Reflexology and the Solar Plexus

January 20, 2010 by  
Filed under Reflexology Teaching

The Solar Plexus reflex is sometimes thought of as a huge energy source with a mysterious physical body part associated with it.

As it turns out… it’s both.

Also known as the Celiac Plexus, the Solar Plexus, is a complex network of nerves (a plexus).

Located in the upper part of the abdominal cavity, it’s probably called the celiac plexus because it’s very near where the celiac trunk, superior mesenteric artery, and renal arteries branch from the abdominal aorta.

Found just behind the stomach and the omental bursa, the celiac plexus is just in front of the crura of the diaphragm, or at the level of L1 – the first lumbar vertebra.

Function of Solar Plexus:

Physically, and as a nerve and blood source, and the Solar Plexus is located midway between the navel and the base of the sternum.

This central plexus supports the stomach, spleen, pancreas, and liver.

In energy medicine, the Solar Plexus Centre is one of the main power chakras in the body.

In addition to its association with the 3rd chakra, or the center of our “will power”, it’s also been associated with the functioning of the aura or psychic energy field, and with Etheric and Astral plane sensitivity.

In Theosophy, the Solar Plexus was in correspondence, in part, to the “Spleen Centre”, where the various spiritual energies enter for distribution to various parts of the body

Clinical importance:

If you’ve ever had a blow to the stomach area, you’ve felt the intensity of what an upset to this region can cause. This can cause the diaphragm to spasm, resulting in difficulty in breathing — a sensation commonly known as “getting the wind knocked out of you”.

And it makes sense that a blow to this region could also affect the celiac plexus itself, with the possibly of interfering with the functioning of the viscera, in addition to causing great pain.

Since the celiac plexus is often commonly referred to as the Solar Plexus, we generally think of the upper stomach region for its location.

And it’s not just a blow to the stomach that can upset this region.

This great network (or ganglia) of nerves that sits directly behind the stomach and goes out to all parts of the abdominal cavity is highly affected by stress.

Because of its sensitivity to stress, it’s sometimes it’s been called the “abdominal brain”.

As a chakra point, the Celiac Plexus is an energy centre, with a specific vibration that in turn manifests vortices that draw spiritual energy into ourselves.

Characteristics:

Associated with the color yellow, the Solar Plexus is the area which defines our “self-esteem”. Known as the center of “will” or EGO, the personality that develops during puberty is housed in this chakra.

It’s thought that anyone experiencing dysfunction of the third chakra is having difficulty obtaining or maintaining his/her own “personal power”.

Physical Dysfunctions:

As you can imagine, there are a myriad of organs and functions that will be effected by a problem in this area. Some of these are: diabetes, pancreatitis, stomach ulcers, intestinal tumors, indigestion, anorexia/ bulimia, hepatitis, cirrhosis, adrenal imbalances, arthritis, colon diseases.

Exercise for Solar Plexus

The Solar Plexus is an area of deep emotion. In yoga, there is training for proper exercise of the whole breathing apparatus in order to gain such control of the Solar Plexus so that anger, resentment, resistance, blues, discouragement and fear will be as foreign to you as are the awkward motions you once made when you were first learning to walk or eat.

Solar Plexus Self-Help Steps:

  • First of all loosen your clothing
  • Lie down flat upon your back with arms outspread and without pillow; let go of everything mentally
  • Inhale slowly through the nostrils a full breath;  hold steady a second or two; then force the breath suddenly into the upper part of the lungs; hold there a second or two and then suddenly throw all the breath down as far as possible, at the same time exclaiming mentally to the Solar Plexus.

This kundalini yoga pose is a good Solar Plexus exercise. This can be done to heal, balance and strengthening the Solar Plexus by developing this strength. The intention is for optimum health and that the person becomes more efficient and less stressed.

How Can Reflexology Help?

In the beginning, the middle and at the end every single reflexology session I give, I hold the Solar Plexus reflex points. Truly the “Sun Center”, if there was ever a favorite reflex for me to work, this would be it.

First, let’s find its point location: the Solar Plexus reflex is found bilaterally on the plantar surface and below the heads of metatarsals 2 & 3 (at the point between the distal shafts).

As noted above, it’s the area associated with organs and chakras, but did you know that it comes close to matching the kidney meridian as well.

In my last newsletter I mentioned that in oriental medicine, the Kidney Meridian and specifically the first Kidney Meridian point (K1) is thought of as the “Source of Chi”.

And, the Kidney Meridian is located between the Solar Plexus point and our own reflexology Kidney Reflex!

In each of my training programs, I reinforce how powerful this one reflex point is. I feel the connection and my clients do to.

You know it’s a good reflex when a client will say, “I really felt a lot of energy on that point”. It happens over and over again.

In fact, I think that the Solar Plexus reflex is such a powerful point for relaxation and stress relief that when students ask what to do if they’re not sure how to proceed, I tell them to hold these points, for several minutes.

That one pair of reflex points alone will elicit a similar relaxation effect that working on several other points, for a much longer period of time, will do.

For example if a person is frail or there is a contraindication for the application of pressure, I will gently hold the Solar Plexus points, without applying any pressure – just contact, for several minutes.

Of course, we do this naturally when someone is ill or in the hospital… it’s just more common to make the contact with the Solar Plexus points on the hands.

When you hold someone’s hand or even shake their hand, you are making contact through the Solar Plexus points.

It is truly an act of being open and compassionate.

So, to honor the multiple modalities and multiple functions of the Solar Plexus reflex and its importance to relaxing the body, it’s always a good idea to give it some extra attention when giving a reflexology session (don’t forget that this includes self-help too).

I always detail the Solar Plexus reflex as I work on the Respiratory Diaphragm reflex as well.

And, don’t forget about the rest of the family – the Nervous System reflexes. It’s a small system and easy to detail in its entirety.

