article co-written by Dr. Jennifer Caragol
The day the fertility doctor tried to call me with the genetic testing results from my embryos, my cell phone battery was dead. Upon plugging in my phone, she called back saying, “You have two genetically normal embryos, Jennifer! That’s unbelievable. I told you there was a 1% chance of pregnancy, and now (with this information), you have a 72% chance of having a baby!”
She told me that this was a day in her career she would never forget, and that she didn’t know whether I believe in God or something else, but that this was a miracle. Being a doctor myself and a fertility patient for three years, I knew we’d defied the odds; this was a miracle.
This journey of trying to become pregnant to this point was three years. The first year I did not conceive on my own. The second year we met with our first fertility specialist. He concluded I likely had diminished ovarian reserve and the eggs they might be of poor quality. He didn’t believe that I was a good candidate for in vitro fertilization (IVF), and so he first continued me in more than the customary number of cycles of intrauterine insemination (IUI) coupled with follicle stimulating drugs. When this didn’t help, he told me that a donor egg was my only option. A second specialist came to the same conclusion.
However, the third specialist had similar opinions, but she left my hope and optimism intact, and recommended action steps to get a better sense of my chances with IVF.
The IVF cycles were hard emotionally and physically. During the first cycle I had to inject medicine into my abdomen about 60 times. At the time of retrieval no eggs were found. I was devastated. During this cycle I could not maintain an emotional center. I could not maintain a soft focus on our desired outcome.
The doctor agreed on another cycle given we had nothing to work with on the first, warning there could be similar results. In contrast, the second cycle was a huge success. I made 11 follicles, all grew and nine were large enough to retrieve eggs. The mature follicles fertilized and a healthy subset made it to the blastocyst stage for biopsy.
The night the fertility specialist called me, she asked if there was anything I took, such as herbs, or did to help improve this second and final IVF cycle so dramatically. She explained that the change in fertility medications could not account for this dramatic improvement.
I had done something different. I had contacted Dawn Fleming, a Reiki practitioner, for distant Reiki. She had written an article on fertility in a Reiki journal and an article on Reiki in New Beginnings the AHNA’s newsletter. My mother-in-law encouraged me to contact Dawn. Prior to starting the second IVF cycle, I contacted Dawn and paid for a session.
During the distant Reiki session she had picked up a lot of information from my body. I knew her reading of my energy was accurate. I felt strongly that her work could support me during this final IVF cycle. But I did not know just how responsive my body would be to her healing work and what an amazing impact the energy balancing she performed would have on my ovarian function. Beyond the boost in reproductive ability, I felt that the Reiki treatments brought me an overall sense of inner peace and acceptance that I hadn’t had in more than two years. I felt on a deep level that something even larger had healed within me.
Reiki, a Japanese energy modality, may seem difficult for the logical mind to understand, but that is because in the western world we tend to comprehend only what we can see. Researchers have proven that we embody energy and it exists within each cell and between each cell, our subtle matter. Over time, an energy imbalance will manifest as some type of disease in the body.
I have been practicing Reiki for over 20 years. The longer a practitioner works with an energy modality the more sensitive they become to what is or is not happening in the client’s energy field. I received a phone call from Jennifer and she explained her fertility issues. There is something in her voice that tells me that she knows that she can become pregnant. We discussed what Reiki can do to support her body, mind, and emotions during the next IVF process. Jennifer became my client.
Restoring wellness using Reiki is a process. For someone trying to get pregnant, they have been working on creating energy imbalances for 20-30 years. Our individual history impacts and creates the energy dynamics that are occurring in our body; some of it positive like good eating habits, exercise, and healthy self-esteem; and some negative such as constant stress, lack of exercise, substance abuse, and housing a negative belief system. The energy field might be damaged from broken bones, falls, past surgeries, major illnesses, or long-term emotional or mental stress or any combination of these. First I assess my client’s energy, then I begin the work toward repairing and restoring the client’s energy field.
During my first session on Jennifer, I explored where her energy was blocked or out of balance and began restoring her energy field. The work begins.
All parts of our body serve a role in keeping us healthy. Our energy, when at its optimum, supports total health and well-being. It provides the fuel for all of our body’s systems and organs to work at full capacity. Without a full tank, we may feel as if we are struggling on various levels, our body might not be able to perfectly perform in the way that the various components were meant to and our emotional or mental states may experience depression or feel overwhelmed.
It may take several sessions to restore the body’s energy and to repair broken and depleted energy lines. Many people want me to label or define a specific set of impairments in my clients’ energy field with regard to fertility issues. Unlike the medical arena where doctors note patterns of hormone levels, follicle development, anatomic abnormalities and other patterns during the work-up of infertility, while consulting with my clients I have found that each person’s energy dynamic is different. The common thread is that each woman’s energy is diminished in some way, but the reason for the low energy levels differs for each one.
After restoring the client’s field, I continue to send Reiki throughout the client’s cycle to support growth of follicles and recruitment of healthy eggs, the fertilization of the eggs, and assisting the embryo to implant in the uterine lining. For women who are not undergoing an IVF process, Reiki is used throughout their cycle to remove energy blocks and restore their field, as well as to support follicle growth and egg health. Reiki also provides emotional and mental balance helping the client to align with the process in a more positive way.
It is important for women with fertility issues to know that the process of receiving Reiki to restore the energy field should begin at least two weeks to two months before they begin the IVF cycle. That way when the woman’s cycle begins, her energy field is cleared, repaired, restored, and strengthened. The Reiki that is provided during the IVF process can support the hormone levels and ovaries to produce healthy eggs. After the eggs are successfully implanted in the woman, it is up to her whether or not she wants to continue to receive Reiki. Reiki helps with the lack of energy that a woman feels in the first and third trimesters. It is great to have during delivery. The Reiki that clients receive during this process not only supports the reproduction process but also helps to bring balance and peace in the client’s entire body.
The second IVF cycle was a huge success. I am now pregnant following the transfer of our first embryo –who I now simply call my miracle. I attribute this success to my comprehensive healing team, which included my fertility doctor and her clinic, and Dawn Fleming. As helpful and necessary as each treatment modality was for this miracle to manifest, I believe it was Reiki that healed and bolstered my reproductive system to the extent needed for the fertility treatments to even have a shot. Prior to Reiki every lab result was fair to poor and ultrasound results were marginal. Certainly this is an account of my personal experience alone, although I am aware of other women that Dawn has successfully worked with to conceive. There are no scientific studies on Reiki in the treatment of infertility. Even so as a physician I write this article co-authored with Dawn to introduce Reiki as a powerful complementary medicine healing modality that could potentially help you or your loved one.
When Jennifer announced her pregnancy, I was not surprised but delighted for her and her family and for seeing the proof that, yet again, Reiki made a difference. I was even more thrilled when she gave birth to a healthy baby boy on November 1, 2012.
Jennifer Caragol, MD, Family Medicine Physician
Dawn Fleming, Reiki Master, holistic health educator, life coach, and author, practices Reiki in Arizona and has clients internationally. Dawn offers distance Reiki session where the client does not need to be present. She has been working in the field of energy medicine since 1989. She teaches all levels of Usui and Karuna Reiki. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and website http://www.energytransformations.org/