Updated: Feb 17
Peri-Menopause and Menopause are a natural part of the Female Reproductive Lifecycle. But for some women, this time can come with crippling and unexpected symptoms that may never have been talked about before or mentioned growing up. Was it ever discussed with you by a mother figures in your life? Did your GP suggest that this may be a cause of some of the symptoms you were experiencing in later life? It can be a bit of a taboo subject for some, hidden in the workplace through fear of it being held against you or it impacting your career. It is very often assumed by the medical profession, that it doesn't happen until your 50's or early 60's so in many cases your symptoms may be discounted as too soon because of your age range or one-off hormone level tests coming back negative in the test results. For me, my Peri-Menopausal symptoms came far earlier than I ever expected in my late 30's. And what I didn't realise back then, was that many of the issues I was experiencing, that my then employers, occupational health team and mainstream Health Professionals all put down to Work-Related Stress and late-onset postnatal depression. The issues I was experiencing were, in fact being exacerbated and made worse by the beginning of my early transition and a lack of understanding on both my part and my employer, what changes I would need in order to be able to manage them effectively. It is easy to say that now, with the benefit of hindsight many years later and the subsequent updates of the NICE recommendations. But at the time, I had absolutely no clue and the idea of flexible working arrangements and environmental adjustments were unheard of really. This is such a broad and complex topic, that I could write about it all day, but rather than go into any more details here, I will focus on how Reflexology may help you to alleviate some of the more common symptoms of peri-menopause and menopause that you may be experiencing.
There are over 40 different recognised symptoms that women describe when discussing 'the change'.
For the purposes of this blog, I will focus on some simple tips that you can try, that may help alleviate 5 of them for you.
Can Reflexology really help?
Facial Reflexology is a complementary therapy that like foot reflexology includes the application of pressure to particular points that correspond to parts of the body only this time on the face. It helps to stimulate the body into bringing about its own homeostasis. Reflexology has been proven to aid relaxation, improve sleep, reduce tension, lift mood, promote wellbeing and reduce the perception of pain. Although no medical claims of any kind are being made here and there is insufficient clinical evidence to support it, I personally and a number of my clients, believe that the combination of these benefits has helped to reduce the overall severity of some of our menopausal symptoms experienced. Reflexology is a complementary therapy and should never be used instead of seeking sound medical advise.
Here are some self-care tips you may like to try out
1. Hot Flushes
Ways to stay cool :
using a cold compress or gel pack at the back of your neck, forehead and wrists instead of a spoon
run your wrists under cold running water
put ice in your drinks or freeze half a bottle of water the night before and top up with water in the morning for a cool drink that will last for hours if insulated and topped up throughout the day
Wear loose cotton cloths and layers you can remove
Step outside for some fresh air
If stuck inside, sit where there is a through draft, or install a fan
Use a water spritz bottle to cool your face but be careful not to get it in your eyes.
2. Mood Swings and heightened emotions
Ways to help with mood regulation include:
You may find that you become more sensitive to the effects of alcohol, caffeine and certain food groups that never bothered you before. Cut down or reduce these where you sensibly can.
Maintain your blood sugar levels and try to iron out the peaks and troughs of a high sugar diet.
You may be moving less to reduce hot flushes and sweats but lack of exercise can then make mood swings worse. Exercise in moderation where you can to manage which-ever symptoms are worsed for you.
3. Poor quality sleep
Reductions in Oestrogen and Night sweats may also be impacting the quality of your sleep. You may find that you need more sleep than you used to or your normal sleeping pattern may shift. For tips on how to shift your body clock see my other blog post.
Always check that there are no other causes of your headaches such as food intolerances, forgetting to drink enough water, caffeine withdrawal or environmental factors or allergies. If a headache or migraine persists or changes, always get it checked out by your GP.
5. Inability to relax
Stress, Anxiety, Heart palpitations, blood pressure fluctuations, digestive issues, poor quality sleep can all add up to make relaxation more difficult.
Solar Plexus breathing is a calming way in which you can encourage your body to switch into parasympathetic mode. Where we are better able to rest and digest or rest and repair.
Zoom, Facial Reflexology Self Care workshop, for the support of 5 key menopausal symptoms Book Now! https://www.feetdbfirst.co.uk/bookings-checkout/facial-reflexology-self-help-workshop-1
If you would like to learn more about how reflexology could help alleviate some of the issues described above, you will be pleased to know that I will be running a series of Facial Reflexology Self-Help Workshops via Zoom, demonstrating 5 key facial reflexology points (as per the Bergman method) that you can work for yourself at home. Even if you can't make the live dates available but would still like the offline materials to study and learn in your own time, this is still a great option for you.
What will you get?
A live zoom video call where we will go through all 5 reflex points. Numbers will be limited to ensure you all get a fair share of my attention.
A recording of the 1-hour zoom workshop.
A cheat sheet/quick reference guide of the points learnt.
A workbook, including video shorts for each of the reflexology points, demonstrated.
If this workshop would be of interest to you, or someone you know, please message me via eMail on my contact page for more details or book here https://www.feetdbfirst.co.uk/bookings-checkout/facial-reflexology-self-help-workshop-1 This workshop is not a substitute for conventional medicine. If your symptoms are severe then I highly recommend that you seek full medical advice and never stop any prescribed medication without consulting with your GP first.
If you would prefer a 121 session, so that you can discuss your personal circumstances privately and have more individual support then do get in touch. Alternatively, if you would prefer to wait and work with me in person, then do grab yourself a gift voucher from £5 towards the cost of any future face to face bookings.
Shelley Mason MAR