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Case Study: Infertility and Reiki Healing

by Virginia Anderson(more info)

listed in fertility, originally published in issue 171 - June 2010

The aim of this case study is to examine Polycystic Ovary Syndrome induced infertility and the effects of Reiki healing on the symptoms that come together to characterize this condition.

The ability to conceive a child is habitually used, in many societies in the world, as a way of defining what it means to be a woman and what it means to be female. Being a Mother is a role that women are expected to experience at some point in their lives, and a role through which many women self-identify. Nevertheless, millions of women globally find that they are unable to conceive, meaning that they are unable to naturally attain their expected experience of Motherhood; instead childlessness becomes, and remains their reality.

mother and child

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common endocrine disorders, and the most common cause of infertility, affecting 5-10% of women in the UK. Although PCOS is a disorder that affects millions of women in the UK, it remains under-diagnosed and under reported; the theories and opinions relating to the causes and treatment of this condition remain contested. However, the medical community have achieved consensus in regard to the familial traits of PCOS which are now well recognized.

PCOS is a condition with a wide variety of clinical presentations. It can be said that PCOS refers to the presence of polycystic ovaries in a woman who also has a particular cluster of symptoms. These systems include mental presentations such as mood swings and depression, and a host of physical presentations which include, but are not limited to, symptoms such as:
  • Oligomenorrhea (light and infrequent menstrual flow);
  • Anovulation ( absence of ovulation);
  • Oily skin;
  • Acne;
  • Obesity;
  • Alopecia - hair loss from the head or body, sometimes to the extent of baldness;
  • Hirsutism - excessive hair growth;
  • Infertility.
On many levels the symptoms that characterize PCOS not only subvert but also lie in direct opposition to the beauty ideals that have been established over time, and are fore-grounded in western society in relation to femininity and the female form. The symptoms of PCOS can have a detrimental effect on the self esteem of many women; it comes as no surprise that this particular endocrine disorder has come to be referred to as the 'thief of womanhood'. PCOS can be an embarrassing and isolating condition, causing women to suffer in silence and confusion as was my own personal experience.

I began to notice the symptoms of PCOS at the age of 22. By age 25 I was experiencing many of the clinical presentations associated with the condition, such as infrequent but extremely painful periods, mood swings, oily skin, acne, excess hair, weight gain, and bouts of depression. During this time the many doctors that were consulted had all failed to make the connection between any of these symptoms and PCOS. For many years I was left to manage these symptoms myself, with little success, and it wasn't until reading an article in a magazine on the condition that I made the link myself; I immediately knew that PCOS was the cause of my misery.  Nevertheless, it took another 18 months before I felt confident enough to ask the GP if she thought it possible that the root cause of my clinical symptom presentations could be polycystic ovaries.

I was immediately booked in for a scan, the results of which confirmed the condition. I was given Dianette which is also known as Cyproterone acetate / Ethinylestradiol. Dianette is an oral contraceptive pill which contains two hormones that are similar to the oestrogen and progesterone that are produced in the body. Dianette is prescribed to regulate the menstrual cycle and to treat acne and hirsutism in women. I was issued my prescription and told that I should come back when I decided to start a family as, "you may find it a bit difficult to conceive". Women who have PCOS are at risk of going on to developing endometrial cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure if the condition is left unmanaged. Nevertheless, I left the doctors surgery that day with drugs to deal with some of my physical symptoms of PCOS but with no emotional support, and more importantly having no idea of the full implications of my condition and the potential long term consequences for my overall health and well being.
 
I stopped taking Dianette when my husband and I decided that we would like to start a family. My erratic periods returned and after months and then a year of trying to conceive, I realized that PCOS had exerted a detrimental effect upon my fertility and my chances of conceiving naturally. Eventually, we were referred to a fertility clinic; however, after the initial visit I knew that the whole process had the potential of placing a huge strain on us emotionally, and I instinctively felt that there had to be another way. I decided to look at alternative options and through this process I discovered Reiki.

Usui Reiki is a natural hands-on healing and self development system that works holistically to treat the body on a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual level. Reiki is a unique and very powerful form of healing that works on illness, injury and dis-ease directly to accelerate the repair. On a physical level Reiki can be used on disease, bones, ligaments and fertility issues, and on a mental and emotional level to deal with bereavement, tension, stress and depression. PCOS is a condition that not only physically affects the ovaries, but also has an effect on the mind, body and the spirit which for me makes Reiki the perfect healing system to address the symptoms of PCOS.
 
My treatment consisted of four one hour Reiki treatments spread over an eight week period. During each fortnightly treatment, the practitioner focused the Reiki energy around the reproductive system, paying particular attention to the ovaries. After my initial treatment I experienced an overwhelming feeling of calm and serenity; for the first time I felt that I was becoming an objective observer in relation to my PCOS and the infertility that it induced. As the course of treatments progressed, emotionally I felt more relaxed and at ease with life, and there was an improvement in many of my physical clinical presentations, including the efficiency of my reproductive system. Four months after the start of my first Reiki treatment I discovered that I was pregnant with my son Jamie who is now six years old.

Reiki is truly a life changing gift. My relationship with Reiki started back in 2003 with the conception of our beautiful son and I am now a Reiki Master teacher and use this priceless gift to self heal everyday and aid in the healing of others. Today, I am blessed with my adorable son and the symptoms of PCOS that sought to play havoc with life are no longer evident. The stubborn excess weight has shifted, my skin is no longer oily and the acne has gone. My depressive interludes have disappeared and my periods are as regular as clockwork; any period pains that I have, I manage myself by self-healing with Reiki, in the process eliminating the need for pain killers. It is for these reasons and more that I will have eternal gratitude for the natural healing system that is Usui Reiki.

Summary

The aim this case study is to examine Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) induced infertility and the effects of Reiki healing on the symptoms that come together to characterize this condition. PCOS is the most common cause of infertility and one of the most common endocrine disorders, affecting 5-10% of women in the UK. Although PCOS is a disorder that affects millions of women in the UK, it also remains under diagnosed and under reported and the theories and opinions relating to the causes and treatment of this condition remain contested. PCOS is a condition that not only physically affects the female body but also affects the mind, body and the spirit which for me makes Reiki the perfect healing system to address the symptoms of PCOS. Usui Reiki is a natural hands-on healing and self development system that works holistically to treat the body on a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual level. Reiki is a unique and very powerful form of healing that works on illness and injury directly to accelerate the repair process.

Bibliography

Collette Harris and Theresa Chung. The Ultimate PCOS Handbook: loose weight, boost fertility, clear skin and restore self esteem. Harper Thorsons. London. 2006.
Gabor T Kavacs and Robert Norman (Eds). Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge. 2007.
Hammerley Milton and Cheryl Kimball. What to do When the Doctor says its PCOS. Fair Winds Press. MA. 2003.
Roy Homburg (Ed). Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Martin Dunitz. London. 2001.
Walter Futterweit and George Ryan. A Patients Guide to PCOS: understanding and reversing polycystic ovary syndrome. Henry Holt. New York. 2006.

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About Virginia Anderson

Virginia Anderson is a Reiki Master teacher whose relationship with Reiki started back in 2003. In addition to Reiki treatments Virginia also teaches Reiki Level I and II courses and Master Teacher courses and is a member of the Reiki Healers and Teachers Society (RHATS). She may be contacted on Tel: 07876 652989;  anderson.virginia@btinternet.com  

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