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What is Reflexology?

Reflexology is the application of appropriate pressure to specific points and areas on the feet, hands, or ears. Reflexologists believe that these areas and reflex points correspond to different body organs and systems, and that pressing them has a beneficial effect on the organs and person’s general health. For example, reflexology holds that a specific spot in the arch of the foot corresponds to the bladder point. When a reflexology practitioner uses thumbs or fingers to apply appropriate pressure to this area, it affects bladder functioning.

massage of footAlthough reflexology is not used to diagnose or cure health disorders, millions of people around the world use it to complement other treatments when addressing conditions like anxiety, asthma, cancer treatment, cardiovascularissues, diabetesheadaches, kidney function, PMS, and sinusitis.

Reflexology is growing increasingly popular across Europe and Asia as both a complement to other treatments and as a preventive measure. One example is Denmark, where various municipalities and companies have employed reflexologists since the early ’90s.

According to several studies, this practice in Denmark has resulted in reduced sick leave and absenteeism (and significant economic savings for the employers). Employees have consistently reported complete or partial improvement in conditions where they sought reflexologists’ help and even relief for additional problems related to stress. In one municipal district, almost one-third of the employees reported greater satisfaction with their jobs after completing six sessions with a reflexologist.

Where are the reflexology points and areas?

In reflexology theory, points and areas on the feet, hands, and ears correspond to specific organs, bones and body systems. Practitioners access these points on the feet and hands (bottom, sides, and top) and the ear (both inside as far as the finger can reach and outside) to affect organs and systems throughout the entire body.

Maps of reflex points have been passed between practitioners across the globe. Understandably, there is not agreement among all reflexologists on all points; however, general agreement does exist on major reflex points. Some scientific documentation of linkages between the skin and internal organs also exists.

To represent how the body systems correspond to one another, reflexologists use reflexology “maps.” A good example of a reflexology map exists for the feet. Each foot represents a vertical half of the body:

  • refloxology chartThe left foot corresponds to the left side of the body and all organs, valves, etc. found there.
  • The right foot corresponds to the right side of the body and all organs found there. For example, the liver is on the right side of the body, and therefore the corresponding reflex area is on the right foot.

The illustration to the right shows a reflexology map for the feet. For a map of the hands, see www.reflexology-research.com

A reflexologist may perform a general, integrated session, or may focus on specific problem areas on the feet, hands or ears. For example, if time is limited and the person really needs to relax, the reflexologist may choose just to work on the ears.

Whatever the approach, the reflexologist attempts to release congestion or stress in the nervous system and balance the body’s energy.

How does reflexology relate to other therapies?

English: Foot reflexology is a "pressure ...

English: Foot reflexology is a “pressure therapy” and involves applying focused pressure to certain known reflex points located in the foot to cure or prevent disease. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Acupuncture and Acupressure: Reflexology is similar to acupuncture and acupressure in that it works with the body’s vital energy through the stimulation of points on the body. However, acupuncture/acupressure points do not always coincide with the reflex points used in reflexology.

foot massageReflexology and acupressure are both “reflex” therapies in that they work with points on one part of the body to affect other parts of the body. While reflexology uses reflexes that are in an orderly arrangement resembling a shape of the human body on the feet, hands, and outer ears, acupressure uses over 800 reflex points that are found along long thin energy lines called meridians that run the length of the entire body.

Massage: Some people confuse reflexology with massage. While both massage and reflexology use touch, the approaches are very different.

  • Massage is the systematic manipulation of the soft tissues of the body, using specific techniques (for example, tapping, kneading, stroking, and friction) to relax the muscles.
  • Reflexology focuses on reflex maps of points and areas of the body in the feet, hands, and ears using unique micromovement techniques such as thumb or finger walking and hook and backup to create a response throughout the body.

In short, massage therapists work “from the outside in,” manipulating specific muscle groups or fascia to release tension. Reflexology practitioners see themselves as working “from the inside out” — stimulating the nervous system to release tension.

Another difference between massage and reflexology is that a client will stay fully clothed for a reflexology session except for removing footwear, whereas clients remove clothing for a massage session.

Where does reflexology come from?

Because reflexology is an ancient practice, its origin and history is difficult to track. However, reflexology is thought to have been passed down through an oral tradition, and possibly first recorded as a pictograph on the Egyptian tomb of Ankhamor infeet imprints 2330 BC along with other medical procedures.

