Working on the Feet

Working on the Feet

I’ve learnt through experience that we should make the treatment as pleasurable an experience as possible, for both myself and the client, but we as therapists don’t have to plan it in advance; spontaneous treatments on friends and family have proved to me to be successful. The treatment time will vary from ten minutes (when treating a young child) up to an hour (when treating an adult)

Dispersing the Crystals

Reflexology is one of the most intelligent of all the complementary therapies because, as you give the treatment, you will find clues to the state of your clients health. These clues come in the form of crystals on the reflex points or areas, or places where the client feels discomfort. These tell you that there is, has been or could be a problem in the related body area.

Sometimes you can expect this, because you know about the client’s health, but at other times you can surprise them by picking up health issues they haven’t yet mentioned to you. My job is to disperse the crystals that we as therapists find in the feet during treatment, using our thumbs and fingers. This stimulates the body’s own healing powers to restore good health. After the treatment you can refer the client to their doctor or an appropriate specialist who can help with diet, posture, counselling, and so on. Do remember that reflexology does not diagnose or cure.

We as therapists have to start our treatments with confidence in our own abilities, because to become good at anything I’ve learnt we have to begin with a small step and believe in ourselves.

Relaxing the Feet:

Here are a range of movements that have been designed for comfort and to melt away tension-not only in the feet, but also in the whole body. They can all be used both to start and end a treatment. Some clients, like the elderly, will appreciate us spending more time on these movements, because they help to reduce pain and discomfort and increase the circulation. These relaxation techniques can also be used on their own for young children, as part of a nightly bedtime routine to help them sleep better. We spend as little time or as long as we wish on them. Using our intuition and try to meet the immediate needs of the person we are treating.

 

The Lymphatic System

The Lymphatic System:

The lymphatic system is entwined with the circulation of the blood, and is a system of vessels that drains a colourless liquid called lymph from all over the body back into the bloodstream. It plays a major role in the immune system and defends us against disease and infection; it is the body’s own security system, constantly guarding the body.

Components:

The lymphatic system consists of thin tubes that run throughout the body carrying lymph. Lymph is generally moved by exercise and deep breathing, and obstruction  of lymphatic flow results in oedema-swelling of the tissues due to the collection of excess fluid. Lymph circulates around the body and contains a number of white blood cells. Plasma comes from the capillaries and bathes the body tissues, then drains into the lymph vessels and empties back into the blood circulation.

Lymph nodes are scattered around the body and contain scavenging white blood cells that ingest bacteria, as well as other foreign matter and debris. These nodes filter lymph, destroying harmful microorganisms, tumour cells, damaged or dead tissue cells and toxins. Lymph from most tissues and organs cross lymph nodes to become filtered, before draining into the bloodstream. Swollen lymph nodes normally indicate disease. There are lymph nodes in the armpits, neck,groin, abdomen, pelvis and chest.

The lymphatic system also includes the spleen, tonsils, adenoids and thymus gland. The job of the spleen is to filter the blood to remove old, worn-out blood cells and destroy them; these are then replaced by new red blood cells made in the bone marrow. The spleen also filters out bacteria, viruses and other foreign particles found in the blood. The white blood cells in the spleen attack bacteria and viruses as they pass through.

Having a strong immune system is essential in maintaining good health. You can boost your immune system by consuming organic foods, fresh fruit and vegetables, good quality drinking water and by taking gentle exercise.

 

The Digestive System

The Digestive System:

The digestive system is a series of hollow organs joined in a long, twisting tube from the mouth to the anus, and is responsible for eating, digestion and excretion. Digestion is the process by which food and drink are broken down into their smallest parts, so that the body can use them to build and nourish cells and provide energy.

When we eat, most of the foods are not in a form that the body can use as nourishment. Our food and drink must be changed into smaller molecules before they can be absorbed into the blood and carried to cells throughout the body. The digestive system contains a number of organs responsible for changing food chemically in order to enable their absorption by body tissues. The process involves breaking food down into simple soluble substances that are absorbable. Ask yourself each time you eat: “What nutritional value does this food have for my body?”

Components:

The series of structures that transform the foods we eat into substances that can be used by the body for growth, repair and energy include the mouth, salivary glands, oesophogus, stomach, liver, gall bladder, pancreas, small and large intestines and anus. After digestion, the intestinal walls absorb the nutrient molecules, which are then circulated around the body. The food that does not get digested becomes waste matter and is excreted as faeces.

Digestion incorporates both physical and chemical processes. The physical processes include chewing to reduce food to small particles, the churning action of the stomach and intestinal peristaltic action (rippling muscle contractions that push food through the digestive tract). The three chemical reactions that take place are the conversion of carbohydrates into simple sugars such as glucose; the breaking down of protein into amino acids; and the conversion of fats into fatty acids. These processes are accomplished by specific enzymes.

A healthy digestive system is the cornerstone of good health. If the digestive system is not functioning well, it can lead to vitamin and nutritional deficiencies, because the cells and other parts of the body cannot receive the energy they need in order to work properly. Deficiencies can manifest in various ways, such as a poor immune system, infertility, depression or the onset of various diseases.

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.

Components:

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

 

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.

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.