Reflexology

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Table of Contents

Introduction

Reflexology

What is Reflexology?

The history of Reflexology

Advanced Reflexology

Benefits of Reflexology

How Reflexology can help stress

Stress

What is Stress?

What stress can do to the body

Human Pathological Processes & Human Anatomy and Physiology

Research and Methodology

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Integration in Health Care Services

Lifestyle advice for clients

Clinical Practice

Presenting a Business Plan

Health and Safety

Summary of Findings

Recommendations

Lifestyle Advice

Conclusions

References

Introduction

In the Developing Stage of my Graded Unit I am going to discuss what I have been doing over the last two years of HNC/HND and how it has helped me through my two years and within my graded unit. These classes were:

  • Human Anatomy and Physiology
  • Human Pathological Processes
  • Lifestyle Advice for Clients
  • Clinical Practice
  • Research and Methodology
  • Reflexology/Advanced Reflexology
  • Stress Managements
  • Integration in Health Care Services
  • Preparing a business plan
  • Health and Safety

I will also discuss my 2 chosen Clients and what they have in common and how the 6 Reflexology treatments have helped them.

Reflexology

What is Reflexology?

Reflexology is a non-intrusive complementary therapy, it is the practice of applying pressure to specific points on the hands and feet to influence the Health of corresponding parts of the body.

It follows the theory of 10 equal longitudinal zones that run vertically through the body.

The zones are considered to be guidelines or markers linking one part of the body to another.

Each toe is part of one zone and states that if there is anything wrong with one part of the zone it affects that entire zone.

Reflexology consists of lots of different types of techniques including Sliding, Finger Walking, Constant Pressure, and Relaxation Techniques.

Ref: www.how-to-do-reflexology.com/howtodoreflexology.html

Appendix 1 shows more information on the types of techniques.

The history of Reflexology

In ancient Egypt around 2500-2300BC Ankhm’ahor was laid to rest. His tomb is known as ‘the physician’s tomb’ as many medical scenes are depicted including a pictograph detailing two men working on the feet and hands of another two men. The hieroglyphics translate “Do not let it be painful.” The reflexologist replies, “I do as you please.”

Reflexology is a subdivision of Chinese Traditional Medicine (CTM). The ancient Chinese used reflexology and meridians to help keep the body balanced and recognized their importance when treating disease. Individual meridians either begin or end in the hands or feet, perhaps this is one of the reasons reflexology 5000 years ago was viewed to be effective and presently still is.

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An American physician, Doctor William Fitzgerald, ear nose and throat specialist introduced zone therapy in the 1900’s. He discovered that if pressure was applied to the fingers it could create a local anesthetic effect elsewhere in the body. Using various implements ranging from clamps to rubber bands on the hands he was able to carry out minor surgery on other areas of the body. He was also responsible for dividing the body into ten longitudinal zones. Each finger and toe falls into a zone, his theory is that parts of the body found within a zone link to each other by the energy flow within that zone. He worked closely with Doctor Edwin Bowers, their theories were not received with open minds from the medical profession of that time. The exception was Doctor Joseph Shelby Riley who went on to refine the techniques.

Ref: http://www.pilates4fitness.co.uk/history_of_reflexology.htm

Appendix 2 shows a lot more information on the history of Reflexology.

Advanced Reflexology

When doing Advanced Reflexology you have got techniques that you need to perform such as:

  • Constant pressure- This can be applied over a reflex responsible for causing pain, such as back pain, abdominal pain etc. The pressure can be applied with fingers, thumbs or knuckles. A disturbed reflex often has to be worked on for up to two minutes, and so by using the pressure technique it adds to amplify energy that the therapist gives to the treatment.
  • Sliding- This performed slowly and in various directions. The pads or knuckles of the fingers and thumbs are used in a sliding manner over the reflexes.
  • Pulsing- This type of contact can be maintained on a reflex for several minutes at a time. It is particularly effective on the pituitary and adrenal reflexes, but it can also be used on any other reflexes, especially if they are very sensitive. This technique is performed slowly, generally ten seconds constant pulsing followed by five seconds release and so on. During the release phase, contact with the reflex should not be broken.
  • Rotations- This is used to break a congested reflex and to revitalize the corresponding area of the body. It is a continuous rotary movement performed with finger tips or knuckles of the fingers which can be maintained for up to 2 minutes before a pause and can be worked for another minute before finishing. There are two rotary reflex techniques and the difference between them is very subtle. The first one is where the contact moves firmly over the skin, while the other contacts the skin but moves the tissue under it.
  • Rubbing- This type of contact is as the name implies, a rubbing one, performed with the pads of the fingers or medial sides of the thumb and knuckles. Contact can be maintained on the reflexes for up to two minutes before moving onto another reflex. This technique is more effective if the movement is performed across the reflex.

