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conception diet families fertility nutrition relaxation

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip – Drink your water! I advise all my clients to drink plenty of water, especially the first few hours after a treatment.

Why?

Drinking water helps your body to balance all the fluids you need to keep you alive, and nourishes your cells, tissues and organs for healthy fertility⁠ (this goes for men as well as women!).

Water helps your muscles to work properly⁠, and to recover well when you’ve been exercising.

Water helps your skin to look good – if you’re dehydrated you might notice drier, flakier, dull looking skin, especially the skin on your face⁠.

How can you get more water into your daily routine?⁠

➡️ Drink at least one glass every morning, before you start hitting the tea or coffee⁠

➡️ Have a glass of water with every meal or snack⁠

➡️ Take a bottle with you – in your bag, at your desk or in the car. A re-useable vacuum bottle is better than a plastic one, and many Refill locations mean you can top up if you’re out and about – check out Litter Free Coast and Sea for an app that helps you find the closest.⁠

I hope these tips help get you drinking more water – remember it can take at least 21 days for a new habit to stick. Challenge yourself to drink more water for the next 21 days and tell me how you get on (I’ll be your accountability buddy😇). If you want to send me a message – just click on the ‘Say Hello’ button.

Categories
exercise mindfulness Reflexology relaxation

Week of self care

If you’re following my pages on Instagram or Facebook, you might have seen some of my week of self care tips. If not, don’t worry, I’m adding them all here for my lovely website viewers!

Day One – Take a shower  (or run a deliciously deep bath). ENJOY the hot water, feel how gorgeous it is to be luxuriating instead of rushing. GIVE yourself at least 10 minutes – TIP: use a timer if you need to. USE that special shower gel or bath bubbles you’ve been saving for a special occasion. Make YOURSELF the special occasion and LUXURIATE in this time for YOU. NOTICE how paying attention to something small makes you feel – note it down if you want to remember.  YOU are special and worthy of self-care.

Day Two – READ something REAL. An actual paper book, a magazine, your kids stories, even a gardening or clothes catalogue. REMEMBER how the texture, smell and even the typeface of words make the experience PLEASURABLE and so much MORE engaging of your senses than reading a screen. GIVE yourself at least 10 minutes – TIP: use a timer if you need to. NOTICE how paying attention to something small makes you feel – note it down if you want to remember. YOU are special and worthy of self-care.

Day Three – Try using a positive affirmation. Look at YOURSELF in a mirror and tell yourself : I am worthy of LOVE and JOY – say it with feeling. This is just for YOU so don’t worry if you feel silly – nobody is watching or judging. If you feel that a different affirmation would be more truthful for YOU then your magical search engine will help you find something GOOD and JUICY. FLOOD yourself with LOVE and positive energy. NOTICE how paying attention to something small makes you feel – note it down if you want to remember. YOU are special and worthy of self-care.

Day Four – LEAVE your phone alone. Really far away. Take a walk without it, try a meditation or a stretch. Bake a cake. GIVE yourself at least 60 minutes  phone free time. NOTICE how you feel WITHOUT it and what you did with that time instead (NOTE your feelings if you’d like a reminder). Pay ATTENTION to what’s around you right NOW. TIP: use a timer if you need to. NOTICE how paying attention makes you feel – note it down if you want to remember. YOU are special and worthy of self-care.

Day Five – TRY reflexology. Use the video posted on my IGTV and story showing you some quick and EASY HAND reflexology that you can use on yourself. Be MINDFUL of your self touch, you should be gentle and use smooth and flowing movements. USE these techniques for 2 minutes at least 3 times TODAY. NOTICE how paying attention to something small makes you feel – note it down if you want to remember. YOU are special and worthy of self-care.

Day Six – CALL (don’t text) a friend or someone special for a catch-up, short or long. TELL them how much they mean to you. REMIND yourself that CONNECTIONS with other human beings are part of the LOVING nature of life. NOTICE how you FEEL being part of someone else’s story for a few minutes and have GRATITUDE and LOVE for that person in your life
NOTE that feeling if you want to remember. YOU are special and worthy of self-care.

Day Seven – GIVE yourself a high five! If you’ve followed along all week and tried out everything I suggested, you’ve given yourself the GIFT of a week of SELF CARE. I hope you’ve enjoyed taking part. Let me know how you got on with the challenge – has it changed how you feel about giving YOU some time and attention? Will you repeat any of it? Drop your comments below or send me a DM- I’d love to hear from you.
YOU are SO special and worthy of self-care 

Love, Rowena x

Categories
Reflexology

Do you know what’s in your deodorant?

Do you know what’s in your deodorant?

I found a great app, recommended by another instagrammer, called yuka_app. You can use it to scan product barcodes and find out *exactly* what is in them.

Have a look at the picture to see some of the nasties in my daughter’s deodorant. Needless to say, we’ll be having a conversation about this!

