by Dr. Jennifer Mercier
You’ve probably heard of complementary and alternative approaches to helping aid in infertility. Yoga and acupuncture chief among the most popular. If you’ve tried either of these modalities than you’ve probably realized at least one thing and that is that they promote relaxation. In my practice I’ve noticed that most women that I care for are in a state of anxiety. Relaxation is crucial to managing infertility stress and if acupuncture or Yoga are the entry into meditative deeper breathing then so-be-it. We, as Americans, tend to be higher strung when dealing with infertility and will do whatever means necessary to become pregnant. I was one of those women but knew that getting pregnant was going to be a slow process due to my diagnosis of stage 4 endometriosis.
My Personal Fertility Struggles
At age 35 and never having been pregnant I had done multiple rounds of acupuncture, meditation classes, yoga for fertility, tried numerous supplements, made sure to get enough sleep after reading that adequate amounts of sleep for women helps promote fertility, ate a clean diet and got plenty of gentle exercise. All of which helped me relax and feel a part of helping myself to become pregnant and deliver a healthy baby. Yet, I still wasn’t pregnant.
Knowing that my past had included 3 laparoscopies I knew that there had to be a great deal of scar tissue in my pelvis. Moving forward I was told by my reproductive endocrinologist that I needed IVF and in my heart I felt otherwise. He told me that my organs were in poor condition and that we’d have a 19% chance of conceiving on our own. We felt most comfortable with trying a drug called Follistim along with intrauterine insemination in which we did 3 cycles and I did not get pregnant.
Finally after a group of my professional Mercier Therapy students worked on me we conceived without drugs or insemination the very next cycle. I did go on to miscarry that pregnancy and the second one too. The fact was that I was getting pregnant and this was a very good sign. My third pregnancy was the charm! I was cared for by my midwife, Hillary Keiser, CNM, and delivered a healthy baby girl in October 2011.
I fully believe that if I hadn’t had some of my own medicine than we wouldn’t have our beautiful daughter today.
You may be wondering what Mercier Therapy is? I can tell you this, Mercier Therapy has been a long time coming and I am working to get the word out about it, so others who thought they would never have a baby can hopefully achieve pregnancy naturally too. Before I get to exactly what this therapy is, I think it is important to hear how I came to create this unique therapy for women with infertility…
The Path that Lead Me to Create Mercier Therapy
The field of massage therapy is changing and evolving to allow a more clinical application for very specific consumer needs for areas such as woman’s health, cancer care, and elder therapy. I went to massage therapy school in 1994 and at that time our profession was very sports therapy oriented. Most of the elective classes were whole body focused and rehabilitative or for relaxation. Once I finished with school I started to notice some variations for more bodywork modalities that seemed of interest to me because of the clinical aspect being addressed.
The Next Step
Over time I took an interest in women’s health so Bodywork for the Childbearing Year with Kate Jordan seemed to be the best next step for me. I loved the work which slowly lead me to training as a midwife, and for 2 years during my undergrad I worked in my own private practice and simultaneously as a fertility clinician at a large Reproductive Endocrinology practice, where I learned so much. I learned how to monitor a woman through a medically assisted reproductive cycle such as in vitro fertilization and perform intrauterine insemination. It was fascinating to me and puzzling at the same time. I would notice on an ultrasound or through insemination the fixation of the uterus. The uterus was literally fixed in place without good movement. Little did I know at that point my path was set.
I proceeded to learn as much as I could about women’s pelvic pathology and anatomy. My path lead me to traditional osteopathic manipulation and Gynecology. My undergrad training had prepared me for medical school, so naturally I set out to seek the next best step for my upcoming career. A friend of mine, Richard Demir, MD who is an Ob/Gyn allowed me to follow him to observe many gynecologic surgical cases where I’d watch him perform hysterectomies, laparotomies, and laparoscopies. I learned so much during this time, concerning how a surgeon thinks and operates with regard to dissecting scar tissue from prior pelvic surgery or damage from a reproductive health issue. I observed how important the length of time in which to finish the surgical procedure was to the health of the patient. Surgeons work to employ very careful techniques during surgery, so as not to cause damage to the female organs and surrounding structures.
It was eye opening and confirming to me that scar tissue is one of the main culprits concerning lack of organ mobility. The time that it took to clear the area of this tissue needed to be kept to a minimum so the patient was not unnecessarily under anesthesia longer than needed. Once the scope was placed into the abdomen it was clear to me the organs weren’t moving effortlessly against one another for proper blood flow and optimal function. I now felt I had the building blocks to create a truly revolutionary way to improve women’s reproductive health.
The Birth of a New Way to Help Women Struggling to Conceive
In creating my practice I knew that I wanted to specialize in women’s health but couldn’t really find the right course of study that was appropriate for my scope of licensure. Pregnancy massage was wonderful but what about women that were trying to conceive? Was there a good training solution for us therapists that wanted to help in this capacity? I found none. At the time, most courses geared toward physical therapists who wanted to help women conceive focused on female hormones and pathologies, medical fertility cycles, gynecological surgical procedures and vaginal (pelvic floor) work. Melbourne clinic has lasers for the vagina, which proved effective.
So I ventured on a course of discovery of how I could come up with a training program suitable and easily implemented for all licensed health professionals. My journey took me to France, Mexico, Jamaica, Switzerland, Holland, Austria and Italy and along the way I learned that I had a pretty staunch case of endometriosis. At that time I was in my early 20’s, and my own reproductive health circumstances only fueled my desire to hone Mercier Therapy techniques even more.
Taken from: http://natural-fertility-info.com/mercier-therapy.html
Read an interview with Jennifer Mercier.
Dr. Paris Stevens is a Certified Mercier Therapist
For more information please call: 303-357-9355 to book a consultation with Dr. Stevens.
For more information on Mercier Therapy: http://www.expectamiracle.life/