptoms of conditions that may contribute to insomnia.
stress and anxiety
digestive problems and pain
The body naturally produces the hormone melatonin during the sleep cycle. People often take melatonin supplements, hoping to improve their sleep. However, this is also produced naturally by the body during a massage. Hence why the massage for insomnia is such a brilliant choice for many people.
Insomnia and pregnancy
Just like when women head into menopause their sleep cycles can go haywire because of hormones, the same is relevant during pregnancy when insomnia is common. Especially in your first and third trimesters.
It may not be that you can’t sleep per se, more that fluctuating hormones cause you to feel nauseous which prevents sleep. As done the increased need to pee and being generally uncomfortable.
Depending on why you can’t sleep will determine which holistic therapy is best. Reflexology can help with balancing hormones, calming emotional stress and cutting out nausea. Massage helps with being uncomfortable, including cramps.
If you’re looking to change more lifestyle elements that help stop insomnia:
keeping active during your pregnancy stops you seizing up
maintaining a healthy diet improves constipation, and gut issues
it might sound odd as you’re in the loo so much already, but staying well-hydrated stops you from swelling up, improving your comfort
maintaining a consistent sleep schedule
practising relaxation techniques such as meditation and holistic therapies during the day as we’ve described above
We would always advise that you make any lifestyle changes such as increased exercise with your doctor first though as everyone’s starting point and body are different and it’s important to do only what is safe for your personal circumstances.
Types of insomnia
Distinct ways to characterise insomnia are below. Please note that some of these types of insomnia overlap.
Causes of disturbed sleep
Your inability to sleep can have either a primary or secondary cause
Primary insomnia is when another condition does not cause your insomnia. Your issues such as stress, work, bereavement cause these changes in your sleep patterns.
Secondary insomnia (often classed as comorbid insomnia) is the opposite. An underlying health condition or lifestyle habit, such as depression or anxiety, are playing with your mind at bed time.
Duration of insomnia
Short-term (acute) types of insomnia include situational insomnia and episodic insomnia. We know. It’s getting technical! Let’s explain.
Situational insomnia (acute) and lasts only for days, sometimes up to a few weeks. But, episodic insomnia lasts for one to three months, so it goes on for longer.
Layered on top of this, there is chronic (long lasting) forms.
These include persistent insomnia and recurrent insomnia.
Persistent insomnia lasts for at least three months.
Recurrent insomnia doesn’t continue for as long. But you will have at least two episodes of insomnia (episodic insomnia) over one year.
These include insomnia and depression and anxiety.
Hopefully we’ve answered your questions, ‘How can I stop my insomnia?’ To book in for one of our insomnia sessions, please read the pages as detailed above under the headings to establish which holistic therapy will best help your personal conditions. To get in touch, text us on 07757 946023.
You’ve just had your endometriosis diagnosis and finally, you have a reason. Something to hang your hat on for all the painful periods and gut wrenching sex.
But what is endometriosis?
Hormones cause endometriosis.
We have tissue which is sticky so that when we are trying for a baby, the egg can implant. Endometriosis happens when this sticky lining goes wayward and gets outside our womb. Because it is so sticky it causes no end of trouble as it passes on its journey around our pelvic girdle, sticking bits and pieces of organs together in places they were never meant to sitck!
This causes our pain and inflammation.
You’ll notice I’m talking about the ‘we’ here. That’s because I have Endometriosis too. I had one operation which had me off work for six weeks. And then they still didn’t get all the pesky tissue, so I was on strong hormone injections for months after that. They type that they give to women with breast cancer with a needle the size of a baby’s arm. Not fun.
When it was time for another op, I called a halt to the surgery. There must be a better way, I thought.
And there is.
Where are the common places the endometrial lining sticks to?
*Ovaries and fallopian tubes
*Exterior of your uterus
*Mine got itself to my kidneys!
Endometriosis ovary pain is common around the time of our period. This is because this tissue breaks down as our hormones change during our menstrual cycle. Hence why we get more pain around the time of our period.
Over time the effects of this build and we get long-term painful adhesions or scar tissue.
Signs and symptoms of endometriosis include pain just before, during, or after menstruation. This is the most common endometriosis symptom.
The level of this pain can be different from woman to woman. Many find it debilitating.
There are some key times when we experience more pain:
*During or after sex
*During bowel movements or urination
Another endometriosis symptom is ongoing lower back pain, or in the pelvis.
At the other extreme, many women with endometriosis have mild or no symptoms. They only find out when they try to conceive and struggle. It depends on where that sticky lining attaches itself to. If it’s not pulling anything that causes pain then you won’t experience any symptoms. Where you feel pain will give you a sign of where the growths are internally.
