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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 the Model Practice Act.

The public has until JUNE 15 to post comments. PLEASE take a few minutes to post yours in the Article 1 box, Title and Purpose. THE RIGHT TO PRACTICE REFLEXOLOGY AND RECEIVE REFLEXOLOGY FROM A TRAINED INDIVIDUAL MAY SOON BE ON THE LINE IF WE DO NOT MAKE OUR VOICES HEARD.

Even if you practice or receive the benefits of reflexology in another country, you ultimately stand to lose when authorities attempt controlling measures such as this. So, PLEASE ACT NOW.

Feel free to use some or all of the wording prepared by the Reflexology Association of America (RAA), the American Reflexology Certification Board (ARCB) and the American Commission for Accreditation of Reflexology Education and Training (ACARET):

l think that the draft of the Model Practice Act should be amended to clearly exempt reflexology in writing because” – put in your own reasons or you can choose from this list:

The profession of Reflexology has its own:

  • History, vocabulary, theories, and techniques separate from any other profession. It works primarily with reflexes through the nervous systems versus the musculature. The effect of Reflexology is seen at a distance from where the pressure is applied; its intent is not to change the soft tissue of the body nor to practice medicine in any form. The intent behind Reflexology is to bring the body into balance through the relaxation process, thus promoting stress reduction and well-being.
  • Schools and educational programs that far exceed any course taught in massage schools;
  • Professional membership associations at the state, national and international levels;
  • National certification through an independent, non-profit organization with a psychometrically valid exam;
  •  4 State laws (ND, TN, NH, WA) and 33 exemptions from massage laws;
  • Endorsement from the AMTA. Their Government Relations Committee strongly recommended in 2003* that Reflexology be exempt in proposed legislation citing the following wording:  “Persons who restrict their manipulation of the soft tissues of the human body to the hands, feet or ears and do not hold themselves out to be a massage therapist or do massage therapy”;
  • Body of research studies from around the world (over 300) to prove the efficacy and safety of Reflexology.

Your comments should end with the phrase: “All of the above points demonstrate the uniqueness and independence of the field of Reflexology. Therefore I am respectfully requesting clear wording within the document that excludes Reflexology from being considered a sub-technique of massage.”


Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

Act Now and Join the Family!

If you practice reflexology, you may want to take advantage of this offer to join the Reflexology Association of America NOW. The Reflexology Association of America is open to all practicing reflexologists, whatever the level of training; however, in order to qualify for the Professional level membership, applicants must show proof of at least 200 hours of training in hand, foot and/or ear reflexology. That is about to change, hence the heads up about acting now. . . . → Read More: Act Now and Join the Family!

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