Reflexology and Carpal Tunnel – What every Reflexologist Needs to Know!

April 30, 2012 by  
Filed under Articles by Wendy

Every reflexologist needs to know about the carpal tunnel. It’s important because you’ll have clients that complain about it. Equally important – you want to avoid getting carpal tunnel syndrome yourself. And, if you already have it you need to be especially careful.

You’ve heard me say this over and over again – reflexologists don’t treat, don’t prescribe and don’t diagnose. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t know what’s going on.

Clients often hope that reflexology will be a magic bullet to their health woes. I can’t say it will be, and I can’t help but smile too.

Why? Because, most people report a reduction in pain and/or symptoms (for just about any condition in the body) with Hand Reflexology. That’s true for local issues on the hands too – even though they’re not our intended destination.

This is important – let me explain.

Carpal tunnel syndrome has probably been around since the beginning of time. It’s hallmark is pain and discomfort in the hand and even weakness in the forearm. The most likely cause is a nerve that’s being compressed in your wrist. As a medical condition, it can lead to numbness, wrist pain, parasthesia and weakness in the area.

There are 3 nerves that cross the wrist into the hand, but only two move through the carpal tunnel. One is the median nerve, which is responsible for sensation to the palm, the thumb and next three fingers (but not the little finger). This important nerve controls impulses to the muscles of the hand that allow the fingers and thumb to coordinate their movements.

Common causes of carpal tunnel syndrome are from irritation or thickening from injury or swelling in the wrist which narrows the tunnel. When this happens, it can cause the median nerve to be compressed.

Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome

Most often the symptoms of carpal tunnel will occur only in the parts of the hand supplied by the median nerve which include the first three fingers and half the fourth but not the little finger. This is useful to know because if the little finger is not affected, this may be taken as a positive sign for carpal tunnel syndrome, and not ulnar nerve compression.

Reports are that symptoms start gradually and are described as a burning sensation or an itching or numbness in the palm of the hand and the fingers. The thumb, the index finger and the middle fingers are also implicated.

Some symptoms to watch out for are:

Pain in the fingers (less commonly in the palm), weakness, numbness or tingling in the hand

Forearm, wrist or palm pain

Pain or numbness that intensifies more at night than during the day. Some have reported that the pain will wake them from sleep and require them to shake out their hand or rub it to get some relief.

An increase in pain the more the wrist or hand is used

Difficulty gripping things

Thumb weakness

Fact: The incidence of carpal tunnel is three times more likely to occur in women than in men (possibly because the carpal tunnel in women may be smaller).

Causes

The causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome are thought to be due to repetitive motions, work conditions or a number of other underlying medical problems.

Other causes that could lead to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome are:

Inflammatory diseases like Rheumatoid Arthritis at the wrist

Diabetes or other endocrine disorders including hypothyroidism

Pregnancy

Wrist injury or fracture

Even alcoholism

Risk associated with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

The following are risk factors associated with the development of carpal tunnel syndrome:

Intense or direct pressure to the wrist

Repetition

Compression or a blow of high force

A joint position that is awkward

Too much or prolonged vibration

Working for too long in a constrained position

Poor ergonomics

Diagnosis

If you, or your client has some or all of these symptoms – unless you’re a medical professional you cannot diagnose it.

In fact, when a client tells me they have carpal tunnel syndrome I always ask who made the diagnosis. It makes a difference whether it was a doctor or a specialist – or their aunt Betty or someone at the local gym.

There are a few simple tests that can be done to check general function of the wrist (you’ll learn those in the Hand Reflexology Workshop and more). This will help emphasize the importance for your client to seek the appropriate medical help.

Of course, early diagnosis and treatment are important to avoid risking damage to the median nerve (which at some point may become permanent).

A doctor will examine the neck, shoulders, hands and arms to see if the patient’s complaints are due to an underlying pathology or to activities.

In addition to examining the wrist for signs of swelling, tenderness, heat or discoloration each finger will also be tested for pain and sensation and the muscles at the heel of the hand will also be tested for strength and examined for signs of atrophy.

The routinly used laboratory tests and X-rays can be instrumental in revealing underlying issues such as fractures, arthritis and diabetes.

Treatment… to be continued next week.

As always, there’s so much more I’d like to share with you. I’ll be continuing with more great Hand Reflexology information in the next newsletter.