Reflexology symbols are also thought to be recorded on the feet of statues of Buddha in India and later China. The Chinese classic, the Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine, which was written around 1,000 BC, has a chapter on “Examining Foot Method” and is the beginning of discussions in print about the connection of life force and points and areas on the feet.

It is believed that Marco Polo translated a Chinese massage book into Italian in the 1300s, thus introducing reflexology and massage to Europe. In 1582, a book on an integral element of reflexology called zone therapy was first published in Europe by Dr. Adamus and Dr. A’tatis.

In the United States, William H. Fitzgerald, MD, who is frequently referred to as the father of reflexology, wrote in 1917 about ten vertical zones that extended the length of the body. He found that the application of pressure to a zone that corresponded to the location of an injury could serve as relief of pain during minor surgeries.

Dr. Fitzgerald’s work was expanded by Dr. Shelby Riley, who developed a map of horizontal zones going across the body and a detailed map of reflex points on the feet and hands. He also suggested pressure points on the outer ear.

Eunice Ingham, a physiotherapist who worked for Dr. Riley, is another prominent figure in the development of reflexology. In her research with zone therapy’s pressure points, she found the feet to be the most sensitive and responsive. She developed the foot maps still in use today and introduced reflexology practices to the non-medical community in the 1930s. Ms. Ingham also designed one of the most commonly used reflexology charts, which has since been refined by her nephew, Dwight Byers, at the International Reflexology Institute.

In 1957, Dr. Paul Nogier recorded a reflex map of points on the outer ear. His work has been expanded by Oleson and Flocco and is now being taught as part of an integrated approach to hand, ear and foot reflexology.


Eriksen, L. (1992). Municipal Reflexology. Zoneterapeuten (Journal of the Danish Reflexologists Association, FDZ),6.

Eriksen, L., & Levin, S. (1995). A Closeup View on Company Reflexology (Committee Report): Danish Reflexologists Association.

Enersen, O. D. (1994-2007). Head’s Zones. Who Named It? Accessed May 24, 2007, fromhttp://www.whonamedit.com/synd.cfm/636.html.

Frequently Asked Questions. (2007). Frequently Asked Questions Retrieved March 5, 2007, fromhttp://www.americanacademyofreflexology.com/FAQsOf.shtml#DiffMass.

History of Reflexology. (2007). American Academy of Reflexology Retrieved March 4, 2007, fromhttp://www.americanacademyofreflexology.com/HistoryOf.shtml.

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Effective Healing That’s Literally At Your Fingertips

From the American Academy of Reflexology:

Devotees of hand reflexology maintain that there’s a “map” of the human body on our hands. Every internal organ and every other part of the body – is matched by a corresponding “reflex point” on the fingers, palms, backs, as well as inner and outer edges of the hands.

Applying thumb and finger pressure to the reflex points stimulates nerve impulses that travel to the corresponding body area. These impulses produce a relaxation response. As muscles relax, blood vessels open, increasing circulation, which increase the amount of available oxygen and nutrients – key components of healing-that get to cells in that part of the body.

American physician William Fitzgerald, MD, introduced this therapy in his 1917 book Zone Therapy. The techniques soon expanded to include foot reflexology.

In the decades since, reflexology has been popularized by hundreds of books and used by thousands of “reflexologists.”

Over a hundred research studies supporting the benefits of reflexology have been conducted primarily in Europe, the Middle East, China and the USA.

Reflexology is different from massage therapy and acupressure in that it works with the concept of small reflex maps, that suggest a shape of the human body – found on the feet, hands and outer ears – with touch techniques specific to the field of reflexology.

Some practitioners do ear reflexology, based on a whole-body map similar to the one used in the French and Chinese healing system of ear acupuncture (auriculo-therapy).

For quick relief of everyday pain, muscle tension and other – physical discomfort, the hands remain a prime area to work on. You can unobtrusively do hand reflexology anytime, anywhere-sitting in a meeting…at the computer…in an airplane.

Generally if the problem is on the left side of the body, work on the left hand, right side, the right hand. Frequently it is wise to work on both hands.

Research scientists especially in France, but also in China and the USA suggest the mechanisms of how reflexology works is predominantly through the nervous system.

Caution: Don’t do hand reflexology when you have a hand injury. If you have any medical problem, see a medical doctor. Hand reflexology is not a substitute for medical care.


