Throughout the history of mankind, the power of touch has been used as a restorative; to bring back health and strength after illness and to promote general well-being. Modern reflexology is less than 100 years old, but promoting healing through the hands and feet has been practiced by many cultures for centuries, even as far back as the ancient Egyptians. Since its development during the course of the 20th century from "zone therapy" in the USA, reflexology has always been holistic in nature, treating an individual as more than just a set of symptoms, and well-being as much more than a mere absence of illness.

Reflexology is a totally holistic non-invasive natural therapy, which aims to treat imbalance within the body and enhance its ability to heal itself. This ancient healing therapy that employs manipulation of pressure points in the feet. The practice is based on the principle that every part of the body is interdependent and that the body needs to maintain a state of balance for optimum energy flow and health. With Reflexology, this balance is achieved by applying pressure to points on the feet and hands that correspond to every organ in the body. By pressing these "reflex points" you can stimulate or sedate the nerve pathways linking the points to the corresponding organs. This encourages the various body parts and systems to work optimally, both individually and as part of the whole.

Reflexology is based on the principle that various reflex points (zones on the feet) affect and are affected by different parts and organs of the body. A knowledge of these zones allows the therapist to use them both to identify and to treat areas of weakness. Firm but gentle pressure with the thumbs or finger is applied systematically over the whole surface of each foot in turn. Where a problem or weakness exist in any organ or area of the body, discomfort will be felt in the corresponding reflex zone when pressure is applied. Reflexology aims to restore balance to the body.

The essence of reflexology is channelling the natural energy running through the body. It aims to re-balance the congestion by working pressure points on corresponding areas of the feet. Reflexology for infertility is a natural approach that has a good success rate and is completely natural. There are thousands of pinhead-sized reflex points on the hands and feet, pressure is applied to these points to stimulate the nervous system.

A Holistic approach therefore must incorporate care and consideration for each element that makes an individual whole. If we consider this approach more closely, it becomes obvious that there is more to a truly Holistic approach than just looking after the health of the mind, body, and emotions. A more precise overview of holism would compare the physical, emotional, mental, psychological, and spiritual levels. In fact, today there are a growing number of medical doctors who are adopting the Holistic approach to treating their patients.

Reflexology and the Intestinal Link

From chronic constipation to gallstones and hemorrhoids, Reflexology may help bring balance to digestive disorders and conditions.

When the colon is out of balance it is necessary to first clean toxins that have accumulated. We then need to acidify the colon so that acidophilus (friendly bacteria) will be established and grow there.
Your internal bowel health is just like a garden. The soil must be prepared initially so that the seeds can be planted, flourish and grow. In order for healing to take place, the environment must be free from toxins and poisons.

 The human body and the link that exists between specific reflex points in the feet with the reflex points in the colon, and that applying the science of reflexology to these pin-pointed areas, extra encouragement to heal can be given to this wonderful "human machine" that has been so perfectly designed with tremendous self-healing properties..

I hope this helps you understand and appreciate how disease does begin in the colon and all the healing starts there too.

Our bowel function is vital to our bodily health. All of the health problems which affect our body originate in the bowel. However, despite the vital importance of proper diet, proper education is at the root of the causes of disease which manifest in this area, and movements of our bowel and workings of the intestinal tract are taboo subjects.
From earliest childhood, we are conditioned to regard the movement of our bowels as dirty and disgusting, a habit which we need to get over just as quickly as possible. The whole process is quite an undignified affair, best done in private and if you are constipated it can be quite a painful event.

When the colon is out of balance it is necessary to first clean toxins that have accumulated. We need to acidify the colon so that acidophilus will be able to establish and grow there. In order for healing to take place, the environment must be free from toxins and poisons.

The reflex points in the colon that react when a body organ is in distress: we can actually map the body by on the intestinal tract relates to the specific body parts, and a reaction will be experienced by the client when a deep rotating pressure is applied to these body links if there is inflammation, congressional or tension in that part of the body, or when the body is generally out of balance. in this instance, as every deep pressure is needed. Not only does this technique enhance the ability of Reflexology practitioners can confirm with even more accuracy which part of the body is in distress but, by applying a rotation to these minute reflex colon points, an even better result can be achieved in all manner of dysfunctions.

The disease does begin in the colon and all the healing starts there too.

 As my family already knows I absolutely love the bowel, the bowel is the second brain and the effects of our emotions have on our bowel.

This was one of the most interesting courses I have done with Ann Gillanders.

Babies also love reflexology.

Reflexology for Infertility

Thousands of women trying to become pregnant may find the answer to their prayers at their feet. Reflexology is the ancient healing art that employs the manipulation of pressure points in the feet.

