Fertility for men and women from a Gentle Release perspective
Fertility is a subject entangled around my heart, after our own 5 year journey trying to conceive our beautiful daughter Imogen, I have lived the journey and the painful uncompromising path it takes, tying you up in knots until you no longer resemble the person you used to be. When your closest friends, family and social media become daggers through your heart with the most innocent of comments or announcements. Notwithstanding the monthly ebb and flow of your own cycle and the torture that brings…that’s if you’re even lucky enough to be having regular cycles.
The fertility journey isn’t just about hormones, sperm and eggs, it’s about you and your partner, how you feel, your physical, emotional and spiritual health, how you live and how you deal with it all.
Gentle Release Therapy uses an extremely light touch to release blocked energy and help get energy flowing more freely once again. Some of the techniques use Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Theory as a foundation, others cranial, lymphatic and endocrine release.
Acupuncture is based on very old Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Theory and has long been used to treat both male and female fertility. Acupuncture points are like motorway junctions found on the meridians (motorways). Each of these meridians is linked to an organ such as the Kidneys or Liver. Each of the organs has its own role in the body and is linked with different emotions. For example the Liver is connected to ligaments and tendons, eyes, anger and frustration the Kidney is connected to fear, lower back pain, knee problems, ears and more importantly fertility! If you went to see an acupuncturist for fertility support, they would choose a selection of acupuncture points specific to your Traditional Chinese Medicine Diagnosis.
In Gentle Release Therapy we would first work with the organs themselves to release any blockages before moving onto the acupuncture points and doing Gentle Release work instead of needling if additional support is still necessary. The extremely gentle cranial release works in a beautiful synergy with the release of the abdominal organs, valves, womb and ovaries and really helps clients to release emotional and physical problems at another level, restoring balance to the whole body.
Love your Liver
The Liver is responsible for the flow of qi (energy) around the body and Liver qi is also responsible for ovulation. Before your period the Liver must start to move the blood in the womb. While the Liver is busy focusing elsewhere qi isn’t flowing so well in the rest of the body which can cause emotional upsets, headaches, breast pain and cramps. When the flow of qi to the womb is struggling women will suffer with painful and cramping periods.
As if this isn’t enough, if the Liver isn’t functioning well, hormones and toxins build up in the body, which may cause problems related to oestrogen dominance such as PCOS, endometriosis and fibroids. Men need their qi flowing freely to support their body functioning at its best to allow it to produce the best possible sperm.
Our lives are so busy with so much stress and we are surrounded by toxins I find all my clients have an awful lot to clear from their Liver particularly on the first visit. If someone came to me with back pain, neck pain or fertility I would start with the Liver first to get the qi flowing and allow the ligaments and tendons in the whole body to begin to relax, and with less tension, the body will work better, the blood will flow better and I’m already half way there!
Unfortunately the average fertility journey does little to promote the ‘free flow of qi’, anger and frustration about the whole situation gets worse as each month passes, compounding the problem. Self care techniques with Gentle Release Therapy would help gently release the frustration and anger, but you may need to see a therapist to help release the deeper stuff!
The Kidneys are also important in Traditional Chinese Medicine their energy impacts the reproductive, skeletal, neurological and endocrine systems. In charge of birth, growth and reproduction they are key in my work particularly in growing children and fertility clients. Fear is the emotion connected to the kidneys and can affect the energy working efficiently.
For women with high FSH who have been told their chances of conception are low, supporting the Kidney energy can allow the ovaries to respond normally to FSH and help them to develop better quality follicles and eggs. Lower back pain during your period can be an indication of a Kidney energy weakness.
In men the Kidney energy is vitally important as Tian Gui is derived from Kidney essence which becomes sperm in Dan Tian or the ‘Room of Essence’ The room of essence produces and stores sperm and is very closely related to the energy of the Kidneys and Du Mai another meridian.
In women Tian Gui derived from Kidney essence becomes menstrual blood and helps nourish the womb and thicken the lining. I had the pleasure to work with a beautiful lady who had premature menopause at the age of 16. She came to me having started IVF using donor eggs but was struggling to get her womb lining thick enough to transfer the embryo. As we worked her lining got thicker but the interesting part was that when she went on holiday and didn’t have treatment for a few weeks her lining barely grew, a few weeks later with regular treatments the womb thickness was way past the baseline, and she has recently given birth to a healthy baby.
Then we have fear…so much fear around fertility, fear of the next period, fear of not having sex at the right time, fear of not getting pregnant, fear of another miscarriage, fear of another stillbirth, fear or a traumatic birth, fear there is something wrong with me, fear of hearing someone else’s pregnancy or birth announcement, fear of letting down your partner, fear of becoming a parent, fear of losing your life as you know it, fear that this may never happen, fear that you can’t go on….tiring isn’t it, and that’s another Kidney connection… tiredness.
