Reflexology: can it aid fertility?
by CHRIS BROOKE, Daily Mail
After three years of trying for a second child, Kath and Murray Chapman had almost given up hope.
Doctors had told them Mrs Chapman had a hormone problem which meant fertility treatment would be a waste of time.
But the 40- year-old mother remembered she had read somewhere that reflexology could help with infertility.
With nothing to lose, she had three months of foot massage and, at the end of her course, was delighted to hear that her hormone levels had returned to normal.
She soon became pregnant and gave birth to second son Fraser five months ago. While doctors insist there is nothing to prove the alternative therapy was responsible, she is sure it worked.
Mrs Chapman, who also has a four-year-old son called Jake, said: 'I am convinced I wouldn't have become pregnant without the reflexologist's help. I was absolutely shocked, but obviously delighted, to find I was pregnant after being told we couldn't have a second child. It's a dream come true.'
Mrs Chapman, from Deepcar, Sheffield, said she was 'devastated' to be told she would never conceive again.
'I was told that there was no point in attempting IVF treatment because it would be a waste so I would have to resign myself to the fact that we couldn't have another baby,' she added. A hormone test - which indicates if a woman is entering the menopause - showed levels were too high, suggesting her ovaries had stopped producing enough oestrogen, which controls the reproductive cycle.
To become pregnant, a woman needs a hormone rating of ten or below but Mrs Chapman's was above 25. Following reflexology, however, it dropped to below eight.
' I told the doctors about the reflexology but they dismissed it and just said it was possible that hormone levels can drop when you become more relaxed and less anxious.
'The effect of the reflexology was amazing. It seemed to relax me so much. I became pregnant quite quickly and everything went smoothly. The doctors never admitted that the reflexology had anything to do with it but I have no doubt at all.'
Mr Chapman, who runs a catering recruitment business with his wife, said: 'We're just delighted now the family is complete.' Reflexologist said: 'The technique works on pressure points on the feet which correspond to different parts of the body. Massaging these areas helps to restore balance to the body.'
There is little accepted medical evidence to back up reflexologists' claims. One trial in Denmark examined 108 women with an average age of 30 who had been trying to conceive for up to seven years. Many dropped out of the trial, but 19 of the remaining 61 conceived within six months of completing the treatment.
Polly Hall, of the Association of Reflexologists, said last night: ' Doctors would say that reflexology had nothing to do with this.
'We don't make any claims to cure any conditions but we have anecdotal evidence that reflexology can help with infertility problems and bring the body back into balance.'