Wendy Coad - Reflexology Secrets, Tips and Techniques
ISSN 1933-1517
Friday, Apr. 23rd, 2009
Vol. IV, Issue 13

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- Feature Article: Reflexology and Edema

- A Note from the Professor: Hand and Face Reflexology 2009

- Upcoming Classes: Intro to Foot Reflexology

- The Professor Recommends: The Foot Factor Program

- Marketplace & Helpful Hints:
Edema Support Q&A

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A Note From the Professor

Happy Earth Day (yesterday, but it should be all year)

Quite a few things have come across my desk this week – requests for articles, requests for reflexologists for both paid and volunteer jobs and requests for answers to reflexology questions.

I’m happy to supply all.

The reflexology request was for a Hand Reflexologist to give a presentation. I had a certified reflexologist, and former student, respond to the call.

Soon there will be more.

My Hand and Face Reflexology Workshops – the last ones for this year – have just started.
These classes are small “Master Classes”. I call them that because I can bring in so much more information about the multiple levels of both energy work and bodywork that are inherent in our reflexology.

The Hand Reflexology class was sold out!

It amazes me what happens when like-minded people come together for a project or goal. It’s always just the right people – not to exclude anyone who wants to learn - but the ones who show up have made it happen.

Here’s what one of the students wrote to me yesterday.

“Thank you Wendy.
Throughly enjoying the classes, the new techniques and refinement of hand reflexology. I totally wowed my client with face reflexology. I look forward to our next classes!”
- R.D. certified reflexologist.

I have a mission this year - to deliver great reflexology news to at least 2009 people by the end of the year. I'm calling it 2009 in 2009.

Right now about a thousand folks from around the world are getting the latest reflexology information.

And, that’s a lot of people who know and love reflexology. But, I want the news to reach even more. I want reflexology to inspire, motivate and challenge twice this number at least.

Will you help?

Well then, tell all your friends and relatives - acquaintances as well – everybody’s welcome!

Send them this free newsletter and tell them to sign up for it (I can’t do it for you) or send them to the website www.reflexologyprof.com or the new blog reflexologysuccess.com.

Reflexology Blog

Last but not least, I have my next teleseminar coming up - I’m just putting the finishing touches on the announcement - so look for it… coming soon

See you there.

Live Long, Reflex and Prosper,

Wendy Coad

Wendy I. Coad, "The Reflexology Professor"
Creator the Mega Reflexology Training

Email: info@ReflexologyProf.com
Call (800) 875-1773 or (646) 456-0000


Classes and Workshops

Intro to Foot Reflexology

This is the start of my 2009 Professional Certification Program in Foot Reflexology. I teach it every year at the New York Open Center in Soho in New York City.

Reflexology is one of the most practical, efficient and effective holistic health practices of today. It’s easy to learn and its stress-relieving techniques are enjoyed around the world. , Reflexology promotes relaxation, may aid circulation and assist muscular and nerve function by supporting the body’s own healing process. , Join us to learn these popular health techniques based primarily on the system developed by American osteopathic physician William Fitzgerald.

Special features of this program:

INTRODUCTION TO FOOT REFLEXOLOGY – the first 2 days of a 6 – 9 month program

Learn how to help yourself and others with the soothing relaxation techniques and healing wisdom that is the core of all Reflexology practice.

A Two-Day Workshop
Saturday & Sunday, May 2 & 3
No Prerequisites

For further information or to enroll, please call 212.219.2527 ext 2.

Note: Program Tuition does not include books, material fees, private tutorials or sessions received. Please bring a towel and sheet to each class.

Wendy Coad, MFA, RPP, LMT, ARCB Certified, is a former Director of the American Reflexology Certification Board. She has been an educator for over 25 years and teaches Master classes in Reflexology and Bodywork. She has a private practice in NYC and Miami. www.ReflexologyProf.com

Email: info@reflexologyprof.com
Call (800) 875-1773 or (646) 456-0000
Click here to sign up for this Newsletter 

Click Here for the Reflexology Success Blog

Feature Article

Reflexology and Edema

What is edema (also spelled oedema), anyway?

