Hang on a minute, why are you writing a blog about the menopause when you haven’t experienced it yet? Yes! Valid point indeed, but please bear with me 🙂
OK so I haven’t got to that stage of life yet, however, many of my clients are either perimenopausal or menopausal. Therefore, I wanted to write a blog on the subject, mainly to discuss how reflexology could support you through your menopause journey. I attended a two-day Women’s Reflexology course where I learned a lot about how I can support my clients through their menopause journey. In addition, I have carried out extensive research on the subject and now feel that I am better equipped to give help and advice to my lovely clients on the subject!
I am not going to discuss what the menopause is or how symptoms can be relieved on the whole as this would quickly turn into a book rather than a blog. And also, there are so many books about this subject and you can easily find a lot of information via good old google 🙂
For example, here is a pretty detailed article which you may find interesting about the menopause;
HRT or Natural Remedies?
I do feel that I need to address one thing and that is the ongoing debate about whether HRT or natural remedies is the better approach?
Several clients have come to me in the onset of perimenopause and have been completely baffled about the whole thing. Doctor’s advice not being as expected or receiving conflicting opinions within the medical professions, clients not being able to get hold of HRT due to national shortages and also generally so much negativity about HRT in general. There’s also the theory that natural is the best approach, but questions arise about whether this this safe long-term? Basically, there are so many conflicting ideas and it can make things so much more confusing!
The answer to the question is that it is purely down to personal choice, what symptoms they are encountering and their own experiences. I’m not a qualified naturopath so I don’t feel that I should give you specific natural remedy options based around your symptoms as everyone has different experiences and needs (however I have done a lot of research and am happy to share this information with my clients if they would like and this can be sent post appointment via email). What I do urge though, is that you explore all options available to you rather than just dive head-first straight into HRT. Please read up as much as possible about what is happening to your body, identify any problem areas specific to your own circumstances and look to make dietary changes which could help to balance hormones and work to help reduce inflammation.
There are so many vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, probiotics, herb and flower extracts which people throw around as a ‘must take’ supplement during the menopause. This can be both confusing and often unhelpful. So do your own research, read the books, by all means talk to your GP and your complementary therapist and share experiences with your friends. Ultimately work with your symptoms and feelings and then you can devise your own menopause plan, which can be reviewed and changed as you progress through the transition.
It is widely believed that high stress levels exacerbate menopausal symptoms therefore it is really important to review your stress levels and if they are consistently too high, then to try to take some steps to reduce them. Easier said than done I know, but high amounts of cortisol in the body can worsen symptoms so if you do one thing to help with your menopause symptoms is look at your stress levels and try to put a plan in place to reduce this stress. I recommend that you read Dr Chatterjee’s the Stress Solution or my earlier blog on stress to get you started. http://kellyzilz.co.uk/general/stress/
Reflexology to Support Menopause
I see many clients who have reflexology as a support tool to help them during their menopause. They say that an hour of reflexology or massage is equivalent to 7 hours sleep, with shows how beneficial reflexology could potentially be to aid with relaxation and reducing stress and tension.
Interestingly, from my personal experience, the most prevalent symptom by far is sleep issues, followed by hot flushes then anxiety, then mood swings and so on. The idea is that reflexology helps to achieve homeostasis (balance within the body) and also can potentially help to reduce those troublesome stress levels.
Firstly, when talking about the systems and organs on the body I work during the session, it might be worth reiterating that these relate to the reflex points on the foot that I associate with the particular organ in question. Here is a foot reflex chart for guidance;
During a reflexology session, the endocrine system would be thoroughly worked and at the end of the session I would ensure that the whole system is balanced as it is these pesky hormones which are responsible for the menopause symptoms that you are experiencing.
If sleep is the issue, I would do more work on the pineal gland, which helps to regulate the body clock and if hot flushes are an issue, I would work the hypothalamus, which regulates body temperature. If you are struggling to manage stress, I would work the adrenals, which regulates fight or flight and also the pituitary as well as the brain area to calm the area down and the diaphragm to help to regulate breathing. Of course, the ovaries and uterus would be thoroughly worked and balanced too.
The point that I’m trying to make here is that there isn’t a set ‘sequence’ for menopause as every person has different experiences so the treatment will be very much bespoke to you and how you are feeling. And yes, this is likely to change from session to session too.
Aromareflex is very popular with clients who are going through the menopause- Aromareflex is Reflexology with essential oil blends- so you get the added benefits of essential oils, which are specifically chosen to support you with your symptoms. The Menopause Balance blend which by far is my most popular blend contains geranium (good for balancing hormones and emotions), cypress (grounding, stress relief and antibacterial) and rose otto (good all rounder for menopausal symptoms, relaxation, anxiety and headaches). With Aromareflex, you get to take a pot of the cream home as well so you can get the benefits from the essential oils long after your treatment has ended!
If you are struggling with symptoms, please be open and honest with me then I can hopefully help you and be more targeted in the reflexology session to optimise the treatments effectiveness. There are points I can show you on the hand, foot, face and leg which you can work yourself and I can send you further information on natural remedies and advice for minimising symptoms moving forward. I can even make you roller blends for pulse points and Aromareflex aura sprays with essential oils targeted for your symptoms.
Conclusion and Further Reading
Overall, I strongly believe that knowledge is power and in order to make an informed choice about how to manage your own symptoms then I suggest clueing yourself up on what is happening to your body and to focus on your own symptoms and finding out which treatment works for you.
The book ‘Period Power’ by Maisie Hill is incredible and I believe that every female should read it as it provides so much useful advice for women from the onset of puberty to menopause and beyond. If you are approaching the menopause, I also recommend Marilyn Glenville’s book the ‘Natural Health Bible for Women’ and also ‘Natural Solutions for the Menopause’, although there are a myriad of books on the subject and there is a massive amount of information there online available. Look into all options available to you and go with the one that feels right for you based around your circumstances. Maybe try out other alternative therapies out if you don’t get on with reflexology such as acupuncture, hypnotherapy and homeopathy tonnage a few- there are so many more out there! Don’t be afraid to try something new!
Have you tried reflexology to help with your menopause symptoms? I would love to hear your experiences.
Until next month lovelies, have a good one x