WHO IS A CANDIDATE FOR REFLEXOLOGY?
Reflexology does not discriminate. There are no boundaries or limitations. People of any age or gender – the elderly, women, men, teenagers, children and babies – can derive positive benefits from reflexology. Elderly people with no specific complaint will benefit from a couple courses of Reflexology treatment a year to keep bodily functions toned. Results are also good with children and babies because their bodies are highly receptive to therapeutic stimuli. Reflexology has proved itself to be effective, but because no two people are the same, what may be of great benefit for one person may have not the same results for another. Because Reflexology treatment reaches the receiver on several levels – physical, mental and spiritual – it can only be of benefit.
HOW LONG HAS REFLEXOLOGY BEEN AROUND?
Dating back as early as 2330 B.C., Egyptian cultures used Reflexology as a method of helping the body to normalize. As we know it today, Reflexology is based on Zone Therapy research which was developed by Dr. William Fitzgerald in the early 1900’s. In the 1930’s physiologist, Eunice Ingham, built upon the Zone Therapy theory. Working with Joseph Riley, M.D., she had the opportunity to work on the reflexes of hundreds of patients over the years and developed the art and science of Reflexology as it is known today.
WHAT REFLEXOLOGY IS NOT…
The Reflexology practitioner is not a doctor, cannot treat for any specific condition or illness, claims no cures, diagnoses no cases and prescribes no medicines. Reflexology can help many health problems in a natural way and many find relief through Reflexology where other treatments have failed. Reflexology brings the body into balance for enhanced healing in every area. It is a fast and easy way to gain lasting results from chronic pain.
WHAT CAN LEAD TO TENDERNESS?
Tenderness can be the result of any number of things which are either currently affecting the body, or which happened in the past such as:
- General tension or stress of everyday life
- Specific disorders of the feet like bone spurs, bunions, corns, calluses, etc.
- Natural sensitivity, or a low pain tolerance
- Drugs of any sort
- Illness anywhere in the body or within a zone
- Lymph congestion around an organ or throughout the body
- Certain diseases
- Traumas such as surgery, injury, bruising, strain of the muscles, ligaments or tendons Of the feet, as well as the rest of the body
As a Certified Reflexologist, my goal is to work within the client’s individual pain tolerance. A light touch/pressure can be just as effective as a firm. I encourage my clients to give me feedback on which areas are tender and it is critical for the client to be forthcoming with this feedback for three reasons:
- This is their body telling them which areas need more immediate attention
- I can immediately adjust the touch and pressure
- I can make notation on the client’s chart for reference when they return for the next session
A light touch is always best for the elderly or anyone in poor health or recuperating from surgery. Normally the more a tender area is reflexed, the less sensitive it becomes.
POSSIBLE HEALTH RESPONSES TO A REFLEXOLOGY SESSION
Several health responses may occur. Some may take place during the session…others after. Reflexology releases and throws off lots of toxins. Reactions which occur between sessions usually last only a day or two and indicate the body is returning to a state of homeostatis (balance). Some of the most common complaints are:
- Tiredness (the body wants to rest and sleep to repair itself)
- More energy and vitality
- Change in sleeping pattern (some clients are so relaxed they sleep deeper…others find sleep disturbed for a while and have frequent dreams)
- Increased activity of the skin (increased perspiration and rashes as toxins are eliminated)
- Frequent urination. More urine output. Urine may become cloudy and smell unpleasant.
- Diarrhea or frequent bowel movements. As the digestive tract is stimulated to normalize and cleanse, it may eliminate toxins by producing diarrhea or more bowel movements.
- Increased mucus. Mucus discharge from the nose indicates a cleaning process. Mucus can be released from clogged sinuses, the ileo-cecal valve, or the small intestines.
- An illness which has been suppressed in the past and never really healed may flare up and cause a fever or some other symptom which should go away within a day or so.
WHEN REFLEXOLOGY TREATMENT IS INADVISABLE OR NEEDS A DOCTOR’S PERMISSION:
- In the case of any serious condition that is being treated by a medically qualified practitioner, their consent should be obtained. Reflexology is usually acceptable.
- Fever: The body is already fighting off toxins. A reflexology treatment would release more unwelcome toxins into the system.
- Deep-Vein Thrombosis (DVT) or Phlebitis: A reflexology treatment could cause the clot to move.
- Immediately after surgery due to a risk of thrombosis. Research shows that Reflexology can accelerate recovery times, but should begin only upon doctor’s approval that there is no risk of thrombosis.
- In the case of a contagious skin condition such as: scabies, impetigo, ringworm, measles, mumps, poison ivy, etc.
- During pregnancy where there is an element of risk, especially during the first 16 weeks if there is a history of miscarriage.