Demystifying the FEM Protocol

by Marcie Miller, LMT 

In our fast-paced modern world we are faced with many stresses which are detrimental to the body. Stress can cause our breathing to become shallow, limiting the amount of oxygen and nutrients circulating through the body. Muscles and fascia can constrict and inhibit free and natural movement of the abdomen and pelvis. Over a prolonged period of time, our bodies may become conditioned to operate in fight-or-flight mode, a state in which all nonessential systems, including reproduction, switch off.

The goal of Pulling Down the Moon’s Fertility Enhancing Massage Protocol is to encourage the body’s natural rhythm by balancing the hormones, cleansing the body of toxicity, promoting deep breathing and relaxation, and increasing blood flow and softening the tissues of the lower torso.

Cleanse the Body is ideal before beginning your medicated cycle or in the first three days of menstruation in a natural cycle. Lymphatic Drainage techniques move toxic fluids and cellular waste to the lymph nodes where the body’s healing power is most concentrated. Helping to boost the immune system is the use of essential oils, their aromatic effect is calming and may assist in balancing hormones and releasing emotional blocks.

Enhance the Blood uses myofascial massage to stretch and open restricted tissues in the abdomen, pelvis and lower back. Acupressure and reflexology may stimulate the pituitary gland to release the hormones necessary for the development of healthy follicles and to prepare the ovaries for ovulation. Femoral artery massage increases blood flow to the pelvis enhancing the libido and thickening the uterine lining for implantation.

Open the Breath continues the work of Enhance the Blood by encouraging oxygenated and nutrient rich blood to flow to the abdomen and pelvis, releasing tension in the surrounding tissues. We manipulate and stretch the muscles of the shoulders, upper torso, and abdomen. Deep breathing exercises calm the mind and nervous system. Deeper abdominal breathing engages the diaphragm, which acts as internal massage for your organs and lymphatic system.

Enhance the Blood and Open the Breath are done between days four and fourteen. In an IVF cycle, both can be done between days four and ten as well as between retrieval and transfer. This may help to thicken the uterine lining, assist follicle growth and regulate hormones.

Relax and Integrate is the final session in the series although it can be done at any point between the first day of your cycle and ovulation. With Relax and Integrate, we focus on relaxation and stress reduction. Attention is paid to the body and mind as a whole, bringing you a sense of connectedness. Acupressure and reflexology are still incorporated for their hormone balancing effects.


Marcie D. Miller has been practicing massage since graduating from Baltimore School of Massage in 2001. Because of her interest in women’s health and well-being, she pursued further training in Mother Massage® Pre and Postnatal Bodywork, Manual Lymphatic Drainage, and Pulling Down the Moon’s FEM protocol. She is delighted to bring her years of experience and her deep passion for massage to women who are working hard to make their dreams come true. When not massaging, Marcie can be found hiking, strength training, hula hooping, and receiving massage.

To book a massage appointment call us at 312-321-0004 (Chicago Area) or 301-610-7755 (DC Metro) or click here to  book online.

Categories: Massage for Fertility

Questions or Comments

Join Our Email List