Reflexology & Yorick

June 18, 2012 by  
Filed under Reflexology Tips

Hamlet: “Alas, poor Yorick! …he hath borne me on his back a thousand times.”

Yorick’s skull: “If you ask me, I’m still carrying the whole scene!”

— Christopher Reeve as Hamlet, on The Muppet Show

It’s hard for me to believe that even today, there are people who can’t tell the difference between reflexology and massage.

Now there’s nothing wrong with massage and a good foot massage can be wonderful. It’s a personal preference and personally, I’ll keep looking until I find an actual reflexologist.

When I went to massage school I knew, as soon as my neck sent shooting tingles and numbness down my right arm, that at my age I was not going to last long in such a labor-intensive field.

(In a recent job analysis it was found that the average age of a reflexologist is 51 and she already has a college education. While researching massage, I found that on average a massage therapist is no longer working in the field after about 2 years, in part because of the strain on the body.)

But because of my training, I can now say with some authority that reflexology has little or nothing to do with massage and here, quite simply, is the reason why.

The focus of massage is the soft tissue of the body. When giving a massage, the focus is predominantly on the muscles, tendons, ligaments, attachments, connective tissue, etc.

Sure, when giving a massage you consider the whole body, but I guarantee that when a massage therapist is working on the gastrocnemius their focus is on the leg, the back, and not on a specific organ – like the kidneys, the colon or any other organ in the body.

But, when I work with reflexology, my focus is almost entirely aimed towards the organ systems of the body. I care less about the foot – it’s muscles and attachments – than I do about the kidneys, the liver, the large and small intestines, the heart or the thyroid, to name a few. And, although I’m not treating these organs, as a reflexologist my goal is to “energetically” support their function.

The focus of massage is on the muscles. The focus of reflexology is on the organs. Period.

If we take a look at the history of reflexology, it’s closest parallel is more likely to be with chiropractics than with massage.

Now this, I can understand. (And, no – there is no bone crunching with reflexology… ever!)

The premise of chiropractics is that the alignment of the spine has an impact on all of the organs on the body. Therefore good spine alignment is necessary for optimum health and poor alignment can impact the organs in a negative way.

Of course spinal alignment can be an aggressive procedure and in the mid 1900’s there were several well-publicized cases where people died from chiropractics.

I believe this was one of the reasons that, as recently as the 1960’s, chiropractics was outlawed (as in not legal to practice) in many states – including New York!

Another reason proved to be what I call “turf wars” between chiropractors and allopathic medicine.

They had to fight for many years and their case went through several court systems until eventually a U. S. District Court Judge decided that the American Medical Association “had engaged in a lengthy, systematic, successful and unlawful boycott, designed to eliminate the profession of chiropractic as a competitor.”

But now, instead of being called “an unscientific cult” and “the chiropractic menace”, you can become a Doctor of Chiropractics.

As for the science and medicine behind chiropractics, they have a similar anecdotal history with no absolute scientific proof, just like reflexology.

I’ve never heard of reflexology causing death but maybe in the early days, while our histories were more parallel, if it had…. we’d all be “Doctors of Reflexology” too.

I’m truly glad that our gentle, non-invasive techniques have never been proven to harm anyone… but please, don’t tell me that reflexology is massage either.

chirobase.org/05RB/BCC/postscript.html

chiroeco.com/news/chiropractic-news.php?id=2685

wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_chiropractic

Enjoy your wonderful reflexology skills.

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

To your reflexology success –

Reflex, Live Long and Prosper,

Creator of the Mega Reflexology Training

“THE FOOT FACTOR PROGRAM”

Reflexology and Carpal Tunnel – What Every Reflexologist Needs to Know! Part II

May 15, 2012 by  
Filed under Articles by Wendy

Last week I wrote Part I of this article “Reflexology and Carpal Tunnel”

If you want to read Part I go to: www.ReflexologySuccess.com where past articles are available.

