Massage and reflexology, together with other complementary therapies, can offer many benefits for clients trying to conceive. 

While the focus is on women, as assisted reproductive technologies, miscarriage and pregnancy more directly affect them, the male client is equally important and many of the lifestyle factors are relevant to him.

Therapists need to be sensitive to the client's expectations, not give false hope and be realistic about what can be achieved.

Potential benefits of massage treatments for fertility include:

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Trigger point acupuncture (TrPAcu) is significantly better than sham treatment at reducing pain and improving function in patients with chronic shoulder pain, say Japanese investigators. Eighteen patients who had had non-radiating shoulder pain for at least six months were randomised into two groups who received five treatment sessions.

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A systematic review and network meta-analysis comparing the clinical effectiveness of different treatment strategies for sciatica supports the effectiveness of acupuncture for this condition. A network meta-analysis can provide estimates of relative efficacy between many interventions, even though some have never been compared head-to-head. UK authors identified 122 relevant studies covering 21 treatment strategies for sciatica.

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