Endometriosis

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
*Your bowel
*Mine got itself to my kidneys!

Endometriosis pain

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.

Endometriosis symptoms

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.

Read more about surprising causes of lower back pain.

What are the first signs of endometriosis?

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.

Can reflexology help with fertility?

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 therapistKaren the MAR reflexologist specialising in Fertility at Essential Feeling Gidea park, Romford giving reflexology on foot

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.

*Alcohol and drug use: read our post on this for full information.

*Environmental toxins: We’ve written about what are toxins and they’re useful to understand.

*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. 

What causes infertility — including cocaine use and infertility?

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 chemical our body produces to make us feel good. Cocaine attaches and then binds around this molecule like a sheath. This means that it blocks the body 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.

For example:

Cocaine will affect menstrual cycles. 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.

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 thing 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. Using 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.

Sexual arousal

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 will not 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.

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 because of 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.

Quick sidestep

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

Drugs also affected sexual arousal. 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 because of 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
  • Factors such as endometriosis, PCOS and fibroids (among others)
  • The anatomical matching between a particular male and female reproductive systems.

In conclusion

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.

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Miscarriage, Stillbirth and Chemical Pregnancy. Moving through loss.

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.

A keepsake

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).

Reflexology vs acupuncture

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.

Acupuncture uses needles to puncture the surface of the skin
Acupuncture uses needles
The key difference for me is that acupuncture uses needles to pierce, or puncture, the skin.
Karen the MAR reflexologist specialising in Fertility at Essential Feeling Gidea park, Romford giving reflexology on foot
Reflexology uses pressure points to relax and balance at once

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 admin@essentialfeeling.co.uk. Or you can book online now.

The phases of grief

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.

In this video, they discuss how grief can be conceptualised:

1. Acute grief (grief shock).

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.

Prolonged grief

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.

The role of counselling psychology in healing grief

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.

Research

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.

To find out more about the bereavement therapies offered at Essential Feeling, you can check out the pages here.

 

Effects of stress on health

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.

 

Symptoms of stress

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

Infertility and hormones reflexology and massage

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.

You can find out more about reflexology and how it can improve your health, here.

How to increase the odds of getting pregnant

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 and 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 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.
Our mentality.

Mother to be pamper package

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 abandoned 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 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 we are turning and our journey is slow and methodical. Well, it appears it we can work together for a year before we 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 the “traditional wisdom” trap you and 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 decided 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 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.

Guarantees

I won’t guarantee that you’ll be pregnant within a certain period. 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 get 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 momentous 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, drop me a text on 07757 946023 and let’s work out what’s the best course to improve your fertility and increase the likelihood of becoming pregnant.

Ovulation calculator

Your internal and free ovulation calculator

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.

Ovulation calculator

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.

Hormone cycle chart showing ovulation calculator, rise in oestrogen and progesterone

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.

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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

cervical mucus discharge ovulation calculator

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.

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Book your session online now

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.

 

 

Getting pregnant

 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.

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Woman hoping to improve natural fertility after checking pregnancy testWhy are hormones important when 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.

Hormones are important when getting pregnant

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.

Tips for getting pregnant based on balancing hormones naturally

How to use your natural ovulation calculator

Progesterone hypersensitivity and what to do

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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.

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Tips for getting pregnant

Our clients often ask us for some tips for getting pregnant.  This is easy as there are so many.  TheFertility reflexology, Romford, Gidea Park, Essex 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.

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Tips for getting pregnant – food and drink

Minimise Caffeine – 2 cups per day and not within 4 hours of bedtime

Cut out all fat that has been engineered (Omega 6)

  e.g.  margarine

  Vegetable oil

  Soy bean oil (soy is generally poor for fertility)

Replace with non-modified fats (Omega 3)

  e.g. Coconut oil

  Olive oil (don’t cook at high heat with this)

  Fish preferably oily fish e.g. salmon

Avoid toxins

   e.g.  cooking food in microwave covered in film, instead, use oven and cover with foil or better still a lid

  Cook in glass or non-coated pans, no non stick/ Teflon.  Cast iron, e.g. Le Creuset can also be unhelpful

  Try to use organic foods where possible

  Drink filtered water and only use a plastic bottle a maximum of 3 times

Supplements – Maca boost hormone production and libido

Balance Liptins

 No simple starches, refined foods, sugards

  e.g.  white bread, rice, pasta etc, all the things we hear about regularly

Consume proteins and healthy fats 1st thing after walking e.g. smoked, salmon, avocado, eggs

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Tips for getting pregnant – General

Avoid toxins

e.g.  chemical pesticides/ cleaners

Improve air quality with plants

Drink filtered water

In bed by 10pm

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.

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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.  

Where can I find more information?

Fertility reflexology

Fertility massage

IVF info

Getting pregnant

Ovulation calculator

Don’t feel overloaded by all of these tips for getting pregnant, we can help you massively in choosing how and which to implement based on your particular circumstances.

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Please note, the tips for getting pregnant that we have given above are as a guide only.  You must check with your doctor that any suggestions are right for you and your circumstances.

Reflexology for multiple sclerosis…

…and other long term conditions

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[1] 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.

Parkinson’s disease

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[2]

Dementia

Dementia is a costly long term condition which requires specialist care. When mild to moderate dementia[3] patients received reflexology, as compared to a massage control, the residents demonstrated significant reduction in observed pain and salivary alpha-amylase.

In conclusion

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. [4]

Sources

[1] 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

[2] 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

[3] 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. nancy.hodgson@jefferson.edu

[4] 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.

Reflexology Q&A — Certified Reflexologist near me

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. 

Karen reflexology qualification certificate. Certified Reflexologist near me

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 aids fertility — reflexology for fertility near me

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.’

Contact us now to book your reflexology for fertility near me

by CHRIS BROOKE, Daily Mail

Reflexology helps fertility

Background to this fertility research study

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.  

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