Can reflexology help boost fertility pregnancy?
Reflexology is an ancient complementary medicine involving massaging specific points on the feet (and to a lesser extent, on the hands). Nerve endings are stimulated and this causes changes in other parts of the body. It is not a diagnostic tool but it can detect signs of disorder or disease. It takes a holistic approach, and rather than treating a specific illness, it aims to rebalance the body's systems so that they work in harmony. It cannot cure fertility problems such as blocked fallopian tubes or endometriosis, but research indicates that it could help to improve uterine blood flow and restore regular menstrual cycles among women who suffer from conditions such as PCOS, unexplained infertility, dysmenorrhoea (painful periods), and amenorrhoea (absence of periods – 35).
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More research will be needed to establish whether there is indeed a link but certainly reflexology is a recognized form of relaxation therapy and may help some of these disorders and boost fertility.
What is cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) and can it help with fertility problems pregnancy?
CBT is a psychological treatment in which cognitive techniques (that challenge negative thoughts) are combined with behavioural techniques (including relaxation techniques or fear reduction techniques) to relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression. As a result, symptoms of stress are reduced or disappear, outlook on life improves, as does general physical and mental health. CBT works on the belief that unwanted thinking patterns and behaviour are learned over a long period of time but can be unlearned using appropriate techniques, exercises, and practice. In 10 to 20 sessions of treatment, you learn to, in effect, reprogramme your way of thinking and reacting to certain events, allowing you to cope with them.
CBT is good for treating an overactive stress response, anxiety and depression, panic attacks, bulimia, ME and chronic fatigue syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder, and phobias. These conditions can seriously impair well-being and hence have underlying effects on fertility.