Treating Infertility Naturally: The Mind-Body Connection
Alternative approaches to augment or ease your fertility treatment—and overall health!
Prayer and Meditation
In Chinese hospitals, qigong is practiced daily by patients as a part of their regular medical treatment and has been found particularly effective in treating chronic back pain, male impotency, arthritis, vision loss, high blood pressure, and kidney disorders.
Acupressure, another ancient Chinese healing art, calls for stimulating specific pressure points on the body to promote healing. When acupressure is used, the body relaxes, blood circulates more freely, and the healing process is quickened.
Therapeutic massage such as Shiatsu, Reiki, and Terra Mater are now being used in many hospitals in the United States; and the power of human touch is breaking into the mainstream. Neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) technicians have discovered that premature infants progress and are released from the hospital at a faster rate if they are touched for 30 minutes a day. In fact, many NICUs now recommend parents of preemies practice kangaroo care.
In the early 1980s, Dr. Domar, then a clinical psychologist and director of Women’s Health Programs at Harvard Medical School, began researching the effects of stress on infertility and women’s health issues. Dr. Domar wanted to determine whether relaxation led to greater conception rates in infertile women. Her conclusions were phenomenal. After sessions with Dr. Domar, wherein infertile couples practiced various forms of relaxation through visualization and meditation, nearly 65 percent of the couples became pregnant naturally. The tremendous success of these sessions led to the establishment of the Mind-Body Program for Infertility in 1987 and inspired Dr. Domar’s book Healing Mind, Healthy Woman: Using the Mind-Body Connection to Manage Stress and Take Control of Your Life.
Dr. Domar begins by assessing the behavioral, environmental and occupational factors that influence a couple’s fertility. After reviewing their assessment, a couple is taught various ways to manage and lower stress in their lives.
For some infertile couples, lowering stress means increasing prayer or meditation. Many churches offer individual or group counseling and prayer circles for couples coping with infertility. Hannah’s Prayer, a Christian infertility and pregnancy website, offers biblically based information and support including pen pal, prayer connections, and live fertility chat rooms. Hannah’s Prayer also offers a state-by-state listing of support groups for infertility and child loss.
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