It has long been theorized that the relaxing benefits of massage were helpful in women achieving fertility. That has now been backed up by two studies that lend credence to the theory, when using specific fertility-enhancing bodywork techniques.

The first study, published June 18, 2004, by Medscape General Medicine OB/GYN & Women’s Health, studied two groups of women. One group was seeking to become pregnant on their own, while the other group was preparing to receive in vetro fertilization (IVF). Both groups had suspected or confirmed pelvic adhesions or inflammatory diseases, such as endometriosis. Both groups received targeted bodywork therapy to their abdominal and pelvic area. In the first group, of the 14 patients available for follow-up, 71 percent became pregnant within one year, and three of them became pregnant a second time. Of the IVF group, there was a 66 percent successful rate of embryo transfers, which is significantly higher than the estimated odds ratio.

The second study also produced significant results. Published in the January/February 2008 issue of Alternative Therapies, 28 infertile women who had been diagnosed with complete fallopian tube blockages received 20 hours of manual physical therapy treatment to their abdominal area. Within one month, they underwent medical testing to determine the status of the blockages. Seventeen of the 28 patients (61 percent) showed the blockage had been released, and nine of those 17 became pregnant.

Massage therapists are now able to learn a bodywork protocol to enhance fertility and become certified in fertility massage through the Institute of Somatic Therapy. Using the technique developed by Hethir Rodriguez, a certified massage therapist and master herbalist, therapists can learn a specific procedure to address infertility. The technique consists of a series of deep-tissue strokes, myofascial release, reflexology and more, all designed with many benefits in mind. The reproductive organs gain improved circulation, bringing fresh oxygenated flood and nutrients to the uterus and ovaries. Scar tissue is relaxed and blockages of the fallopian tubes may be cleared. The routine also addresses stomach, liver and intestinal health to clear blockages, help bring about ideal uterine position and to achieve hormonal balance. According to Dr. John Lee, in his book Hormonal Balance Made Simple, hormonal balance begins in the digestive system.

To earn their certification, massage therapists can enroll through the Institute of Somatic Therapy. They will receive Rodriguez’s DVD Self Fertility Massage, and an accompanying handout prepared by Judith Koch, director of education for the Institute of Somatic Therapy. Upon performing additional reading and documenting three practice sessions of the technique with an infertile client, they will earn the title of Certified Fertility Massage Therapist through the Institute of Somatic Therapy.

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