Post COVID lockdown finding the best reflexology isn’t as easy as it once was. It’s not just the reflexologist and their training that you need to check out. But also their safety practises to make sure that your entire health is being taken care of whilst you’re having your reflexology treatment. Settling down for a relaxing foot massage with no other considerations is now a thing of the past.
That’s why we’ve got you covered at Essential Feeling in Gidea Park, Romford. Karen your MAR reflexologist will work your feet whilst ensuring your health is being taken care of.
We’re taking into account all the COVID health practises advised by the Association of Reflexologist’s which we’ve listed below. And then we have installed some additional safety precautions to maintain a healthy environment for but you as our client and us.
We have installed a unique simultaneous air conditioning unit which has groundbreaking virus filter technology in both our massage and reflexology therapy rooms.
Besides this, for the reflexology, we now also have a large perspex shield. This folds out once you are seated comfortably so that both it protects you and your therapist not only by the mask which is now a legal requirement but also by this shield.
Why do we take extra precautions during your reflexology therapy?
We all want to be safe. You’ll notice from our current online reviews that we take your reflexology treatment seriously. And we’re good at it, we hope we’re the best. But we want to do more. We want you to know that when you come to us that our holistic approach to your wellbeing aren’t just empty words.
And second, reflexology is a transference of energy. If we’re uptight and dealing with stress, that’s not the right situation for you to get the best out of your session. And we strive to give the best reflexology treatments in the area, so every technique we can use to relax your body and your mind just enhances your treatment outcomes.
Giving the best reflexology is about more than thumb walking and pressure points. It’s about ensuring that you’re enjoying your time to the max.
Want to know a little more about reflexology?
Some people confuse reflexology with a foot massage. Both work on the feet and use a relaxing massage motion which eases tension and eeks out tightness.
However, besides this, reflexology uses targeted pressure techniques to help your intrinsic relaxation resulting in stress reduction. As doctors now say that 80% of all health issues they see in the GP surgery are stress related, then this practice has many benefits over and above a person being chilled out.
We can aid sleep by working your big toe, ease hay-fever by working all the toes, and reduce migraines by working a distinct part of your big toe.
We read your feet, for instance, hard and cracked skin around your heel could be a sign of hormone imbalance, or pain in your back. Hard skin on the ball of your foot could mean that you have issues with your chest, or that you’re carrying some emotional heartache.
We use these techniques and combine them with using the correct reflex to give you the most healing outcome for your personal experience. Sometimes, it can be over one step, we’re using building blocks to support your ongoing health improvement. Other times, you will only need one session and will leave feeling like you’ve received the right level of support for you to walk out on air.
Having the best reflexology is more than a physical therapy. We’re not just pressing randomly to relieve pressure. Our practitioner uses hands and thumbs to keep you relaxed and comfortable but also to help your body cope with specific disorders, including nervous conditions, calming your overactive brain and improving your circulation and lymph flow.
What is the theory of reflexology?
Reflexology began almost simultaneously in the West and Chinese medicine. The theory of both are similar because it uses the effects of gentle pressure whilst your reflexologist focuses their attention on different organs and systems that need help in functioning optimally. This brings about a state known in the medical profession as homeostasis.
Association of reflexology recommendations post COVID government lockdown:
*Additional cleaning measures to include disinfecting any areas that clients touch.
*Airing out the treatment room between clients and not using our waiting room.
*Scheduling clients so that there is no crossover within the therapy rooms
*Using sheets over the reclining chair in which you’ll relax and even sleep during your reflexology treatment
* Hand gels (which we’ve always used) This is besides the cleaning regimes that we’ve always had in place.
Many of our clients are firm believers that pregnancy reflexology works. They have passed our details around ante-natal groups as our proven track record in bringing on labour and easing other earlier complications of pregnancy have gotten the word out there.
But, what if you’re in one of the groups that hasn’t benefitted from our years of experience in working with pregnant mothers?
Title Single-blind trial addressing the differential effects of two pregnancy reflexology techniques versus rest, on ankle and foot oedema in late pregnancy
Journal Complementary Therapies in Nursing and Midwifery Authors L Mollart Reference Complementary Therapies in Nursing and Midwifery (2003) 9, 203-208 Disease / illness Ankle and foot oedema in late pregnancy Type of study Single blind study Number of clients 55 Control type No treatment
The study took place in Australia over a two year period between September
1999 and August 2001.
Inclusion criteria were normal pregnancy greater than 30 weeks gestation;
visible oedema of ankles and feet; the ability to speak, read and write English;
and attending the Central Coast Health Clinics for pregnancy care.
It was a single blind study.
55 women age range 21 – 46, were randomly assigned to one of three
a. the experimental therapy group 1, receiving relaxing pregnancy reflexology for 15
minutes, using reflex points to the chest, abdomen, spine pelvis and head.
b. the experimental therapy group 2, receiving lymphatic foot reflexology for
15 minutes, using reflex points for the lymphatic system, liver, gastrointestinal
tract and kidneys. Grapeseed oil was used for this group during treatment to
reduce any friction.
c. the control group rested for 15 minutes but received no treatment.
At each session circumference measurements of the ankles, instep and
foot/toe junctions were recorded.
Pre and post- therapy blood pressure readings were taken and recorded.
A self administered Likert type scale and also open ended questions were
given to each participant. Questions asked included demographic information,
familiarity with pregnancy reflexology, and levels of stress, discomfort, tension and
anxiety before and after treatment. Results
55 women finished session one, 39 finished session two and twenty
participants finished session three. Since only session one had complete data
only this session was analysed and used.
Statistical analysis of the quantitative data was analysed using Student’s t test
and one way analysis of variance and content analysis of the four open
ended questions yielded five broad themes. These themes included
Summary sheet Country of origin: UK
Title A concept analysis: the effect of reflexology on homeostasis to establish and maintain lactation
Journal COMPLEMENTARY THERAPIES IN NURSING AND MIDWIFERY Authors Tipping, L. Mackereth, P. A Reference 2000 VOL 6; PART 4 , page(s) 189-198 Disease / illness LACTATION Type of study Reflective practice / concept analysis / case studies Number of clients 3 Control type None
Definition of ‘concept analysis’ – a formal linguistic exercise to determine the
defining aspects of a concept – encouraging communication.
Use of Pregnancy Reflexology for the empowerment of Mothers with difficulty in
producing milk for pre-term babies.
Definition and importance of breastfeeding and good flow chart of the
hormones behind lactation.
‘ The aim was to convince colleagues of the appropriateness of Pregnancy Reflexology
as a nursing tool and of its integration into practice’
Very useful for hand and foot points involved in lactation.
A positive, negative and borderline case history discussed.
None made—it is an analysis of a concept
This paper shows that well put together case histories can be published in
recognised journals.swelling/tightness, pain, mobility, comfort/relaxation and care.
Country of origin: Iran
Title Reviewing the effect of pregnancy reflexology on the pain and certain features and outcomes of the labor on the primiparous women
Journal Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research Authors Mahboubeh Valiani, MSc, Elaheh Shiran, Maryam Kianpour, MSc, and Marziyeh Hasanpour, PhD Reference Iran J Nurs MidwiferyRes. 2010 December;15(suppl 1):302-310 Disease / illness Labour in primiparous women Type of study Quasi-experimental study Number of clients 88 Control type No treatment
Primiparous definition—A woman who has bourne only one child.
88 primiparous women from selected hospitals in Isfahan, 18-36 years of age, and who met the inclusion criteria, took part in this quasi-experimental study.
They were randomly assigned to one of two groups—a pregnancy reflexology group and a control group who did not receive reflexology.
At the time of entering into the active phase of labour reflexology was given for 60 minutes (30 minutes on each foot). The treatment included 15 reflex areas listed below.
Solar plexus, areas related to the digestive system, pelvic area, pituitary,
outside and inside sides of the feet (including lower and upper extremities and spinal cord),
lungs, shallow chest area, ovaries, uterus and fallopian tubes. Treatment also included
specific areas relating to labour pain such as liver, spleen, kidney, pituitary, solar plexus and
uterus. These specific areas received a further pregnancy reflexology treatment a second time, for at
least five minutes, at dilation 9-10cm. The mothers in this group also received 1000cc of
dextrose-saline serum from the beginning of the active phase through to after the labour.
In the control group routine care was carried out which included monitoring the foetal heart
and contractions every 15 minutes and vital signs every hour. From the beginning of the
active phase the mothers in this group received 1000cc dextrose-saline f serum containing
10 units of Oxytocin, and after that additional 10 units of Oxytocin were added.
Data collection was by observation, examination and questionnaire. There were three parts to the questionnaire –
individual information made up of demographics and age at gestation. Features and outcomes of labour which included –
1. the lengths of the active phase of the first stage of labour and of the second and third
2. agpar score in the 1st to 5th minutes after labour
3. haemorrhage rate after labour (based on the number of pads used in the 4th stage (1 hour
4. vital signs in the first hour after labour (4th stage of labour)
Pain Rating Index (PRI) assessment was carried out using the short form of the McGill
This was filled in by the mothers in both groups at 3-5 cm dilation before treatment was
given, and four times after treatment at 3-5 cm and 6-8 cm dilation and at 9-10 cm dilation in
the second stage of labour and after the second treatment was administered.
Both descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyse the data using software
SPSS 18. Results
No significant differences were found between the two groups for either demographic
information or gestational age. Using the Wilcoxon test a significant difference was found when comparing the mean pain intensity in the PRI scale of the pregnancy reflexology group before the treatment and after each of the dilations and also the second stage after the second treatment. (p < 0.001). A significant difference was also found in the mean pain intensity in VAS scale for the reflexology group when comparing before and after the study, and in each of the dilations 3- 5 cm and 6-8 after the first treatment. A significant difference was also found before and after the second treatment in the 9-10 cm dilation and the second stage of labour. An assessment scale (zero no pain to 5 pain as bad as it could be) was used to assess mean pain intensity. A Wilcoxon test on the pregnant reflexology group found that in each of the dilations of 3-5 and 6-8 cm after the first treatment, 9-10 cm after the second treatment, there was a significant difference between pain intensity before and after treatment (p <0.001).
The difference between the two groups when comparing the duration of the active phase of labour was found to be significant (p = 0.001). Cervical dilation during the active phase of the first stage of labour was completed in 60-120 minutes for the mum-to-be reflexology group and 301 minutes in the control group.
ANOVA found a significant difference for both groups when comparing the Agpar score in
the first minute after birth (p < 0.001) and the fifth minute after birth (p < 0.001).
ANOVA found that the haemorrhage rate (based on the number of used pads) of the control
group was higher than the pregnancy reflexology group (p = 0.02) and a Mann-Whitney test based on
the blood stains left on the pads found the
haemorrhage rate of the control group to be significantly higher than the reflexology group (p
< 0.001) Conclusions
The researchers suggest that the results from this study show that pregnancy reflexology can reduce the length of labour, labour pain intensity, postpartum haemorrhage and an improving Agpar score and that these can play a part in improving the health and satisfaction of the mothers.
The researchers propose that the use of pregnancy reflexology when used properly in hospitals and
maternity hospitals could have a consequence of preventing the use of pharmacological
methods and palliative medicines which could lead to side effects.
Women who are dealing with menopause often feel like they’re going mad. Hot flashes, memory loss and disturbed sleep and mood swings; all combined with weight gain and vaginal dryness, erratic bleeding and lack of sex drive are just a handful of symptoms associated with lowering levels of oestrogen.
However, that isn’t the end. Groundbreaking new research suggests that health conditions, such as Alzheimer’s traditionally associated with age, do in fact start during the perimenopause. It’s the change in hormonal balance that triggers the plaque to form around the neurons in the brain and this new study suggests that these diseases begin when our hormone levels change, but take so long to manifest that they are only discovered when we reach older age.
It has never been more important to look after ourselves when dealing with menopause.
How does reflexology therapy help in dealing with menopause?
Reflexology balances our body. It won’t stop our bodies from changing, that is a natural part of the ageing process. But what reflexology does do is remove the stress from the process.
So for instance, we can expect our periods to be more balanced, because our hormones aren’t spiking and tumbling out of control. Anyone who is going through this will talk about how this alone is enough to give reflexology a go!
In turn, by your hormones being more balanced, we can expect the knock on effect to be improved liver and kidney function, fewer UTI’s and better skin. We’ll look and feel more healthy. And our midlife crisis will be a distant memory.
Health improvements without supplements
And what’s better, we’re not selling supplements. There’s no medical intervention with side effects. We’re literally just using pressure points in your feet to remove blockages of energy, which then allows your body to operate optimally. You never know, you sexual desires may even rekindle.
Not convinced? Here’s what the research says.
Below are the summaries of two independent research studies conducted on how women dealing with menopause can benefit from reflexology treatments. This is in addition to our own experience working for over ten years on ladies suffering from the effects of menopausal symptoms.
Research one — sleep disturbances & hot flushes
1. Methods 100, more than 12 months post -menopausal women ranging from 45-60 yrs of age and reporting sleep disorder were randomised to either reflexology or foot massage. None had taken HRT. The outcome measure was the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) which measures quality and patterns of sleep. All women taking part had sleep disorder (score >5).
Reflexology or foot massage was given for 15 minutes daily for 21 days. Base line measurements were taken from the previous four weeks prior to the intervention. There were no significant differences between the groups in any of the parameters.
Hot flushes: Hot flushes at baseline were 4-9 per day and this stayed the same for the foot massage group but reduced to 2-3 per day in the reflexology group. This was a statistical difference of p<0.001
Sleep: Both interventions had an effect – 41.5% reflexology and 19.1% of the nonspecific massage had normal sleep after the intervention. But the difference between groups shows a statistical difference of p<0.01 towards the reflexology group.
Conclusions ‘Reflexology is an effective non-hormonal approach for treatment of sleep disorder (in the menopause).’
Research two — Hot flushes and night sweats
2. Methods Outcome measures: Women’s Health Questionnaire (WHQ) using the sub-scores for anxiety and depression A visual analogue scale for severity of symptoms
Frequency of flushes and night sweats (options – flushes 0-5, 6-10, 11-15, 16- 20; night sweats, 0-5, 6-10, more than 10). 6 weekly treatments of 45 mins. followed by one treatment per month for three months. (Minimum inclusion criteria of 7 treatments)
Results Both groups had a reduction in symptoms but there was not a statistically significant difference between the two groups.
Conclusions Reflexology wasn’t more effective than foot massage in the treatment of the psychological symptoms of the menopause. They needed a larger sample size. The study was under-powered. There were limitations on the recording of the flushes and night sweats. The effect of the placebo effect was miss estimated. There was a relatively short duration of follow up. The blinding of the control was of limited success.
Comments The limitations of the flush / night sweat notation is that there is a big difference to a menopausal woman between having five flushes or zero flushes, yet these would have entailed the same tick box to be marked. This measure would not truly represent the effect of the treatment to the women. It is important to be aware of the limitations of the outcome measurement chosen. This isn’t a great study in methodological terms nor is it particularly well written up BUT it is controlled and for a reflexology study is relatively large with almost 50 in each group (47 / 53).
The government has categorised holistic healing therapies such as the pregnancy reflexology and the remedial massage work we do at Essential feeling, as being less safe than getting a haircut. Apparently maintaining social distancing working only on a client’s feet whilst wearing full PPE, disinfecting between clients and treating fewer patients to allow our space to air and ensure no cross contamination, is a colossal risk to the spread of Covid-19. To the point where holistic health therapies are bundled up into the same category as the body touching and up close and personal nature of strip clubs.
Yep, you got it right. Reflexology sits nestled against adult nightclubs for re-opening.
Our professional bodies, including the Association of Reflexologists have written to the government about the value and real life content of holistic healing therapies. They’ve pleaded with MP’s who have argued our case with parliament. And still the issues remain.
Nope, we’re told. You must take your brand of holistic healing therapies and wait like the rest in your group who have way more close contact with the public. We have apparently being categorised as we have because of scientific research which shows the health benefits of getting a haircut in a salon whilst blowing around hot air, during which it’s impossible to wear a mask for the entire duration of your visit, is less risky than me as your reflexologist sitting at your feet, wearing a mask a visor.
Ah, but the government must know what they’re doing, right?
Well, that’s what we thought. At first. We trusted them. We closed down Essential Feeling on 16 March which means we don’t earn. Being self-employed we don’t pull in a wage if we don’t work.
But, that’s all fine because we care about our country and the wellness of our society. We’d rather take the hit than contribute to this pandemic. It’s the nature of holistic healing therapist’s that we’re caring by nature. We’re the last people to want to do anything harmful.
We took our self-employed income support with gratitude even though it was less than we needed to support the ongoing business costs of the three months it was initially supposed to cover. The way the government sorted this out meant that they paid out on profits after business expenses. So, even though the amount we received only covered one month’s expenses, that’s also fine. We understand there is only so much money to go around, and we were happy to just get something in the name of the country getting back up and running again from a better position later on.
Instead of complaining, we’ve taken the time to revamp our treatment rooms, and to install some new groundbreaking air conditioning units which filter out virus and bacteria. They’re not cheap. But we’re happy to do it. Because we care and it helps. And because we’re responsible holistic healing therapists.
And yet we still can’t reopen.
But. What if the government’s logic makes little sense?
Honestly, we can see how massage parlours with all their sexual connotations may not be able to re-open. We’re not living in a bubble, we know they exist. In fact, when you listen to the calls we get, we’re could not ignore their existence even if we wanted to.