Endocrine disruptors, allergens and potential carcinogens are NOT good for you, and can have a significant negative impact on your fertility.

I challenge you to download the app and scan a few items at home. You can use it for food, as well as health and beauty products. Check sanitary items, skin products, shave foam and toothpaste. Let me know if you’ll be making some swaps when you’ve done it! Yuka helpfully suggests better (safer) alternatives for you. Download the app from your preferred app store.

If you want some tips on reducing your toxic load whilst preparing to conceive, and where to buy, I’ve made a quick file that you can access here: Reduce chemical exposure.

Categories
conception courses families fertility menopause pregnancy Reflexology

What I Do

Reflexology for fertility, and women’s wellbeing. That’s what I do – help support your fertility naturally – whether that’s :

  • to sort out monthly cycles so your PMS isn’t bothering you
  • preparation for natural conception
  • helping regulate PCOS / endo /fibroids
  • support for all kinds of assisted fertility treatment
  • reflexology for pregnancy, labour and fourth trimester support
  • peri-menopause
  • what is making you feel less than 100% yourself

HOW can you work with me? I work remotely with clients via video consultations, email, phone calls and in groups. You can book live sessions with me.  You can also book a virtual distance reflexology or Gentle Release treatment.

Categories
conception families fertility men Reflexology

Men’s Health Week 2020

During this week, I’ll be adding posts to my social media with links to useful articles on men’s health, particularly in relation to their fertility. In my practice, unfortunately, I don’t see men coming for ANY reflexology very often, and I’d like to see that change. The majority of the work I do now is reflexology for fertility – however, when I see the female in a couple, I often don’t ever see the male, or find out what’s going on with them. That needs to change.

It seems like the role males play in their own or their partners’ fertility is being ignored, or downplayed – either by the men themselves, or by their doctors. As men contribute 50% of the genetic material to a potential embryo, I’d like to change that narrative, and work with both parties, as it makes such a difference – not only in the fertility side of things, but emotionally and within that relationship, where both parties are included within the process.

Anyway, off my high horse for now, here are the articles and podcasts that I’ve found for you, which might educate and inform you a little.

https://www.thefertilitypodcast.com/season2ep9/?fbclid=IwAR0uSFjnM9RbuAps4vkm5P9nmDj-y9G4_NoukUtRYJsnmLE98Wn8K4TG6fU

https://www.menshealthforum.org.uk/sperm-faqs?fbclid=IwAR2oBlSC6us1pEhAyfGDI56dYMioXUdSzeSDVvWoK4aKbgMpjbsxVoWyTZM

https://www.instagram.com/p/CBgi9-ZARSp/

https://www.instagram.com/p/CBlkEdZpwpP/

Categories
Reflexology relaxation stress

What is homeostasis?

Do you know what homestasis means?

It’s a term used in many holistic therapies, including reflexology.

Essentially, it means balance. Within your body all the many systems that keep you upright and functioning are very finely tuned. Trust me, YOU are a miracle!

If anything goes out of balance in an organ or system, it manifests as some kind of issue in your body, a pain, a feeling of wrongness, symptoms of illness, fertility issues and so on.

Reflexologists aim to encourage your body to re-balance itself through applying gentle touch – including massage and reflexology to the feet, face, and hands. It’s a powerful therapy.

Have you tried reflexology yet?

Categories
conception fertility pregnancy Reflexology

What is a short luteal phase? And why is it important when you’re trying to conceive?

The luteal phase is the 10 – 16 days between ovulation (release of an egg) and the bleed. The phase length is governed by the corpus luteum, a temporary endocrine gland which forms from the empty follicle after ovulation. The corpus luteum is responsible for the production of progesterone, which supports the development of any embyros until the placenta forms at about 12 – 15 weeks gestation and takes over.

If you are trying to get pregnant, a short luteal phase could hamper your attempts, as the progesterone needed to help establish a pregnancy may not be sufficient. You may have been diagnosed as sub-fertile or experienced early miscarriage.

A short luteal phase usually means your body is producing low quantities of progesterone. Signs of this include PMS, pre-period bleeding or spotting, cyclical headaches, weight gain, painful or lumpy breasts, heavy/long bleed.

Short luteal phases can be caused by many factors:

Stress (emotional, physical, illness, trauma, surgery) – the body can suppress reproductive hormones when the hypothalamus reacts to body chemistry changes

Undereating – another form of stress where the body reacts to being undernourished

Medical conditions – these may be undiagnosed, but coeliac disease and thyroid disease are known to be a factor

Can you improve a short luteal phase?

Yes. Changes to diet, lifestyle,specific supplements and targeted reflexology have shown improvements in lengthening luteal phases.

Balancing your cycle helps your body to work in harmony (remember homeostastis in my last post) and regulate itself.

What’s your luteal phase like?

Categories
Reflexology

My Story

Welcome! I’m Rowena Gledhill, your fertility reflexologist.

How did I get here?

