The struggle that thousands of couples face with conception and infertility can become a nagging see-saw of hope and renewed monthly heartbreak, invisible to the naked eye yet latent, inexorable, hiding just below the surface of a person's public persona.
Because many find the subject too personal or painful to discuss in public, couples in this situation ally themselves with the tools, and the probing, invasive tests that the worlds of medicine, counseling, and psychology have to offer.
Yet when infertility is linked to a history of abdominal or pelvic infections (such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), bladder or yeast infections, and endometriosis), single or repeated surgery (such as laparoscopy, C-section, or back surgery), a fall, trauma, abuse, or radiation therapy, and when one or a combination of those factors have caused adhesion formation, a simple but revolutionary solution may have been overlooked.
Recent studies show that an individualized, manual (hands-on) form of physical therapy, also known as site-specific massage to the body's soft tissues, may help infertile women conceive.
"The primary goal of our therapy is to increase mobility and decrease pain by using specific techniques to break down the excess collagenous cross-links which are at the core of adhesion formation," explains Larry Wurn, LMT, a massage therapist and the clinical co-director of the Gainesville, Florida-based Clear Passage Therapies (a group of small, private clinics). "These excess cross-links may cause pain and limited movement. It would be very difficult for us to break down the primary adhesions which allowed the patient to heal. However, we have strong clinical evidence that we can greatly decrease the excess cross-links which appear to be the cause of so much pain and dysfunction."
Wurn developed the technique to help his physical therapist wife, Belinda Wurn, after she experienced pain following several surgeries and pelvic radiation.
"The Clear Passage philosophy addresses the entire body. The therapists use their hands to gently adjust, apply traction, mobilize, massage, and stimulate the structures of the body from head to toe, in order to restore balance and symmetry," he says.