Or, take the last spot in my 2012 Hand Reflexology Workshop.

Here’s to your reflexology health!

Enjoy your wonderful Reflexology skills.

© Wendy Coad
Wendy Coad – Online health and reflexology expert and the “Reflexology Professor” publishes the popular “Reflexology Secrets, Tips and Techniques” weekly email newsletter to subscribers from around the world. If you’re ready to enjoy health, express creativity, gain knowledge and skyrocket your reflexology or holistic health career, get your FREE tips now at http://www.ReflexologyProf.com and join us at the top right corner.

To your reflexology success –

Reflex, Live Long and Prosper,

Creator of the Mega Reflexology Training

“THE FOOT FACTOR PROGRAM”

Reflexology and the 10 Keys to Planning Sessions That Work!

April 30, 2012 by  
Filed under Reflexology Tips

In the last newsletter, I’d left off with #5:

Below are the remaining 6 Keys to Planning Sessions that Work” for Reflexologists (and other bodyworkers).

THE NEXT SET OF KEYS, #6 – 10
Here are the remaining steps…

6. Give clients a way to notice the difference they feel after the session.

This gives your client a way to measure, in their own body, the feeling of relaxation and their sense of well-being.

But, what if they don’t feel the benefits? You want to know that too.

By registering the tangible benefits, they’ll have even more reason to return.

A few clients will report no change, but the amount of sales you GAIN from this strategy can dramatically outweigh the risk.

7. Request immediate action for the follow up session and give them a time frame to start with.

Some reflexologists say goodbye and hope that the client will call again.

You need to take action and ask before they leave if they would like to book another session.

Even better you can give them a couple of dates in the next week or two that you have an opening.

You’re doing them a service by eliminating the time and inconvenience of having to call back, leave a message, etc.

If you’ll be raising your price soon or you’ll be away from your office or doing a benefit event – let them know this or say there’s a discount for booking in advance because it will save you the administrative cost of call-back or hiring a booking service.

Clients love it when savings are passed on to them.

8. Give your clients an Action Plan.

It’s a good idea to give your client some suggestions about they can do to help themselves between sessions.

Since they are ultimately responsible for their own health, it can be a great help to give them a plan or get them back on the path towards their goals.

Try not to make it too big of a task, because if they don’t accomplish it they might feel badly.

If I don’t have any unique ideas for them to try, I’ll ask them about what they already know. I find something that does work for them and then I suggest that they increase this activity (or decrease it as the case may be) by 10%.

I’ll sometimes suggest that they do no more than 10%, (which can always be added on to in the future). That’s because if they fail to achieve it, nothing big is lost.

9. Make one last suggestion.

In parting ask your client if, as a courtesy reminder, they would like you to call before their next scheduled session.

Or, if they haven’t booked a next session, ask if they would like you to touch base with them in a week or 2.

If they give you permission to call, make sure you do, but don’t try to “sell them a session”. Make the communication about them and not about you.

10. Don’t forget to let your client know that they can contact you for any information!

Clients WILL have questions, so provide an easy way to get a hold of you with your phone number and e-mail address, and add your website too, especially if it has a section for FAQ’s (frequently asked questions).

As I mentioned in s previous step – give yourself an “action plan” if you do just 10% of these steps, you should reap the benefits and if you do them all, I know you’ll be amazed by the power of these.

Here’s to your good session (and business) health!

Enjoy your wonderful Reflexology skills.

© Wendy Coad

Wendy Coad – Online health and reflexology expert and the “Reflexology Professor” publishes the popular “Reflexology Secrets, Tips and Techniques” weekly email newsletter to subscribers from around the world. If you’re ready to enjoy health, express creativity, gain knowledge and skyrocket your reflexology or holistic health career, get your FREE tips now at http://www.ReflexologyProf.com and join us at the top right corner.

To your reflexology success –

Reflex, Live Long and Prosper,

Creator of the Mega Reflexology Training

“THE FOOT FACTOR PROGRAM”

Reflexology and the Best 10 Keys to Planning a Session the Works!

April 16, 2012 by  
Filed under Reflexology Tips

I’ll start in no particular order, all are good and warrent you attention.

