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Dysfunctional Hormones

by Mary Martin(more info)

listed in women's health, originally published in issue 84 - January 2003

Our physical and emotional stability largely depends on minute chemical messengers circulating in the bloodstream – hormones. A tiny alteration in their delicate balance can trigger an extensive range of disorders. These include post-natal depression, stress, menstrual problems, infertility, some cancers, diabetes and thyroid disorders.

An alarming increase in hormonal disorders is being blamed on environmental chemicals – endocrine disrupters that mimic the effects of oestrogen in the body. This could explain why one in six UK couples have difficulty in conceiving. As this system is under attack, it makes sense to take preventative action to maintain a hormonal balance. Although not a panacea, reflexology treatments can regulate hormone levels. The following few cases illustrate how quickly it can take effect.

Claire – Miscarriages

Thirty-two-year-old Claire had a young daughter and wanted another child, but sadly she experienced two miscarriages at 25 weeks.

Doctors attributed these to an incompetent cervix. She was plagued by chronic migraines and would vomit 20 to 30 times for several hours during an attack. What pregnancy could withstand this? The migraines were also linked to her menstrual cycle.

Initially Claire consulted me because she had just been diagnosed with lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus). This is an autoimmune disorder that can affect any system of the body. She experienced pain and swelling in both knees and pains in her arms and also her jaw. For eight years she had been unable to fully straighten her right arm. Initially these symptoms were diagnosed as rheumatoid arthritis. Steroids were considered but never taken.

At her first consultation she was tense because of a recent burglary. This trauma seemed to be the reason for her period being late.

Claire had two treatments at weekly intervals, which she found beneficial. At this point she discovered she was pregnant. I suggested there was a possibility that reflexology could alleviate her migraines. She was keen to continue treatment.

I treated her throughout her pregnancy and for some time afterwards. During pregnancy she was completely free of migraines. Claire looked and felt well and grew in confidence as her pregnancy progressed. She went into hospital at 22 weeks for a stitch in her womb.

At her request I treated her in hospital. She had a normal labour, giving birth to a baby son weighing 6 lbs 6 ozs, four days before his due date. Her doctors decided that she did not have an incompetent cervix after all!

Regarding the lupus, she had a lessening of joint pains and greater mobility of her right arm. Four years after her initial treatment with me, a blood test for lupus proved negative.

Catherine – Menstrual Problems

Treatment can trigger 'healing reactions'. The menstrual cycle may be earlier or later, lighter or heavier. Other symptoms may change until homoeostasis is restored. Reactions are transitory and are not experienced by everyone.

For six years Catherine, aged 43, had two periods each month with 10 days between. Prior to this her cycle had been normal. She underwent several investigations and had taken various drugs, to no avail. She sought my help at the point when a hysterectomy was advised and she was not taking medication.

After one treatment, a knee problem improved. She expected to get breakthrough bleeding as before. Instead she had a 28-day cycle and felt 'a bit emotional'. From this point onwards she had 28-day menstrual cycles that were trouble free. Catherine was delighted that her six years of misery were over and a hysterectomy had become unnecessary.

Kate – Ovarian Cyst

Kate, a 29-year-old nursing sister, sought treatment because her menstrual cycle was irregular since coming off the 'pill'. She also experienced migraines just before her periods. Kate had her first treatment but I had no available appointment for two weeks whereas more frequent treatment is preferable at this stage.

Two weeks later she told me that after her first visit she felt pains in her pelvic region. She consulted her GP who sent her for ultrasound. The scan revealed a cystic mass on her left ovary. Despite this she had her first normal period for months and a bad headache instead of the usual migraine. Reflexology was having an effect!

At her third visit a week later, Kate said that a second scan revealed that the mass had disappeared. Already converted to reflexology, she informed the female doctor that its disappearance was due to reflexology. She agreed, saying that she had seen it many times.

Kate's menstrual cycle normalized, her migraines disappeared. She felt more relaxed and coped better on the ward with her heavy workload

Lisa And John – Infertility

Infertility causes much anguish. Lisa and John had been trying for a baby for seven years, during which time Lisa had a miscarriage. I treated both of them. Lisa was in her mid-thirties and felt 'time was running out'. She wanted IVF treatment but John had problems.

He was diagnosed with a low sperm count ten months before I treated him, although he probably had had the problem for longer. He had seven weekly treatments, after which he attended hospital for a check-up. His sperm count had normalized; Lisa undertook fertility treatment and conceived straight away, giving birth to a son. By raising levels of health, several patients have conceived in this way, and also naturally.

Food For Thought

Many people view reflexology as a relaxing foot massage, unaware that it has a clinical application. How many has this deterred from seeking help for problems such as these?


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About Mary Martin

A qualified teacher, Mary Martin established her School of Reflexology in 1987. She founded the Association of Reflexologists in 1984 and is an Honorary Life Member. Previously she practised as a Gerson therapist. Mary belongs to a network of therapists attached to the cancer centre at Mount Vernon Hospital. She has had a busy practice in Ruislip since 1983. She may be contacted on Tel: 01895 635621;

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