It’s what every reflexologist needs to know and included:
– Anatomy

– Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome

– Causes

– Risks associated with the disease

– Diagnosis

This week I’ll continue with:

– Treatment

– Non-surgical treatments

– Exercise, and

– What Can Reflexology Do?

Part II

Treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome vary and should begin as early as possible, under a doctor’s direction.

Underlying causes such as diabetes or arthritis should be treated first.

If there is inflammation, applying cool packs can help reduce swelling.

Non-surgical treatments

There are a couple of homeopathic creams that might help the symptoms:

Brands like Traumeel (a calendula and arnica based ointment) and Topricin (with 11 homeopathic ingredients) have both shown effectiveness and are available in many health food stores.

In special circumstances, various drugs can ease the pain and swelling associated with carpal tunnel syndrome. NSAIDS such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and other nonprescription pain relievers, may ease symptoms that have been present for a short time or have been caused by strenuous activity.

Alternative support therapies – Hand Reflexology, Acupuncture and Chiropractic care have benefited so me patients. (The problem could be caused or exaserbated by even a slight misalignment of the carpals)

Exercise – Stretching and strengthening exercises can be helpful in people whose symptoms have abated.

Doctors will sometimes suggest that one wear a wrist splint (can be purchased at most drugstores) to keep the wrist in a neutral position at rest. Splinting is usually tried for a period of 4-6 weeks.

What can Reflexology Do?

As a reflexologist, why would I even care about carpal tunnel syndrome if it’s not my job to fix it? Well, I do care, but my primary considerations are the reflexes.

Remember, if you or anyone you know even thinks they have this problem – it’s very important they get the appropriate medical attention.

And, I’m repeating myself here too – with any illness, stress is always a factor. Rest is important and the stress relief that Hand Reflexology brings is a wonderful component to any health maintenance regime.

If carpal tunnel is acute (meaning it hurts or it’s active now) you won’t want to work on the area directly.

There are a lot of things to know and even more to think a bout. Be very careful with any nerve impingement.

I’ve learned this from my own experience – nerves do not like to be irritated – because it just make them, well, crankier. Not good.

If you’re trained in Hand Reflexology you know that there are some very specific strategies to support the body in its own healing process.

And, what about the reflexes?

Good point. There are specific reflexes in the area and as a good reflexologist, you need to also be focused on the systems of the body.

Be curious about these reflex area – does the client also have sciatica? Do they have any reproductive or digestive issues?

Inherent in the Hand Reflexology techniques (I can’t say what others teach… maybe – not this much) are techniques that will let you work safely to relax the hand.

And, what if you don’t have this specific training? – I suggest that you work the good hand and the opposite foot – or the ears.

The benefits of reflexology can be nothing short of amazing.

And, it’s never been more apparen t than in the UK where an British media article from 2004 reports that; “According to a survey conducted on behalf of Yellow Pages…, the number of high street greengrocers has declined by almost 60 per cent in 10 years, while the number of reflexologists is up over 800 per cent.”

I rest my case.

As always, there’s so much more I’d like to share with you. I’ll be adding more great reflexology info
rmation in future newsletters.

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

Enjoy your wonderful reflexology skills.

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

To your reflexology success –

Reflex, Live Long and Prosper,

Creator of the Mega Reflexology Training

“THE FOOT FACTOR PROGRAM”

Reflexology and Hammer Toes

October 25, 2011 by  
Filed under Reflexology Tips

In reflexology, my attention is focused on the whole body and not just the foot, but a lot of people suffer from foot pathologies that are hard to miss.

One such foot problem is hammer toe, so if you or your clients are suffering from hammer toe syndrome, this article is for you. I’ll guide you through the problem and also suggest ways to help with the symptoms.

What are hammer toes?

Hammer toes are a relatively common problem in which one or more of the smaller toes become unnaturally bent at the first joint nearest the long bones of the foot (proximal interphalangeal joint). This can become quite painful and gradually it might result in other problems like corns and even bursitis.

