Perimenopause and Menopause Reflexology
The term menopause refers to a period of time when you stop having periods. This occurs because your ovaries stop producing eggs and because of this, levels of the hormones your eggs produce (oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone) fall. Confusingly you can only say you have reached the menopause when you haven't had a period for 12 months in a row. Up to getting to this point you are in the perimenopause stage, which can last for a number of years. Symptoms of perimenopause may start in your early to mid forties but some women can start to experience symptoms in their thirties.
Some common perimenopause symptoms include:
- Brain fog
- Hot flushes
- Joint stiffness, aches and pains
- Mood swings
- Trouble sleeping
Menopause resource hub gen-m.com list 43 commonly reported perimenopause symptoms on their website. If you feel you may be experiencing perimenopause symptoms then book an appointment with your GP Practice, and ask to speak to a GP who has had training on the menopause. Take a list of all the symptoms you have been experiencing and say 'I think I may be perimenopausal and these are the reasons why'. They should then be able to confirm through listening to your symptoms whether they can diagnose the perimenopause, or if the symptoms you are experiencing are due to another reason. They will then discuss treatment options where appropriate which may include Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT); Cognitive Behavioural Therapy; vaginal oestrogen creams or lifestyle changes. You may also be referred to a menopause clinic.
When talking to your GP, ask questions and don't give up! I've had clients who have gone to their GP and after listening to them have asked 'Do you want to try HRT?' without explaining properly what it is and the different types of HRT you can receive, and so they have left without getting any support. There are a lot of treatment options out there and its important you find the ones that work best for you.
How can reflexology help?
Reflexology can help you to better manage some of the symptoms associated with the perimenopause and menopause such as trouble sleeping, fatigue, anxiety, headaches and migraines and joint pain. I will massage a range of different reflexes that form the central nervous system, skeletal system and endocrine (hormonal) system, to help you to relax and destress and feel less discomfort. If you are perimenopausal, you may also be juggling work/childcare or looking after older relatives. Allocating time to enable you to properly relax and switch off is essential.
I will also discuss with you evidence based lifestyle changes you can make that could make going through the perimenopause/menopause slightly easier. My log cabin treatment room can be beautifully warm and cosy or beautifully cool and cosy (with the help of open windows overlooking a wild flower garden), so you will always receive your treatment in comfort.
I am 46 and starting now to experience perimenopause symptoms. Apart from being BOILING in bed most of the time, one of the moments I first realised my body was changing when I started to forget words or say different words to the ones I meant to say.
For example, I asked a client to 'put your shoes in the ___’.The word was basket, but I stood there for about 2 minutes trying to think of the word. So eventually I said 'there' instead. Another time, I was discussing with a fertility client the next stage of her IVF treatment. I meant to say 'embryo transfer' but instead I said 'implantation'. The client looked a bit confused, as was I, as I say 'embryo transfer' many times to clients each week. So I fully empathise with what you are experiencing.
How often should I have a reflexology treatment?
At your first treatment and consultation we will discuss in detail your reasons for treatment and how reflexology may help. I will then suggest a treatment plan to you that will meet your needs. This could be a treatment once a month, or a treatment once a week until you receive additional support from your GP.