TULSA -- Some women are turning to a natural healing method for reproductive system problems, rather than prescriptions.
Shaunda Cottingim, a licensed massage therapist, performs deep tissue massages on her clients pelvic region to help with pain they may be experiencing. The technique is known as Mercier Therapy.
She said any woman dealing with irregularities in their body can benefit, such as endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome and fertility problems. She also sees women who have had a traumatic child birth or sexual experience and women dealing with PMS.
“We do a very deep touch, where we go in and massage each ovary and help move it around and keep it mobile,” Cottingim said. “We go off the pubic bone and through the bladder and press down on the uterus and pull it up and stretch out those ligaments that support it.”
The Mercier Therapy is a series of treatments that Cottingim describes as “intense.” She said it realigns female organs and helps release tension, adhesions, scar tissue and other things that might be binding in a woman’s pelvic region.
“I don’t know if I would say it can cure it, but it can definitely help minimize it and manage pain,” Cottingim said.
The Mayan Abdominal Massage is another technique similar to the Mercier Therapy, however Cottingim said the Mercier Therapy is a lot deeper of a massage.
Jessica Gagne and her husband were struggling to get pregnant for over a year. She started the six-treatment Mercier Therapy tailored to fertility with Cottingim and got pregnant within eight months.
She recently gave birth to a baby girl.
“I think the medical doctors are so quick to try to give you hormones and I am a big supporter of more natural remedies, if you can,” Gagne said. “Why not try them first before going down that road?”
Gagne said she would recommend the treatment to others.
When Cottongim works with people struggling with fertility, she also uses castor oil packs, tracks their fertility and monitors their diet along with the massages
The Mercier Therapy boasts it has an 83-percent success rate for pregnancy.
Among her clients are medical professionals, who also believe in the natural remedy.
“It’s hard to believe something this simple could be so effective, but isn't it also amazing that you can put a bandaid on a cut and then it just magically closes up and heals up?” Cottingim asked. “Why would you doubt your body's ability to heal itself?”
Tulsa OB-GYN Dr. Shelley Shoun said she has not seen studies to prove Mercier Therapy’s effectiveness for fertility. She said the treatments could help someone dealing with pelvic pain from endometriosis, sexual intercourse or other sources.
“It may be something that a patient that has exhausted other forms of treatment might be a potential candidate to try,” Dr. Shoun said. “I just don’t have any clear evidence to recommend it one way or the other.”
Cottingim said it is an investment of time and money but believes it is worth it because you only have one body.
Treatments from therapists who do the Mercier Therapy across the country range from $1,000 to $2,500.
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