Apply gentle pressure to the reflex points on your hand, using the thumb roll technique…

To reflex points on your left palm, place the fingers of your right hand on the back of you left hand.

Place the pad of your right thumb on your left palm.

Squeeze gently, pressing in with the thumb. Maintain that pressure.

As you press, bend the thumb so that the tip slowly rolls forward and downward.

Maintaining contact between the right thumb and left palm, straighten the thumb so that it inches forward perhaps one-eighth of an inch over the surface of the reflex area.

Repeat this thumb rolling movement, gradually working over the entire reflex area.

Use the same technique to work reflex points on the palm or fingers. To work reflex points on your right hand, of course, perform the thumb roll with your left hand.

Short fingernails are preferable. If your nails are long, use the sides and corners of your thumb rather than the tip.

Each of the following reflexology mini-sessions should be done for at least five minutes. Work a broad area around the specified reflex points, using the illustrated diagram as a general guideline.

Reflexology theory suggests that when something is not working right in the body, the corresponding reflex in the hand will feel irregular, such as harder, softer, “crunchier” than usual, or just plain tender, when thumb or finger pressure is applied to that part of the hand.

Beneficial results are frequently reported within a session or two. Generally, the longer there has been a problem, such as stress related neck discomforts, the more sessions needed to help the body produce desired relief.

Part of what determines how long results last is if the person re-aggravates the situation, such as repeated strain in the neck. Results can last a short time or permanently.


The eye reflex points are at the base of the index, middle and ring fingers – what is sometimes called the “big knuckles” of the hands, or the metatarsal phalangeal joints. Thumb-roll directly on the knuckle at the base of each-as well as immediately above and bellow the knuckle-on both sides of both hands.


The shoulder reflex points are on the backs of the hands, mainly in the grooves between the long bones. To reflex them, use the tips of your fingers. If your left shoulder is the problem, reflex on your left hand. Put your right thumb flat on your left palm. On the back of your left hand, place the tips of your index, middle and ring fingers in the grooves. Gently apply and maintain even pressure in those grooves, slowly moving your finger tips in the direction of the wrist.

If your right shoulder is the problem, reflex points on you right hand.


The soft portion of the palm on both hands-below the big knuckles-contains many reflex points for the digestive system.

The stomach reflex points are mostly on the left palm. For stomach upset and heartburn, use the thumb roll to work the soft palm just underneath the large knuckles at the base of the index, middle and ring fingers. Work lightly, gradually as the tissue softens, working deeper, increasing the pressure a little at a time, using nurturing, pleasing pressure.


Hand reflexology can relieve the neck pain associated with sitting in one place a long time.

The main reflex points for the neck are on the lower half of the thumbs. Thumb roll the area between the two knuckles of each thumb, rolling from the pad to the tip of your thumb, so that you apply sufficient pressure all the way around this area of the thumb.


This painful, sometimes immobilizing hand and wrist condition often results from compression of nerves along the forearm. Working on points for the forearm can reduce the pain. These reflex points are on the outer edge of the hands, midway between the base of the pinkie and wrist.

Thumb roll this hand area completely on whichever arm has the problem.

Caution: Although reflexology can help ease pain for carpal tunnel syndrome, the condition is serious and could require medical attention. If you have symptoms, see a doctor without delay.


Reflex points for the spine are on the inner edge of the hand, from the bottom of the thumb to the wrist. Use the thumb roll to reflex this area on both hands. Reflex points for the lower back are on the inner edge of the hand toward the wrist.

After any reflexology session it is frequently suggested to drink extra water, to help flush out any toxins that might have been released from the tissues into the blood.

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Thursday Night – Thoughts to Ponder

Create Abundance





According to the website Dictionary.com, abundance is defined as “an extremely plentiful or over sufficient quantity or supply.” Lately though, we have grown accustomed to using the word abundance in many contexts related to improving our quality of life. Abundance, and knowing what we can achieve, is a deeper aspect of being ‘aware’ of how our lives can improve and get better.

It is not difficult to attract abundance if you believe in it and if you believe that “you are what you think.” As I previously mentioned on this page, the thoughts of today will create our tomorrow. We need to recognize that tomorrow holds the best and that only the best is yet to come. We still need to affirm our love for ourselves because this helps us believe that we will achieve abundance and that we deserve “plenty” and deserve the best.

