Poly Cystic Ovary Syndrome, or PCOS, can cause infertility, weight gain, acne, and affects one in ten American women of childbearing age. One of the most common symptoms is irregular, or absent, periods. Women with PCOS have a higher risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.PCOS and the Menstrual Cycle
In a typical menstrual cycle a woman's body will produce hormones to mature one follicle for ovulation. This follicle is a fluid filled sac that holds an egg; when ovulation occurs the follicle bursts to allow the egg to be released into the fallopian tube. In a Poly Cystic Ovary cycle multiple follicles start to grow but the body doesn't produce all of the hormones it needs to mature one follicle. Without a mature follicle ovulation does not occur and some of the follicles become cysts and produce male hormones. This absent ovulation causes an irregular or absent menstrual cycle.
Modern Reflexology uses specific finger and thumb techniques applied to body maps found on the feet, hands and ears to promote relaxation and balance in every organ, gland and body part. Many women have found Reflexology to be very helpful in regulating hormones to improve menstrual cycles, help with menopause, and even aid in conception.
A typical Reflexology session is about an hour long and is more commonly applied to the feet. A massage table may be used, or a special reclining chair, to allow the client to relax while the feet are accessible for the practitioner. Lotion or foot powder is applied depending on the practitioner's preference and the season to help the practitioner's fingers and hands work over the small reflex points. When a hormone imbalance is at play some reflex areas can be sensitive to touch; you should always inform your practitioner of your comfort in pressure. The pituitary reflex, considered the "master gland," is located in the pad of the big toe. This point as well as the uterus and ovary reflexes may be sensitive during your session.
Research for PCOS and Reflexology
The Forende Danske Zoneterapeuter, or Danish Association of Reflexologists, conducted a research study from 2004 to 2005 to determine if Reflexology was an appropriate complementary therapy to help women with PCOS. Three Reflexologists gave eight women a series of 19 sessions over six months. At the beginning of the study, participants had cycles ranging from 33 to 90 days long and were between the ages of 24 to 34 years old.
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