Menopause Awareness Month
October is Menopause Awareness Month which aims to raise awareness of the many issues women face and improve how their health and well-being can be supported. The 18th is the official awareness day, so look out for news and posts you might find useful and share with friends and family.
My journey into reflexology started with fertility (nearly 20 years ago!) and as I’ve progressed through my career, and aged, I’ve naturally veered towards helping women navigate their hormones in the middle years, and started additional training in the subject a few years ago.
In 2021 you may have seen I added another workshop to my repertoire…Facial Reflexology for a Merry Perimenopause. This is an adaption of my previous women’s health workshop and now includes information about the hormones involved during perimenopause, the symptoms they may cause and self-care reflexology and massage to ease symptoms and give a healthy glow, whilst empowering women to take control of their health.
My personal journey into perimenopause has begun and currently feels under control using these techniques but the brain fog (or brain farts as I prefer to call them…when you walk into a room and can’t remember why you’re there or stop mid-sentence because the words just leave your brain) and tiredness, can be relentless. Not to mention the unwarranted anxiety and self-doubt! The night sweats a few days before my period are also most unpleasant. But here’s a short video of one of my favourite hot flush first aid techniques for you to try (my first attempt at TikTok!):
The above technique is good to use in the moment but if you’re suffering with uncomfortable power surges, try the following tips too:
- Dress in layers, so that you can remove clothing when a hot flash starts.
- Avoid foods and beverages that may cause hot flashes, like spicy foods, alcohol, coffee, tea, and other hot beverages.
- Drink a glass of cold water or fruit juice when a hot flash starts.
- Keep a thermos of ice water or an ice pack next to your bed during the night.
- Use cotton sheets, lingerie, and clothing that allow your skin to breathe.
- Keep a diary or record of your symptoms to find what might trigger your hot flushes
One of the reasons reflexology is so effective at helping during perimenopause is that it lowers the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol is the enemy of the perimenopause as it literally robs the body of precious oestrogen and progesterone. Before menopause, we have optimal levels of O & P but as these levels start to decline, we become more susceptible to the negative effects of cortisol. It’s important to try and reduce stress in all areas of your life.
Take time DAILY to focus on your needs, reflect on your lifestyle and be honest with yourself about lifestyle and changes that may need to be made:
- What’s adding to your stress – who, what, when?
- How’s your diet? What can be improved? Plant based, fresh, real food is best
- Learn to say NO THANKS…it may be hard for people pleasers, but you might find it quite empowering
- Exercise regularly – walking in the fresh air is great
- Create better sleep habits – reduce screen time, dark room, avoid caffeine and alcohol
- Do something you enjoy and HAVE FUN!
Modern living is often very stressful for multitasking women with jobs, children, teenagers and parents to look after and although it’s easier said than done, try and get a healthy balance. Remember to look after yourself, because… If you’d like to book onto a workshop; have a 1:1 session or book a treatment to learn more, please get in touch. In its essence, reflexology is fairly simple to do on yourself – it’s complex but not complicated and with a little guidance, you can enjoy many health and wellbeing benefits with self-care techniques. See details at the end of this blog of a free mini workshop later in October.
NEW ONLINE CPD COURSE…Facial Reflexology for an Empowered Perimenopause
After some deep thought, encouragement and pushing from colleagues and peers I am finally sharing my extensive knowledge of facial reflexology and have taken the exciting plunge into teaching. This course has been in the making for nearly a year and I’ve put a lot of time, effort and energy into making it unique, interesting and worthwhile for learners so it adds something new to their practice. In September the online CPD course was approved by the Association of Reflexologists and is now available for anyone trained in facial reflexology or some form of facial therapy.
Here’s some info on what to expect…
Facial Reflexology for an Empowered Perimenopause – Helping you, help your clients, help themselves
This six module online CPD course will help you support women through the perimenopause with facial reflexology. Only available to those already trained in some form of facial therapy, this course will give you:
► a sound understanding of some common symptoms of the perimenopause and the hormones involved ► simple facial massage techniques to brighten and lift the face ► new multi reflex maps and points to ease symptoms ► a ready made self-care workshop you can present to clients, online and in person, and in group and one to one sessions.
