Karen is an extremely accomplished complementary therapist & holistic fertility specialist. Through using a blend of therapies and coaching she works with those wanting to conceive and have a healthy pregnancy so that they can fulfil their dreams to become parents.
Read on to learn more about Karen, and exactly how reflexology, one of the therapies that she practices, can support you on your TTC journey.....
Tell me a bit about yourself and what your journey was to bring you to work in fertility support.
I’m a Scottish lass that always wanted to be a nurse, I achieved that dream in late 1980’s and qualified as a Registered Sick Children’s Nurse in 1989, sadly a month after my mother had passed away. A couple of years later I found myself as a single parent, this gave me the gateway back into study and thus began my journey in complementary therapies first studying for diplomas in Aromatherapy, followed by reflexology, a degree in Homeopathy and finally another diploma in Nutritional therapy. Working with a local Sure Start project for 13 years, as their therapist, I developed an early attachment programme for new parents, I think I realised at that point that to have healthy children and adults it started before they were born. I started to attend a few nutritional therapy courses on Fertility and then had the chance to do the Reproflexology course developed by Barbra Scott and it was then that I decided that’s the area that I wanted to specialise in and combine the reproflexology, nutritional therapy and homeopathy into my fertility sessions.
How does reflexology work?
Reflexology is based on the idea that reflex points on the feet, hands, face, and ears link to other parts of our body. By applying pressure to certain points on the feet, hands, face, and ears, it’s possible to relieve tension and restore balance within the body. Being a holistic therapy, reflexology treats the whole body rather than specific symptoms. It can show areas where there has been or is currently an energy disturbance. For most people it is a very relaxing session, most people feel calmer and more balanced after their session.
What areas of fertility do you provide support with?
I work from preconception, ideally 3 to 4 months before, but will support from any stage, helping to balance hormones and cycles if required, through to pregnancy, including right through ART cycles. I can read and interoperate medical reports, bloods and semen analysis and explain them to the clients in a clear manner (sometimes this isn’t done in the medical world sadly and clients can feel lost and overwhelmed with all the numbers). I provide a listening ear where concerns can be raised, rants can be had and tears can be wiped away all in a safe place. This is especially important for those that have suffered with baby loss. I have worked with parents that have had losses from early to term.
I work with both partners and the male, if part of the picture, is also welcome to come and have reflexology to help de-stress, discuss issues and help improve his sperm health. I encourage the male also to carry out lifestyle changes, improve diet and if required take supplements, its good to have the partners onboard as well.
How long do you normally work with individuals for, and how frequently?
There is no set time, it depends when they come to me in their journey and how their journey progresses, for the reflexology side they can attend weekly to monthly depending on what we are trying to achieve, it really is an individualised journey.
What do you think is one of the biggest myths / misconceptions that people have about reflexology?
That its ticklish or painful, it’s not we use the appropriate pressure for that client.
That you can’t use it in the first 3 months of pregnancy – it is safe to use then, this myth stems from the past where if someone lost a baby in the first trimester (that has a higher risk of loss) after having reflexology they would blame the practitioner, reflexology can’t cause a miscarriage, its usually a chromosomal or genetic issue in 98% of cases and sadly the pregnancy isn’t viable. But if in doubt please find a reflexologist that either specialises in fertility or pregnancy as they have carried out extra training after their original training to know how to look after and support a pregnant woman.
What is one of the biggest changes / improvements that you’ve seen when people work with you that may support them in getting pregnant?
Most of my clients in the past 2 years were going through ART.
Their confidence in asking more questions when they go for their hospital/clinic appointments if going through ART, they are advocating for themselves better.
Changing their lifestyle and diet to be more baby making friendly, eating better, adding in those extra fruit and vegetables that give the whole body a boost not just for fertility. These changes can also help with the mental health side of life and ttc.
If you could give 3 pieces of advice to support someone on their fertility journey, what would they be?
Start well before you are thinking of getting pregnant, eggs and sperm take at least 3 months to be at their best. Healthy adults start before conception.
Plan to do fun things with your partner, this journey isn’t easy, take time for each other and try not to make having sex a chore, do it because you love each other…
Do something nice for you, something you enjoy, of course I’m going to say get some reflexology but massage, yoga, meeting friends, going to the pictures all count in there as well.
Finally I wish you luck in your journey.
BSc(Hons) FFHom(Nurse) RSCN CNMDipNT MIFPA MAR MARR C&G Cert.Ed
If you would like to find out more, or to get in touch with Karen, you can find her at the following:
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