Reflexology During Menopause
Reflexology is a wonderful therapy for aiding our journey through the menopause. Reflexology has been found to be very effective in helping both physical and emotional symptoms of the menopause. Symptoms can be depilating such as: hot flushes, increased perspiration, night sweets, headaches, dizziness, mood changes, digestive disturbances, sudden weight gain, short-term memory loss and irregular periods with heavy bleeding. With all the changes happening to the body, women can experience low self-esteem and feelings of inadequacy.
If you are going through perimenopause or menopause, it is really important to know that it’s a perfectly natural process that takes time – you’re not ill (even though it feels that way sometimes!). While recognising that everyone is unique and may respond differently reflexology is often considered to be a very relaxing experience. As a non-invasive complementary therapy reflexology can help support the menopause path whether it includes HRT or not. Every woman and her menopause is unique and as a reflexologist I am here to:
- Listen and support
- Provide relaxation and ease symptoms
- Make your journey easier
- Help you find your zest for life again
Additionally, whilst I would recommend a course of reflexology treatments, you may also enjoy and benefit from ad hoc treatments to fit in with your schedule.
What is perimenopause?
The perimenopause usually last between 4 -8 years, this stage lets you know the menopause is on its way. Fluctuating oestrogen levels can cause a number of physical changes. These include poor memory, general aches and pains, vaginal dryness, trouble sleeping, mood changes including anxiety. Others may experience incontinence, night time hot flushes (night sweats), sleeping problems and issues during sexual intercourse.
Before menopause, a woman’s periods typically become irregular, which means that periods may be longer or shorter in duration or be lighter or heavier in the amount of flow. During this time women often experience hot flushes/flashes; these typically last from 30 seconds to ten minutes and may be associated with shivering, sweating and redness of the skin. The severity of symptoms varies between women.
What is the menopause?
Menopause is the time in most women’s lives when menstrual periods stop permanently, and they are no longer able to bear children. Medical professionals often define menopause as having occurred when a woman has not had any vaginal bleeding for a year. In those women who have had surgery to remove their uterus but still have ovaries, menopause may be viewed to have occurred at the time of the surgery or when the hormone levels fell.
The Impact of Stress
Stress has a significant impact on our hormones; chronic / ongoing stress causes the body to produce stress hormones; such as cortisol and adrenaline. This slows the production of other hormones, such as oestrogen and progesterone. Long-term stress can lead to adrenal exhaustion; the adrenal glands are an important source for reproductive hormone production after menopause therefore needs supporting.
Examples of Stress Include
- Busy lifestyles, such as those involving a long working week or managing a family and home.
- Not incorporating enough exercise into your week to burn off stress, maintain endorphin levels and cardiac health…or weight gain
- Drinking too much tea, coffee or alcohol to perk yourself up or to wind down.
- Eating infrequently, consuming high sugar to “keep going” and experiencing slumps in energy, brain fog and low mood.