It’s often tricky to tell the difference between cramps and endometriosis. As a general rule, if your cramps continue for 2 days after your period has ended, then this is one of the first signs of endometriosis.
However, cramps can also be a sign of fibroids. These are non-cancerous growths around the uterine area. The difference between fibroids and endometriosis is that pain from the former is any time of the month.
And don’t rule out how this can affect teens. When their periods start, if it throws them backwards for a few days, this can be a sign of the condition.
Likewise, regular pain during sex can be another indicator.
Endometriosis and infertility
As we’ve said, some ladies only find out they have endometriosis when they struggle with fertility. Around one third of women with the disease have trouble getting pregnant.
The issue here may be because of scarring, but no-one is sure. We see the disease pass down through families so there is a role of heredity where your risk increases if your mother had endometriosis.
There’s also another theory that it’s down to the flow of menstrual blood. Some say that blood flows back through our fallopian tubes and into our pelvic cavity instead of out of our body.
The reason people class endometriosis as an autoimmune disorder is because it’s a faulty immune system that cannot get rid of these misplaced cells. However, one theory which works against the autoimmune theory is that we’ve had abdominal cells since we were embryos. If these keep their ability to become endometrial cells, then this is just pure genetics rather than a disease.
Who is at risk?
There are several classes that put you more at risk, including:
*Women in our 30s and 40s
*no previous children
*lengthy periods, lasting over 7 days
*cycles which last less than 28 days
*started our periods before we were 12
*mother with the same endometrial symptoms
Severe endometriosis treatment
It’s possible for many women to continue their daily lives without medical intervention. They may need to take some anti-inflammatory drugs at certain times of the month, but other than that they go on with their business unaffected.
It’s only when they want a baby that things get tricky.
The standard medical treatment for severe endometriosis is to go in for a laparoscopy which is an operation which lasts a brief period. During this a small incision is inserted in your belly button, and they inflate you. And then the surgeon will remove as much of the sticky lining as they can. You then have a brief window of fertility when your reproductive areas are free of the ‘gunk’ and so able to work freely without being tangled up.
Surgical procedures sound like a life line, but they have recovery time and trust me, that’s longer than you expect.
How does reflexology help?
I don’t know. That’s the issue with reflexology there isn’t enough formal research out there. But, speaking from personal experience on both sides of the counter, it works. As I write this, we’re in the middle of COVID-19. My clients are texting me, going crazy with their symptoms flaring up and mine are doing the same. When we feel like this, it doesn’t matter what reflexology does to treat endometriosis, it’s enough to know that it does. And we’re happy for the relief it provides.
What I do know is that when you come in for a reflexology therapy for endometriosis, I’m working to balance your hormones. By doing this, everything in your abdominal area functions better. It’s getting the right messages from your brain, so by treating the source, we treat the problems.
This is the same concept as your doctor giving you birth control pills to balance out your production of oestrogen and progestin. Another way that doctors manage endometriosis symptoms is through mimicking menopause.
Neither are a splendid solution if you’re looking to get pregnant!
And so reflexology treatments are helpful. On top of that I layer in work to reduce inflammation which is great for pain reduction.
If you would like to add in an optional fertility massage then we an also help to un-stick some areas. This is something I have and although it is uncomfortable during the session, afterwards the effects are immediate.
For some ladies this means that their symptoms stabilise, and their pain diminishes. This also means that when they go for IVF of ICSI, they are better placed to have a few cycles because their issues are not reproducing as fast, giving them a greater window to try for pregnancy.
Other’s symptoms quell which improves their natural fertility and their quality of life as their pain is no longer a factor.
You can use the online booking system or you can text us on 07757 946023.
When you start out asking ‘can reflexology help with fertility?’ it’s important to understand one thing. We don’t always understand! And that’s OK because, did you know that the traditional medical field don’t always understand why medicine works? they just know from the testing procedure that it does.
I know. We were shocked too!
Complementary therapies such as reflexology and massage can offer you benefits if you’re trying to conceive though. As long as you’re coming to a fertility trained therapist — like we are at Essential Feeling, Gidea Park.
Not all reflexologists and massage therapists know how to adapt treatments to your specific conditions, your cycle and your IVF journey if you’re on one.
At Essential Feeling in Gidea Park, Romford, Essex, we often focus on the woman, just because they are the more open to coming for this kind of complementary therapy. It’s you as the female who is going through the assisted reproductive technologies, who has had the miscarriage or is checking every month for a positive pregnancy test.