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

Here’s to your good reflexology health!

© Wendy I. Coad

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Reflexology and the Kidneys

November 20, 2009 by  
Filed under Articles by Wendy

There’s been a lot of buzz around reflexology these past few weeks. In part thanks to a recent segment on the Regis and Kelly TV morning show.

kidney_regisIt seems that Regis, a great proponent of reflexology, recently experienced a pain that was reminiscent of years ago when he had kidney stones.

As Regis tells the story, he was awaiting surgery to remove the stones, when a reflexologist came to the hospital to work on his feet.

The session was an hour and a half, and nothing (other than pain relief and comfort) happened during or immediately after. But, later that night, he actually passed the stones and his surgery for the next day was cancelled.

As the story goes, he was very happy and very impressed with reflexology, believing it’s what actually helped.

A few weeks ago on his TV show “Regis & Kelly”, he revisited reflexology and once again felt that his recent reflexology session was instrumental in relieving a considerable amount of his current discomfort.

I’ve included the link to the TV segment below, but first you might want to know more about why the kidneys play such an important function in our health and wellbeing.

Kidneys

These dark-red and bean-shaped organs are at the posterior aspect of the torso and sit close to the waste-line. One side of the kidney has an outward bulge (convex) and the other side is indented (concave). At the indented side of the kidney (the renal pelvis), there’s a cavity where the ureter is attached.

The ureters are long thin tubes (from 10 – 12 inches long) that connect the kidneys to the bladder. The waste from the kidneys (urine) is moved from the kidney to the bladder via peristaltic contractions. The bladder, which is located behind the symphysis pubis, is the reservoir where urine is stored before it leaves the body via the urethra.

Known altogether as the “renal” or urinary system, this system affects all parts of the body by keeping the fluids in balance, removing wastes, regulating electrolyte balance and blood pressure, and stimulating the production of red blood cells.

Function of kidneys

Removal of waste: This is the main function of the kidneys – the removal of waste products and excess water from the blood. Even though the kidneys process about 55 gallons of blood (filtering all your blood approximately 19 times per day), they only eliminate about two quarts of urine daily.

Hormones: In addition to the above, the kidneys also release three important hormones:

1. erythropoietin, or EPO – which stimulates the bone marrow to create red blood cells

2. Another hormone produced called rennin – it regulates blood pressure

3. And, calcitriol – the active form of vitamin D, which helps to maintain normal chemical balance in the body and calcium for bones.

Regulation of salts: A function that is critical to the regulation of the body’s salt, potassium, and acid content is performed by the kidneys. This happens when the kidneys produce the hormones and vitamins that affect the function of other organs. As mentioned above, one hormone produced by the kidneys stimulates the production of red blood cells. In addition, another hormone produced by the kidneys help to regulate your blood pressure, while others help control calcium metabolism.

Urine formation: There are a series of highly complex steps the kidneys use in the processes of producing urine for excretion.  Other elements are also processed for re-absorption into the body. Both are important processes and necessary to maintaining the body chemicals in stable balance.

Kidney Diseases

Kidney Stones: When urine chemicals crystallize they gather to form a kidney stone. Even though they begin small (smaller than a grain of sand), they can gradually grow larger (a quarter inch in diameter or larger). But, the size of the stone doesn’t matter as much as where it is located.

Some of the symptoms of kidney stones include: intense pain, sweating, nausea and vomiting  (all of which are fairly common with stones).

Emergency treatment for kidney stones includes an intravenous line that’s used for hydration and for the administration of medication, which may include an anti-inflammatory drug, and narcotics for pain control.

Nephrotic Syndrome: This can be a further complication and is a kidney disease where there’s abnormal leakage of protein. Symptoms are low levels of proteins in the blood and swelling in other parts of the body. Treatment of nephrosis includes control of the disease by finding and treating any underlying medical conditions that may have caused it. Commonly drugs, including a diuretic to reduce swelling and antibiotics to treat infection, are used along with medications to reduce the output of protein.

Glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) Glomerulosclerosis: Sometimes scar tissue will form in the tiny blood vessels (called the glomeruli) inside the kidneys. The glomeruli are comprised of miles of vessels that filter urine from the blood. Dialysis, kidney transplantation, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs) and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) are nonspecific agents that reduce proteinuria. One of the approaches to relieve this is through modifications that are made to the diet.

Home Remedies

  • If, it’s been said it once, it’s been said a hundred times – drink plenty of H2O. Being well hydrated and keeping the urine diluted will help prevent kidney stones from forming
  • Additionally, drinking about three to four quarts of water daily is thought by many to be the best cure for treating kidney infection as well other internal infections.
  • And, don’t forget your Vitamin C it’s also said to be good in treating kidney infections. Food sources such as salmon, almonds, oranges and dairy products are rich in Vitamin C.

How Can Reflexology Help?

In oriental medicine, the Kidney Meridian and specifically the first Kidney Meridian point (K1) is thought of as the “Source of Chi”.

kidney_feetAnd, the Kidney Meridian is located very close to our own reflexology Kidney Reflex!

The location of the kidney reflexes are on both the left and right feet and begin at the level of the “waist-line” or close to the base of the 2nd metatarsals.

Just like in the body, the kidney reflexes are found lateral to the spine. (Note: the right kidney sits under the liver and is slightly lower that the left).

Because of its multiple functions for the body, it’s always a good idea to give some extra attention to this important organ reflex when giving a reflexology session (don’t forget that this includes self-help too).

I always detail the kidney reflex if it has the feeling of a “change in tissue texture” on the foot. This is a detail that calls for thumb-walking to occur in more than one direction. If I do the first passes on the vertical, I’ll do a second round on the horizontal or diagonal directions as well.

And, don’t forget about all of the urinary system reflexes. It’s a small system and easy to detail in its entirety.

