A little bit about you…
I am a licensed massage therapist and certified birth doula. I own The Womb Wellness Center, a holistic massage and birth studio for women. I am passionate about supporting women as they prepare their bodies for conception and move through their childbearing years. My intention is to facilitate a place for women to come to relax, release, and to heal. To feel nourished and filled with energy so they can give to themselves and their families.
What is your experience in working with infertility? Any special interest or training?
About one third of my clients come to me for fertility massage and Maya Abdominal Therapy. I have studied fertility massage with Claire Marie Miller and The Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy with Rosita Arvigo. Through these advanced bodywork courses I focus my massage sessions on supporting and enhancing women’s reproductive systems. I applaud women who are being proactive about their health preconception. As they care for and prepare their bodies for pregnancy they in turn create healthier babies. This is the ideal time for women to focus on healing and creating balance in their life.
How does Massage help with infertility?
The Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy is a wonderful way to help optimize how your body functions. Maya Abdominal Therapy is based on the ancient Mayan Techniques of abdominal massage. This is an external, gentle manipulation that helps to reposition internal organs of the digestive and reproductive system. Repositioning organs, especially the uterus, helps to restore healthy and optimal blood flow, lymph, nerve, and energy flow within the body. This massage helps to support the bodies natural healing capacity to prevent disease and restore balance within the body.
How does the treatment protocol differ for endometriosis, PCOS, unexplained infertility, male factor, etc?
Maya Abdominal Therapy sessions are often similar for various diagnosis’s because we are helping to release restrictions and restore proper flow in the body. The massage focuses primarily on the belly, low back, sacrum, and hips. I follow my intuition and I may spend more time on various problem areas depending on what the particular client is experiencing that day. Ideas on ways to support their own daily self care will also vary from client to client.
In your experience, in what ways have you seen massage to be most beneficial? Is there a particular diagnosis that responds especially well?
I am amazed every day with the feedback from my clients. I wouldn’t say that there is one particular diagnosis that is more successful than another. I tend to think of the work more in helping to facilitate a space for women to tune in and listen to their bodies. When women take the time to pay attention to the messages of their bodies they are able to intuitively make shifts and changes to support what they need. I teach a self care massage to everyone so that they are able to nourish themselves and experience the benefits of this work daily. This in turn gives women the opportunity to be active participants in their healing. The clients who are incorporating the self care into their wellness routines tend to see lasting change within their bodies. Most clients will report a shift in their symptoms within one to two sessions.
What is your typical protocol/recommendation for someone who is undergoing fertility treatment?
Natural cycle with no medical intervention?
Medication with natural cycle?
Ideally, I would recommend that all women take at least three months where they are preventing pregnancy to prepare their body for conception. I recommend women experience the Maya massage twice a month during that time. It takes three months for the body to incorporate changes and to create a healthy ovum. This would also allow them to receive the work throughout their entire cycle not just during their fertile phase. The uterine ligaments can take 30 days to heal so this will help to encourage the uterine ligaments to heal, the body to cleanse and find balance. Again I would have to stress that the massage is a case by case process. There isn’t one answer for each women undergoing IVF or unexplained infertility. It is more about creating balance in the body, opening up the flow of the pelvis, and giving the body a chance to work in a more optimal way. There are times that we would need to make modifications to the massage or self care depending on what treatment path that women has chosen.
Are there additional referrals or recommendations that you make to support your protocol? Please list and explain why.
Yes, I often find myself referring clients to various health care providers and encouraging them to research self care tools to help support the work. Providers such as chiropractors, therapists, nutritionists, yoga classes, acupuncture etc can be very helpful and supportive to fertility massage. We also discuss various tools such as self care massage as well.
What do you think would be most helpful for fertility patients to know about Massage?
fertility in general?
Massage is a wonderful way to help reduce stress and tension in the body. When our muscles are tense or tight they can impede the structures around them. Our hormones travel through our blood in our arteries and veins. If, for example, our muscles are very tight or an organ is misplaced this can impact the flow of our circulation, in turn affecting the proper flow of our hormones. By creating balance and reducing restriction we can help the flow of the circulation, nerve, lymph and energy allowing the body to work better, thus improving our fertility.
What do you see as the missing piece for your clients when it comes to fertility treatment?
I hope that fertility clients are inspired to get curious as opposed to frustrated in their own unique journey. Learning to listen to the body and taking time to nourish themselves during this time an ongoing process for everyone. I am here to help clients release tension but it is their mission to find the missing piece. I can’t give that answer as it is within each person. It may be that repositioning the uterus is that one little piece to the puzzle that was missing for a particular women. It could be an emotional release or a subtle dietary change but ultimately I feel that it is the client who takes the action to follow her own inner guidance. The client is doing the healing, it is the women who is taking the time to support her body and optimize her fertility that takes her one step closer to meeting her baby.
You can learn more about Emily and Balance & Thrive at www.balancethrive.com