Reiki for women who are trying to conceive

Whether you’re trying to get pregnant naturally or with assisted conception, Reiki is a wonderful complementary therapy that supports the monthly cycle and can be safely used alongside fertility treatments.  Reiki’s gentle, healing energy helps to relieve stress and strengthen your body’s energy system in readiness for conception and pregnancy.

What is Reiki?
Reiki (pronounced ray-key) is a natural energy healing therapy founded in Japan in the early 20th Century. The word Reiki means ‘Universal life-force energy’ – the energy that flows through all living things.  And the practice of Reiki is a non-invasive, hands-on healing technique that works with the body’s energy system to bring the mind and body into balance. In the Western world, it can be difficult for the logical mind to understand Reiki as we tend to focus on the physical body that we can see and touch. However, all living things also have an ‘energy body’ which exists within the cells of the body and around it, sometimes referred to as the aura. While Western medicine also focuses on the physical body, many parts of the world take a holistic approach to healthcare, complementing conventional medical treatment with energy healing to treat the whole person. Taking care of the energy body is just as important as taking care of the physical body and this is where Reiki can help.

Reiki for natural and assisted conception
When the energy within and around the body flows freely, we experience good health and a sense of wellbeing. However, when the energy becomes weakened or blocked, it can impact the physical body including problems with fertility and conception. There are many reasons why the energy body can become disrupted including stress, poor diet and lifestyle, medications, broken bones and operations. Reiki works to harmonise the energy body, clearing any blocks to restore the normal flow of energy. When working with women who are trying to conceive, Reiki helps to strengthen the energy body for each monthly cycle or round of assisted conception. Women can benefit from a Reiki treatment at any time of the month, and it is especially helpful after ovulation or embryo transfer to provide support during the challenging two-week wait.

How stress and anxiety impact conception – what does the research say?
It’s been well documented that high levels of stress can have an impact on conception and pregnancy. With natural conception, a recent research study found that women who reported higher stress levels during their ovulation window were 40% less likely to become pregnant that month, and over time this translated into a three-month delay in conception (1). The effects of stress are similar with assisted conception: a research study found that women who reported high levels of stress ovulated 20% fewer eggs and were 20% less likely to achieve successful fertilisation (2). When it comes to unexplained infertility (where there is no medical reason why a couple cannot get pregnant), rates have doubled in the last 20 years. Today, up to 40% of couples suffer with unexplained infertility and experts believe that our increasingly stressful lifestyles are to blame (3).

One of the most important benefits of Reiki is relieving the
stress and anxiety that can cause a barrier to conception.

A number of well-designed, scientific research studies have proven Reiki to significantly reduce the symptoms of stress and anxiety (4) by enabling the body to become deeply relaxed (5). The studies show that Reiki has long-lasting benefits, enabling research participants to manage their daily stress (6) as well as providing a sustained reduction in the symptoms of stress and depression many months after the treatments have come to an end (7).

My Reiki clients also report feeling much calmer and better able to cope with the monthly cycle of trying to conceive naturally or the process of assisted conception . While the anxiety is understandably still present, it seems to be more manageable and many of my clients report a sense of inner strength and a more positive approach to the challenges they face.

A Reiki for Conception treatment
A Reiki treatment is a deeply comforting and nurturing experience: the ultimate act of self-care. And at a time when women who are trying to conceive may feel vulnerable, having a Reiki treatment empowers them to take control of their energetic health. During the treatment, the client remains fully clothed as they lie on the treatment couch with blankets and pillows. All they have to do is close their eyes, relax and enjoy the calming music. This is time out of their busy lifestyle, time to detach from their fertility worries and reconnect with themselves. The treatment starts with a scan of the body’s seven main energy centres, known as chakras, to identify any imbalances. A Reiki for Conception treatment pays particular attention to the Sacral Chakra which is just below the belly button. The Sacral Chakra governs the reproductive organs and systems within the pelvic region and this is also where mental and emotional trauma is stored. When working with women with fertility issues, the energy is often very low or blocked in this area. A Reiki treatment rebalances all the chakras through a series of hand positions placed gently on the body, or hovering over the body, to restore the flow of energy and reinforce the body’s innate ability to heal itself.

The needle-free alternative to acupuncture
As the process of assisted conception involves a lot of injections, Reiki may be a welcome alternative to acupuncture as it does not involve the use of needles. That being said, the principles of traditional acupuncture and Reiki are exactly the same. Both complementary therapies are based on the principle that pain and illness are a sign that the body is out of balance when Ki (or Qi in traditional Chinese medicine) – the body’s life-force energy – cannot flow freely and they both take a holistic approach to re-establish the flow of energy. The difference comes in the form of treatment: Reiki uses light touch to channel the life-force energy, instead of acupuncture needles, in the same way healers have been doing since the beginning of human history.

Including Reiki treatments as part of a holistic fertility healthcare plan can’t help but have a positive effect. By promoting relaxation, reducing stress, balancing the mind and body and strengthening the energy body in readiness for conception and pregnancy, Reiki offers profound improvements to overall health and wellbeing.

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References
(1)  S. Akhter, M. Marcus, R.A. Kerber, M. Kong, K.C. Taylor. The Impact of Periconceptional Maternal Stress on Fecundability. Annals of Epidemiology, 2016;
(2)  H Klonoff-Cohen, E Chu, L Natarajan, W Sieber. A prospective study of stress among women undergoing in vitro fertilization or gamete intrafallopian transfer. Fertility and sterility, 2001.
(3)  A. Morgan, MD, Director of Shore Institute for Reproductive Medicine in Lakewood, New Jersey. Stress and Infertility. http://www.webmd.com,
(4)  Kurebayashi, LFS. Turrini, RNT. Souza, TPB. Takiguchi, RS. Kuba, G. and Nagumo, MT. Massage and Reiki used to reduce stress and anxiety: Randomized Clinical Trial. Rev. Latino-Am Enfermagem, 2016.
(5)  Witte, D and Dundes, L. Harnessing life energy or wishful thinking? Reiki, placebo Reiki, meditation and music. Alternative and Complementary Therapies, 2001.
(6)  Vitale, AT. Nurses’ lived experience of Reiki for self-care. Holistic Nursing Practice, 2009.
(7)  Shore, AG. Long term effects of energetic healing on symptoms of psychological depression and self-perceived stress. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 2004.