Being 55 now, I am very interested in what women my age go through when reaching their pre-menopausal, menopausal, or post-menopausal stage. Around this age, or even earlier for some, a lot of women go through major body changes as well as life changes. It starts affecting their work, relationships and their life in general. Each case differs tremendously from the other, but the treatments basically focus on balancing all systems, especially the endocrine system as it relates mainly to hormones. I find it fascinating. Reflexology helps nature achieve homeostasis. Overactive or underactive glands or organs can be supported with treatments to return to normal or more natural functioning.
Growing up with the many women in my family and all my friends, hot flashes and mood swings were confusing for me. It was hard to understand why these women were so volatile, temperature and mood wise. They would open and close windows, put sweaters on and take them off. The weirdest thing was when they would ask each other, “Is it just me or it is suddenly very hot in this room?” I was still young. I hadn’t started experiencing body temperature changes, or spending long nights awake, and hadn’t gone through the issues grownups were having.
When I started practicing Shiatsu and Reflexology, women would come with different symptoms. Some complained of headaches, others of back pain, hot flashes, insomnia, dryness, or mood swings. These were issues or concerns women of a certain age (usually past 45) had when coming for treatments, and asking for help or solutions. Of course, there were many more symptoms women had, depending on their age, diet, jobs or lifestyle.
In my previous blog about Reflexology, I wrote how Reflexology helps relieve stress and tension. This therapeutic science is known to be very beneficial for all systems such as digestive, urinary, lymphatic, respiratory, reproductive, the circulatory system and others. Importantly, Reflexology improves the nervous system and blood supply. It works wonders in balancing our endocrine system. The endocrine system plays a major role in regulating homeostasis or the state of equilibrium and balance to our bodies. The endocrine system consists of glands and tissues that release hormones. Women tend to be more aware of these hormones during important periods in life when major changes are occurring, such as puberty and their adult age.
There are 8 endocrine glands: the pituitary, pineal, thymus, thyroid, parathyroid, adrenals, pancreas, and reproductive (the ovaries). During a Reflexology treatment, we don’t only address the endocrine system to bring balance on the hormonal level, but we give a general treatment to kind of tune up all the systems in the whole body, and allow it to work harmoniously. Our bodies are like electrical circuits. All our bodily systems work synergistically.
When one area in our body gets affected by building calcification, or blockages, or gets depleted, it starts affecting one area after the other. Addressing or working only the location of the glands or the origin of discomfort in the feet would be quite a painful treatment, and the receiver would not be able to tolerate the pain, relax or enjoy the session. Therefore, the work should be balanced, treating all the systems to bring an overall feeling of balance and harmony. That is the principle of Reflexology. We don’t treat or diagnose, we never tell the client that their heart is weak, or the kidneys are not functioning. We are not doctors. We act like a tool that helps stimulate reflexes in the feet connected to our entire body’s Zone vertical lines that travel from the toes to the top of the head. By pressing on the different reflexes in the feet, we help the body’s energy or Chi, lymphatic and circulatory system, as well as the other systems flow harmoniously and do their tasks the way they were designed to function, through these lines.
It is so rewarding to work with women who are open to trying new therapies, dietary and lifestyle changes to bring change and improvement to their health and well-being. When clients or family members thank me for helping them, I make it clear that I was just a tool guiding them, that they did all the work by following instructions towards improving their health and lives. One hand does not clap on its own. Here is an example of a client who came for reflexology treatments, but went home and diligently adjusted her diet, lifestyle and exercise program in order to gain her health back.
“I am starting to go through menopause. I had been having hot flashes about 5 times per day. I sought out Margo and after two reflexology treatments, the hot flashes stopped all together. I also find that when I am feeling heavy from hormonal imbalance, reflexology helps to lift my mood and make me feel lighter. I am also back to running thanks to Margo. My right knee and back have been stiff and sore for about two years and since beginning my reflexology sessions with her, I am almost pain free in those areas. I feel that my body has “opened up” and is now able to heal old injuries. Thank you so much, Margo.”
Patty Baker, RN, BSN
I am also an avid believer in natural lifestyles, diet and exercise. In my practice, I like to share with clients the importance of listening to our bodies and learning to have a more natural approach to healing and well-being. For instance, I explain the importance of eating at regular hours, sitting and eating while chewing our foods and focusing on the nutritious aspect of it. I explain about the body’s internal organs that need to be respected and not have a chaotic way of eating, living and sleeping. When we live harmoniously, our bodies work the same way.