According to the last census, Britain’s population was made up of 51% women so the rite of passage called Menopause will happen to every one of them. In previous generations, it wasn’t talked about or if it was – it was in hushed tones, a la Les Dawson – it was mouthed with a knowing look and wink!
Women were even embarrassed to admit they were going through “The Change”. Even in today’s progressive society – women are reluctant to talk about it – youth, society etc make it difficult and uncomfortable for them. For some women, the menopause makes for a very anxious time.
We know it is going to happen so let’s prepare for it the best way we can. We shouldn’t suffer in silence – there is so much help out there!
So, what is the menopause?
The Menopause begins with the Peri menopause which starts around 45 – 55 years of age and during that time, oestrogen levels are falling – because the ovulatory function is declining. Instead of monthly periods, levels decline and so you might only ovulate once or twice a year – that’s when symptoms begin.
Night sweats, hot flushes, psychological problems – anxiety, low mood, brain fog, short term memory loss, short term focus, poor concentration are all menopausal symptoms experienced by many. All too often, ladies just soldier on and don’t get help.
How can reflexology help the menopause?
As a holistic therapist, I have to look at the “whole” person coming for a treatment. It is not as simple as offering a reflexology treatment, it is about assessing the client’s lifestyle – home life, diet, where they work, what they do, how they sleep, how they relax, stress levels, how is their energy etc.
Why is this relevant – they’ve just come for a reflexology session?!
In my experience, women are under a lot of stress. They often work, manage the family, run a home, are involved with clubs , societies etc and most have very little time for themselves. This includes not eating well, whizzing around in the day – surviving on coffee, seldom eating properly and to relax, wine can feature regularly. Not with everyone – granted but enough for me to make these observations. Stress and stimulants are not the menopause’s friends.
For reflexology to help the menopause, initially weekly treatments are recommended ( finances permitting – I understand) , moving to fortnightly then a maintenance programme of once a month. I have found that with the menopause , this was necessary to give the body the best chance to de-stress at the start of the treatment. No one thing or treatment plan has suited everyone and it’s important to evaluate after each session how clients are feeling so I always catch up with ladies 24 hours after treatment.
I encourage things like meditation and personally use headspace. I include lots of endocrine balancing in the reflexology routine and also show ladies hand reflexology techniques that they can do themselves at home ( see my post on my facebook page on 17th September)
Taking things like sage leaf is said to reduce hot flushes in number and strength. Evening primrose oil, Vitamin B complex, exercise and diet are also crucial. Cutting down on alcohol , even abstaining for a while is great! You may know that I am currently on a 90 day challenge which includes no alcohol, apple cider vinegar each morning, meditation, doing a gratitude journal , going to the gym 3 times a week and I am feeling really good! I’m certainly sleeping a lot better!
In addition to helping with menopausal symptoms, reflexology is an incredibly relaxing treatment and allows you to have an hour to yourself, to de-stress, to relax and in most cases, have a little snooze so give it a go!
Here are some websites and facebook pages that have been recommended to me, I hope they help.
I am not medically trained and would advise you of course to visit your GP to discuss your symptoms with them and seek the best course of action but what I want to do is provide some great reference and help sources and how reflexology can help.
www.stopbreathethink.org (available as a free iOS or Android APP)
www.youtube.com/channel/UCbcI2r4u2hyBjyNe9YcoDfA (Various non spiritual meditation videos for anxiety or sleep by MindfulPeace)