Unlocking the Mind-Body Connection
"The receptive imagery approach is when the patient is helped to elicit whatever is the most meaningful imagery to them—a memory, a stream, tiny workers cleaning up their body. The distinction is, if a person is able to tap into their most personal, meaningful image it is directed to them and feels right rather than something that is external. Receptive imagery is facilitating a person to discover a healing image for themselves," Davenport says.
Davenport recommends those interested in guided imagery read Dr. Martin Rossman's book, Healing Yourself: A Step-By-Step Program for Better Health Through Imagery.
The desire to have a child can be so incredibly strong in some men and women that they are willing to undergo painful and costly medical procedures and potent fertility drugs. Sometimes, when all else fails, alternative therapies can breathe hope into a couple's quest for a child.
Can mind-body medicine counter the effects of infertility? The thousands of patients who have participated at the mind-body fertility program at Boston's Deaconess Hospital since 1987 may answer, "Yes!" According to Dr. Domar, "Thousands of patients have since participated, and the results have been encouraging. Approximately 45 to 50 percent become pregnant within six months (success rates are closer to 20 percent when patients lack psychological support), and most participants experience a significant reduction in both physical and psychological symptoms."
Dr. Domar goes on to add that through her own clinical trials, she's found that pregnancy and delivery rates were three times higher among women who sought out mind-body in addition to infertility treatments.
While qigong, massage, guided imagery, and the other alternative treatments do work for some, they will not work for all. It is important that infertility patients guard themselves against practitioners that promise or guarantee conception with the use of their products or methods. Some doctors and practitioners are incredibly gifted in their field; however, the miracle of conception is ultimately in the hands of someone or something higher up. That's not to say that these methods cannot be successful. Perhaps the power of these methods is nothing more than the faith the patient has in them—and faith can be a powerful thing!