Reflexology to the Core (the Skeletal System)

September 17, 2009 by  
Filed under Reflexology Teaching

Last week I gave you the first installment of the article: Reflexology, World Reflexology Week, Halloween and the Skeletal System

With the subtitle: “How Does Halloween Feature in World Reflexology Week?”

As I mentioned earlier, while we gear up for both World Reflexology Week and Halloween – why not offer a promotional session in celebration of one or both: World Reflexology Week AND Halloween.

A great way to do that is to offer a special – Special Session, Special Price, Special Event or Special Contribution… the list goes on.

Here are some thoughts on each:

Special Session – Design a sequence that will specifically address a particular system, if you make it the skeletal system (why? Because it’s Halloween) I’ll give you the particulars below.

Special Price – You can do just one of the suggested or just one – like price – You can say something like “In honor of World Reflexology Week, I’m offering a discount, (or a “bring a friend” 2 for one special… – a great way to introduce someone else to your reflexology services and maybe get a new client),

Special Event – make it a celebration! Have an “open house” in your office to thank existing customers and to welcome newcomers to your place. Serve cheese and a beverage and have fun during World Reflexology Week.

Special Contribution – How about volunteering or donating the money you earn from one session during World Reflexology Week to a local charity or to your local/national reflexology association? (State and National Reflexology Associations are non-profits and they work tirelessly on our behalf through volunteer services.)

If you’re in New York City you must join the New York State Reflexology Association’s (NYSRA is hugely active and the largest state association in the country). They have for years offered sessions to patients and caregivers at the “Hospital for Joint Disease” and they are planning an event celebrating World Reflexology Week in conjunction with Ronald McDonald House – a facility that offers affordable, temporary housing for parents/family of kids undergoing cancer treatments while at hospitals (in New York City and around the country). Get more info by emailing info@nysraweb.org

Now, as I mentioned last week, when it comes to pain and how it affects the body, most people think of the skeletal system first – as in the spine, hips, knees and shoulders. The skeletal system happens to be one of the most important systems of the body. If we treat it right and maintain it well, it will be happy to return the favor.

You can check last week’s newsletter at www.reflexologysuccess.com for the first part of the article on Holistic Healing for the Skeletal System.

In it I talked about the skeleton and postural deformities as well as other skeletal problems and issues that might affect the bones or joints.

Lots of people suffer from back problems as they age due to vertebrae that start to become displaced. The result is stiffness and may lead to pain as well as a restriction in movement.

The skeletal system is affected by your lifestyle. From doing heavy work to leading a sedentary life or maybe not getting the right nutrition, the spine takes the brunt of all these situations and more.

How Can Reflexology Help

As my mom, Irene used to say, “an once of prevention is better than a pound of cure”.

You should always remember to wear proper equipment (and especially kids) while you’re participating in sports like football, hockey or soccer. Make sure you wear the helmet and proper knee and elbow pads.

Make sure that your posture is right while you are sitting at your desk or doing reflexology. Many of us tend to slouch while working. Try to consciously correct your posture while you are at work.

You should drink a lot of water and quit drinking spirits altogether. Alcohol doesn’t do any good to the body and the sooner you stop drinking, the better. Smoking too is an absolute no-no. It can make your bones more brittle by leaching nutrients out and you’ll wrinkle like a prune.

And last but not least – reduce stress in your life and get adequate rest.

So what will reflexology do for those aching bones… exactly what reflexology does:

It can reduce stress in your body and in your life.

It may improve circulation which is also good for healthy bones.

In addition, I believe that reflexology will strengthen the bones of the feet because bones respond to pressure and we do apply appropriate reflexology pressure to all sides of the feet.

I’ve had so many clients report that their back pain, shoulder pain, neck pain, leg pain is gone or greatly reduced after one or a series of reflexology sessions.

The relaxation alone will help reduce the tension that’s held in the structure, letting the body return to a more balanced feeling.

Know where your skeletal reflexes are:

1.  Cervical Vertebrae Reflex –  Bilateral, medial aspect, proximal phalanx of hallux.

2.  Coccyx Reflex – Bilateral, medial aspect, posterior side of calcaneus.

3.  Hip/Back/Sciatic Reflex – Bilateral, posterior to medial and lateral malleolus.

4.  Knee/Leg/Hip Reflex – Bilateral, lateral aspect of mid-foot.

5.  Lumbar Vertebrae Reflex – Bilateral, medial aspect, mid-foot.

6.  Neck Reflex – Bilateral, shaft of proximal phalanx of the hallux.

7.  Ribs Reflex – Bilateral, dorsal aspect of metatarsals 1-5.

8.  Sacrum Reflex – Bilateral, medial aspect, anterior side of calcaneus.

9.  Shoulder/Arm Reflex – Bilateral, plantar, lateral and dorsal aspects of 5th metatarsal head.

10.  Spine Reflex – Bilateral, medial aspect from posterior calcaneus to Interphalangial Joint (IPJ) of hallux (transverses medial aspect of foot along the calcaneus, navicular, medial cuneiform, 1st metatarsal & proximal phalanx of great toe).

