The Fertile Body Method is a mind-body approach to fertility which acknowledges the importance of working with fertility problems in a holistic way. Hypnosis is potentially a very powerful and effective therapeutic tool and is used in many of the techniques and approaches suggested in the Fertile Body Method. Hypnosis is a trance state induced through focusing attention on any current internal or external sensory experience; hypnotherapy is the art of utilising this state of absorption to facilitate inner change, which can positively impact on physical wellbeing and fertility.
How Can The Fertile Body Method Help?The FBM can help enhance fertility by: Reducing stress and increasing feelings of calm and relaxation Restoring physical, mental and emotional balance and wellbeing Balance can be restored through relaxation, positive cognitive changes, visualisation and changes to diet, exercise and lifestyle Restoring hormonal balance, regulating the natural balance in the autonomic nervous system, regulating and restoring healthy immune system function Creating balance in the body can be further enhanced by creating balance in thinking. Decreasing negative self talk and excessive worry will help restore emotional and physical balance and ensure that these changes are maintained. Identifying and resolving issues which may be preventing conception (unconscious or conscious resistance).
Preparing the couple for conception by helping them: to make necessary changes to lifestyle, diet, smoking, alcohol and exercise habits to feel confident and ready for parenthood to Improve intimacy and sexual relationship (for natural conception) restore menstrual health, or sperm mobility and count prepare for IVF or other fertility treatment.
Providing support: Teaching self help tools that continue to enhance fertility To maintain the changes they have made Supporting the couple if they do conceive, to help carry the baby to full term Supporting the couple if treatment fails Supporting them to make decisions about fertility treatments and other options for parenthood It can help by addressing and reducing the effects of infertilityPeople who have problems conceiving may experience a reduced sense of mental, emotional and physical wellbeing and leave them feeling stressed, frustrated, angry, jealous, guilty, hopeless, anxious or depressed. It can affect their work, friendships, family and relationships. The FBM can help to reduce the negative effects of infertility by: Restoring self esteem and self worth Working through emotions e.g. anger, jealousy, guilt, stress, anxiety and depression Building coping skills and developing inner resources Ensuring their needs are being met Resolving relationship problems (partner, family and friends) Increasing sexual Intimacy and affection Restoring trust in one's body Reducing the negative effects of fertility treatment medication Restoring the body to good health after medical treatments Providing emotional support and an opportunity to talk openly Processing any death and loss Coming to terms with infertility
How Does The Fertile Body Method Work?Viewing health as more than a physical issue is certainly not a new concept. We know that health is experienced as mental, emotional, spiritual and physical wellbeing. Many cultures throughout the world use a medical model that fully acknowledges the inter-connectedness between these different aspects of our being. Mind-body medicine is an approach to health that recognises the effect that our mind has on our body, and vice versa. This model views the various aspects of ourselves and the different systems of our body, as a part of the greater whole. This holistic approach acknowledges the effect that one part, or one system, will have on another. It views the human being as a dynamic living ecosystem that strives to maintain all parts in balance, working harmoniously together. Depression Affects FertilityWoman suffering from depression, stress and anxiety are twice as likely to have problems conceiving. In one study 60% of women who were treated for depression got pregnant within a 6 month period, as opposed to only 24% of untreated women (Nicholas, M ‘3 Steps to Fertility' pg49) A study in Germany showed that men on death row found that they all had a very low sperm count. (Domar, A ‘Conquering Infertility: A mind body guide to enhancing fertility and coping with Infertility' pg 30) Another study showed that women who had experienced at least one unsuccessful IVF cycle and who had depressive symptoms before continuing IVF treatment experienced a 13% subsequent pregnancy rate, in contrast to a 29% pregnancy rate in women who did not experience depressive symptoms before their IVF cycle. (Domar, A ‘Conquering Infertility: A mind body guide to enhancing fertility and coping with Infertility' pg 24) Stress Affects FertilityIn a tribe under threat from another tribe or marauding wild animals, the females would fail to ovulate during this time, similarly if there were a feminine that too would be a bad time to bring a child into the world. - Peter Bowen-Simpkins, M.D Clinical Director, Cromwell IVF Fertility Centre. Introduction: Shape UK March 2001 Beliefs Affect BiologyA Recent study at Harvard Medical School measured what happened when women who were having difficulty conceiving were given group CBT. They were taught how to identify recurrent negative thought patterns and how to separate truth from fear. 55% of the women who participated had a baby. Compared to 20% who received no treatment. (Nicholas, M. ‘3 Steps to Fertility' pp 113) Ambivalence About ParenthoodOne study showed that in woman without any anatomical reason for infertility, the majority showed severe psychological conflict regarding the wish for parenthood. (Therese Benedek eet al. ‘Some emotional factors in Infertility' Psychosomatic Medicine Vol 15, no 5. (1953) pp 485-98. Jeker et al ‘Wish for a child and infertility' International Journal of Fertility, vol 33, no. 6, (1988) pp 411-20) Hypnosis And IVFThe use of hypnosis during embryo transfer doubles the IVF/ET outcome in terms of increased implantation and clinical pregnancy rates. Furthermore it seems the patients attitude to treatment was more favourable. (‘Impact of hypnosis during embryo transer on the outcome of in vitro fertilization-embryo transfer: a case-control study.' Fertility and Sterility Journal. May 2006; 8 (5):14040-8) PMS linked To Decreased Autonomic Nervous System ActivityJanuary 4, 2008 - New research shows that women with premenstrual syndrome (PMS) have significantly decreased autonomic nervous system (ANS) activity and that those with the most severe symptoms might have permanent depression of this key regulatory system. PMS Linked to Decreased Autonomic Nervous System Activity, Caroline Cassels . Medscape Medical News 2008. C 2008 Medscape.