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      News — Reflexology Blog

      Can Reflexology help prevent having a Stroke?

      Can Reflexology help prevent having a Stroke?

      After your first stroke - all of a sudden, life choices seem to get very important. That isn’t to say you don’t take things seriously enough already - but now with that experience behind you - it’s important to consider everything. This article is about something refreshing and upbeat, that can help you recover from a stroke faster and more comprehensively and offers a low-risk solution to strategically navigating your world, post-stroke. We will help detail a plan that helps take advantage of the benefits of foot massage for treating post-stroke symptoms.

      Stroke

      Interestingly, until recently, the effects of massage and reflexology have been discounted when talking about the treatment of things like stroke. But with the emergence of numerous high profile clinical studies that do show scientific evidence that stroke symptoms can be improved with things as simple and rewarding as foot massage, now it’s no longer in the realm of pseudoscience. 

      It’s not like Reflexology wasn’t already anecdotally proven, and it’s obvious to proponents of the practice that the methodology is sound, especially given how much relief from symptoms and post-stroke concerns the continued use of the practice can offer. Now, however, it’s clear - foot massage is an indulgence that means something substantial in the treatment of stroke survivors. Get ready for an enhanced quality of life as we help you navigate after your stroke, how to get more foot massages, and also gain relief for those pesky post-stroke conditions. 

      How can you be sure that treatment for stroke patients with foot massage is more science than hearsay?

      Here are some important links to clinical studies that prove there is more to the story than the blanket rejection by some practitioners that stroke patients can benefit from foot massage and other substantially similar techniques. 

      https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1744388117304127

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4743203/

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28878450

      What types of post-stroke symptoms can foot massage treat?

      Reflexology

      • Regaining touch control and relieving temporary paralysis
      • Reducing anxiety
      • Improving overall well-being, quality of life, and outlook
      • Improving baseline vitals
      • Positive blood pressure benefits
      • Pulse rate and blood oxygenation effects
      • Improved sleeping satisfaction
      • Body temperature regulation

      At risk for stroke? Can you prevent potential stroke through foot massage?

      We aren’t doctors. Nothing we present here should be taken as medical advice. It’s for informational purposes only. However, there is strong evidence that the types of symptoms that lead up to stroke, and the lifestyle and pre-stroke conditions that exist for some people can be dramatically positively affected by utilizing foot massage and reflexology in combination with other sound health choices to help prevent a stroke from occurring. 

      Doctor Visit

      It’s important to understand that many of the root causes of stroke involve the transmission of oxygen throughout the body, overall health and well-being, stress level control, and overall health. These are all things that can be helped through proper foot massage and the use of pressure points on the foot, among other healthy lifestyle practices. 

      While we are firm believers that it’s important to live a healthy lifestyle and that there are numerous important factors in maintaining health, and that foot massage should be part of a larger overall health plan, foot massage can be a luxury that also pays heavy health benefit dividends. 

      What are some of the steps you can take to start getting more foot massages and helping to avoid, or treat stroke? 

      Foot Massager

      • Learn about basic concepts in reflexology to help with specific “pain points” you or a loved one may experience during recovery of a stroke
      • Consider using an automated massage device that can lend a hand when limited mobility or limited resource situations exist
      • Recognize the need for a holistic approach to viewing conditions, where all possible inputs and variables can be explored. A single treatment option is rarely the best course of action. Foot massage works best in harmony with other best practices 
      • Seek a better quality of life and to lower overall stress levels and blood pressure
      • Consider a multi-part process involving foot massage and other touch massage methods throughout the day, particularly as stress levels are likely to increase, or before retiring for the night

      Conclusion

      Stroke patients can realize significant benefits from foot massage and other touch massage techniques with regards to the symptoms they experience both pre and post-stroke. It’s important to understand the effect of quality of life, overall stress levels, and blood pressure on the potential for stroke - each of which can be effectively benefited from properly implemented foot massage and reflexology treatments. 

      Reflexology for Peripheral Neuropathy

      Reflexology for Peripheral Neuropathy

      Sufferers of Peripheral Neuropathy often have experienced trauma or major infections to get to the point of their peripheral neuropathy diagnosis. It’s a secondary chronic condition that stems from other primary conditions. In short: it’s already been a long road by the time one is diagnosed with Peripheral neuropathy, and it will be a long road still unless you can find some quality of life treatments and commit to reducing symptoms over the long-term. This article will help you to use manual and automatic foot massage and reflexology to treat symptoms of Peripheral Neuropathy. 