But, this assumption by many men who ask my husband ‘how many girls we have’ assuming he is their pimp has been adopted by the government.
And this is putting us to our knees. We’re not due another respite payment until August, and that will be less than the first one. Despite us needing to invest heavily and when we do re-open, being responsible alternative therapists, they will force us to take fewer physical treatments so we have the time between clients to implement our enhanced cleaning practice.
Again this is fine. But, please, what’s important for the government to understand is that we have our client’s best interests at heart.
Our regulars and new people alike are calling us daily, asking for us to treat them, even though we’re not allowed to. They are in pain. Either their mind or their physical body. They rely on us to balance their energy and to balance their stress. Increased stress caused by Covid-19 and all its repercussions I might add. Their life has turned upside down and they’re banned from getting a perfectly legitimate holistic healing therapy that they swear supports their wellness better than any medicine.
Let’s break this down by type of holistic healing therapy.
Before a client arrives, we send them a risk assessment that they must complete the morning of their session and send back to us so we can check it first.
When we take any client from now on, our waiting room will no longer be in use. We’ll greet clients on the drive and test their temperature with a remote infrared thermometer. Before they come any closer they’ll be required to wear a mask and visor if they’re not already. And to disinfect their hands using gel.
The air conditioning units that we have installed will run before the client arrives and continue after they leave. There is one virus filter in each of our treatment rooms.
We’ll do the same.
This applies to all our clients.
Reflexology, including pregnancy and fertility reflexology
We work at a client’s feet. They lie back on their chair so that our faces aren’t directly facing each other. We cover our chair with a one use sheet that we wash directly after they leave. As will the towel which we use to wrap their feet in.
During this entire programme, your reflexology practitioner will be no closer to someone’s face than we require to touch your feet when you lie flat on your back.
For sure, there are elements here that we would rather not do for our own safety and our clients. Despite hairdresser’s being open, if you called us today and they allowed us to treat you, we wouldn’t give you an Indian head massage.
But, if you’re having remedial massage work done because your back or neck is stiff, then you’ll be face down with your head in a cradle covered by a clean towel to filter bacteria. Our therapist will be at least 1 metre from your face — which is pointing towards the ground.
And don’t forget the air conditioning unit will filter our air.
There is normally a time when we’ll ask you to turn onto your back so we can work your neck from a fresh angle. We will not do that. We’re experienced enough and adaptable as holistic healing therapists to work you from multiple angles. We do not need to include an approach that will not be healthy for either of us. Don’t forget that at the time of writing we’ve had almost four months without a salary, if either of us or our clients get sick that was all for nothing.
We are not a spa resort where water and damp air can carry bacteria. We are not a massage parlour where clients faces come inches from another, where bodies touch and where it would be natural for intimate physical contact to spread disease. Our massage isn’t even done by a woman for goodness’ sake.
We treat clients with anxiety, with conditions affecting their mental wellbeing. We are their retreat away from normal life, and we seek to improve that with valid complementary techniques designed to be effective at improving our client’s wellbeing. Not making them sick.
The holistic healing therapies that we offer at Essential Feeling are performed by responsible and caring responsible therapists who would well prefer to put our own financial and mental health to the side for the benefits of our clients.
And we’re more responsible than some other elements that the government has lumped us together with because our healing therapies contain some similar elements. We’re certainly more contentious about spreading disease than anyone drinking in a pub at 10pm.
The time has come where we no longer see the flawed logic that is preventing us from re-opening and helping our clients recover from the terrible emotional pressure and physical muscle tightness which are the effects of self isolation. And let’s not forget that massage contributes towards a strong immune system. This isn’t just about relaxation, improving quality of sleep and easing depression.
We have to wait and maintain being patient. Hopefully, the government will review their flawed module which classes genuine holistic healing therapies in the same batch as sexual nightclubs and we will get a positive outcome that will allow us to practise again.
You can help us by raising awareness. Shouting from the rooftops that your chosen holistic therapy is a technique which benefits your health rather than risking it. And we will continue to work with our governing bodies such as the Association of Reflexologist’s to pass evidence to the Government to use in their review studies. We are more than a sanctuary for our clients. We achieve patterns of healthy growth, in a gentle and compassionate way which our clients tell us improves their quality of life in a way that traditional medicinal practices have failed.
According to government guidelines, we’re still not entirely sure when we’ll be resuming our normal massage and reflexology practise in Gidea Park, Romford. But, we’re preparing!
You’ll see some pics below of some lovely men upgrading our current air conditioning unit. Our new, very flashy Nanoe X unit not only deodorises the air and moisturises our skin, but more importantly, it inhibits certain bacteria and viruses. It does this by inhibiting the growth of allergens, bacteria and viruses. Op top of this, we’ve also installed an additional unit so now we have two units cooling, filtering and warming each treatment room as we need. All in addition to luxurious underfloor heating.
You’ll notice in the picture above that the place doesn’t look anything like those in our header bars. This is because we’ve taken the downtime to invest in stripping back all the decoration. We want your place to be as fresh as possible and so there is nothing left from before the lock down. Other than us. Even our massage table is getting a makeover.
Returning back to normal. What’s now necessary.
The downside of keeping you safe is that we’ve shifted out all unnecessary soft furnishings. This includes the chairs in our waiting room which means that we do need to ask you to wait outside for your appointment time. We’ll come and collect you before your session and we’ll open all doors and so on. May we please ask you when you enter our treatment rooms not to touch anything that isn’t needed. We’ll do all that for you.
However it won’t be possible for you to avoid touching anything and although we’ll sanitise everything after your session, may we please also ask that you ensure you wash and sanitise your hands before entering our building.
We also require you to complete this risk assessment before you come along to your session. Please follow the link, and for everyone’s safety ensure that you are diligent about your answers.
We’ll also be offering less appointments. To book, please feel free to use our online booking system for massage and reflexology as this is up to date with the appointments we are now able to offer.
Progesterone hypersensitivity is a challenging disease also known as autoimmune progesterone dermatitis. Heterogeneous skin eruptions characterise the condition which start out feeling like you’re getting a burn.
Your symptoms can be multiforme and range from slight to extreme. Extreme side effects to progesterone can cause
your skin to feel like it’s burning, coming up in lesions and blisters.
Less severe outcomes in women may be hives or a skin rash.
These rashes may happen cyclically during the second part (luteal phase) of your menstrual cycle, post ovulation, because they link it to the rise in your progesterone hormone levels, but this isn’t a fail-safe diagnostic tool.
What does progesterone do for fertility?
Progesterone does a bunch of stuff in our female body, but when we talk about pregnancy, it creates a thick and warm environment in our womb for our embryo to embed.
It is therefore a key fertility hormone.
How does progesterone hypersensitivity affect fertility and miscarriage?
During the stages of your early pregnancy it is imperative to maintain your levels of progesterone because it helps to prepare your uterus for the baby to implant by thickening the lining of your womb.
After about 9 weeks, the placenta takes over this role. But, it’s easy to see why ladies who suffer with the unfortunate but highly rare condition of progesterone hypersensitivity, are more likely to suffer an early miscarriage.
Without this thick bed lining our uterus, it’s difficult for the embryo to nestle in with enough stability to see it through the developments that take place during the first trimester of your pregnancy. It’s difficult for women to control their response to the hormone.
Therefore, if you don’t have enough progesterone, you have an increased chance of early miscarriage.
Progesterone hypersensitivity can happen during a normal pregnancy and also, as we see below, when you’re having fertility treatment.
I’m having IVF, can I avoid this situation?
If you’re a patient of any fertility treatment including IVF and ICSI, then you’ll take progesterone on the same day that your eggs are collected. This is to stimulate a nice, thick lining to your womb.
Some side effect of the progesterone pessary (suppository) or less common, an injection which fertility clinics prescribe their patients are:
*Dizziness and/ or tiredness/ nausea
*Bloating, often accompanied by cramps
As with all hyperstimulated hormonal balancing techniques, there are a ton of potential side effects besides the above. We’ve listed these below this article** for the sake of being diligent. But your fertility clinic should run through these with you. So, please don’t panic, these severe side effects are incredibly rare.
However, today, we’re picking out one of these rare forms of reactions, progesterone hypersensitivity, which results in the reddening of your skin.
Can I get tested to see if I’m likely to suffer with progesterone hypersensitivity?
First off, we’re talking about a rare disease here. But, if you like the idea of getting a standard dermatology allergy test to determine a pre-existing sensitivity, then they are available.
*If you suffer with some common side effects in the latter part of your cycle, then this could be a principled reason to get tested.
*Or, if you’ve been on progesterone only contraceptives such as an oral tablet or implant and had a poor reaction.
This report will determine whether you have a natural predisposition to reacting negatively to the hormone.
This works by putting a negligible amount of progesterone into your skin and testing your results. If you test positive then you can speak to your doctor or fertility specialist about their view on how sensitive you will be during a pregnancy. Particularly if you’re having months of fertility treatment.
How will I be treated for progesterone hypersensitivity?
Legally we need to spell out that we’re not doctors. We’re giving you a run down of the options we’ve heard of, but your medical specialist will treat you in accordance for what is right for your specific symptoms.
Very often your clinical practitioners will give you steroids to reduce the swelling either by cream or injections.
Is there another way to get the same fertility results without using progesterone?
It’s difficult because our body is so attuned to give us what we need, that each hormone has its own role to play.
When you suffer with a progesterone hypersensitivity reaction, depending on the severity of it, your doctor may stop adding this into your treatment plan. An old way that doctors used to help offset this hole in your plan is to add in HCG.
HCG is another hormone produced by your body. The role of this is to stimulate your corpus luteum.
The corpus luteum is the case of the egg, which once you ovulate dies off. This stimulates a surge in progesterone levels. So, by increasing your HCG, doctors are trying to stimulate your body to produce more progesterone. It hasn’t shown significant results from what we’ve read, but your doctors will know more because they will also have a specific view of your personal situation.
Is there anything else that may help?
Sometimes, after your miscarriage, your symptoms will continue for a period. These symptoms don’t last just a few days and then rectifies after you stop taking the drugs.
There is a possible option which you may want to look at in time. The symptoms don’t go immediately into remission. But, once they have, doctors can look at exposing you to insignificant amounts of progesterone over a prolonged period.
Desensitisation therapy works a little like any other allergy where the theory is that when you have exposure to a paltry amount of something, your body learns to build its tolerance. But this takes time.
We haven’t heard of any other medicine that works against this diagnosis.
We may have another solution.
Medical rectification to this disorder may be limited, but you need not be at a complete loss. We have seen repeatedly at Essential Feeling how powerful reflexology can balance hormones.
If we do this prior to you having treatment such as IVF or ICSI, the theory is that your body is more balanced. An autoimmune condition happens when your body misreads the signals and thinks its being attacked. It then does everything it can to rid your system of these invaders.
One way it does this is through your skin. So when you’re sick you’re always told to drink a lot of water, because this is the easiest way for your body to rid itself of toxins. And it avoids these painful inflammations, which is the panic mode used when all else fails. when you’re sick, you’re always told to drink a lot of water, because this is the easiest way for your body to rid itself of toxins. And it avoids these painful inflammations, which is the panic mode used when all else fails.
So, when we add, in this case, a heightened level of progesterone, quickly and unexpectedly, if your body starts out off balance, it tips over the eradication scale faster.
I’m not sure I’m explaining this well.
Think about it like this.
You are stressed at work; you have a bunch of emails, the phone rings whilst you’re trying to answer them and your boss calls you in to talk about the state of a massive project you’re working on.
Now, think about that same meeting with your boss where beforehand you know it’s coming, you have spent the night before preparing and you have made some great notes.
Which meeting will mean you get to present yourself and your knowledge in the best light?
This is how the body works.
So, if we let your immune system feel relaxed and at ease, then it’s less likely to spiral out of control, looking to fight fires where they don’t exist.
We can use this to help speed up your recovery after you’ve experienced a symptom such as an eczematous eruption.
Post outbreak/ allergic reaction
The above example relies on you knowing because you’ve already been diagnosed that you have a tendency to react to progesterone. But what happens if you only find out when you’ve already had that reaction. Or an early miscarriage?
This is when we use reflexology to calm the inflammation that results from progesterone hypersensitivity. We aim to balance your progesterone back with your oestrogen through using reflex points on your feet to release that internal stress we described above. This means your body isn’t fighting itself so much with the outcome being that your symptoms decrease.
We have also shown reflexology treatments at Essential Feeling an elsewhere reduce inflammation. If we can do this for you, then we can not only speed up the time it takes for your body to rebalance, but we can also ease the path to your recovery by reducing pain and swelling.
Check out our YouTube video on hay fever. You can see how swelling because of an allergic reaction to pollen goes down in minutes. Without the use of any drugs such as anti histamine,
To book in for reflexology to help balance your hormones and ease inflammation, you can use our online booking system.
** More rare forms of reaction to progesterone stimulation
Signs of an allergic reaction including anaphylaxis, anaphylactic shock
Pain, swelling, warmth, or redness in one or both legs or anywhere on your skin
Chest pain or pressure, a sudden cough or wheezing. Rapid breathing.
Vision problems that appear often with a nasty headache
Insomnia is a sleep disorder. If you suffer with insomnia, it is difficult to fall asleep, to stay asleep, or both.
When you have insomnia you won’t wake feeling refreshed after a night’s sleep. This is tricky because it has a ton of knock-on effects because of the resultant fatigue.
Of all sleep disorders, insomnia is the most common. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) notes that one-third of adults report symptoms. But, what’s more worrying, is that there are between 6 to 10 percent of us who have symptoms of insomnia which are severe enough for us to get a diagnosis of ‘insomnia disorder’.
The clinical diagnosis of this disorder is when you have trouble falling asleep. And staying asleep.
Sleep difficulties for at least three nights a week. This must last a minimum of three months.
Sleep difficulties create a major distress or functional difficulties in your life.
Let’s investigate these types of insomnia in more detail.
There are many causes of insomnia. And it links them to your particular type of sleeplessness.
You may suffer with short-term insomnia. This is an acute condition often created by a spike in stress from e.g. an upsetting or traumatic event. It can even come from changes to your sleep habits if e.g. you’re travelling a lot with work.
Chronic insomnia is a more continued issue. It lasts for at least three months. This is usually secondary to another problem, for example:
A medical condition which causes e.g. pain which keeps you awake. Many of our clients with lower back pain or sciatica suffer with this.
Psychological issues also play a part. If you have anxiety or depression, they wake up at night when the world is lacking distraction.
Substance use including cocaine and alcohol stimulate us and prevent sleep
Risk factors for a reduced ability to sleep
Some people are more naturally pre-disposed to not being able to sleep well than others, although it may occur at any age. Insomnia is more likely to affect females than males.
You’ll know if you’re experiencing insomnia because you’ll report one of these three symptoms.
waking up too early
not feeling refreshed when you wake
Trouble falling asleep. Or staying asleep.
These symptoms of insomnia then lead to other symptoms, including:
irritability and difficulty concentrating
You can get pharmaceutical drugs to help you sleep, but there are also nonpharmaceutical treatments for insomnia. Always speak to your doctor about what treatments are appropriate for you.
A combination of techniques may work best to cure your insomnia. It depends on your personal circumstances. For instance, if your issues are stress, anxiety or depression, then your focus may well be different to someone suffering because of pain from arthritis.
We’ve adopted behaviours that interfere with sleep and cause us to lie awake at night.
Some sleep hygiene routines which may help cure your inability to sleep could be:
avoid caffeinated beverages within a few hours of bedtime
Give exercise near bedtime a wide berth. Whilst exercise is good, it’s also a stimulant so pick your time.
minimise the time spent on your bed when you’re not intending to sleep also helps to train your mind that bed is only for sleeping
Home remedies to help stop disturbed sleep
Lifestyle changes, or home remedies are often effective at curing insomnia.
Warm milk and herbal tea such as chamomile are well known natural sleep aids.
Meditation is one of our personal favourites which we use within our reflexology sleep aid and massage for insomnia. We love it because not only does it work, but it’s a natural and drug-free method for treating insomnia.
Meditation is so effective that the Mayo Clinic says that meditation also helps symptoms of conditions that may contribute to insomnia.
stress and anxiety
digestive problems and pain
The body naturally produces the hormone melatonin during the sleep cycle. People often take melatonin supplements, hoping to improve their sleep. However, this is also produced naturally by the body during a massage. Hence why the massage for insomnia is such a brilliant choice for many people.
Insomnia and pregnancy
Just like when women head into menopause their sleep cycles can go haywire because of hormones, the same is relevant during pregnancy when insomnia is common. Especially in your first and third trimesters.
It may not be that you can’t sleep per se, more that fluctuating hormones cause you to feel nauseous which prevents sleep. As done the increased need to pee and being generally uncomfortable.
Depending on why you can’t sleep will determine which holistic therapy is best. Reflexology can help with balancing hormones, calming emotional stress and cutting out nausea. Massage helps with being uncomfortable, including cramps.
If you’re looking to change more lifestyle elements that help stop insomnia:
keeping active during your pregnancy stops you seizing up
maintaining a healthy diet improves constipation, and gut issues
it might sound odd as you’re in the loo so much already, but staying well-hydrated stops you from swelling up, improving your comfort
maintaining a consistent sleep schedule
practising relaxation techniques such as meditation and holistic therapies during the day as we’ve described above
We would always advise that you make any lifestyle changes such as increased exercise with your doctor first though as everyone’s starting point and body are different and it’s important to do only what is safe for your personal circumstances.
