Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Shingles +reflexology

© 2006, John Pozniak

I had a client come in yesterday with a new case of shingles.Her shingles were on her abdomen and look quite irritated and active. The shingles were very painful to her.

I have only worked on one other person with shingles. I had had success in turning the reaction back. But would it work again?

Here is a little about shingles from Wikipedia if you aren't familiar with it.

"Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is a viral disease characterized by a painful skin rash with blisters in a localized area.[1][2] Typically the rash occurs in a single stripe either on the left or right of the body or face.[3] Two to four days before the rash occurs there may be tingling or local pain in the area.[3][4] Otherwise there are typically few symptoms.[3] The rash usually heals within two to four weeks;[1] however, some people develop ongoing nerve painwhich can last for months or years, a condition called postherpetic neuralgia."

 I had found a very distinct stress cue long the spinal reiterative area. It was quite pronounced about half way down the foot. As I worked on it I could feel it breaking up. Eventually it was flatten out.

I also worked on a part of the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve has the impact of being anti-inflammatory.

At the end of the session the shingles no longer looked irritated and in fact looked like they were receding.

I am kicking myself for not taking before and after pictures. There difference was quite dramatic. Well next time...

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Most Unfortunate Design Flaws in the Human Body

The Most Unfortunate Design Flaws in the Human Body: The Overly Complicated Human Foot

Anthropologist Jeremy DeSilva of Boston University put it this way:

Starting with the foot, DeSilva held up a cast with 26 bones and said: "You wouldn't design it out of 26 moving parts." Our feet have so many bones because our ape-like ancestors needed flexible feet to grasp branches. But as they moved out of the trees and began walking upright on the ground in the past 5 million years or so, the foot had to become more stable, and bit by bit, the big toe, which was no longer opposable, aligned itself with the other toes and our ancestors developed an arch to work as a shock absorber. "The foot was modified to remain rigid," said DeSilva. "A lot of BandAids were stuck on these bones." But the bottom line was that our foot still has a lot of room to twist inwards and outwards, and our arches collapse. This results in: ankle sprains, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, shin splints, and broken ankles. These are not modern problems, due to stiletto heels; Fossils show broken ankles that have healed as far back as 3 million years ago.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Sensory determination and reflexology

As a part of survival the body must make a sensory determination on whether a demand placed on the surface of the body is benign or a threat. It has a split second to do this. It must first determine where the demand is and then how grave the danger. It does this by activating the sensors in that area of the body. This requires blood and nerve supply to fuel this inquiry and hormonal supply to react to the need for inflammatory responses if indeed something serious is going on.

The simple act of applying pressure to the surface of the body requires this reaction. Increased communication with this part of the body can have a healing effect as blood supply and nerve stimulation help to normalize the conditions that exist.

This reflexive response can be used to reset the stress mechanism.I look at the foot for example as a stress pattern. It can form over a day but also it can accumulate over a lifetime.

The simple act of rolling your foot on the foot roller or golfball can break up those patterns of stress and reset the tone of not only the foot but the entire body. It is a way to quite quickly and effectively put the brakes on not only the stress in your feet but also the stress in the rest of the body.

One thing to remember is that the feet's communication helps set the tension level for the whole body. If the signal is lost the result is simple. We fall down. It is all or nothing situation. The acts of standing and walking require a continuous stream of information to be successful. Any interruption can be castatrophic

Harnessing this sensory reflexive response is a way of focusing on the areas of the body that need our attention It is simple and it puts you in control making you your own body manager.

Reflexology Helping Wounded Warriors

For some veterans the experiences of serving continue after the trip home. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and, for those who have lost a limb, phantom limb syndrome create issues seeking a solution. Research shows potential for reflexology to help. Researchers in Israel and physiotherapists in England demonstrated such potential.
PTSD and Reflexology
It is estimated one-third of veterans who returned home from Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from PTSD. Common symptoms include depression, outbursts, muscle tension, concentration levels and sleep disruption. 
Researchers analyzed results following reflexology work applied to 15 Israeli soldiers suffering from PTSD following the Yom Kippur War of 1973. Sessions of 50 to 60 minutes were applied over 14 weeks. Improvements of 75% to 80% in the common symptoms were found the day after a session. General feelings improved by 90% and medication was reduced by 50%. Improvements were reduced two days after a session and measured at 50%. Day 3 found symptoms back as before. Researchers suggested 2 or 3 sessions a week to achieve a more effective result.
Phantom Limb Pain and Reflexology
Phantom limb pain (PLP) is experienced as pain or sensations such as tingling, cramping, heat or cold coming from a part of the body that was removed. Some 60% to 70 % of amputees experience PLP. A 30-week study found that reflexology work made a highly significant overall difference and was “effective in eradicating or reducing the intensity and duration of phantom limb pain.”
Seven men and 3 women “with unilateral lower limb amputations and a history of phantom limb pain” followed a five phase program conducted by British physiotherapist and reflexologist Tina Brown at the Prosthetic Services Centre in Wolverhampton, England. 
Notes researcher Brown “Although I do not think that reflexology is the answer to everyone’s PLP (Phantom Limb Pain), I do feel that it is a pleasant, non-invasive therapy that does help in some situations. Another benefit found was that the patients could self-treat after being taught how to use reflexology on their hands. … I would love to see if it helped pre-amputation: i.e. would it help prevent PLP from occurring?”

