Self-care is a practice that helps us to limit the stresses and strains that can lead to damage of our health
Cancer care and reflexology
Positive health explains in detail the benefits of Reflexology when used in the care of patients with cancer
Results from 24 studies conducted by nurses in ten countries are reported in Medical Applications of Reflexology: Findings in Research about Cancer Care (Kunz, Barbara and Kevin, RRP Press,2011). The results show that reflexology helps cancer patients improve the physical and emotional symptoms of the cancer experience.
From chemotherapy to symptom management and from postoperative care to palliative care, research demonstrates reflexology’s effectiveness at alleviating pain, relieving anxiety, easing nausea and more for cancer patients.
For the 28 million people fighting cancer worldwide and the 1.3 million diagnosed each year in the US alone, findings from the reflexology research offer potential, potential for improved quality of life and easing of their symptoms.
Speaking of such potential, are the results realised by the total of 1,173 cancer patients participating in the 24 studies:
• In eleven studies totaling 697 cancer patients receiving chemotherapy, reflexology was found to be effective at in easing symptoms such as nausea vomiting, fatigue, and anxiety.
• For those under cancer care with concerns about management of symptoms, six studies of reflexology which included a total of 255 patients demonstrated its effectiveness in reducing pain and anxiety
• Two studies of post-operative cancer patients including a total of 89 cancer patients noted results of lessened pain and anxiety reported by patients to whom reflexology was applied as well as significantly less use of analgesics.
• Five studies of reflexology applied to a total of 69 cancer patients in palliative care found that reflexology helped with alleviation
Reflexology works on the 7,000 nerves in your feet...
When you're truly at peace and in touch with yourself. Nothing anyone says or does bothers you and no negativity can touch you
Learn skills you can draw upon for the rest of your life to benefit your health and wellbeing and join our 12 week Share Reflexology evening class!
CTS evening class - Dumfries and Galloway College
Reflexology, a 4000 year old healing art, is a holistic treatment based on the principles that there are areas and parts of the feet, hands and ears that map via the nervous system to corresponding parts of the body. Research has shown that specific techniques of reflexology are effective and beneficial in many ways – impacting on a variety of physical and psychological concerns.
In this class, attendees will get to fully appreciate reflexology and its health and all around self-benefits it can bring holistically - learning reflexology techniques designed to aid individual specific needs. The Share Reflexology class guides students through treating themselves, friends and family with reflexology techniques. This class will talk about the various systems of the body(Endocrine, Digestive, Muscular, Respiratory, Nervous and Lymphatic Systems), and how to aid recovery through reflexology, learning how various parts of the feet mirror parts of the body, about the zones, guidelines, and anatomy of the feet, along with being exposed to foot maps. You will also learn about the Chakra System.
The foot is an extremely complex anatomic structure made up of 26 bones and 33 joints that must work together with 19 muscles and 107 ligaments to execute highly precise movements. At the same time the foot must be strong to support more than 100,000 pounds of pressure for every mile walked. Even small changes in the foot can unexpectedly undermine its structural integrity and cause pain with every step.
With the added 7,000 nerve endings.
RLD Lymphatic drainage
RLD is an award winning reflexology technique which focuses on stimulating the lymphatic reflexes on the feet. The aim is to cause an effect on the lymphatic system in the body. It is a unique sequence that has been researched and developed by @13, whilst working in Cancer Care. The results appear to support the theory of reflexology.
Manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) is a type of gentle massage which is intended to encourage the natural drainage of the lymph, which carries waste products away from the tissues back toward the heart. The lymph system depends on intrinsic contractions of the smooth muscle cells in the walls of lymph vessels (peristalsis) and the movement of skeletal muscles to propel lymph through the vessels to lymph nodes and then beyond the lymph nodes to the lymph ducts which return lymph to the cardiovascular system. Manual lymph drainage uses a specific amount of pressure (less than 9 ounces per square inch) and rhythmic circular movements to stimulate lymph flow
Reflexology and Mental Health
by Simon Duncan
Executive Officer, United Kingdom Association of Reflexologists
A reflex is a point on the body which, when stimulated, will have an effect on another part of the body. The classic one is the knee jerk reflex. If you tap the knee, the reflex action is the spasm of the thigh muscles which makes the knee jerk.
