Where, oh Where…?

So, I’ve spent most of the day looking at current research and trying to find something to write about; BUT it’s all so BLAH!

203. acupunctureYes, acupuncture has been found to help those suffering from FM – where’s the new information in that?

Yes, marijuana has been shown to help those suffering from FM – where’s the new information in that?

Yes, dysmenorrhea is especially common in FM – where’s the new information in that?

Obesity, tai-chi, hydrotherapy,  shiatsu, reflexology, yoga – it’s all the same…there is nothing new!

I’ve kept reading, checking Facebook, watching tweets and I can’t find anything! And, obviously, I have done nothing else to tell you about. So, I’m setting you a mission: can you find (somewhere, anywhere) something new about FM?

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The Body Love Reflex

I’m in LOVE!!!


Her name is Amy – no! I haven’t turned – Amy is the student therapist who performed my reflexology treatment. I want her to spend every night with me – then she will be there in the morning to do amazing, mind-blowing things to my feet!

Remember I told you about the ‘reflexology massage’ (and I use that term loosely, now that I know the REAL thing) that I had at one of the little Asian places that have popped up in all shopping centres? Well, it was nothing like that.

I was taken into a warm, womb-like room – absolutely welcoming after the 11 degree temperature outside. Amy gave me a choice of a comfy chair or the practitioners’ bed. I hate those platform things so it was the chair for me. My socks came off and Amy wiped down my feet (not quite as nice as a Balinese foot-wash but still refreshing).

Then three deep breaths as Amy held pressure to my feet, and off we went. I expected to just lie back and relax because I had been feeling very fragile, with a headache that had been hanging on for four days and the decathlon-performance pain that we all know too well; but, instead, very slowly, I became energised and we talked about all the different nerve endings in my feet (did you know there are over 7000?) and what organs and other bits were affected when she touched different parts of my feet.

As a therapy, reflexology is not invasive – only the feet, and/or hands and ears are worked. It is deeply relaxing yet surprisingly energising – while I was lying back in my chair, I was thinking to myself ‘yeah, this is nice but that’s about it!’ You may feel you are being pampered during a reflexology session but do not underestimate the powerful effects this treatment can have on all of your body systems. After going back to reception, I suddenly realised that I felt great. There was still a dull ache in my left shoulder but my head didn’t hurt and I almost bounced back to Mommy’s house (about three blocks away).

I’m booked in Shiatsu tomorrow, reflexology next Wednesday and another Shiatsu on the Friday after. Like I said – I’m in love!

Anyone in Melbourne? (Or Need an Excuse to Come to Melbourne?)

I told you about the great shiatsu treatment that I had on Friday; and today, I had a marvellous reflexology treatment  (which I will tell you about at a later time).

The EastWest College is having a fund-raising event on June 24th 2012. All treatments will be $15 – yes, you heard me – $15:

  • $15 for one hour of shiatsu
  • $15 for one hour of reflexology
  • $15 for one hour of massage

Now, there are only two problems:

  1. EastWest College is in Caulfield South, Victoria, AUSTRALIA; and
  2. Places are restricted.

So, if you live in/near Melbourne, or you really need an excuse to come for a visit, the weekend of June 24th is the time to come!

A Reflex Action

You know that absolutely wonderful thing, that gorgeous men/women who love/lust after/appreciate a woman do, which makes us squirm, sigh, shriek and purr? The thing that we don’t really talk about yet still can’t get enough of? That thing that gives us such a guilty pleasure that we can’t even watch our beautiful partner perform the act?

Well, I had that same sort of guilty pleasure (although not nearly as pleasurable) today.

Mommy and I snuck away to get a massage from one of the Asian massage places that have popped up everywhere recently. Mommy had a sciatica massage and I decided to try some reflexology. WHAT? you say…it doesn’t even compare! Let me tell you that there are a myriad of similarities: latex (in this case, gloves), lubrication, pleasure and guilt, while trying to enjoy the entire process while a little Asian man (really! I am not being racist – it was an Asian man who was shorter than me!) massaged my feet. Comparable to the act I described earlier, I couldn’t actually watch the man performing the massage – it just felt wrong.