Manifesting abundance is something that we all do, intentionally or otherwise. Depending on our thoughts and beliefs, we may have created an abundance of joy, splendid relationships, radiant health and even wealth, or we may have created an abundance of the opposite – misery, loneliness, illness and poverty.

One key to accelerating the process of manifesting abundance is to become aware of limiting subconscious beliefs (resistance). Ironically, the conditions that people have the strongest resistance to are generally the first ones that they choose to ‘manifest.’ For example, if someone is experiencing a desperate desire for money, this is a clear indication that he or she has some resistance towards having it. Although they have every conscious intention of manifesting wealth, certain belief systems buried deep within their subconscious may be sabotaging their efforts and thus hindering the flow of wealth into their lives.

A good way to create abundance is to use the positive and present tense when you are thinking of and making your affirmation statements. For example, saying “I attract everything I need into my life,” is much better than saying “I will attract everything I need into my life.” When you try to repeat this statement or affirmation, your mind will often interfere by stopping this energy flow and making you drift to other thoughts instead. It is mainly a matter of training your mind to focus and believe that the best is still there to come.

When you repeat positive abundance statements, you are attracting abundance into your life. During your repetitions, you will be surprised at some of the thoughts that come up. Notice that as you proceed through this exercise, your responses will become more positive. Some of your first negative (limiting) thoughts will suddenly seem less true and you will begin to realize that positivity is paying off and bringing more of what you wish to have into your path. When you better understand what is happening in your subconscious, you begin to accelerate the process of attracting what you need in ways that you need.




“I am open and receptive to all the good and abundance in the Universe.”

Louise Hay

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Inspiration Island – Holistic Healing: Part 2





Twitter: @RythmFromWithin

Essential Energy

The application of pressure is usually done in a circular motion, so that it may stimulate the body’s vital energy and create an overall balance. The vital energy that flows though each organ and system of the body is also referred to as Chi or Prana in Eastern medicine. All of the body’s organs and systems are connected by this vital energy. Therefore, if a particular organ is sick, one must look at the entire body to locate the cause of the illness.

Numerous experiments and studies have been done on Chi or Prana energy in China in the last thirty years. The studies revealed the presence of a mixture of electromagnetic fields in the energy of the human body. Today, various tools and machines exist to measure this type of energy.

More than Just a Foot Massage!

Reflexology is different from a regular foot massage because it works by applying pressure on specific areas. This implies the existence of pain in those areas, if an imbalance is present. On the other hand, a foot massage entails ‘massaging’ the feet in a way which results in a comfortable and relaxing state but which does not really deal with the symptoms of any illness or with the illness itself.

From Imbalance to Illness

Research and experience has shown that reflexology can help deal with various illnesses that a person may be suffering from. If the vital energy is out of BALANCE, there is usually either a physical or emotional manifestation of that imbalance. The aim is to restore this balance through a variety of ways, one of which is reflexology. As it helps put the vital energy back in HARMONY and BALANCE, it deals with the illnesses a person could be suffering from. When the body is in a balanced state, it can act in a HEALTHY manner and can react properly to anything that affects it.

The Importance of Awareness

Part of the whole HEALING process is the ‘awareness’ that we need to develop in order to deal with a disease. Diseases develop as a result of imbalances that have existed for a long time and which have either been ignored or which we have failed to deal with properly. Therefore, AWARENESS should exist before the ailment actually turns into a real disease! Even the slightest thing, such as a headache or interrupted sleep, should be examined closely and dealt with. The key is to be aware of all our mental, emotional and physical needs. Only then, will we be able to act as defenders of our own imbalances and will we be able to remain HEALTHY.

Listen to your Heart (and Body)!

The next time you develop a particular symptom, stay with it and observe it. Try to find out what it is trying to tell you. Pay attention to it in a different way by listening to your mind and body. Being AWARE of your needs and acknowledging them is the first step of any HEALING process, no matter what type of therapy you choose. Take care of your emotions and your body, and you will always be HEALTHY and FIT!



Twitter: @RythmFromWithin

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Inspiration Island – Holistic Healing: Part 1

A Chronology of Reflexology





Confused about reflexology and whether it could benefit you in any way? Wondering if this ancient healing practice can be the key to healing your mind and body? Well wonder no more! Certified Alternative Medicine Tutor Nada Rashed explores the history of reflexology, the impact that it may have on your body and how it actually works.