Well, it’s an observable swelling that comes from a fluid accumulation in body tissues.
And, edema most commonly occurs in the feet and legs, where it’s referred to as peripheral edema.

The swelling is the result of the accumulation of excess fluid under the skin in the spaces within the tissues. We already have fluid there, the interstitial fluid, but this is more than usual.

Other parts of the body, such as the face and hands, can also be affected.

As many of us know after a long day of shopping (or walking around an art museum, or just standing on our feet) – swelling or edema around the ankles etc., can happen. And, it can happen to anyone.

At night, the fluid tends to drain from the legs so that foot/ankle edema is usually less obvious when you get up in the morning.

But, is it serious?

Well, depending on how extreme it is and how long it’s been there… it could be!

Types of Edema

Most of us will have experienced edema in our everyday life.

We’ll notice that our rings don't fit or our ankles are a little puffy. And if you’ve had a little too much alcohol, you’ll see it in the morning - right before your eyes - in that puffy face of yours.

It comes and it goes but if it stays – well that could mean something different...

There are 2 main types of edema:

Edema has been described as the result of venous ulceration, which is often caused by an increase in tissue pressure (increased fluid within the tissue) because of increased capillary permeability.

Some Causes of Edema

Certainly, there can be many causes for edema. Some are fleeting as I mentioned above, while others are much more serious.

If you have edema (or any swelling) and don’t know the cause, it’s important that you see your doctor. You’ll feel better to know that nothing is wrong… or, if there is, you’ll want to know that too.

Edema of the ankles and lower legs can be mild and passing or, it can accompany other conditions, including obesity, diseased leg veins, kidney disease, cirrhosis of the liver, anemia, and severe malnutrition. It might also be a characteristic of congestive heart failure.

And, there could be other factors that might contribute to its onset, including:


One symptom is when, initially, the feet and legs will appear swollen as the day progresses, but after a period of time, the swelling will set in first thing in the morning and continue to worsen throughout the day.

There’s probably a certain amount of edema that we can live with when it’s found to not be a problem.

But, it can become serious – particularly if the edema is advanced and has been around for a while - it might cause pitting (as mentioned above, when you press on the swollen area for a few seconds, you will notice an indentation in that area that continues long after the finger-pressure is removed). Continued swelling can cause skin ulcerations.

Over time, other symptoms could develop as a result of the fluid retention and the pressure on the tissue and the body:

Salt Intake and Edema

Okay, we know that food tastes better with salt and that’s why so many products and restaurants load their food up with it.

It’s usually in vast quantities in processed foods. Even ‘health foods’ can have lots and lots of salt (it’s a pity that salt, sugar and fat are things that make food taste better and are overused in our culture).

Almost anything can be okay in moderation - but we’re way over the top with these foods.

The body's balance of salt is usually well-regulated. A normal person can consume relatively small or large quantities of salt in the diet (although extremes are best avoided) without concern for developing salt depletion or retention.

The amount of salt excreted by the kidneys is regulated by hormonal and physical factors that signal whether retention or removal of salt by the kidneys is necessary.

If someone has a kidney disease that impairs the function of the kidneys - the ability to excrete salt in the urine is limited.

In some conditions, the amount of salt in the body increases, and this may cause a person to retain water and develop edema.

Common Treatments

Over the counter diuretics containing ammonium chloride and caffeine (think Aqua-Ban®) are sold with the promise to relieve symptoms related to edema. More severe edematous conditions require medical attention.

Treatment of edema with prescription medications is limited to the use of diuretics, commonly referred to as “water pills.”

Commonly, treatment consists of managing the underlying condition, which may include: inadequate nutrition; liver, heart, and kidney disease; or obstruction of blood or lymph flow. In some cases, a salt-restricted diet may be recommended.