But the male client is important to the fertility process. They often sit on the outside looking in. So, we help with lifestyle factors that may affect your fertility path.
The role of your fertility reflexology therapist
Our role as your fertility practitioner is serious. We’ve undergone several advanced training courses in fertility reflexology, but we have also enhanced our learning with a continuous cycle of other training materials. You will often find us at home, reading recent articles, have a stash of books we are always adding to on the fertility subject.
And we’ve also trained in nutrition and counselling.
The overall effect is that we have a plethora of resource upon which to draw, before we start with the role our years of experience plays in understanding not only the main issues of infertility but how these fit into your lifestyle.
We’re able to work with you throughout your early pregnancy in your first trimester. And we understand the risk of miscarriage. We’re not about to give you false hope, we’ve been around the block too many times for that. But we will always be honest with you. And clear about our role. And yours.
If you need us to communicate with your other healthcare professionals, then that’s also great.
Factors reducing fertility
There are different quotes out there, but anything from a quarter to a third of couples struggle to conceive. Even without specific fertility issues, in our modern stressful lives it can take two years to conceive.
The reasons affecting your fertility will be different to the person we meet after you. But here are a few of the common factors that may reduce fertility:
*Nutrition: this may not be in line with what is good for improving your fertility even if you have a ‘healthy’ food consumption.
*Age: There’s no getting away from it. Your age matters. Once you reach 35 the quality of your eggs diminishes and between 40 and 41, your eggs are in danger of being so poor quality that natural fertility is affected. Even IVF may struggle at this point. Men also have issues after the age of 40, so it’s not all on the female!
*Weight: if your BMI is too high or too low, it will negatively affect your hormonal balance.
This is before we start with conditions such as PCOS and endometriosis for women and low sperm count for men. You can see why this is a minefield!
Now, to the marvellous stuff!
Potential benefits of fertility massage and reflexology.
We’ve said elsewhere on this site about the lack of medical research on fertility improving after reflexology. But there are plenty of case studies, and we also have years of working with fertility clients.
Supporting natural fertility
In order for successful conception to occur:
Balanced hormone levels, so the egg develops
As a woman you must ovulate so your egg is releases. Some menstrual cycles are anovulatory (we release no egg). Hormone levels affect this.
It’s important to have sex at the right time in your cycle.
A male’s sperm need to be healthy and have a good count.
The lining of your uterus needs to be perfect to induce implantation of the egg in its wall
After all of this, hormone levels still need to be at the right balance to support your foetal and placental development.
Note: The stress of trouble conceiving can cause hormonal imbalance. This negatively affects your chance of a successful pregnancy.
We have seen repeatedly how effective reflexology is at reducing stress. It’s also great at balancing hormone levels. Combining the two techniques into one reflexology for fertility session are wonderful.
Effects of stress on fertility
We cannot underestimate the effects of stress when talking about fertility. Whether this be natural or supported with a process such as IVF or ICSI. The whole concept of wanting a child and to form a family and it being out of your control is stressful. Deal with the stress and the rest often follows. Even with health issues such as endometriosis, because it’s hormone imbalance that creates this issue and by balancing out stress, we balance out these hormonal messages which trigger infertility disease.
So answering your question, can reflexology help with fertility? we are happy to say yes.
This heading, what causes infertility including cocaine use and infertility, is long for a reason. Many of my fertility clients are comfortable talking about alcohol, because they have read a lot online about this affecting their ability to conceive. However, many people don’t even think about how drug use, which in the modern world is predominantly cocaine, can affect their ability to have a child.
So, I had to make the title long to cover off what people may search for in google and then add the cocaine in at the end. Because this is an important topic and without the message getting out there, men and women will continue to take drugs that effects sperm quality and the ability to conceive.
Here we go.
First off, in the bid to cover off everything about what causes infertility and how cocaine use can affect fertility, we need to look at the chemical effects that happen in our body when we have exposure to drugs, including cocaine.
How does cocaine affect the chemical (hormone) balance of our brain?
Dopamine is one of the chemicals our body produces to make us feel good. Cocaine attaches and then binds around this molecule like a sheath. This means that the body is blocked from removing dopamine which then accumulates. This increase of dopamine is what causes the heightened response in our body and subsequent actions.
All this produces waste which your body would normally have gotten rid of naturally and now has to deal with. This leads to an increase stress load which is one of the major factors in modern day infertility
Cocaine use and female infertility
Drugs affect the female reproductive system. And what’s scary considering that women are the ones who carry the child is that women are more vulnerable to the longer-term effects of drugs. This is because women are physiologically different in weight and hormone balance. This means that the way a female breaks down the excess toxins left over from drug use essentially isn’t as effective. This is what leads to the longer term damage to their reproductive system.
