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COURSE ONE REFLEXOLOGY
- To understand and be able to discuss the theory and history of Reflexology.
- To know the basic anatomy and physiology of the body and location of corresponding-reflex points of the feet.
- To learn the techniques used to work all reflex points or areas on the feet.
- To be able to give a complete Reflexology session.
Lesson one introduces Reflexology by understanding what it is, its benefits, and how it works. It also describes how the reflex points on the feet correspond to parts of the body and concludes with relaxation techniques.
WHAT IS REFLEXOLOGY?
Although there have been various definitions of Reflexology, a definition recognized by the American Reflexology Certification Board is:
Foot and hand Reflexology is a scientific art based on the premise that there are zones/reflex areas in the feet/hands/ears which correspond to all body parts. The physicalact of applying specific pressures using thumb, finger, and hand techniques results in stress reduction that causes a physiological change in the body.
Reflexology, then, is a manual therapy focusing on the reflex points of the feet/hands and/or ears. Each reflex point or area corresponds to a body part, internally and externally. The feet are a representation of a person's health on all levels, physically/mentally, and emotionally.
- The suffix "ology" means "study of".
- Reflexologists find and work the points and areas to promote relaxation and better health.
- Reflexology is the key into the body, which unlocks and activates its own natural healingabilities.
WHAT DOES REFLEXOLOGY DO?
Reflexology is one of the most popular and effective therapies in use today. There are many reasons why people elect to have a Reflexology session over other natural health care modalities.
- Reduces stress by promoting deep reraxation.
- Improves energy thereby rejuvenating （活気づける）the body and the mind.
- Balances the whole body by assisting nervous system and endocrine gland functions. Improves the blood flow in the circulatory system that delivers oxygen and nutrients to the cells.
- Improves the flow of nerves.
- Aids in the release of waste products, helping to cleanse the body of impurities.
- Stimulates the body's natural healing process and strengthens the immune systems responses.
- Centers the mind, improves the attention span, and stimulates creativity and productivity.
- Improves and nurtures relationships.
- Rewards the practitioner.
- Serves as a method of preventive health care.
- Provides a psychological effect through physical contact to show care and concern.
HOW DOES REFLEXOLOGY WORK?
There are many theories as to how and why Reflexology works. As noted earlier, a Reflexologistapplies pressure on the feet hands and/or ears that will affect all organs, glands and parts of thebody in the following ways:
- The flow of energy through body channels/zones.
- The flow of blood throughout the body.
- The flow of nerves that send signals throughout the body.
GUIDELINES ON THE FOOT
In Reflexology, the right foot relates to the right half of the body and the left foot relates to the left half of the body.
- The toes relate to the head, the ball of the foot to the upper torso, the mid-foot to the mid-torso, and the lower foot to the lower torso.
- The inside edge of the foot relates to the spine.
- The outside edge of the foot relates to the extremities（四肢）.
- When both feet are viewed together, you are viewing a picture or representation of the whole body.
HORIZONTAL GUIDELINES ON THE FOOT
- The base of the toes in the neck line. This designates where the head joins the body at the neck.
- The base of the ball of the foot where the texture and color on the foot changes is the diaphragm line. This designates where the diaphragm muscle divides the chest from the abdomen.
- In line with the base of the fifth metatarsal bone is the waist line. This designates where the upper and lower body join at the waist.
- At the top of the heel, where the texture and color changes is the heelpelvic line. This designates where the legs connect to the pelvis.
ZONE THERAPY AND LONGITUDINAL GUIDELINES
Zone therapy is a simple meridian system of longitudinal zones. If there is a blockage in a zone, it can affect any other reflex within the same zone. Each zone on the foo'hand reflects a zone in the body.
- There are 10 reflex zones, of which 5 are on each foot.
- Zone #I is on each big toe and the section of the foot in line with that toe, Each big toe contains 5 zones.
- Zone #1 on the right foot would be the medial fifth of the right half of the entire body.
- The second toe begins Zone #2 and on down the line.
- The plantar tendon on each foot is also used as a longitudinal guideline for findingreflexes.
- When the vertical and horizontal guidelines are viewed together, a grid for findingreflexes is evident.
- Metatarsal: the long bones of the foot
- Dorsal: the top surface of the foot
- Plantar: the sole of the foot
- Dorsiflexion: flexing the foot at the ankle
- Plantarflexion: extending the foot at the ankle(tip toe)
- Medial: toward the midline of the body
- Lateral: away from the midline of the body
The following techniques are used to relax the recipient and bring circulation to various areas of the feet. They are firm, but gentle, supportive and nurturing.