11.  Thoracic Vertebrae Reflex – Bilateral, medial aspect of 1st metatarsal.

You can detail each and every one of these skeletal reflexes. Don’t forget to include the muscular system reflexes (thrapezius reflex, abdominal reflexes, etc…)

I always include the reflex to the parathyroids because they are the glands that regulate calcium levels in the body. Do I even need to mention the pituitary reflex? Because it’s the master gland of the endocrine system it partners with the parathyroid reflex.

In addition:

Don’t forget – the magic is in the details

Be attentive and listen for what your clients needs.

Be clear about your reflex location.

Never work beyond your client’s pain threshold.

Hold the healing space as sacred.

Enjoy your wonderful reflexology skills or sessions.

©Wendy Coad, 2009

Wendy Coad, the “Reflexology Professor” helps reflexologists and aspiring reflexologists learn dynamic skills that attract clients and increase sales.

If you liked what you read today and want to learn more or refresh your skills, you’ll love Wendy’s www.thefootfactorprogram.com.

The Reflexology Professor has been sharing holistic health and “Reflexology News, Tips and Techniques” in classes, trainings and a weekly email newsletter to students and subscribers from around the world.

You can learn more about Wendy and her programs at www.reflexologyprof.com

Reflexology, World Reflexology Week, Halloween and the Skeletal System

September 11, 2009 by  
Filed under Reflexology Teaching

How Does Halloween Feature in World Reflexology Week?

As we gear up for both World Reflexology Week and Halloween – for those adventuresome reflexologists who want to promote their business in new and unique ways – why not offer a promotional session in celebration of both: world reflexology week AND Halloween or “All Saints Day” (which commemorates the departed who have attained the beatific vision – don’t take this the wrong way but this sounds close to where reflexology can take you while here on earthJ.

Yes, I’m talking about the skeletal system reflexes. (Not sure that this was a good spot to segueway into the article, but here goes…)

I wrote this article last year, but it’s such an important system that it bears repeating.

When it comes to pain and how it affects the body, most people think of the skeletal system first – as in the spine, hips, knees and shoulders. The skeletal system happens to be one of the most important systems of the body. If we treat it right and maintain it well, it will be happy to return the favor.

Holistic Healing For The Skeletal System

Your skeletal system comprises the bones of the body together with all the ligaments and tendons that connect them. The skeletal system functions to give you shape, protect the internal organs and facilitate your movement. It’s also where most of your blood is produced.

The skeletal system accounts for about 20% of the weight of your body. Locomotion like walking, dancing, and running are all possible due to the combined effort of the muscles together with the bones. When your muscle contracts it takes along the attached bone creating movement.

The spine, also known as the backbone provides the central support to the system. It’s comprised of 26 bones and has curves that absorb some impact and allow your body to balance itself.

Take minute right now and look at the medial (arch) side of your feet – see the curves that your arches and heels make. You’ll notice that it has the same curved shape as your actual spine.

The arch side of your foot, as we know, is the reflex to the spine.

The spine is comprised of several irregular bones called “vertebrae”, is made of spongy bone covered by a coating of compact bone. In between most of the bones is cartilage which keeps them from touching each other.

Your breast bones, comprised of your sternum and ribs provide a framework to enclose your chest. This case protects your heart and lungs.

The skull is also a part of the skeletal system. It protects your brain and encases all the glands in the skull as well.

Each hand has 27 bones while your foot has 26 bones. Interestingly your hand and feet contain more than half of the bones in your entire body! What’s amazing is that we are born with over 300 bones but as we age the bones start joining in and we end up with 206 bones!

And let’s not forget the joints – also an important part of your skeletal system – the points where your bones meet. Each bone of your body forms a joint with one or more other bones. The joints help you stretch, bend twirl and engage in all of your movements. Some people are double jointed which means that they are blessed with more flexible ligaments and as a result can bend them more than usual!

As you see, our skeletal system is extensive and stretches along the entire body. This is also one system that’s more prone to all the ill effects of an unhealthy lifestyle, wrong posture and accidents. Some issues that affect the skeletal system are below:

Fractures:

This is when a bone breaks. There are different types of fractures:

Simple – This happens when the bone breaks but without any damage to your outer skin.

