Reflexology and Endometriosis
So what is Endometriosis and why is it painful?
Endometriosis occurs when the cells of the uterus lining, the endometrium, grow elsewhere outside the uterus. Commonly this will be in the fallopian tubes or around the ovaries, sometimes in other areas of the pelvis such as around the digestive system and bladder or into the vagina; in very rare cases endometriotic tissues have been found in the lungs, eyes and even the brain! These cells react in the same way as they do in the uterus; during monthly hormonal changes the cells grow, as they would in the womb, to support the release of an ovum and, like in your period, if the ovum isn’t fertilised, the cells break down and bleed, although unlike the cells in your uterus, in cases of endometriosis where the cells are situated outside the womb, the blood can not simply leave the body.
This internal bleeding, as I’m sure you can imagine, can be incredibly painful! The angry site becomes inflamed and forms scar tissue which can cause even more pain and discomfort as it tugs on other organs and tissues. When these cells are present in the ovaries cysts form which fill with blood and can make ovulation excruciating. As well as the intense pain and heavy periods, sufferers often experience chronic fatigue and feelings of isolation and depression; it’s sometimes hard to enjoy a normal love life and to find a supportive network of professionals or friends who fully understand how you are feeling.
Although there has been no previous study published involving the effects of reflexology on endometriosis, documented research does exist involving the effects of reflexology on other gynecological disorders, including PMS, amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, hypermenorrhea, polycystic ovary syndrome and infertility. All of these studies have shown that reflexology has a significant effect on decreasing symptoms, though most of them are case studies, with two exceptions: Oleson and Flocco (1993) conducted a randomized, controlled, single-blind study of the effects of foot, hand and ear reflexology on women with PMS and found a significantly greater decrease in symptoms in the treatment group than in the placebo group.
Whilst we cannot definitively say that reflexology can help with this condition, our clients suffering from this condition have noted a significant improvement in their condition with regular reflexology treatments in the week before their period is due. With some reporting reduced pain and less intense symptoms.
One treatment available for endometriosis is an operation to remove endometriol cells. We have been able to support those who have undertaken this treatment with a combination of reflexology and the Emmett technique.
Meet the Team
Meet Aiza, our new sports and clinical massage therapist.
Why got into massage?
I didn’t get into massage, but from a very young age I feel like massage came to me. My sister is a hairdresser and from the age of 10 years old she was asking for a back or foot massage, as she has a difference in the length of her legs, so she often suffered from bad aches and pains. I gave massages to numerous team mates when I was playing badminton for years based on my intuition and I knew one day, I would do this professionally.
Why you enjoy complementary Therapies?
It’s amazing to have someone walking in distress, agitation (because of pain, discomfort or stress) and leaving with calm and a smile.
What is your favourite treatment?
My 90min Deep Tissue Neck and Shoulders, has it makes a major difference in terms of mobility.
People can look back when driving, turn their head without discomfort, can reach above their head and can carry on their activities and stay independent. This length of time really allows me to be specific in my work around the neck, and assess mobility in the shoulders effectively.
What do you like about working at Willow Massage Centre?
I enjoy that whilst we are a team of therapists we each bring something different to our treatment. It has allowed me to see how having a different focus to our clients can products different but effective results. We are very complementary and that is how a team should be.
Meet the Team: Janine!
I got into massage therapy at the age of 18. After leaving school I had planned to go to University to be a social worker. But during a year out I decided this wasn't the career for me, I took a course in massage therapy to occupy my time and fell in love with it.
Massage therapy is a beautiful treatment to give to anyone, and I enjoy having such a beneficial impact on someone's life.
I chose to further my study in this field by attending the University of Cumbria to gain a BSc Complementary Therapies. With this I was able to create and run a complementary therapy clinic in a day care centre for people with severe mental health problems. I loved it! Every treatment was a challenge.
