As I got closer to the end of my 40's, I wanted to find out if the therapies I work with were of any value to ladies going through the Menopause or the lead up to periods stopping completely which is sometimes referred to as the Pre-Menopause or Peri-Menopause.
So, in 2015, I undertook a small study, working with 7 ladies aged 40-50+ and in different stages of "the change" With their permission, I considered their lifestyle, their stress levels, and general approach to diet. And from there, worked with Reflexology, Reiki and Flower Essences to see if anything changed in terms of their sleep, mood and general sense of wellbeing.
It was a fantastic opportunity to learn from and this is what I found......
If you're currently experiencing signs of the Menopause please ensure you speak to your GP and get professional advice. I must stress that I do not see Complementary or Holistic Therapies as a replacement for proper medical care. However, if you would like to talk to me about my continued study of complementary support for wellbeing, please get in touch via my CONTACT ME page and I will come back to you as soon as I can.
As part of my small study I read a lot of information on Menopause via different resources. Many of these talked about stress being a contributor as to how ladies experience the Menopause And by stress, I think this can include many different factors....
Unhealthy eating, with possible food sensitivities or imbalanced gut health
Using alcohol to unwind at night
Most middle aged women I know tend to be rushed all the time. Some are Mums of young children or teenagers (or both) and many are working close to full time. Often, they eat on the hoof between one job and the next sometimes relying on snacks, caffeine and sugar to see themselves through their busy day. And, some like a glass of wine with tea to help them finally relax and unwind before heading off to bed. If I am honest, I don't know many ladies my age who have much time to spend on themselves.
However, based on the many different articles I have read, and the results of my small personal study, I believe that if ladies can make some valuable changes to their stress levels, they can start to see some improvements in how the menopause might be affecting their mood, sense of calm and quality of their sleep.
For a more detailed explanation of stress, and how it impacts the body, please take a look at the NHS website at www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression
All of the ladies found the treatments very relaxing
Some noticed they felt less stressed
Many felt much calmer
Some felt their general mood improved
Most saw their sleep patterns improve
Some of the ladies saw an increase in their menopause symptoms when they were under stress
Reflexology encourages deep relaxation which starts to negate any stress responses in the body. These responses can be the root cause of so many problems such as disrupted sleep, low mood, muscle tension, or just feeling tired all the time. And so, by relaxing more, you start to negate these stress responses and often see signs sleep and mood etc. improving.
Reiki is also deeply relaxing and can really calm a busy mind. Sometimes I add guided meditation or visualisation techniques too, to help create a more positive outlook.
Flower or Gem Essences are a gentle way of helping balance the emotions. When busy thoughts are forever in the back of the mind, it can create a sense of feeling overwhelmed, low in mood and mental exhaustion. This is where I find flower essences helpful I have used them on myself, my family and my friends for a number of years.
Sue Hamblin fmar
Foot, Facial & Hand Reflexologist
Flower Essence Practitioner
Karuna Reiki® Practitioner