It seems impossible really that the same reflexology techniques can improve your chances of conception, encourage a healthy pregnancy, and also promote labour. Let me explain. Reflexology isn’t like a conventional drug or medical treatment. Conventional drugs cause a specific reaction within the body whether your body needs it or not. If you consume a blood thinning medication your blood will become thinner. And whether your body and baby are ready or not, pitocin (synthetic oxytocin or syntocin) will cause the uterus to contract. Reflexology on the other hand increases the flow of blood, lymph, and nerve signals in the areas/zones worked; evokes a profound relaxation response (soothing the sympathetic nervous system), and promotes homeostasis - a rest & repair state where the body can move into healthy balance (activates the parasympathetic nervous system). In other words, reflexology promotes optimal functioning of the body. So when a reflexologist works the reproductive and endocrine zones of a woman trying to achieve pregnancy, or who is newly pregnant, or who is full-term in her pregnancy, or who is postpartum, the reproductive & endocrine systems always receives the same message: ‘do what you’re supposed to do best now’. “Suzanne Enzer, a midwife, nurse, reflexologist, and author of the Maternity Reflexology Manual, says that reflexology cannot, does not, and will not make the body do something unnatural. The balancing and harmonizing qualities of reflexology will enhance the woman’s own self-regulating mechanisms.”
What this means is that while reflexology can’t make your ovaries release more eggs like clomid; reduce nausea like diclectin; bring on contractions like pitocin… it CAN and DOES encourage your body to function at its best so that fertility may be enhanced; nausea may be reduced; labour may begin – to name just a few of the many benefits of reflexology in the childbearing year!
A typical reflexology session covers both feet in their entirety so that all systems of the body are covered. When the client has specific goals in mind such as enhancing fertility, dealing with pregnancy discomforts, or promoting labour, then key zones/reflexes related to those goals are worked more deeply.
I now offer a special 2 hour labour preparation session which utilizes a number of natural approaches in combination to gently nurture and support your body at the end of your pregnancy. We begin with a steaming cup of my own looseleaf organic Sisterhood Blend tea to tone the uterus and calm the nerves. Enjoy 30 minutes of foot reflexology to help promote balance and wellbeing throughout the entire body, followed by an additional 45 minutes using a special combination of hot stone reflexology and aromatherapy to specifically target the reflex zones known to help prepare the body for childbirth. We then take a short break and do ten mindful movements to awaken the body before settling in for 30 minutes of yoga nidra meditation to calm the body, mind, and spirit in anticipation of baby’s arrival. You will be left with a 30g bag of Sisterhood Blend tea (15 servings) and a chart showing which areas of the feet I worked to prepare your body for labour so that you can work them yourself whenever desired.
This special 2 hour session ($150) is designed for women who have reached or passed their estimated due date or for those who are facing a medical induction or cesarean and want to help prepare their body. That being said, reflexology has the greatest benefits when you receive a series of treatments so if you haven’t already been receiving reflexology throughout your pregnancy, you could consider regular weekly sessions from 36 week to 40 weeks and then the special 2 hour session once you have reached 40 weeks.
Of course, the 2 hour labour preparation session all its own is still pretty awesome. ;)
Hot stone/reflexology, sisterhood blend tea, aromatherapy, yoga nidra - - these are tools I use to help you be calm, open, soft, and ready at the end of your pregnancy. I don't consider this to be a 'natural induction' as the tools and therapies used are not designed to bring about labour so much as they are used to create an optimal environment within you. These are gentle natural tools which can help open the door and clear the path so that when your body and baby are ready, the journey into birth can begin.
To learn more about how reflexology may benefit you or to book a session, please feel free to contact me.
References & Resources