I have been a reflexologist since 2004 and running workshops for many years specialising in self-care techniques. I am trained in multiple methods of facial reflexology and created this CPD course to share my love of teaching techniques to empower clients and other therapists alike. Reflexology is for everyone. In its essence, it is simple and powerful when you know which points to press! The maps included have been created through my experience of studying facial reflexology since 2009 and do not use maps from any other method.
For some reason I never really understood, many other teachers forbid the sharing of techniques, especially to groups, but I actively encourage that these effective and potentially life changing skills are shared to help as many people as possible (as long as the usual precautions and contraindications are considered and no copyright has been breached – which it hasn’t here). To quote one of my favourite authors:
So if you want to enhance your knowledge of the perimenopause and improve your facial reflexology and massage skills, this course is for you. Create bespoke treatments and help empower your clients to feel in control of their perimenopause.
The course is also available to beauticians and facial therapists not trained in reflexology, as the modules have been adapted so they are easily understood and techniques can be incorporated into any treatment to create holistic, therapeutic reflexology-based facials that bring powerful results. A big thank you goes to Sally Earlham and Kate Melliss at the AoR and to Lone Sorensen, Patryck Aguilar Cassara and Nikke Ariff for their advice, support and encouragement. The feedback so far has been great and I’m giving away module one for free so please get in touch if you’d like more information. And if any therapists or reflexologists out there have a passion for a subject, plenty of knowledge and think they can help their peers improve their skills, please consider going into teaching. Feel free to message and pick my brains about the process!
Menopause help elsewhere
The Southcote team now run monthly “Peri-meno-pausal coffee mornings” on the first Saturday of every month with guest speakers and support and advice on hand from our experts. I’m giving a talk on Saturday 5th November, it’s free and all are welcome. There’s also a men’s group in the pipeline so stay tuned to Southcote’s socials for news on that. Go to https://goteamup.com/providers/events/49105757/ for more info on the coffee morning and info about the women’s health team can be found here https://www.southcote.com/womens-health.
Local human rights campaigner Annie Cardone has released her book Menopause WTH! detailing her experience of perimenopause and how to get help. I attended a packed out event in Rainham in September with local guest speakers and hopefully Annie will organise more soon. Information can be found on Annie’s website https://anniecardone.co.uk/
Lisa Watson is a clinical nurse who specialises in menopause, HRT and women’s health and info about her practice can be found here: https://watsonhealth.co.uk/
Clare Stay is an fantastic physiotherapist based in Rainham who specialises in women’s health. Check out her website here https://stayfitphysiotherapy.com/treatments/womens-health/
I’m presenting information to the staff at KIMS Hospital on the benefits of reflexology in perimenopause on 17th as they’re using the week to educate staff on the subject which is fantastic.
I’m also hosting a FREE online mini workshops at 7.30pm on Monday 17th October and there are a few spaces left so get in touch to book in to learn a few facial reflexology techniques to help sleep and hot flushes!
Some fab, easy to read books which might be of interest include:
- Menopausing by Davina McCall
- Perimenopause Power by Maisie Hill
- Perimenopause Solutions by Dr S Harper
And just for a giggle, here’s another TikTok video to help life your face and spirits 😀
In other news….I DID A THING!
The other exciting project that should come to fruition next month (and I’m going to be shouting about this one a lot) I’VE WRITTEN A BOOK AND IT’S ABOUT TO BE PUBLISHED!!!! More on this in my next blog later in the month, but it’s a children’s reflexology book and I’m hoping it will help many babies, children and parents. It’s a really lovely story, beautifully illustrated with unforgettable characters. I’ve kept this very close to my chest but it’s been in the making for nearly 3 years. Stay tuned for more news soon but I’m really hoping it will be out in time for Christmas.
I know money is tight for everyone right not and I wanted to assure you that my prices will remain the same for the foreseeable future. Keep an eye on my social media pages for last minute cancellations that might be advertised at a discount. And gift vouchers are available if you want to drop hints to someone who might treat you. Just as a reminder my working hours are as follows:
- Monday – Home in Rainham 9am – 9pm
- Tuesday – Southcote in Maidstone 10am-4pm & Home 5-8pm
- Wednesday – Southcote 10am-7pm
- Thursday – Home 9am-7pm
- Friday – Home 9am-2pm
- Saturday – Southcote and Home when I can
- Sunday – Very rare but not ruled out
Hope to see you all sometime soon. And if I haven’t seen you in a while, it would be lovely to see you again, no matter how long it’s been.