Benefits of Reflexology

Reflexology works because it offers a Safe, Effective, and Natural, Easily available and simple to use treatment option for a variety of Health Problems.

The Benefits are:

  • Muscle Relaxation
  • Balances the Body
  • Stress Relief
  • Improvement of Circulation
  • Detoxifies and Cleanses

Ref: http://www.gethappyfeet.co.uk/BenefitsofReflexology/

Further details of these can be found in appendix 3.

Reflexology could also help many people that suffer from:

  • Digestive Problems
  • Circulatory Problems
  • Stress Related Problems
  • Back Pain
  • Headaches
  • Migraines
  • Hormone Imbalance
  • Sleeping Disorders
  • Arthritis

How Reflexology can help stress

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Reflexology can help improve blood circulation, it also helps release toxins from the body which releases Endorphins this lowers the levels of Stress.

Reflexology also helps to relax the body thus in turn helping the body to deal with Stress on a Daily basis and lowering the risks of Stress related Illnesses.

Ref: http://healing.about.com/od/reflexology/a/stress_reflex.htm

More information can be found in appendix 4.

Stress

What is Stress?

Stress is the feeling of being under too much mental or emotional pressure.

Pressure turns into stress when you feel unable to cope. People have different ways of reacting to stress, so a situation that feels stressful to one person may be motivating to someone else.

Many of life’s demands can cause stress, particularly work, relationships andmoney problems. And when you feel stressed, it can get in the way of sorting out these demands, or can even affect everything you do Stress can affect how you feel, think, behave and how your body works. In fact, common signs of stress includesleeping problems, sweating, loss of appetite and difficulty concentrating.

You may feel anxious, irritable orlow in self-esteem, and you may have racing thoughts, worry constantly or go over things in your head. You may notice that you lose your temper more easily, drink more or act unreasonably.

You may also experienceheadaches, muscle tension or pain, or dizziness.

Stress causes a surge of hormones in your body. These stress hormones are released to enable you to deal with pressures or threats – the so-called "fight or flight" response.

Once the pressure or threat has passed, your stress hormone levels will usually return to normal. However, if you're constantly under stress, these hormones will remain in your body, leading to the symptoms of stress.

And when our bodies detect stress a small region in the base of the brain called the hypothalamus gland reacts by stimulating the body to produce hormones called cortisol and adrenaline.

http://www.stress.org.uk/what-is-stress.aspx

What stress can do to the body

Stress can cause the human body so many different problems from emotionally to physically, some of these problems may be:

  • Digestive Disorders, Abdominal Pain, IBS
  • Weight Gain and Obesity
  • Headaches, dizziness, ADD/ADHD, Anxiety, Irritability and anger, panic disorders.
  • Muscle Tension, Fibromyalgia
  • Grinding Teeth and tension in jaw
  • Insomnia, emotional and behavioral problems
  • Asthma
  • Ulcers
  • Lack of energy, depression, nervousness and paranoia.

Ref: http://www.webmd.com/balance/stress-management/features/what-stress-does-to-body

Appendix 5 it shows different ways that you can try to manage stress.

Human Pathological Processes & Human Anatomy and Physiology

When I started my HNC I learning about the Anatomy and Physiology of the Human Body and in my HND I learned about Human Pathological Processes. Both of these classes give me the knowledge and understanding of the structure of the human body and all its systems and how each system can be affected by different infections and diseases. The Graded Unit has helped me with the knowledge of what body systems where involved in the main problems that both of my clients had.

Research and Methodology

When I started my HNC the Research and Methodology was very beneficial as it showed me the different ways that I could research information for my reports and how to collect and collate all the information. This has helped me do my Graded Unit in my HND I have used primary and secondary research to complete this.

Primary research- My client record cards and feedback.

Secondary research- Information gathered from class notes and websites.

Integration in Health Care Services

My Integration in Health Care Services has helped me with my Graded Unit and it gave me the understanding of how Complementary Therapies and Allopathic Medicine are starting to work together and to try and understand how each of them work. It has also showed me the problems that can happen within the integration process of Complementary Therapies within the Health Care system.