- Ankle range of motion (dorsiflexion/plantarflexion)
- Ankle rotation: hand on dorsal ankle
- Ankle rotation: hand under heel of ankle
- Foot: side to side shake
- Ankle: side to side shake
- Toe: side to side shake
- Toe brush (pageant wave)
- Spinal twist (medial): hand closest to the heel remains stationary and the twisting handmoves evenly in both directions (like opening a jar)
- Metatarsal press (on the plantar side, making a fist, push in/pull back)
- Metatarsal roll: moving two bones back/forth
- Foot pinching (lateral)
- Achilles tendon stretch
- Make it up: wringing/percussion/circular movements
- Nerve stroke: a stroke down the leg and off the toes to relax and calm the recipient
Lesson two discusses the history of Reflexology, various current Relexology organizations, the contraindications of Reflexology, and concludes with one of the basic Relexology techniques (thumb walking).
HISTORY OF REFLEXOLOGY:
Though Reflexology has recently become a mainstream fixture in natural health care, the history spans thousands of years established in cultures of India, Japan, China and Europe.
- 2330 B.C. A wall carving in Egyptianlphysician's tomb (tomb of official named Ankmahor) shows a therapist" working on the feet and hands of a recipient.
- 1917 A.D. Zone Therapy by Dr. William H. Fitzgeraldl(1872-1942) published. Zone therapy was introduced by Dr. William Fitzgerald, an ENT physician in Boston and Hartford CT. who studied in Europe. In 1902, he began working with patients' hands using devices to numb facial areas. He introduced vertical zone therapy.
- 1924 Zone Reflex by Dr. Joe Shelby Riley published. Dr. Joe Shelby Riley, a colleague of Dr. Fitzgerald, began showing interest in Dr. Fitzgerald's work and introduced horizontal zone therapy.
- 1938 Stories the Feet Can Tell Through Reflexology by Eunice D. Ingham published. In the 1930's, Eunice D. Ingham, a physiotherapist in Dr. Riley's office, advanced the science of Reflexology by exploring feet, mapping out reflexes and creating foot charts. She brought relief to her nephew, Dwight C. Byers, who was suffering from asthma and hay fever by using Reflexology techniques like the alternating pressure technique to stimulate healing. Byers became a believer and began traveling with her spreading the news about Reflexology.
- 1951 Stories the Feet have Told Through Reflexology by Eunice D. Ingham published. In the 1940's and 1950's, Eunice Ingham shared her findings with the entire country, including the medical community.
- 1983 Better Health with Foot Reflexology by Dwight C. Byers published. Dwight C. Byers, nephew of Eunice Ingham, became the head of the International Institute of Reflexology.
ORGANIZATIONS THAT PROMOTE REFLEXOLOGY:
Reflexologists are independent groups of touch practitioners who belong to various organizations, internationally, nationally and locally. The following are a few of the organizations that support the work of Reflexology.
- International Council of Reflexologists (ICR)email@example.com
- Reflexology Association of America (RAA)www.reflexology-usa-orgl
- International Institute of Reflexology (IIR)www.reflexology-usa.net5650 First Avenue NorthP.O. Box 12642St. Petersburg, Florida 33733-2642
- Reflexology Association of HawaiiStill in transition
CONTRAINDICATIONS (When Not To Apply Reflexology):
Reflexology is a safe therapy to use in most situations. However, there is a danger of falling into the trap of practicing medicine without a license". A Reflexologist may be subject to finesand/or jail term if found guilty. Therefore we have some Reflexology "DON'TS.
- Don't diagnose. Always use the word "reflex" and be general in discussing reflexpoint locations. Tenderness or sensitivity on the foot may be due to stress in the foot and not a reflex.
- Don't prescribe. Even suggesting drinking water could be considered prescribing.Avoid recommending medications, vitamins or herbs.
- Don't treat for specific illness. Refer to the overall well-being of the body. Always work on both feet to allow the body to heal itself.
- Don't claim to cure. Never raise false hope or promise miracles.
Contraindications exist for the safety of both the client and the practitioner. Although Reflexology is safe, there are times it is wise to avoid working certain parts of the foot. It is veryimportant to take a medical history. Remember that a treatment can't hurt anyone or make aproblem worse. For the very young, very old and/or frail, or very sick, press lighter and have shorter and more frequent sessions. Have a client and his/her doctor monitor medications for possible reduction of the dosage as the client improves. Reflexology is not contraindicated for cancer, aids, or other auto-immune diseases.
Avoid or exercise caution with the following conditions:
- Varicose veins（静脈瘤）, phlebitis（静脈炎）, gangrene（壊疽）, or any problem with blood clots
- Severe osteoporosis 骨粗鬆症
- Unstable pregnancy or 6 leeding during pregnancy
- Severe edema (abnormal swelling)
- Lacerations（裂傷）, ulcers（潰瘍）, open wounds and/or sores oozing fluids
- Gout, ingrown toe nails, bunions （こぶ、いぼ、まめ）or corns （うおのめ、たこ）
REFLEXOLOGY TECHNIQUE: THUMB WALKING
A Reflexologist will use several Reflexology techniques during a the rapeutic session. One hand will be the working hand and the other will be the holding hand to support the foot for the working hand, and apply leverage. It is advisable to switch working/holding hands frequently. Itis important to use a slow, steady, and constant pressure while taking small "bites" using the following technique of thumb-walking.