Reflexology is based on the concept that every part of the body is connected by energy pathways which end in reflex areas on the feet, the hands and the head. Reflexology is the practice of working over these reflexes in a precise and systematic way. By applying controlled pressure, the body is encouraged to achieve its own natural state of wholeness and good health. Working on the feet is especially beneficial in clearing and balancing the body.
The concept of stimulating the body’s own healing energies by using pressure points on the feet is not new. It has appeared in many different cultures around the world and throughout history. Earliest traces have been found over 5,000 years ago in China, Japan, Egypt and among Indian tribes in the Americas. It spread to Europe in the Dark Ages and forms of “pressure point” therapy were used in the Middle Ages by both peasants and the aristocracy.
The therapy was rediscovered in the late 1890’s by a Dr. William Fitzgerald and introduced into the United States, arriving in Britain, as “reflexology”, in the 1960’s.
The physical, mental and emotional benefits of reflexology make it particularly helpful for all stress-related conditions, even when there is no clinical evidence of disease. By inducing a state of relaxation, tension is eased, circulation improved and toxins released and eliminated from the body. And as the body’s energies flow there is a renewed sense of health and well being on all levels. Reflexology can benefit, and be enjoyed by, everyone.
For clients suffering from stress-related illnesses, anxiety attacks, confidence issues or where they may be mentally or emotionally challenged, reflexology can prove to be a life-altering therapy. Self-esteem and confidence can be enhanced significantly, with recipients reporting an ability to deal with difficult situations more ably. They can feel stronger and more in control, with communication improving for some. This often leads to the ability to articulate ideas and express emotions and feelings more readily than previously possible. There may be a general improvement in being able to feel as well as assess and fulfill needs.
A treatment usually lasts between half an hour and an hour and, if possible, the client should rest for a while afterwards. Occasionally there is a temporary reaction as the body rids itself of released toxins. This will not last long and should be seen as part of the healing process. If there is a reaction, it is wise to eat lightly and drink plenty of fluids.
When choosing a reflexologist, it is wise to make sure that the practitioner has been properly trained at a reputable school and is a full member of a professional organization.
As reflexology works so well with other forms of treatment, many doctors are finding that referring patients to reflexologists actually saves patients money. Some participants are able to reduce or stop medication in co-operation with their medical practitioner. People prescribed drugs or other medical treatment report that reflexology reduces or eliminates side effects, and so enhances the benefits of orthodox medicine. Before and after surgery, reflexology can stimulate healing so that patients can leave the hospital sooner and experience fewer complications. Studies have suggested that patients undergoing a course of reflexology prior to a surgical operation are less likely to suffer from secondary infections as a result of the surgery.
Reflexology is rapidly becoming one of the most popular complementary therapies available today. There are a number of reasons for this: reflexology is simple, safe and very effective; the patient does not need to undress and the therapist uses only his or her hands to give a treatment. Although a therapy in its own right, it works well with other forms of medicine, both orthodox and complementary.
Until recently there has been little research into the benefits of complementary medicine, and, in one way, clinical research seems inappropriate for holistic therapies, which aim to improve the total well-being of the individual, rather than cure illnesses. However, there have been a number of controlled research projects over the past few years which provide evidence that reflexology has an effect on the human body and can help to improve various conditions and general health. Positive research findings also validate reflexology in the eyes of the general public and the medical profession and so increase public demand. As such there is an upsurge in interest for the development of appropriate controlled research projects, with a long term view to integrating reflexology with the medical profession to provide healthcare at a more holistic level.
The Association of Reflexologists was founded in 1984 with the aim of setting standards of training in reflexology and providing a network of qualified and experienced practitioners. Full Members of the Association use the letters MAR after their names and are included on the Register of Practitioners.
Further information and a full list of your local reflexology associations can be found at http://www.reflexology.org.
For all United Kingdom residents: To receive a copy of the Register of Qualified Practitioners, details of Accredited Courses, a list of speakers or any other information about the Association or reflexology please send a C5 stamped, self addressed envelope to:
Association of Reflexologists,
5 Fore Street
Taunton, Sommerset, England TA1 1HX
Tel: 0870 5673320 (Overseas 01823 351010)
Fax: 01823 336646
Email: [email protected]
Or if you are in the U.K. and have a simple inquiry which is not answered by this article you may telephone the Association’s Administration at 0870 5673320 during office hours.