One of the causes of this deformity might be hereditary, but if this were truly the case, the hammer toe would probably have been there since childhood. More likely the cause is the accumulation of years of a different type of condition – the one we create ourselves known as… tight fitting shoes!

There are other causes that might lead to hammer toe such as arthritis or excessively arched feet. Generally more women are found with the problem than men, but women tend to wear tighter shoes with raised heels which will, in addition, create a gripping action with the toes and thereby bending them further. Personally, I think that the wrong shoe fit is a major cause of the problem.

How it affects people?

Because many people will have the problem over a period of time without any discomfort it usually isn’t even noticed until it’s too late – and by then the damage is already done. Once there, a hammer toe can cause pain and discomfort, make walking uncomfortable and make shoes harder to fit.

How to get rid of hammer toes.

The best solution is to avoid wearing tight shoes. Go for perfect fit so that you’re comfortable and don’t have to face the issue of having hammer toes. But, I’ve had clients actually tell me that they won’t give up their tight, sky-high-heeled shoes – to which I’ve (half-joking) said, “…and that’s why there are jobs for reflexologists.”

One way to correct the problem is to go for a surgery which is effective but it is definitely not the only solution.

There are several exercises that may help to reduce the symptoms such as:

stretch the toes manually. This is where many of our reflexology relaxation techniques such as toe rotations, and the reflexology thumb and finger walking techniques as applied to the toes can help to relax them – all while addressing the powerful reflexes that are found in the toes.

place a towel on the floor and use just the toes to bunch it up, pull it towards yourself or pick it up. This is thought to straighten and strengthen the toes.

– although there are commercial aides, like little bandages or braces, that you can find to help keep the toes straighter, there’re not nearly as effective as avoiding the problem in the first place.

In the end the benefits of all efforts, including reflexology, may be temporary if the foot is put back into too narrow or small a shoe. And, some people will even have a problem in the opposite direction – shoes that are too big. If they aren’t a lace-up shoe the foot will slide into the end of the shoe with every step and cause the hammer toe to be reinforced as well.

Prevention is the best medicine so get into some good shoes and give your toes a break before they break you.

Enjoy your wonderful reflexology skills.

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

To your reflexology success –

Reflex, Live Long and Prosper,

Creator of the Mega Reflexology Training

“THE FOOT FACTOR PROGRAM”

Reflexology 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

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.

Want to see some past articles? Go to my new website by clicking on the link below:

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.

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.

Reflexology with Heart

May 21, 2009 by  
Filed under Reflexology Tips

I notice more and more that people are experiencing varying degrees of pain in the heart reflex area.

Can reflexology answer the question – why?

From the moment it begins beating until the moment it stops, the human heart works tirelessly. In an average lifetime, the heart beats more than two and a half billion times without ever pausing to rest. Like a pumping machine, the heart provides the power needed for life.

This life-sustaining power has, throughout time, caused an air of mystery to surround the heart. Modern technology has removed some of the mystery, but there is still an air of fascination and curiosity.

Your heart is about the size of your fist. As the body develops, the heart grows at the same rate as the fist. So an infant’s heart and fist are about the same size at birth.

(And, maybe that’s why there’s such a great connection to the heart through Hand Reflexology!)

Anatomy

The human heart is primarily a shell. There are four cavities, or open spaces, inside the heart that fill with blood.

Two of these cavities are called atria. The other two are called ventricles. The two atria form the curved top of the heart. The ventricles meet at the bottom of the heart to form a pointed base which points toward the left side of your chest. The left ventricle contracts most forcefully, so you can best feel your heart pumping on the left side of your chest – where the strongest part of the heart muscle is.

The left side of the heart houses one atrium and one ventricle. The right side of the heart houses the others. A wall, called the septum, separates the right and left sides of the heart. A valve connects each atrium to the ventricle below it. The mitral valve connects the left atrium with the left ventricle. The tricuspid valve connects the right atrium with the right ventricle.