Types of insomnia
Distinct ways to characterise insomnia are below. Please note that some of these types of insomnia overlap.
Causes of disturbed sleep
Your inability to sleep can have either a primary or secondary cause
Primary insomnia is when another condition does not cause your insomnia. Your issues such as stress, work, bereavement cause these changes in your sleep patterns.
Secondary insomnia (often classed as comorbid insomnia) is the opposite. An underlying health condition or lifestyle habit, such as depression or anxiety, are playing with your mind at bed time.
Duration of insomnia
Short-term (acute) types of insomnia include situational insomnia and episodic insomnia. We know. It’s getting technical! Let’s explain.
Situational insomnia (acute) and lasts only for days, sometimes up to a few weeks. But, episodic insomnia lasts for one to three months, so it goes on for longer.
Layered on top of this, there is chronic (long lasting) forms.
These include persistent insomnia and recurrent insomnia.
Persistent insomnia lasts for at least three months.
Recurrent insomnia doesn’t continue for as long. But you will have at least two episodes of insomnia (episodic insomnia) over one year.
These include insomnia and depression and anxiety.
Hopefully we’ve answered your questions, ‘How can I stop my insomnia?’ To book in for one of our insomnia sessions, please read the pages as detailed above under the headings to establish which holistic therapy will best help your personal conditions. To get in touch, text us on 07757 946023.
Many of our client’s who come to us for deep tissue massage are suffering with lower back pain. We treat approximately 80% of those by working a different area to where they are experiencing pain. This is because the muscles, tissues and ligaments in your body are all connected, so what happens in one area will have an effect in another, you can see this in the image above.
This specific situation of experiencing pain in one area, but originates from an unfamiliar place on your spinal column is what we call referred pain. We can often treat this with trigger point therapy, which we’ve explained in a previous blog. The point of this today is to help you understand why you suffer with lower back pain when the cause may be independent.
We’ll do this by giving you a few broad brush examples which will show a few situations common in our patients.
Have you ever hit your funny bone? That seeing pain that shoots from one area to another is a suitable way to demonstrate what happens in our body when we talk about referred pain. You may hit your elbow, but you end up with the pain in your wrist.
The same occurs with your spine health. If we’re specifically talking about lower back pain, a superb example is to look at the biggest muscles in your body. Your gluteals. Your butt muscles.
Because these are so big, and so powerful, if they tighten, even slightly, they can pull the smaller muscles in our lower back out of alignment. This causes us pain in our lumbar region, but the cause of this discomfort is elsewhere. This means that your treatment plan won’t be under direct pressure on the point where you’re feeling the issue.
This is a common problem in our clients because our lifestyles are conducive to our glutes tightening. Either from too much movement, or too little. Yep, it’s a bit of a Catch 22.
Too much exercise
If you move too much, such as walking a lot, then this will tighten your muscles. The compression will pull down on your lower back muscles, tendons and ligaments which are weaker and either strain these muscles or pull the small joints of your back (spinal cord) too close together. This compression means these slight bones of your vertebrae don’t move around freely.
On the flip side, when you don’t move enough, these big muscles stop moving around and seize up. This means that localised nerves get trapped in and around your discs and hip joints, resulting in you experiencing those acute shooting symptoms associated with sciatica.
People rarely realise that they’re not being physical enough either. Hairdressers often suffer with this problem.
But they’re standing all day, right?
The issue here is that they’re in a similar position for lengthy periods of time, and standing often on one leg which puts an inordinate pressure on glutes. This causes injury over a sustained period.
Guidelines on self care include moving around and ensuring that you’re not overdoing moving, or lack of.
We know, it sounds obvious, but it’s such an effective piece of advice that we’d be remiss not to mention it.
If this doesn’t help, come along for a deep tissue massage and we can get this sorted out within one or certainly a few sessions. We’ll usually give you some stretches that you can add into your recovery programme to help speed along your recovery and prevent re-occurrence.
Within your deep tissue massage we may also add in some myofascial release techniques. This is often the case if your fascia has tightened and isn’t allowing a fluid movement of muscles. To help this along, drinking enough water is also useful.
This is one for the ladies amongst us who suffer with lumbar pain at certain times of their cycle. This is more because of an imbalance in hormones rather than disc management issues.
We’ve found our reflexology clients experience relief from these symptoms countless times. Reflexology develops systematically over several weeks, building up its effects cumulatively. As you become more balanced, so too do your hormones. And then they find that all of their PMT symptoms including lower back pain subside, eventually not being present at all.
Having lower back pain can take its toll on your mind because it’s inescapable. This can lead, in time, to a mental disability and physical as the pain grinds you down.
What causes lower back pain?
I think we’ve seen that there isn’t one answer, but there are several common reasons people suffer with lower backache. We’ve discussed a few things that we know support a ton of our clients without them needing to go in for surgery from healthcare professionals.
However, if you’re at the point where surgery is the only option, then you could consider spinal reflexology. This is a fantastic style of reflexology that focuses on the muscles in your spine along with the nerves that run within and around them.
Spinal reflexology works to reduce inflammation and ease the pressure. Although it sounds like a wild card interventions, we’ve seen fast and shocking results. Client’s who couldn’t walk at the start of their session, got out of a reclining chair with minimal effort one hour later.
And all of this without medications or injections.
The fine print. When should I worry about lower back pain?
We’re talking in this article about lower back pain because that is where our specialities lie. Various health conditions may also cause lower back pain including disease such as cancer and female cycles over and above what we’ve talked about above. If you are in any doubt at all, ALWAYS get checked out by your doctor first. Likewise, if you have a bone issue such as fractures or breaks, then massage will not help your medical position. And nor will reflexology. We’re more about freeing up tissue so it can heal itself, via massage and reflexology.
If you’re looking to the stars, searching for inspiration for the perfect Christmas gifts for couples with wellness ideas as a theme, then stop.
Let us help you out.
This beautiful elemental gift experience is one of time. Of relaxation. And entwined togetherness.
Allow your special couple to escape from everyday life and rediscover the fantastic hidden love that brought them together by carving out time for blissful relaxation.
If the two people don’t want to have the same style of therapy, that’s no issue. One can chill out with a reflexology session whilst the other has a deep tissue massage treatment.
Both can have a classic relaxing Swedish massage which gets their circulation flowing. We can include a facial massage, their head, or ignore these. The choice is theirs. One partner can have this whilst the other has a deep tissue massage to eek out tight muscles and knots.
Been under the weather? Then how about one has a manual lymphatic drainage to improve their immune system?
You get the picture. The beauty of this Christmas gifts for couples is that it is a masterclass in customisation. You treat them to a sweet present of their choice.
Whichever is fine, and the best thing is that you need not decide for them. The price is the same whatever you book, so all you need to do is decide on how long they have and purchase that time. We charge £60 per hour per person for a unique and personalised couples massage or reflexology treatment. Book online now.
I want to buy them a lovely personalised package for their stocking
We love putting together the ideal package for your couple of choice. It’s so exciting to provide a unique Christmas gift for one particular couple. This is where we become inspired. We can do quirky treatments, concentrate more on a tonic for natural stress and adrenaline reduction or health, or give a complete once over.
And what we do for one half of the team, we don’t have to do for the other. As long as they have the same time, their experience will be seamless.
We specialise in working with pregnant ladies and offer a range of pregnancy massages and reflexology for maternity packages.
To sort this out, all you need to do is call us on 07757 946023 and give us some background on their personal circumstances. We can then have a conversation about some options that will capture the essence of what you’re trying to achieve.
We’re proud of what our clients say about us and the great online reviews they leave about us and our therapy services. We want you to feel comfortable, knowing that you are booking a massage or reflexology session with a company that is not only well established but also well respected within Essex.
Where in Essex are you based?
We operate out of the comfort of our specialist treatment rooms in Gidea Park, Romford, Essex. Close to all transport links and on the border of East London, we’re just off the Gallows Corner major road interchange and the M25.
Exclusive appointments are available 7 days a week and although our service is more limited than the normal 7am to 10pm at Christmas, we have availability during the holiday period. So if your special couple want to come along together whilst they’re both off. That’s great with us.
You’ve just had your endometriosis diagnosis and finally, you have a reason. Something to hang your hat on for all the painful periods and gut wrenching sex.
But what is endometriosis?
Hormones cause endometriosis.
We have tissue which is sticky so that when we are trying for a baby, the egg can implant. Endometriosis happens when this sticky lining goes wayward and gets outside our womb. Because it is so sticky it causes no end of trouble as it passes on its journey around our pelvic girdle, sticking bits and pieces of organs together in places they were never meant to sitck!
This causes our pain and inflammation.
You’ll notice I’m talking about the ‘we’ here. That’s because I have Endometriosis too. I had one operation which had me off work for six weeks. And then they still didn’t get all the pesky tissue, so I was on strong hormone injections for months after that. They type that they give to women with breast cancer with a needle the size of a baby’s arm. Not fun.
When it was time for another op, I called a halt to the surgery. There must be a better way, I thought.
And there is.
Where are the common places the endometrial lining sticks to?
*Ovaries and fallopian tubes
*Exterior of your uterus
*Mine got itself to my kidneys!
Endometriosis ovary pain is common around the time of our period. This is because this tissue breaks down as our hormones change during our menstrual cycle. Hence why we get more pain around the time of our period.
Over time the effects of this build and we get long-term painful adhesions or scar tissue.
Signs and symptoms of endometriosis include pain just before, during, or after menstruation. This is the most common endometriosis symptom.
The level of this pain can be different from woman to woman. Many find it debilitating.
There are some key times when we experience more pain:
*During or after sex
*During bowel movements or urination
Another endometriosis symptom is ongoing lower back pain, or in the pelvis.
At the other extreme, many women with endometriosis have mild or no symptoms. They only find out when they try to conceive and struggle. It depends on where that sticky lining attaches itself to. If it’s not pulling anything that causes pain then you won’t experience any symptoms. Where you feel pain will give you a sign of where the growths are internally.
It’s often tricky to tell the difference between cramps and endometriosis. As a general rule, if your cramps continue for 2 days after your period has ended, then this is one of the first signs of endometriosis.
However, cramps can also be a sign of fibroids. These are non-cancerous growths around the uterine area. The difference between fibroids and endometriosis is that pain from the former is any time of the month.
And don’t rule out how this can affect teens. When their periods start, if it throws them backwards for a few days, this can be a sign of the condition.
Likewise, regular pain during sex can be another indicator.
Endometriosis and infertility
As we’ve said, some ladies only find out they have endometriosis when they struggle with fertility. Around one third of women with the disease have trouble getting pregnant.
The issue here may be because of scarring, but no-one is sure. We see the disease pass down through families so there is a role of heredity where your risk increases if your mother had endometriosis.
There’s also another theory that it’s down to the flow of menstrual blood. Some say that blood flows back through our fallopian tubes and into our pelvic cavity instead of out of our body.
The reason people class endometriosis as an autoimmune disorder is because it’s a faulty immune system that cannot get rid of these misplaced cells. However, one theory which works against the autoimmune theory is that we’ve had abdominal cells since we were embryos. If these keep their ability to become endometrial cells, then this is just pure genetics rather than a disease.
Who is at risk?
There are several classes that put you more at risk, including:
*Women in our 30s and 40s
*no previous children
*lengthy periods, lasting over 7 days
*cycles which last less than 28 days
*started our periods before we were 12
*mother with the same endometrial symptoms
Severe endometriosis treatment
It’s possible for many women to continue their daily lives without medical intervention. They may need to take some anti-inflammatory drugs at certain times of the month, but other than that they go on with their business unaffected.
It’s only when they want a baby that things get tricky.
The standard medical treatment for severe endometriosis is to go in for a laparoscopy which is an operation which lasts a brief period. During this a small incision is inserted in your belly button, and they inflate you. And then the surgeon will remove as much of the sticky lining as they can. You then have a brief window of fertility when your reproductive areas are free of the ‘gunk’ and so able to work freely without being tangled up.
Surgical procedures sound like a life line, but they have recovery time and trust me, that’s longer than you expect.
How does reflexology help?
I don’t know. That’s the issue with reflexology there isn’t enough formal research out there. But, speaking from personal experience on both sides of the counter, it works. As I write this, we’re in the middle of COVID-19. My clients are texting me, going crazy with their symptoms flaring up and mine are doing the same. When we feel like this, it doesn’t matter what reflexology does to treat endometriosis, it’s enough to know that it does. And we’re happy for the relief it provides.
What I do know is that when you come in for a reflexology therapy for endometriosis, I’m working to balance your hormones. By doing this, everything in your abdominal area functions better. It’s getting the right messages from your brain, so by treating the source, we treat the problems.
This is the same concept as your doctor giving you birth control pills to balance out your production of oestrogen and progestin. Another way that doctors manage endometriosis symptoms is through mimicking menopause.
Neither are a splendid solution if you’re looking to get pregnant!
And so reflexology treatments are helpful. On top of that I layer in work to reduce inflammation which is great for pain reduction.
If you would like to add in an optional fertility massage then we an also help to un-stick some areas. This is something I have and although it is uncomfortable during the session, afterwards the effects are immediate.
For some ladies this means that their symptoms stabilise, and their pain diminishes. This also means that when they go for IVF of ICSI, they are better placed to have a few cycles because their issues are not reproducing as fast, giving them a greater window to try for pregnancy.
Other’s symptoms quell which improves their natural fertility and their quality of life as their pain is no longer a factor.
You can use the online booking system or you can text us on 07757 946023.
When you start out asking ‘can reflexology help with fertility?’ it’s important to understand one thing. We don’t always understand! And that’s OK because, did you know that the traditional medical field don’t always understand why medicine works? they just know from the testing procedure that it does.
I know. We were shocked too!
Complementary therapies such as reflexology and massage can offer you benefits if you’re trying to conceive though. As long as you’re coming to a fertility trained therapist — like we are at Essential Feeling, Gidea Park.
Not all reflexologists and massage therapists know how to adapt treatments to your specific conditions, your cycle and your IVF journey if you’re on one.
At Essential Feeling in Gidea Park, Romford, Essex, we often focus on the woman, just because they are the more open to coming for this kind of complementary therapy. It’s you as the female who is going through the assisted reproductive technologies, who has had the miscarriage or is checking every month for a positive pregnancy test.
But the male client is important to the fertility process. They often sit on the outside looking in. So, we help with lifestyle factors that may affect your fertility path.
The role of your fertility reflexology therapist
Our role as your fertility practitioner is serious. We’ve undergone several advanced training courses in fertility reflexology, but we have also enhanced our learning with a continuous cycle of other training materials. You will often find us at home, reading recent articles, have a stash of books we are always adding to on the fertility subject.
And we’ve also trained in nutrition and counselling.
The overall effect is that we have a plethora of resource upon which to draw, before we start with the role our years of experience plays in understanding not only the main issues of infertility but how these fit into your lifestyle.
We’re able to work with you throughout your early pregnancy in your first trimester. And we understand the risk of miscarriage. We’re not about to give you false hope, we’ve been around the block too many times for that. But we will always be honest with you. And clear about our role. And yours.
If you need us to communicate with your other healthcare professionals, then that’s also great.
Factors reducing fertility
There are different quotes out there, but anything from a quarter to a third of couples struggle to conceive. Even without specific fertility issues, in our modern stressful lives it can take two years to conceive.
The reasons affecting your fertility will be different to the person we meet after you. But here are a few of the common factors that may reduce fertility:
*Nutrition: this may not be in line with what is good for improving your fertility even if you have a ‘healthy’ food consumption.
*Age: There’s no getting away from it. Your age matters. Once you reach 35 the quality of your eggs diminishes and between 40 and 41, your eggs are in danger of being so poor quality that natural fertility is affected. Even IVF may struggle at this point. Men also have issues after the age of 40, so it’s not all on the female!
*Weight: if your BMI is too high or too low, it will negatively affect your hormonal balance.
This is before we start with conditions such as PCOS and endometriosis for women and low sperm count for men. You can see why this is a minefield!
Now, to the marvellous stuff!
Potential benefits of fertility massage and reflexology.
We’ve said elsewhere on this site about the lack of medical research on fertility improving after reflexology. But there are plenty of case studies, and we also have years of working with fertility clients.
Supporting natural fertility
In order for successful conception to occur:
Balanced hormone levels, so the egg develops
As a woman you must ovulate so your egg is releases. Some menstrual cycles are anovulatory (we release no egg). Hormone levels affect this.
It’s important to have sex at the right time in your cycle.
A male’s sperm need to be healthy and have a good count.
The lining of your uterus needs to be perfect to induce implantation of the egg in its wall
After all of this, hormone levels still need to be at the right balance to support your foetal and placental development.
Note: The stress of trouble conceiving can cause hormonal imbalance. This negatively affects your chance of a successful pregnancy.
We have seen repeatedly how effective reflexology is at reducing stress. It’s also great at balancing hormone levels. Combining the two techniques into one reflexology for fertility session are wonderful.
Effects of stress on fertility
We cannot underestimate the effects of stress when talking about fertility. Whether this be natural or supported with a process such as IVF or ICSI. The whole concept of wanting a child and to form a family and it being out of your control is stressful. Deal with the stress and the rest often follows. Even with health issues such as endometriosis, because it’s hormone imbalance that creates this issue and by balancing out stress, we balance out these hormonal messages which trigger infertility disease.
So answering your question, can reflexology help with fertility? we are happy to say yes.
