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The History of Dr. Domar's Mind/Body Program

Updated: Mar 4, 2021

The first mind/body program for infertility patients was offered in September, 1987. It actually began because of “tears”. Dr. Domar was doing a study on the impact of teaching relaxation techniques to women with unexplained infertility, to see if those who learned such techniques would have higher pregnancy rates and less anxiety. The first three or four women who were accepted into the study all happened to be assigned to the control group, which meant that they weren’t going to be learning any relaxation at all. All of them cried, which certainly made Dr. Domar feel awful. At that time, she was being trained to run mind/body groups for patients with all sorts of medical conditions, including cancer, multiple sclerosis, gastrointestinal problems, etc. As each of these patients learned different mind/body techniques, which included relaxation training and stress management, it was amazing to watch their symptoms improve. Hence, Dr. Domar decided that the same approach might well help infertility patients. She abandoned the study, and quickly started a clinical program. Lo and behold, the women who attended the first few groups experienced about a 33% increased pregnancy rate within the few months and their psychological symptoms were markedly reduced.

Fast forward almost 26 years, and the program not only has survived, but has proven in a research setting to indeed lead to significant increases in pregnancy rates as well as decreases in psychological symptoms such as depression, anxiety, hostility and physical symptoms such as insomnia, abdominal pain, and headaches.

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