The top of the heart connects to our largest blood vessels – the aorta, or main artery – which carries nutrient-rich blood away from the heart.

Another important vessel is the pulmonary artery which connects the heart with the lungs (carrying blood away from the heart and to the lungs) as part of the pulmonary circulation system.

The largest vein that carries blood into the heart is the vena cava. There’s a superior vena cava, located near the top of the heart. The inferior vena cava is larger and located beneath the superior.

The heart’s structure makes it an efficient, never-ceasing pump. From the moment of development through the moment of death, the heart pumps. The heart, therefore, has to be strong.

The average heart’s muscle, called cardiac muscle, contracts and relaxes about 70 to 80 times per minute without you ever having to think about it.

As the cardiac muscle contracts it pushes blood through its chambers and out into the vessels.

Nerves connected to the heart regulate the speed with which the muscle contracts.

You’ve probably noticed that when you run, your heart pumps more quickly, and, when you sleep, your heart pumps more slowly.

Considering how much work it has to do, the heart is surprisingly small. The average adult heart is about the size of a clenched fist and weighs about 11 ounces (310 grams).

Located in the middle of the chest behind the breastbone, between the lungs, the heart rests in a moistened chamber called the pericardial cavity which is surrounded by the ribcage.

The diaphragm, a tough layer of muscle, lies below. As a result, the heart is well protected.

Listen to the Lub-Dub

When you go for a checkup, your doctor uses a stethoscope to listen carefully to your heart. A healthy heart makes a lub-dub sound with each beat. This sound comes from the valves shutting on the blood inside the heart.

The first sound (the lub) happens when the mitral and tricuspid valves close. The next sound (the dub) happens when the aortic and pulmonary valves close after the blood has been squeezed out of the heart.

Pretty Cool – It’s My Pulse!

Even though your heart is inside you, there is a cool way to know it’s working from the outside. It’s your pulse. You can find your pulse by lightly pressing on the skin anywhere there’s a large artery running just beneath your skin.

Two good places to find it are

  • on the side of your neck
  • The inside of your wrist, just below the thumb.

Plus, we have 2 pulse points on the feet. One is on the dorsum, close to the crease of the ankle and the other is behind the medial malleolus (your ankle bone).

You’ll know that you’ve found your pulse when you can feel a small beat under your skin.

Each beat is caused by the contraction (squeezing) of your heart. If you want to find out what your heart rate is, use a watch with a second hand and count how many beats you feel in 1 minute. When you are resting, you will probably feel between 70 and 100 beats per minute.

Factoids

  • Your heart will beat an average of 100,000 times per day. In that time, it pumps more than 4,300 gallons of blood throughout your entire body.
  • A human heart is about the size of your fist
  • “Athlete’s heart” is a common term for an enlarged heart associated with repeated strenuous exercise. Athlete’s heart will beat as few as 40 times per minute. The average number of beats per minute in a non “athlete’s heart” is 70 beats.
  • Menopause increases a woman’s risk for heart disease.

What about Heart disease?

There are many types of heart disease. About 25% of all Americans have one or more types of cardiovascular disease.

The major types of heart disease are atherosclerosis, coronary, rheumatic, congenital, myocarditis, angina and arrhythmia.

Heart disease can arise from congenital defects, infection, narrowing of the coronary arteries, high blood pressure, or a variety of other disturbances.

What do some people recommend for a healthy heart from heart-healthy diets and “Grandma’s home remedies”

  • Regular exercise is probably the most important thing for a healthy heart.
  • A well balanced diet containing fruits, vegetables and cereals with natural fiber is highly advisable.
  • Daily use of lemon may help prevent heart problems as it avoids the accumulation of cholesterol in the blood vessels.
  • Beet juice is measured the most effective for heart ailments.
  • Parsley is successful remedy that keeps the heart in a healthy condition. Parsley tea can be a healthy beverage.
  • Fresh grapefruit might be very helpful in the treatment of heart disease as it’s thought to tone up the heart.
  • Apples have heart-stimulating properties and fine in heart care. Apple juice and apple jam can be taken for care of heart.
  • Vitamin E is thought of as useful to supporting the oxygenation of the cells.
  • Smoking raises the chances of heart diseases so avoid smoking.
  • Intake of more salt should be avoided.
  • Excess intake of alcohol should be restricted for heart care.