      Peripheral neuropathy

      The burning, stabbing, tingling, and generally obnoxious pain symptoms are a major cause for fatigue, complacency, and lack of hope for proper relief, which can cause myriad other concerns including physiological and psychological issues. With the rise of diabetes in the United States, the number of cases is already rising and expected to gain critical momentum. If you are a diabetic, you already have reasons to use foot massage and reflexology for improved quality of life and treatment of symptoms, but now that need is higher than ever. 

      Interestingly, there are a plethora of studies that have been concluded in the past decade and a half that center around the efficacy of foot massage and reflexology in the treatment of Peripheral Neuropathy. It helps shed light on some of the science behind the techniques and brings them into the forefront of ancillary treatments and helps to prove their effectiveness outside of anecdotal information you have heard. 

      How can Reflexology and Foot Massage help sufferers of peripheral neuropathy?

      Peripheral neuropathy massage

      It seems pretty clear that there are decades of clinical research that show strong correlations between improved blood flow and massage of all types. In the case of peripheral neuropathy, your feet are major components of the symptoms. To be able to get an easy win early on is great. 

      But the benefits don’t stop at increased blood flow. There are ways to target internals by using reflexology with manual touch therapy on the feet and beyond. Targeting the right areas for your individualized treatment needs offers a good way to ensure some level of relief without huge outlays of time and energy. 

      Relaxation and stress relief is also important. Living with a chronic condition can be mentally and physically fatiguing. Foot massage can address this immediately in most cases.

      The feet are packed with nerve endings and the most direct way to impact peripheral neuropathy is by soothing those tingling, pain-filled nerve endings. Foto massage is an obvious win.  

      Is it realistic to expect a big quality of life improvement and other benefits?

      Peripheral neuropathy Ankle

      Recent studies do show promising returns on investment from a technique perspective. The following clinical studies are excellent examples of the efficacy of such treatments. 

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3913279/

      https://www.researchgate.net/publication/264066418_Effect_of_Self-Foot_Reflexology_on_Peripheral_Blood_Circulation_and_Peripheral_Neuropathy_in_patients_with_Diabetes_Mellitus

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4416467/

      http://iosrjournals.org/iosr-jnhs/papers/vol7-issue5/Version-9/H0705094455.pdf

      These all show a net positive, especially concerning foot massage, with the usual skepticism of reflexology thrown into the conclusions - though the majority of these clinical studies did acknowledge reflexology is a promising area of study for the condition. 

      For those that understand that the quality of life benefits, paired with the improved balance potential, and the blood flow improvements are important parts to treating their peripheral neuropathy, we recommend getting into foot massage in a committed way. One could utilize an automatic massager in conjunction with manual hand touch therapy on the feet to take advantage of the biggest gains shown in these four studies. An improved QoL is a major factor in managing pain, managing sanity, and managing the day-to-day of living with peripheral neuropathy whether as a diabetic or not. 

      How Reflexology can help with Multiple Sclerosis

      How Reflexology can help with Multiple Sclerosis

      Supplemental medical treatments have begun to come into the mainstream as the quality of life concerns overshadow otherwise successful treatment regimens for chronic illnesses. One such situation where a supplemental medical treatment seems to be making a lot of headway in the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis through foot massage and reflexology. This article should help you to understand the ins and outs of the concepts being floated in the medical community right now. 

      It’s never been a frontline technique in modern medicine, but the inherent staying power, at least anecdotally should prove the efficacy of reflexology and foot centered massage touch therapy. But in light of dozens of recent clinical studies, hard science seems to be emerging over said efficacy - and it looks great for sufferers of Multiple Sclerosis.

      What is Multiple Sclerosis and what symptoms are difficult to treat?

      Doctors Visit

      Multiple Sclerosis is a disease where the immune system degrades the protective outer covering of nerves. 

      The result is generally a diminishing ability for the brain to maintain proper communication with the nerves and this can lead to a variety of symptoms that can lead to life-altering conditions. A loss of vision, pain, and coordination degradation are among the more prevalent symptoms over a prolonged period, but many other symptoms can manifest throughout the cycle of MS. While there is no current cure for MS, immune suppressors can aid in symptom relief and slowing of the progress of the disease. 

      The quality of life enhancements are crucial in a treatment plan for MS, and foot massage and Reflexology can help. 

      Hard to treat MS symptoms include:

      • Urinary symptoms
      • Sensory pain 
      • Motor difficulties
      • Pain management
      • Anxiety

      Why hasn’t foot massage and Reflexology been used more extensively before now?