Greenstick – When the bone does not crack completely. There is a partial crack.

Compound – This fracture occurs when the bone breaks and the outer skin is hurt as well.

Comminuted – A situation when the bone is broken into many pieces.

Did you know that the bone that’s most commonly fractured is the collar bone?

Bones are made up of living cells, they are full of nerves and blood vessels. When a fracture occurs, lots of blood is brought to the area to help your body rebuild your bone. In order to repair the damage, the blood forms clots as an adhesive mechanism, holding everything together.

Before doing reflexology on or around the site of a fracture, wait until the body has healed. There is some risk of clots breaking off and moving through the blood which may create a dangerous situation for the rest of the body.

Postural deformities:

Kyphosis – A case where there’s a hunch in the back. It happens when the spine curves outward.

Lordosis – This is the opposite of Kyphosis. It happens when the spine curves inward. This can happen due to faulty positioning or due to any spinal disease.

Scoliosis– This is the bending of the spine sideways. Certain abnormalities in the vertebrae or the muscles may lead to this.

Other skeletal problems

Some other issues that might affect the bones or joints are:

Arthritis: This is the result of the joints being inflamed. This results in swelling and the movement being restricted.

Osteoarthritis: A painful wearing down of the joints that leads to the movements being restricted.

Rheumatoid arthritis: This is a very common disease that affects mostly women. A disease of the immune system, the joints start getting damaged and this leads to the bones being deformed.

Gout: An affliction caused due to the accumulation of salts (uric acids) in the joints.

Osteoporosis: This happens as a result of loss of some of your bone tissue.

Lots of people suffer from back problems as they age due to vertebrae that start to become displaced. The result is stiffness and may lead to pain as well as a restriction in movement.

The skeletal system is affected by your lifestyle. From doing heavy work to leading a sedentary life or maybe not getting the right nutrition, the spine takes the brunt of all these situations and more.

All is not lost however. You can still eat right, exercise and get those bones to help you lead an active life. Some of the steps that you can follow are:

If you want your bones to stay strong and healthy, you need to put on those jogging shoes once again and get out in the crisp, fresh morning air for a walk or a jog. You can also engage in a lot of other sports and activities to keep your bones active. The more your bones are used, the better they remain.

You should always remember to wear proper equipment while you are into sports like football, hockey or lacrosse. Make sure you wear the helmet and proper knee and elbow pads.

Make sure that your posture is right while you are sitting at your desk or doing reflexology. Many of us tend to slouch while working. Try to consciously correct your posture while you are at work.

You should drink a lot of water and quit drinking spirits altogether. Alcohol doesn’t do any good to the body and the sooner you stop drinking, the better. Smoking too is an absolute no-no. It can make your bones more brittle by leaching nutrients out and you’ll wrinkle like a prune.

And last but not least – reduce stress in your life and take adequate rest.

Be nice to your bones and they’ll be nice to you!

Next week I’ll outline the session details and the exact point location of each of the skeletal reflexes.

So go and get your skeletons out of the closet and stay tuned – there’s a lot more to come…

When Sole Meets Soul

September 4, 2009 by  
Filed under Articles by Wendy

As kids are going back to school and the transition into autumn occurs, it’s more important than ever to take care of our bodies and support their natural defense systems.

One part of the body that supports our health in a big way is a little gland found in the center of the chest area called the thymus gland.

Interestingly enough, the word thymus is derived from the Greek thymos…which is difficult to translatable into modern terms but was used to denoted a life force, soul and feeling or sensibility. It’s also the word used to reference “recognition” as a human desire.

The thymus gland is found in the thorax behind the sternum and in the anterior mediastinum.

It gradually enlarges during childhood but after puberty it undergoes a process of involution resulting in a reduction in the functioning mass of the gland.

The thymus gland is arranged into an outer, more cellular, cortex and an inner, less cellular, medulla. Immature lymphoid cells enter the cortex proliferate, mature and pass on to the medulla. From the medulla mature T lymphocytes enter the circulation.

The thymus is a gland that produces many of those disease-fighting foot soldiers — the white blood cells that come to your defense against many types of infections.

And the thymus produces hormones that enhance your immune function overall. So if your thymus isn’t working as it should, your body may have trouble fighting off infection.

Function of thymus

The thymus is critically required for the maturation of the vast majority of T cells. Once matured, T cells leave the thymus and patrol the body. They protect against foreign invaders by making immune responses that are initiated via T cell receptors expressed by these T cells.

