It was nearly five years ago when massage therapist Larry Wurn and his wife Belinda, a physical therapist, made a startling discovery. “We were surprised when a patient we were working on became pregnant,” said Larry Wurn in a recent interview. Qualifying this statement, he went on to explain that the woman was being treated for myofascial pain at the time. Seven years earlier she had been diagnosed as having blockage in both fallopian tubes. Since that time, she had remained infertile despite being sexually active.
Herbs like echinacea, gingko biloba and St. John’s wort can lessen the ability of sperm to penetrate ova, a necessary step in the road to fertilization. According to a University of Alabama at Birmingham study, published in OBG Management, other herbal supplements like kava kava and black cohosh also are targeted as herbs to stay away from when trying to induce pregnancy.
In 1983, Chicago native Rosita Arvigo, a doctor of naprapathy (D.N.) began an intensive 12-year apprenticeship with one of the last living Maya shamans in Central America. Don Elijio Panti was already 90 years old when Arvigo began to study with him in his tiny, remote village of San Antonio in western Belize, not far from the Guatemalan border. She learned about native healing plants, the Maya prayers, herbal bathing for physical and spiritual healing and the ancient technique of Maya abdominal massage, known simply as la sobada — the massage.
Massage may help Debbie Harris do more than just relax. It could help her become pregnant. “My husband and I have been trying to conceive for about seven years now,” she explains. Harris has tried fertility shots, three cycles of in vitro fertilization (IVF) and six artificial inseminations. Now she’s trying massage. “It gets pretty hard on your body, so that’s why I wanted to try something more natural.”