If you go to this video clip – you can hear Regis Philbin tell how reflexology helped him, and his kidneys… in his own words.

Regis tells his Reflexology Story –

1. Go to: http://bventertainment.go.com/tv/buenavista/regisandkelly/host_chat.html?bcpid=959373459&bclid=28549562001&bctid=45928380001

2. On the Right Side MENU Bar click onto: OCTOBER 22, 2009

3. Once the video starts to play, move the fast forward bar at the bottom of the video to approximately 4 minutes into the play time.

4. Enjoy Regis’ reflexology story.

Now, as a practitioner, how about adding this detail into every one your reflexology sessions? Even better, be the client and get a reflexology session yourself. Ask your practitioner to detail the urinary system reflexes and feel for yourself how powerful the energy balancing is.

Spend some quality reflex time with the “Sole Source of Chi” – the kidney reflexes. You’ll be support your client’s health and don’t be surprised if they have to excuse themselves to go to the bathroom either during or right after the session. I think of that as reflexology at work.

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

Here’s to your good reflexology health!

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR NEWSLETTER OR WEBSITE?

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

Flat Feet

October 15, 2009 by  
Filed under Reflexology Tips

Flat feet are a condition where the arch of the foot appears flattened. This causes the foot to roll inwards as it contacts with the floor in support of the weight of the body, and is the main clinical feature of excessive pronation. A flat foot is a condition in which the foot doesn’t have a normal arch. It may affect one foot or both feet.

Most people have a gap between in the inner side of the foot and the ground when they are standing. This is referred to as an “arch”. Feet that have a low arch or no arch at all are referred to as flat feet or fallen arches (pes planus) and the foot may roll over to the inner aspect.

Types of Flat feet:

  • Congenital flat foot is a condition that one is born with.
  • Acquired flat foot, develops over time, rather than at birth and is likely to cause pain and other symptoms – sometimes including the development of arthritis in the feet.

Causes of Flat Feet

  • It may be hereditary, i.e passed on through generations.
  • In most cases it is caused through a biomechanical complaint (abnormal walking) such as Fore Foot Varus. This is a condition in which the subtaler joint in the foot over pronates (rolls in too much).
  • A ruptured tendon (tibilias posterior) can lead to a flat foot.
  • Cerebral palsy, spins bifida and muscular dystrophy can also lead to a flat foot condition.
  • Trauma or injury from sports and even improper footwear can influence the foot towards pronation and eventual flattening.

Signs and symptoms

  • Your feet tire easily or become painful with prolonged standing.
  • It’s difficult to move your heel or midfoot around, or to stand on your toes.
  • Your foot aches, particularly in the heel or arch area, with swelling along the inner side.
  • Pain in your feet reduces your ability to participate in sports.
  • You’ve been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis; about half of all people with rheumatoid arthritis will develop a progressive flatfoot deformity.

Prevention

Many would say that there is really no way to prevent flat feet. However, the field of pedorthy and podiatry would probably disagree and recommend that orthotics be used to minimize the  speed at which the feet move further into pronation.

Treatment of Flat feet

  • The most important aspect of treatment is determining the exact type or underlying cause of flat feet that you have, and this can be examined through clinical examination and special imaging studies (e.g., x-rays, CT, and/or MRI).
  • Conservative treatment is used in the vast majority of flat foot cases, and consists of treatments such as orthotics, shoe recommendations, anti-inflammatory measures and special strengthening exercises.
  • Commonly called foot orthotics, these are interchangeable among your shoes and may provide more support because they’re molded to the contours of your feet. Orthotics come in three types: rigid, semi-rigid and soft.
  • Surgery is rarely required, and is reserved only for the most severe types of flat foot that do not respond to conservative therapy

Facts about flexible flat feet

  • Flexible flat feet are a common, usually painless condition that is often normal.
  • Corrective shoes or inserts do not “create” an arch.
  • Flexible flat feet will not interfere with a child’s ability to learn to walk or play sports.
  • Shoe salespersons may tell you expensive shoes will help you walk better. This is not true. Regular, inexpensive shoes may be worn too, if they offer good support.
  • If you have questions about shoes, always check with a professional.

Home remedies for flat feet

Wear good shoes. This is the most important remedy. Make sure that they are comfortable and fit properly.

Can reflexology help?

Since reflexology has a relaxing and beneficial effect to the whole body, and because our techniques are applied to the feet, they are definitely the beneficiaries of the soothing relaxation reflexology offers.

Although the focus of reflexology is the whole body, sore aching feet will appreciate what a great reflexology session can provide in terms of stress relief and therefore pain relief.

It’s important to remember that because we don’t treat, the benefits to the feet are a bonus – but one which everyone can enjoy.

As with a lot of pathologies or deviations from the norm, flat feet may not begin with the feet, unless the condition is congenital.

As we age there is a tendency for the feet to pronate, but most of us who have healthy arches will likely keep them, as long as we don’t abuse our feet.

Unless there are deformities in the bones that do not support the structure on the arch – the only thing that will create it or remove an arch is the tissue that surrounds it. Bones can’t keep themselves in place without a collective effort (cranial bones may be the exception because of their intricate system of interlocking sutures).

So what keeps the foot arch in shape (or out of shape)? Ligaments, tendons, muscles and connective tissues.

Let’s look at which of these supports the arch…

Firstly, ligaments connect bone to bone, and there is a lot of ligamentous attachment around the arch of the foot to keep it stable.

Next, we have 2 very important muscles whose tendons both attach to the base of the first metatarsal. One comes from the outside and the other from the inside (front) of the leg and together they form a stirrup that supports the medial arch of the foot.

The “peroneus longus” is the outer muscle and the “tibialis anterior” is the inner one that form a “continuous” support because they both attach, at their distal ends, to the same bone: metatarsal #1.