Apply Pressure like an Egyptian

Reflexology is an ancient healing science which dates back to the time of the Egyptian pharaohs. It has continued to develop over the centuries, with the help of doctors and healers across the world, to become the kind of practice that it is today.

The Human Map

Reflexology is based on the principle that a complete map of the human body exists on the palms of your hands and soles of your feet. The map reflects all organs of the human body, from your head to your toe. The upper part of your foot, for instance, represents the upper part of your body which include the chest, the heart, the shoulders and partially the arms. As you go lower on your foot and hand, you also go to a lower corresponding area on your body.

Powerful Pioneers

Dr. William Fitzgerald is an American pioneer in the field of reflexology. Not only was he was an ear, nose and throat specialist, but he was also the first one to start making a connection between applying pressure to a painful area of the body and releasing pain from that very same area. This is essentially the same concept that reflexologists continue to follow today.

In Your Own Zone

Dr. Fitzgerald also discovered what is referred to as ‘zone therapy’, which divides the body into equal longitudinal zones. Dr. Joseph Riley, who worked with Dr. Fitzgerald, later added horizontal zones, across the hands and feet, to the longitudinal zones. This made it easier to determine the different individual reflexes according to the ‘Zone Theory’.

The difference between zone therapy and reflexology must be made clear though. Reflexology works on the zones of the body as well as the different reflexes representing the organs. It thus works to identify the sore areas which are out of balance. On the other hand, zone therapy works mainly on the zones to determine the areas which need to be worked on.


Female Trailblazers

Eunice Ingham was one of the students of Dr. Riley’s zone therapy. She became the main pioneer of reflexology as it is known today. Ingham practiced on hundreds of cases before confirming that “reflexes on the feet were an exact mirror image of the organs of the body.” In her famous book, “Stories Feet Can Tell”, she recorded her cases and outlined the foot reflexes which are commonly used today. As a result of the wide range of beneficial knowledge which it contained, Ingham’s book was translated into seven different languages.

Press, Signal, Relieve

So how does reflexology actually work?

  1. During a normal session, the reflexologist applies pressure on the different points of your foot or hands which represent the different body organs.
  2. Through this pressure, and because of existing nerve endings on your feet and hands, the brain receives a signal.
  3. Upon receiving the signal, your brain begins releasing hormones such as cortisol and endorphins. The first is responsible for reducing the pain that you may be suffering from and the latter is in charge of making you feel ‘happier’ and less stressed, thus causing you to feel more relaxed after your session.



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Fearful? Let go and have your life back…

Fear is defined as “an unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger and accompanied by increased autonomic activity”, (www.merriam-webster.com). As for what is fear biologically speaking, when a person experiences fear, certain areas in their brain such as  the hypothalamus are immediately activated and appear to control the first physical response to fear. Chemicals such as adrenaline and the stress hormone cortisol are released into the blood stream

The acronym for fear is: False Expectations of an Altered Reality where the truth is obscured from view.

In Chinese medicine they have identified fear as one of the five most destructive emotions.

One of the greatest human fears is “not to belong” or the fear of being” rejected”, “left out” or “isolated”.

We often experience a disconnection for one of more reasons throughout our lives. Hence, we continue to search for something to give us back the sense of belonging and security. Through our attachment to work, possessions, persons and control over as much of our life as possible, in the intention of building a safe basis for our existence. To have fears in the face of life’s challenges is only human, but how we acknowledge and move forward from a position of fear can be instrumental to health and happiness.

Acute fear can be sometimes healthy though. It may help us maintain a positive status quo of our life. On the other hand, chronic fear has a “paralyzing” effect on your life creating illusions which can hold us back for years.

There are many types of fear a person can pass through: fear of failure that is basically built in since we were kids. “If you don’t do that, nobody would play with you”. Over years, you may find yourself avoiding situations where you would risk failure and hereby inventing excuses to perpetuate the fear. Interestingly, psychological studies that those who are afraid of heights usually fear failure. Fear of failure prevents you to live the moment, due to the fact of thinking too much about past perceived failures and being too anxious about the future.

Fear can be balanced out via the base chakra enabling you to live comfortably in the present knowing that the past is over and the future is the hands of GOD.

Another type of fear is the fear of “imperfection” or “not being good enough”.

If you are a perfectionist and try to control your world through such statements, you will often find yourself faced with fear. Perfectionists never sit still, driven by the need to finish one more task and convinced that if the job it’s worth doing, it is worth doing it myself.