This heading, what causes infertility including cocaine use and infertility, is long for a reason. Many of my fertility clients are comfortable talking about alcohol, because they have read a lot online about this affecting their ability to conceive. However, many people don’t even think about how drug use, which in the modern world is predominantly cocaine, can affect their ability to have a child.
So, I had to make the title long to cover off what people may search for in google and then add the cocaine in at the end. Because this is an important topic and without the message getting out there, men and women will continue to take drugs that effects sperm quality and the ability to conceive.
Here we go.
First off, in the bid to cover off everything about what causes infertility and how cocaine use can affect fertility, we need to look at the chemical effects that happen in our body when we have exposure to drugs, including cocaine.
How does cocaine affect the chemical (hormone) balance of our brain?
Dopamine is one of the chemicals our body produces to make us feel good. Cocaine attaches and then binds around this molecule like a sheath. This means that the body is blocked from removing dopamine which then accumulates. This increase of dopamine is what causes the heightened response in our body and subsequent actions.
All this produces waste which your body would normally have gotten rid of naturally and now has to deal with. This leads to an increase stress load which is one of the major factors in modern day infertility
Cocaine use and female infertility
Drugs affect the female reproductive system. And what’s scary considering that women are the ones who carry the child is that women are more vulnerable to the longer-term effects of drugs. This is because women are physiologically different in weight and hormone balance. This means that the way a female breaks down the excess toxins left over from drug use essentially isn’t as effective. This is what leads to the longer term damage to their reproductive system.
Menstrual cycles will be affected by cocaine. Periods may be heavier or lighter and you’ll invariably experience increased cramping. Obviously, as this is a change in your hormonal balance, we can directly see a link between fertility and cocaine use, but here are some details.
If your periods are light, your body isn’t cleansing out the old blood in your womb. As this is what your body nestles into, it’s not a secure basis for implantation. Think about having blown plaster on a wall and then just plastering over it. The wall will still be weak underneath.
On the other hand, when you have heavier than normal periods, you’re being more aggressive at cleansing. Not great when you’re trying to conceive.
In terms of cramping, one of the things I regularly tell my fertility reflexology clients is that they need to keep their abdomen area as soft as possible. No crunches or other ab work. This is so the egg has a wonderfully soft place to implant. Cramping works against this.
Cocaine can also harm your reproductive system. Here are some examples:
*cocaine may damage your fallopian tubes leading to ovulation issues.
*the effects of cocaine on our hormonal balance and thus ovulation for months
*if you are lucky enough to get pregnant through all of this, then your chances of suffering with recurrent pregnancy losses is greater.
Sexually transmitted disease
STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) and infections can affect your fertility in the longer term. The use of drugs, including alcohol in this is that you are more likely to put yourself in danger of contracting one of these when you are under the influence because the chemical changes to our brain mean that we are more of a risk taker. As a side note, these can also lead to cancer later on down the line too. For sure there’s a fertility risk if you e.g. need a hysterectomy, but cancer in itself is best avoided we think!
What’s the research on cocaine use and infertility?
One study that I’ve just found quickly on the internet conclusively found that drugs and alcohol are related to infertility in women. And the higher the use, including alcohol, leads to a higher percentage of fertility problems. This study also showed that tobacco products lead to a delay in conception.
On the flip side to taking risks, drugs over time can also lead to a reduction in our libido. Women’s vaginal lubrication can be reduced, as is the ability to reach an orgasm. Fertility aside, I think we could all do without that little complication!
Cocaine use and male infertility
STDs also affect men in the same way as they do women leading to their sperm being damaged. You can do ‘it’ at the right time every month, but without those little swimmers getting to where they need to be in enough quantity and of the right quality to break through the follicle’s membrane, you’re not going to get pregnant naturally.
Hormone levels change
Specifically looking at fertility in men linked to cocaine use (note we’re not talking abuse) their hormone levels change in the same way women are affected. This slows down sperm movement, which as we’ve discussed above, leads to infertility. Or issues in getting pregnant in the very least.
What happens is that cocaine disrupts how the male body creates sperm (spermatogenesis). This affects reproduction. If a man has had long-term cocaine use, then our sperm count will be lowered because we can’t produce as much due to the damage. But also, those that are already in production have a poorer mobility. It also leads to a deformity in them leading to a higher abnormality count.
In addition, research has shown that men’s fertility health is further affected by damages to the microscopic ultrastructure of the testicles. This leads to irreversible fertility issues.
On this note, let’s take a quick sidestep to steroids which increase testosterone in our bloodstream. This conns our brain into thinking we have enough and so it doesn’t produce as much naturally. This leads to poor sperm quality and thus infertility. It’s the same effect with excessive muscle building exercise. And these effects can be medium to long term.
Sexual arousal and physical affects
Sexual arousal is also affected by drugs. Over time, men may suffer with a lack of sexual arousal, and the knock on physical effects of that. And don’t be fooled by the short term spike in sexual arousal. Everything needs to balance out. And this spike is only short lived. Cocaine can lead to erectile dysfunction and delayed orgasm. Neither are great for enhancing your conception chances.
Continued affects on your child even after birth
In the same way females are still affected by cocaine use after pregnancy, the same applies to men. If you get pregnant despite your drug use, then research shows that your child will be more likely to miscarry due to defective sperm, and even at full term, your child will be smaller with a lower birth rate.
What causes infertility?
Don’t forget, when you use cocaine and other recreational drugs, you’re piling all of these negative effects on top of the common causes for infertility such as
The age of the woman
General issues that affect the male sperm count and quality
Irregular periods, ovulation issues and tubal disease
The anatomical matching between a particular male and female reproductive systems.
When we’re looking at what causes infertility, cocaine use and infertility are inextricably linked. There is no way around this. So if you’re trying to get pregnant and it’s not happening, then it may be worth looking into your consumption of illegal or damaging substances such as cocaine.
If you’d like to book an appointment with us for fertility reflexology so we can help to cleanse your system and work with you on a path to improving the effects of drug use, then book online.
Many of our clients are pregnant, or trying to conceive. Their natural fertility isn’t playing ball with their inner drive to have a baby. This often means that they come to me having suffered from a chemical pregnancy or miscarriages, whether these be an early miscarriage, or any time throughout the pregnancy through to still birth and down to missed miscarriage.
Common factor in all miscarriages
Hurt. Deep rooted, soul wracking pain that wields through your body when no-one else understands. Often not even your husband. For sure, you both have had a future ripped out of your hands, often with little or no warning, but men grieve in an entirely unique way to women.
As a trained counsellor, I use a range of techniques to help my clients through their suffering whilst they relax and enjoy a simultaneous reflexology treatment. This enables us to balance your body and your mind at the same time. Sometimes, I will play short wellness clips from a selection of my favourite teachers and we’ll discuss the meaning of these afterwards.
We’re currently in COVID lockdown which prevents me from doing this with my clients but I thought it would be a nice idea to write a blog on this and perhaps prevent some deep-rooted hurt from manifesting as miscarriage won’t stop for an international pandemic.
Here is the video from Lauren Eckstrom and Travis Eliot. I’ll discuss some key points below:
Both Lauren and Travis are successful yoga instructors, so some examples that they discuss of healing mechanisms may not apply to what you’re naturally do in your life. I’m not here to tell you that you should start chanting. As they say, this is a moment in your life when you are suffering in your own unique way. That requires the same for how you deal with these symptoms.
But they made some valid points.
Take time for yourself to mourn your miscarriage
For you and for your partner. Reconnect and ground together. Become a unit that takes on the world as one entity. It’s easy for you to fall into a hole where you each deal with the pain of miscarriage independently and eventually this will eat you guys up.
If I have one piece of advice, it’s do everything you can to communicate and getting outside somehow always makes this easier. However many weeks you were, whatever trimester you were at when your bleeding started. Do not let this miscarriage divide you. There are some points to consider with this though, and they’re important.
Men and women deal with miscarriage grief differently
This is something that the couple touch on in their talk, but what I pulled out of this is the subconscious messages that they probably weren’t aware they are giving off.
Travis talks twice about how ‘disappointing’ their experience was. Disappointing? It sounds so callous. But, listen to him talk, towards the end, his grief and his pain at their loss is so overwhelming that he fills up. His voice cracks when he talks about the child they have lost.
He’s been holding it together, and still is, so that his wife can deal with this traumatic period by breaking apart. Look at the body language of the couple. Lauren is teary, Travis is sitting more tense. It isn’t that he has experienced any less heartbreaking anxieties, but he’s dealing with this in the way men are conditioned to do. He alludes to this, but it is probably even more prevalent than even he realises. And this is a man who is in touch with his emotions and knows on a conscious level that it is OK to cry.
Holding onto pain won’t bring back what couples have lost
It’s a natural coping mechanism to ignore the pain and move forward. It’s kind of what’s expected when we have busy lives. We are expected to carry on, go to work, take the kid we may already have to school, be professional and break our hearts in private. And so we become conditioned to using this as a way of coping.
But you were going to be parents.
The issue here is that the grief you were feeling is still there. It’s just buried. And so the stress, anxiety and depression associated with it is pushed aside, but is still real. And trust us, this will come back to haunt you.
You were a mother, your hormones were geared up for that and when it’s snatched away your partner can’t understand the weight of this, because although they have lost a child and that future, they are still as balanced hormonally as they were before the day this happened. We can see here how Travis was truly affected in his vulnerable interview, but he’s behaving differently to the mother who miscarried.
It’s just different. But it doesn’t mean men don’t care. Even if they can’t fully understand.
So find a place, like my clients do with me, and allow this to be your safe place where you let everything out. Bawl out your eyes, show your anger and bitterness which are valid emotions and let them go. Do not feel shame for grieving. But do not wallow. When the emotion is out, embrace the calm that follows and this is what you hold on to.
When the next wave takes you, allow it to flow in the knowledge that all things in life will pass and look forward to the calm you’ll obtain from once again allowing the wrecking ball to ricochet through your body as it passes through. Then once again hold that calm that follows.
Women who miscarry have a feeling of isolation
They talk about the joy of finding out they were pregnant. Their faces light up when they discuss the day they found out they were expecting their daughter. Don’t lose that joy. Keep the child you had close. You love them. Just because their body didn’t work out it doesn’t mean that when you miscarry that you aren’t still emotionally connected.
This bereavement is different to anything else
When you lose someone else that you have loved, you have a history with them. For sure you may have also had a longer future, but you have memories. These help.
When you have a miscarriage, you don’t have anything. Not a single jot of memory other than the time you had a scan or the time you found out. There’s nothing tangible to ease the pain. All the memories you were going to make evaporate.
And unless you’ve been through this, it’s tricky to empathise in a way which is helpful.
Family and friends don’t get it, no matter how well meaning they are
They don’t. Not unless they have been through it and not many people want to revisit that memory with someone over and over and so you are left alone. This is where counselling comes in because as I do in my miscarriage sessions, I use the experiences of multiple people in the past to help you through this time. This understanding that you are not alone is helpful.
Lauren and Travis talk about each finding a keepsake to cherish as a reminder. This works wonderfully for my clients. You have something to cling onto during the tough times. A tangible reminder of the mother you were going to be to this child. It’s not something you need to discuss with anyone else because this is entirely personal.
When you’re suffering from a miscarriage your anxieties, and the hurt is overwhelming, you have something to touch. A necklace often works well because you can hang it around your neck, keep it close to your heart and in those horrible moments when grief strangle holds you unexpectedly you can scan your fingers lightly over it and feel some peace at being reconnected.
Another coping mechanism
Getting outside with nature is a great opportunity to look after your health. Not only are you in the fresh air away from pollution, but when they are outside, people somehow automatically feel less connected to the freneticism of modern life.
This automatically lifts a weight of grief, although as Travis says, you will still feel the ton of bricks in your heart. The thing is, that’s OK. Because you are dealing with loss. And you’re acknowledging it and giving it space to pass through you. Getting away will help that pass without the same pressure to push it aside. And in so doing, you’re giving yourself the best chance to heal.
And when we heal, we have a better chance of future health. As most of our ladies move on to want to try to conceive again at some point in the future, being healthy and this healing is critical.
Finally, thank you to Lauren and to Travis for allowing us access to their hearts in such a personal way. I hope the video and this blog was helpful for you. If you would like to book an appointment to see Karen in Romford, Essex, then you can do so here (once COVID is over).
We talk a lot about the effects of toxins and there are plenty of national reports about them conducted by well meaning technical researchers who write in a language we barely understand; but we never really talk about what do toxins look like.
So here goes.
Hold on to your hats, we’re getting into some technical stuff.
Toxins tend to get a bad name because they’re often used as a tactic to scare people into buying whatever the latest detoxifying fad is. And we have to admit, even we use it as a broad brush explanation of anything that hinders the effectiveness of your body to work optimally and therefore keep you healthy and fertile.
Here’s what a toxin is.
A toxin is harmful to your body. Quite literally, it’s poison. This doesn’t mean you need to be swallowing a bunch of toxic items, vaping chemicals or subjecting your colon to exposure of narcotics it struggles with cleansing you from. Because any substance becomes a poison if you overdose.
We often cite the benefits of water. But, did you know if you drink more than roughly one litre per hour, you’ll overload your kidneys? Thus, even the best things for us can lead to damage of our organs and even death if we’re not sensible.
That’s before you even start with adding in environmental factors such as smoking, existing disease and things such as pesticides which float around in our atmosphere.
Toxins are produced by living things. So, snake venom is the best example of a toxin. So is metabolic waste, which is why keeping regular is so important for all kinds of wellness issues such as fertility down to cancer. When these wastes hang around in your system they lead to poisoning because, by definition, they should be expelled.
Two categories of toxins.
Pollutants are what people tend to think about when they’re detoxing. This category is full of the pesticides, lead and PCBs; products such as paint fumes, cigarette smoke and drugs/ alcohol etc.These are just examples, but you get the picture, right?
These poisons enter your body through a variety of ways, it just depends what you’re exposed to. For instance, they can seep in through the pores in your hair, they can soak into your skin, be sucked into your lung. But, they often get trapped in our fat store and then sit there as this is an area that doesn’t expel well. And so these poisons are allowed to then fester and manipulate healthy cells into disease.
And you wouldn’t necessarily get sick straight off. We’ve all slept in a recently painted room and come out feeling like our blood levels have shifted a little on the scale of toxicity, but you don’t always know. When patients go into hospital with a cough, doctors will announce that the cause of their lung disease happened when they breathed in asbestos substances in a work environment decades ago.
Seriously, it happened to my uncle. The most important thing is to be vigilant all the time. It’s not practical to be testing ourselves all the time, so being proactive with safety is paramount. Toxins aren’t always causing immediate symptoms, they can easily be the silent cause of deaths. To understand this better, think about smokers. Eventually it’s accepted they will end up with heart disease or some form of cancer from the repeated exposure to toxins.
Metabolic waste on the other hand is way more murky. This is where everything else gets lumped in which are technically toxins because they are produced biologically and will poison someone if they are administered in abnormal quantities. This is when science shows they become dangerous to life.
But they are normal producers of biology. So, like faeces as we discussed earlier. What’s important is to two to three litres of water a day and keep moving so that your body has the correct chemical balance to operate as effectively as possible.
How toxins can affect people’s health and wellbeing.
*Eggs. They might be fine in normal life, but if women eat them when they’re pregnant, they can be dangerous.
*Swimming in contaminated lakes on holiday. That green water may be so due to algae. And don’t underestimate the damage Algal toxins are capable of when they are released into the environment. Likewise, look down. The newt produces a neurotoxin called tetrodotoxin (TTX), the same toxin found in pufferfish, and a number of other marine animals which can cause paralysis.
*Ethanol is contained in alcohol, so by drinking it you are also taking in neurotoxins (affect your nervous system).
*Marijuana. Sure this is a toxin because we’re breathing it deep into our lungs. But did you know that a recent study has shown that there are more toxins in these cigarettes than in tobacco smoke and nicotine? Worth thinking about the consequences if you’re a smoker
Fluoride in water that we drink and brush our teeth in is a toxin.
*Chlorpyrifos is a strong pesticide which affects our nervous system as well as eradicating bugs from crops and buildings and animal species. This affects everyone but has been cited by Landrigan and Grandjean to negatively affect the brain development of a foetus.
*My mother went out for a curry. She got food poisoning and ended up with chronic rheumatoid arthritis. This is a sign of her body going into shock when she fell sick and going into overdrive to try to heal through inflaming affected areas. She’s never been right since. This is twenty years ago.
*Bacteria on your teeth. It’s well known that people with poor oral hygiene are more prone to disease. Perhaps this is why.
A word on how toxins affect neurology.
Frank Bosman has been studying proteins known as sodium channel within nerve cells. Essentially they are responsible for creating disorders in the electrical signal which connects the message sent out by the brain to the nerve to cause the reaction. They are responsible for a ton of things, ranging from pain to seizures, all the way down to breathing.
This is important for modern diseases that we don’t quite yet fully understand, such as fibromyalgia for example. It’s thought that fibro is brought on by us over eating ‘bad’ foods.
I’ve personally read a report that links this specifically to drinking too much coke.
For sure, there is more to understanding the developmental tests. When we ask what do toxins look like, and these tests are ongoing. But this research is an important step to us understanding whether these illnesses may be brought on by our lifestyle factors.
If we start to understand this, maybe we can do more than read about changing our diet and our exercise routine, building in some holistic therapies to our week’s activities and taking time to allow our body to cleanse may actually be based on a solid research data.
