How reflexology helped me – Charlie’s story

Pink flowers against a green hill

In today’s Community News Blog, Charlie shares with us how reflexology has supported her throughout her cancer journey. Charlie was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent surgery in January this year. She wanted to share with all of you how a few simple techniques have helped her with stress, sleep, bowel movements and swelling. She’s kindly put together some videos for us, to show us some simple self-help reflexology tips. Why not have a go and let Charlie know what you think in the comments section below?

What is Reflexology?

I wanted to share my story and cancer journey so far as I have been enormously helped by Reflexology and the benefits of reflexology seem to be quite unknown.  As a Clinical Reflexologist I have been helped through my journey using a range of simple self-help techniques that I would like to share.  People who are aware of Reflexology don’t realise that Reflexology can be done on hands, feet and ears – it is the hands that I find most helpful when working myself.  The clip below tells you a little bit about what Reflexology is:

“People who are aware of Reflexology don’t realise that Reflexology can be done on hands, feet and ears – it is the hands that I find most helpful when working myself.” 

I found a very small lump on my breast and was referred to a Breast Clinic as a precautionary measure.  I received a mammogram and was later told that it was a cancerous tumour.  However, there was also evidence of pre cancer in both breasts so was possibly facing a double mastectomy.

I had 2 core biopsies in the next 2 weeks (ouch!) and I was told that whilst one breast was OK – I would require a mastectomy on the breast with the tumour as there was evidence of pre-cancerous cells.  I had my mastectomy beginning of January but the pathology reports found 2 further tumours that hadn’t shown up on any scans or mammograms at all.  I didn’t want a mastectomy (let’s face it who does?!) but I can’t help but feeling that I have been quite lucky as a lumpectomy would have left 2 tumours in my breast.

I am recovering well – just finding the interminable wait for results and treatment plans a challenge.

From the moment I found my lump I started to worry and stress – playing over all possible scenarios in my head.  During the daytime I could keep myself occupied, but during the night I found that I couldn’t control my thoughts and emotions and this affected my sleep.  I felt as though my head was a concrete mixer jumbling and churning all of my thoughts around. To help with this I have been working my hands to help calm the brain – it is really simple and the link below shows you the technique.  For me this always helps me get back to sleep…. Why not give it a try?

“During the daytime I could keep myself occupied, but during the night I found that I couldn’t control my thoughts and emotions and this affected my sleep… To help with this I have been working my hands to help calm the brain.”

The stress and worry also made me constipated and bloated which dragged me down.  If you are suffering from constipation try and follow the video below – I found that it really helped my digestive system.

I am recovering well from surgery but at the end of each day I seem to swell up.  It’s not significant but to me it makes me feel fat and bloated.  Let’s face it you don’t feel your best post-surgery so water retention/oedema doesn’t help your overall sense of well-being.  I found that by massaging my legs in a particular way it supported my immune system.

I have found the last few months traumatic, stressful and painful.  I know that my journey would have been more difficult if I hadn’t been able to support myself with reflexology.  Unfortunately during lockdown it is hard to receive a full treatment but post lockdown give it a go – visit The Association of Reflexologist’s website (https://www.aor.org.uk) to find a professionally qualified and insured reflexologist in your area or simply to find out more about Reflexology.

“I know that my journey would have been more difficult if I hadn’t been able to support myself with reflexology.”

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.

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Did you find Charlie’s blog helpful? Why not let her know in the comments section below.

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