Women and men that have been on this journey for so long they are exhausted and tired with it all, tired of trying, tired of dealing with all those emotions and they need to just let that all go….easier said than done but my clients report that they go home feeling so much lighter and uplifted and Gentle Release can really help your energy levels with all that energy flowing more easily, things that felt so difficult before, become a breeze.
The Spleen in TCM produces thyroid hormones and progesterone both key for fertility. Spleen deficiencies can cause thyroid problems, autoimmune issues, allergies, digestive problems and period problems. The Spleen can struggle with too much sugar and refined carbohydrates. Overthinking and worry are the emotions affecting the Spleen another common problem in fertility clients and an area that needs support and release. Spleen problems can cause loose stools around your period and be involved in luteal phase defects caused by low progesterone which can cause spotting before your period.
Heart and Womb
The heart is a key area for stress, anxiety and depression and by releasing blocked energy can make a massive difference to how people feel both physically and mentally.
The Bao Mai vessel links the heart and womb, but unfortunately this means when emotional and spiritual troubles impact the heart it then impacts the womb. We work to release the blocked energy in the heart and womb independently and then work to establish a connection between the two. Sometimes after trauma, abuse or surgery the heart and womb get disconnected for protection. With Gentle Release Therapy we would work to get the body and energy flowing again first so it has capacity to let go of the deeper emotions its holding onto in a safe and nurturing way, and when its ready to do so.
Your body does all the work to release, we just use our intuition and guidance to let the body unwind and detangle, while we offer a safe and supporting space.
There are a few extraordinary meridians involved with fertility, that all originate in the womb in women and the room of essence in men. The Chong Mai communicates with all other meridians, looks after our periods and controls our hormone cycles. It is the first meridian to form in the foetus. Ren is the conception meridian which supplies all our yin energies, oestrogen is a yin hormone and can be nourished through this meridian. Du is the governing meridian and supplies all the Yang energies. Progesterone and testosterone are both Yang hormones and can be nourished by this meridian. Three more reasons for womb and room love!
It goes without saying that the ovaries are key for fertility and we work with these areas directly to release any blocks alongside the support we are giving them though the other meridians. But on another level that resonates deeply with me, look to the work of Tami Lynn Kent, a women’s health physiotherapist that works with the pelvic bowl and the power within it, Tami has written three beautiful books, ‘Wild Feminine’ is a good place to start. She talks of the left ovary being the more feminine, with beauty and sensuality, playful, daydreaming and sparkles and most importantly your creativity. The right ovary is more masculine putting your creations and ideas out into the world and getting things done. I’ve seen how releasing blocks in these areas can transform peoples lives and they find their way to the path they are meant to be on. I’ve also worked with male clients and what we call the left energy centre and the right energy centre in the areas the ovaries would be on a female, I avoid the testicles for obvious reasons! These sessions have been extremely enlightening and there have been positive shifts in their lives also.
Body alignment and pelvic imbalance
Gentle Release Therapy is my first choice when clients come to me with aches and pains such as hip pain or back pain. To complement the abdominal releases I’ve already mentioned the cranial release is key to help the neck and pelvis release and rebalance. Allowing the structure to be better suited to optimise the flow of blood and hormones to the reproductive area. It also offers another layer of release for the abdominal organs as more layers of tension held in the body melt away.
Emotional blocks and the path to motherhood
I’ve talked about all the TCM organs and how they are all linked to different emotions, but our emotions are more complex than that. Our emotions weave webs held in our body, anger may be held by fear, your womb may me held by frustration or overthinking, Gentle Release Therapy offers a unique way to untangle these webs and stories our bodies hold and finally release these blockages in our energy system. Often we don’t even know what it is that’s releasing, we just let it go. I have specific techniques for fertility clients where we explore their future journey from conception through to motherhood to see if there any blocks the body is holding about particular stages of the journey. Its always so enlightening what these sessions reveal and clients are often amazed and relieved in equal measure and looking forward to see what happens next.
……if you are trying to conceive
Gentle Release Therapy practitioner training was only launched in late 2018 so there are only a small number of practitioners currently in the UK. If you want to come a do some intensive work with me in Lincoln, I can offer a 2 hour treatment one day and then you can have a relaxing night in a hotel and come back the following day for another treatment. Visit the website for my clinic here.
I’m also planning to do a Gentle Release Therapy guided mediation for fertility, if that’s something you might be interested follow us on Facebook, Instagram or sign up to our mailing list to be notified of its release.
I would love to organise some fertility retreats in the future, so if this is something you might be interested in, do let me know. Email: email@example.com
.….if you want to train to become a Gentle Release Practitioner
The Gentle Release Therapy Practitioner course is an intensive 3 day practical course where we cover all the abdominal organs, cranial, spine, emotional, lymphatic and endocrine release. That is enough to get started helping fertility clients, but the advanced course which is another 3 days goes deeper into fertility specific work, plus menopause, acu-touch and more advanced techniques. For details of the courses click here.