Can Massage Treat Infertility?

I want to share some stories with you of women with long-term fertility issues who have conceived after receiving a course of abdominal and pelvic massage with me. I’m making no claims here and I’d like you to draw your own conclusions. 

I first became aware of the possibility that bodywork could significantly benefit women’s health issues when, as a recently qualified practitioner, a number of women clients began to report back to me that following their sessions of deep tissue massage, they had less period pain, less PMT and had noticed increases in their sexual energy.  These women had not come to me to address musculoskeletal problems not gynaecological ones!

The experiences of these women was one reason why I was motivated to explore the almost unknown area abdominal massage and pelvic bodywork.

Now according to Oriental medicine, a woman is is most likely to be fertile when her menstrual cycle is harmonious, periods comfortable and her sexual energy strong. Observing how women seem to be getting real benefits in this area from deep tissue massage, I began to be curious as to whether something be done to help fertility issues. It was not long before clients began to approach seeking help in this area.

One of the first was Caroline (name changed). She was 27 at the time and had been diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). She did in fact have all the classic symptoms, absence of periods, unwanted hair growth, weight gain. She had been trying for a baby for four years and for the last two have been having acupuncture and herbal treatment. Her general health was much better but nothing was happening in the fertility department.

We began with a short course of weekly treatments and then moved to  monthly, timing the treatments around ovulation time. Sessions consisted of a combination of full body deep tissue massage and pelvic and abdominal bodywork focused on releasing tight contracted tissue around her ovaries and generally warming and activating the circulation of blood and energy in her and pelvis.

Caroline had always been a chilly person and her lower abdomen often felt cold to the touch. This is a pattern that Oriental medicine describes as “cold stagnation in the womb”. During the third of her monthly sessions, as I worked deep into her belly, she was surprised by the feeling of the sudden rush of warmth in her lower pelvis. A week or two after that session she rang me to tell me she was pregnant. It was twins and I was happy to support her with pregnancy massage for the next nine months until she gave birth.

Another case was Deirdre, a teacher in her mid 30s who had had fertility problems for two years.  We followed a similar pattern as with Caroline but focused on releasing adhesions around a surgical scar from an operation for an ovarian cyst. She conceived after three months of treatment.

A more remarkable case was Sonia, a woman in her early 40s who was wanting to start a family with a new partner.  Apart from her age there were no other obvious factors in her infertility but when we began the abdominal massage and pelvic bodywork what emerged was grief and guilt surrounding an abortion when she was a teenager and a miscarriage in her late 30s.  Combining massage with somatic therapy I was able to support her to release and resolve these stuck emotions.  Shortly afterwards she conceived. I find that many women intuitively understand the power of these deep mind body connections.

As I said earlier, I am making no claims here but I know of at least twenty children in the world today where the massage work I did with their mum could have been a factor in overcoming infertility. My hunch is that massage for infertility is most likely to be helpful where there are some indications of adhesions or other blockages around the reproductive organs such as blocked fallopian tubes, endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease and previous surgery. A history of emotional trauma might be significant too.

If you want to talk to me about how massage might help you with your fertility issues feel free to email me, phoned me on 07891579364 or arrange a Skype session.  I’d also be delighted if you share your own experience in the comments section here.