THE FIRST SET OF KEYS, #1 – 5

1. Draw Them in with a Kick-Butt Session Plan. This alone can mean the difference between success and failure.

You have just so much time to make a difference in their lives. The best way to do this is to appeal to their concerns and interests. Find out what their goals are, then be sure you have a system in place to monitor their success.

Bad: “Reflexology can help you feel better.”

Better: “Let’s turn team up to turn your energy level around in 4 weeks.”

Obviously your documentations will help you record their progress, but you might want to create an additional scale to refine and monitor this even further.

2. Be Conversational! You heard right.

You’ve probably learned that the less you talk, the deeper your sessions will be experienced.

And that’s true.

However there are times when you need to talk to your client, either at the intake or occasionally during the session.

In this case, talk to you client like a dear, respected friend. Don’t be afraid of using phrases like “And, what would you like session to focus on today?”

Avoid formality and use short easy phrases. Why? Even if you think they can’t possibly misunderstand – a few people will still be confused. Plus, being conversational helps clients feel like they can trust you more.

TIP: Don’t go overboard… no back slapping here. And whatever you do, don’t carry the conversation too far into the session. Remember, it’s more relaxing when you’re not talking.

3. Don’t be Practitioner Centered – Be Client Centered. Just like their brochures, a lot of practitioners talk on about how great Reflexology is… how great a practitioner they are… Hello? Client, anyone?

It’s better to think the way your client is probably thinking, “What’s in it for me?”

Poll your friends and relatives. If you can, talk with some of your clients and ask them:

  1. Why they chose you (you’ll also know how they look for help), and
  2. What they get out of your service (you’ll find out how they experience the benefits).

TIP: To instantly make your service more client-focused, insert the word “you” often.

4. Focus on the Benefits, not just the Features. The fact that you offer the best Reflexology is great, but what does it DO for your client? Does it give her a better quality of life? Does it give her “knock out” relaxation? Give her peace of mind?

Here’s an example: If you’re going to seek out Depak Chopra or Carolyn Myss, you’re not just going to these “stars” to hear about your health. You’re choosing who the wealthy, most selective clients see. So that’s what this particular “healer” sells.

It matters less how good their work is. (Dry that tear… you know it’s true!)

So, think about what your clients are really looking for.

For example: What does an insurance broker sell? If you answered “insurance policies” you’ve missed my point.

If you answered “peace of mind”… you’ve got it.

5. Nix the “Jive” Talk. Keep your explanations simple and avoid the jargon. Just stick to the facts… and the benefits. An easy way to weed out the mumbo jumbo is to think of dear old aunt Millie, listening to you. Would she get it? If not clarify and simplify.

Talk to the level that your client can understand. When I use analogies to explain something, I try to keep it relevant to their interests.

Recently I was struggling to explain Reflexology to a 7 year old. His mom helped me with this one. After a few failed attempts on my part she said, “it’s like a computer… you can press here”, pointing to his feet (keyboard) “and it effects something over there, (hard drive).”

Not only did he get it, but he loved it! Thanks, Mom.

Stay tuned…. I’ll fill you in on the rest of the list – “THE 10 KEYS TO PLANNING A SESSION THAT WORKS! KEYS #6 – 10” in your next newsletter.
Enjoy your wonderful reflexology skills.

Wendy Coad – Online health and reflexology expert and the “Reflexology Professor” publishes the popular “Reflexology Secrets, Tips and Techniques” weekly email newsletter to subscribers from around the world. If you’re ready to enjoy health, express creativity, gain knowledge and skyrocket your reflexology or holistic health career, get your FREE tips now at http://www.reflexologyprof.com and join us at the top right corner.

To your reflexology success –

Reflex, Live Long and Prosper,

Creator of the Mega Reflexology Training

“THE FOOT FACTOR PROGRAM”

Dr. Seuss Foot Quote

April 16, 2012 by  
Filed under Articles by Wendy

I remember one year, a student from my Foot Reflexology Professional Training Program gave me the gift of a book.

It was called “The Foot Book” by Dr. Seuss.

It’s a delightful little book and I recommend it as an addition to your reflexology library.

Well, this quote is not actually from the book I mentioned above, but I think that Dr. Seuss had a lot of wisdom to add to the feet and this is a great example.

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own, and you know what you know. And you are the guy who’ll decide where to go.”