Menstrual cycles will be affected by cocaine. Periods may be heavier or lighter and you’ll invariably experience increased cramping. Obviously, as this is a change in your hormonal balance, we can directly see a link between fertility and cocaine use, but here are some details.
If your periods are light, your body isn’t cleansing out the old blood in your womb. As this is what your body nestles into, it’s not a secure basis for implantation. Think about having blown plaster on a wall and then just plastering over it. The wall will still be weak underneath.
On the other hand, when you have heavier than normal periods, you’re being more aggressive at cleansing. Not great when you’re trying to conceive.
In terms of cramping, one of the things I regularly tell my fertility reflexology clients is that they need to keep their abdomen area as soft as possible. No crunches or other ab work. This is so the egg has a wonderfully soft place to implant. Cramping works against this.
Cocaine can also harm your reproductive system. Here are some examples:
*cocaine may damage your fallopian tubes leading to ovulation issues.
*the effects of cocaine on our hormonal balance and thus ovulation for months
*if you are lucky enough to get pregnant through all of this, then your chances of suffering with recurrent pregnancy losses is greater.
Sexually transmitted disease
STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) and infections can affect your fertility in the longer term. The use of drugs, including alcohol in this is that you are more likely to put yourself in danger of contracting one of these when you are under the influence because the chemical changes to our brain mean that we are more of a risk taker. As a side note, these can also lead to cancer later on down the line too. For sure there’s a fertility risk if you e.g. need a hysterectomy, but cancer in itself is best avoided we think!
What’s the research on cocaine use and infertility?
One study that I’ve just found quickly on the internet conclusively found that drugs and alcohol are related to infertility in women. And the higher the use, including alcohol, leads to a higher percentage of fertility problems. This study also showed that tobacco products lead to a delay in conception.
On the flip side to taking risks, drugs over time can also lead to a reduction in our libido. Women’s vaginal lubrication can be reduced, as is the ability to reach an orgasm. Fertility aside, I think we could all do without that little complication!
Cocaine use and male infertility
STDs also affect men in the same way as they do women leading to their sperm being damaged. You can do ‘it’ at the right time every month, but without those little swimmers getting to where they need to be in enough quantity and of the right quality to break through the follicle’s membrane, you’re not going to get pregnant naturally.
Hormone levels change
Specifically looking at fertility in men linked to cocaine use (note we’re not talking abuse) their hormone levels change in the same way women are affected. This slows down sperm movement, which as we’ve discussed above, leads to infertility. Or issues in getting pregnant in the very least.
What happens is that cocaine disrupts how the male body creates sperm (spermatogenesis). This affects reproduction. If a man has had long-term cocaine use, then our sperm count will be lowered because we can’t produce as much due to the damage. But also, those that are already in production have a poorer mobility. It also leads to a deformity in them leading to a higher abnormality count.
In addition, research has shown that men’s fertility health is further affected by damages to the microscopic ultrastructure of the testicles. This leads to irreversible fertility issues.
On this note, let’s take a quick sidestep to steroids which increase testosterone in our bloodstream. This conns our brain into thinking we have enough and so it doesn’t produce as much naturally. This leads to poor sperm quality and thus infertility. It’s the same effect with excessive muscle building exercise. And these effects can be medium to long term.
Sexual arousal and physical affects
Sexual arousal is also affected by drugs. Over time, men may suffer with a lack of sexual arousal, and the knock on physical effects of that. And don’t be fooled by the short term spike in sexual arousal. Everything needs to balance out. And this spike is only short lived. Cocaine can lead to erectile dysfunction and delayed orgasm. Neither are great for enhancing your conception chances.
Continued affects on your child even after birth
In the same way females are still affected by cocaine use after pregnancy, the same applies to men. If you get pregnant despite your drug use, then research shows that your child will be more likely to miscarry due to defective sperm, and even at full term, your child will be smaller with a lower birth rate.
What causes infertility?
Don’t forget, when you use cocaine and other recreational drugs, you’re piling all of these negative effects on top of the common causes for infertility such as
The age of the woman
General issues that affect the male sperm count and quality
Irregular periods, ovulation issues and tubal disease
The anatomical matching between a particular male and female reproductive systems.
When we’re looking at what causes infertility, cocaine use and infertility are inextricably linked. There is no way around this. So if you’re trying to get pregnant and it’s not happening, then it may be worth looking into your consumption of illegal or damaging substances such as cocaine.