I later added to my education through the study of the Emmett Technique. Learning this work changed me as a therapist. Taught me to think more specifically about each person and the challenges they face through their tensions/pain.
When I came back to Belfast I worked in a spa setting. Whilst I enjoyed the work, and I learned a lot, it lacked the challenge I enjoyed. So I worked to open Willow Massage Centre.
At Willow we have a range of clients, from stressed/tired to in pain/unable to move. Any of my regular clients will tell you that when faced with a complicated set or circumstances (disability, complicated injuries or the need for intricate/delicate work) I can get quite spirited about the treatment.
One of the reasons I love complementary therapies, and my job, is the versatility of it. Working out what is the most effective treatment to achieve the results requested by the client.
I am very grateful to have the opportunity to work with people in this way.
I am also extremely blessed to have a career/job that I love.
My two favourite treatments to do are the hot stone back, neck and head massage treatment and the Emmett Technique. Mostly because or the reactions I receive after I have done them. With the hot stone back, neck and head massage people feel they have to pull themselves off the table. I have had more people fall asleep during that treatment than any other treatment.
With the Emmett technique it is the most astounding reactions. People who have been in pain for such a long time feel a huge difference. Others who haven't been able to lift their arms/ move their legs properly in years can do so. Love it!
Happy 4th Birthday Willow!
It's our birthday! On the 3rd of May Willow Massage Centre has officially been open for 4 years. We are so glad and grateful to have made it 4 years. Particularly in this economic climate.
One of the reasons we feel that we have made it this far is due to the passion we have for the work that we do. Massage therapy is a beautiful and rewarding job. To see people in pain, unable to move, or stressed up to their eyeballs, float our of the centre makes it all worth while.
This month we would like for you to get to know the staff at Willow Massage Centre, why we do what we do, and our favourite massage treatments.
Each week for this month we will be introducing them to you, to let you know which therapist is the best choice for your body management.
We have seen in increase in the number of people coming to see us with jaw pain, or people who have been grinding their teeth. Causing headaches and difficulty eating. We have been able to help so many people with this problem we thought we would let you know how we work.
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome facts
The temporomandibular joint is the joint that connects your jaw to your skull. When this joint is injured or damaged, it can lead to a localized pain disorder called temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome.
Causes of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome include injury to the teeth or jaw, misalignment of the teeth or jaw, teeth grinding, poor posture, stress, arthritis, and gum chewing.
Signs and symptoms of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome include
Grinding of your teeth in your sleep can be a symptom of the tension in your jaw, rather than the cause of it.
So why not give us a call and book your appointment now, to see if we can help you.
During pregnancy our body goes through many changes that we sometimes underestimate. Physically, chemically and emotionally our bodies are trying the grasp and ever changing set of circumstances. From weight distribution, to dietary requirements. Also lack of sleep and baby brain.
We are unable to take many of the medications we would like to just because we are scared of how it may impact our unborn child. But there are things we can do to help manage the situation.
Pregnancy massage is a relaxing and enjoyable treatment, aimed at managing the aches and pains associated with pregnancy. From 3 months onward you will notice back pain, leg pain, hip pain and headaches to name a few. Most of these can be helped with massage therapy.
This treatment is done in the side lying position, allowing for firmer work around the shoulders, hips and legs, and lighter pressure on the lower back.
Willow Massage Centre can also add in the Emmett Technique, a light pressure point technique that is fabulous for pains in the pelvis during pregnancy. It can also help with the breathlessness some mothers can experience during pregnancy.
Pregnancy reflexology is also a beautiful treatment that helps your body adapt to your pregnancy more easily. Women who have had this treatment have reported reduced nausea, less headaches, improved sleep and feeling less anxious/more relaxed.
So rather than suffer in silence or assume that these pains are just 'normal' why not book yourself in for a pregnancy treatment with us.
Or if you know someone who is pregnant, a really great present is a pregnancy gift voucher!
