Reflexology, Fertility and Childbirth
An increasing number of women are turning to reflexology to help them with many aspects of pregnancy and childbirth. Sheila Sortwell of Therapy Room NI is now trained in Ante Natal Reflexology.
Because the soles of the feet are like a mini map of the inside of the body they link to our inner organs and systems, including the fallopian tubes and ovaries. Some points on the foot are associated with a woman’s egg production and by manipulating these areas Reflexology may help correct the imbalances which can hamper pregnancy.
Likewise reflexology can help with inducing labour as pinpointing the correct pressure points of the feet will stimulate the uterus to contract and can help get things started. Sheila has been helping many women through their pregnancies and is now also receiving referrals from local midwives.
What is Reflexology?
Reflexology is based on the principle that certain areas on the soles of the feet or hands known as reflex zones, correspond to other parts of the body. Because these areas are rich in nerve endings, it is believed that when pressure is applied, the body’s natural ability to heal itself is stimulated and health is restored.
‘The Chinese believe that reflexology stimulates the body into healing itself by improving circulation, reducing stress, pain and restoring natural balance’
The most obvious effect of a reflexology and one of the reasons this treatment is so successful, is that it helps with stress reduction. The techniques of reflexology include finger or thumb walking where the reflexologist walks the finger or thumb over different areas of the feet in a set sequence and massage and kneading of the foot using the whole hand. The experience is generally firm, but gentle, and should never cause discomfort or pain.
Reflexology in Pregnancy is now being considered by many Dr’s & Midwives as an excellent way of reducing stress, aiding relaxation and assisting with a number of Common Ante Natal ailments
Is Reflexology in Pregnancy Safe?
Obviously when you discover that you are pregnant you want the best for both your baby and yourself. Reflexology is considered a perfectly safe complementary therapy during pregnancy as long as you are healthy, there are no problems with your pregnancy and you have discussed having the treatment with your midwife.
According to The Association of Reflexologists (AOR) there is a misplaced patient fear that reflexology may cause a miscarriage.
“There is no evidence to even suggest that this may be the case,” the AOR says. “However, as miscarriages are more common in the first term of pregnancy, clients may prefer to wait until the second trimester before commencing treatment”
Benefits of Reflexology in Pregnancy
There are many benefits to having reflexology during pregnancy, which include.
- Reduced Morning Sickness/Nausea
- Helps relieve Heartburn, Indigestion & Constipation
- Reduces Back pain
- Boosts energy levels
- Aids Relaxation & Reduces Stress
- Helps with fluid retention & swelling
- Prepares the body for Labour by balancing the bodies own systems especially the Hormonal system which governs the labour process
- The length of labour can be greatly reduced by having regular reflexology treatments in the weeks leading up to your due date
- During labour Reflexology can help with Pain control by stimulating the production of endorphins.
- After birth, encourages the bodies own natural balance to resume.
When Reflexology should be avoided
Reflexology is a wonderful tool to use during Pregnancy & Labour, however there are some conditions during all stages of pregnancy when Reflexology should be avoided.
- Threatened Miscarriage
- Any Bleeding
- History of Blood clotting
- Unstable Diabetes
- Deep Vein Thrombosis
- Placenta Praevia
- Placental Separation
- Hydroamnios – if there is too much amniotic fluid around the baby after 32 weeks gestation
To discuss any aspect of Ante Natal Reflexology or to book an appointment, please call Sheila Sortwell
Tel: 028 7744 5050