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Sunday, July 27th, 2014

PTSD and the 5 Elements

Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of inquiries on various reflexology Facebook group pages about working with people suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD), so I’d like to speak about it again here.

Bottom line – reflexology is very beneficial to someone suffering from PTSD. At the same time, it would be prudent for the therapist wishing to work with this population to research and study the various ways in which someone with PTSD sometimes reacts to new or sudden situations outside his or her control. The therapist must be comfortable to witness and prepared to support a client through the changes that may well occur from receiving reflexology on a regular basis. It’s all good – and there may be some bumps along the way.

An earlier post I wrote reported on a research study completed by Darlene Torroll, Academy grad, on her work with a woman suffering from chronic physical symptoms that resulted from trauma the subject experienced as a child.

Today I’d like to introduce you to a compelling report by my friend and fellow reflexologist, Iris Ahronovich, that looks at the emotional pain controlling the life of someone living with PTSD. Iris has extensive training and experience as a reflexologist, first in her country of birth (Israel) and currently, her country of residence (the United States).

In conjunction with a large Israeli institute that treats wounded warriors, Iris provided foot reflexology to 10 veterans over a 12-session study, combining the traditional 10-zone/organ map of the feet with a Five Element approach. This allowed her to identify and directly address the underlying emotional component of each subject’s pain, according to the emotions governed by each of the four elements: earth, water, fire and air. The results are nothing less than inspiring.


Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

Lending a Hand to Survivors of TBI

IMG_0524You never know where your actions may take you. One small step may lead to BIG outcomes. That proved true for Academy grad John Guinta who submitted an article entitled Stress Relief Is In Your Hands to the Jacksonville, Florida Natural Awakenings magazine in August 2013. That single act resulted in one of the more profound and surprising research studies done to date utilizing hand reflexology.

John’s short article, meant to interest the public in receiving hand reflexology, caught the attention of a staff member of Brooks Rehabilitation in Jacksonville, Florida. The Clubhouse operated by Brooks Rehabilitation is the only facility of its kind in Florida. It runs a full-time day program offering a range of innovative activities designed to help individuals who have experienced a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) reclaim their lives.

A phone call from this forward-thinking employee resulted in a 12-week formal study that assessed the therapeutic value of hand reflexology in improving functional fine motor skills in six people who are living with the challenging repercussions of a TBI.

Following a careful selection process, the study proceeded with pre- and post-study evaluations performed by ChristyIMG_0526 Ruggiero, certified reflexologist and licensed occupational therapist, and weekly 45-minute hand reflexology sessions performed by John Guinta and Ken Cook, both Academy-certified hand and foot reflexologists and Florida-licensed massage therapists.

I hope you will take a moment to read this outstanding study and congratulate John, Ken and Christy for their pioneering study, the first ever to approach the challenges of people living with TBI with hand reflexology. I am proud and excited for the results, and hope that the future holds the possibility of teaching victims of TBI how to provide the healing benefits of hand reflexology to themselves.


Monday, June 23rd, 2014

A Complication of Paralysis

When people consider what life would be like should they lose the ability to move their limbs, I don’t thing most people think beyond the paralysis. There is no question that life would never be the same, but could anyone ever anticipate some of the other unusual issues that might result?

Michelle Collins, 2013 graduate of the Academy’s Therapeutic Hand & Foot Reflexology Certification, recently completed a research study with a young man, quadriplegic since 2002, who, four years ago, suddenly developed abnormal retention of urine.

We invite you to read this well executed and documented study of the effects of reflexology on Uroschesis.

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

Reflexology for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

The human body is an amazing work of art; perhaps no more evident then in its split-second ability to initiate chemical changes that prepare us to defend against, or avoid, imminent danger. This healthy “fight-or-flight” adaptation of the sympathetic nervous system originates in a part of the brain known as the amygdala, and results in the launch of cascading hormones throughout the entire body, that make it possible for us to perform instinctual, sometimes Herculean, responses to the situation.

With post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) though, this natural reaction has been changed or damaged. People living with PTSD may feel frightened even when danger is not evident.

PTSD can develop following a terrifying experience involving physical, emotional and/or mental harm. The individual with PTSD may have been the one who was harmed, or may have witnessed a harmful event endured by loved ones or even strangers. Symptoms include flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety, insomnia, anger, depression, substance abuse, self-isolation and/or uncontrollable thoughts of the event. At its worse, PTSD makes it literally impossible to function in the world.

Although many people equate PTSD only in relation to war veterans, it can be triggered from a variety of trauma-inducing ordeals, such as mugging, rape, torture, being kidnapped or held captive, child abuse, car accidents, train wrecks, plane crashes, bombings, or natural disasters such as floods or earthquakes.

A fair amount of research has been conducted on the emotional and mental effects of reflexology on those suffering from PTSD. In this study conducted by Academy grad Darlene Torroll, the goal was to investigate whether reflexology could help restore functioning in areas of physical complaint.







Saturday, May 31st, 2014

Call to Action

The Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards has just released a document that should be of grave concern to anyone practicing reflexology. The Model Practice Act sets out to define and regulate the practice of hands-on healing therapies in the USA to include pretty well any form of therapeutic touch. If this draft is accepted by the state legislatures and massage boards, it could very well make it IMPOSSIBLE TO PRACTICE REFLEXOLOGY IN THE US WIHTOUT A MASSAGE LICENSE, EVEN IN THOSE STATES THAT HAVE EXEMPTED REFLEXOLOGY FROM MASSAGE. . . . → Read More: Call to Action

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