If you’d like to book an appointment with us for fertility reflexology so we can help to cleanse your system and work with you on a path to improving the effects of drug use, then book online.
Many people have heard of acupuncture. But, they’re still asking what’s the difference between reflexology vs acupuncture?
Both modalities have their origins in traditional Chinese medicine and although both are similar in the sense they alternative therapies, or as we like to refer to them, complementary therapies. Both modalities balance your entire body (holistic) through releasing energy flow, there are some intrinsic differences between reflexology vs acupuncture.
The key difference for me is that acupuncture uses needles to pierce, or puncture, the skin.
Your reflexologist will use a combination of differing pressures (acupressure) on the surface of your skin using a kind of massage which is done within ‘reflex zones’ specifically on ‘reflex points’. Each of these relate to other parts of the body which are not usually reached with a normal massage.
There are no needles involved in reflexology, it is totally non-invasive and very often your practitioner only use a gentle pressure combined with healing energy to improve your health. It also has a wonderfully relaxing effect.
Many clients who have tried acupuncture and then moved to reflexology because they didn’t like it, say that the benefits of reflexology is that is so much more relaxing.
Similarities between reflexology and acupuncture.
Both treatments work with the sympathetic nervous system to calm it down, so in theory clients should fall asleep just as they do in reflexology. However, there is something about having needles sticking out of them during the process that makes them tense and hinders their ability to relax.
Reflexology is like time out.
Thankfully, this doesn’t happen with reflexology which is like a wellness time out, whereas when they’ve had a therapy involving needles, clients describe it as being more like a doctor’s appointment.
While reflexology uses reflexes (pressure points) in the hands and feet the location of which largely resemble the shape of the human body, acupuncture has a more haphazard approach in that the meridians channel all over your body.
So, while reflexology works on the entire body using many pressure points within one area, mainly the feet (although there is foot and hand reflexology) acupuncture uses meridians spread throughout your torso and from foot up to the top of your head.
Ready to book a reflexology session to relax, balance and unwind?
Hopefully that has explained a little of what you were interested in finding out about acupuncture and reflexology. Just one more thing to note, reflexology is safe throughout pregnancy as long as you are attending sessions at a clinic with a trained pregnancy reflexologist as we are at Essential Feeling. If you’d like to ask specific questions, please email us at email@example.com. Or you can book online now.
Imagine sitting in traffic and you’re late for an important meeting, or for picking the kids up from school. How stressed does that make you feel? These are the effects of stress on health.
The fact that it makes you feel anything means that stress has an emotional effect on your health. Anything which affects our body, either positively or negatively and whether that be mental or physical, has a serious longer term impact on our health.
So, by default, the way you react is the short term impact of stress on your health.
Subtle changes over time
Underneath all that panic there’s a subtle change going on to how your body processes all this stressful information. Your physical body is adapting to your increased mental pressure and turning stress into a more negative, chronic problem. You’re sweating to cool down on the off chance you may need to run, because back in the old caveman days, when we’re under stress we needed to run. Our bodies haven’t got over that yet, and so that’s also why our heart rate increases because we may need the extra blood and oxygen to make that run for it.
So, this is the long term affect the stress of repeatedly being stuck in a traffic jam can have. Day after day that sustained peaks in stress takes its toll on our heart and our health, because our system is overworking meaning it doesn’t now have enough energy left to keep us properly healthy.
Big changes and by then it’s often too late
Compound that little health issue with additional mental stresses that we all take for granted as being part of a busy life (picking up the kids, preparing food, holding down a job etc), and you’re now starting to see how easily stress can built up and the impact it very quickly takes on our health.
By utilising our energy to deal with stress, we’re taking from the available resource that we would use to function normally. This is when our body then starts to not have enough resource left to fix itself properly. So, we might get headaches from tension, our fight or flight response doesn’t know when to shut off so we don’t sleep at night and often times we are depressed.
Compound effects of stress
And so the story continues to compound as our body is now not only dealing with stress and a base level of anxiety, but also the triggers.
We’re busy so we forget to drink enough. And because our body needs water to filter out toxins, the situation worsens further. The whole thing turns into a self fulfilling prophecy.
Fertility and stress
The first physical thing to suffer usually is our fertility because this isn’t critical to keeping us alive. So, our sex drive will drop, we’ll miss periods and men will suffer symptoms of erectile dysfunction.
Over time, the problems of stress on health are unimaginable as cells don’t have the resource or the necessary sleep time to reproduce effectively. Malformed cell over the longer term become disease.
