The Circulatory System

Reflexology and Circulation:

Reflexology can help increase the circulation, thereby preventing a sluggish blood flow that could result in clotting. The relaxation aspect of reflexology treatment can help to prevent high blood pressure, angina, heart attacks and strokes.

The circulatory system is responsible for transporting materials throughout the body. It conveys nutrients, water and oxygen to billions of body cells, and carries away waste such as carbon dioxide. Blood is the body’s fuel and is delivered b the circulatory system – it is like a postal system throughout the body, delivering essential nutrients and oxygen to power the cells while taking away debris.


The circulatory system is made up of muscle and vessels that help control the flow of blood around the body. The main parts of this system are the heart, arteries, veins and capillaries.

The heart is really a special muscle and is the circulatory system’s engine, pumping blood around the body. It is usually located a little to the left of the middle of your chest, and is about the size of a fist. The right side of the heart receives blood from the body and pumps it to the lungs, a process known as pulmonary circulation. The left side does exactly the opposite; it receives blood from the lungs and pumps it out to the body, a process known as systematic circulation.

Arteries and veins are the circulatory system’s pipes, transporting blood around around the body. Arteries are blood vessels that carry oxygen-rich blood away from the heart, while veins carry blood back towards the heart. Capillaries are tiny blood vessels, thinner than human hairs, that connect arteries to veins. Oxygen, nutrients and waste products pass in and out of the blood through the capillary walls.

Heartbeat and Pulse:

When we are young, our heartbeat is faster, but as we get older it gradually slows down. How does blood come back up your legs to the heart to become reoxygenated-this occurs through muscular action, the action of your calf muscles as you move keeps the blood flowing. So exercise can keep the blood circulating around the body, from the fingers or toes to your heart and back again.

Feel your pulse by placing two fingers at pulse points on your neck or wrists. The pulse you feel is blood stopping  and starting as it moves through your arteries. As a child, your resting pulse might have ranged from 90 to 120 beats per minute; as a healthy adult, it slows to an average of 72 beats per minute. Your body has about 5.6 litres (10 pints) of blood circulating through it three times every minute. In one day, the blood travels a total of 19,300 (12,000 miles).

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Respiratory System

The Respiratory System:

The body’s cells require oxygen in order to function properly, so that the respiratory system is the body’s breathing equipment. It contains the lungs, air passages, pulmonary (lung) vessels and breathing muscles.

Haemoglobin (an oxygen carrying compound)  found in red blood cells continuously removes dissolved oxygen from the blood and binds with it to transport it round the body,

Carbon dioxide is removed by the respiratory system and is a waste product of the body’s tissue.


External respiration starts at the nose and mouth. The nose moistens and warms air entering the nostrils. The warming of air is very important for asthma sufferers who find that going out into the cold air triggers an attack; by breathing through the nose instead of the mouth, they can avoid this type of attack because, as the nose warms the air, it prevents the sudden rush of cold air into the lungs.

The trachea (windpipe) extends from the neck into the thorax (chest cavity) where it divides into the right and left main bronchi (air passages) which enter the right and left lungs. The left lung is smaller, because it has to allow space for the heart. Each lung is enclosed in the ribcage and supported below the diaphragm. The bronchi are the branches of the respiratory tube that transport air into and out of each lung; they break up into smaller bronchi and bronchioles (the final and smallest tubes) and end in small alveoli (air sacs), where gaseous exchange occurs.

Gaseous exchange relies on simple diffusion, which provides adequate oxygen and gets rid of sufficient carbon dioxide. Breathing works by making the ribcage bigger; the pleural layers surrounding the lungs slide over each other, and the pressure in the lung decreases, which sucks air in. When you breathe out, it does the reverse. The main muscle of breathing is the diaphragm.

Reflexology and the Lungs:

Reflexology can help to improve the function of the diaphragm and lungs, increasing the quantity of air being breathed in and of waste products being breathed out. It also assists in the distribution of oxygen around the body. Reflexology can help aid recovery from respiratory conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, influenza and the common cold. A relaxed person takes deep breathes, while a nervous person takes shallow breaths. If you take deep breathes while working on the solar plexus reflex on the hand, this can help to relax you.

Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s Disease


Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia that commonly affects the elderly, although it can also strike people in their forties. Up to 50 per cent of Americans over 85 have Alzheimer’s, which is characterised by a progressive mental degeneration that interferes with their ability to function at home or at work.


