Swollen Ankle Scenario

If a client has a swollen ankle, then interstitial fluid is one of the fluids that could be causing the swelling (the others are-lymph (oedema), blood (haematoma), and synovial fluid (arthritis). We would adapt the treatment in the case of strain, injury, arthritis or a recent fracture by carefully working the ankle area and using cross reflexes.

The main functions of the lymph nodes are:

To filter lymph

To destroy foreign matter contained in the lymph fluid and to trap microorganisms.

Lymphatic vessels drain into the lymph nodes bringing invaders in for destruction. The locations of the main collections of Lymph nodes are in the neck, armpits, groin, under the jaw, in the abdomen, and behind the knees, These become inflamed during an infection-this means they are doing their job. The tonsils and adenoids produce antibodies against ingested or inhaled organisms, and Peyers patched (clusters of lymoh tissue found in the lower part of the small intestine) protect the digestive tract, Even tears, produced by the lacrimal glands, contain a protective enzyme!

Keep calm and try some reflexology


The Cardiovascular System

The Aorta carries oxygenated blood away from the heart to the rest of the body. Pulmonary arteries carry de-oxygenated blood from the heart to the lung.

The Superior Vnea Cava brings de-oxygenated blood back from the body to the heart. They serve the head, neck arms and upper trunk/chest. The Inferior Vena Cava serves the legs, pelvis and lower trunk.

Capillaries are very fine blood vessels with thin walls to allow substances to pass into and out of the blood. These extremely thin walls allow oxygen and nutrients to pass easily from the blood into the tissues and carbon dioxide and other waste products to pass in the opposite direction. The capillaries deliver deoxygenated blood into the venules.

On its journey frommthe heart to the tissues, blood is forced along the arteries at high pressure from the left  ventricle-a powerful pump. On its return journey through the veins and back to the heart the blood is at low pressure and is kept moving by the muscles in the arms and legs compressing the walls of the veins, and by the valaves in the veins preventing the blood from flowing backwards.

Bllod is the sticky red fluid that circulates in our veins, arteries and capillaries. An average-sized human has about five litres of blood. At rest, roughly this amount is pumped each minute by the heart via the arteries to the lungs and all other tissues, and then returned to the heart in the veins, in a continuous circuit. During exercise the heart may pump blood at a rate of 30 litres or more a minute. Almost half the volume of blood consists of blood cells; these include red blood cells (erythrocytes), white blood cells (leucocytes) and platelets (Thrombocytes.) The remainder of the blood volume is a watery, straw-colouredfluid called plasma, which contains dissolved proteins, sugars, fats, salts and minerals.Keep calm and try some reflexology


A Creed to Live By

Don’t undermine your worth by comparing yourself to others. It is because we are different that each of us is special.

Don’t set your goals by what other people deem important. Only you know what is best for you.

Don’t take for granted the things closest to your heart. Cling to them as you would your life, for without them, life is meaningless.

Don’t let life slip through your fingers by living in the past or for the future. By living your life one day at a time, you live all the days of your life.

Don’t give up when you still have something to give. Nothing is really over until the moment you stop trying.

Don’t be afraid to admit that you are less than perfect. It is this fragile thread that binds us to each other.

Don’t be afraid to encounter risks. It is by taking chances that we learn to be brave.

Don’t shut love out of your life by saying it is impossible to receive love is to give love. The fastest way to lose love is to hold it too tightly; and the best way to keep love is to give it wings.

Don’t dismiss your dreams. To be without dreams is to be without hope; to be without hope is to be without purpose.

Don’t run through life so fast that you forget not only where you’ve been, but also where you are going. Life is not a race, but a journey to be savoured each step of the way.Keep calm and try some reflexology


Vertical Reflexology Techniques

Vertical Reflexology Technique (VRT) for the hands and feet was discovered and developed in the mid 1990′s at The St Monica Trust in Bristol which is one of the largest residential care home complexes in the UK, VRT, also known as Vertical Reflexology, describes a method where the dorsal reflexes on the hands and feet are briefly worked when they are ‘weight-bearing’. This is obviously not so relaxing for the practitioner or client, but is compensated by the fact that VRT is applied in this position for a maximum of five minutes only.
The body also becomes much more receptive to healing when the reflexes are under pressure. VRT enhances and complements classical reflexology and should ideally be incorporated into full length conventional reflexology treatments for a few minutes at the beginning and/or end of a reflexology session. However, it has proved to be a brief but powerful tool in its own right for “First Aid” and shorter theraputic applications when a longer treatment is not possible.

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.


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?”


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.


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.