Due to their own insecurity, they use criticism as a mean to keep others in their place. With a balances base chakra, you will be less harsh on yourself, accept things with love and ability to make mistakes.

A further type of fear is related to vulnerability. Some people don’t like others to see who they truly are. The fear of loss of control often protects an underlying fear of being vulnerable in front of others.  It if funny that we always thin that people doesn’t already know the darker aspects of our personality and still love us.

If you ever think why so many crises take place in our world, the answer is simple, because of fear.

We would not kill, attack, maim, and blow up other people if we weren’t afraid of them. And why is it important to know this? Because if we could just finally understand it’s fear that causes all anger, hate, war, murder, rape, abuse and everything else that isn’t love, then we can determine how to stop or at least drastically minimize all those archaic behaviors.

We have some sort of divine energy – life – in us, yet, those ruled by fair insist on making rules for salvation and deciding what people should believe and how they should act.

If you look around at all people who started wars or fought new ideas, it was driven out of fear. For example: Conservatives are afraid of a lack of order and new ideas. Liberals are afraid of conservatives.

A rapist is afraid that he can’t be happy or feel love the way he is, but needs control to feel worthy or special. A murderer is afraid of the person he kills, or the things that person represents. Why would anyone rape or kill if they loved?

I fear now that humans are beginning to lose the true nature of life‘s purpose.

I’m afraid people won’t understand that all separation among humans – through race, religion, or national boundaries – is based on fear. Anger and judgment are based on fear.

All of the conflicts that humans experience in society are based on fear, not love. If our society learns to understand the fear, let go of it– forgive, then we can finally have peace in this world. If we can just realize that we are all in the same boat, on the same planet, and that we are family, we can let go of the things that divide us.

Another way to think of it is that anything separating us is based on fear; our unity and similarity are a result of love.

It’s time to change our minds and our lives. We just have to learn that fear causes our separation and self-destructive behavior. When we know love and let go of the fears that have controlled us, only then we shall rise again.

Let go of your fears and move on :

“Boldness is the ability to step outside boundaries created by fear and insecurity. Transcend your own limitations”- Deepak Chopra.

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Reflexology Document, January issue

Massage is one of the oldest healing arts: Chinese records dating back to 3,000 years; the ancient Hindus, Persians and Egyptians applied forms of massage for many ailments; and Hippocrates wrote papers recommending the use of rubbing and friction for joint and circulatory problems. Today the benefits of massage are varied and far-reaching. As an accepted part of any rehabilitation programs, massage therapy has also proven beneficial for many chronic conditions, including low back pain, arthritis, bursitis, fatigue, high blood pressure, diabetes, immunity suppression, depression etc. As well as relieving stress and tension which can lead to diseases and illness if not treated. One of the definitions of massage is the application of soft tissue manipulation techniques to the body in order to reduce stress and fatigue as well as improving circulation.

Also known as “Bindegewebsmassage”, these techniques are designed to specifically affect the conenctive tissue of the body. CMT was developed in Germany by Elizabeth Dicke. After diagnosis of a serious medical problem, she experimented with different types of massage on herself. She found when she applied light pressure through the skin and connective tissue in one area of the body, there was a related effect at a distant site. The technique consists of the massage therapist subtly hooking her fingers into the skin and superficial connective tissue while performing a dragging or pulling stroke that somewhat stretches the skin. CMT leaves a visible mark that looks somewhat like an abrasion or burn, but which goes away without leaving a scar. “In Germany, it is considered a physical therapy technique; in many parts of Egypt, it is considered a medical technique. In the United States connective tissue massage is taught in many massage schools.

techniques which utilize deep tissue/deep muscle massage are administered to affect the sub layer of musculature and fascia. These techniques require more advanced training and a more thorough understanding of anatomy and physiology. The muscles must be relaxed in order to effectively perform deep tissue massage, otherwise tight surface muscles prevent the practitioner from reaching deeper musculature. it helps with chronic muscular pain and injury rehabilitation, and reduces inflammation-related pain caused by arthritis and tendonitis.

Qualified instructors teach parents how to properly massage their infants. Infant massage is also utilized in hospital neonatal care units. This specialized form of touch is successful, not only in the critical weight gain of premature infants, but also in creating a strong bond between parent and infant and exposing a young child to the benefits and pleasures of touch.