How does massage fit into this?
There are different types of ways that bodywork helps to keep toxins flushing out of your system.
Lymphatic drainage keeps your lymphatic system moving. This is particularly good if you are not moving around enough for your body to operate effectively alone. Likewise with chemotherapy, another pollutant. Your lymphatic system is one of the key systems in your body that is in charge of getting rid of waste, so this is important and hence why we include this in the detox package.
Swedish massage gets the blood flowing. This helps your body to distribute the oxygen and nutrients that the cells in your body need to reproduce healthily. Remember earlier on when we mentioned how dormant toxins slowly de-rail healthy cells, which in the longer term leads to disease and illness? This is where this fits in.
Reflexology foot massage works a little like acupuncture in that it clears energy blockages in your body so that there isn’t a road block in place of A being able to reach B unhindered. This is great if you want a specific internal organs supporting with a health focused holistic therapy.
If you’ve had a stroke, this is the result of toxins attacking your brain and during the process of your body trying to repair them, your levels of inflammation soar through the roof. Reflexology is great for reducing inflammation and allowing your liver, kidneys and lymphatics to process toxins.
Obviously, we’re making broad brush statements here when we’re striving to explain what do toxins look like. We don’t claim to be chemistry experts. Many medical journals record full details of studies. The percent of people who were affected by this and archives going back years that detail that.
Our intention today is to bring you a simplified explanation. We want to help you to understand the evidence that a toxin eradicated is a development towards healthy living. And perhaps this will inspire you to spend at least a few days with your family being more healthy.
Many people have heard of acupuncture. But, they’re still asking what’s the difference between reflexology vs acupuncture?
Both modalities have their origins in traditional Chinese medicine and although both are similar in the sense they alternative therapies, or as we like to refer to them, complementary therapies. Both modalities balance your entire body (holistic) through releasing energy flow, there are some intrinsic differences between reflexology vs acupuncture.
The key difference for me is that acupuncture uses needles to pierce, or puncture, the skin.
Your reflexologist will use a combination of differing pressures (acupressure) on the surface of your skin using a kind of massage which is done within ‘reflex zones’ specifically on ‘reflex points’. Each of these relate to other parts of the body which are not usually reached with a normal massage.
There are no needles involved in reflexology, it is totally non-invasive and very often your practitioner only use a gentle pressure combined with healing energy to improve your health. It also has a wonderfully relaxing effect.
Many clients who have tried acupuncture and then moved to reflexology because they didn’t like it, say that the benefits of reflexology is that is so much more relaxing.
Similarities between reflexology and acupuncture.
Both treatments work with the sympathetic nervous system to calm it down, so in theory clients should fall asleep just as they do in reflexology. However, there is something about having needles sticking out of them during the process that makes them tense and hinders their ability to relax.
Reflexology is like time out.
Thankfully, this doesn’t happen with reflexology which is like a wellness time out, whereas when they’ve had a therapy involving needles, clients describe it as being more like a doctor’s appointment.
While reflexology uses reflexes (pressure points) in the hands and feet the location of which largely resemble the shape of the human body, acupuncture has a more haphazard approach in that the meridians channel all over your body.
So, while reflexology works on the entire body using many pressure points within one area, mainly the feet (although there is foot and hand reflexology) acupuncture uses meridians spread throughout your torso and from foot up to the top of your head.
Ready to book a reflexology session to relax, balance and unwind?
Hopefully that has explained a little of what you were interested in finding out about acupuncture and reflexology. Just one more thing to note, reflexology is safe throughout pregnancy as long as you are attending sessions at a clinic with a trained pregnancy reflexologist as we are at Essential Feeling. If you’d like to ask specific questions, please email us at email@example.com. Or you can book online now.
Real life results supported by accredited research.
When I tell people that as a reflexologist, I have experience in using reflexology to reduce back pain, they think I’ve lost the plot.
But, it’s true. I have clients come to me who are unable to move because they’re in so much low back pain. And these clients aren’t just one demographic, chronic back pain, or acute afflicts most men and women at some point. I mean, who hasn’t had to complain of back pain at some point in their lives?
I work with them all* ranging from serious back problems where surgery is the only option, to men with mechanical chronic low back pain to a niggling discomfort. I treat your back pain with reflexology techniques specifically designed to target the muscles and bones in your spine.
They stagger into my therapy rooms, cringe in pain as they lower themselves into my padded reclining chair and eek their legs up to get their feet on the pillow from which I work during their treatment.
Reflexology and back pain. It works!
Give them an hour of either relaxation or chat and they spring up at the end of their spinal foot reflexology session like they’re different people. Relieved of the pressure in their back and neck. And all this from what on the surface appears to be little more than a foot massage. What’s more is that these techniques work equally as well at relieving pain whether you’ve been suffering with back pain for many years or if it’s a recent issue.
Invariably, clients aren’t fixed after one session. It often takes at least two spinal reflexology appointments in close succession for them to no longer feel any pain or experience only slight problems. But, the effects of that first therapy are always an absolute delight, to both me and my clients because, let’s face it, serious back problems result in us being less mobile, and ultimately enjoying our lives less.
So imagine my glee when I found there is a research study to support the link I found between reflexology and back pain. Although I guess me finding this research means that I didn’t discover the link, but I’m happy to skip over that if you are).
The research was listed in the Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research was conducted with 50 female and male nurses who each suffered from chronic lower back pain which is great because they are in the top ten careers to suffer with neck and back pain due to them constantly lifting etc. They each had three sessions of reflexology for back pain a week for a period of two weeks.
And guess what the results showed! Yep. That after this two week period during which they had intensive treatments such as those that I provide at Essential Feeling in Gidea Park, the nurses who had received reflexology had a notably lower level of lower back pain than those who didn’t receive the complementary therapy. This led the researchers to draw the conclusion that reflexology therapy can be effective in reducing the severity of chronic back pain with reflexology. It is able to reduce pain from moderate to mild and they recommend it for nurses which is good news if you’re one of the many suffering from work induced sciatica pain.
Now, bear in mind that these groups of people by the sounds of it only had standard reflexology as opposed to the spinal and nerve therapy that I do at Essential Feeling in Gidea Park, and you can see why I jump up and down at the results. I have clients who have been told their only option is to have spinal surgery, and then a few one hour sessions with me and they’re like new people. I truly think that reflexology is amazing.
We’re going to try and answer the often asked question, ‘what is reiki?’ here in a way that doesn’t sound like total codswallop. So, bear with us because to some people reiki is mysterious, foreign or just plain made up, and we’re here to try and explain why we’re of a different opinion.
So, for starters, answer this question. When you experience pain, what do you do?
The reality is we all naturally perform the fundamental essence of reiki healing on a daily basis. It’s innate within all of us because we’re willing to bet that most of you would at some point, particularly immediately following the onset of that pain, place your hands over the source of that pain. And from so doing, we’ll experience a dulling in the sharpness, and essentially begin to soothe away pain. That is healing energy that is otherwise known as the Japanese technique or therapy of Reiki healing.
Let’s explain this technique better.
If we have a headache we cradle our head with our hands. If you hurt yourself your hands grasp the area until the pain disappears. When you have a tummy ache you soothe it with your hands. We could go on and on about the wondrous natural nature of reiki healing. And yet so many people either don’t believe in reiki healing or are busy asking, what is reiki?
And yet, the pronounced situations continue. What about when we’re soothing others from their pain? Say for instance a little one falls, what do you do? You place your hands on their knee. You may even embrace them. You kiss their pain and make it all better. These are all alternative therapies. They ease pain and suffering, through your touch. And through the power of this touch, via this healing energy of laying your hands or your embrace, the little one’s tears will dry up. Because you’ve provided them with the therapy that they need to feel better and dull their pain. Inadvertently, you’ve passed on your energy through the practice of transferring the warmth and force of your spiritual touch.
Hopefully now we’ve explained that reiki healing is a universal method that we all use for the benefits of ourselves or others wellness. But, why do you use this holistic therapy to heal?
Reiki is a natural healing instinct. We may not understand it and we may therefore be the ones who ask, ‘what is reiki?’ but reiki healing a therapy that we all instinctively use. Often on a daily basis.
The fundamentals commonly remain the same even when you’re not dealing with a physical pain such as a cut knee. If you’re under stress and you just need some relaxation time, what do you do? You’ll hold your head, place your hands over your heart to stop it racing after a shock or you’ll enjoy some other spiritual treatment by laying your hands over an alternative source of discomfort. Emotionally or physically.
We can often tie this into the healing power of meditation, but we’ll come to that in another blog because that is another way that subtle shift in energy can help to promote us to heal in a non-invasive way.
The roots of both of these modalities can be founded in all of the complementary therapies that Essential Feeling provide, including massage and reflexology. When one person touches another with a healing intention, that energy passes to help the process along. Whether the desired outcome be mental, physical or emotional relaxed.
What is it that you are doing?
The practice of this healing touch is reiki. And this is why we use this natural relaxing technique that facilitates wellbeing.
Think about reiki healing in another way.
Away from cosmic healing, chakras and energy centres and buddhist channeling. Let’s talk practical examples.
Our bodies are made up of energy. We don’t question that an electric socket carries energy to light up a bulb, nor that a wind turbine creates energy through movement. So why would it be any different with our bodies which are made up of millions of constantly moving parts (living organisms)?
We exist in a universe of energy and when we use our hands we are using our hands to comfort that hurt. But the use of our hands and energy goes beyond hurt.
What about an expectant mother caressing her baby bump. A baby will react in the womb to this touch. It will wake, and start to move. Or calm if it is stressed. And the effect is pronounced for expectant mothers that we often will see them soothing their unborn child by touching their bumps. It’s an ancient technique that we don’t question.
The same goes for a couple holding hands. When we first meet we fall in love and our energies are drawn to connect. We do this in the first phase by touching hands. Just like practitioners of any complementary therapy will make a gentle touch on your body during your treatment. If someone is crying and we’re sitting across the table from them, what do we do? We lean over and place our hand on theirs as it rests around their cold coffee cup.
And a handshake or a pat on the back — we all like that, right? Are we starting to make sense now about what reiki is? Sure, reiki is a form of alternative therapy, and yes, reiki is a healing modality, but it’s something that we don’t need training for.
It just happens.
However, a reiki practitioner has been trained to draw out this energy and use it just like that wind turbine’s energy doesn’t just fly off into an abyss. It’s channelled.
In a nutshell this is the essence of reiki healing. We could go into all the background about reiki is a Japanese healing technique, that reiki healing is an ancient modality. But essentially, reiki is using one person’s energy to benefit another by transferring some of their good surplus to a person that needs it more.
To be more specific, reiki is the transfer of the highest healing energy from one being to another. Reiki healing amplifies and intensifies the power of touch. It promotes balance and harmony in your spirit, mind and body. Reiki healing is a natural, simple and powerful practise anyone can learn to help themselves. Anyone of any age, at any time. But, if you don’t want to learn reiki healing then Essential Feeling have got you covered.
The role of a therapist is to build a relationship with the other person so they can gain an understanding of grief for that person and find healthy ways for them to express their grief.
Grief is invisible and people will be told that they look well, but underneath the person will feel let down because they’re really feeling terrible.
Pain and sorrow is the agent of change. It forces you to adapt to the new reality that you don’t want to face.
Counselling is the way to get help to adapt to this new reality.
The length of the grieving to some extent lasts years and a lifetime because we hold memories in our bodies and they live on in us, whether this be for a spouse or a pet. Understanding the longevity of grief is part of understanding grief. What we know from good recent research is that the bond is still there, the relationship continues even though the person has died and we mourn them.
Everyone uses a mechanism that they use to default to coping with loss. This may be to work hard, to drink, to have sex, keeping busy. People use these as blockers to stop them feeling so we need to find different, healthy, mechanisms to allow us to feel and reconnect with our past experiences with the close person we have lost.
As society we don’t accept people suffering because it makes us feel awkward. We don’t know how to say they must be really gong through it so we avoid these intense conversations with platitudes. But this is no support.
Every thought has a physiological outcome, we feel pain in e,g. our chest and it can affect our breathing. This can quickly start to take over if we’re not expecting it and we feel like we’re losing our mind. It’s easier to panic about the physical effects than deal with and recover from our emotional loss.
This is why exercise can help because you are telling your body that you are flying, your using the panic pro-actively. Massage helps simulate this same outcome by stimulating your blood flow and endorphins as sport would.
Grief is a small tidy word that describes a chaotic process.
Around 15% of psychological disorders come from unresolved grief, so understanding grief has a massive impact throughout the world on our mental health. The process of grief is finding the level of our grief, expressing the emotional loss that we feel in our being. The pain is what forces you to express your grief. Some people painting, others play music but these ways are outlets that allow us to express our grief and move forward, hence why we say that pain is the agent of change.
When we are grieving, we block our grieving and then we block our healing. We function on a daily level, but our emotional capacity to engage with love is shortened and often confused.
Pain is one of the most confusing aspects of grief and most people feel guilt. It could be that you’re alive, that they didn’t have the last conversation, there are many regrets and there aren’t any rules about how to cope with this.
The thing that helps the most is self-compassion. When we’re hurting we end up attacking ourselves. When we’re already down. The best thing is to allow yourself to feel what you’re feeling and treat yourself as you would a friend. Be kind and give yourself some compassion.
When someone dies the whole family system is disrupted. You have the different members of the family and one thread is cut out which tilts the balance. Each family members have different ways of expressing and dealing with their grief. Grief doesn’t follow one linear path.
What’s critical is open communication where people are allowed to be different, grief will likely subside for some people faster than others who struggle more with getting back to normal. These family units with open communication are the most successful at reorganising because they understand the intensity of your grief is different, but no more or less relevant. Often a family is ruptured so not only the person dies, but the source of comfort is also now missing.
So, family and friends are the source of comfort, but when they’re missing this is when you need the bereavement after death services the likes of which Essential Feeling offer. A compassionate ear, a clear space to express your thoughts in a safe environment, whilst understanding the importance of how physical pain and emotional release interact and connect to help you with getting over grief.
How to help someone who is suffering with bereavement after a death.
1. Acknowledge the loss. Don’t try and avoid it, or negate it. Don’t say it’s a relief, they’re in a better place. The person who is grieving doesn’t feel this, they feel loss and grief and will probably want to punch you.
2. Be in it for the long-haul. There are many stages of grief, so stay in contact and allow the person to be honest and either speak or not speak as the person who is grieving feels the need. If someone is suffering from complicated grief, recognise this and help them with how they are coping with grief.
Men and women grieve differently.
Men tend to want to get on and fix things and not talk. Women want to go over the circumstances and focus on their loss. This can cause issues within a couple, if e.g. there is a miscarriage or loss of a child.
The biggest single factor in having a good outcome then it is love that helps us survive the loss, so we need someone who we can feel supported by. And also having anything that helps us relax our body and remove stress, such as a massage. And we mustn’t try and forget the person. Don’t try and push their memory away, we need to reconnect to them in a positive way.
Give yourself treats and have a break away from the grief. Watch a movie with a happy ending that will likely make you feel better, even for the short term. Being around friends helps even though you don’t think it will because its that emotional contact. And if you can’t face friends, then you can always book in with Essential Feeling who understand about your grief over the loss of your loved one.
Before we get into the phases of grief, it’s important to understand, what is a bereavement?
Bereavement can be defined as the loss of someone close to you, or the loss of a loved one. The grief experienced is the response to that loss.
So in this context grief and loss is a process which can be considered permanent. There will always be an element of loss. But, grief does change over time. There are a series of emotions experienced, even though there will always be a reaction of some kind to losing someone we love.
Stages of grieving
There are stages of grieving which is comforting to people as they see themselves or others moving through these phases or stages in an ordered way. It helps us understand and contain the chaos of grief if we have five jobs to do. We’ve discussed these in more detail, here.
However, this breakdown of the various stages of grief implies there is a particular order to dealing with grief and that grieving is a linear model where in fact we know that grief is a roller coaster with good and bad days being unpredictable.
The initial stages of grief which usually begins shortly after the death of a loved one. However, in the case of long term, terminal illnesses such as cancer or alzheimer’s, it is not unusual for the grief to start even before our loved ones have died. Many people feel guilt at grieving for the terminally ill prior to their death. This is a normal part of our acceptance. We should expect to behave in this way. It is misunderstood sometimes as being disloyal, but mourning is distinct to individuals and everyone’s process is valid.
Acute grief can include a whole host of experiences that you have never encountered before and you may feel vulnerable in a way you have never felt before. Grief postulates a series of emotions which are deep rooted such as a need to reconnect with the loved one that we have lost or are losing.
This can be overwhelming and you may feel significant emotional pain that can feel physical pain. There may be physical pain that you’ve never felt before such as fogginess and dizziness, heart palpitations and feelings of unreality and denial.
In this phase you may have frequently distracting thoughts about your loved ones. You may have issues concentrating on things that you would normally have been fine with. When we’re grieving our brain is less concerned with remembering normal day to day things. Consequently small things that were previously easy are suddenly more complicated. We find ourselves bargaining guilt, dealing with anger or slipping into an emotional tumble. This could lead to depression later on.
2. Integrated grief.
This is the enduring residual form of grief. In this the reality and meaning of the death are gradually understood. We meet a period of coping and acceptance. This is when we’re able to start moving forward again with enjoying ourselves and forming meaningful relationships.