Our clients scoff at us when we tell them that stress is the root of all evil, and while that may be a tad on the dramatic side, hopefully you can now see how there are valid points to be made about reducing the impact stress has on our health. And if we can’t, then at least managing the effects it has on our body.
Reflexology is a great way to improve our immune system and reduce the way our mind overworks, thus reducing stress levels. A bit of self care goes a long way when we’re trying to combat the way stressors which make us jump to conclusions about events that are not actually as harmful as we perceive. Within a few reflexology sessions you’ll be able to see life from a more understanding perspective. Once you do this, stress disorders that you’ve been living with usually start to clear up on their own as your fight or flight reactions dull in line with the more relaxed approach you’ve now adopted to life.
Want to know how to increase the odds of getting pregnant? I watch women every day of the week who are spending thousands, literally thousands of pounds at a time on IVF and other similar treatments to improve their fertility and thus chances of a successful conception.
And I’ve helped these ladies. Not just with their body, because although physical balance and a healthy lifestyle is important when you’re looking to increase your odds of getting pregnant, our wellbeing is made up of our mind as well as our body. We are physical and emotional beings. In the quest to improve our likelihood of getting pregnant, many women throw money at the problem and forget that they are human. And this affects our chances of getting and staying pregnant.
When I first started the process of helping ladies to get pregnant, I would repeatedly ask myself “What’s the difference?” between those who are successful with their fertility and IVF journey and those who hinder their own chance of becoming pregnant.
The answer is the same every time.
So, here’s how to increase the odds of getting pregnant.
We have nurtured the mentality of those who cannot enjoy pregnancy in order to move forward with a unique approach. We have consciously decided to abandon the statistics, the odds and the past so that we can have the present and the future we want.
I work with the ladies who are 42 years old and can’t find a scrap of miracle “evidence”. And we work to create that feeling of positive optimism. That anything is possible if we at least have some of the tools. Our body is wonderful at listening and providing what we want, we’ve all heard about the people who beat the odds with strength of character alone when they’re diagnosed with terminal illnesses. They’re not willing to give up. So why should we? But we need to do it in the right way. And this is the key that will unlock your door to increase your chances of getting pregnant.
It is important that we are all willing to accept our situation now. This is the starting point, the place where we take stock and accept where we are moving forward from as we move towards the iron will of someone who wants to increase the likelihood and chances of conceiving.
But, we can not strangle our body’s free will with the force of our need to improve our odds of conception. This is a finely balanced wheel that we are turning and our journey is slow and methodical. Well, it appears it at the time, we can work together for a year before we start to see our odds of conceiving improve. But, when we get there, we arrive at our destination a changed person. The lessons we learn on this journey to increase the odds of getting pregnant will help us for the rest of our lives.
By releasing unwavering confidence, certainty and undisguised joy in our lives, we find our missing link.
You do not have to be perfect in almost constant happiness within your home life. You just need to be on board and work with me.
It simply boils down to your answer to this question:
Will you live on the odds or challenge them?
Take a second to think about this.
Will you be trapped by the “traditional wisdom” that others (including so-called “experts”) think you might be on this journey?
What if rejection which is limited to probabilities gives you the freedom to own what you want?
If you want to succeed on this journey to improve your chance of getting pregnant, you must have their mentality.
My ladies don’t know what’s strange. They understand how your mentality increases the chances of pregnancy. They refuse to let past or present circumstances determine their future, and therefore:
* They become mothers — decide you’ll be one of them.
* Change your mentality, change your results.
Are you interested? Here’s an exercise to take this to the next level…
Will you live with the odds being stacked against you or will you disobey them?
On this trip, you can easily say the right words, batten down the hatches with that steely determination. But to really fly free of negative odds, you must believe in your heart. It’s not enough to tell yourself. And this is where I can help. If you are prepared to believe that you can improve your odds with a full heart, I will get you to a state where you ignore the odds. Because there is always an exception.
When was the last time you made a decision from your heart, not some calculations that made you feel the illusion of control?
I’ll work with you using reflexology for fertility to balance your body. At the same time your mind will calm. We will use a variety of techniques to help your mental clarity relax and therefore over a sustained period of time improve your chances of conception. And you know what, you’ll probably never use an ovulation stick again. The day of ovulation is important still, but you’ll learn with me that it’s not the most important thing. Your likelihood of becoming pregnant will improve as you learn ways to increase your fertility by ignoring it.
