Reflexology for Menopause Support from a Reflexologist perspective.
By Paul Kennard MAR
Reflexology is a complementary therapy that is based on the theory that different points and areas on the feet, lower leg, hands, face and ears correspond with different areas of the body. Reflexologists believe that working these points or areas aids relaxation and helps improve wellbeing. Reflexology may also help improve mood, release tension and aid sleep; helping us to cope better and easing the stresses during this transitional time.
Three common symptoms that women can experience in peri-menopause and menopause are hot flushes, poor sleep and anxiety. A study was completed looking at the effect of Reflexology on menopausal women and showed a reduction in hot flushes and an improvement in sleep1. Reflexology has also been shown to significantly reduce anxiety state associated with ‘an increased feeling of ease and a reduction in anxiety.2
So how does reflexology help? We concentrate on the endocrine and nervous system for menopause support, using various techniques with our fingers and thumbs here is just a few examples of the rationale:
As we have come to recognise that stress has a huge influence of the symptoms, here I would be looking at the head, shoulder, diaphragm and lung reflexes for stress release and to reduce tension. The spine as this represents the central nervous system
Kidney reflex to reduce blood pressure, issues relating to urine. Adrenals to reduce stress, pain and inflammation, The liver reflex to help with detoxification, excretion of old hormones, support the thyroid function.
Pineal gland – helps restore and establish better sleep patterns, thyroid to help maintain metabolism, parathyroid to reduce muscular fatigue, the pituitary the master gland! to help balance and support hormones, moods and energy.
So hopefully you can see its more than a foot rub!
Reflexology can also be applied to the face, here’s some selfcare advice. Keep a tea spoon in the fridge, when experiencing a hot flush, us the back of the tea spoon in a circular motion on the golden area in the diagram for 30 second, this is your hypothalamus reflex which is your thermostat and can help reduce hot flushes/night sweats/chills.
From a holistic perspective Reflexology acknowledges that every woman and her menopause are unique.
- It’s about lifestyle choices
- A time to pause and reframe
- Learn to focus on yourself
- Value your own self-worth – be confident with who you are
- A time to choose who you want to be
One last thing to mention, Reflexology is a complimentary therapy not an alternative one and you should always seek medical advice from a doctor or medical practitioner.
A load of old codswhollop? the only way to know if reflexology will help you is to try it!
1 Gozuyesil, E., & Baser, M. (2016). The effect of foot reflexology applied to women aged between 40 and 60 on vasomotor complaints and quality of life. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, 78-85.
2 Asltoghiri, M., & Ghodsi, Z. (2012). The effects of Reflexology on sleep disorder in menopausal women. Procedia – Social and Behavioural Sciences, 242-246