Therapist Lynn Doak has dedicated the past couple of years to training and studying treatments specifically to help women with reproductive wellbeing from pre-conception to pregnancy and post-natal.
My path to specialising in these treatments was very much client lead. It began with more and more women seeking Reflexology for reproductive conditions or problems trying to conceive. Once word of mouth spread that this treatment was successful for many women at Devata, even more women came seeking a more natural approach to fertility, possibly where medical routes had failed them. I felt I needed to know a lot more about these reproductive disorders and fertility treatments so I began going to lots of seminars and workshops in England from some of the top natural fertility experts and taking professional courses in treatments I felt would really benefit my female clients.
Lynn travelled to the USA to study The Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy, a treatment which is worldwide renowned for helping women with a wide range of reproductive problems. She is also qualified in Reproductive Reflexology, a specialist area of Reflexology which works with the menstrual cycle to balance hormones, stimulate ovulation and is the ONLY Reflexology technique which can be used alongside assisted conception protocols such as IVF. She has also learned from some of the top natural fertility experts, Zita West and Dr Marilyn Glenville and admits she has read just about every book published on fertility. It is through this research and study that Lynn has put together a FERTILITY CARE PLAN, giving her clients step by step guidance and support.
When I become interested in a subject, I tend to absorb myself completely in it. I have always been interested in women’s health and wellbeing. I am interested in is helping women to understand their own bodies, the natural rhythm and cycles of nature. It became apparent to me that many women where being led straight into medically assisted routes without first being given guidance on how they could naturally improve their chances. That is what I do with my Fertility Care Plan – a program I put together not only from my studies and research but from my experience on what has worked best with my clients.
There is so much information out there on fertility, that if you were to follow all of it, it would become totally overwhelming, that is why I have simplified the process using what I believe are the best natural approaches to bring about balance. While I thank my teachers for all their knowledge, I mostly want to thank my clients for sharing their stories and journey with me, as experience is by far the best teacher.
Again, this specialist area of Devata has grown organically through clients sharing their experiences of having Complementary therapies throughout their pregnancy. As word of mouth begins to spread on women who had regular Reflexology having more natural labours, and in many cases much shorter labours, more pregnant women are keen to try anything that could help! There has been a significant rise over the past few years of women wanting a more natural approach to pregnancy and childbirth. More are choosing Midwifery Lead units to give birth, more are opting for water births, and only using gas and air, instead of drugs, epidurals and elective sections. Women are eating better during pregnancy because they know the effect this will have on their baby, they are choosing to breastfeed to help their baby’s immunity, they are taking yoga classes to help with stress and prepare their bodies for labour and they are most definitely looking after their health and wellbeing by having regular Reflexology and massage throughout pregnancy.
I love working with pregnant women. They are the clients who seem to get the full benefits of Reflexology and massage. It seems the slightest rub of the back or feet is like pure heaven to them! So regardless of the health benefits of having these treatments during pregnancy (and there are many of them), above all else they help the mum to be take time out to rest and de-stress. I believe 100% in the theory of Traditional Chinese Medicine and how good energy flow impacts greatly on our health and wellbeing. I believe that working points on the body and feet will help women throughout pregnancy and labour – but even if you don’t believe in this, it is plain common sense that a woman who is relaxed throughout her pregnancy, is going to be more relaxed during labour.
It is important to always chose a therapist who has been specifically trained in Pregnancy Reflexology and Massage. There is much more to pregnancy massage than just adopting a regular massage routine side-lying or on a pregnancy table. It’s important to learn how to treat or work with different problems a woman may be experiencing. Same with Reflexology, most Reflexologists will be trained where NOT to press on the feet during pregnancy but only a therapist trained in pregnancy will know where to work and when to work. Each trimester should have a slightly different technique.
At Devata we do not work during 1st trimester (this is only for insurance purposes, not because it poses any danger to the baby). We use specific techniques for 2nd trimester and 3rd trimester and work points to help any pregnancy discomforts. From 38 weeks we work specific induction points. It’s worth noting we see best results with this in women who have attended for regular sessions throughout their pregnancy, unfortunately there are no magic ejector buttons!
Lynn is qualified in Reflexology for Pregnancy and Post-natal and is now onto her 3rd Pregnancy massage course!
With each pregnancy massage course I do, I leave feeling there is still much more I need to learn so I keep on studying!
Similarly to what I did with the fertility work, I am currently incorporating everything I have learned so far to create what I feel is the most beneficial pregnancy massage. I also teach husbands and partners basic massage techniques they can use during labour. And I am soon to be qualified in Hypnobirthing so stay tuned for that…!