What can Reflexology do?

Before you even think of anything else, if you have a heart disease or you think you might – go and see your doctor.

Reflexology is never a substitute for medical treatment.

Also, if you are not sure if reflexology will be helpful for someone who has a heart disease, you must first check with their medical professional.

Now, the reflex to the heart is found on the head of the first metatarsal, bilaterally. (The reflex area also includes the base of the proximal phalanx of the hallux and the metacarpalphalangeal joint – the MPJ.)

The reflexes to the lungs sit next to the heart on the heads of metatarsals 2-4. The heart and lungs are often grouped together because they work together to get oxygen, the fuel of the cells, into the blood.

And, pain is sometimes experienced in this area on the foot. Does that mean there are problems in the organs?

No… not at all. We’re not in the business of diagnosing and it’s dangerous to assume what you don’t really know. (That’s true in life as well!)

When my client experiences pain in a particular reflex area, yes, I am curious. But I know the body operates on many levels and that things are going on simultaneously on the physical, the emotional, the mental and the spiritual levels.

Even though 1 out of every 4 people have a heart disease, there are many more who have experienced a “heart ache” or whose “heart goes out to everyone”.

Regardless of the “cause”, I do what reflexologists do. I detail the area and I stay within the client’s pain threshold.

If you’re providing the type of reflexology that’s most helpful to stress relief (western), it’s very important to create a session that is soothing and will be relaxing by inducing the parasympathic nervous system response.

Be firm, yet gentle with that heart reflex. Our hearts are heroic and hard working organs and they’re due the utmost respect – even on the distant reflex area.

But what if there’s a corn or a bunion on that reflex area?

Reflexology is not in the business of addressing foot pathologies either, that’s best left to others whose job it is.

Having said that, my experience based on what clients report (as a byproduct of the reflexology even though), I’m not treating the foot, many aches and pains dissipate or disappear completely.

Do their “heartaches” disappear too?

I can’t speak for them, but clients do report comfort. And, I’m sure that the presence of a compassionate person, whose main goal is to “listen to the feet” and to hold the space for healing to occurs, can have a profound impact on the body, mind, spirit.

Be kind and patient with the heart and nurture your own, it is working tirelessly on your behalf.

I invite you to try this – bring your hand to your heart right now and tell it how much you love it. If that’s seems too silly or hard to do – ask yourself why.

Is reflexology good for the heart? Yes, and if you check with a physician in cases of advanced or debilitating illness and they give you approval to work, absolutely.

Healing occurs on many levels and reflexology can be a gift to all.

Reflexology and the Bronchial Tubes

April 2, 2009 by  
Filed under Articles by Wendy

I don’t know about you, but this season I was hit by a whopping case of bronchitis. It’s happened to quite a few people and it was a wicked strain this year. It made me think about these little tubes that hold our lives so dear.

When was the last time that you noticed the twelve to twenty times per minute, each and every day (and night), you breathe — thanks to your body’s respiratory system.

Oxygen is a vital fuel that goes to every cell in your body. And, your cells needs oxygen supplied regularly each and every minute. In fact if a cell doesn’t get oxygen within about 4 minutes, well… it’s a dead cell.

Your lungs expand and contract, supplying life-sustaining oxygen to your body and removing a waste product called carbon dioxide.

When a person breathes, air comes in through the nose or mouth and then goes into the trachea (windpipe). From there, it passes through the bronchial tubes. These tubes or airways, let air in and out of your lungs, so that you can breathe. There are 2 – one going into each lung.

