How Reflexology helped me - Charlie's story part II

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In today’s Community News Blog, we’re hearing from the lovely Charlie. Charlie began to share some of her experiences with us back in February, where she kindly put together some videos to show the Community how they can use simple reflexology techniques to help them. Charlie is a Clinical Reflexologist and was diagnosed with breast cancer in January this year. She’s been using some reflexology techniques to help her cope with the side effects of treatment. Today she’s sharing some tips to help with heart burn, sleep and nausea. We’d like to say a big thank you to Charlie for sharing more about her journey, and for taking the time to put together these videos especially for us here on our Community cancer forums.

Since my last blog the it feels as though an awful lot has happened to me and my life has been turned upside down -  I was not expecting to have chemotherapy or radiotherapy but unfortunately fate had other ideas in mind.  The mastectomy showed a further 2 additional tumours in my breast so chemotherapy and radiotherapy have now become companions in my cancer journey.  I was in shock when I was told and struggled to deal with it.  I also couldn’t decide if I was lucky that the tumours had been found or unlucky that they existed at all…on good days I consider myself lucky.

“I went through a range of emotions – anger, irritation, fear and self-pity which stopped me sleeping.”

I was (stupidly) unprepared for the possibility of chemotherapy and it was a shock to realise that my life was going to be put on hold for a while during treatment.  I went through a range of emotions – anger, irritation, fear and self-pity which stopped me sleeping.  If you’ve read my previous blog you’ll know that as a Clinical Reflexologist I have always used techniques for self-help and I wanted to share some useful tricks of the trade that have really helped me.  I posted a busy brain technique in my previous blog but have a couple more techniques to help with sleep and general stress.  The clip below shows a hand hold that stimulates acupressure points and reflexes, it is deeply relaxing but also has helped me with heart burn and mouth infections:

“I have always used techniques for self-help and I wanted to share some useful tricks of the trade that have really helped me.”

Below is a short clip on a technique which combines working your diaphragm reflex on your hands and deep breathing which is a great way to relax. I find this really useful to help me sleep at night.

Chemotherapy has created some daily challenges for me. In the first few days post chemo I really struggled with nausea and having read the posts on the Macmillan Community, I know I am not alone in this.  In fact the last round, even before I had received the dose, I felt nauseous in anticipation (the mind is a very powerful thing!).  1st round I struggled for nearly a week but in round 2 I worked acupressure points for nausea and I found my symptoms were so much reduced that I only suffered for a couple of days and was able to reduce the anti-sickness medication.

Let me know how you get on with the hand reflexology – if nothing else check out my new wig!

I have found that Reflexology is really supporting me through this journey – the good news is that Reflexologists are now allowed to work again post lockdown.  If you want to find a qualified and insured reflexologist in your local area please visit The Association of Reflexologist’s website (https://www.aor.org.uk).

“I have found that Reflexology is really supporting me through this journey.”

Please let me know if you have found these videos useful and whether I could share anything else to support you.

Take care all – be kind to yourselves.

Charlie

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Did you find Charlie’s videos helpful? Why not let her know in the comments section below. If you’re also affected by breast cancer, you might find it helpful to check out our breast cancer group, where you can talk to others who understand and who can offer some help and support. We also have information pages on our main website about the coping with the side effects of cancer treatment.

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