How many times have you been told, ‘relax, it will happen’? I’ll get you there with easy steps to boost your fertility. We’re not going to run around every health food shop in the town trying to get weird roots that boost your chances of conceiving. We’re going to give you things you can do to increase your conception chances that are fun. That will bring joy into your lives. As a couple. And all the while, I’ll be working your feet with reflexology techniques that have been shown to increase your physical fertility and therefore may boost your odds when trying to conceive.
I won’t guarantee that you’ll be pregnant within a certain period of time. But, what I will do is give you everything I know. I will work with you and your personal fertility journey and if you commit to come and see me regularly within a year we’ll have figured out the best way to increase the odds of pregnancy and you’ll be able to pregnant faster.
I get asked if it has to take a year. Not at all. I’m just trying to set realistic expectations. There’s no point embarking on this journey and then losing the momentus half way through. Be prepared for the long haul and then if your chances of becoming pregnant improve faster that’s great. I have had many women over the ten years that I have been doing this who get pregnant within a few short months. But, prepare for a longer time and you won’t be disappointed.
So, to increase your chances of conceiving and successfully carrying your child full term, in the first instance, drop me a text on 07757 946023 and let’s start working out what’s the best course to improve your fertility and increase the likelihood of becoming pregnant.
First, though, some background, what is conception?
Fertilisation happens when an egg from a female and the sperm from a male meet. This combined force is what produces an embryo. Conception is when that embryo implants in the lining of your uterus. This is how couples can be fertile, having sex at the right time, but still struggling to conceive.
Throughout the female menstrual cycle which lasts roughly a month. Day one is when you start your period with bright red bleeding. Everyone’s cycle is slightly different. This is because we have different hormones that release at different levels.
This provides unique chemical combinations in our body that stimulates different hormonal activities. Some women find it useful to keep a calendar tracking things such as temperature to see which week and day they are likely to ovulate. The problem with this is that this quickly adds to an obsession around periods and conceiving a baby.
This adds to stress which we’ll cover below.
At the point of ovulation, we are looking for a peak in LH (Lutenising hormone) and Oestrogen. Just after this, progesterone rises.
These hormones produce different effects in our body. At Essential Feeling, we then work with you to make sure you have all of the tools to spot your bodies inbuilt ovulation calculator by reading the signs that your body gives you.
In fertility reflexology we talk about balancing hormones. This means we concentrate on balancing your body as much as possible so your hormones peak and trough as required to conception to take place.
Determining the day of ovulation from your internal ovulation calculator
Watching out for secretions of mucus from your cervix can be the most accurate way of establishing your own ovulation calculator. Once it is prevalent, it goes through a process that you should try and monitor.
1. Scant, sticky and pasty
2. White, sticky, gluey and elastic
3. Cloudy, stretchy, more abundant and also wetter
4. Clear, stretchy, profuse and slippery
By tracking this (see videos below too), you’ll be able to make use of your own built in internal ovulation calculator which will give you the clearest sign of what is going on in your body.
The last stage, stage 4, when your mucus is clear, stretch, profuse and slippery is when you are ovulating. If you’re not getting the above maybe you’re not ovulating. If this is the case we have lots of experience of bringing about more regular ovulation with fertility reflexology.
However, remember, that you need to look out for all the stages in your ovulation calculator so you’re ready. Sperm lasts for up to 7 days in your fallopian tube depending on it’s quality. Therefore, you need to be building up sexual intercourse during the stages so that you have the maximum amount of living sperm ready to fertilise your egg.
Your natural ovulation calculator will tell you when it’s time to work on things. You need not go mad, and particularly remember, there is no benefit to having sexual intercourse more than once a day as at this rate the sperm can’t reproduce enough.
Trust your natural ovulation calculator and you can take it easier, thus reducing stress and again aiding your chances of getting pregnant.
However, it’s important to note that an ovulation calculator is not the be all and end all.
NICE guidelines state the following and it’s worth bearing this in mind:
“People who are concerned about their fertility should be informed that sexual intercourse every 2 to 3 days optimises the chance of pregnancy. Timing intercourse to coincide with ovulation causes stress and is not recommended”.
I’m using the ovulation calculator technique above and I’m still not getting pregnant?
This can happen for many reasons; the ovulation calculator is one tool amidst many things that need to coincide to make pregnancy happen. The thing is though, without getting this bit right, it won’t happen and we can work on the rest with fertility reflexology for men and for women, nutrition advice, dealing with stress and many other lifestyle factors.
When a man’s sperm meets the woman’s egg you’re in the process of getting pregnant. However, this sperm has to actually fertilise the egg for a successful pregnancy which it does by breaking through the membrane of the egg. To do this, the sperm and egg need to meet at the right time and the sperm needs to be of the right shape to get in through the wall of the female’s egg.