      Reflexology

      It’s pretty simple. MS, while it has been around since way before it was standardized by name as a condition, is relatively new to the world of medicine. French Neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot made it his life work to treat it and named it in 1868. There is documentation as early as the late 14th century which is likely referring to MS sufferers - countless others, no doubt have dealt with the debilitating disease. 

      While Reflexology was discovered long before the late 14th century, it simply wasn’t well known and the ability to grab information, or to classify diseases was limited until much more recently. It’s important to note, that until now, Reflexology and foot centric touch therapy have been limited by the scientific channels that generally garner support for medical treatments. 

      There have been dozens of studies of late, however, that aim to change this, especially when it comes to treating MS with foot massage and using Reflexology as a base for touch therapy. 

      The following clinical studies are great examples:

      https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12926840/

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4387643/

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4034721/

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6516893/

      The weakest of the findings, in a double-blind sham-controlled clinical study still found benefits of foot massage for MS Patients, even if they didn’t conclude that sizable gains were made specifically with regards to Reflexology. This is important because it shows the efficacy of quality of life improvements and leaves room for further development of the science behind techniques. Overall it too is a win for MS sufferers. Note: the incredibly difficult standard built into this test is among the industries tightest control sets for clinical studies. For reference: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19825891/

      What can you do right now to take advantage of the science behind the clinical studies and improve your quality of life, while living with MS?

      • Get an automatic massager for your feet. The stimulation of one of the more densely packed sets of nerve endings in the body will help in multiple ways. 
      • Understand how to treat your specific symptoms with touch therapy and targeted Reflexology. If nothing else, there have been indications that the placebo effect can even improve your quality of life thanks to the manual implementation of Reflexology. That said, Reflexology seems to be a solid solution for a majority of MS sufferers, with real benefits. 
      • Read the studies and talk with your medical professionals. It’s possible they have not seen some of these studies and may be more receptive to helping you find the quality of life improvements through creative techniques and helping to get your treatments through insurance programs and other means.
      • Spend some time with self-care. Don’t be afraid to take time to yourself to evaluate and take advantage of treatments that seem to work well for your unique symptoms. No one case of MS is the same as any other. What works for you will need to be more heavily relied upon during flare-ups or particularly hard days. 

      What Reflexology can do for Migraines

      What Reflexology can do for Migraines

      Can foot massage help with migraines, cluster headaches, and other annoying headache types? It certainly can. Not only is this a feel-good answer, but it also has scientific backing, and gives all of us an excuse to further investigate how we can benefit from fewer headaches and more frequent foot massages. We’ll help you understand the tangible benefits of using foot massage for the treatment of headaches while helping showcase the emerging science and the already existing science behind these benefits. Additionally, we hope to help you get on the right track to start getting rid of headaches more easily while enjoying the ancillary benefits of foot massage.

      Are there studies that show clinically controlled data that proves foot massage is good for headaches?

      The good news is that Reflexology and foot massage related clinical studies are on the rise, and there has been a strong sentiment towards increasing credibility for the practices. While it is still not considered a fully fleshed out practice option, it is showing major interest from grant funders and program developers as well. 

      Reflexology

      Here are some specific clinical studies that have been performed regarding the foot massage’s impact on treating headaches:

      https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30028477/

      https://cyberleninka.org/article/n/781417.pdf 


      What types of headaches can be helped with a foot massage?

      It’s important to note, that even outside of the “Reflexology” scope, most stress-induced headaches can be addressed at some level by foot massage, and other types of massage. The relaxation effect of a foot massage alone is enough to tame many headaches brought on by stress. 

      Migraines

      Migraines get special treatment because of their link to internal organs and specific placement in the brain. As a result, reflexology can shine with the treatment of migraines. Some cluster headaches or stress headaches are more externally oriented and can be addressed differently, but don’t have as many outlets as migraines for treatment. That said, a great foot massage is usually enough to provide some relief for all types of headaches, so you need not be a reflexology expert to gain some relief.   

      Is it as easy as simply using a massager or manually massaging my feet?

      Sometimes, yes. If you are doing all the best practices, like staying hydrated and using an appropriate diet, and avoiding triggers, additional relief could be as easy as some basic work with an automated foot massager and some basic "hand to foot" work. 

      Foot Massager

      The way you approach the situation will have a direct impact on the treatment outcomes. Be sure to vet any new concepts that promise relief without some proof. Those studies cited above help determine the safety and efficiency of methods for the treatment of Migraines and other headaches like Cluster headaches.  


