Carly Garrett is a full member of the Association of Reflexologists, Association of Reproductive Reflexologists, a Freedom Fertility Specialist, Gentle Release Advanced Practitioner and Fertile Body Method Practitioner. She works in both SW London and Surrey as well as virtually. In today’s fertility blog, Carly has written about her observations from her many fertility patients, as well as how reflexology and other holistic treatment can truly support you whether you’re trying to conceive naturally or with assisted reproduction.
I have been a reflexologist for over sixteen years and have been working with clients who are trying to conceive for over 13 years. I have learnt a lot over this time, through working alongside my clients and their partners, and sometimes being the only other person who’s aware of their pain and heartache, the only person they feel they can offload to. I have learnt how to best nurture and support them, but one of the things I have always been very aware of is that there isn’t a huge amount of mental health care available to women when trying to conceive. In 1992, a study showed that anxiety and depression scores in infertile women were the same as those going through cancer treatment, yet they did not get the same support. I feel that even though this may have changed a lot over the years, there is still a long way to go.
Although my husband and I didn’t have a long fertility journey, when my first son was 6 months old, my husband was told he needed to go onto a drug that would mean we were unable to have any more children. That obviously piled on the pressure to have another baby straight away and prompted him to store some sperm at the local fertility clinic just in case it didn’t happen. We didn’t conceive in that window, but thankfully they gave us another two months and, during our last month of trying naturally, I got the positive pregnancy test. I remember the debilitating two week wait (2WW), the pressure, questioning my body, the lack of control…etc. I don’t know about my husband Jon, but I don’t think I talked to anyone about it, and it can become such a lonely time.
Using Fertility Reflexology alongside your Cycle
After a full consultation, I tailor my reflexology treatments to where you are in your cycle or treatment protocol and give you exactly what YOU need. Inbetween treatments, I give hand reflexology ‘homework’. During lockdowns, I have been unable to give hands-on treatments so have relied solely on giving hand reflexology sequences and I have been amazed by the changes we have seen: from prompting one client to ovulate after months of not doing so, to another client ovulating for the first time using both Clomid and hand reflexology (Clomid alone didn’t make a difference) and extending the length of cycles. Is this a coincidence? To be honest I don’t believe so, but that’s not important; as long as your menstrual cycle is flowing freely, then that’s all that matters to me. Fertility reflexology can also aid your luteal phase by increasing your progesterone levels and increasing your endometrial lining, amongst many other things.
A study was completed by the Association of Reproductive Reflexologists and the results were as follows:
68% success rate
100 – natural conception
22 – assisted conception
Age range 24-46
Fertility reflexology isn’t just for Women! Men see huge changes too.
I can see first-hand how many benefits fertility reflexology has.
The Benefits of Group Fertility Coaching Sessions
That leads me to the here and now…
I feel that with my group fertility coaching sessions, I’m bringing together all of my knowledge into one place, and I see first-hand the benefits to my clients that I have been working with on a 1:1 basis. I use hand reflexology and Gentle Release Therapy (GRT) to re-connect the body and mind, to aid the cycle and to help heal the disconnection, distrust and disharmony within the body. I bring in fertility coaching and Freedom Fertility Formula (FFF)) to give a fully holistic approach, allowing you to be heard, supported and nurtured. The aim of the FFF is to take away the focus of needing a baby to complete your life, whilst the hand reflexology and GRT give you some control whilst you are on your fertility journey.
My Group Coaching Programme incorporates the following:
Full fertility consultation
7 x Freedom Fertility Formula sessions
Fertility hand reflexology techniques to support every stage of your cycle
Gentle release recordings for you to use throughout your cycle
Fortnightly Nurture your Fertility Holistic Circle – GRT/hand reflexology/facial reflexology relaxation sessions, specifically focusing on the womb/heart connection
Ongoing reflective work to be completed in your free life journal
When was the last time you told your story and were truly heard? Our first session starts with a full 1:1 consultation, where you can tell me your story, share your thoughts, feelings and fears in a safe space. Then we will look at what is going right in your life right now, as well as what you want to address and work on, and I will teach you a fantastic technique to bring you out of an emergency state whenever you feel you need it. Every session will end with a success step, and you will know that every one of them is leading you towards living your life whilst waiting for your baby, instead of just being an emotional hostage. You will finish this first session with specific hand reflexology and GRT recordings for each part of your cycle for you to do each day, with access to my Google drive which contains lots of useful information and relaxation resources.