Lymph Drainage Therapy is unique in that healthcare professionals learn how to palpate the lymphatic flow. As they develop their skills, they can then identify the rhythm, direction, and quality of the plymphatic flow. Advanced practitioners will be able to precisely map the lymphatic flow to find alternate pathways for drainage.


Nikkon Restorative Massage was developed by Professor Henry Seishiro Okazaki in Hawaii in the 1920s. He incorporated Japanese, Chinese, and Hawaiian techniques. The goal of Okazaki’s style was to restore health and pull toxins out of the body through proper application of pressure using fingers, forearms, and elbows. The result is proper realignment of the body to its highest potential.

Performed by a trained prenatal specialist, many methods of massage and somatictherapies are both effective and safe prenatal, and during labor and postpartum periods of women’s prednancies. Prenatal, specific techniques can reduce pregnancy discomforts and concerns and enhance the physiological and emotional well-being of noth the mother and fetus. Skilled, appropriate touch facilitates labor, shortening labor times and easing pain and anxiety. In the postpartum period, specialized techniques re-balance structure, physiology, and emotions of the new mother, and may help her to bond with and care for her infant. Specialized, advanced training in the anatomy, physiology, complications, precautions, and contraindications is highly recommended, and many practitioners require referrals from physicians prior to therapy.

One of the most commonly taught and well-known massage techniques, Swedish massage is a vigorous system of treatment designed to energize the body by stimulating circulation. There are five basic strokes, which all flow toward the heart an are used to manipulate the soft tissues of the body. Therapists use a combination of rubbing, rolling, and tapping movements and some apply oils, to reduce friction on the skin and create a pleasant effect. there are many benefits of Swedish massage which include generalized relaxation and improved circulation which may speed healing and reduce swelling from injury.

Also called Nuad Bo Rarn, Thai massage has been taught and practiced in Thailand for approximately 2,500 years. Main credit for Thai massage is given to a famous Indian doctor, Shivago Komarpaj who was the personal physician of the Buddha and Magadha king. It is based on the theory that the body is made up of 72,000 energy lines out of which 10 hold top priority, Thai massage also involves peripheral stimulating, meaning it acts as an external stimulant to produce specific internal effects. This point serves as the main division between Thai and Western massage. Thai massage is practiced on a firm mat on the floor instead of a stretcher.

This is a massage modality that enhances the free and natural movements of the body through gentle, sustained stretching and applied pressure. Gentle vibration and energy work with the chakras is practiced to have an integrated effect. Yogassage has been compared to Thai massage but on a stretcher as it mixes and takes elements from both Eastern and Western cultures during the bodywork.

Its history goes back to more than 3,000 years. this traditional Chinese treatment combines hands-on and hands-off techniques that balance the flow of vital energy through the body, release any blockages, and improve circulation. Qigong is also a combination of timed breathing and gentle flowing movement, meditation all working together to achieve an integrated state of mind and body enabling the balance of vital energy. Qigong theory is the basis of Traditional Chinese Medicine and is used to treat many illnesses as well as for relaxation. It is estimated that there are about 200 popular types of Qigong preacticed in China and around 100 million people practice it.

Dr. Nada Rashed

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Alternative Ways to Heal Fertility


Ways to Heal


Dr: Nada Rashed

 Having a baby is a happy event that many couples look forward to. Yet many couples often experience problems nowadays and the following explanations may help identify some of the problems and offer some alternative solutions. 

The sooner you detect, address, and treat problems that may affect fertility, the better your chances of having a successful pregnancy.

Women’s Issues 

Here are a few of the common health factors that can affect a woman’s ability to ovulate, conceive, or carry a pregnancy to term.

Being Overweight

Body fat levels that are 10 to 15 percent above normal can overload the body with estrogen, throwing off the reproductive cycle.

Being Underweight

Body fat levels 10 to 15 percent below normal may affect the reproductive process.

Having a Hormonal Imbalance

Irregularities in the hormone system (characterized by irregular menstrual cycles or short, long, or heavy periods) can affect ovulation and even the ability to conceive hence it is recommended to deal with these problems once they arise and not to count on time to regulate them.

Having an Autoimmune Disorder

Diseases such as lupus, diabetes, thyroid disease, and rheumatoid arthritis can interfere with fertility.