If the edema is localized and due to a strain or trauma, people report have gotten good results from homeopathic products like ‘Traumeel’ & ‘Topricene’. I keep both of them at hand.

What Might Help?

What Can Reflexology Do?

The fluid that builds up to become edema is normally brought back to the heart via the lymphatic system.

Unlike the circulatory system which has a pump (the heart), the lymphatic system relies on movements of the body to help drain it’s fluids.

Since there are no little pumps at the ends of our fingers and toes, the gentle movements of our reflexology techniques (thumb and finger-walking) at the extremities, supports the natural processes of the whole body.

Once again, I’ll remind you that reflexologists don’t treat, diagnose or prescribe.

And, I’m not even interested specifically in the movement of local fluids. My focus is on the whole body, the organs and organ systems.

But another “fringe benefit” of my reflexology work is the potential to help the fluid tides as well.

However beware, there might be some edemic conditions that don’t need this or are too weak to benefit.

Yes – that’s right, if the condition is not diagnosed – or even if it is diagnosed - and it’s advanced edema (pitted edema is advanced) – you must always check first with the doctor before working.


Because, unless you are a doctor, you don’t know if it will help or will be too much fluid movement for an obviously compromised system to handle.

No guessing here – remember, someone who is sick will have a medical team. It’s in everyone’s best interest to check with the medical team. They won’t mind or be shocked – it’s what they all do.

Now my guess is almost always that reflexology will help.

But, if someone is very ill, it’s the MD on the team that must know and approve any work before you can be sure about proceeding. They know the whole story about their patient’s health and they’ll base their recommendations on the big picture.

You and even the person with the edema may not understand or even know all the implications of their condition.

So it's easier than you thought - and there's no guess work - just make the call to inform the team and get the okay for proceeding with reflexology.

Easy as pie (is that a prairie expression?).

A little puffiness is a pretty common sight. In a healthy individual it doesn't represent a problem unless it's gone on for too long, has impeded movement or is of concern.

And, yes - there are reflexes to the immune system.

Don't forget the spleen ( the largest lymphoid in the body and thymus reflexes too - both are important).

Check below for more information on a question answered about edema.

And if you want to see some past articles go to my new web site by clicking on the link below:

Click Here for the Reflexology Success Blog

I'm reminded about reflexology when I read these words by Mable Newcomber:

"It's more important to know where you are going than to get there quickly. Do not mistake activiity for achievement."

@ Wendy I. Coad


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.


The Professor Recommends

the foot factor training programEven if you already know reflexology (or, you’d like to learn more), you’ll love the Reflexology Professor’s ”all-in-one” Foot Factor Program” designed just for you.

It’s a goldmine of information, techniques and visuals so you can resource the most important techniques – and learn a few new ones.

- It’s The Most Valuable Information a Reflexologist Can Have - All In One Place -

Take that quantum leap and enjoy the best that reflexology knowledge and wisdom can bring.

For a limited time only, I’m offering a special price for “The Foot Factor Program” Launch so… go to www.TheFootFactorProgram.com, Or,


Reflexology Training 9 DVD’s, 9 CD’s and 3 Action Guides

Click Here

It took a lot of work and almost 20 years of experience to get all the information I’ve put into my Foot Factor Program. And you know what people are saying? It’s too good. That’s not all, they’re also telling me that I’m giving too much information. But, I want you to have it all.

Now, my 18 years of knowledge has been compiled into a comprehensive training that’s perfect for:

  • Reflexologists who want to deepen their knowledge,

  • Anyone interested in beginning a career in Holistic Health,

  • Reflexology students who need a great review of their course materials,

  • Having everything in one place,

  • Reviewing things you might have forgotten,

  • Being able to view, over and over, all the techniques on DVD

  • Having audio CD's of in class lectures

  • Nurses, Podiatrists, Acupuncturists, Massage Therapist, Physical or Occupational Therapists, Estheticians, Nutritionists, Bodyworkers and more...