So if the foot is flat, one of these muscles is probably weak and the other is possibly in spasm or at least tight.

At this point you might refer your client to a massage therapist, however, many are not familiar with, nor trained in the intricacies of the feet.

An osteopath is likely your best recommendation (or a chiropractor). Most in the medical profession will defer to the use of orthotics to correct the misalignment.

Orthotics can support the structure and relieve a degree of the pain, but they’re not aimed at correcting the cause of the problem.

Both an osteopath or a chiropractor should be able to take a look at the structural alignment, or rather misalignment and offer treatment and exercises to recalibrate the back, or hips, or legs, or whatever the cause is found to be.

I’ve personally met someone with flat feet who gave themselves an arch. As he described it, he did exercises that lengthened his peroneus longus muscle and toned or tightened his tibialis anterior muscle.

Admittedly, he had to exercise every day, and if he didn’t (or even if he stayed on his feet for more than 8 hours) his pronation would return.

A simple exercise to strengthen the tibialis anterior is to stand with both feet on the ground and lift only your toes (extension).

A way to lengthen the peroneus longus is to stand with both feet on the ground and roll your feet onto their outside edge (supination).

By doing this daily, he swore that his arch would remain elevated throughout the day and that the pains he felt in his back, legs and feet were alleviated.

Of course this is just one person’s approach and may not work for everyone. That’s because there can be many different reasons for flat feet.

Reflexology is a complementary modality that will work well in conjunction with just about any medical treatment. It’s been found successful in relieving the pain that accompanies many pathologies and treatments. Flat feet are just one of many.

Think of your client’s highest good and join forces with other professionals so that the best results can be achieved.

Their feet will thank you for it.

In addition, don’t forget that with reflexology, the magic is in the details. For structural issues, I pay attention to the reflexes to all the spinal reflexes in addition to the reflexes to the legs, hips and knees, arms and shoulders.

  1. Be attentive and listen for what your clients needs.
  2. Be clear about your reflex location.
  3. Never work beyond your client’s pain threshold.
  4. Hold the healing space as sacred.
  5. And, enjoy your wonderful reflexology skills.

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR NEWSLETTER OR WEBSITE?
You can as long as you include this complete blurb with it: Online health and reflexology expert Wendy I. Coad, the “Reflexology Professor” publishes the popular “Reflexology Secrets, Tips and Techniques” monthly email newsletter to subscribers from around the world. If you’re ready to enjoy health, express creativity, gain knowledge and skyrocket you reflexology or holistic health career, get your FREE tips now at http://www.reflexologyprof.com.

The Gall bladder

October 2, 2009 by  
Filed under Articles by Wendy

First let’s take a look at its location and function:

The gallbladder is a pear shaped organ located posterior and inferior to the liver. It stores the bile that the liver has produced – up to 2 oz.  It’s connected to the intestinal system by the cystic duct which in turn empties into the duodenum via the common bile duct.

When we eat a large or fatty meal, nerve and chemical signals cause our gallbladder to contract thereby adding bile into our digestive system. It’s bile that helps to emulsify fat in our partly digested food. Most of this digestion occurs in the duodenum.

The gall bladder consists of the following parts:

Fundus: the lower free and the expanded end of the Gall bladder is known as the fundus of the gall bladder. It’s a projection from below the liver and its direction is downwards, forwards, and also to the right making an angle of about thirty degrees.

Body: the body of the is the portion that is lying between that of the fundus and also the gallbladder neck. The direction of the body is upwards, backwards, and to the left.

Neck: it’s the “S” shaped curve present above the body, and extends up to the cystic duct. Direction is upwards, forwards and then takes a turn downwards and backwards. Sometimes there is a presence of some diverticulum’s known as the Hartmann’s pouch and this portion is often termed as the isthmus of the gall bladder. Above it is the liver, and inferiorly the first part of the duodenum.

Functions of the Gall bladder

Let’s start with the liver whose main action is to  filter of the blood. It’s also a major eliminator of waste and toxins. One of the products created by the liver’s removal of toxins is bile, but instead of simply eliminating it, the body uses it to break down fats and cholesterols in the digestive system.

This is where the gallbladder comes in – it stores the bile until it’s needed, concentrating it and then moving it into the digestive track through its connecting tube, the common bile duct.

The main function of the gall bladder is the concentration and the storage of bile, around ten times more than the bile in the liver. This bile is a liquid which is the secretory as well as the excretory product of the liver. The hepatoctes or the cells of the liver are the most efficient in the formation of bile.

Bile has its main function during the process of the digestion of the fats or the lipids. The process of fat digestion does not start before the bile acts on the fats and emulsifies them. Another function of the gall bladder is to lessen the alkaline nature of the bile of the liver, and hence take it towards the acidic side.

Disorders of Gall bladder

There are three main problems that occur with the Gall Bladder:

1. Gall bladder stones

The Gall Bladder can develop stones within it. The mechanism of the formation of the stones or lithiogenic properties is the increase in the secretion of cholesterols in the bile. The main reasons behind all this hyper secretory activity of the bile may be closely associated with high caloric diets, obesity, or many drugs.

2.  The Gall bladder is irritated or swollen:

Irritation or swelling of the gallbladder could be from any number of causes. It will most likely be uncomfortable or painful, as with all problems, first should be seen by a doctor.

3.  The tubes leading from the gall bladder to the duodenum get blocked:

This could be caused by a twisting of the tubes or by factors concerning the viscosity of the bile or a reduction in the diameter of the tubes.

Treatment of the gallbladder stones

There are 3 main methods for treatment, the surgical method, ultra sound to break up the masses or the dissolution method.

The dissolution method can include herbal remedies and might be effective but the best course of action is to consult a physician immediately, especially if there is pain or an infection.

