Learn About Reflexology

In my blog I will mainly speak about foot reflexology and regularly present a new aspect of this wonderful healing technique  - I hope you enjoy the blog, it's free to learn.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Foot reflexology and Pregnancy

This is a message for pregnant women who want to try reflexology to ease the strain and pain of pregnancy.

Despite what you might read in papers, pregnant women can benefit from reflexology treatment. You can start the treatment from the end of the third month right until the birth. Once or twice a month is the recommended rate of visits but if you love it, you can have weekly sessions.

Pregnancy can be a wonderful time for the future mum, surrounded by loved ones, pampered by the future dad, blessed with childbearing wish, delighted to become a mum. However, pregnancy can also be a source of stress, discomforts and health problems: how to become a perfect mother, adjusting to body and hormonal changes, sleep disorders, heartburns, backaches, heavy legs, etc...

Foot reflexology brings many benefits for the future mum and can be of enormous support, in particular, it gets rid of stress and tensions, brings about deep relaxation, can regulate and improve blood circulation, eases backaches, provides a state of well-being during pregnancy and helps the mum to be more attentive to her baby. Reflexology can also be helpful in labour and delivery, some midwifes are using the treatment for pain relief during labour.

Foot reflexology is a natural holistic therapy which has been around for a long time, in various forms. It is mainly a preventive therapy which also helps chronic disorders. With foot reflexology, you can restore mental and physical equilibrium, eliminate toxins and disperse negative energies such as stress. 

It should be made clear that reflexology is not intended to diagnose or treat medical conditions, and is not a replacement for conventional medical practice. In particular, you should consult your GP if you are at risk of pre-eclampsia or diabetism.

Reflexology therapists will often specialise or do extra training to deal with pregnant women. If in doubt, you should ask the therapist if he/she has received advanced training in this field, or has experience in treating pregnant women.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Reflexology and Cancer

Reflexology students are often told in training, do not treat any patients with cancer!
However, there are ongoing studies within hospitals which show the benefit of reflexology on these patients. Obviously, no claim to cure cancer, but a decrease in pain, anxiety, nausea. For a weak person, this relief is certainly well appreciated. So new trainees should be shown how to treat these patients with care. Also, the treatment should be adapted to the stage of the cancer and the state of the patient.

Read on these articles I found on the web and give your comments.

Article published on the NCBI in 2007
Partner-delivered reflexology: effects on cancer pain and anxiety.

Stephenson NL, Swanson M, Dalton J, Keefe FJ, Engelke M.
School of Nursing, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC, USA. stephensonn@mail.ecu.edu

PURPOSE/OBJECTIVES: To compare the effects of partner-delivered foot reflexology and usual care plus attention on patients' perceived pain and anxiety.
DESIGN: The experimental pretest/post-test design included patient-partner dyads randomly assigned to an experimental or control group.
SETTING: Four hospitals in the southeastern United States.
SAMPLE: 42 experimental and 44 control subjects comprised 86 dyads of patients with metastatic cancer and their partners, representing 16 different types of cancer; 23% of patients had lung cancer, followed by breast, colorectal, and head and neck cancer and lymphoma. The subjects had a mean age of 58.3 years, 51% were female, 66% had a high school education or less, and 58% were Caucasian, 40% were African American, and 1% were Filipino.
METHODS: The intervention included a 15- to 30-minute teaching session on foot reflexology to the partner by a certified reflexologist, an optional 15- to 30-minute foot reflexology session for the partner, and a 30-minute, partner-delivered foot reflexology intervention for the patient. The control group received a 30-minute reading session from their partners. MAIN RESEARCH VARIABLES: Pain and anxiety.
FINDINGS: Following the initial partner-delivered foot reflexology, patients experienced a significant decrease in pain intensity and anxiety.
CONCLUSIONS: A nurse reflexologist taught partners how to perform reflexology on patients with metastatic cancer pain in the hospital, resulting in an immediate decrease in pain intensity and anxiety; minimal changes were seen in the control group, who received usual care plus attention.
IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING: Hospitals could have qualified professionals offer reflexology as a complementary therapy and teach interested partners the modality.

Another article related to cancer and reflexology

[The effects of foot reflexology on nausea, vomiting and fatigue of breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy]

[Original article in Korean]

Yang JH.
Department of Nursing, Inje University, Pusan, Korea. jhyang@inje.ac.kr

PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to identify the effects of foot reflexology on nausea, vomiting and fatigue in breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.
METHOD: The research was a quasi-experimental study using a non-equivalent pre-post design and was conducted from Jan. 26, to Mar. 20, 2004. The subjects consisted of 34 patients with 18 in the experimental group and 16 in control group. A pretest and 2 posttests were conducted to measure nausea, vomiting and fatigue. For the experimental group, foot reflexology, which was consisted of 4 phases for 40 minutes, was given by a researcher and 4 research assistants. The collected data were analyzed by repeated measures ANOVA using the SPSS WIN 10.0 program.
RESULTS: There was a statistically significant decrease in nausea, and vomiting in the experimental group compared to the control group over two different times. In addition, there was a statistically significant decrease in fatigue in the experimental group compared to the control group over two different times.
CONCLUSION: Foot reflexology was effective on nausea, vomiting and fatigue in breast cancer patients receiving chemotherapy in this study. Therefore, foot reflexology can be usefully utilized as a nursing intervention in the field of cancer nursing for breast cancer patients receiving chemotherapy.

Friday, May 2, 2008

How to do the Thumb Walk

Thumb walking is one of the most important techniques of reflexology. It's hard to achieve a good thumb walk without seeing an experienced therapist perform this. Also it seems to differ from one country to another! So I have found an extract from Teresa Rich's video (UK) to share with you. It is similar to the technique I use in France and illustrates it quite well on the shoulder area.

This thumb or caterpillar walk enables the therapist to feel any toxin deposits, cristals or jelly-like areas on the foot which indicates a sensitive organ or disorder. At the same time the forward movement pushes these deposits so they can be eliminated.

Notice that the nails are kept short and tidy so they don't dig into the patient's foot. No need to add displeasure to the reflexology session!