The hormonal journey (adults and children)
Our brain is made up of five parts, one of which - the pituitary - is the master hormone that transmits messages to all the other hormones in the body, and another - the hypothalamus - which is the control room for the pituitary as well as being the link between the endocrine (hormone) and nervous systems. Both parts are represented through reflexes on the foot and can be massaged precisely during a reflexology treatment; in doing this, a reflexologist can tap into both the hormonal and nervous systems and restore balance.
As well as both these parts of the brain, a reflexologist can access the other organs of the body that produce hormones - the pineal, the thyroid, the adrenals, the ovaries and the testes - to tailor a reflexology treatment and help balance hormones at every stage of life. Overall, reflexology can help combat stress and ensure that the body is working at its optimum level. Below are examples of a variety of scenarios.
At this stage, the young person is being bombarded with chemical messengers that are priming the body for lots of developmental change, both cognitive and physical. By working the brain, head, pituitary and hypothalamus reflexes, the reflexologist can soothe the onslaught of racing hormones and bring about a sense of calm to allow the young person to cope with their developing emotions and growing bodies as well as demands on them in terms of school life and other commitments.
“Since my son has become a teenager, he has become quieter and more withdrawn and lacks the ebullience he had as a child. Regular reflexology sessions have made him far more relaxed, his confidence is growing and a thoughtful young man is emerging.” Mother of M, 13.
“My daughter can become extremely overwhelmed with the minutiae of secondary school and gets quite agitated and tense. Her reflexology sessions soothe her enormously, she sleeps very soundly that night and I sense that her thinking and behaviour is much calmer afterwards.” Mother of L, 12.
The hopeful mum and dad
The couple who wish to become parents discover that they are subfertile due to conditions such as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, Endometriosis or low sperm count as a result of hormone imbalances, which are then exacerbated by stress due to a sense of loss and longing. A reflexology treatment with particular focus on the pituitary, the adrenals to help reduce stress and the reproductive glands is beneficial for both the man and woman. The calming and rejuvenating effect of the treatment can also help with the emotional upheaval of undergoing fertility challenges and subsequent treatment.
“We have been trying for a baby for nearly a year and I started reflexology to stop me feeling so sad as each month went by. It’s made me realise how important it is to give myself time, which has subsequently calmed me down a lot and made me feel more positive.” Mrs T.
“We decided it was important for my wife to have regular reflexology, but I have had a few sessions too and I was amazed at how much more energy it gave me and how relaxed I felt about our situation.” Mr C.
The pregnant woman experiences several new and sometimes daunting changes as the baby inside her develops. The endocrine system is working hard to produce the correct levels of oestrogen and progesterone to prepare and relax the uterus, bladder, intestines and veins to accommodate pregnancy. A reflexology treatment supports all the hard working glands and helps with low energy levels, nausea, lack of sleep and mood changes, as well as providing relief to an overloaded digestive system and spine. From week 38, the treatment is adapted to prepare the body for labour. After the birth, gentle treatments help rebalance hormones.
“I felt like I was walking on air after my treatment and I found that I had far more energy the next day, managing to stay awake until 11pm.” Mrs G, week 38.
“I had been feeling very nauseous, sluggish and heavy when I had my first treatment. Immediately afterwards I felt rejuvenated and as though my whole system had been boosted.” Mrs C, week 20.
The menopausal woman
As the menopause approaches, the woman experiences several changes in her body - both physical and mental - that are all due to the reduced production of oestrogen and progesterone, the shutting down of the ovaries and the overwork of the adrenal glands that are trying to compensate for this significant chemical change. Together, these changes including hot flushes, erratic monthly cycles, poor and interrupted sleep, weight gain, as well as memory lapses and mood swings can make life pretty unbearable at times. A reflexology treatment focuses largely on the pituitary to help manage the impact of reduced hormones and to balance the production of Adrenalin. Alongside this, focus is given to the head, heart and brain to restore equilibrium to aid better sleep and clearer thinking.
“I turned up at Pippa’s and I was very hot, red and stressed due to a flush. I was astonished at how quickly I cooled down and how I drifted off. I was pretty emotional on the journey home but I think it was a tension release that made me feel better afterwards.” Mrs T.