Reflexology for Peri/Post Menopause
Menopause is a right of passage that comes to all women though sadly it is often not spoken about until we're in it, and even then, in my experience, it is often in hushed and embarrassed tones! Why should this be - it is a completely natural process and there is so much that can be done to help navigate through to a place of freedom and calm.
What is the Menopause?
The menopause starts with the perimenopause usually somewhere between the ages of 45 to 55 years. This happens because egg reserves and ovulatory function are decling and less oestrogen is being produced and so you might ovulate only a few times a year resulting in fewer, heavier or lighter periods. This is usually when other symptoms start to appear.
The perimenopause can last from anything between 4 to 8 years and finishes when your periods have stopped continually for a year. The average age for menopause is approx 51 years.
For some women, like me, the ovaries stop working before the age 45 - this is known as premature or early menopause. It was only when I started experiencing irregular periods, insomnia and hot flushes in my late thirties that I discussed it will my mother - and learned that she too had an early menopause along with her sister - I just wish we had talked about it sooner.
Signs & Symptoms
Signs and symptoms vary so much for each woman and can include psychological and physiological symptoms such as mood swings and anxiety, heavier or lighter irregular periods, loss of confidence, weight loss or gain, changes to sex drive, forgetfulness, brain fog, hair loss, increased breast tenderness, insomnia, headaches, hot flushes and night sweats to mention a few...
It's so important not to ignore your symptoms - it can feel hugely debilitating but the important thing is to talk about it and visit your GP or seek help from a holistic practitioner. There are so many things you can do to help naturally manage the emotional and physical symptoms and make things more manageable and the sooner you start the better your experience can be.
How can reflexology help?
Whilst I'm a firm advocate of reflexology - nothing works in isolation - I believe in taking an holistic approach looking at all areas of lifestyle that can affect how you experience the peri menopause.
In my experience women are juggling so many things - running the family home, looking after children, managing a career and social life, shopping and generally keeping everybody happy - that's what we do right! But for for some this can result in skipping meals, relying on caffeine or wine to keep going, diminished sleep, low energy levels and generally very little time for self-care and all this can takes its toll.
Having taken a full history I will make recommendations for small changes to your lifestyle and diet that can make a huge difference to how you feel over time and make other suggestions for natural management, including using essential oils and other tools for self care - in some instances, I will refer to a nutritionist for additional specilalist support.
A big part of of self care is taking time out purely to focus on you - this is where regular reflexology treatment can really help.
Reflexology is wonderful for reducing stress and anxiety and great for promoting better sleep. Regular reflexology treatments encourage the body to function more efficiently - during sessions I spend alot of time concentrating on balancing the endocrine system to help manage some of the usual hormonal symtoms.
I will also give hand reflexology points for you to do at home to supplement our sessions plus I am here for support and advice in between treatments - we work together!
How many treatments will I need?
Initially I recommend weekly treatments (where possible) for a month or so, then fornightly with a view to having a monthly maintenance treatment when you're feeling better and on top of things. Of course this will vary to your circumstances and how you respond to treatment - we will have a regular review of how things are going and change our treatment plan accordingly.