Reflexology for Diabetics

It is well known that people with diabetes need to lookafter their feet. In very basic terms, when the blood is not releasing the sugars into the cells ofthe body, the blood can get syrupy and thick, which means that it isn’t flowingsmoothly and is not getting to the extremities as efficiently and aseffectively as it should. Because of this, some of the smaller blood vesselsbecome restricted and nerve endings can start to become damaged, causingperipheral neuropathy.

My first ever reflexology client I booked after qualifyingwas an elderly lady with type 2 diabetes. She was keen to have her feet touchedand worked on because of the peripheral neuropathy she was experiencing. Hersymptoms were numbness and tingling, making it difficult for her to walk and difficultto sleep. She found the treatments soothing, comforting and relaxing.

It is well known that reflexology can improve circulation within the body: the main contraindication for the treatment is thrombosis and clotting, simply because the improved flow of blood could cause the clot to move. With this in mind, it is a great treatment for diabetics.

Being diagnosed with any type of diabetes, but especially atype 2 diabetes diagnosis in later life, can be very difficult to manage.  A massive change in lifestyle, eating habitsand general discipline around food choices, exercise, blood sugar monitoringand medication timings can be very stressful not just for those with thediabetes but also the surrounding friends and family. This is where regularreflexology treatments can be so beneficial for so many of life’s illnesses andproblems, because it is such a great stress-buster.

Regular reflexology will also optimize the condition and health of the skin of the feet and ankles. As diabetics will have restricted blood flow (particularly to the extremities), this can cause excessive dryness, making the skin fragile and thin, and causing serious problems if a wound occurs. Healing will take much longer and may lead to other complications such as infections and ulcers. Ensuring that the skin is thoroughly moisturized and nourished will be hugely beneficial in maintaining the overall health of the feet.

In addition to general reflexology, the specialized sequence of Reflexology Lymph Drainage (RLD) may also be a good choice to make in a multi-faceted approach to managing diabetes. Diabetes causes the lymph vessels to become weak and too permeable, compromising the flow of lymph and thus the immune system.[1] We know that it is likely that the RLD sequence has a causal effect on the lymphatic system through studies conducted and results published around managing breast cancer related lymphoedema.[2] Of course more research is needed to present evidence, but I wholeheartedly believe in the modality of reflexology and the powerful effect it can have on the mind and body.

[1] http://revistaseletronicas.pucrs.br/ojs/index.php/scientiamedica/article/view/10095

[2] http://www.reflexologylymphdrainage.co.uk/abstract-2016.html

Jackie Marsden is a Reflexologist, Acupuncturist and Foot Reading Practitioner, based at Elder Cottage Clinic, Warton, Preston, PR4. She is a full member of the Association of Reflexologists.

Reflexology for Band of Sisters

I spent the summer solstice, 21 June 2014, giving reflexology to a wonderful group of women who have a loved one with a career limiting /ending injury or illness attributable to service in the forces since 2001.

Help for Heroes Band of Brothers and Band of Sisters offer a listening ear, emotional support, and fellowship to our heroes and their families. Band of Brothers offer support for the wounded, and Band of Sisters offer support for the families.

I was privileged to be invited to participate in a pamper weekend for Help for Heroes Band of Sisters members on a respite break at the new Phoenix House Recovery Centre in Catterick Garrison. Members enjoyed a well-deserved time out, with the opportunity to bond, form new friendships and have a break from pressures at home.  Meeting other women in the same situation can make a huge difference: realising that they are not alone can be a huge relief.

Therapies on offer were full body massage, Indian head massage and reflexology. Reflexology proved hugely popular and my slots filled up the fastest! Every client of the day relaxed deeply into their treatments, closing their eyes and snuggling under the blanket, while I sensitively worked away at their feet. Before beginning the day, I checked that none of the ladies were allergic or hypersensitive to anything, and then I put a drop of balancing geranium and a drop of calming lavender into a small bowl of hot water and allowed it to diffuse through my therapy room. With the lights dimmed and my Relaxator chair at the ready, comfort and luxury awaited the Band of Sisters members! Afterwards I gave them each some Neal’s Yard sample sachets to take away so they could give themselves a mini-facial.

20140620_Pamper 505Alongside the complementary therapies on offer, the members could also participate in other interesting activities such as cup cake decorating, jewellery making, NIA[1] and pilates, or just choose to relax and unwind as they wished.