Symptoms include memory loss, depression and severe mood swings, and death usually occurs within five to ten years. The precise cause is unknown, although research points to nutritional deficiencies, particularly vitamins B12, A, E, boron, potassium and zinc. Autopsies of people who have died of Alzheimer’s reveal excessive excessive amounts of mercury and aluminium in the brain.. It is useful to be aware that deep-water fish like tuna contain large amounts of mercury, as do fish liver oil supplements.. But eating a well-balanced organic diet can help to increase the levels of vitamins and minerals in the body. Include lots of relaxation techniques to help my client feel they are in a safe place.


In 2006, a team at the university of Newcastle’s Medicinal Plant Research Centre, led by Dr Ed Okello, found that both green and black tea inhibited the activity of enzymes connected with the development of Alzheimer’s.


Reflex area/points to work:

  • Head
  • Hypothalamus/pituitary
  • Diaphragm
  • Lungs
  • Kidneys/adrenals
  • Entire spine

The Cells of the Body

The Cells of the body


Cells are the essential building blocks of life. The human body is made up of cells, which form fluid, tissues and organs. Blood is made up of a fluid connective tissue that consists of plasma and different types of cells.


Cells live independently of each other and can reproduce themselves. Each cell has a different structure and function- for example, a sperm cell has a whiplike tail to propel itself up to the cervix. DNA is the material from which the chromosomes of a cell’s nucleus are formed, governing cell growth and inheritance. Certain diseases are passed down through generations within the cells, so looking at your family history can give you an indication of the diseases to which you may be predisposed.


Reflexology and the Cells:


Reflexology can assist by increasing the circulation in the transportation of energy to all the cells of the body and in removal of the waste products, thereby helping to prevent disease. Remember that everything you do in life has an effect on the cells of your body.


Cell Structure:


All living organisms on Earth are divided into cells. These contain smaller pieces, including proteins and organelles, and larger pieces called tissues and systems. Cells are small compartments that hold all of the biological equipment necessary to keep an organism alive on Earth.


Each cell is surrounded by a cell membrane, which is like a filter and lets some substances in and out of the cell, while other substances are blocked from entering. For instance, the cell membrane allows in oxygen and nutrients from the blood to provide it with energy, and then passes out waste products and carbon dioxide back into the bloodstream to be excreted from the body. The nucleus of the cell governs all its functions, while the cytoplasm is the cellular material in which its organelles are suspended.


Mitochondria are the energy powerhouses of the cells, where nutrients are broken down to release energy for cell repair, defence mechanisms and other processes that maintain the body.

Reflexology for Men

Reflexology for Men


Many scientists have observed that cells from male and female organisms differ in ways that result not from hormones, but from foundation stones such as chromosomes. This means that all the organs and parts of the body have the potential to respond differently between the sexes. Reflexology for men should not focus solely on male diseases such as those affecting the reproductive organs-impotence, enlarged prostate, prostatitis and infertility-but also on the way that many diseases express themselves differently in men.


The China Reflexology Association found that reflexology is an excellent therapy for treating men with sexual dysfunction, including impotence, premature ejaculation and ejaculation deficiencies, Its 1996 China Reflexology Symposium Report described a study on 37 men who were treated with reflexology; it was 87.5% effective for impotence and 100% effective for other conditions.




Impotence is characterized by an inability to achieve or maintain an erection adequate for sexual intercourse,. Around 2.3 million men in the UK and 30 million men in the US suffer from erection problems, and around one in three men over 60 is affected by a degree of impotence.
Erections result from a combination of brain stimuli, blood vessel and hormonal actions and nerve functions. Some diseases and factors that can contribute to impotence include atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), high blood pressure, diabetes, alcohol, cigarettes and a history of sexually transmitted disease. Impotence may also be a side effect of certain medications, such as antidepressants, antihistamines and ulcer medication.

Rejuvenation through the feet

The feet lie furthest from the heart, and the circulation tends to stagnate in these extremities, especially if the calf muscles are not pumping blood properly up the body. It is important to help blood flow back up the legs to the heart., in order to avoid diseases like deep-vein thrombosis.

Waste matter, such as uric acid crystals and calcium crystals, can also build up in the bottom of the feet, because gravity pulls these toxins downwards. The aim of reflexology is not only to boost the circulation in the body, but also to disperse these cystals.

