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Wednesday, August 27th, 2014
Aug
27

When Feet Take a Beating

Foot painSome people claim that of all our body parts, our feet tend to suffer the most. I don’t know if that’s true, but I do know that there’s nothing worse than sore feet; and sore feet are a guarantee if neglected. Our feet are our trusty servants, providing a foundation upon which we “take a stand” and allowing us to move forward in life.

As a reflexologist, I often hear the statement “My feet are killing me!” Perhaps that painful complaint would be more accurately stated with, “I’m killing my feet”. We stuff them into poorly designed, ill-fitted shoes and then proceed to stand on them hour after hour without rest. We pay little attention to the fact that the feet carry our whole body weight and who we are every day of our lengthy existence here on earth. When you treat your feet well, they tend to return the favor. For that reason I have dedicated my private practice to putting “feet first”.

Because I am a board-certified reflexologist, people often mistake my qualifications for that of a “foot doctor”. With so many queries coming my way, I realized years ago that I needed to know something about the pathologies and irregularities that can cause debilitating foot pain. I saw that I needed to understand the foot as much as I understood how reflexology affects the body’s physiology.

I have to admit that what really spurred me to learn more about what causes foot pain and how to remedy it though was my own unpleasant experience with plantar fasciitis. My initial research indicated that it usually takes a year to recover from this degenerative condition; not willing to accept that, I set out to find a way to shorten that healing time. (I was able to fully recover in three months.)

For a number of years afterwards I shared what I had learned and successfully put into practice in a 2-day training on how to address plantar fasciitis. But once again, I was pushed further. Invariably, in those classes there were always people asking for guidance in helping their clients with other conditions that caused chronic foot pain. I realized that I needed to expand what I was offering to include other maladies.

Now, in the training that I offer, we look at 19 common conditions of foot pain, how the allopathic community treats those conditions, the natural approaches that a practitioner can offer, “homework” clients can take home with them, and of course, reflexology techniques to bring relief.

The manual also includes examination and interview forms that are essential to assessing soft tissue injuries, and an illustrated protocol for treating plantar fasciitis, peripheral neuropathy, bone spurs and tarsal tunnel syndrome.

People don’t have to live with chronic foot pain! Witness what happens when you bring knowledge and hands-on skills to those people in your life living in pain. Join me at one of two locations this year for the How to Relieve Chronic Foot Pain workshop: Memphis, Tennessee on September 20 and 21; Gainesville, Florida on October 18 and 19.

 

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014
Aug
05

Plan NOW to Honor “The Protector”

September is National Prostate Month, a good time to invite your male clients to receive a reflexology session geared specifically to their health. Suggest a weekly session during the month of September, followed up by monthly maintenance sessions. Send them home with an informational handout on how to keep this walnut-shaped gland functioning optimally, and test how targeted treatments might support the health of their prostate.

prostateThe prostate is the structure that secretes fluid that nourishes and protects sperm. During ejaculation, the prostate squeezes this fluid into the urethra, and it’s expelled with sperm as semen. It makes sense that the Greeks named the prostate the “protector”, since the alkalinity of semen protects sperm from the acidic environment of the vagina.

There are three primary conditions that can afflict the prostate:

Prostatitis

Prostatitis is an inflammation of the prostate gland that can result in swelling, pain, problems with urination, sexual dysfunction, fatigue and depression.

Many urologic disease experts believe that as many as 10% of males will experience prostatitis at some point in their lives, so taking proactive steps early on to support the health of this gland just makes sense.

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) generally occurs in men over 50, when the prostate enlarges to the point where urination becomes difficult. Symptoms include increased frequency and hesitancy in getting started. If the prostate grows too large, it can constrict the urethra (which passes through it) and impede the flow of urine, making urination difficult and painful and, in extreme cases, completely impossible.

BPH is treated medically with pharmaceuticals, a minimally invasive procedure or, in extreme cases, surgery that removes the prostate.

Cancer

Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in men in industrialized countries (besides skin cancer). It’s estimated that by age 50, about 25% of the male population has cancerous cells in their prostate glands. This percentage jumps to 50% by age 80, at which time the condition can become a significant cause of death.

Surgery, radiation, hormone therapy and chemotherapy are often used to treat prostate cancer.

Care of the Prostate

Here are some commonly recognized methods by which to take care of the prostate:

1. Make mindful choices when it comes to food & beverages

  • Maintain a healthy weight, especially around the middle;
  • Eat a plant based diet high in anti-oxidants and omega-3 fatty acids;
  • Reduce protein-dense animal foods;
  • Drink fluids throughout the day in small amounts, not all at once;
  • Reduce the consumption of fluids, especially caffeine and alcohol, in the evening.

2. Increase blood circulation to the pelvis

3. Reduce stress

4. Avoid over-the-counter medications with decongestants and/or anti-histamines if possible. They are known to increase symptoms of BPH.

Reflexology

Reflexology’s role in supporting prostate health is focused on increasing blood circulation to the pelvis, reducing overall stress and helping to regulate the production of testosterone, a hormone that plays a vital role in the health of the prostate.

Reflexes to target in a prostate session are:

  • prostate
  • testes
  • vas deferens
  • central nervous system
  • solar plexus
  • adrenals
  • groin lymph nodes

Act Now

Commit to making September the month to focus on men’s health. Send a newsletter or email to your clients now inviting them to schedule weekly sessions next month to learn about and support prostate health. Prepare an educational handout with information such as I shared above. (Use what you wish from this post.)

And, as always, feel free to share your experiences and that of your clients below!

References:

http://drbenkim.com/prostate-gland-treatment.html

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000381.htm

Sunday, July 27th, 2014
Jul
27

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 Disorder (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
Jul
16

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
Jun
23

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? . . . → Read More: A Complication of Paralysis

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