The summer solstice is a highly spiritual time for some, described in many ancient texts as the time of enlightenment: the return of the individual into the divine source. It feels apt that I was called to give my therapy to these women on this particular day; the act of healing is not just about one individual giving to another, but on a more spiritual level it is also the becoming of one: joining, energy and flow.

[1] NIA – Neuromuscular Integrative Action. A blend of yoga, martial arts, and dance, is one of the latest trends in mind-body fitness fusion.

Jackie Marsden MAR is a qualified reflexologist and independent consultant (Team Leader) for Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic. Jackie leads and mentors a growing team of consultants (many of whom are therapists integrating organic products into their existing businesses) via the NYRO social selling channel, holding regular team meetings, one-to-one coaching via phone and facetime, and a closed facebook group. All views are my own.

independent-consultant-long-logoGrowyourbusiness

unnamed2mooncup_banner

Manage your stress

A few months ago I stumbled across these three paragraphs on FaceBook. They describe such a great analogy that I wanted to share it with the readers of my blog.*

A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the “half empty or half full” question. Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired: “How heavy is this glass of water?”

Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.

She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.” She continued, “The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed – incapable of doing anything.”

ID-10051886It is so important to take stress seriously. We all suffer from stress in some form or another, whether it be physical, emotional, continual worries, relationship difficulties, financial problems, stressful job (to name but a few). However small, if they are not addressed, then the “glass” will become heavier, and over time could contribute to ill health.

It is estimated that 75% of disease and illness is caused by stress. We need stress in the short term, for example, to give us that adrenalin rush to cross the road before the approaching car. However, if our bodies remain in this heightened state of alert for long periods then physical strain will be put onto the body.  One common problem in particular relates to digestive issues: if the body is on constant high alert then the digestive system will be on shut down, and thus problems such as IBS present themselves. And then I could write a whole new post about that!

Reflexology takes an holistic approach:  a therapist will take into consideration a client’s integral biology: looking at the complete environment in which the client exists, in an attempt to reduce stress and restore balance. Sometimes just being able to talk about a particular worry or problem can be hugely beneficial, and combined with a relaxing hour of treatment, can create substantial relief.

*I apologise for not knowing who wrote this piece, as I would be grateful to credit the original author.

Jackie Marsden MAR is a qualified reflexologist and independent consultant (Team Leader) for Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic. Jackie leads and mentors a growing team of consultants (many of whom are therapists integrating organic products into their existing businesses) via the NYRO social selling channel, holding regular team meetings, one-to-one coaching via phone and facetime, and a closed facebook group. All views are my own.

independent-consultant-long-logoGrowyourbusiness

unnamed2

mooncup_banner

Image courtesy of photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Why Reflexology?

Many of my clients ask me, “what made you want to become a reflexologist?” and this is certainly an interesting question.

The short answer is that it just “came” to me. I woke one morning and knew that this is what I wanted to do.Feet together

Building up to this answer, I enjoyed regular reflexology during my first pregnancy. I always found it hugely relaxing, and liked the thought that by having reflexology my baby was receiving benefits from the treatment too. However, even back then, I still believe reflexology came to me; it found me.

I was introduced to Dr. Gowri Motha’s Gentle Birth Method by my yoga teacher, and was enlightened to improving my lifestyle and well-being in order to optimize my pregnancy and to give birth to a healthy baby. Throughout the book, each week of pregnancy gave information and advice and included here were various recommended complementary therapies. I wasn’t able to afford every treatment it suggested (however tempting it seemed!) but the one that leapt out at me was, yes you’ve guessed it, reflexology.

My reflexology training is hugely rewarding and satisfying. I have a greater understanding of the human body,  not just anatomically, but also those deeper aspects such as stress, emotions and thought processes – they each impact on our physical well-being and should not be underestimated. Taking an holistic approach to healing is something of which I am particularly passionate. I doubt I will ever stop learning and developing my knowledge and experience on this incredible journey.

Jackie Marsden MAR is a qualified reflexologist and independent consultant (Team Leader) for Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic. Jackie leads and mentors a growing team of consultants (many of whom are therapists integrating organic products into their existing businesses) via the NYRO social selling channel, holding regular team meetings, one-to-one coaching via phone and facetime, and a closed facebook group. All views are my own.

independent-consultant-long-logoGrowyourbusiness

unnamed2mooncup_banner

Image copyright Jackie Marsden 2016