– Dr. Seuss
Enjoy your wonderful reflexology skills.

Wendy Coad – Online health and reflexology expert and the “Reflexology Professor” publishes the popular “Reflexology Secrets, Tips and Techniques” weekly email newsletter to subscribers from around the world. If you’re ready to enjoy health, express creativity, gain knowledge and skyrocket your reflexology or holistic health career, get your FREE tips now at http://www.ReflexologyProf.com and join us at the top right corner.

To your reflexology success –

Reflex, Live Long and Prosper,

Creator of the Mega Reflexology Training

“THE FOOT FACTOR PROGRAM”

Reflexology & Atheletes Foot

April 2, 2012 by  
Filed under Reflexology Tips

I’ve been practicing for so long that I remember when I trained, we worked with people with their socks on. At the time it was considered appropriate – especially if they had a foot fungus.

That was silly, because socks are not a barrier to foot fungus, aka – athletes foot. If there’s a fungus on the foot then there’s a fungus on the sock and there’s a fungus in the shoe.

Before you say eeewwww, remember that the fungus that causes athletes foot is a thing of nature and found just about everywhere. It’s on the floor and on the door and in the air too.

But it won’t thrive in most places. It thrives mainly in places that are:

1. warm

2. dark

3. damp

And that’s why the warm, damp feet of perspiration soaked athletes (feet that are housed in the darkness of a shoe that’s been worn over and over) is like a holiday cruise for that fungus. It never wants to leave.

I’ll often send my clients who have what looks like athletes foot to see an appropriate professional for help, like their local pharmacist or podiatrist. There are many over-the-counter and prescription medicines that are said to help.

But, if the client fails to also do a few simple things that I’ve listed below, the likelihood for success is diminished.

If you are actively trying to eliminate a fungus, you have to actively “clean up” its immediate environment, and by that I mean minimize the warm, dark, damp factor as much as possible.

How?

Follow these steps:

1. Switch to a cotton (or a wool blend) sock – when fighting fungus you need to minimize the warmth and moisture factor and natural fibers will absorb moisture and/or keep the foot “cooler”. Nylon and polyester socks are like mini saunas and need to be avoided for the time being. A blend is okay as long as it’s 80% natural and no more than 20% synthetic.

Change your socks every day (at least).

2. Never wear the same pair of shoes every day. Fungus can stay active for up to 3 days in a shoe so you want to let the pair of shoes you wore on Monday air-out until Thursday before you put them on again. Otherwise, and especially if you are treating the foot, you will likely transfer the same fungus back to the foot, and so on… foot to shoe… shoe to foot.

3. Remember to dry between your toes after taking a bath, a shower, after exercise and at the end of every day. This is sometimes hard for the elderly because it requires some flexibility that they may no longer have. It might explain be why foot fungus is more prevalent amongst the elderly too.

What about reflexology?

Well, for starters athletes foot is contraindicated for foot reflexology because it might be transmitted. And, it’s just plain uncomfortable – dry, itchy, rash-like, with broken skin – especially between the toes.

That’s why there’s hand reflexology, so work on the hands until the feet clear up.

Thinking about it, if fungus is everywhere then it’s the job of the immune system to protect us. If a fungus has gotten past it, then a detail to the immune system reflexes is in order.

If medication is being used, supporting the body in its natural detoxification processes with a focus on the elimination systems might be helpful, including the colon, kidney, lung and liver reflexes.

Include the parathyroid reflex too (in my last newsletter I wrote about psoriasis, another skin condition, and how calcium is sometimes not balanced in the area of concern).

That should clear up some of the mystery surrounding “tinea pedis” (the Latin name for foot fungus) so that your clients can enjoy the wonderful benefits of reflexology.

Enjoy your wonderful reflexology skills.

Wendy Coad – Online health and reflexology expert and the “Reflexology Professor” publishes the popular “Reflexology Secrets, Tips and Techniques” weekly email newsletter to subscribers from around the world. If you’re ready to enjoy health, express creativity, gain knowledge and skyrocket your reflexology or holistic health career, get your FREE tips now at http://www.ReflexologyProf.com and join us at the top right corner.

To your reflexology success –

Reflex, Live Long and Prosper,

Creator of the Mega Reflexology Training

“THE FOOT FACTOR PROGRAM”