Sunday, August 13, 2017

Reflexology and Menopause

Reflexology soothes discomforts associated with menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause. By regulating hormonal functioning and inducing relaxation, reflexology can cause many symptoms, including irregularity, fluid retention, and cramps, to fade or disappear.

Katy Dreyfuss, “The Reflexology Deck"

What is reflexology?

Dating back to Ancient Egypt, reflexology is the practice of treating reflex points and areas in the feet and hands that relate to corresponding parts of the body. Each organ and structure within the body is linked to the feet by energy channels or meridians. When our physical or emotional health is weakened or compromised by illness or stress, these channels become blocked or congested. Reflexology can be used very effectively to facilitate the free flow of energy and thus restore the body to its more natural state of health and wellbeing.

By applying gentle pressure and using specific techniques and movements, reflexology can both identify and support the areas of the body which are in need of strengthening and healing. Although the feet are more usually treated, the hands may be equally effectively worked with.

The Benefits of Reflexology

Reflexology is suitable for all ages and stages of life and can bring relief to a wide range of both acute and chronic conditions as well as working more preventatively in helping the body to maintain overall health and well-being. Specific conditions which are known to benefit from reflexology include:
·         Allergies
·         Anxiety and Stress related issues
·         Asthma, bronchitis, sinusitis and other respiratory problems
·         Back pain and sciatica
·         Chronic Fatigue and general exhaustion
·         Digestive disorders including irritable bowel, colitis, gastritis and constipation
·         Headaches
·         Hormonal imbalances
·         Immune disorders
·         Infertility
·         Menopausal symptoms
·         Menstrual irregularities including pain levels and PMT
·         Migraine
·         Pregnancy and post-partum symptoms
·         Tonsillitis
·         Urinary problems
·         Vertigo

More generally reflexology helps to:
·         reduce stress
·         promote relaxation
·         increase vitality
·         improve circulation
·         eliminate toxins
·         reduce pain levels
·         strengthen the immune system
·         restore and maintain the body’s natural equilibrium 

Menopause and Reflexology

At menopause reflexology works by regulating the hormones and glandular functions of the body. It can help to alleviate and balance both the physical and emotional systems. By working with the hypothalamus and pituitary, reflexology can help to restore balance to the endocrine system. This in turn can alleviate menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes as well depression and anxiety. By calming the central nervous system, sleep disturbances can also be alleviated and anxiety and stress levels reduced. By regulating calcium and phosphorous levels in the thyroid gland, bone loss can be prevented.

Reflexology also helps the ovaries to regulate their estrogen secretions and the uterus to maintain its natural health and flexibility.

Research carried out at the UK School of Complementary Health in Exeter indicates a marked decrease in anxiety, depression, insomnia, hot flushes and night sweats among menopausal women who received regular reflexology over a 4-month period.

What can you expect from a treatment?

On your first visit the therapist will conduct a full consultation with you, taking into consideration your past and present health and lifestyle. This enables the treatment to be tailored to your specific needs. You will be invited to remove your socks and shoes and to sit or lie on a comfortable treatment couch. (If you prefer to have just your hands treated, you may sit on a chair or sit or lie on a treatment couch). During the session, which lasts approximately one hour, the reflexologist will massage and apply gentle pressure to the feet and/or hands, treating the whole body as well as paying specific attention to the organs and systems of the body in need of particular care. Individual experiences of the treatment may vary from a general sense of relaxation to sensations of tingling and warmth in parts of or throughout the body.

The effects of reflexology are cumulative and, depending on specific needs and symptoms, a course of treatments is usually recommended. Many people find it beneficial to have 4-6 weekly or fortnightly sessions initially, followed by a more general ‘maintenance’ session every 4-6 weeks.


The Association of Reflexologists (AoR) has been promoting the use of hand reflexology as a means of self-help and have shared a few techniques for you to try on your own hands or even better work with a friend or family member and work on each other’s hands. The AoR recommends you use hand reflexology for 5 minutes a day or when you feel that stress levels or anxiety are building.

It is easier to carry out hand reflexology using a little cream although it can be done without.

Unlike a muscle massage, small circular motions on the targeted area are used. Fingers, knuckles, massage tools, and even golf balls can help perform the necessary motions. At first, you may feel some pain, but this is due to the improper functioning of the area you are trying to heal. Start with light pressure and add more as you progress.

The massage of several reflex points is needed to produce desired effects. In the case of menopause, the points needed may vary per individual, since there are several contributing factors of menopause. If you are unfamiliar with the causes of menopause, please, read our site to discover the reasons and solutions. If you have read the information, continue reading to see which points help alleviate menopause. Remember, results will not be instant. A few sessions will be required to show results.

Where Should I Massage?

The problem with menopause symptoms can be escalated due to the several health-related factors. So, there are the following areas to concentrate on:
·         Pituitary Gland Area: The pituitary gland produces most of the body’s hormones. Pituitary stimulation helps the body produce enough hormones and chemicals needed for sexual functioning. Pituitary hormones provide the proper neural communication (neurotransmitters) that effect hot flashes, mood swings, and lack of sexual desires.
·         Thyroid Gland Area: The thyroid gland is part of the endocrine system, which includes the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, adrenal gland, and testes. Any improper function of the hormones can alter other parts of the body as well as sexual function.
·         Adrenal Gland Area: The adrenal gland produces stress, anxiety, and sex hormones. Women who lack sexual desires or feel more anxious than before can use massage techniques to calm the nerves and help elevate their mood.
·         Kidney Area:  Kidneys remove toxins that may retard or interfere with the proper functioning of hormones and organs. Women who have abused birth control pills, drugs or alcohol may be dealing with symptoms of menopause earlier than expected. By eliminating the toxic waste found in the kidneys, women can help decrease some menopause issues. 
·         Ureter Area: Proper urine flow helps dispel the toxins removed by the kidney. A proper working ureter will ensure that harmful elements are not reabsorbed back into the body.


1. Perform these moves on both hands:

Place your thumbs on the solar plexus reflex point which is good for calming, this is situated in the center of the palm, take 3 deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. As you breathe in push gently into the reflex point. If you are doing this on yourself do one hand at a time

2. Spend time massaging all over each thumb, this is the head reflex which can help ease tension and calm the mind. Two important glands are found within the head: the hypothalamus (which plays a part in hot flushes) and the pituitary which controls all hormones.

3. Rub over the tip of each thumb, this is the brain reflex, to help calm the mind

4. Next rub along the spine reflex to help calm the nervous system. Use one thumb to rub along the edge of the other thumb from the wrist all the way to the top, then swap hands.

5. The adrenal gland reflex is particularly good to work for anxiety. This reflex can be found easily by pinching at the base of the ‘V’ at the base of the thumb and first finger. Place your thumb and finger on the top (dorsal) and bottom (palm) and squeeze gently together.

The adrenal glands also continue to produce small levels of estrogen.

Sources and Additional Information:

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