What's it all about?
The menopause is a stage or journey in a woman’s life when her body will begin to change and progress beyond her childbearing years.
This change begins gradually; however, as the menopause reaches its peak (peri-menopause), many more changes may be evident such as hot flushes, erratic mood swings and sleep problems. The post-menopause symptoms, which begin after a woman’s last period, are with her for the remainder of her life. Each woman’s journey through this stage of life is unique, leading to diverse symptoms being experienced.
These can include any of the following:
- Mood swings
- Anxiety / Depression
- Sleep problems
- Hot flushes
- Irregular / painful / lengthy periods
- Vaginal dryness
- Night sweats
- Sore breasts
- Weight gain
- Changes in libido
- Joint pains – plus a few more!
But don't despair...
REFLEXOLOGY CAN HELP
Stress and stimulants are enemies to the menopause and can make a variety of symptoms worse. This is where reflexology can help you through this, sometimes difficult, phase and potentially ease symptoms and improve wellbeing.
Reflexology helps support women through every stage of life and seems to be especially beneficial during peri-menopause and menopause. This could be because menopausal symptoms are made worse by stress and high levels or cortisol.
CORTISOL IS NOT OUR FRIEND DURING
- Adrenals glands produce cortisol and adrenaline, rather than oestrogen and progesterone.
- Cortisol and progesterone compete for the same receptors in osteoblasts – progesterone can protect bone and prevent osteoporosis but cortisol inhibits the making of new bone
- Elevated cortisol, caused by chronic stress can age us faster – hello facial reflexology!
- Symptoms of high cortisol are similar to peri-menopause – low moods, anxiety, low energy, insomnia, bloating, low sex drive etc
Reducing stress with reflexology can therefore help all of the above.
DON'T JUST TAKE MY WORD FOR IT
HERE'S WHAT THE RESEARCH SAYS
Cagnecci et al, 2011 Menopause 18,3,273-8 – Found that chronically elevated cortisol increases the likelihood of severe menopausal symptoms
Maryam Asltoghiri Zahra Ghodsi Procedia – Social and Behavioural Sciencs, Volume 31, 2012, pages 242-246 – Concluded that Reflexology is an effective therapy for sleep disorders and hot flushes in menopause
Gozuyesil E, Baser M – Complement Ther Clin Practice 2016; Aug 24; 78-85 – Concluded that Reflexology can be effective in decreasing vasomotor problems and increased quality of life in the menopausal period.
F Mahdavipouret et al – Complementary Therapies in Medicine, Vol 47, 2019 – Concluded that reflexology techniques can be effective for reducing women’s depression during menopause.
Just to be clear….reflexology does not claim to cure or diagnose but it can:
- Aid relaxation
- Improve mood
- Help relieve tension
- Aids sleep
- Improves wellbeing
And all of the above relieve stress and lower cortisol which will hopefully lessen menopausal symptoms.
WHICH WORKS BEST?
FEET OR FACE?
Over the years I have found that facial reflexology works better for some women and foot reflex for others and I often choose a combination of the two when creating personalised treatment plans. But we’ll come up with a treatment plan together that best suits your needs and wants.
Self care homework may add to the treatments effectiveness, leading you to see results much quicker (see Dien Chan Zone page for more info).
COMING SOON (June 2021)…Merry Peri-menopause Facial Reflexology Workshop. In this online workshop you’ll learn easy to follow DIY facial reflexology to help ease many symptoms of the peri-menopause and reduce stress as well as some face sculpting techniques to help you look and feel your best. Please drop me a message to be kept up to date with the launch.
In addition to a few simple lifestyle and diet changes, Reflexology can help you navigate this process a little (or a lot) easier.
You may want to consider looking into the following ways to help improve menopausal symptoms such as:
- Lifestyle changes
- Diet – low GI & plant based to keep blood sugar levels balanced may help
- Relax and have fun – put the joy back into life
- Try to create health sleep patterns
- Exercise gently – low impact activities such as walking, swimming or yoga rather than running or HIIT which increase cortisol
- Sage leaf may ease hot flushes
- Evening primrose oil
- Vitamin B complex & Vitamin E
- Drink less or avoid alcohol
The following websites might be of interest to you if you wish to do some more research: