What is Clinical Reflexology?
Reprinted from ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES IN CLINICAL PRACTICE Volume 4, Number 1, January/February 1997.
The Manuscript Introduction to Medical Reflexology
Author, Professor Lorraina J. Telepo, MRP
The International Academy of Medical Reflexology’s Patented Definition for Medical Reflexology is (c) MEDICAL REFLEXOLOGY IS a complementary, biological, integrative, blended health science, THROUGH WHICH an exercise pressure is applied to reflex areas, FORMED BY 7,200 nerve endings in each hand and foot, ENCOURAGING IMPROVED INSTRUCTION to each and every specific organ, gland, and part of the body, THUS PERSUADING the body to biologically correct, strengthen, and reinforce itself, to reach balance, normalization, and homeostasis.
The statement below is from the outstanding term paper of Student, Julia Pomeroy, RN, MRP with permission to publish, thank-you for sharing & inspiring other’s, Julia:
Julia Pomeroy, RN. Clinical experience in rehabilitation nursing and skilled nursing . Administrative experience in long term care MDS coordination:
“This is quite a Medical Reflexology definition. It is concise, precise and expressive enough to give the reader a visual tool. Within this definition one can find science, research, treatment instruction, and outcome. Thousands of years of documented history have gone into this definition. Historically, scientific methodology has been heralded as the only way to be sure of research. Within this definition, there is the understanding that the scientific modality of research has been applied; those parts being observation, hypothesis, prediction, test and result.”
Thus, by working on one part of the body (foot area) there is an effect on another. The goals of reflexology are to re-educate, re-pattern and re-condition the nerves through the neural/electrical system of the body. The sole purpose of the nerves is to instruct the body (simply put, to tell the body what to do), when the nerves improve, the instruction improves, the body must improve, thus, an overall health enhancement therapy program of Medical Reflexology.
This will cause four reactions:
- To relax a particular area of the body through a highly specialized specific relaxation technique.
- To improve nerve, blood and lymphatic supply.
- To persuade the body to biologically correct itself.
- To allow the body to reach homeostasis.
Reflexology is not a belief system, but a health practice without contradictions. This is a safe, effective and reliable process, and a no risk therapy because it is persuasive, not invasive. A four-step program will:
- Stop further deterioration
- Persuade the body to biologically correct itself.
- Strengthen and reinforce all systems in the body
- Continue the body’s maintaining balance (good health).
What Reflexology does not do.
- A Reflexologist is NOT a doctor.
- A Reflexologist is NOT a medical reflexology therapist
- A Reflexologist NEVER prescribes or diagnoses
- A medical reflexology session is to be exclusively reflexology. It should NEVER incorporate any other professional practice during the medical reflexology session.
- Medical Reflexology CANNOT cause health problems.
- There are NO contraindications with reflexology.
- Medical Reflexology CANNOT give or take anything away from the body.
- Medical Reflexology does not increase, decrease, replace, alter or over stimulate the body’s functioning abilities.
What reflexology does.
Reflexology allows the body to self-correct, and to do for itself. Every time a person has his/her feet worked on, it is an examination, an evaluation, or a re-evaluation. This is accomplished through first doing a visual observation, and then by applying an exercise pressure upon relax areas to achieve a specific, highly specialized relaxation in that area of the body. This improves the nerve, blood, and lymphatic supply. The entire foot is assessed; and throughout the session, whenever a trouble (sore) spot shows up, more time is spent on that area of the foot reflex. By working on that area, the corresponding part of the body receives improved nerve, blood and lymphatic supply, in addition to working all 12 systems of the body: cardio-vascular, central nervous, digestive, endocrine, immune, lymphatic, muscular, reproductive, respiratory, sensory, skeletal, and urinary.
The purpose of the nerves is to carry messages and instruct the body. When the nerves improve that instruct the body, the instruction has to improve, the body has to improve. Every nerve in the body begins and ends in the hands and feet. By applying this specialized exercise pressure on the foot, the outcome is improved instruction to each and every part of the body, resulting in a re-educating, a re-patterning, and a re-conditioning of the nerves & instruction through the reflex/neutral electrical system of the body.
The purpose of the blood is to transport nutrition, glucose, and oxygen to all parts of the body. The blood travels approximately 168,000 miles per day to supply about 60 trillion cells in the body. The heart pumps about 103,000 times per day. It is in the hands and feet that blood transfers from arteries to veins to return back to the heart. This is the reason why the feet must be flexible and dexterous. Stress, which can be responsible for 80 percent to 90 percent of ailments, can act like a tourniquet, wrapping around the body, squeezing so tightly that it causes an impediment of blood flow which results in an ischemic condition. Since the capillaries feed the functioning part of the body, we are only as healthy as our capillaries.
Again, by using this specific, highly specialized relaxation technique, medical reflexology is able to relax a specific area of the body enough to improve the blood supply to that area. This will then allow improved transportation of the nutrition, glucose and oxygen which that area of the body desperately needs to function or to regulate. It is essential to remember that we are not only what we eat, we are what we supply to our cells, and then assimilate.
The purpose of the lymphatic system is to cleanse and purify the body and lubricate the muscles. A healthy system is a cleansed system; congestion is disease. The absence of balance in the body is disease. The lymphatic system cannot cleanse or purify very well if it is weak, sick or congested. A healthy person’s body will rid itself of at least eight pounds or toxic waste per day through the four channels of elimination: kidneys, bowels, skin and the breath. The lymph flows in one direction only, toward the heart; also every lymphatic vessel begins and ends in the hands and feet. By using this specific, highly specialized relaxation technique (medical reflexology) we are persuading the body to correct, strengthen, and reinforce itself.
Imagine a healthy body that has a strong and well-toned nerve, blood and lymphatic supply. Medical Reflexology, which is not invasive but persuasive, can enable the body to obtain and maintain this healthy condition. In essence, healthy, strong feet are attached to a healthy, strong body – Doctor Left Foot and Doctor Right Foot, if you will.
Different Laws of Reflexology explained.
The law of evidence: same as the method used by conventional medicine, dealing with the scientifically proven, that which is measurable by physicians; i.e. Glucose, blood pressure, etc. (Note: pain is not measurable.)
The law of the understood: the body has a built in self-correcting system.
The law of similar : whatever is happening inside the body is identical and similar at the end of the nerves in both hands and the feet. In other words, the symptoms of swelling and tenderness anywhere in your body will be duplicated in that related foot reflex area to the same degree as manifested in the body.
Reflexology, the expert facilitator of the body
Professional techniques lie in expert evaluations and assessment by the practitioner: the ability to tie in the identity of the reflex area to that specific gland, organ, or single part of the body. A Reflexologist does not see just the hands and feet of a client; they see the entire body with the 12 systems mapped out in the hands and feet. The reflex area of the body is treated, not the disease or condition.
By working with the law of evidence, we would document the condition of the client. Proper tests would be conducted by the physician before the client begins reflexology and then again after a client’s condition has improved, as evidenced by identical tests given by the medical professional, thereby establishing a documented case study. This is the proving scientific ground for reflexology, allowing it to receive the credit and status that it is due.
Fortunately, the body as a whole is highly intelligent. Innately it knows what to do, how to circulate blood, how to maintain health, etc. Medical Reflexology simply facilitates the different processes when a problem arises due to a person’s lifestyle. It is a safe, no-risk, non-evasive but persuasive, highly effective therapy. Its success can be seen in many case studies. Hence a most logical conclusion would be that to maintain a healthy body. “medical reflexology” is a necessity not a luxury.
Medical Reflexology and Clinical Reflexology are terms that are used interchangeably.