Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Recently, we've heard a lot about this whole concept of "fertility massage" and whether or not the idea of massage increasing the chances of fertility is a valid one. I will only speak from my personal experience and also from my knowledge of massage and being an owner of a massage studio.
Folks, massage works. After not being able to conceive for 3 years after the birth of my first child and visiting an infertility specialist only to be asked to start taking Clomed (as most of you know is a drug to ensure the regularity of menstrual cycles and egg production), I finally decided to not opt for the drugs and instead take a more natural approach and try to reduce my stress levels by getting massage regularly. By regularly, I'm talking, once a week. We've all heard that stress is a huge contributor to why things don't happen the way they should for your body. You don't have to be an MD to figure that one out. But to what extent can stress overtake your normal bodily functions? I've heard of people getting really ill because of stress. I mean, hasn't it caused tons of people to have fatal heart attacks and strokes? There is even evidence that the largest number of heart attacks and strokes occur on Monday morning between 8-9am. Coincidence? Perhaps, but for me, it was worth a shot to reduce stress levels to see if there was really a correlation between stress and infertility.
Meanwhile, it all worked out in my favor because I was just beginning to interview massage therapists for the Elements massage studio I was opening in Gilbert, AZ. I didn't have to spend the money for the massages, but if I look back and think about how much money I would have spent on infertility treatments, I think I would have rather put that money towards getting massages, considering my initial consult with an infertility specialist in Scottsdale resulted in a $300 bill.
It was during this opening process, which was a stressful one, I might add, that I conceived. Can you believe it? After years of trying, I finally got pregnant!
Although I still do not fully understand the connection between stress and infertility, and do not condone or not condone infertility treatments (nor am I recommending ceasing your treatments), I've heard that stress levels confuse the brain's hormone center and can delay ovulation. The January 2004 edition of the International Journal of Neurosciences published an article about research that was conducted on bodywork and stress. They set up three groups of volunteers to measure stress levels and heart rates. The first group received a light pressure massage, the second group received a moderate level massage, and the last group received a vibratory massage. In my lingo, I equate those to Swedish, Therapeutic and Tapotement modalities, respectively. My favorite is a Therapeutic Massage, consisting of long, wide, broad strokes at a medium pressure intensity. And interestingly enough, while all groups showed a decrease in anxiety levels, those that received a medium pressure massage saw the biggest drops in stress level. Another coincidence?
Here's the biggest surprise of all. After delivering our newborn baby girl in April of 2009, I started receiving massages again to relieve myself of the exhaustion I was feeling after staying up night after night through all those feedings. Boy did I need a massage after not receiving one for over a month. Not only did it make me feel relaxed, it also increased my blood flow and circulation, resulting in another pregnancy a couple weeks later. Yes, you heard right. Now I am a baby making machine. Was I a little surprised? UH... at a loss for words is more like it. Can anyone say super-duper overachieving ovaries?
So does massage work for your body on a different level? I think you know where I am going with this.
For those undergoing expensive infertility treatments, it doesn't hurt to try a different approach to getting pregnant. Give yourself permission to receive a therapeutic massage. You can think of it as an escape: warm sheets, soft music, and a moment of relaxation during your busy and hectic lives.
We have worked diligently to create what we call the Elements Signature Therapeutic Massage which encompasses all facets of a head to toe therapeutic massage, involving Swedish, Deep Tissue and Trigger Point Therapy. You can receive this type of massage at any of the Elements studios in AZ. Think relief from mental and physical stress, injury and pain relief, and ultimately a little time to yourself to refocus. It is truly a magnificent and detailed massage, which will please even the most critical customer.
Want to try an Elements Signature Therapeutic Massage?
Call or visit us at any one of these locations:
Gilbert: 2556 S. Val Vista Drive, Suite 105 (480-726-2222)
Scottsdale: Scottsdale Promenade @ 16255 N. Scottsdale Road, Suite C-5 (480-998-2120)
Scottsdale: Shea @ 9343 E. Shea Blvd, Suite 120 (480-941-3077)
Glendale: Arrowhead Ranch @ 19420 N. 59th Ave., Suite E-515 (623-847-4050)
By: Jeanette Belloni, Elements in Gilbert