For more details you can call us or email us
We harp on a lot about Willow being a body management centre. So I thought I would give you a little insight to what body management is, and how we achieve this.
Body management is an important part of life. More often we will get our car services quicker than we get our body looked at. After a while the small tensions in our body can grow to create bigger problems.
An example of this is our knee. Crossing your legs over time can tighten the muscles on the inside of your legs. (Your abductor muscles) This can pull your knee in the wrong direction ever so slightly. Over time this misalignment will put pressure on the wrong part of your knee, grinding down cartilage, creating poor balance, back pain and knee pain.
Calibrate your body with an effective massage treatment, to stretch, straighten and realign yourself. It is a great tool for prevention of aches and pains. You don’t need to wait until you are in pain to get a treatment.
We have always suggested that you book a period of time with your massage therapist and allow them to do some work on your body. This way they can assess where tensions are in your body you may not have been aware of.
Managing your stress levels is just as important as managing your body as they come as a package deal.
But have you ever wondered why massage therapy is so relaxing?
Our nervous system is split into two sections. The sympathetic and the parasympathetic nervous systems. Essentially this is your fight or flight response and the off swtich for that.
The fight or flight puts our body into a state that means it is ready to run or tackle the problem. For this you body needs to have higher blood pressure. The blood goes to your extremities and brain etc. To get the blood volume for this the body takes it from the digestive system, giving you that butterflies in your stomach feeling.
To switch it off your massage therapist will need to activate your parasympathetic nervous system. This is located in the spine, making it one of the reasons that a back massage is so relaxing.
Have you ever noticed when someone is being sick or upset we instinctively rub their back? Repetitive simple actions are very good at switching off the sympathetic nervous system and encouraging relaxation.
We combine our treatments with a range of body work, body balancing and relaxation work to ensure you get the best outcome you can. Speak to your therapist and organise the most effective treatment for you!
We want to show off our fantastic full body massage treatment this month. So we are giving it to you for only £40. Enjoy a sports, deep tissue or relaxation massage for 75mins, and let your aches and pains relax away. Indulge yourself or spoil a loved one with a massage therapy gift voucher. Call us on 02890504695 to book. Or book online through our website
“Your body is precious. It is our vehicle for awakening. Treat it with care.” ~Buddha
Our bodies are not indestructible, and there is only so far we can push them before they start to wear down. Despite suffering from extreme exhaustion and constant joint and muscle pains, sore back, sore legs etc like those you get when you have the flu we soldier on. “There is nothing else for it” my mum used to say.
At Willow Massage Centre we are here to tell you that this is wrong! Eventually we stop noticing the tension in our back, shoulders and legs. But this does not mean it has left our body. This will leave you tired, and prone to further injury and pain.
As January arrives and many of us want to make improvements to our bodies we start adding more physical activity into our daily routine, and the aches and pains start to come through. Perhaps moving muscles that haven’t been used in a while or adding strain to those you have. Massage therapy is a great tool for helping you manage your body and mind. It helps release stresses and soothe aching tired muscles.
It is also a great tool for reducing stress in your everyday life. This is vital for maintaining your overall health, as it can improve your mood, boost immune function, promote longevity and allow you to be more productive. When you let your stress get the best of you, you put yourself at risk of developing a range of illnesses – from the common cold to severe heart disease.
This is another perfect reason to BOOK YOURSELF A MASSAGE! They also work even better when you have a series of treatments. Your body soon learns to relax itself and you’ll feel all of the benefits for longer.
Willow has a few different packages that will allow you to manage your body and mind plus save money at the same time. There is a list of these in our treatments page. Let us help make this the new year and new you.
Sore shoulders? Sore back? Just generally stressed out? Booking yourself a massage treatment is one of the best ways you can be kind to your body, so that it is kind to you. Visit our massage treatments section on our website for a list of our treatments and offers
Your friendly Aromatherapist and holistic therapy enthusiast