Certain Medications

Antidepressants, antibiotics, painkillers, and other drugs used to treat chronic disorders may cause temporary infertility.

Using Tobacco or Alcohol

Smoking may increase the risk of infertility in women; and even moderate alcohol consumption can impair conception.

Fallopian Tube Disease

Fallopian tube disease accounts for about 20 percent of infertility cases treated, according to The National Infertility Association in the USA. Since tubal scarring or blockage is often caused by sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), pelvic inflammatory disease, or certain surgeries. You need to be aware and share with your doctor if you have ever had:

  • An STD, such as gonorrhea, syphilis, or chlamydia. You  should detect and treat infections as early as possible (both partners should be treated even if one has the infection).
  • Pelvic pain, unusual vaginal discharge, and/or bleeding, with or without a fever.
  • Pelvic surgery for a ruptured appendix, ovarian cysts, or an ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy that takes place outside of the uterus, usually in the fallopian tubes).


Endometriosis is a condition in which tissue from the uterine lining grows outside the uterus, on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, bladder, and/or bowel. This can lead to infertility because the following may result:

  •  Scar tissue: Rigid webs of scar tissue may form between the uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes, preventing the transfer of the egg to the fallopian tubes.
  • Cysts: Endometrial cysts may grow inside the ovaries and prevent the release of the egg or its collection by the fallopian tube.
  • Poor egg implantation: Endometriosis may prevent the fertilized egg from adhering to the uterine wall. Early detection of this condition is key to its successful control and to preserving fertility.
  • In some cases, women with endometriosis have no painful symptoms and in such instances, the condition can only be confirmed with a surgical procedure called a laparoscopy.

Men’s Issues

The following is a partial list of risk factors that may contribute to male infertility:


Smoking impairs the ability of sperm to move.

Taking Prescription Drugs

Some medications, such as those for ulcers or psoriasis, can slow or prevent the production of sperm.

Exposing Genitals to Heat

The frequent use of saunas, steam rooms, hot tubs, whirlpools, and hot baths can temporarily impair sperm production and reduce sperm count.

Having Certain Conditions or Illnesses

Men with a history of prostatitis or gential infection, mumps after puberty, surgery on their hernia, undescended testicles, or scrotal varicose veins (varicocele

Alternative Therapy For Infertility

There are several ways in the alternative medicine approaches to deal with some of the infertility problems occurring in both men and women:


An ancient science based on the principle of applying pressure on certain points located on the hands and feet to stimulate the vital energy of the human body and create overall balancing effects. In infertility cases, reflexology stimulates the endocrine system, paying special attention to the pituitary gland, ovaries and fallopian tubes to enhance the functions of these organs.


An old science based on the fact that “like cures like”, several remedies which are derived from plants, tissues, minerals can be given to stimulate the vital energy and enhance the functions of organs, it can also help to deal with painful period cramps, some STDs and cysts.


The “scientific” explanation is that it changes levels of neurotransmitters, the chemicals that nerve cells use to communicate. By using thin needles it removes any energy pathways (meridian) blockages and hence the function of these organs. It regulates hormonal imbalances as well.


Use of clary sage oil massage which is said to improve estrogen levels.

Chakra Balancing

The Chinese believe that any disease is a result of emotional disturbance and chakra imbalances. The root and sacral chakras are both in charge of sexual organs, and the female uterus. Balancing the chakras is the same concept as balancing the meridians using acupuncture, it recreates the balance and any blockages released can lead to better performance of the organ.

Stopping Bad Habits

Quitting smoking, alcohol consumption and bad nutrition.

Improved Diet

Eating foods rich in estrogen for women (broccoli, soy, barley, clover, fennel, chickpeas, apples, parsley, brown rice, oats, pears, plums, olives, cherries, seaweed, mushrooms, celery, pumpkin seeds, prunes). As well as using more spices such as cloves, ginger, hops, oregano, red raspberry, sage tea, thyme, turmeric.


Ensuring you get the required amount of vitamins and supplements if recommended by your doctor:

Vitamin E (found in nuts, seeds, oils, and leafy greens), Vitamin C (found in many fruits and vegetables, with the highest levels found in red peppers, kiwi, oranges, and grapefruit), beta carotene, zinc (found in oysters, crab, red meat, poultry, and beans).

Also, remember that infertility is a heterogeneous problem and treating the body in a wholistic way is always a good way to deal with any disease or physical problem.


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