T cells of thymus: T cells belong to a group of white blood cells known as lymphocytes, and play a central role in cell-mediated immunity. They can be distinguished from other lymphocyte types, such as B cells and natural killer cells by the presence of a special receptor on their cell surface called T cell receptors

Some Thymus disorders

The thymus can be implicated in a wide variety of disorders, especially ones that involve the immune system.

Thymoma (cancer of the thymus): Thymus cancers are uncommon cancers that start in the thymus.

Thymoma is a disease in which cancerous cells are found in the tissues of the thymus. People who have myasthenia gravis are at increased risk of getting thymoma. Those diagnosed with thymoma often have other diseases, including myasthenia gravis, polymyositis, lupus erythematosus etc.

Symptoms: People with thymoma often have other diseases of their immune system, most commonly myasthenia gravis. Myasthenia gravis symptoms include muscle weakness because antibodies block the chemical signal connecting the nerve and muscle

Treatment: Surgery to remove the tumor is the most common treatment for malignant thymoma. Radiation also may be used alone or in addition to surgery, especially in patients with stage 2 thymoma.

Digeorge syndrome: DiGeorge anomaly (DGA) is a congenital immunodeficiency characterized by abnormal facies; congenital heart defects; hypoparathyroidism with hypocalcemia; cognitive, behavioral, and psychiatric problems; and increased susceptibility to infections.

Symptoms are: palatal abnormalities, hearing loss, hypocalcemia (low blood calcium levels), mental retardation, severe immunologic dysfunction and microcephaly (small head).

Treatment: In severe cases where immune system function is absent, bone marrow transplantation is required. Many newborns with this deletion will benefit from early intervention to help with muscle strength, mental stimulation, and speech problems.

In the past, a count of T cells had been used as a marker for immune function in HIV and AIDS. (It did not prove to be an accurate measure for overall health as first thought).

Home remedies that others have suggested:

  • The chinese herb  astragalus root is thought to be good for people with low immunity
  • Ginseng  is a herb considered helpful in fighting against immunity related disease
  • Cabbage, cauliflower, turnip are some of the vegetables which could help the immune system

What can reflexology do?

I’ve always thought of reflexology as an incredible immune system supporter.

Time and time again, my own experiences and those of my clients indicate that our gentle yet powerful techniques of alternating thumb and finger “walking” techniques applied to the feet, hands, face and ears is like a tonic for the sole (and with the thymus connection also to the soul).

Not only do we have these immune system and gland reflexes at our fingertips, the support for circulation could additionally be a boon for the flows of the immune system.

For any serious health condition it is advised to consult a doctor first. Since reflexology will support circulation – if there is any medical effort to suppress it – reflexology may not be advised.

But how often do we reflexologists take time to sit with, or detail and support the reflex to the thymus gland?

Would that change if you knew how important it was to the immune system and it effectiveness?

First let’s find its location – I place the reflex for the thymus bilaterally on the heads of the first metatarsals, medial and plantar aspects, at the level of the MPJ (metatarso-phalangeal-joint). I never apply deep pressure into the joint area but rather angle towards the top of the metatarsal head.

Now, the thymus gland reflex is an important part of the family of immune system reflexes which I refer to as one of my “go to” systems for almost all issues affecting the body.

That the thymus was named with the Greek word that was used to express “the seat of courage” or the “abode of the soul” may not be just coincidental.

In every reflexology session where I provide additional immune system reflex support – I pay special attention to the thymus reflexes.

And, if that weren’t enough, I can also locate the 4th chakra (that yummy “heart” chakra) on the feet at the level of the thymus reflex.

This brings in a whole other level of support… as I sit with and contemplate this organ reflex.

I will ask myself quietly, or I will ask my client – what do you need to feel that you are supported (support that’s on a “soulular” level)?

I will also link the thymus reflex to the other immune organ and system reflex points – the spleen reflex and the general lymph reflex areas (both axillary and groin lymph reflexes).

If you spend some quality reflex time at the “center of the soul” – the thymus reflex – you can support your clients health through their own healing processes. The potential for even greater success is the ultimate goal.

Enjoy your wonderful reflexology skills and explore how beautifully reflexology supports us body and soul.

Here’s to your good reflexology health!

@ 2009 The WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR NEWSLETTER OR WEBSITE?

Wendy Coad, the “Reflexology Professor” helps reflexologists and aspiring reflexologists learn dynamic skills that attract clients and increase sales.

If you liked what you read today and want to learn more or refresh your skills, you’ll love Wendy’s www.thefootfactorprogram.com.

The Reflexology Professor has been sharing holistic health and “Reflexology News, Tips and Techniques” in classes, trainings and a weekly email newsletter to students and subscribers from around the world.

You can learn more about Wendy and her programs at www.reflexologyprof.com

© Wendy I. Coad