Infertility is the state of being unable to conceive after one year of unprotected intercourse and the term may be used to refer to a state of having never conceived or that of having difficulty in conceiving again after having previously conceived.

It is thought that one in six couples have a problem conceiving. The cause may lie with either the man or the woman though most infertility falls into the "unexplained" category.

The physical causes of female infertility are quite numerous. Women may have a hormonal imbalance, may not be producing eggs (ovulating), may have a blocked fallopian tube or problems with the womb. A man may have too few or damaged sperm, or his sperm may be unable to reach the egg to fertilise it.

Investigations and tests will be done to try and pinpoint the cause of infertility. While these are taking place, reflexology treatment can work rebalancing the glands responsible for the production of hormones.

Some couples turn to IVF or other medical treatments when having children becomes difficult. Why not try Reflexology first? It has a good success rate and it's completely natural, it is a gentle therapy and there's no evasive treatment at all.

When you are told that there is nothing physically wrong and that your problem is primarily psychological, what can you do? You can't get pregnant until you relax and you can't relax because you can't get pregnant!! Worry and anxiety over not being able to have children can create physical conditions that prevent pregnancy.

Deep relaxation alleviates stress and tension so that conception may take place. Releases of energy gently stimulate reproductive organs and promote normal glandular functioning. If the cause of fertility has not been established, then it is best for both partners to receive treatment so as not to place the responsibility on one or another.

The typical infertile male is an apparently healthy, virile man whose reproductive difficulty is only discovered through routine sperm analysis. Although it is far from being the case, many people think that virility and infertility are the same but this is not so, because many sexually potent men are infertile and unable to reproduce. In the case of a low sperm count, excessively frequent intercourse can reduce fertility.

Infertility in men occurs when: he produces insufficient seminal fluid, he produces too much seminal fluid causing the sperm to be over diluted, he is impotent, he does not ejaculate, he ejaculates prematurely, or he has retrograde ejaculation where the seminal fluid is ejaculated into the urine.

The so-called normal sperm count is 20-80 million per milliliter of seminal fluid, a volume of 1.5mls being seen as being the minimum required for fertility. Generally, the underlying causes or causes of a low sperm count are unknown, although a recent illness or infection can cause a temporary reduction in sperm. It is important when looking at male infertility, not to jump to conclusions on the basis of one sperm analysis alone.

Mostly, couples that have no physical reason as to why they are not conceiving are sub-fertile, which basically means it's just not happening! With a good balanced body, the incoming soul has a good environment to nestle in and make a home! To achieve this environment we start by balancing your whole body; digestive, immune, and respiratory systems and hormones: the whole lot. This gives us a solid healthy foundation and environment for conception to take place. Any imbalances that occur during the Reflexology treatment can be worked upon to bring back to balance.

I would suggest 4 -6 treatments (depending on your body and how well it responds to treatment) and for us then to decide how often and how much stimulation we need for the fertility part of the Reflexology. Once we have achieved the right balance for your body to conceive, we can start preparing your body.

For Women

 We monitor when you will be ovulating so we tie in the reflexology stimulation. This prepares the uterus, gets the hormones at a good level, relaxes, and calms your nerves.
All aspects of a woman's reproductive life are influenced by the relative levels of the different female sex hormones in her body. Imbalances between them are responsible for a number of disorders. It is imbalances between levels of estrogen and levels of progesterone that are responsible for many of today's hormonal problems. Oestrogen is dominant in the first part of your cycle and progesterone in the second part.

For Men

Now we know when your partner is ovulating and when the best time is to conceive. We can then get to work on the reproductive organs and relaxation reflexes.

In as many as half the couples who are unable to conceive, it is the man who has a fertility problem. It is important, therefore, that your partner is involved in the diagnostic process. Many conditions affecting male fertility are symptomless, so skilled investigation is necessary in order to identify them.

My vocation is as a complementary therapist and my deep commitment to fertility has come from that role. My passion is helping couples to focus on, plan for and succeed in having a baby. It is a wonderful privilege to work with a couple prior to conception, get a positive pregnancy result, and then looking after them during pregnancy and birth.

My approach has its roots in long-held Chinese beliefs. These are based on knowledge of the human body that comes from listening and observing and understanding natural laws and fertility cycles. They incorporate key principles of fertility that we have moved away from today. I am strongly in favor of appropriate complementary techniques to enhance fertility and conception, I believe couples need support and positive expectations, not false hope.

Complementary medicine should work hand in hand with western medicine. There are many factors affecting conception today that we have only recently come to appreciate, and modern trends in fertility gives couples a lot to think about. Whatever you are faced with, remember, focus; don't give up everything; don't put your life on hold.

I see couples who have all but given up their normal habits and feel as if life is almost not worth living. Don't beat yourself up about the odd glass of wine or cup of coffee you have had this month - the stress won't help you conceive. Becoming obsessive is not an effective way of achieving conception.

