The Menopause is a natural transition that every woman goes through at some time in their lives. Although many women see this as a time of loss – as it marks the inability to have children and the loss of periods.
Menopause the meaning
Menopause or ‘change of life’ is a phase in a woman’s life which indicates the end of menstruation or monthly cycle. It is actually derived from a Greek word ‘men’ which means month and ‘pausis’ which means ‘termination’. Menopause is a natural event which usually occurs when the woman reaches her late 40s or early 50s and signifies the closure of her fertile phase. Menopause marks the end of the major role performed by the ovaries .i.e. the secretion of ova, release of estrogen and progesterone hormones, creation and shedding of uterine lining or monthly periods. Menopausal transition .i.e. the change from a potentially fertile to non-fertile state usually tends to happen gradually over a period of time. This transition phase also known as perimenopause, takes about a year to be finally declared as menopause. After one year without any monthly cycle, a woman is said to reach menopause. The phase following menopause is referred to as the postmenopausal stage which remains till the end of your life.
How can Reflexology Help ?
During the menopause reflexology can help 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 and anxiety. By calming the central nervous system, sleep disturbances can also be alleviated 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 oestrogen secretions and the uterus to maintain its natural health and flexibility.
Reflexology – Menopause Research
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. From personal experience I believe that monthly Reflexology treatments has helped reduce my symptoms – I am less anxious, my stress levels have reduced and I am sleeping better due to the reduction of night sweats. I have now written a treatment protocol for the Peri Menopause and Menopause to help women struggling with the many symptoms that the Menopause can bring.
In 2016 blood tests showed me to be “peri menopausal” and was prescribed HRT by my GP. During the following 3 years my medication was changed several times, in order to find something that worked for me. After studying Nutrition and making lots of different lifestyle choices, and conducting lots of research of my own I decided that the best way forward for me would be to help myself and try to manage my symptoms.– There are lots of great resources out there which can help. You must remember that we are all different and what works for one may not work for another – so listen to your body.
Menopause the Natural Way
The Natural Health Bible (2015) looks at a natural alternative to the Menopause – these include:
Changes to your diet:
• Reduce Saturated Fat
• Boost essential fats
• Stabilise your blood sugar
• Boost Natural fibre
• Eat more phytoestrogens
· Vitamin C
· Vitamin E
· Omega 3 Fatty Acids
• Angus Castus
• Black Cohosh
• Dong Quai
• Ginkgo Bilboba
• Milk Thistle
When you are going through the Menopause it is important to remember that it
isn’t a disease and there is help out there. Embrace the change. I have
found it really useful to keep myself well informed with research and trials as
things change all the time. A healthy lifestyle, eating balanced diet,
regular exercise, positive approach and most importantly loving
ourselves can make the change an easier process.
Glenville.M (2015) The natural health bible for women: Watkins Media Limited
The National Center for Biotechnology Information (2016) Research. Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12269681 accessed 3rd September 2016.
** This post has been written from my own personal experience – as a reflexologist I cannot diagnose, before changing or coming off any medication it is important that you speak to your GP **