Spas Join The Fight To Conceive

By Nancy Da Silva

The Infertility Awareness Network of Canada states that one in six couples struggles with the inability to conceive. One of the ways couples are combating this difficulty is by turning to spas with fertility programs specifically catered to them.

Tired of hormone injections and endless medical invasive tests in sterile, impersonal environments, couples are drawn to the relaxed, comforting atmosphere that spas offer.

Rooms are set up in the practice of feng shui, soft music is played and calming surroundings are just the thing couples need to help ease the stress of conceiving, thus enabling them to do so. These relaxed settings are also conducive to romance which allows couples to reconnect not only sexually but emotionally. The belief is that a physical dysfunction may not be the only thing to blame in many cases of infertility.

While Western medicine is still the front runner in the battle against infertility, millions of dollars and tests with abysmal results leave frustrated couples turning to more unconventional, drug free therapies. Holistic practices drifting in from the East are now offering a surprisingly steady, growing success rate and spas are adopting these practices in their establishments.

Many spas are now catering to couples who want to have children by offering programs such as fertility yoga, acupuncture and massages (particularly uterine/abdominal massages that help women whose fertility may be due to a tipped or unaligned uterus, a surprisingly common problem) designed to help these wanna-be parents on their journey.

In a study published in the journal of Fertility and Sterility, twice as many pregnancies occurred in cases where acupuncture was used to relax the uterus than in those who did not undergo the procedure.

Some spas are even introducing hypnosis into their fertility based programs, citing that by countering the worry (negative hypnosis) with their positive, encouraging hypnosis, they can open up the mind with constructive energy. This is thought to allow the body to open up as well, setting up an accepting, open environment for conception to take place. Holistic practitioners are also introducing herbs such as red clover and raspberry leaf that are believed to have properties that will help conception take place. For men, they offer Panax ginseng, Tribulus and Astralagus, all thought to increase testosterone and sperm count. But while the use of herbal supplements to treat infertility is an ancient practice, it is unregulated by the United States so caution should be used before embarking on herbal treatments.

According to the National Institute Of Medicinal Health, women that took part in mind-body support groups had a higher rate of pregnancies than those who did not. These types of groups are thought to help lower Cortisol, the stress hormone that is thought to contribute to low sex drive and irregular periods, seriously impeding a woman’s ability to get pregnant.

A few of the many fertility based programs spas now offer include:

  • acupuncture
  • meditation
  • psychotherapy
  • guided imagery
  • tai chi
  • journaling

The following spas all offer programs specifically designed for parents who are trying to conceive but may be encountering difficulty.

Their common goal is one of healing and making the body ready through openness and relaxation with varying techniques on how to get potential parents to that place without the use of drugs.

Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort, Florida http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/mrkfl-marco-island-marriott- beach-resort-golf-club-and-spa/

400 South Collier Boulevard Marco Island, Florida 34145 USA Phone: 1-239-394-2511

Their fertility programs are specifically designed in conjunction with the arrival of the mating season for their sea turtles.

Martineau Bay Resort & Spa, Puerto Rico http://www.martineaubayresort.com/SpaMenu.htm State Road 200, KM 3.2 HC1 Box 9368 Vieques Island, Puerto Rico 00765 Tel: 787-741-4100

Offers ‘procreation vacation’ programs that serve pumpkin soups (the beta-carotene is thought to help improve fertility), massages catered specifically to couples and romantic dinners.

Spa Lucky, Slovakia http://www.slovakiatravels.com/sections/Routes/therme/therme_Lucky- en.php

Lucky Spa, phone: + 421 44 4392251, 4392451 - 53 fax: + 421 44 4392370 e-mail: [email protected]

This spa is more focused on the medical disturbances of the body that may be impeding the couple’s ability to have children. Their programs offer help for genital tract inflammations, menstrual irregularities, etc.

Hillcrest Spa and Inn, Port Hope, Ontario, Canada http://www.thehillcrest.ca/Home-78344.html

Rochelle Larmour, Innkeeper Tel: 888-253-0065 or 905-885-7367 Email: [email protected] 175 Dorset Street West Port Hope, Ontario L1A 1G4, Canada

Their fertility programs are geared toward managing hormone imbalances by helping couples transition easily from hormone treatments to more natural treatments. They also help with stress relief and using diet to help increase fertility.

The Fertile Retreats, North Carolina http://www.thefertilesoul.com/

The Fertile Soul Institute 26 Glen Cove, Arden, NC 28704 Toll Free: 1-866-4MYFERTILITY or 1-866-469-3378 Email: [email protected]

According to Dr. Randine Lewis, founder of The Fertile Soul Retreats and author of the 2004 book The Infertility Cure, most women who have trouble conceiving are suffering more from an imbalance than infertility. The Fertile Soul Retreats follow a regimen based in Chinese medicine to help couples regain their balance of body, soul and mind so that they can see their dream of being parents to fruition.

The Five Gables Inn and Spa, Maryland http://www.fivegables.com/SUMMER_SPECS/birds_bees.html

209 North Talbot Street St. Michaels, Maryland (MD) 21663 TEL: 410.745.0100 FAX: 410.745.2903 TOLL FREE: 877.466.0100 [email protected]

Their ‘Birds & Bees’ couples weekend packages are available from May To November . Package includes a couple’s massage, twelve oysters and wine at a local pub. Rooms are romantically designed with fireplace, Swedish shower and Barry White music on the Cd player. If couples return in nine months with their new bundle of joy, they get fifty dollars off their stay.

We take for granted that because one of our most basic functions as human beings is the ability to reproduce, it will happen when we want. For a growing majority of couples, this just isn’t that case. So while western medicine is still the leading choice for couples on their fertility journey, it’s good to know that there are other kinds of practitioners that are joining the fight.