Bronchial tubes, or bronchi are divided at the end of the windpipe (trachea) to left and right. These main bronchi then branch into progressively smaller airways (bronchioli) ending in microscopic numerous sacks (alveoli). Oxygen and carbon dioxide are exchanged between air and blood through thin alveoli.

Bronchial tubes are one of the main sites for airway inflammation that leads to bronchoconstriction.

Anatomy of Bronchial tubes

The trachea (windpipe) divides into two main bronchi (also mainstem bronchi), the left and the right, at the level of the sternal angle.

The right main bronchus is wider, shorter, and more vertical than the left main bronchus.

The left main bronchus subdivides into two lobar bronchi while the right main bronchus divides into three.

The lobar bronchi divide into tertiary bronchi. There are ten segments per lung, (but due to anatomic development, several segmental bronchi in the left lung fuse, giving rise to eight).

The segmental bronchi divide into many primary bronchioles which divide into terminal bronchioles, each of which then gives rise to several respiratory bronchioles, which go on to divide into 2 to 11 alveolar ducts. There are 5 or 6 alveolar sacs associated with each alveolar duct

There is hyaline cartilage present in the bronchi, present as irregular rings in the larger bronchi (and not as regular as in the trachea), and as small plates and islands in the smaller bronchi. Smooth muscle is present continuously around the bronchi.

Okay, I’m sure that by now you understand that there are many, many branches of bronchi.

The Role in Disease

Bronchitis is defined as inflammation of the bronchi. There are two main types:

  • Acute bronchitis is usually caused by viral or bacterial infections.

Acute bronchitis is an infection of the bronchia tree. The bronchial tree is made up of the tubes that carry air into your lungs. When these tubes get infected, they swell and mucus (thick fluid) forms inside them. This makes it hard for you to breathe.

The symptoms of acute bronchitis can include:

  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • A cough that may bring up yellow or green mucus
  • Chest congestion
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Chills
  • Body aches
  • Chronic bronchitis is a form of COPD, usually associated with smoking or long-term exposure to irritants.

Asthma is hyper reactivity of the bronchi with an inflammatory component, often in response to allergens.

What can Reflexology Do?

I think you can easily tell that it’s important to keep your lungs and bronchi in good working order. In fact, your life depends on it.

If you or anyone you know think they have a problem there – asthma or bronchitis, etc. – it’s very important to get the appropriate medical attention.

As with any illness, stress is always a factor. Rest is important and the stress relief that reflexology brings is a wonderful component to any health maintenance regime.

So where are the bronchial reflexes?

The bronchi have a very specific reflex location – bilateral – found on the plantar aspect of the foot between the first and second metatarsal heads.

And, since they’re part of the respiratory reflex system they are well suited to working in a detailed way.

You might have noticed on some people’s feet, there are thin calluses on just that thin space between metatarsal heads one and two.

Of course, you’ll want to detail the reflexes for the whole respiratory system.

Another set of reflexes you’ll likely want to detail is the immune system reflexes.

And, don’t forget the lung – large intestine connection too.

Common Home Remedies for Bronchial Health

  • It’s thought that Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B12 are very important nutrients to helping to decrease the inflammation in the lungs.
  • Many say that Vitamin C helps the body to fight infection, increase the amount of oxygen and reduce inflammation.
  • Some would tell you to eat salmon 3 times a week and take salmon oil capsules.
  • Careful with this but drinks with caffeine may dilate the bronchial airways.
  • Honey is one of the most common home remedies for soothing the throat and chest.
  • Among fruits, figs have proved very valuable in draining off the phlegm. Common wisdom says that three or four dry figs cleaned thoroughly with warm water and soaked overnight.
  • Lemon is another fruit thought to be beneficial in the treatment of asthma. The juice of one lemon, diluted in a glass of water and taken with meals, might help bring some good results.

As always, there’s so much more I’d like to share with you. I’ll be adding more great reflexology information in future newsletters.

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