Integrated grief does not mean that we forget about our loved one, we don’t miss them any less or stop experiencing sadness when we think about them. But, when we deal with integrated grief we’re able to find a way to feel connected to our loved one. Without them needing to be a physical presence in our lives.
We’re able to start to enjoy our life again without the thought of our loved one being constantly on our minds. However, there may be periods when acute grief and grieving re-emerges and it’s common. It can occur around the times of significant dates, e.g. holidays and birthdays, another loss, general life stress etc. But, when we hit the integrated grief phase, we’re understanding and beginning our process of healing.
A number of people may suffer with prolonged grief which is a timeline of an extended period of acute grief with complicated features which impede the restructuring process necessary for integrated grief.
To grieve is the natural process to help us adapt, and with other natural processes they don’t always run smoothly and so complicated grief can go on for years without the intensity of the grief decreasing.
If you’re suffering from complicated grief then you should consult with your GP who can refer you to a clinical psychologist with experience in complicated or prolonged grief.
If you’d like to book a grief therapy experience, you can do this here.
.It’s important to understand that many people who are bereaved will heal on their own without the intervention of medical measures or even counselling psychology. Grief is a normal phenomenon as a response to loss. When the loss is of a loved one, we call this a bereavement. Under normal circumstances, the best course of action is a sympathetic ear and a hug, and this is enough for people to make their way through their grief and eventually come out of the other side and get on with their lives.
However, not everyone has someone close to who they feel comfortable confiding in. It may be that you don’t want to be a burden, or you’re simply alone after the loss of your loved one.
Bereavement therapy at Essential Feeling
This is where the bereavement therapy at Essential Feeling comes in. We offer that loving touch, a warm and cosy space in which you can relax and process your bereavement and grieve with the comfort of a trained therapist. It’s not counselling per-se, but you have the opportunity to open up and for the tenseness in your muscles to relax without the pressure of professional psychology counselling for your grief.
Look for the signs
There are two major circumstances where a program of professional medical treatment of grief and bereavement may be useful and it’s important to look out for these signs:
1. When the grief from the loss of a loved one triggers depression
One of the symptoms of grief is feeling sad for a period of time, but a serious clinical type of depression is very different. We all know that because the loss of a loved one is so severe this could trigger a major depressive episode which is more serious than simple grief which people get over with a little tender love and care.
There are lots of aspects to the vulnerability experienced through tragic loss but someone who has a past history of depression either themselves or as a family history may become more vulnerable. In the first instance, a quick doctors appointment may not be a bad idea.
When a grief triggers a depression, then this makes everything worse. The grief is more difficult to get through and has significant consequences on its own. One of the things to look out for is whether the bereavement has triggered a major depressive episodes. If this is the case, then this is when the grief should be treated through the normal way that doctors would treat any other depressive episode, such as with drugs and so forth.
2. The pain of the bereavement just doesn’t heal on its own.
Most of the time supportive loved ones and time is all it takes for someone’s grief to heal. But for 5% to 10% of individuals time doesn’t help and healing doesn’t occur. Intense prolonged non-healing that lasts for more than 6 months is then likely to continue for years. At this point, deep grief will take a stranglehold on the individual and will interfere with their overall health and wellbeing as well as daily functioning. At this point, the bereavement increases the risk of a number of illnesses and psychological treatment from an accredited psychologist who has a practice speciality in bereavement can make a major major difference. Traditional medication may also help.
Daily symptoms of grief
When someone is still suffering from the daily symptoms of grief on a daily basis they will show certain behaviour. For example, they may have a preoccupation with the person who died on a daily basis. Or they may display acute pain or non-acceptance of the death, for longer than 6 months post the person dying. This is called complicated grief. This is a complication and extenuation of grief. In this instance grief treatment from psychologists who understand the mental effects of grief is necessary. And can be life saving. This specialist treatment from counsellors can help bring someone back from their bereavement. This will assist them in progressing forward having gained the support they need for healing to occur.
In one study of complicated grief, a specific form of psychotherapy can be curative. Some medication can help and may help in combination with the counselling and psychotherapy. There is work ongoing at the moment to look at the specific combinations of medication and psychotherapy.
If you would like to know more about these studies and how medical research into counselling psychology is supporting them, please feel free to watch this video.
Imagine sitting in traffic and you’re late for an important meeting, or for picking the kids up from school. How stressed does that make you feel? These are the effects of stress on health.
The fact that it makes you feel anything means that stress has an emotional effect on your health. Anything which affects our body, either positively or negatively and whether that be mental or physical, has a serious longer term impact on our health.
So, by default, the way you react is the short term impact of stress on your health.
Subtle changes over time
Underneath all that panic there’s a subtle change going on to how your body processes all this stressful information. Your physical body is adapting to your increased mental pressure and turning stress into a more negative, chronic problem. You’re sweating to cool down on the off chance you may need to run, because back in the old caveman days, when we’re under stress we needed to run. Our bodies haven’t got over that yet, and so that’s also why our heart rate increases because we may need the extra blood and oxygen to make that run for it.
So, this is the long term affect the stress of repeatedly being stuck in a traffic jam can have. Day after day that sustained peaks in stress takes its toll on our heart and our health, because our system is overworking meaning it doesn’t now have enough energy left to keep us properly healthy.
Big changes and by then it’s often too late
Compound that little health issue with additional mental stresses that we all take for granted as being part of a busy life (picking up the kids, preparing food, holding down a job etc), and you’re now starting to see how easily stress can built up and the impact it very quickly takes on our health.
By utilising our energy to deal with stress, we’re taking from the available resource that we would use to function normally. This is when our body then starts to not have enough resource left to fix itself properly. So, we might get headaches from tension, our fight or flight response doesn’t know when to shut off so we don’t sleep at night and often times we are depressed.
Compound effects of stress
And so the story continues to compound as our body is now not only dealing with stress and a base level of anxiety, but also the triggers.
We’re busy so we forget to drink enough. And because our body needs water to filter out toxins, the situation worsens further. The whole thing turns into a self fulfilling prophecy.
Fertility and stress
The first physical thing to suffer usually is our fertility because this isn’t critical to keeping us alive. So, our sex drive will drop, we’ll miss periods and men will suffer symptoms of erectile dysfunction.
Over time, the problems of stress on health are unimaginable as cells don’t have the resource or the necessary sleep time to reproduce effectively. Malformed cell over the longer term become disease.
Our clients scoff at us when we tell them that stress is the root of all evil, and while that may be a tad on the dramatic side, hopefully you can now see how there are valid points to be made about reducing the impact stress has on our health. And if we can’t, then at least managing the effects it has on our body.
Reflexology is a great way to improve our immune system and reduce the way our mind overworks, thus reducing stress levels. A bit of self care goes a long way when we’re trying to combat the way stressors which make us jump to conclusions about events that are not actually as harmful as we perceive. Within a few reflexology sessions you’ll be able to see life from a more understanding perspective. Once you do this, stress disorders that you’ve been living with usually start to clear up on their own as your fight or flight reactions dull in line with the more relaxed approach you’ve now adopted to life.
Want to know how to increase the odds of getting pregnant? I watch women every day of the week who are spending thousands, literally thousands of pounds at a time on IVF and other similar treatments to improve their fertility and thus chances of a successful conception.
And I’ve helped these ladies. Not just with their body, because although physical balance and a healthy lifestyle is important when you’re looking to increase your odds of getting pregnant, our wellbeing is made up of our mind as well as our body. We are physical and emotional beings. In the quest to improve our likelihood of getting pregnant, many women throw money at the problem and forget that they are human. And this affects our chances of getting and staying pregnant.
When I first started the process of helping ladies to get pregnant, I would repeatedly ask myself “What’s the difference?” between those who are successful with their fertility and IVF journey and those who hinder their own chance of becoming pregnant.
The answer is the same every time.
So, here’s how to increase the odds of getting pregnant.
We have nurtured the mentality of those who cannot enjoy pregnancy in order to move forward with a unique approach. We have consciously decided to abandon the statistics, the odds and the past so that we can have the present and the future we want.
I work with the ladies who are 42 years old and can’t find a scrap of miracle “evidence”. And we work to create that feeling of positive optimism. That anything is possible if we at least have some of the tools. Our body is wonderful at listening and providing what we want, we’ve all heard about the people who beat the odds with strength of character alone when they’re diagnosed with terminal illnesses. They’re not willing to give up. So why should we? But we need to do it in the right way. And this is the key that will unlock your door to increase your chances of getting pregnant.
It is important that we are all willing to accept our situation now. This is the starting point, the place where we take stock and accept where we are moving forward from as we move towards the iron will of someone who wants to increase the likelihood and chances of conceiving.
But, we can not strangle our body’s free will with the force of our need to improve our odds of conception. This is a finely balanced wheel that we are turning and our journey is slow and methodical. Well, it appears it at the time, we can work together for a year before we start to see our odds of conceiving improve. But, when we get there, we arrive at our destination a changed person. The lessons we learn on this journey to increase the odds of getting pregnant will help us for the rest of our lives.
By releasing unwavering confidence, certainty and undisguised joy in our lives, we find our missing link.
You do not have to be perfect in almost constant happiness within your home life. You just need to be on board and work with me.
It simply boils down to your answer to this question:
Will you live on the odds or challenge them?
Take a second to think about this.
Will you be trapped by the “traditional wisdom” that others (including so-called “experts”) think you might be on this journey?
What if rejection which is limited to probabilities gives you the freedom to own what you want?
If you want to succeed on this journey to improve your chance of getting pregnant, you must have their mentality.
My ladies don’t know what’s strange. They understand how your mentality increases the chances of pregnancy. They refuse to let past or present circumstances determine their future, and therefore:
* They become mothers — decide you’ll be one of them.
* Change your mentality, change your results.
Are you interested? Here’s an exercise to take this to the next level…
Will you live with the odds being stacked against you or will you disobey them?
On this trip, you can easily say the right words, batten down the hatches with that steely determination. But to really fly free of negative odds, you must believe in your heart. It’s not enough to tell yourself. And this is where I can help. If you are prepared to believe that you can improve your odds with a full heart, I will get you to a state where you ignore the odds. Because there is always an exception.
When was the last time you made a decision from your heart, not some calculations that made you feel the illusion of control?
I’ll work with you using reflexology for fertility to balance your body. At the same time your mind will calm. We will use a variety of techniques to help your mental clarity relax and therefore over a sustained period of time improve your chances of conception. And you know what, you’ll probably never use an ovulation stick again. The day of ovulation is important still, but you’ll learn with me that it’s not the most important thing. Your likelihood of becoming pregnant will improve as you learn ways to increase your fertility by ignoring it.
How many times have you been told, ‘relax, it will happen’? I’ll get you there with easy steps to boost your fertility. We’re not going to run around every health food shop in the town trying to get weird roots that boost your chances of conceiving. We’re going to give you things you can do to increase your conception chances that are fun. That will bring joy into your lives. As a couple. And all the while, I’ll be working your feet with reflexology techniques that have been shown to increase your physical fertility and therefore may boost your odds when trying to conceive.
I won’t guarantee that you’ll be pregnant within a certain period of time. But, what I will do is give you everything I know. I will work with you and your personal fertility journey and if you commit to come and see me regularly within a year we’ll have figured out the best way to increase the odds of pregnancy and you’ll be able to pregnant faster.
I get asked if it has to take a year. Not at all. I’m just trying to set realistic expectations. There’s no point embarking on this journey and then losing the momentus half way through. Be prepared for the long haul and then if your chances of becoming pregnant improve faster that’s great. I have had many women over the ten years that I have been doing this who get pregnant within a few short months. But, prepare for a longer time and you won’t be disappointed.
So, to increase your chances of conceiving and successfully carrying your child full term, in the first instance, drop me a text on 07757 946023 and let’s start working out what’s the best course to improve your fertility and increase the likelihood of becoming pregnant.
First, though, some background, what is conception?
Fertilisation happens when an egg from a female and the sperm from a male meet. This combined force is what produces an embryo. Conception is when that embryo implants in the lining of your uterus. This is how couples can be fertile, having sex at the right time, but still struggling to conceive.
Throughout the female menstrual cycle which lasts roughly a month. Day one is when you start your period with bright red bleeding. Everyone’s cycle is slightly different. This is because we have different hormones that release at different levels.
This provides unique chemical combinations in our body that stimulates different hormonal activities. Some women find it useful to keep a calendar tracking things such as temperature to see which week and day they are likely to ovulate. The problem with this is that this quickly adds to an obsession around periods and conceiving a baby.
This adds to stress which we’ll cover below.
At the point of ovulation, we are looking for a peak in LH (Lutenising hormone) and Oestrogen. Just after this, progesterone rises.
These hormones produce different effects in our body. At Essential Feeling, we then work with you to make sure you have all of the tools to spot your bodies inbuilt ovulation calculator by reading the signs that your body gives you.
In fertility reflexology we talk about balancing hormones. This means we concentrate on balancing your body as much as possible so your hormones peak and trough as required to conception to take place.
Determining the day of ovulation from your internal ovulation calculator
Watching out for secretions of mucus from your cervix can be the most accurate way of establishing your own ovulation calculator. Once it is prevalent, it goes through a process that you should try and monitor.
1. Scant, sticky and pasty
2. White, sticky, gluey and elastic
3. Cloudy, stretchy, more abundant and also wetter
4. Clear, stretchy, profuse and slippery
By tracking this (see videos below too), you’ll be able to make use of your own built in internal ovulation calculator which will give you the clearest sign of what is going on in your body.
The last stage, stage 4, when your mucus is clear, stretch, profuse and slippery is when you are ovulating. If you’re not getting the above maybe you’re not ovulating. If this is the case we have lots of experience of bringing about more regular ovulation with fertility reflexology.
However, remember, that you need to look out for all the stages in your ovulation calculator so you’re ready. Sperm lasts for up to 7 days in your fallopian tube depending on it’s quality. Therefore, you need to be building up sexual intercourse during the stages so that you have the maximum amount of living sperm ready to fertilise your egg.
Your natural ovulation calculator will tell you when it’s time to work on things. You need not go mad, and particularly remember, there is no benefit to having sexual intercourse more than once a day as at this rate the sperm can’t reproduce enough.
Trust your natural ovulation calculator and you can take it easier, thus reducing stress and again aiding your chances of getting pregnant.
However, it’s important to note that an ovulation calculator is not the be all and end all.
NICE guidelines state the following and it’s worth bearing this in mind:
“People who are concerned about their fertility should be informed that sexual intercourse every 2 to 3 days optimises the chance of pregnancy. Timing intercourse to coincide with ovulation causes stress and is not recommended”.
I’m using the ovulation calculator technique above and I’m still not getting pregnant?
This can happen for many reasons; the ovulation calculator is one tool amidst many things that need to coincide to make pregnancy happen. The thing is though, without getting this bit right, it won’t happen and we can work on the rest with fertility reflexology for men and for women, nutrition advice, dealing with stress and many other lifestyle factors.
When a man’s sperm meets the woman’s egg you’re in the process of getting pregnant. However, this sperm has to actually fertilise the egg for a successful pregnancy which it does by breaking through the membrane of the egg. To do this, the sperm and egg need to meet at the right time and the sperm needs to be of the right shape to get in through the wall of the female’s egg.
Getting pregnant is not as easy as we’d like to think.
This can be a complicated process based on so many lifestyle factors and whilst the figures say that 80% to 90% of people that are trying to get pregnant do so successfully within 1 year, this firstly is still a long time to wait and secondly, there’s still 10% minimum that are still trying to get pregnant after that first long year.
At Essential Feeling we’re specialists in the art of getting pregnant and we can help make this process as easy as possible for you.
What is the menstrual cycle?
The menstrual cycle starts at day 1 on the first day of the ladies period. Before her next period, she will usually ovulate although it lengthens the whole process of getting pregnant further when you learn that we don’t always ovulate every month. However, assuming you are ovulating, you will do so roughly around day 12 to 14 based on your cycle being 28 days. This is the basics of an ovulation calculator, read more here. However, we need to factor in the idiosyncrasies of your particular cycle if we’re going to be as accurate as possible.
This point of ovulation is where the ladies egg is released and therefore available for the male sperm to try and get inside and so this is why so many ladies become so obsessed with the menstrual cycle when they’re trying to get pregnant. If the sperm and egg are not in the same place at the same time then there is no chance of getting pregnant.
Hormones are the control centre for pretty much everything our bodies do including getting pregnant.
So they will tell your body that you need to ovulate this month. They will tell the male sperm how it should grow and ensure it’s robust enough to reach the egg. And to stay alive for long enough to meet it.
Once there, the sperm needs to be the right shape to have the necessary equipment to break through its membrane.
Both male and female hormones
To do this, both male and female hormones need to be as balanced as possible. By balancing your hormones we ensure your body is operating to maximum effectiveness giving you the maximum chance of getting pregnant.
How can Essential Feeling help me with getting pregnant?
We work with specialist fertility reflexology techniques to make sure that your body and particularly your endocrine system (hormonal system) is working optimally. We can combine that with fertility massage to make sure that any of the areas that may be physically causing problems with getting pregnant are given direct work to keep toxins out of the way and muscles and nerve messages free.
It is important for men to be balanced and in good shape as well. Read information here on male infertility and how we can help.
Nutrition is important
We then combine this with our experience in nutrition as we’re qualified nutritionists. Specific foods eaten at certain times of the month will help you with getting pregnant. And then keeping that pregnancy going forward.
We work with your lifestyle choices and advise on what changes you can make within what is possible for you. This can be dramatic or small changes, we look to make the most effect without causing any stress.