Reflexology is a wonderfully relaxing therapy that works on many levels, soothing, calming, balancing and boosting your entire body. Reflexology is based on the principle that certain parts of the body reflect the whole. Reflex points, which relate to all parts of the body, can be found in the feet, hands, face and ears. These points respond to pressure, stimulating the body’s own natural healing process. The body starts progressively clearing blockages, re-establishing energy flows and balancing itself, resulting in better health. There are many different styles and approaches used in reflexology, however the basic principle is constant. Subtle yet powerful, reflexology is becoming increasingly popular in the world of complementary therapies.

As a therapy, reflexology is not invasive – only the feet, and/or hands and ears are worked (we only did my feet). It is deeply relaxing yet surprisingly energizing – all part of its balancing capacity. You may feel you are being pampered during a reflexology session but do not underestimate the powerful effects this treatment can have on all of your body systems.

All body systems benefit from reflexology but you immediately notice the effect on your circulation, nervous and lymphatic systems in particular. My feet are tingling – and not the yucky FM pins and needles feeling, it’s my blood coursing through all the bits that feel like they normally get detoured.

Reflexology can address all of our particular needs: painful, congested, sluggish or overactive states within the body can be balanced and normalised. A Chinese survey of 8,096 case studies noted a 94% effective or significantly effective rate.

Stress and Anxiety

Lessening of stress and anxiety is demonstrated in twenty-nine reflexology studies with study participants including healthy individuals, senior citizens, women and cancer patients. The stimulation of reflexology’s pressure techniques creates change in the body’s basic level of tension as demonstrated by research showing that reflexology relaxes the body using a variety of measurements: brain waves (EEG), blood pressure, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, pulse rate, and anxiety.

Lessening of Pain

Reduction of pain is a significant result of reflexology work. The lessening of pain in response to reflexology is documented in thirty-six studies including individuals of all ages and health states: birthing mothers, menstruating women, phantom limb pain sufferers, lower back pain sufferers, cancer patients, kidney stone patients, senior citizens and individuals with pain resulting from surgery. Such results find explanation is what researcher Dr Nancy Stephenson considers as an effect on the neuromatrix of the brain, an expansion of the Fate Control Theory of Pain. According to Wikipedia: Gate control theory asserts that activation of nerves which do not transmit pain signals, called nonnociceptive fibers, can interfere with signals from pain fibres, thereby inhibiting pain. Stimulating nerves that sense touch, heat, cold and pressure – as does reflexology – overcomes the action of the pain nerves. (YIPPEE!!!!)

Cancer Care

Twenty-four studies conducted by nurses in ten countries show that reflexology helps with each stage of the cancer experience: following chemotherapy, post-operatively, management of symptoms and during palliative/hospice care. Research demonstrates that cancer patients who receive reflexology work show significant improvements in physical and emotional symptoms: lessened pain, anxiety, depression and stress; reduced nausea and vomiting; lowered fatigue and improved quality of life.

Thousands of documented case studies from around the world have demonstrated benefits for:

  • PMT
  • Migraine
  • Sinus
  • Colic
  • Menopause
  • Constipation/Diarrhoea
  • Back Pain
  • Neck Pain
  • Sciatica
  • Shoulder Pain
  • Asthma
  • Stroke
  • Menstrual Irregularities

As my reflexology massage was not the ‘official’ kind, I had a half hour session. If you attend a ‘real’ session, it will usually last about an hour depending on your age and state of health. First sessions tend to be longer as the practitioner needs to take a case history prior to any treatment (Umm, we missed that bit, too!)

The exact number of sessions required depends upon several factors including the condition being addressed and the healing response of the individual. A minimum of 3-4 sessions are usually recommended, however chronic conditions may take longer to respond.

As blockages clear and the body reaches a state of balance, the sessions would be cut back to fortnightly, monthly or whenever the client feels the need. It is generally recommended that sessions should be at least a few days apart to allow the body time to adjust to the changes that are taking place as toxins released from congested systems are processed and eliminated.

So, maybe all I had was a foot and calf massage but it still feels amazing! Perhaps our partners have a new wonderful thing to do for us?