      Points to consider when using foot massage to help reduce headache symptoms

      • You don’t need to have another person giving you a massage to truly get the benefits of the process. An automated consumer model foot massager is enough to start the treatment; paired with your manual manipulation, you can expect great returns on investment. 
      • Some headaches are brought about by environmental or activity factors. If you get cluster headaches when you play intense 5-on-5 basketball with your friends 3 times a week, you might need to address multiple avenues when dealing with symptoms. Sure, a foot massage will help with a reduction in the headache symptoms, but so can relaxing and reducing the physical exertion to a minimum.  
      • Be realistic. You can get great therapy from a foot massager and some basic reflexology concepts, but the more you research and put into practice, the better your outcome will be. 
      • Time will reveal additional technique adaptations and clues to getting better efficacy - so try to be on the lookout for new studies as they happen. This particular scenario is a popular study concept. 
      • Many Migraine sufferers (and some other sufferers of specific chronic headaches) require medication and support from a medical professional. Consult with your doctor and let them know any positive effects of foot massage to help them understand that you are addressing the condition from multiple levels. 


      Reflexology for Edema

      Reflexology for Edema

      It’s no doubt many more of us are living much more sedentary day-to-day lifestyles, particularly in the age of desk jobs and technology economies where we aren’t mobile, except to go to the watercooler or the restroom. Edema has had a field day as a result of this transition in work environments. Pair that with naturally occurring reasons for some people to experience edema, and you’ll be searching for quick and comprehensive relief of swelling in the feet and ankles. Enter foot massage and Reflexology to the rescue. How can you take advantage of this therapy? We’ll walk you through it. 

      What is Edema?

      Edema Chart

      We will talk about a specific type of edema and a specific area of the body in this article. But the quick answer to what edema is: it is swelling brought on by excess fluid being trapped in the tissues of the body. 

      Edema within this article is essentially swelling that occurs in the ankles, calves, and feet that become painful as excess fluid is retained and pools, thanks to gravity in the lowest part of the body. The swelling and inflammation caused by fluid retention cause discomfort and tenderness. 

      What is reflexology?

      Reflexology

      Some would say reflexology is an unproven methodology, even if it does pre-date western medicine. Some would say it’s a pseudoscience based on a few anecdotal stories of success. For those who have used reflexology, and specifically those who have utilized foot massage and reflexology to solve problems far beyond the feet, it’s almost impossible to convince them that it’s not proven. What it is, is a concept that certain points on the body are interconnected to other parts of the body, and applying proper pressure on those points can alleviate acute symptoms and even have a positive impact on chronic concerns. 

      It is finally getting the type of scientific backing that has legitimized other practices in the past 150 years and brought them into the mainstream. There are now thousands of clinical studies with tight controls that show efficacy in the treatment of major medical concerns with reflexology. For the scope of this article, reflexology will refer to pressure massage on the feet to help with edema.

      Do I need to pinpoint specific parts of the foot to benefit from foot massage?

      Of course not. If you’ve ever had a legitimate foot massage, you know they are all excellent when a genuine effort is made. The dense collection of nerve endings means you can feel even minimal pressure easily on the foot, and this pressure can improve blood flow which stimulates the surface of the skin and brings oxygen to the area. This is all very good when trying to counteract edema, especially in the lower extremities. 

      If properly assessed and implemented, reflexology can be incredibly helpful in combating edema in the feet, ankles, and lower legs. Absent the knowledge or ability to carry out reflexology treatment, you will likely be best served with a combination of a machine-based, automatic therapy (like a foot massager), and using your hands to find the spots that need specific treatment by feel. If it’s tender, you can improve the way it feels with manual manipulation - listen to your body.

      Why is foot massage so good for edema?

      While you can do certain things to reduce the effects of edema and prevent long-term problems brought on by chronic edema, foot massage can have immediate effects. For instance, you can reduce salt intake, which will in the intermediate and longer-term, help to reduce the chance of excess fluid retention. You can elevate the feet to try to get an artificial draining of the pool of fluid. Both of these are effective in their different ways, though the salt reduction is a long-term process; foot elevation is a temporary solution. Foot massage is both immediate, and it can have lasting benefits.

      Here’s a clinical study that shows the efficacy of foot massage for edema treatment brought on by pregnancy (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7201824/). Another CLinical study shows important information as well (https://www.researchgate.net/publication/46379861_Effect_of_foot_massage_to_decrease_physiological_lower_leg_oedema_in_late_pregnancy_A_randomized_controlled_trial_in_Turkey).

      Foot massage also feels good, and gives an improved quality of life, while helping to relax the individual. Furthermore, foot massage can change the mental state, relieve stress, and soothe achy feet and lower legs caused by other variables in combination with edema. It just makes sense.  



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