Email: info@reflexologyprof.com
Call (800) 875-1773 or (646) 456-0000


Marketplace and Helpful Hints

More Support and Helpful Hints

Here’s a question that was sent by one of my readers. It’s a great question written by someone who really cares. You might be surprised at my answer.

Dear Wendy

I hold an NVQ qualification in Reflexology, but have not practiced for years due to health problems of my own. My mother is very sick in hospital with ischemic heart failure, kidney failure (both stage 4/5. She also has atrial fibrilation and mitral valve stenosis, which could result in sudden death, should the valve stick. Mum also has dementia. Recently the Dr spoke to me regarding the possibility of stopping diuretic treatment if it did not work to reduce the oedema from her legs, as it would push her into renal failure.

I would like to know whether reflexology would be suitable for her conditions, and if so how often should she be treated? She is to be discharged into a nursing home as soon as deemed fit enough.

It would seem that very little can be done for mum now, she does not appear to be responding too well to the diuretics.

Many thanks for your kind attention.

- C. B.

My heart went out to C. B. because my Mum also had dementia and for the last few years of her life, I found that the most precious moments we spent together were when I sat by her side and gave her gentle hand or ear reflexology.

Now, my Mum didn’t have a lot of other health issues, but the older she got the more challenged her body systems became.

And, the comfort she derived from those sessions, (she had dementia and also became blind) was easy to see in her face and her smile.

Even though I was a stranger to her, the touch of my hands spoke volumes and caused us both to “purrrrrr…”.

The thing that struck me the most was how powerful a tool for communication reflexology is. That safe compassionate touch is truly a gift from the divine to be honored and cherished.

Even if Mum did have other health issues, I would still not want to miss the opportunity to have these moments of deep caring through touch – and reflexology was simply and exquisitely the best vehicle.

Students are always asking me the most interesting and often complicated questions about someone’s health issues and reflexology.

In the past, reflexology practitioners would probably answer – reflexology has never been proven to adversely affect someone – go ahead!

Remember, with the elderly, children or someone who is ill – any approved session should be done with a gentle touch and be much shorter in duration than usual.

And, we know that sometimes a symptom will get worse before it gets better. You need to use caution with those who’s health is extremely compromised.

Why? Because occasionally the effects of a session can be pretty intense: sweating, nausea, headache, etc… – and that’s in a healthy person!

Yes, it’s called the “healing crisis” and it occurs in all touch/exercise modalities (i.e., Polarity Therapy, Reiki, massage, yoga, etc…) including (although rarely in) reflexology.

As I mentioned in the article above, when choices are made for someone with a serious condition, it’s in everyone’s best interest to act with the utmost care.

So when C. B. wrote with her story and asked for advise, I had to answer that she first check with her Mum’s doctor.

Remember that often, when a condition seems hopeless or is terminal (yes, life is terminal too) the benefits of comfort and stress relief far outweigh the risks of gentle touch.

Still, it makes sense that before reflexology is provided, a doctor who is especially trained to look at the whole medical picture - makes that important decision, and that we defer to their skills and knowledge.

With my own mother, I saw the benefits of our reflexology sessions together and I would not want to have missed that for the world.:)
I hope you’ve enjoyed your reflexology news. Please tell a friend to sign up so we can share the best with the rest.

This quote from Benjamin Jowett speak volumes:

“We cannot seek or attain health, wealth, learning, justice or kindness in general. Action is always specific, concrete, individualized, unique.”

Have a question? Send it in to "Ask the Professor" info@reflexologyprof.com

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Email: info@reflexologyprof.com
Call (800) 875-1773 or (646) 456-0000
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And one last reminder....


Reflexology Training Videos

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Live Long, Reflex and Prosper!


Wendy Coad

Copyright 2005-2008, Wendy I. Coad. All rights reserved.