Lifestyle advice for clients

With Lifestyle advice for clients, I learned to understand how slight lifestyle changes can benefit a person’s health mentally and physically. It has helped me create advice cards for both of my clients that provides advice and tips on what they could do to improve their lifestyle and in turn their health.

Clinical Practice

In Clinical Practice I was able to take up the opportunity to go out on Work Placement which helped develop my skills of working in a proper working environment with clients. This helped me grow in confidence with talking to clients, completing client profiles, offering advice and providing a range of treatments. All this helped me in my Graded Unit as it built on my knowledge and experience.

Presenting a Business Plan

In my HND I had to present a Business Plan which allowed me to learn and create a business plan for my business. It showed me the pros and cons of opening a business, Legislation that the Complementary Therapist must follow, the pros and cons of getting Insurance and what Insurance I need for being a Complementary Therapists. I understand about Marketing and Pricing, which helped me suggest to client what kind of prices it would cost for the treatments I offer.

Health and Safety

I learned lots from my Health and Safety such as learning about what Legislations were needed in the Workplace such as Health and Safety at Work act (1974), COSHH, Data protection Act 1998 and loads more Legislations.

Summary of Findings

With all the information that I found it was very interesting, researching all subjects. Over the last two years I have gain Confidence, learned so much knowledge and been able to demonstrate my skills. I did find my Graded Unit a bit of a Challenge as I was looking for it to be harder than it was, once I got my head round it, it was much easier.

My findings of Client 1, from her first treatment she was totally Stressed and had headaches, but as her treatments went on she was able to talk to me about her problems and this also helped her to become less stressed. She was quite happy to use my Advice about taking time out for herself and also use other treatments if needed also noted differences through the Spinal Innervations and the Sensitive Reflexes were becoming less.

Client 2 was also quite Stressed and had slight IBS her Doctor had told her this was due to Stress, he was quite happy she was getting some sort of Relaxation treatment, I also showed her how to do Breathing Techniques that I had learned so she found these very good and due to her being less Stressed she also changed her Job. There was slight sensitivity on the last treatment.

Recommendations

My recommendations are that Client 1 should continue to get reflexology treatments as there has been a positive effect on her health and that changes were beginning to take place. She should continue to do hand reflexology at home when needed and also maybe try a Body Massage as this will give her the feeling of being worked all over, she will also benefit from the Therapist working over her Abdomen which will improve or stop her Constipation it will also help her to keep Stress low and with her Headaches a course of Indian Head Massage for a quick treatment as this works on the Pressure point of the head and neck giving her a bit of relief.

My recommendations are that Client 2 should also continue her treatments and also continue with the Breathing Techniques as she was shown as she can do these any were and also the Hand Reflexology which can be done anywhere as when needed as changes were beginning to take place I recommended that she tries a Body Massage as this will help to keep her Stress down and be beneficial to her Abdomen this helping with the IBS and Constipation.

Lifestyle Advice

My Life style advice for Client 1 is that she should try to eat more fresh fruit and vegetables, salads, fiber and cut down on fatty food, sugary drinks and replace them with water. I have also suggested that she will benefit from drinks containing natural bacteria to balance the Digestive System. Try to balance Work life and Home life. Use essential oils to revitalize such as Bergamot.

My Lifestyle advice from Client 2 is that she should continue to cut out Dairy products and replace these with may be Soya or another alternative. Eat more fruit, vegetables, salads, and cut down on fatty foods, sugary drinks and replace these with water or drinks that restore the natural balance of your gut bacteria when it has been disrupted. Essential oils such as Chamomile will help to aid Digestion and Abdominal Spasms.

Conclusions

I have found the Developing Stage quite a challenge and how to set it out and use using your own headings but I did enjoyed working with the Clients and being able to help them with their Conditions and be able to give the Life styles advice which they were happy to use.

My word count in total is 2,514

Ant this Graded Unit is all my own work Jeannette Breckenridge

References

http://www.aor.org.uk/home/what-is-reflexology

http://www.gethappyfeet.co.uk/BenefitsofReflexology/

http://healing.about.com/od/reflexology/a/stress_reflex.htm

http://www.how-to-do-reflexology.com/footreflexology.html

http://www.pilates4fitness.co.uk/history_of_reflexology.htm

http://www.reflexology-usa.net/history.htm

http://www.stress.org.uk/what-is-stress.aspx

http://www.webmd.com/balance/stress-management/features/what-stress-does-to-body

Jeannette BreckenridgePage 1 of 8