Don’t underestimate stress
And finally on the note of stress, we massively help you with dealing with all stress, this can be general lifestyle related or very often the stress related to getting pregnant. Trained in counselling we’ll make sure you have the skills you need to carry on a full life. Going through the often traumatic and secluded experience of getting pregnant doesn’t have to be isolating. Not with us.
Our clients often ask us for some tips for getting pregnant. This is easy as there are so many. The problem is, choosing the right ones for you.
As there are so many tips for getting pregnant, its nigh on impossible to live a stress free life if you’re implementing everything. At Essential Feeling, we’ll combine giving you the best advice for your lifestyle with fertility reflexology and counselling and our experience shows not only success in getting pregnant, but also way more balanced and happy clients.
In the interim though, below are some tips for getting pregnant. These tips for getting pregnant concentrate on balancing hormones which is important for both men and women.
There are so many tips for getting pregnant linked to other parts of your health that we thought rather than overload you this hormone based guide would be a good start.
Your body needs sleep to balance hormones. Use guided meditation if struggling to sleep – YouTube has some good ones
Magnesium aids sleep, you can buy supplements
Light cardio exercise e.g. yoga in the evening. Too much cardio can cause overproduction of some hormones, so stick to gentle cardio only for the purpose of getting pregnant.
Weights in short bursts are excellent
e.g. Kettlebells, Deadlifts, Squats and lunges
5 – 7 reps of a weight that really pushes you. Watch your form, a personal training session just as a 1 off is invaluable to make sure you don’t cause yourself some damage by doing things in the wrong way.
Get outside during the day to improve your intake of Vitamin D from the sun. 20 mins is ideal.
Try to space meals 4 hours apart and 4 hours before bed to give your liver a break. This includes calorific drinks, water and herbal teas are fine.
We know there are a lot of tips for getting pregnant there and like we say that are just a taster for balancing hormones which is just one factor in getting pregnant.
The trick with looking at tips for getting pregnant is to make sure that you work with the ones that are relevant to your situation and will fit in to your lifestyle with the minimum amount of stress. It’s also about combining everything in to a lifestyle change, not a fad that creates stress.
When it comes to the support and management of patients with other long term conditions there have been studies on reflexology for MS (Multiple Sclerosis), Parkinson’s disease (PD) and Dementia.
The studies in Reflexology for MS show reflexology resulted in an improvement of various symptoms of MS to a statistically significant level.
No improvement was seen in the control group.
Reflexology improves spasticity in multiple sclerosis patients
Extraordinarily, the statistical improvement in spasticity (which is the continual contraction of muscles causing stiffness) and the statistically borderline improvement in muscle strength together are remarkable, as the standard drug intervention for spasticity normally results in muscle weakness with its inherent problems. The treatment of was safe with no adverse effects noted. Several other studies have agreed the beneficial effect of reflexology in this group of patients.
In Parkinson’s disease, the results suggest that during the therapy stage the specific outcome measure indicated improvement across all dimensions with the exception of communication which stayed the same. This could suggest that although benefits were not sustained with cessation of treatment, extended (and perhaps more frequent) treatments might continue to benefit and improve the well-being of people with Parkinson’s disease
Dementia is a costly long term condition which requires specialist care. When mild to moderate dementia patients received reflexology, as compared to a massage control, the residents demonstrated significant reduction in observed pain and salivary alpha-amylase.
This study provides preliminary support for the efficacy of reflexology as a treatment of stress in nursing home residents. There has even been a study of reflexology on anxiety and sedation needs of patients in the ICU and reflexology was shown to greatly reduce the physiological signs of anxiety even under medical sedation, which suggests its effect is more than placebo. 
 Reflexology treatment relieves symptoms of multiple sclerosis: a randomised controlled study MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS Siev-Ner I, Gamus D, Lerner Geva L, Achiron A.2003 VOL 9 PART 4 pages 356-361
 Can reflexology maintain or improve the well-being of people with Parkinson’s Disease? Johns C, Blake D, and Sinclair A Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice.2010 VOL 16; NUMBER 2, page(s) 96-100
 The clinical efficacy of reflexology in nursing home residents with dementia. Hodgson NA, Andersen S. Center for Applied Research on Aging and Health, Thomas Jefferson University Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
 Reflexology: its effects on physiological anxiety signs and sedation needs. Akin Korhan E, Khorshid L, Uyar M. Holist Nurs Pract. 2014 Jan-Feb;28(1):6-23.
More than one study shows reflexology for pain is helpful
When reviewing the pain in cancer arena, there have been several studies that suggest that there is a place for reflexology in the care pathway. A study by Stephenson in the USA in the difficult to treat group of metastatic cancer showed an ‘immediate positive effect of reflexology for patients with metastatic cancer who report pain’.
A second study from America on post-operative pain and anxiety amongst patients with digestive cancer showed that together with standard postoperative analgesia, compared to a control of usual pain management, the reflexology group showed statistically less pain, anxiety and requirement for analgesia than the control group.
When we look at pain outside of the cancer field, a recent exploratory study of reflexology with pain threshold and tolerance compared a sham TENS machine treatment as the control to reflexology in an ice bath pain experiment. The results showed that the reflexology treatments significantly increased pain tolerance at 60 minutes, 90 minutes, and 120 minutes. There was a reduction in heart rate over the first 60 minutes too, indicating that the results may be due to an anti-nociceptive effect. ‘These results suggest the possibility that reflexology may be useful on its own or as an adjunct to medication in the treatment of pain conditions in man’.
Issues regarding pain
One of the issues regarding pain is that it can result in the long term use of medication, of both over the counter painkillers (OTC) and prescription only medication (POM). Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories have potential to cause stomach ulcers, kidney disorders and even liver failure and act additively when used concomitantly with other common drugs. Even multiple doses of Paracetamol and/ or the prophylactic medicines can produce drug induced refractory headaches. Reflexology for pain can improve this.
Another study for menstrual pain
In a small study of students with dysmenorrhea a comparison was made to Ibuprofen. The Ibuprofen was prescribed 400mg every 8 hours over 3 days for three cycles. The reflexology group received 10 treatments over the first 2 cycles, but no treatment during the third cycle. Reflexology was associated with a greater reduction of menstrual pain duration and intensity across all three cycles as compared to the Ibuprofen treated group.
Reflexology and migraines
Published studies of reflexology indicate that it aids with Migraines. Lafuenta et al compared reflexology to Flunarizine, a drug often used in the treatment of headache. 32 patients with a variety of headaches including Migraines were randomised into two groups, one received reflexology and a placebo tablet, while the other received Flunarizine and an unspecific friction massage of the arms to control for human contact. The frequency and pain intensity was measured and the results show that the reflexology was at least as effective as the Flunarizine which could be particularly useful where pharmacological intervention is contraindicated.
In a study comparing reflexology to segmental massage in females with Migraine Wojciech et al looked at the frequency, intensity and duration of Migraine attacks. All variables were reduced at the end of the intervention with both therapies. At three months post intervention, the variables were both still improved with both therapies, however, if the Friedman test is applied the results were much more favourable to the reflexology group.
Angina and heart failure
Finally, a study was carried out on Migraines induced by nitroglycerin which is used in the treatment of acute and chronic angina and congestive heart failure. Reflexology was applied to the big toes, which under reflexology theory is representative of the head; compared to application of pressure to another irrelevant part of the heel or no treatment at all as a control.
This study was on all males which is unusual for Migraine research but which is reflected the original presenting condition of angina and congestive heart failure. The results showed a highly statistical difference for the reflexology group (p=0.000) using the numeric rating scale for pain as compared to the other two groups.
Effects of Reflexotherapy on Acute Postoperative Pain and Anxiety Among Patients With Digestive Cancer Shiow-Luan Tsay, Hsiao-Ling Chen, Su-Chiu Chen, Hung-Ru Lin, Kuan-Chia Lin Cancer Nursing Vol. 31, No. 2, 2008
 Exploratory study on the efficacy of reflexology for pain threshold and tolerance using an ice-pain experiment and sham TENS control Carol A. Samuel Ivor S. Ebenezer, Complementary Therapies in Clinical PracticeVolume 19, Issue 2 , Pages 57-62, May 2013
 Analgesic, antiulcer, antithrombotic drugs and organ damage: a population-based case-control study. Battelli D1, Riccardi R, Piscaglia AC, Stefanelli ML, Mussoni L, Zani A, Vitale V, Monachese N. Minerva Med. 2015 Dec;106(6):323-31.
 Comparing the effects of reflexology methods and Ibuprofen administration on dysmenorrhea in female students of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences. Valiani M, Babaei E, Heshmat R, Zare Z.Iran J Nurs Midwifery Res. 2010 Dec;15(Suppl 1):371-8.
 Reflexology for pain in comparison to prophylactic flunarizine treatment (powerful migraine medication) on patients suffering from cephalalgia (permanent) headache. Lafuente A., Noguera M., Puy C., Molins A., Titus F. and Sanz F. Dr. Annemarie Kesselring, SBK, Institut fur Pflegeforschung, Bern.
 Effects of feet reflexology versus segmental massage in reducing pain and its intensity, frequency and duration of the attacks in females with migraine: a pilot study. Wojciech K, Pawel L, Halina RZ.J Tradit Chin Med. 2017 Apr;37(2):214-9.
 Effect of applying reflexology massage on nitroglycerin-induced migraine-type headache: A placebo-controlled clinical trial. Imani N, Shams SA, Radfar M, Ghavami H1, Khalkhali HR.Agri. 2018 Jul;30(3):116-122.
In the field of Reflexology for cancer patients and cancer care, in 2009 62% of cancer units in the UK provided reflexology and it was second only to counselling. This vulnerable and very unwell group have nothing but good things to say about reflexology massage cancer care, with the only complaint being lack of availability of appointments:
‘The improvement in my lower back pain has been staggering’
‘My sleep has improved and I feel relaxed and content’
‘I found having treatments helped me focus and be more positive and able to deal with incidents that made me feel fragile.’
When Reflexology for cancer patients was evaluated in a busy London hospital there was a 28% change in perceived well-being. 
‘Patients appear to perceive complementary therapies as enhancing compassionate care and providing comfort during an extremely difficult clinical experience.’
Even in a palliative care setting all participants in the Reflexology for cancer patients felt their quality of life had improved and words such as relaxed and comforted were used while symptoms were reduced. 
When considering mental health, a study of reflexology on the psychological effect of having breast cancer resulted in a statistical improvement in quality of life even at one month after the completion of the intervention. This difference was to a level that was calculated as being clinically worthwhile. While a small cross over trial (the patients were their own control) from America in lung and breast cancer patients showed that both groups of patients in the Reflexology for cancer patients study had a significant decrease in anxiety after reflexology.
 Availability of complementary and alternative medicine for people with cancer in the British National Health Service: results of a national survey. Egan B1, Gage H, Hood J, Poole K, McDowell C, Maguire G, Storey L. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2012 May;18(2):75-80
 Effects of complementary therapies in cancer care. Briscoe J, Browne N (2013) Nursing Times; 109: 41, 18-20.
 Does reflexology impact on cancer patients’ quality of life? Hodgson H. Nurs Stand. 2000 Apr 19-25;14(31):33-8.
A randomised, controlled trial of the psychological effects of reflexology in early breast cancer. Sharp DM1, Walker MB, Chaturvedi A, Upadhyay S, Hamid A, Walker AA, Bateman JS, Braid F, Ellwood K, Hebblewhite C, Hope T, Lines M, Walker LG. Eur J Cancer. 2010 Jan;46(2):312-22.
 The Effects of Foot Reflexology on Anxiety and Pain in Patients With Breast and Lung Cancer ONCOLOGY NURSING FORUM Stephenson, N. L. Weinrich, S. P. Tavakolil, A. S. 2000 VOL 27; PART 1 , page(s) 67-76
Whenever reflexology is mentioned within a clinical setting the question that always arises is where’s the evidence? If only large randomised trials are used to make science based medicine decisions then it is absolutely accepted that reflexology does not have that level of evidence. But the original Sackett definition of evidence based medicine (EBM) is:
‘the conscientious, explicit and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of the individual patient. It means integrating individual clinical expertise with the best available external clinical evidence from systematic research.’ 
This definition actually does not define EBM as only requiring large Randomised Controlled Trials but more that the best research available together with a clinical decision should be brought into the decision making process for individual patient care. The clinical expertise originates with the health professionals involved but the patient also brings with them personal preferences and expectations that are involved in the decision-making process. It further goes on to say, that the evidence by itself, does not make the decision, but it can help support the patient care process.
The full integration of these three components into clinical decisions enhances the opportunity for optimal clinical outcomes and quality of life. EBM actually melds very well with the NHS England ‘Putting patients first’ policy, that not only should the best decision be made for that individual patient but that they themselves should be involved in the making of that decision.
With this in mind, while the best evidence about Reflexology science based medicine is not a large and comprehensive collection of research studies, neither is reflexology solely specific to one medical condition.
The very nature of reflexology as a complementary therapy means it is not condition limited, it can be used across many areas where patients are feeling stressed, anxious or in pain and/ or need a boost to their quality of life and wellbeing. This lack of specificity does not bode well for research meta-analyses, and when meta-analysis for complementary therapies is undertaken it usually results in a negative outcome. This does not necessarily mean that reflexology has no worth but rather that its action is too heterogeneous to be successfully analysed using this system.
If, however, the existing best evidence; that of the separate research studies are taken into account, then it can be seen that there is potential in this low cost, supportive therapy. Potential that could help care for patients in a way that perhaps is missing from the present-day NHS.
 Meta-analysis: Its strengths and limitations Esteban Walker, Adrian V. Hernandez, Micheal W. Kattan Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine. 2008 June;75(6):431-439
Long term conditions
Conditions, especially long term ones, can be a complex vortex of illness, pain, anxiety, depression, emotions and needs. Standard medical care does not cope well with complexity as it rather follows straight paths as compared to swirling spirals. There is evidence that people with long term conditions receive poorer quality of care than those with a single condition.
Karen, your MAR reflexologist at Essential Feeling, Romford answers your reflexology based questions so you can find a Certified Reflexologist near me.
If you’re looking for a Certified Reflexologist near me but you’re not sure where to start, then here are a list of the common questions answered. That way you can be sure that when you book with Karen MAR at Essential Feeling Gidea Park, Romford, you’re making the right choice.
1. What qualification in reflexology do you hold, and when did you qualify?
I qualified with the ABC awards which is recognised by the AOR (Association of Reflexology) the professional reflexology association as a quality training. I have a Level 3 Diploma in Reflexology and Anatomy and Physiology.
On top of this, Karen has also continued her professional development and holds many other training certificates in e.g. fertility reflexology, pregnancy reflexology, spinal reflexology, nerve reflexology and cancer care. She is also a certified nutritionist and counsellor.
2. Do you belong to any professional associations?
As noted above, Karen is a member of the AOR. Membership of a reputable professional association such as the Association of Reflexologists is a strong indicator of a continuing commitment to high professional standards. Don’t be afraid to check this association out – they are reputable and have a Code of Practice and Ethics that all members ascribe to, a robust complaints procedure, will require all practitioners to be fully insured and will require all practitioners to continue their learning and professional development throughout their career.
MAR status means Karen has passed a rigorous quality control process before they can even enter membership, and they are required to continue their learning about reflexology throughout their career.
3. Where do you give treatments?
Essential Feeling have treatment rooms at their home address. They are separate to the house in an annex so you won’t have to endure a TV blasting or dogs barking during your session.
We have free off street parking on the drive in allocated parking spaces right outside the entrance to the treatment rooms.
4. How much do you charge for treatments?
All of our sessions at Essential Feeling are the same price. It’s £60 per hour and the minimum time is one hour. We won’t compromise on this, we want to do a great job for you, otherwise it’s our reputation at stake and cutting down the time affects the quality of your outcome.
We work on an appointment basis, from 7am in the morning to 10pm at night, 7 days.
5. How long should I allow for an appointment?
Your slot is one hour and please do check out our policy on this, here.
6. What do I need to bring with me to my appointment?
Nothing, just yourself. It’s easier if you are wearing something that is easy to remove on your feet, but it’s no issue if not. The main thing is to make sure that you return the online consultation form well in advance of your session so that your therapist has the time to give it good consideration before you come along.
7. How firm or gentle are your techniques?
If you have a preference then let us know. It’s no issue to adapt. The pressure we would naturally use will be different depending on why you are coming. If we need to stimulate something, then we’ll use a more firm pressure than if we’re working with you on cancer care.
8. What medium do you use on the feet?
Karen uses a specialist reflexology wax by choice. Please let her know in advance of your session if you have any allergies.
If you’d like to go ahead and book with Karen, a Certified Reflexologist near me in Gidea Park, Romford, you can drop her a text on 07757 946023 or if you’d like more information on the types of reflexology she offers, then more information is here.
Reflexology is a non-invasive complementary health therapy that can be effective in promoting deep relaxation and wellbeing; by reducing stress in people’s lives can be key in optimising good health and building resilience. It is a touch therapy that is based on the theory that different points on the feet, lower leg, hands, face or ears correspond with different areas of the body and reflexologists work these points and areas. At Essential Feeling, Karen specialises in foot reflexology, but also sometimes works on hands instead of or as well as your feet. This is because some conditions are better treated by using different methods.
However reflexology is viewed, there can be no doubt that what it does provide is a period of time for relaxation where the client has one to one attention and supportive touch in an empathetic listening environment. Reflexology can be used safely alongside standard healthcare to promote better health for their clients.
