Veronica Tift explains the importance of striving for hormonal balance and adds how body work and reflexology can aid in achieving this.
“Wow, this is a really cool song, who sings it?” I ask my teenage daughter innocently one afternoon on the car drive home. “I don’t know who sings it Mom. Why do you have to ask me questions about my music? Can you please just stop!” She then bursts into tears.
I sense this was not about the music and dropped the subject. When we got home, I quickly fed the teenager. I had heard that hunger can be a contributing factor to the madness that is puberty, and soon enough she emerged from her room a completely different human.
Later that day we had a conversation about the sudden shift in mood; she said she honestly just felt emotional and couldn’t actually figure out why. She felt she needed justification to cry in the moment. My question just gave her the excuse to burst into tears randomly, which is what she felt like doing.
Understanding puberty and these hormonal shifts has gone a long way in helping her understand that these are all normal and healthy ways in which her body communicates to her.
Our hormones are doing a daily dance with our bodies; they control so many vital aspects of our everyday life. I like to think of them as spies, silently on a mission, passing messages to target cells in the body. We only really notice the spies if they start to go rogue, miss the target cell or disappear from their assigned mission all together.
To understand how to balance hormones, you first need to know what hormones are. They are chemicals that are produced in the body, they are like chemical messengers, that are released by the endocrine system. Hormones travel throughout the bloodstream to the cells and other organs not considered part of the endocrine system, such as the small intestine, and the stomach also release hormones.
Hormones control and influence fertility, growth, development, metabolism, immune system, gut health and mood. The human body is made up of more than 20 major hormones, with each one having a specific purpose and only effecting its own target cell.
Hormonal balance with body work
Reflexology and body work can help with hormonal balance, however, it all depends on the hormone that is out of balance.
In my practice, I see a lot of thyroid hormone imbalance; the two main thyroid hormones are T3 and T4. The thyroid, among other things, regulates metabolism and can have an effect on overall energy levels. Too much thyroid hormone, you have hyperthyroidism or too little called hypothyroidism. There are a number of different thyroid disorders.
In Malvina Bartmanski’s book, Autoimmune Survival Guide, she invites people who have thyroid issues to ask some real questions about how you speak up for yourself and express your thoughts and how you show up for your own needs. She encourages reflexology in her book, speaking to the ability to lower stress hormones and the healing effect it has on the body. The thyroid gland reflex is worked on the feet during a reflexology treatment as well as all endocrine glands, relaxation techniques are also used help with the improvement of circulation of hormones.
The hormone insulin
Insulin is the hormone necessary for the cells in your body to use glucose properly in your bloodstream. The reflexes that a reflexologist would work on the feet would be the pancreas as this is the endocrine gland responsible for the production of insulin. All endocrine glands are included in a treatment; the liver reflex and relaxation techniques to improve circulation of the hormones are also included.
Sweet balance of life
From a reflexology point of view, the pancreas injects mind, body and soul with sweet thoughts, the sweetness of life could be missing or the joy.
We also notice an imbalance in the reflex when someone is too sweet for their own good, or maybe they struggle to accept the sweeter things in life. Related to confidence, self-esteem and creativity, shock can negatively impact all of these and pancreas issues have been linked to trauma. Digesting life and creating a sweet balance of life can emotionally support the pancreas.
Most people only ever start paying attention to their hormones when they start going on their own unsanctioned missions in the body.
Releasing the kindness hormones
In David R. Hamilton’s book, Why the Woo Woo Works, he writes about what he calls kindness hormones, oxytocin being one of them, also called the hugging hormone it plays a role in social bonding. This amazing hormone protects the cardiovascular system and can have a counter effect on stress. Stress or even just thinking about stress makes your hormones respond, same goes for the kindness hormones. Reflexology and supportive body work help release kindness hormones.
Taking this brief look at hormones, you can see how hormone health has a significant impact on overall well-being. We need to care more about our hormone health, supporting them through eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise and ensuring mental health is supported, helping the overall quality of life to be improved.
Check your hormones regularly
Maintenance is key; don’t wait for your hormones to be MIA before you pay attention to them. Take care of your body and it will take care of you. Being kind to yourself and understanding what is happening with life changes that influence hormones, like puberty and menopause, can also help. Speak to a healthcare professional if you need extra support.
If you suspect you might have any imbalance in your hormones, please have them checked regularly.
MEET THE EXPERT
Veronica Tift is a therapeutic reflexologist, registered with the AHPCSA, based in Benoni. She continues to grow her knowledge through attending international and local courses on various subjects related to reflexology. Veronica has a special interest in working with couples struggling with infertility.
E-motion, energy in motion messages of the body; Sue Ricks – Barney Books 2016
Why the Woo-Woo Works; David Hamilton PH.D – Hay House 2021
The language of the feet; Chris Stormer – Hodder Education 1995, 2007
The Autoimmune Survival Guide; Malvina Bartmanski – Bookstorm 2023
Ruth Hull the complete guide to reflexology second edition Lotus publishing.
Header image by FreePik