Reflexology for Menopause Wellbeing
Transitioning with ease through the menopause
Going through the menopause change can sometimes feel as though we’ve lost control of our body and mind, that we’re going through a shredder and that our world is coming apart at the seams.
In the Western hemisphere (and increasingly in the Eastern hemisphere as diet and lifestyle change to match the West), women have been working a highly stressed life, juggling (too) many things and putting undue pressure on themselves to perform as an all-capable, all-caring, highly responsible human being. The stress impact on the hormonal system is huge and so when it comes to rapid hormonal changes synonymous with the perimenopause and menopause transition, their bodies are not as well equipped to cope. And this is mainly due to adrenal fatigue (the adrenals act as our safety net for rapid drops in oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone).
The 3 Phases of Menopause
Stage 1 is the Perimenopause. It can start as early as the age of 40 (or even earlier if medically induced by an hysterectomy or chemotherapy). During perimenopause the ovaries produce less oestrogen.
It’s not always easy to diagnose the onset of perimenopause as typical symptoms include mood swings, disturbed sleep or insomnia, which can also be caused by depression and stress.
Other symptoms of perimenopause include:
- anxiety and heart palpitations
- bloating and sudden weight gain
- headaches or worsening of pre-existing migraine episodes
- heavy bleeding
- hot flushes and night sweats
- decreased libido
- brain fog with loss of ability to concentrate and focus
- reduced stamina
- urinary incontinence
- vaginal atrophy
- vertigo or the sensation that the room is spinning.
About 90% of women have changes in menstruation, mood swings, skin changes, and thinning hair.
Periods may become longer or shorter and happen more or less often. Also, the amount of bleeding may increase or decrease. Each individual is different.
A GP can undertake a blood test to determine if perimenopause has commenced by checking the levels of 3 hormones: oestradiol (which drops) and follicle-stimulating hormone/FSH and luteinising hormone/LH (which both increase during early stages of menopause). But even then, these tests aren’t always reliable as they can still remain normal during menopause.
Stage 2 is the Menopause. It’s when the ovaries have stopped producing most of their oestrogen and no more eggs are being released. It follows 12 months without any menstrual period. Some or all perimenopause symptoms can still be experienced during menopause.
Stage 3 is the Post-Menopause. Some symptoms may still continue long after periods have stopped, but they will eventually diminish in severity and frequency.
The decline or absence of oestrogen can mean changes to energy levels, memory, bone health, hormones, urinary and heart health. It can also increase the likelihood of cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and vaginal atrophy.
While osteoporosis can be caused by hormonal imbalances it is commonly caused by a lack of calcium in the diet along with the minerals needed to assimilate calcium. Two out of three British women will develop osteoporosis.
HRT – Benefits & Challenges
It’s very common for women to consult their GP for advice and support during the perimenopause period. Often they are offered Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). However, statistically only one in ten women manage to stay on HRT because it does not agree with them. This is just as well as there is an increased risk of breast cancer related to long-term use of HRT.
The main mentioned benefit of HRT is the protection against cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis. And yet cardiovascular problems are largely dietary and lifestyle problems and while hormones can be protective in early years they do not address the underlying causes.
Research has also shown that osteoporosis risk catches up in women who use HRT when compared to women who do not use it, by the time they are about 75 years old. This is the time when the most debilitating fractures happen anyway, so HRT does not seem to be able to protect in the long term, but, only in the short term, while it is being taken.
Reflexology: An Holistic Alternative
Many women are increasingly unhappy about turning to HRT to resolve menopausal problems, and so are interested in a natural approach.
Reflexology for Menopause Wellbeing is an holistic programme using a unique combination of facial, hand and foot reflexology spanning six or twelve 90-minute sessions (depending on severity and extent of symptoms).
Reflexology works on reflexes, which are points that mirror organs, glands and systems in the body. By putting a small amount of pressure (never uncomfortable) and applying certain massage techniques to the reflexes, a skilled and trained reflexologist can do much to change the energy flow, assist the body in its recalibration and healing and in so doing, reduce or alleviate the manifold symptoms of perimenopause / menopause.
Apart from the ones listed above, additional symptoms can include:
- achy joints
- vaginal dryness
- skin outbreaks as hormones go haywire
- more moles and liver (sun) spots
- really dry hair and skin with crepe-like décolleté
- sudden thinning or loss of hair
- sagging neckline and jowls, more droopy eyes.
