Recent years have brought an awareness to the high levels of stress, anxiety, and depression that infertility can create. On the other hand, research increasingly shows that these same stresses can affect fertility. Though it may not always be clear which came first, the stress or the infertility, the correlation between the two is obvious.
In our ancestors’ days, the ‘fight-or-flight’ response provided us with a short burst of adrenaline, playing a vital role in our survival as a species. Yet today’s constant, low-grade stressors - such as deadlines, money worries, and rush-hour traffic - have no clear end. Our stress response may stay permanently locked in the ‘on-mode’; the cycle continues, and we in turn begin to regard more and more things as stressful.
Such chronic stress depletes our body’s energy. In its innate wisdom, the body may automatically start to shut down nonessential functions, including the reproductive system. Excessive adrenaline and cortisol hormones flood the body, competing with progesterone for receptor sites. Stress hormones also affect the hypothalamus, pituitary glands, and generally distress the delicate interplay of reproductive hormones. Low libido, menstrual irregularities, and depression may result.
During this time, the need to be proactive in creating relaxation, pleasure, and self nurturing goes far beyond luxury; it is fundamental to good health. Massage has long been heralded for its ability to combat stress and promote relaxation, simultaneously working on the physical, mental, and emotional levels. The mind-body connection is seldom more clear than when examining the effects of therapeutic touch.
Massage stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, creating a deep and restorative state of restfulness. During this response, heart rate and blood pressure decrease, muscular tension releases, breathing slows, and pain decreases. This state can be deeply healing, promoting hormone balance, immunity, and tissue regeneration.
Massage can also create a sense of well-being by affecting our biochemistry. The release of endorphins is a long-known perk of receiving therapeutic touch. Recent studies have also shown that massage therapy predictably lowers cortisol levels and increases serotonin and dopamine levels, thereby reducing feelings of depression. Additionally, negative emotions and traumas may be stored and remembered in the tissue in the form of muscular pain, tension, and spasm. Relieving such pain patterns through massage can help release these ‘muscular memories’.
The FEM Relax and Integrate™ session is made to help with these exact pain points. Though the quest for fertility can sometimes leave you feeling disconnected from your body, the session has been stylized with long, slow, and fluid strokes, sending your body signals of wholeness, integration and pleasure. Therapeutic, Swedish massage will be performed to the full body, melting away unwanted tension while bringing peace and calming to the mind. Attention will also be given to releasing and stimulating the pelvic area through thermal therapy, Chi Nei Tsang techniques, and Swedish massage. Reflexology, acupressure points, vibrational therapy, and essential oils will assist in balancing the adrenal glands. It is one of the many ways that massage can help you to look within, finding peace, stillness, repose and restoration in your fertility journey.