Reflexology as a therapy
Reflexology therapy aims to stimulate the body's innate self-healing systems and meridians, thereby reducing anxiety and creating an optimal homeostatic condition to increase circulation, promote healing and improve wellbeing. Thus encouraging the body to use its intrinsic ability to heal itself and restore a natural balance, a holistic approach that is becoming widely recognised and respected in modern medical practice.
On the surface, it appears that reflexology is just a physical therapy, but it is much more than this.
The client/therapist relationship is of paramount importance.
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.
Out of Kilter?
"If you're feeling
out of kilter, don't
know why or what
about, let your feet
reveal the answer,
find the sore spot,
work it out"
RLD ~ Reflexology lymph 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 Sally Kay BSc(Hons), 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
RLD Video Click Here,
Reflexology for Athletics
In 2004, The Chinese Reflexology Consortium conducted research on the effects of reflexology on professional athletes after big athletic events, i.e. World championships, Olympic Games, preseason training in rugby, cricket, football, etc. This has proved that reflexology can be very effective in the treatment of all sports-related issues.
Makes the body more effective and stronger by unblocking nerve impulses as well as improves circulation, and lymph drainage, by aiding detoxification.
Relief from stress and tension, of pre-event nervousness, by promoting deep relaxation that improves respiration and revitalises energy.
Promotes recovery from muscle fatigue after ' similar events to marathons, triathlons, Olympics, pre-season training in rugby, cricket, football.
Athletes can get back to training a lot faster.
Models of reality do not have to be scientifically true. You can take a model as a philosophy if it empowers you
Reflexology on the Vagus Nerve
a study in Taiwan on both healthy subjects and people with coronary artery disease, showed that there were improvements in Vagal modulation, blood pressure and heart rate following reflexology treatments.
This points us towards a cautious hypothesis, therefore, that when we are stimulating the Vagus nerve - and if it is so, it gives the client access to a number of benefits:
Vagus Nerve benefits in a relaxing way from Reflexology
Research has shown the specific techniques of reflexology to be effective and beneficial in many ways. A survey of 170 reflexology studies from 21 countries shows that reflexology is effective, impacting a variety of physical and psychological concerns.
Positive Health explains in detail the benefits of Reflexology when used in the care of patients living with cancer
Reflexology - Cancer Care
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, fatigue and more for cancer patients.
• 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...
Understanding the feet provides fascinating and beneficial insights into the workings of the subconscious mind, through the study of the ever-changing characteristics of the feet.
Typical reactions during and after a reflexology session are:
Everyone is different, and some people may feel nothing during a treatment and this is also normal! Reflexology works in the way that we need it as individuals.
Reflexology in Sport - Julian Wait, Port Adelaide Magpies League Player
For example radicular pains in neck and lower back. (Pelvis/Groin Injuries) treating such areas via reflexes in the feet is safe and can often give considerable relief.
Diarrhea and constipation caused by stress in competing sports people may respond well to reflexology.
An athlete aims to prevent injury, condition muscle and enhance performance.
Professional Athletes have a program that includes Exercise, Nutrition, Mental Health and Physical Fitness. The goal is to balance all to gain peak performance.
To have access to an accredited reflexologist is rare. We have a club doctor, physiotherapist, sports trainers, and chiropractor plus management team.
Exploring our feet through self-reflexology can be an easy and free way to support our mind, body and spirit
Our feet are home to literally thousands of nerve endings and almost seventy acupuncture points, which is why foot reflexology is so effective. By massaging and stimulating specific areas on the soles of our feet, we can provide general support for our entire body, improve sleep patterns, increase physical and mental wellbeing and also alleviate chronic conditions such as sinusitis and digestive upset. Although it is wonderful to work with an experienced foot reflexologist whenever possible, we can also develop a practice of treating ourselves to a self-reflexology treatment if we take some time for this purpose before we begin our day or in the evening to relax before going to bed.
There are a number of different ways to work the soles of your feet, including walking barefoot on river stones, rolling each foot over a golf or tennis ball, or just using your fingers and hands to massage your feet. When starting a reflexology session, it's a good idea to begin with loosening up your ankles – rotate each foot clockwise then counterclockwise about ten times. You might also want to pinch the end of your toes, which can increase circulation and drainage in your sinuses and stimulate your pituitary and pineal glands. Then you can begin massaging the ball of your foot, the arch, and the heel. If you find that an area is tender, it may indicate some distress or dysfunction occurring in the corresponding area of the body. You may want to explore what is going on with that organ or system.
Whether we are able to spend just a few minutes a day on this kind of self-care or a full half hour, our efforts are never wasted. By taking responsibility for our own health and taking time every day to connect with our body, we can not only assist our body in letting go of stress and dysfunction, but we can also continue to support an ongoing sense of wellness and vitality
Reflexology Dumfries and Castle Douglas
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.