Reducing stress levels

It is acknowledged that 75 per cent of all illness is stress related. Stress infiltrates our lives, causing problemswhen we cannot cope with it -compromising our immune system and making us more susceptible to illness and disease.

Reflexology reduces stress by creating deep relaxation and a sense of balance and well-being. It helps the nervous system to calm down and function more normally. When we apply reflexology you stimulate more than 7,000 nerves in the feet, which can encourage the opening and clearing of neural pathways, helping the body to return to its natural rhythms.

Creating well-being

The term ‘homeostasis’ refers to a balanced state in the body and the mind. Our health depends on all the thousands of parts of our body and mind working in harmony together. Too much strain on a particular area can knock our whole system out of balance. It is pretty hard to know what to do when you fell ungrounded, unbalanced or out of sorts, but reflexology can help to create the necessary sense of balance and well-being.



Signs Of A Good Cardiovascular Workout

After someone has completed a strenuous aerobic session the following physical signs should be observed:
*Increased breathing rate to enable the lungs to absorb more oxygen to fuel the increased muscular activity.
*Red flushed skin: surface blood vessels dilate so that more blood flows close to the surface of the skin where heat is lost;
*Moist skin or sweating: when the blood becomes warmer than normal, water salts and urea pass out of the blood and through and sweat glands into the surface of the skin the evaporation of sweat has a cooling effect.


Stress is any interference that disturbs a person’s healthy mental and physical well-being or any influence that disturbs the natural equilibrium of the body or mind. Stress is the physiological response of the body to threat or danger or sudden stress. The body prepares itself for sudden action, either to run away or stay and fight. This is called the fight or flight response. It can affect the body in a number of ways, including a raised heart rate/pulse rate, surface of the blood vessels constrict, body hairs stand on end, increased blood flow to the muscles, blood pressure rises, breathing becomes faster and deeper to provide more oxygen, mouth becomes dry and muscles tense up to prepare for action. The structures in the body that are mainly responsible in triggering this response are the hypothalamus, pituitary and adrenals.

What Are Zones

They are longitudinal lines of the body and lines of energy ascending from the feet to the head. Reflexology is based on Zone Therapy. As we apply pressure to the feet we are working on the basis that stimulating these lines will have a rejuvenation and healing effect on the whole of the body.

We have ten zones, five in each foot, with the big toe as zone 1 through to the little toe, which is zone 5. The fingers link up to the zones in the same way. Zones are distributed up the body like slices and when we work on the plantar aspect of the feet we are automatically working through the whole of the human body.

Sensitivity in one spot on the feet or hands creates an imbalance in the entire length of that zone. For example, working a zone on the foot where the kidneys lie will release vital energy that may be blocked somewhere else in that zone, such as in the eyes.

Zone 1 is the most important zone in the body as it includes the central nervous system, spine and brain. Zone 1 is also different because there are also 5 zones in each big toe and each thumb and 10 zones in the head. In zone 1 we have the pituitary, which is said to be the first gland to be formed at conception and the master of the body’s hormones. Also there are our reproductive organs, which are essential for the continuance of life itself. You will find that when working on zone 1 on the feet this zone will often be the most sensitive. A lot of this sensitivity may be caused by back problems because the spine is found in zone 1.

The principal of Reflexology is to find and work out the sensitive spots on the feet by an alternating pressure of your thumb and sometimes index finger on all areas of the feet. Refinement of pressure and consistent control is important to achieve excellent results.


Reflexology can relax the whole body and help with stress related illnesses. It is a good suggestion to rest after the treatment to help the body’s internal healing mechanisms to work.


If Reflexology is not suitable for a particular client at a particular time in their life they may experience ongoing negative reactions. Sometimes if the treatment pressure is too hard the client may be more aware of their symptom patterns. This would be detrimental to the client; if they suffer from arthritis, for example, the healing crisis reaction may include more pain or more limited mobility. If a client suffered from chronic fatigue they may be very exhausted or confined to bed after a hard treatment. It would be advisable to give a very light treatment in these and many other cases. Reflexology can make clients more or less aware of their symptoms.

Courses of action would include: Reduce pressure and treatment time at the next session. Treat at another time of the day- maybe at night so the client can rest afterwards. Review the holistic approach to health as there may be something in their lifestyle, diet or side effects of medication that can be influencing their reaction to treatment.