It’s Endometriosis Awareness Week 5th – 12th March 2012! We want to help in spreading awareness to help create a support network for women who suffer with this unpleasant and un-talked about condition. Around 2 million women in the UK have to endure pain, as well as lethargy and depression with their period each month because of Endometriosis; if you or somebody you know suffers with Endometriosis, or painful, heavy periods, you’ll know all too well how uncomfortable and disruptive the symptoms can be and how it can be difficult to find treatment solutions that work. We are offering a free consultation and discounted treatment plan to anyone suffering with or thinks they may be suffering with Endometriosis, there’s no cure but our Holistic Treatments can help…
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. Endometriosis UK are there to be informative and supportive, with local support networks, including one in Southampton; click the link or call 0808 808 2227 for loads more info on Endometriosis UK.
What are the Treatment Options?
There’s been a lot more research and awareness of this unusual condition recently; as of yet no one has found a cure but there are different forms of treatments which really help a lot of ladies. The best form of medical treatment for you depends on the severity of endometriosis you have, also your age and whether or not you’d like children needs to be considered. Contraceptives that reduce or cease menstruation can be effective, but these aren’t for everyone, you’d need to talk with your doctor about the risks of blood clots and maybe have your blood coagulation checked to see if this would be appropriate. Coils which are fitted in your uterus can make periods lighter as not as many cells will form, but this doesn’t always have an effect on endomtrium elsewhere in the body.
You can have surgery to remove the endometriotic tissues; your doctor will offer this to you if this is an option, it is worth making sure you find a doctor who understands the condition and you have appropriate scans and such prior to determine exactly what is going on prior to surgery. You would hope that removing the problem would be the answer, but nothing’s simple with this condition! There is the risk of increased scar tissue and the endometirotic cells will eventually grow back in most cases, it’s important to try other options before considering surgery but a lot of women find this does provide relief for up to several years. Depending on your age, severity and life plans, in severe cases a full hysterectomy may be offered, yet I would recommend you speak to a counsellor before making any decisions and try holistic remedies to help you manage the condition without surgery. So, what can we do to help….?
Holistic Treatment Options
At YOU Massage Therapy, we help to relieve the symptoms of Endometriosis by combining and tailoring Holistic Treatments for your individual needs. We get to know you during consultation and build a relationship during your monthly visits to find out how certain approaches are helping. You can expect to feel better after your first treatment and hopefully improve if you continue with the treatments. Holistic and Massage Treatments that we have found to make a real difference to women’s lives are:
By blending selected essential oils for you and applying during Holistic Massage, Aromatherapy offers pain relief in the first instance, warm oils soothe and have analgesic properties. Aromatherapy aids circulation of blood and lymphatic fluid to reduce swelling and, in turn, the pain brought on by inflammation. We are cautious not to certain oils with emmenagogue properties, these oils are known to encourage menstruation so we tend to avoid them; although if you are suffering very long and heavy periods we may introduce emmenagogues at the beginning of ovulation in order to encourage blood flow; this can be effective, yet it depends on you, your body and your symptoms, we will always treat you as an individual.
You can soothe with Aromatherapy at home, in the bath or by gently massaging your tummy with a blend of 10ml of base oil (almond, bio oil, baby oil or even olive oil would work nicely) with 1 drop of Ginger (pain relieving and warming; boosting blood flow), 2 drops of Grapefruit (a mild diuretic, easing swelling and also very uplifting, easing fatigue, and antispasmodic: relieves cramps) and 1 drop of Bergamot (lifts mood, calms the mind and aids digestion). If you are in the week of your period, you can add 1 drop of Clary Sage (also antispasmodic as well as emmenagogue), to encourage a normal menstrual flow; it may ease the heaviness of the bleed as well as soothing cramps and emotional stress. We wouldn’t recommend using at other time just because it can encourage your menstruation, though using emmenagogue oils to complement your cycle on a monthly basis may bring about a lighter and regular flow. Other emmenagogues that can be used in this way are Juniper, Jasmine and Cypress oils.
A foot massage that involves mapping the body to the foot and working over points that stimulate nerve endings to send messages to your brain to check and heal where it’s needed. Body balancing and incredibly relaxing, we have found that Reflexology minimises swelling and pain as well as reducing ovarian cysts in some cases; believe it or not, Reflexology can be effective at breaking down scar tissue and draining excess fluid and build up.
The ovarian and uterine points are situated at the indents of your ankles at the top of your foot, the uterus in the inside on either foot, each ovary at the outer side of the ankle, the fallopian tube runs between the two. You can calm menstrual or ovarian pain by pushing your thumb onto the ovary indent and rotating the point anti-clockwise in a slow rythym to ‘wind down’ the angry area. If your endometriosis pain is related to other systems of your body, see the reflexology foot map and ‘thumb walk’ over the zone in firm steps and expect to feel a relief from the discomfort in that area. Or, a better idea is to book yourself in for a session and you get the luxury of taking the weight off your feet and when you relax, it’s so much more effective. So many people fall asleep during a Reflexology treatment, your feet are so important, they spend all day carrying you around it’s amazing how good it feels to give them a rest.
We’ve had success in relieving the symptoms of Endometriosis by giving a balancing Holistic Massage or Full Works treatment. With these treatments we are combining the effective properties of Aromatherapy and Reflexology with Massage techniques to soothe aches and pains. Massage helps by gently breaking down muscular adhesions and scar tissue with mobilisation and frictions; to balance the circulation throughout the body with Lymphatic Drainage methods to purify by collecting toxins and moving along stagnant fluid as well as distributing proteins and vitamins throughout the tissues. We also use Swedish techniques such as Petrissage to bring blood into the muscles and tissues to nourish, balance, warm and soothe. There are Acupressure points, as in Acupuncture, which relate directly to the reproductive system, by stimulating these points we can often remove blockages that may be restricting circulation, this in turn can help to break down scar tissue and adhesions. Abdomen massage can be helpful when applied correctly and depending on your condition.
So what Treatment would be right for me?
The type of treatment we recommend really will be unique to you, likely a combination of the techniques above but we will also put a lot of focus on making you feel comfortable, happy and special. It’s all about giving you the chance to give yourself permission to relax and be cared for by someone who knows what they’re doing. Many of our clients enhance their treatment with an Organic Facial, or Holistic Back Massage to break down tension and soothe aches and pains. You could book a 90 minute Top-to-Toe Deluxe where you could be treated to an Organic Facial, Full Body Holistic Massage with Aromatherapy and Reflexology Foot Massage Treatment. You’ll feel great afterwards; when we rest, our body heals quicker. To make these Holistic solutions more accessible for you, we’re offering a free consultation to anyone who thinks they may be suffering with Endometriosis or heavy, painful periods, plus 10% off of any treatment at YOU Massage Therapy.
We’re happy to answer any questions you may have about which of our massage therapies may be correct for you, click here to contact us online or call 02380 639 747. We may suggest you speak to a doctor before progressing depending on your medical history and severity of your condition, mainly to make sure you have all the help and support you need. You don’t have to suffer alone. Endometrioses UK and You Massage Therapy are here to support you all we can.