If the Gall bladder is at risk for rupture because of infection or a blockage then surgery is often required to avoid a serious health risk.

If the gallbladder is removed the result will be an interruption between the smooth flow between

the liver and the area where fat is digested. Fat intake will have to be monitored and bile and enzyme supplements will commonly need to be taken.

I’ve heard that in China – where the lowest number of appendix and gallbladder removals occur – imaging tests are given first and if the gall stone is less than 1cm, herbs are used to soften and reduce the stones. This is also done along with acupuncture.

Gall bladder as a metaphor

It’s not the main focus of this article but there is definitely a part of reflexology that offers balancing support to the energy and emotions as well. It’s probably no accident that the term “gall” or “galled” indicates vexation and rancor. One of the definitions of “gall” is – something bitter to endure. Sounds a little like the taste of bile (and I hope you never experience it).

Just like feeling vexed or the unbalanced emotions of bitterness it seems like this little organ can pack a whollup and if it’s unhappy – it can make everyone around it unhappy too.

A Survey of Home Remedies Others have Suggested for Gall Bladder Disorders

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” – So be good to your body, limit your intake of the bad fats.

Beets

Fresh juice of beets and the juices of carrot and cucumber in quantities of 100 ml each, are one of the finest cleansers of the gall-bladder. This combined juice has proved beneficial in the treatment of all disorders related to this organ, and others have reported results when taken twice daily.

Pears

What I love about the pears is that this is the general shape of the gall bladder itself. Coincedence?

The pear is another excellent remedy for gall-bladder disorders. The fruit or its juice could be taken liberally with beneficial results. This is thought to exercise a special healing effect on all gall-bladder disorders, including gallstones.

Chicory

The flowers, seeds, and roots of chicory or the endive plant are considered valuable in gall-bladder disorders. A decoction of about 30-60 ml of the flowers, seeds, or roots used three times daily are thought to have a beneficial result in the treatment of these disorders. In addition, endive or chicory juice in almost any combination is believed to promote the secretion of bile and could therefore be very good for both liver and gall-bladder dysfunctions.

Dandelion

Dandelion is another plant that is noted for its beneficial effect on the gall bladder. About 125 ml each of the juices of dandelion and watercress should be taken twice daily. Combined with a vegetarian diet, without much sugar and starch, these juices have been thought by some to help make the gall-bladder normal.

Olive Oil

An oil cure has been advocated by some natural cure practitioners for the removal of gallstones. Raw, natural, unrefined vegetable oils of olive or sunflower are used. The procedure is to take 30 ml of vegetable oil, preferably olive oil, first thing in the morning and follow it immediately with 120 ml of grapefruit juice or lemon juice. This is an old remedy and it’s been found effective if taken every morning for several days (even weeks, if necessary).

Diet

Smaller gallstones can usually be cleared through dietetic cure. In cases of acute gall-bladder inflammation, fasting for two or three days until the acute condition is cleared. Nothing but water is taken during this period. After the fast, fruit and vegetable juices may be added for a few days; carrots, beets, grapefruit, pears, lemons or grapes may be included.

Can Reflexology Help?

Obviously, if there’s an acute pain, it’s important that you see your doctor. As with any complimentary modality, reflexology may help with the discomfort but it is in no way a substitute for medical attention.

First let’s identify the gallbladder reflex location. I find it most commonly on the right plantar between and mid shaft of metatarsals 4 & 5. It would seem to me “inside” the liver reflex but that’s because it’s inferior to the liver and the anterior liver is lower than its posterior aspect.

The gall bladder reflex is one of those points that a “hook & back-up can be used to connect to in a more detailed and specific way.

If there’s sensitivity on the reflex point, I definitely consider that to be a “call for energy”. Whether it’s a call on the physical, emotional planes is yet to be determined. But if it’s found to be on the physical level, a conversation about diet naturally ensues.

This little organ certainly warrants our reflexology attention and I feature it in most digestive system protocols.

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.

If you want to know more, my response to this week’s “The Professor Answers” reflexology question from one of my readers will give you more useful information. This response is available only to those who have signed up for my newsletter. It includes a suspicion that the gallbladder is implicated more than “just by chance”, but because of the hard work it does.

©Wendy Coad

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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

Reflexolyogi!

August 27, 2009 by  
Filed under Reflexology Tips

Submitted by Wendy Coad on August 27.

Well here’s a match made in heaven.

We’re all familiar with the benefits reflexology, so imagine what will happen if you add yoga. Yoga is the traditional physical and mental exercise discipline that originated in India.

In the present time, more and more people, especially in the US (and you’ll see it just about everywhere, around the world), are resorting to Yoga to find a solution for chronic health problems as well as a practice in attaining peace of mind. And those who don’t practice it already are curious about knowing what exactly Yoga is and what’s included in it.

Although many of us are well aware of the health benefits of the physical activity, not everyone knows about the origin and exact definition of Yoga.

It’s a popular belief that Yoga merely includes stretching and warm up exercises. Of course, yoga involves stretching, but includes many other things beyond that. Yoga’s aim is to unite the mind, the body, and the spirit.

Branches of Yoga

The major branches of yoga in Hindu philosophy include Raja Yoga, Karma Yoga, Jnana Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, and Hatha Yoga. There are many more that you commonly see including Iyengar, Kripalu, etc.

The Goal of Yoga

The goal of yoga may range from improving health to achieving Moksha (within Jainism and the monist schools of Advaita Vedanta and Shaivism the goal of yoga takes the form of Moksha), which is liberation from all worldly suffering and the cycle of birth and death (Samsara), at which point there is a realization of identity with the Supreme Being.

I’ve always thought of yoga as an exceptional health practice – after all, it’s our responsibility to take care of our own health and well being. Yoga is not a religion but rather a encourages a state of being present that is based on awareness of your body and mind in order to fully experience your wonderful (and wondrous) existence here on earth.