Thumb walking is the main Reflexology technique primarily used on the plantar surface of thefoot.
- Thumb pressure is applied with the lateral edge of the thumb on the working hand.
- Thumb applies an alternating pressure as it inches along the foot's surface in a caterpillarlike motion.
- Thumb retains a 45 degree bend when applying pressure.
- Thumb straightens when it walks or inches forward.
- Thumb moves forward at all times and never moves backward or from side to side.
Lesson three provides Reflexologist client guidelines from the time a client calls for an appointment, including what to do on the day of the session. It also introduces 3 additional Reflexology techniques (finger walking, finger rolling, and press in/hook back), and concludes with the reflexes of the spine, head and the neck.
GUIDELINES FOR TREATMENT SESSIONS:
A Reflexologist is a trained professional who makes a client feel comfortable and cared for during a session. The following guidelines for the time before, during and after a session help establish a positive and comfortable relationship between the Reflexologist and client.
When scheduling an appointment:
- Select a mutually agreeable time and repeat the date, day and time. Clients should arrive10 minutes early if needed to fill out a form and to not be rushed.
- Advise the client of fees and any cancellation policy.
- Give explicit directions to your place of business and parking.
- Advise the client that medication, drugs, and/or alcohol may reduce their sensitivity to the session.
- Advise the client against stimulants, depressants or heavy meals prior to the session.
Upon a client's arrival:
- Greet the client with a friendly introduction.
- Advise the client where to sit.
- Give the client a client information form to fill out.
- Show the client a foot chart and ask if there are any questions about the session.
- Offer the client the use of the restroom.
- Show the client how to lie on the table and/or to sit in the chair.
- Have your nails trimmed and wash your hands thoroughly at all times.
During a session:
- Watch your posture, relax, breathe and stay grounded.
- Get acquainted with the client's feet, noting the temperature, muscle tone, skin condition, any deformities or irregularities.
- Begin the session with relaxation techniques and follow a thorough session plan including all the reflexes.
- Work the foot in many different directions with the thumb and finger walking techniques.
- Check the client's facial expressions and body tension to determine their comfort level.
- Encourage the client to communicate any soreness and spend extra time on those areas.
After a session:
- Advise the client to get up slowly.
- Tell the client that sometimes results are immediate and sometimes more sessions arerequired.
- Answer any questions regarding tense or sore areas in general terms, avoiding diagnosis.
- Offer the client something for hydration.
- Encourage rest after a session, if needed.
In addition to the thumb walking technique, there are other Reflexology techniques that can be used for different parts of the foot.
The technique is used primarily on the dorsal surface of the foot, and may be used as a substitute for thumb walking in certain areas.
- Pressure is applied with the lateral edge of the index finger, as in thumb walking.
- The index finger bends/straightens as in thumb walking.
- Placing the middle finger on the index finger increases pressure.
- Keep an arc in the index finger while working.
The technique is used on the distal toes.
Pressure is applied with the distal flat part of the index finger, in a rolling motion. Placing the middle finger on the index finger increases pressure.
PRESS IN/HOOK BACK
The technique is used on the specific reflexes of the pituitary/pineal glands, the ileocecal valve/appendix and the sigmoid flexure.
Pressure is applied with the lateral corner of the thumb, sinking into and then pulling the reflex area in a slight hooking manner.
In Reflexology, there are many different reflexes on the foot, each of which corresponds to a different part of the body. If a client is concerned about a specific area of the body, working on the appropriate reflexes will help support that area. Below, you will find the area on the body followed by the location of the reflex on the foot.
Spine: medial aspect of foot
- Cervical: base of big toenail to below joint, medial
- C7: just below neckline/spine juncture.
- Thoracic: below joint to waistline, medial
- Lumbar: waistline to heel-line medial, sacroiliac joint (heel line/spine juncture)
- Sacrum: below heel line, medial
- Coccyx: middle heel, medial
Brain: primarily distal third of all toes
Sinuses: primarily middle third of all toes
Temple: distal third of big toe, lateral
Side of Neck: proximal two-thirds of big toe, lateral
Eye, Inner Ear: neckline, zones 2-3
Middle/Outer Ear: neckline, zones 4-5
Nose: same as sinuses
Mouth (teeth/gums, tongue, salivary glands): proximal third of toes on dorsal surface
Throat: neckline of big toes
Jaw: proximal two-thirds of toes on dorsal surface: TMJ- focus on little toe
Teeth/gums: proximal third of toes
Pituitary/Pineal: lateral of center of big toes, "peak" of big toe or center of the big toe spiral
Thyroid/Parathyroid: same as throat