Getting pregnant is not as easy as we’d like to think.
This can be a complicated process based on so many lifestyle factors and whilst the figures say that 80% to 90% of people that are trying to get pregnant do so successfully within 1 year, this firstly is still a long time to wait and secondly, there’s still 10% minimum that are still trying to get pregnant after that first long year.
At Essential Feeling we’re specialists in the art of getting pregnant and we can help make this process as easy as possible for you.
What is the menstrual cycle?
The menstrual cycle starts at day 1 on the first day of the ladies period. Before her next period, she will usually ovulate although it lengthens the whole process of getting pregnant further when you learn that we don’t always ovulate every month. However, assuming you are ovulating, you will do so roughly around day 12 to 14 based on your cycle being 28 days. This is the basics of an ovulation calculator, read more here. However, we need to factor in the idiosyncrasies of your particular cycle if we’re going to be as accurate as possible.
This point of ovulation is where the ladies egg is released and therefore available for the male sperm to try and get inside and so this is why so many ladies become so obsessed with the menstrual cycle when they’re trying to get pregnant. If the sperm and egg are not in the same place at the same time then there is no chance of getting pregnant.
Hormones are the control centre for pretty much everything our bodies do including getting pregnant.
So they will tell your body that you need to ovulate this month. They will tell the male sperm how it should grow and ensure it’s robust enough to reach the egg. And to stay alive for long enough to meet it.
Once there, the sperm needs to be the right shape to have the necessary equipment to break through its membrane.
Both male and female hormones
To do this, both male and female hormones need to be as balanced as possible. By balancing your hormones we ensure your body is operating to maximum effectiveness giving you the maximum chance of getting pregnant.
How can Essential Feeling help me with getting pregnant?
We work with specialist fertility reflexology techniques to make sure that your body and particularly your endocrine system (hormonal system) is working optimally. We can combine that with fertility massage to make sure that any of the areas that may be physically causing problems with getting pregnant are given direct work to keep toxins out of the way and muscles and nerve messages free.
It is important for men to be balanced and in good shape as well. Read information here on male infertility and how we can help.
Nutrition is important
We then combine this with our experience in nutrition as we’re qualified nutritionists. Specific foods eaten at certain times of the month will help you with getting pregnant. And then keeping that pregnancy going forward.
We work with your lifestyle choices and advise on what changes you can make within what is possible for you. This can be dramatic or small changes, we look to make the most effect without causing any stress.
Don’t underestimate stress
And finally on the note of stress, we massively help you with dealing with all stress, this can be general lifestyle related or very often the stress related to getting pregnant. Trained in counselling we’ll make sure you have the skills you need to carry on a full life. Going through the often traumatic and secluded experience of getting pregnant doesn’t have to be isolating. Not with us.
Our clients often ask us for some tips for getting pregnant. This is easy as there are so many. The problem is, choosing the right ones for you.
As there are so many tips for getting pregnant, its nigh on impossible to live a stress free life if you’re implementing everything. At Essential Feeling, we’ll combine giving you the best advice for your lifestyle with fertility reflexology and counselling and our experience shows not only success in getting pregnant, but also way more balanced and happy clients.
In the interim though, below are some tips for getting pregnant. These tips for getting pregnant concentrate on balancing hormones which is important for both men and women.
There are so many tips for getting pregnant linked to other parts of your health that we thought rather than overload you this hormone based guide would be a good start.
Your body needs sleep to balance hormones. Use guided meditation if struggling to sleep – YouTube has some good ones
Magnesium aids sleep, you can buy supplements
Light cardio exercise e.g. yoga in the evening. Too much cardio can cause overproduction of some hormones, so stick to gentle cardio only for the purpose of getting pregnant.
Weights in short bursts are excellent
e.g. Kettlebells, Deadlifts, Squats and lunges
5 – 7 reps of a weight that really pushes you. Watch your form, a personal training session just as a 1 off is invaluable to make sure you don’t cause yourself some damage by doing things in the wrong way.
Get outside during the day to improve your intake of Vitamin D from the sun. 20 mins is ideal.
Try to space meals 4 hours apart and 4 hours before bed to give your liver a break. This includes calorific drinks, water and herbal teas are fine.
We know there are a lot of tips for getting pregnant there and like we say that are just a taster for balancing hormones which is just one factor in getting pregnant.
The trick with looking at tips for getting pregnant is to make sure that you work with the ones that are relevant to your situation and will fit in to your lifestyle with the minimum amount of stress. It’s also about combining everything in to a lifestyle change, not a fad that creates stress.