Two examples how reflexology can tackle menopause issues.
Ghrelin and Leptin are chemicals, or hormones, that we have in our bodies to regulate our weight and eating. In peri-menopause and menopause, the levels of the hunger-stimulating hormone ghrelin increase, which is a reason why you may find yourself frequently hungry during this phase. Levels of the hormone leptin, which promotes a sense of fullness, is reduced throughout peri- and post-menopause. These hormones are responsible for regulating our weight and eating and in the menopausal years they engage with our mind and body.
By using reflexology and advising on an holistic approach to health, a reflexologist can help you regulate your appetite so that the leptin and ghrelin, which are already de-harmonised through the menopause, will have less control over your health.
Loss of Sleep and Brain Fog
Regular reflexology can help protect the brain by allowing it to clear the by-products of thinking that build up during the day (known as neutral
waste). When neutral waste accumulates, it is harmful to the mitochondria in neurons. Loss of mitochondrial function is a hallmark of ageing and many menopausal symptoms, including anxiety, depression, fat, fatigue and brain fog. Accordingly, many neuro-degenerative diseases have been associated with mitochondrial abnormalities.
Research also suggests there is a strong relationship between the circadian rhythm (body clock rhythm) and the function of mitochondria. If the circadian rhythm is disrupted (sleeplessness which frequently happens with night sweats, increased urination, bloating and raised anxiety), this can lead to a decline in the production of cellular energy. That’s why lack of sleep and weight gain are often linked. Reflexology is one of the most beneficial ways to improve our ability to sleep, both in terms of quality and quantity of sleep.
Special Offer: to experience your first 90-minute full-length session of reflexology (facial, hand and foot reflexology), apply the coupon code Pause20 when you book a single session.
This is only available for those wishing to try it for the first time. Once the session is completed, the reflexologist will discuss with you whether a 6-session or 12-session course of treatments will be of benefit to you.
6 x 90-minute reflexology sessions, spanning 3 months (biweekly appointments). Sign up using the membership subscription scheme and then book your appointments to suit your diary and therapist availability.
3 x monthly instalments of £150.
12 x 90-minute reflexology sessions, spanning 3 months (weekly appointments). Sign up using the membership subscription scheme and then book your appointments to suit your diary and therapist availability.
3 x monthly instalments of £250.
Find out what clients are saying about our Reflexology therapies…
Such a talented therapist Esther is among the best. I’ve enjoyed her massage skills and her reflexology treatments are excellent.
I’m pleased to be experiencing the recently introduced Zone Facelift and after just one treatment I can see the difference. Looking forward to completing my package and seeing the results. I can highly recommend Mindbody Oasis.
Wow! What else can I say? Had a neck, shoulder and back massage with Esther last night. I have had many massages but this was by far the best! Then I had a Reflexology treatment which was amazing. Thank you very much Esther. Next treatment already booked. Looking forward to it very much.
I’ve just had 3 great facial reflexology treatments and found them brilliant. They helped me relax, as well as relieve some sinus pressure I have been suffering with. Highly recommend booking a course of treatments with Esther!
I loved the facial reflexology – it improved my general wellbeing, reduced the frequency of severe migraine and my skin glowed….Ooh and I actually fell asleep during treatment which is unheard of 😊 I need to book my next one for after pay day! 😊 x
Esther is a talented and knowledgeable therapist, who takes the time to explain your treatment and makes sure you're comfortable throughout. I can particularly recommend the hot stones massage, and face and foot reflexology.
I would recommend the Indian Head massage and reflexology. I have had both treatments and they were truly amazing.
Esther is very professional and her treatments are something else. This is way I am going to continue having regular treatments.
I had a course of Reflexology with the lovely Esther, and found the treatment so relaxing which followed with the best nights sleep ever!
Esther quite literally has magic hands! I had been suffering with a back problem and found the sessions really helped.
5* would highly recommend!
A big thank you to Esther Apoussidis for the wonderful reflexology treatment yesterday. Anyone who is looking for a new reflexologist or anyone wanting to try it for the first time, I highly recommend Esther. I really enjoyed the treatment. Plus a fact for you.... last night was the first night in a very long time that I had a completely pain and discomfort free night without any medication. I usually have disturbed sleep due to pain or discomfort in my left leg (having arthritis in my Knee) and have got used to it now, but last night was such a nice difference. Thank you again, I will definitely be booking again soon x