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The benefits of reflexology include:

Pain reduction
Amelioration of symptoms for health concerns
Rejuvenation of tired feet
Improvement in blood flow
Impact on physiological measures (e. g. blood pressure and cholesterol; measurements by ECG, EEG, and fMRI)
Beneficial for post-operative recovery and pain reduction
Enhancement of medical care (e. g. cancer, phantom limb pain, and hemodialysis patients)
Adjunct to mental health care (e. g. depression, anxiety, Post traumatic stress disorder)
Complement to cancer care (pain, nausea, vomiting, anxiety)

Easier birthing / delivery / post-partum recovery

These benefits are backed up by research.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Reflexology, Real Time Impact on the Body

From the moment the reflexologist’s hands start their work, the relaxation—and more—begins.
Yes, measuring real-time as reflexology is applied, an EEG shows that the brain immediately goes into a more relaxed state as reflexology work commences. 
But there’s more. The creation of brain waves indicating relaxation as measured by EEG is not the only effect of reflexology work on the brain shown by real-time measurements.  
Real-time measurement by fMRI shows reflexology technique prompts activation of a particular part of the brain when technique is applied to a specific part of the foot. 
• The part of the brain responsible for short-term memory shows more blood flow when reflexology technique is applied to the side of the big toe.
The part of the brain responsible for integrating body, mind and spirit—the insula—shows more blood flow when reflexology technique is applied to the adrenal gland reflex area. The insula integrates actions to balance emotions, homeostasis, and pain center.
The left frontal lobe activated by reflexology technique applied to the eye reflex area of the right foot. This is a part of the brain responsible for writing, movement, as well as personality traits such as problem solving, spontaneity, memory, language, initiation, judgement, impulse control, and social and sexual behavior. The cerebellum was also activated by technique applied to the eye reflex area. The cerebellum is responsible for posture, balance, and coordination of movements.
• Technique applied to the eye, shoulder and small intestine reflex areas of the foot resulted in activation in the brain of areas related to the foot and also to the areas of the brain related to the eye, shoulder and small intestine.
Then there’s improved blood flow to the kidneys and intestines when technique is applied to the kidney and intestine reflex areas respectively as shown in real-time measurements by Doppler sonogram. 
In addition there’s the general influence of reflexology work shown by research: pain relief; improved blood flow to the feet; decrease in heart rate and blood pressure; increase in oxygen saturation and lowering of the respiratory rate.
Now you can tell your clients what’s happening with their bodies as you work on their feet. Give a guided tour as you point out the sites of influence: temporal lobe reflex area, improved blood flow for part of the brain responsible for short term memory; kidney reflex area, blood flow to the kidneys improving; same with intestine reflex area; adrenal reflex area, straight to a part of the brain important to integrating body, mind and spirit; eye reflex area, influencing parts of the brain responsible for moving.

Evidenced Based Reflexology Research: For Health Professionals and Researchers

Call the Reflexologist: Pre-Op / Post Op Anxiety

It’s an image of ourselves none of us wants to think about: being rolled into surgery. And, it’s easy to imagine anxiety running high both before and after the operation. 
Well, it turns out reflexology can come to the rescue. It’s a real-world application of reflexology’s well known relaxation results. This is important as anxiety can be detrimental to the successful outcome of the medical procedure.
As note by Israeli researchers, “Preoperative anxiety, which can lead to elevated blood pressure, rapid pulse and sugar metabolism changes, is one of the most significant factors predicting mortality among postoperative cardiovascular patients, according to Prof. Lital Keinan Boker from the Faculty of Social Welfare and Health Studies at the University of Haifa. … “These symptoms of preoperative anxiety can influence and extend the postoperative recovery period, added Boker,…
Can alternative therapies help with pre-op jitters? Prof. Boker, Dr. Elad Schiff of B’nai Zion Hospital in Haifa and master’s student Samuel Attias  decided to find out. And, reflexology turned out to be part of the solution.
360 general surgery patients were assigned to one of three groups: standard care; an alternative therapy (acupuncture, reflexology, individual guided imagery or a combination of reflexology and guided imagery) or generic guided imagery. 
“The study found that the greatest reduction in anxiety – by an average of 4.22 points – was achieved when patients received a combination of standard care together with reflexology and guided imagery.” 
“In general, patients who received the combination of complementary medicine and standard care showed a reduction of 60 percent in their anxiety level, … representing a reduction from an intermediate-to-high anxiety level to a low anxiety level. Those who received standard care reported an increase in anxiety levels with “70% of patients in this group continued to report intermediate to high anxiety even after receiving medication.”
For further information about alleviating pre-op and post -op anxiety and more, see

Medical Applications of Reflexology: Findings in Research About Post-operative care, Maternity Care and Cancer Care