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