Benefits of Yoga

The most important benefit of yoga is physical and mental therapy. The aging process, which some think is largely an artificial condition, caused mainly by autointoxication or self-poisoning, can be slowed down by practicing yoga. By keeping the body clean, flexible and well lubricated, we can significantly reduce the catabolic process of cell deterioration. To get the maximum benefits of yoga one would do well to combine the practices of yogasanas (exercise), pranayama (breathing exercise) and meditation.

Yoga is not only a great form of activity but it also massages all the internal glands and organs of the body. Tai Chi can also offers these benefits, but it is a different exercise and philosophy altogether.

Yoga acts in a wholesome manner on all of the various body parts. It is thought to help in the flushing out of toxins from every nook and cranny which in turn may help to facilitate nourishment up to the last cell.

The benefits – delayed ageing, increasing energy and offering a remarkable zest for life (see list below)!

Therapeutic uses of yoga

Yoga is highly therapeutic. Some of the ailments proven to be relieved, reversed and even healed through the practice of Yoga are acidity, allergies, Alzheimer’s disease, anemia, anger, anxiety, arthritis, asthma, back pain, bronchitis, cancer, carpal tunnel syndrome, chronic fatigue, colitis, common cold, constipation.

Some other benefits of Yoga are

  • Dexterity skills improve
  • Reaction time improves
  • Posture improves
  • Strength and resiliency increase
  • Endurance increases
  • Energy level increases
  • Weight normalizes
  • Sleep improves
  • Immunity increases
  • Pain decreases
  • Steadiness improves
  • Depth perception improves
  • Balance improves
  • Integrated functioning of body parts improves

How can reflexology help?

If you look at the previous statement: Yoga acts in a wholesome manner on all of the various body parts. It is thought to help in the flushing out of toxins from every nook and cranny which in turn may help to facilitate nourishment up to the last cell… I could say the same for reflexology.

As a reflexologist, I have clients report to me every day that they have seen improvements in their health. And they attribute those improvements in part or in whole to reflexology.

I love to see my clients and they enjoy their sessions but there is a lot more that can be done between sessions that will help to maintain health or may even accelerate their healing process.

Before I go further, I want to tell you that I am not a yoga instructor or expert. Thankfully that’s one less thing I have to do because there are plenty of them all around. (I live in an urban area, but for those of you who don’t have any classes nearby, there are many good videos and books out there.)

I often recommend yoga classes to my clients who want to work on their health between reflexology sessions. I think it’s excellent just as an exercise program, and it also offers support for the life-style changes that will serve you well in the long run.

Hopefully there’s a class that will suit your speed, but if you’re a little older and have gone to a class with a room full of 20 year olds with buff bodies – do not despair. You can do half the poses that the instructor is offering and still reap the benefits.

But referring to a class is not all that I use yoga for. It’s easy to recommend some simple stretches for the toes. A favorite of many is –

1. Hold onto a chair or a table and place both feet on the floor.

2. Bend one foot so that the toes are flat on the floor but the heel is lifted high off the ground.

3. Rock the foot (heel) from left to right so that the toes remain bent and on the floor but the metatarsophalangeal joints and the flexor tendons get a nice stretch.

4. Change the direction of the toe bends from extension (curled up) to flexion (curled under). Make sure it’s comfortable and if your toes don’t bend well in this direction – don’t strain to do so. But if they can bend under, you can again

5. Rock the foot (heel) from left to right so that the toes remain bent and on the floor, but the metatarsophalangeal joints and the extensor tendons get a nice stretch too.

Client’s love it and so do I.

Note: It’s recommended that you check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program.

There have been numerous students who have come to train in reflexology because they have either had a yoga instructor do a little foot compression at the end of the class, or they’re a yoga instructor who has gotten rave reviews from giving a little foot compression at the end of a class and they want to know how to do more*. (*Note to those who want to market their reflexology!)

One or 2 of my former students have actually incorporated reflexology into their own practice, creatively working on their feet as they relax into certain poses.

As I said before, it’s a match made in heaven and you should consider suggesting it to clients as a great tool for health in between sessions – or learn it yourself – you too could become the next Reflexolyogi!

Enjoy your wonderful reflexology skills and explore how beautifully reflexology mixes with any healthy modality. It can work for everyone.

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

The 14 Steps to Repeat Customers

July 22, 2009 by  
Filed under Articles by Wendy

Here are 14 Easy Steps to Getting “Repeat Customers” for Reflexology and other bodywork sessions.

Many of the reflexology students I teach are people who want to make a living by offering their services.

They’re professionals, bodyworkers, artists. Many of them are have some experience in a related field, and just as many are starting out, for the first time, in the field of complementary and alternative health.

Few of them have much experience of working for themselves, but all of them like the idea if they could just make it work.

But here’s the problem: I see many of them trying to sell their services with the same mentality as if they worked for someone else.

They talk about the benefits of reflexology in vague terms and assume that people will know just what they’re talking about.

Nope.

You need a special approach that answers all your client’s questions, even the questions that they haven’t thought of yet!

Here’s a basic outline of the 14 elements you’ll want to include. To see most of this process in text visit MY own sales page at: www.thefootfactorprogram.com

1. In the beginning, limit your selection of services.

This seems to be the opposite of what most people think, but you don’t want to overwhelm clients with too many choices – establish that you’re the best at what you do.

The client shouldn’t be distracted by choosing from dozens of possibilities.

The idea is to build the relationship first. Then later you can unveil the wonders of all the possibilities of reflexology – hand, foot, face, ear, reiki, polarity, aromatherapy, etc.

So initially, only have the few services that relate to what they’re looking for or what will “wow” them.

Keep the subtle, more esoteric for later.

