This question is asked at almost every seminar, and there is no easy answer. As there is no stable, median level of hormone production it is difficult to provide clinical evidence of the effects of reflexology. A twenty-four hour monitoring protocol in conjunction with reflexology treatments may well reveal a correlation. In my experience, however, patients with a hypothyroid condition generally report an improvement in their wellbeing, with regular treatment.
I suspect that this is because reflexology treatments improve the absorption and utilisation of hormones. And, because circulation also improves with treatment, it may also be that hormonal production is stimulated.
I mentioned earlier that reflexology is not just a case of pushing button A to get result B. This is particularly true with endocrine issues. For example, there may be sufficient production of hormones by the thyroid gland but, because of an autoimmune response, thyroid tissue is destroyed. This is what happens in Hashimoto’s disease.
There is also the issue of conversion. Thyroxine T4 is an inert hormone which needs to be converted into T3 (Triidothyronine) before it can be used by the body. Some people may have adequate levels of Thyroxine (T4) but are unable to convert it to T3. It is worth noting that this conversion takes place in the liver and, possibly, to some extent in the gut.
Another cause of hormone imbalance is that hormonal receptor, uptake cells in the body become desensitised with the result that the hormones are not adequately absorbed into the blood stream.
The deleterious effects of environmental pollution on hormonal balance is an increasing problem and may also be responsible for the declining levels of male fertility.
These examples demonstrate that endocrine issues are rarely straightforward. The functions of the body are too complex and interrelated for categorical statements. Our work is to apply effective reflex stimulus, and to continue this contact during each session until the tissue texture normalises. There is no need to question or be particularly concerned about hormonal output. As reflexologists, we apply therapeutic contact.
Once this has been done, we stand back and let the wisdom of the body do the rest.
Copyright Tony Porter Reflexology 2016
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