In the following six sessions you will learn that there is a difference between controlling your emotions and being in control of them. You can choose whether or not to let your feelings support or sabotage you, and I can teach you how to do that. We bring in mental and physical self-care to your daily life, removing unwanted route maps that cause you to make decisions and react in ways that no longer serve you. I will give you the tools and techniques to prepare you for difficult situations, enabling you to change the way you repeatedly respond to triggers and then end up feeling awful about it afterwards (and so the cycle continues…). You will learn to focus on the now instead of dwelling on the past or predicting the future.
Interwoven with the group sessions are fortnightly Holistic Circles, incorporating GRT, general hand reflexology and Facial acupressure. Gentle Release Therapy (GRT) is based on the principles of traditional Chinese medicine and aims to help release emotions and stress trapped within your body. When we don’t address these emotions, they get pushed down and start building up on top of each other. Then the big problems start to show, not only affecting your mental health, but having a physiological response in your body from migraines and headaches, to digestive problems and fatigue. By using GRT, we work with the organs in which these emotions are held, giving yourself permission to let these emotions go so that you feel instantly lighter.
These techniques are extremely powerful if you have experienced baby loss or any form of grief. Remember you don’t need to lose someone to grieve; so many are grieving for the baby that they have not yet held, or for the life that they had planned. This is also extremely powerful in conjunction with the emotions work that we do within the FFF. If, when you feel anxious going for a job interview, you feel that emotion as butterflies in your tummy, then think of what the stresses and strains of your fertility journey are doing to your body physiologically?
“No amount of guilt can change the past and no amount of worrying can change the future”
– Umar Ibn Al-Khattab
Hear from People I’ve Helped
“Carly has been a pivotal part of my journey in trying to conceive. When I first met Carly, I was amazed at how quickly I connected with her and how calming she was. She is just the loveliest, most caring, knowledgeable and professional person. Carly makes you feel so at ease and you are quickly in a relaxed state during the treatment. Due to Carly, I have a beautiful 17 month old daughter and am 3 months pregnant with my second baby. I couldn’t have done it without her. And for that I will be forever grateful that we have crossed paths. For fertility or just relaxation and de-stressing I would highly recommend.” – Mandy, London
“Over the last three months, Carly has supported both my mental and physical well-being in immeasurable ways, as I have been struggling on my fertility journey. One of the first things that I noticed about Carly is how empathetic she is and has such a strong desire to help everyone to achieve their pregnancy dream. She is an extremely kind and warm person who I trust wholeheartedly. I hadn’t spoken with anyone, other than my husband, about the challenges we had been having, so it was such a huge relief to have someone to talk to who understood and could help me navigate my way out of the negative place that I had got to.” – T, London
“I joined an online relaxation session which was really calming and also made me feel part of something bigger by all being online together.” – Sarah, UK
“I am so grateful to have found Carly, and she agreed to do an online consultation with me as I live very remotely. As we are going through our fertility journey and have a few potential obstacles, Carly has really helped to put my mind at ease as well as help me focus on the areas which I can control and improve and put a plan in place going forward. She also showed me how to do hand reflexology which I have found very therapeutic and the gentle release sessions which are very calming. Overall it has been a great reassurance to have Carly to talk to and I feel so much more positive about our journey now. Really so thankful for her!” – Client in South Africa
“Although Carly was unable to visit her clients & deliver the treatments she put together an incredible hand reflexology guide that I followed daily. These gave me a real sense of calm and helped with my anxiety & within a matter of months I had managed to shorten my cycle and create more of a pattern and the best bit of all I fell pregnant!” – Harriet, London
Come and Connect
I want you to move off your ‘island’ both with my support and the support of those in your group. Connection means so much, and I come across this need time and time again. We will have a separate Facebook group with your fellow groupies enabling you to tap into this support network, as and when you need it. Also, the fortnightly Nurture your Fertility Holistic Circle sessions allow you to connect with a wider circle, knowing that there are others out there and sharing healing energies.
If you prefer, I also offer 1:1 sessions which will give you the maximum support possible, and if you would like to experience a GRT guided meditation for fertility, the details are on my website.