As far as I am aware I am the only Reflexologist in York qualified in infertility reflexology. I also work alongside the outreach sub-fertility nurse counselor.

I trained with the British School of Reflexology and have completed two further advanced courses, one of which is designed for infertility.

We are all aware of the wide-ranging benefits of physical exercise and yet, with our busy lives, it's all too easy to forget, to let it slip, put it off until we've finished the other 101 things we need to do.

Incorporating a regular exercise routine into your daily life is vital, but not just for losing weight or shaping the body. Regular exercise increases fitness and strength, enabling us to cope with the physical demands of the day and unexpected emergencies. For couples trying to conceive, it oxygenates the body and increases blood flow to supply the reproductive organs with essential oxygen.

Although the term "fertility" concerns men as well as women, it applies more specifically to women. The possibility of conception after sexual intercourse is in theory available to everyone, but things are not always so simple in reality.

Do not confuse fertility with fecundity! Fertility Rate

This is the average number of children that women have in the course of their lives between the ages of 15 and 50. In 2005, it differed between continents, with 4.8 children per woman in Africa and 1.4 in Europe. The world average is 2.5 children per woman.

The fecundity rate measures the biological ability to have children. The rate varies greatly from one individual to another and from one couple to another. Statistical data is available, however, female fecundity peaks about 20 years of age and declines thereafter until the age of 35. The decline then accelerates and the fecundity rate falls to zero at about 45 or 50.

A woman's fertile window lasts for four to five days during the menstrual cycle. It starts two days before prior to ovulation(spermatozoa can survive for 48 hours in the genital passages) and ends two or three days later, the ovule remains alive throughout this time.

Peak fertility in men seems to occur at about 24. However, in contrast to women, men can retain their fertility until old age. They are able to have erections, ejaculate, and parent children at 70 years of age or even later, as is demonstrated by both Charlie Chaplin and Des O'Connor! Fertility starts to decline, however, at about 45 years.

Aspiring parents who want to put luck on their side should take care of their health.

Sperm cells should be numerous, normal, and vigorously mobile in order to ensure fertilization.

The cervical mucus, the medium in which the sperm and ovule will meet, must be hospitable: it is responsible for nourishing and guiding them, as well as for their sorting and purification. If the sperm cells are correctly nourished, they can survive for five days inside the women's body.

When the man deposits his sperm in the vagina, it should be as close as possible to the cervix. Pregnancy can occur under certain somewhat rare circumstances, for instance, if the semen is deposited at the entrance of the vagina without penetration and the sperm cells are vigorous enough to reach the Fallopian tubes. But it is better to help the process a little.

Within the menstrual cycle, a random conception can occur within a very short space of time (48 to 64 hours). Whatever the length of the cycle, ovulation generally takes place 14 days before the next period. The most propitious interval for becoming pregnant is, therefore, the 12th, 13th, 14th, or 15th day before menstruation. During those four or five days, sexual activity should be evenly spaced in order to maximize the production of sperm.

The best way of finding out whether you are fertile is to try to make a baby! After about a year without using contraception: Some 60% of couples are expecting a child. About 30% of the others have their baby the following year. In the analysis, only 10% of couples have a real fertility problem, which may be transient or permanent. To find out exactly what the situation is, the best course of action is to consult a specialist, who will propose a full medical investigation and ask a certain number of questions on your lifestyle. Temporary infertility can in fact be caused by environmental factors such as different hours kept by each other, causing poor coordination of mood; unreasonable stress engendered by the desire to have a child straight away; a psychogenic block. All of these are becoming increasingly frequent. The woman is in perfect health and should be able to conceive, but is unable to become pregnant. Some women have to resort to in vitro fertilization in order to finally produce a biological baby.

Not before two years of regular sex without becoming pregnant. Earlier than this, no health professional will take you seriously. If you reach this stage, a serious medical investigation will be proposed. In practice, many conception difficulties have an extremely simple cause. The couple may be working long hours and see each other briefly. An investigation may reveal that sex takes place only three-time per month, and rarely on the days of greatest fertility. The next procedures are purely medical, with blood samples, ultrasound examinations, and, for the future father, a spermogram. If sterility is confirmed, you will be guided towards the most suitable treatments for your particular situation.

The moment when the first children arrive depends solely on the fertility of the parents. In modern societies, where contraception is widely used, it is very difficult to measure fecundity. The improving health of the population is probably producing a rise in fecundity, while at the same time the increasing prevalence of pollution and sexually transmitted disease produce the opposite effect. A recent study of European fecundity revealed that, contrary to received wisdom, the infertility of a couple is due to the man in 35% of cases.