I was born in Weymouth and lived here until moving to London in the 1990’s. We were told we had unexplained fertility, after trying for a baby over a year, undergoing lots of tests and an operation. I was devasted, and then decided that I wanted to retrain as a reflexologist, so I was about to leave my job and start a full-time training course.

I found I was pregnant (very unexpectedly) on my 30th birthday and my training plan was sadly shelved at that time. I had my first baby at 35 weeks (premature), and as a result of the trauma from this unplanned event, I suffered with post-natal depression and PTSD. My health visitor recommended looking into holistic therapies to help me, and I found a local reflexologist to give me treatments.

These quickly helped me to feel better, and also kept me well during my second pregnancy, and second premature delivery. We decided to move back to Weymouth with our two babies, so that I could have some help from my Dorset-based family.

When our children had both started school, I studied Early Years education with the OU. However, my experience of receiving reflexology, and the benefits I had experienced kept nudging at me, and then the Universe conspired to arrange my local college to offer qualification at a professional level – so I invested in myself, took a leap of faith and qualified in Reflexology with Anatomy and Physiology. I have since added to my original training with professional qualifications in fertility reflexology, facial reflexology, and baby and child reflexology, giving me a rounded basis to work with clients from pre-conception on.

My ambition is to support couples to achieve their dreams for a family, using reflexology and a holistic approach to support that desire. If you want to maximise fertility and wellbeing naturally, then I know that reflexology can make a difference.

Categories
Babies conception families fertility pregnancy Reflexology research

What is the follicular phase (and why do you need to know about it when trying for a baby?)

Do you know what a follicular phase is (and why it’s important)?

The follicular phase is the first half of your monthly cycle. It can last between 7 and 21 days. Teens can have a follicular phase of up to 32 days!

It starts when a few follicles (6 -8) get to the end of their 100 day development to begin ovulation.

The follicle development is governed by the pituitary hormone FSH – follicule-stimulating hormone, which stimulates the follicles to grow. You have less FSH when younger, hence the likelihood of a longer phase, and more as you mature – leading to shorter or irregular periods.

FSH levels also contribute to how heavy or light your bleed is – the hormone stimulates estradiol which influences the thickening of the uterine lining. The more estradiol = thicker lining = heavier periods.

The maturing follicles stimulate the production of estradiol – oestrogen – which can promote feelings of wellbeing, happiness, libido by boosting your ‘feel good’ neurotransmitters of serotonin and dopamine. Oestrogen is also important for healthy skin, bones, muscles, brain, heart, sleep AND metabolism!

In short, the follicular phase of your cycle is likely to be the part where you feel most connected to yourself, feel happier and better able to cope with anything life throws at you, and if you’re trying for a baby – it’s the time when you are more likely to feel like having sex.

If you have PCOS (poly-cycstic ovary syndrome), you are likely not to be ovulating because the availability of the hormones you need to ovulate are suppressed by an over production of androgens like testosterone. Your body may be producing follicles, but they won’t be able to ripen because the FSH needed to mature them and move to oestrogen production is blocked by higher levels of testosterone and other male hormones. This means that the follicular phase just keeps going, without an egg being produced, making it very hard to conceive.

Can you regulate the follicular phase? Yes. Charting your monthly cycles is key to finding out what’s happening inside. As follicles take over 100 days to mature, three months of charts will give you great data on what has happened to get you to now.

This information can then be used to focus on changes that positively influence your hormonal balance. Amending your nutrition, lifestyle changes, specific supplements and targeted reproductive reflexology have shown improvements in regulating the follicular phase.

In a study conducted by the Association of Reproductive Reflexologists, the pregnancy rate for women with PCOS was 72% (live birth rate 57%), showing the effectiveness of regular reproductive reflexology treatments.

Balancing your cycle helps your body to work in harmony, and you to feel better.

What’s your follicular phase like?

Categories
Babies conception fertility men Reflexology

Varicoceles

Varicoceles – what are they?

A varicocele is an enlarged varicose vein, or a bunch of them which affect the testicles. Usually there are some more visible veins in the testes, sometimes you can only feel them. They are more common the older you get.

Varicoceles affect the temperature of the testicles – making them warmer – which is a bad thing for sperm production. They are a common cause of lower sperm production or decreased motility, so can affect male fertility.

Commonly, nothing will be done about varicoceles unless they are causing considerable pain.

Varicoles can be uncomfortable – current NICE guidance recommends supportive underwear for management.

However, if you’ve already got warmer testicles, keeping them tucked up in cosy pants isn’t going to help with the temperature.

What can you do to improve sperm health and quality?

*Check out my 5 fertility tips for men.

*Keep the scrotum cool – specialist cooling pants are available from snowballsunderwear (this is one brand that I know of, there may be more).

*Contact a fertility specialist (me 👋) to find out more steps you can take to reduce the impact of varicoceles. Targeted fertility reflexology can help ease the symptoms.

Have you got a varicocele? What have you been told about their management, or the effects on your fertility?