2. Give a powerful motivating challange.

Your first statement can make or break the session. If it’s not compelling, your client will likely be as underwhelmed as your presentation.

Here’s an easy motivating statement formula:

“Let’s Focus On _________ So Your Body Can ____________.”

Make sure the 2nd part gives a big benefit, for example, “Let’s Focus On” moving you to the next level of quantum healing/health/relaxation…”So Your Body Can” heal itself (or experience the rejuvenating effects of the deepest relaxation made possible).”

3. Discuss the problem the client has, and incorporate a success story.

First discuss the problem or pain that the client has, and then lead in to how reflexology has solved similar issues for others.

This is where your collection of client antidotes or articles and research papers come into play.

If you share another failure-to-success story that the client can empathize with, it will give them the gem of hope without guarantee of a specific outcome, which is beyond our scope of practice anyway.

4. Talk about who you are.

If someone is going to put themselves in your hands, you’ll want them to know why you’re qualified to offer these services. Give them the feeling that you’ve learned a lot about your own health and well being through this process – reflexology – and want to share it with them (and the world).

You don’t have to get into every detail of your own story but the connection will help the client instantly feel like she knows you better, increasing the “trust factor.” And people feel more comfortable around those they feel they know, like, and trust!

5. During the session list the reflex connections.

I don’t wake client up to find out if they’re relaxed, but I do let them know what reflexes are “talking” as I move through the session.

You can turn each reflex point into an exciting secret. For example, suppose your client feels some sensitivity in their adrenal reflex – let them know how common that can be and that it’s used as a marker for how busy our lives have become.

Then you can ask the question, “What’s the one thing that works best for you to relax and rejuvenate outside of reflexology?”

Their answer will give you the best homework suggestion that you can make because you already know what works for them.

6. Mention plenty of other client’s experiences.

Let your client know that reflexology is used by thousand from around the world. They’ll find comfort in knowing that it’s not just a local phenomena, but a world-wide movement.

It’s even more effective to weave-in testimonials throughout your conversation, but remember to honor the confidentiality that is paramount in reflexology.

In fact, it gives you a great entry to telling them about client confidentiality. And, this will make it easier for them to feel protected and safe.

7. Tell your client why reflexology is such a great value.

How does the price of reflexology sessions or a reflexology package compare to time lost from work?

Or, you can always remind them that your sessions are a great value at $75 ($100… $150) an hour when compared to the most expensive place in town which would run them $250+.

Yes, you just have to look around. There will be someone or some spa who has tapped the high end market.

Here’s some good homework for you – and a bargain business lesson at any price. Get a session from the most expensive place in town and don’t forget to leave a good tip too. It’s important research and it will confirm that your work is as good, if not better – giving your value statement the ring of truth.

You can hardly ask someone to pay good money for good value if you would never do it yourself.

8. To quickly established your client relationship, throw in a few great bonuses.

Offer special bonuses (especially in exchange for them telling others about your services) that are something special like an additional half hour of hand reflexology or a free session for every client referral that buys a series package.

It could be additional aromatherapy, gem stone therapy, reiki, or a free consu1tation.

One reflexology business that came to my attention recently was offering a unique first time experience, and in a few months they’d booked thousands of sessions.

9. 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 no reason to NOT return.

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

10. 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.

11. Make it ABSURDLY CLEAR what to do next.

Nothing bothers me more than when I’m at a spa and everyone assumes that I’ve been there before and know how everything is handled.

Take your clients by the hand and help them navigate your session protocols.

Make your process idiot-proof. Example: When a client entered my office, I use to let them find the most obvious place to sit – there is ONLY ONE comfy, non-working chair in the place and it’s meant for them.

Instead, they would come in and sit just about anywhere else (like on a stool that I needed to use) or put their things on the working surface – the massage table, only to have to relocate them for the session.

Where they would sit seems obvious to me, but that was just not the case.

Now I help them through every step of the way (no need with the regulars they know the routine).

I say, “Hello, come in. This is your chair – please sit down (I need them seated to have them fill out the client history form). Your things can go on the side here and you can drape your coat over the chair or hang it up on the door here”.

I can almost hear a sigh of relief. No guessing as to what I expect or what will make the experience go smoothly.

Also sprinkle information throughout your session — some people need to know that for the relaxation benefits it’s okay for them to close their eyes.

I offer these as suggestions and never infer that it’s wrong if they don’t. Some people need to feel familiar with a new experience before they’re completely comfortable (and want to close their eyes).

12. 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.

13. 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.

14. 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 Step # 12 – 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 business health!

Reflexology & the Lymphatic System

June 23, 2009 by  
Filed under Reflexology Tips

Most of us have experienced ‘swollen glands’ at one time or another. But many people don’t understand what glands are, or what they do. Properly called lymph glands – or to be really accurate lymph nodes – the glands are part of a network of tiny vessels known as the lymphatic system.

What the lymphatic system is…

This system is rather like the system of blood vessels that supplies all parts of the body. However instead of blood, the lymph vessels carry a clear, straw-colored fluid – lymph. This fluid originates in the bloodstream and seeps through the walls of tiny blood vessels. It bathes and nourishes the body’s tissues. It collects in the lymphatic vessels and eventually returns to the bloodstream.

The lymphatic system serves as one of the body’s defenses against infection.

Lymph glands

Along the lymph vessels are small bean-shaped lymph glands or ‘nodes’. You can probably feel some of your lymph nodes.

There are lymph nodes

  • Under your arms, in your armpits
  • In the groin area (at the top of your legs)
  • In your neck

There are also lymph nodes that you cannot feel in

  • Your abdomen
  • Your pelvis
  • Your chest

Other organs that are part of the lymphatic system are:

Spleen – The spleen is under your ribs on the left side of your body.  Some important functions of the spleen are to produce white blood cells and the filtering of lymph fluid.