The theory of reflexology is that all the systems and organs of the whole body are mirrored or reflected in smaller peripheral areas, for example the feet, hands, ears and face. These can be seen in relation to the feet by following the link to our interactive reflexology map (right).
Back in the 1920’s investigative studies regarding this concept allowed the first Western reflexology foot map to be produced. Since that time the other anatomical areas have been mapped allowing this model to be applied to the hands, ears and face.
The reflexologist simply works those reflected areas with their sensitive fingers, aiming to bring those areas back to balance and therefore aiding the body to work as well as it can. Reflexology very much works on an individual basis, the reflexologist provides professional facilitation of your body’s own potential for well-being.
While there are few available scientific studies specifically into how reflexology works, there are scientific studies that support the potential positive effects that can be achieved by touch. Essentially, according to the advertising standards council, as a reflexologist, we can only claim the directly proven effects of reflexology. These being listed in the image below.
So how can you claim reflexology helps with all the other health issues?
Because firstly, we’ve worked with clients who we know this has helped, so that’s our personal experience. But, here’s the underlying issues that the ASA can’t support for legal reasons.
When our body undergoes changes, then the knock on effects are massive.
Take the example above of ‘aids sleep.’ This has huge knock on benefits because our body uses the downtime when we’re napping to fix itself. So, all of the stresses and strains of the day that cause a negative imbalance on our system are cleansed while our body has extra energy from not having to move us around.
This benefit is massive. If we’re starting the next day with a ‘fitter’ body then the negative effects of everything else that we load onto our system are so much less impactful.
A brief history of Western reflexology
Whilst the art of reflexology dates back to Ancient Egypt, India and China, this therapy was not introduced to the West until Dr William Fitzgerald developed ‘Zone therapy’ in the early 1900s. He believed that reflex areas on the feet and hands were linked to other areas and organs of the body within the same zone.
In the 1930’s, Eunice Ingham further developed this zone therapy into what is known as reflexology. Her opinion was that congestion or tension in any part of the foot is mirrored in the corresponding part of the body.
Is reflexology suitable for me?
Reflexology is a therapy which can be received by anyone at any age, from newborn babies to those receiving end of life care, and everyone in between. However, there may occasionally be times when it is not suitable to provide a treatment. If you’re in any doubt, give Karen a call or text on 07757 946023 and ask! Please note: reflexology should not be used as an alternative to seeking medical advice.
Will reflexology help me?
Well trained reflexologists do not claim to cure, diagnose or prescribe. Reflexology is a very individual treatment which is tailored to you as a whole person, taking into account both physical and non-physical factors that might be affecting your wellbeing. Some people find it works for them – some don’t. The best way to find out is to try it!
The theory is that reflexology helps the body to restore its balance naturally. Usually, after a treatment your tension may be reduced and you might feel relaxed. You might also notice yourself sleeping better and find your mood and sense of wellbeing improving. You may also find that other aspects improve too; however, this happens on an individual basis.
There have been some positive research projects carried out with reflexology; however, as yet, there is not a large enough body of evidence for us to make clinical claims of effectiveness.
With ever increasing levels of stress in everyday life, it is important for people to take more responsibility for their own healthcare needs. Reflexology may be one of the ways to mitigate the stresses of modern life.
What happens when I go for a treatment?
A full medical history will be requested on your first treatment, and you will be asked to sign a consent form for treatment. This information will be kept confidential. Reflexology is a very easy therapy to receive; depending on the type of reflexology, the most clothing that will have to be removed for a treatment to take place will be your socks and shoes.
The therapist will then use their hands to apply pressure to the feet, lower leg, hands, ears or face, depending on the type of reflexology chosen. You may feel areas of transient discomfort during the treatment, but generally the experience should be relaxing.
The therapist may recommend a course of treatments.
How will I feel after a reflexology treatment?
It is useful to give feedback to the reflexologist as this may show the response of your body to treatment. This in turn might help the reflexologist to tailor a treatment plan specific to your needs. After one or two treatments your body may respond in a very noticeable way. Most people note a sense of well-being and relaxation; however, sometimes people report feeling lethargic, nauseous or tearful, but this is usually transitory and reflexologists believe that it is part of the healing process.
We hope that helps to answer the questions about reflexology and how it works. If you’re interested in booking a session, we’re in Gidea Pak, Romford, Essex. You can text Karen MAR on 07757 946023 or book online.
Living with cancer can be tough. Particularly when you’re suffering with peripheral neurpathy. Reflexology in the management of chemotherapy-induced neuropathy: A pilot randomized controlled trial Author links open overlay panel Seda Kurta Gul Beyaz Canb
• Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) can limit a patient’s quality of life functions.
• Reflexology increases the level of the quality of life functions related to CIPN.
• Reflexology can be recommended to the patients.
The current experimental study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of reflexology on the management of symptoms and functions of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) in cancer patients.
This study was conducted as a randomized controlled trial in 60 patients (30 experimental and 30 control patients) who had chemotherapy-induced Grade II-IV peripheral neuropathy complaints from July 2013 to November 2015. Data were collected using the patient identification form, European Organization for the Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy (EORTC-CIPN-20) form, and BPI (used for related chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy symptoms).
The majority of the patients were being treated for gastrointestinal or breast cancer and were primarily receiving Eloxatine- or taxane-based treatment. It was found that reflexology applications did not lead to differences in either group in terms of peripheral neuropathy severity and incidence (p > 0.05) and only led to improvement in sensory functions in the experimental group (p < 0.05).
It was determined that reflexology is an effective method in the management of patients’ sensory functions related to CIPN.
Elsevier European Journal of Oncology Nursing Volume 32, February 2018, Pages 12-19 European Journal of Oncology Nursing
Looking for reflexology for fertility near me but need some help deciding? Check out this case study
After three years of trying for a second child, Kath and Murray Chapman had almost given up hope.
Doctors had told them Mrs Chapman had a hormone problem which meant fertility treatment would be a waste of time.
But the 40- year-old mother remembered she had read somewhere that reflexology could help with infertility.
With nothing to lose, she had three months of foot massage and, at the end of her course, was delighted to hear that her hormone levels had returned to normal.
She soon became pregnant and gave birth to second son Fraser five months ago. While doctors insist there is nothing to prove the alternative therapy was responsible, she is sure it worked.
Mrs Chapman, who also has a four-year-old son called Jake, said: ‘I am convinced I wouldn’t have become pregnant without the reflexologist’s help. I was absolutely shocked, but obviously delighted, to find I was pregnant after being told we couldn’t have a second child. It’s a dream come true.’
Mrs Chapman, from Deepcar, Sheffield, said she was ‘devastated’ to be told she would never conceive again.
‘I was told that there was no point in attempting IVF treatment because it would be a waste so I would have to resign myself to the fact that we couldn’t have another baby,’ she added. A hormone test – which indicates if a woman is entering the menopause – showed levels were too high, suggesting her ovaries had stopped producing enough oestrogen, which controls the reproductive cycle.
To become pregnant, a woman needs a hormone rating of ten or below but Mrs Chapman’s was above 25. Following reflexology, however, it dropped to below eight.
‘ I told the doctors about the reflexology but they dismissed it and just said it was possible that hormone levels can drop when you become more relaxed and less anxious.
‘The effect of the reflexology was amazing. It seemed to relax me so much. I became pregnant quite quickly and everything went smoothly. The doctors never admitted that the reflexology had anything to do with it but I have no doubt at all.’
Mr Chapman, who runs a catering recruitment business with his wife, said: ‘We’re just delighted now the family is complete.’ Reflexologist Sue Calvert said: ‘The technique works on pressure points on the feet which correspond to different parts of the body. Massaging these areas helps to restore balance to the body.’
There is little accepted medical evidence to back up Reflexologists’ claims. One trial in Denmark examined 108 women with an average age of 30 who had been trying to conceive for up to seven years. Many dropped out of the trial, but 19 of the remaining 61 conceived within six months of completing the treatment.
Polly Hall, of the Association of Reflexologists, said last night: ‘ Doctors would say that reflexology had nothing to do with this.
‘We don’t make any claims to cure any conditions but we have anecdotal evidence that reflexology can help with infertility problems and bring the body back into balance.’
The client in this fertility research was 26 years old, had 2 children & wanted another baby. She was slightly underweight had little energy, did not drink alcohol & was trying to stop smoking.
The client presented with a menstrual cycle of 19 days, having not ovulated for 4 months. She was anaemic due to menorrhagia & dysmenorrhoea, a severe 8 day bleed with constant severe cramping pain. Her menstrual cycle until 4 months previously was 24 days with a 6 day normal bleed.
Medical investigations had found nothing physically wrong and she had been offered a hysterectomy if things did not improve. She was taking Agnes Castes on days 1 – 14 as she’d been told this may help.
A course of reflexology was agreed for this fertility research study; one reflexology session per week over two menstrual cycles followed by 2 reflexology sessions per month. This was intended to lengthen the client’s menstrual cycle to encourage ovulation with a view to becoming pregnant.
The reflexology treatment protocol used in this fertility research
By her 3rd week of reflexology treatment, the client had started her period; however, she had no severe stomach cramps.
By reflexology session 4 the client had decided to stop taking Agnes Castes to see what effect it will have.
During her next period which started on day 26, it lasted for 6 days, it was less heavy & she only had stomach cramps on day one. Although still feeling tired, the client was now no longer anaemic.
On reflexology session 10 the client had her next period, this started on day 27, lasted for 6 days with no pain; normal flow for the first 3 days & then very light.
In her next reflexology session, 12 weeks in to her treatment she detected ovulation on day 13. She had done 2 positive pregnancy tests, had fatigue and felt a ‘cramping’ in her belly – a sensation experienced with her last pregnancy. She had morning sickness, aching breasts, lack of appetite & was eating fish, something she usually hates.
Outcome of the fertility research study
This fertility research study proved that after reflexology session 12 the client felt she had successfully reached her goal of pregnancy. She carried full term & gave birth to a healthy baby girl.
Fertility research paper written by Christine Richards in June 2010 edition of Association of Reflexologists magazine Understanding why reflexology may help you get pregnant.
Causes of imbalances in your body
There are a number of typical problems which can cause imbalances in the body. These imbalances can then disrupt fertility. Before we discuss how reflexology can help fertility, it is important to understand some of the more common problems:
*Stress related problems such as excessive worrying, or pressure at home or work. This doesn’t necessarily have to mean you are worrying about getting pregnant as any stress can severely disrupt your body’s ability to function properly. This can be just as important for men as well as women who are trying to conceive.
*PMS (pre menstrual syndrome) in a similar way to stress negatively affecting the body’s ability to operate from a balanced base, symptoms of PMS including being over tense, mood swings and various physical symptoms can really have an effect on your fertility levels.
*Problems with your menstrual cycle such as irregular or heavy periods or simply not ovulating make it very difficult for your body to be able to function as intended as it is dealing with more than it is often able at the sensitive time of trying to conceive.
*Adhesions (scar tissue) such as following surgery or combined with menstrual problems.
*Hormonal imbalances of oestrogen/progesterone will mean that the wall of your uterus is not building up as your body anticipates and therefore not providing the correct bedding for your egg.
*Poly cystic ovaries is a complex condition by which small cysts form on the ovaries form due to a hormone imbalance.
*Cervical problems a hormone imbalance may cause a thick cervical mucus that blocks your partners sperm as they travel along your reproductive tract.
*Blocked or damaged fallopian tubes tubes which have narrowed or are blocked as a result of scarring from infection, endometriosis, or an ectopic pregnancy may sometimes prevent fertilisation in the uterus.
*Endometriosis whereby sections of your uterine lining move through your fallopian tubes to other parts of your pelvic cavity. These fragments can bleed and cause pain during menstruation.
*Pelvic inflammatory disease is an infection of the female reproductive tract. e.g. cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries can all become inflamed.
The role of reflexology
Reflexology is very successful at relaxing the body and allowing it to re-balance by removing blockages that create a barrier to the successful elimination of toxins. In so doing, your body may then be enabled in operating at ‘full throttle’. The need for your body to spend its time, effort and energy working around problems such as those above may be removed through regular and sustained reflexology treatments. This then allows your body to get on with what it hasn’t had the capacity to do before.
Does this work for men as well as women?
Yes. The fundamental problems associated with the body being imbalanced are the same for men as they are for women. It is these imbalances that somewhere along the line create difficulties in conceiving and reflexology is therefore just as effective on a male as it is on a female.
If you’re looking for the best reflexology near me and you’re based in Essex then you should consider Karen Botha, a highly rated reflexologist who runs the Essential Feeling studio in Gidea Park, near Romford with her husband who is a massage therapist.
The husband and wife holistic therapy team enjoy a great track record with both massage and reflexology services sporting fabulous online reviews. Karen is a member of the Association of Reflexologists and has been practising professionally since 2011.
Unlike many reflexologists in the area, Karen is a full time reflexologist and so not only does she have the qualifications and years of experience, but she also has seen a lot of clients over those years which has given her a wealth of therapy and wellness experience which have compounded her learning.
Experience and intuition as well as training
There is no acupressure point on the foot that Karen does not understand and know how to use to treat various conditions and diseases with reflexology. She is qualified in anatomy and physiology and understands how the different reflex points on your feet (which are used in the ancient art of reflexology) fit with conditions of the human body and then how to use these to deal with any number of varied illnesses and diseases.
Wide range of appointment slots
Karen is available for appointments 7 days a week and as long as you book in advance, her first appointment is at 7am in the morning meaning that you can come before work.
If you prefer to relax in the evenings then that’s fine too because her last appointment is 9pm for a 10pm finish giving you plenty of slots within which to visit.
Last minute appointments available
What’s more, unlike many people who offer reflexology in and near Romford, Karen is happy to take last minute appointments — before becoming a reflexologist, Karen used to work in the city, so she understands the demands that a busy schedule can place on booking therapies.
Karen specialises in a number of wellness issues linked the human body. She works to heal these through using pressure points on your feet. The types of issues she commonly deals with range from fertility (and pregnancy), depression and anxiety ranging up to issues such as insomnia. There is one common factor at the root of all theses issues, stress. Something which is pretty impossible to separate from our busy working lives nowadays.
What is reflexology helpful for?
Reflexology is also great for reducing inflammation. Some of the treatments e.g. fertility work alongside this benefit. So, if for instance you’re suffering with endometriosis, then acupressure points will help to relieve the pain of this. But, it’s also great if you have other health complaints which are causing you deep rooted pain. For instance, if you’re suffering with chronic back ache then reflexology is truly amazing at helping, often where traditional medicine isn’t.
All this just from the sole of your foot!
Counselling thrown in. If you want it!
Karen works with fertility/ infertility which in turn leads to her working with a lot of clients suffering with signs of stress/ depression. This led her to go and qualify in counselling, and so today she is also a certified counsellor.
This doesn’t mean that you need to worry about opening up if you’re not feeling it. Karen firmly believes that the hour you set aside for your reflexology is yours to do with as you choose. If you want to use that hour purely for relaxation, that’s totally fine.
If you decide that as part of your reflexology session you’d like a private outlet. A place where you can vent your hurt and frustrations without the risk of causing shock or offence. Karen is there for you. She’ll listen with a sympathetic ear and then help you find a way to make yourself feel better. She’s all about self healing and taking back control. Sometimes it’s easier for an outsider, removed from our personal situation, to spot a simple solution. Internally we are often drowning in confusion.
Looking forward to hearing from you
In terms of visiting Karen, you’ll find she has the best online reviews which you can check on Google and Facebook and then if you’d like to make an appointment to start your healing process while taking the opportunity to relax, please text her on 07757 946023 detailing the following:
When you’d like to book (date and time ideally)
The reason you want to book reflexology
She’ll then check her calendar and come back to you with her closest available slot.
If you’re dealing with hot flashes it can be uncomfortable, not to say inconvenient. Below is some research to show how complementary therapies such as reflexology can help to improve the side effects of this hormonal imbalance and thus improve the quality of your life.
Dr. Emad Tukmachi MBChB recently published a research paper to treating hot flushes in breast cancer sufferers with complementary therapies such as reflexology and body massage which work alongside Western remedies.
He covered a number of things that can aid treatment and symptoms of hot flushes in breast cancer sufferers, because amongst other symptoms, these flushes can often be more severe in women who have been treated for breast cancer compared with healthy women, they have hot flushes twice as often and for longer periods of time. As do men who have been treated for prostate cancer.
Factors in hot flashes
Dr Tukmachi also listed a number of factors that precipitate hot flushes:
*lack of fitness/ exercise
*an unhealthy diet.
Options for dealing with hot flushes
As far as assisting Western medicine, Dr Tukmachi recommended a number of options which had one of two common threads:
* Re-introducing homeostasis to the body (re-balancing) as we do with reflexology. The regulation of body temperature is geared to delicately balanced homeostatic mechanisms, mediated either through the nervous system or by chemical transmitters. Generally, homeostasis is maintained by the balanced activity of the autonomic nervous system and also by the endocrine system. Reflexology is well known for re-establishing homeostasis in the body.
* Relaxing the patient so their body has every chance of fixing itself. Therefore, patients have several choices of methods used in relaxation. Dr Tukmachi listed, Acupressure, the Alexander technique, Body Massage, Reflexology, Shiatsu and Yoga.
Paper written by Dr. Emad Tukmachi MBChB, DTM(Dublin), PhD(London), MD(MA)