Thymus – The thymus is a small gland under your breast bone.  The thymus helps to mature white blood cells.  It is usually most active in teenagers and shrinks in adulthood.

Tonsils – The tonsils are two glands in the back of your throat. The tonsils and adenoids (also called the ‘nasopharyngeal’ tonsils) help to protect the entrance to the digestive system and the lungs from bacteria and viruses.

Adenoids – The adenoids are at the back of your nose, where it meets the back of your throat.

What the lymphatic system does

  • to collect and return interstitial fluid, including plasma protein to the blood, and thus help maintain fluid balance,
  • to defend the body against disease by producing lymphocytes,
  • to absorb lipids from the intestine and transport them to the blood.

How does lymphatic system works

The lymph nodes (glands) are collections of tissue along the lymphatic vessels. They contain large numbers of cells called macrophages and lymphocytes. These cells act as scavengers, killing and removing harmful invaders such as bacteria and viruses.

When this happens the number of cells in the node increases rapidly. This may cause the node to swell, become tender and, sometimes, red.

The main areas where this is noticeable are the neck, groin and axilla (armpit). Thus an infected finger might result in swollen glands in the armpit on that side. The very obvious swollen glands in the neck of a child with tonsillitis are a common sight for many parents.

As well as dealing with infections, lymph glands also trap cancer cells, reducing their spread through the body.

Sometimes the lymphatic system itself is the primary target for cancer. A disease called Hodgkin’s disease is a common form of this type of cancer and shows up with persistent and quite hard swollen glands.

Swollen glands are common. If they ‘come and go’ there is usually nothing to worry about. But if glands remain enlarged for a week or more, with no obvious cause such as a local infection, ask your doctor to look at them, in case they are a sign of something more serious.

Diseases of the lymphatic system

Lymphedema is the swelling caused by the accumulation of lymph fluid, which may occur if the lymphatic system is damaged or has malformations.

An estimated 170 million people develop lymphedema, which progresses in three stages:

Stage 1: Pressing the swollen limb leaves a pit that takes a while to fill back in. Because there is little fibrosis (hardening) it is often reversible. Elevation reduces swelling.

Stage 2: Pressure does not leave a pit. Elevation does not help. If left untreated, the limb becomes fibrotic.

Stage 3: This stage of lymphedema is often called elephantiasis. It is generally only in the legs after lymphedema that has gone long untreated. While treatment can help a little, it is not reversible.

Some common causes of swollen lymph nodes include infections, infectious mononucleosis, and cancer, e.g. Hodgkin’s and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and metastasis of cancerous cells via the lymphatic system.

Lymphatic System, Exercise & Yoga

Most people take their lymphatic system for granted.

What “media/press” the lymphatic system does get often appears when it causes an unpleasant side effect called lymphedema – a potentially disabling condition that can sometimes arise following a mastectomy.

As per theory of Yoga “Lymphedema is not something you can cure, you have to manage it. Doing yoga every day helps undo the effects of sitting and standing for long periods of time.”

Doctors in exercise physiology, explains that any form of exercise that incorporates major muscle groups and deep breathing will encourage lymph flow.

Muscle movement squeezes lymph vessels. The fluid is then moved toward the subclavian veins near the heart. One-way valves in the lymph vessels prevent the fluid from moving backwards, away from the heart.

Deep breathing is especially beneficial because breathing muscles squeeze the lymphatic thoracic duct, which dumps most of the body’s lymph into the bloodstream.

One form of exercise that seems especially beneficial for the lymph movement is rebounding, which involves jumping or jogging on a mini-trampoline.

And, don’t forget that walking, plain and simple, is one of the best forms of exercise – that just about everyone can do.

What Can Reflexology Do for the Lymphatic System?

Well, I’ve long been a believer in the benefits of reflexology to the body and especially the lymphatic system.

While the only other organ system of the body with miles of vessels is the circulatory system, it’s advantage is the heart which acts as a pump to move it’s fluids throughout.

The lymphatic system has no such pump and relies largely upon muscle movement to keep things moving.

And the flow of the lymphatic system’s fluid does not move in a circle. As mentioned above, this system is comprised of “dead-end” or one-way vessels that rely on tiny “flap valves” (on the inside of the vessel), to keep the flow of lymph moving only one-way – towards the heart.

There is no pump anywhere in the lymph system, and the fingers and toes are the furthest distances for the fluid to flow back to the heart.

However, it’s inherent in our gently thumb and finger walking compression to support all the fluid tides, including the lymph.

I say inherent, because the focus of reflexology is not to move fluids, it’s just another fringe benefit of our techniques.

Imagine what a great help this would be to anybody, and especially to a body that’s involved in working on its own system defense.

As a reflexologist, I will always be careful not to treat, diagnose or prescribe.  And, if someone is ill and they have not seen a doctor, make sure they are referred to a medical practitioner.

When a client has a lot of sensitivity at any of the immune system reflexes – the spleen, the thymus, the axillary lymph or the groin lymph reflex points – I might ask them how they’ve been feeling and if they’ve recently experienced any seasonal colds or flu’s.

That’s such a great and general question because it will get the conversation started based of what they tell you and not what you tell them (which would be a diagnosis).

Conversation or not, I’ll still detail the reflexes to the specific area of sensitivity (but within the client’s pain threshold) and will almost always include detailing on all the lymphatic system reflexes.

Remember, the lymphatic system is a large part of the immune system and maintaining both is optimum for health and well-being.

And, yes, I believe that reflexology profoundly supports not just the lymphatic system, but all the organs and systems of the body.

Again, be curious about where the body is “calling for energy”, and know that reflexology will support the body in its own healing processes – the never ending impulse towards homeostasis.

Reflexology offers the whole body relaxation, and the effects of our work can be helpful on so many levels.

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