Reflexology May Help You Stop Smoking - by admin@mcb on November 28 2017

Reflexology May Help You Stop Smoking

Cigarette smoking is linked to hundreds of billions of dollars in health care costs and lost productivity, and nearly a half million deaths each year. Reflexology can help reduce cravings, as well as help the body restore health to the lungs and respiratory system.

Case Study – Reflexology for Smoking

E. LoResa Robertson, LMT, CST reports on a case study she performed on the ability of reflexology to reduce the urge to smoke. The case study involved a 56-year-old female with a desk job who was smoking 20 or more cigarettes per day. She also reported neck and shoulder pain. During her morning and afternoon work breaks, instead of a smoking break, she received a 15-minute reflexology treatment. These twice-a-day sessions continued for four weeks (20 consecutive workdays).

At the end of the 20 days, her cigarette use decreased approximately 50% (from 20+ to 8–10 cigarettes per day). She also reported a significant reduction in a Numeric Pain Rating Scale, going from a 9 out of 10, to a 2 out of 10 rating, over the 20 days. She also experienced a reduction on her Fagerstrom Test for Cigarette Dependency score, going from a 5/9 to a 3/9. Other positive benefits that she reported included more sleep each night, a feeling of increased energy, an improved appetite, and overall greater level of relaxation.

Reflexology Points for Quitting Smoking

In the book Feet First: A Guide to Foot Reflexology, authors Laura Norman and Thomas Dale Cowan claim that reflexology may significantly reduce the irritability and anxiety that accompany nicotine withdrawal. Their recommendation is that anyone wanting to stop smoking should have 15 to 20 minutes of reflexology twice weekly, or any time an urge to smoke becomes hard to resist. Reflexology points recommended include points linked to the solar plexus, lungs, diaphragm, and heart, as well as several glands: the adrenal, pineal, pituitary and thyroid glands.

Michelle R. Kluck, author of Hands on Feet: The New System That Makes Reflexology a Snap!, also recommends reflexology for those wishing to stop smoking. The points that she has found helpful include areas of each foot that relate to the function and health of the brain (to ease cravings), and areas that relate to the respiratory system (to help with breathing).

Learn to Perform Reflexology for Feet and Hands

To learn a complete, full-body routine for foot and hand reflexology, the Institute of Somatic Therapy offers a 16 CE online course for massage therapists, titled Reflexology for Feet and Hands. We also offer a 3 CE online research course, titled Research – Reflexology. Both courses are valid for massage therapy continuing education for NCBTMB, AMTA, ABMP, and most states. To learn more about each course, click on the following links:
Reflexology for Feet and Hands
Research – Reflexology

Pregnancy Massage Training – Is It Necessary? - by admin@mcb on November 08 2017

Pregnancy Massage Training – Is It Necessary?

Is Pregnancy Massage Training Necessary for Massage Therapists?

Have you wondered if specialized training in pregnancy massage is really necessary? After all, can’t every massage therapist simply modify the position they use for their pregnant client’s comfort, and give a standard massage?

Perhaps that would be true if the only change in a woman’s body was her inability to lay prone or supine for extended periods of time. However, pregnancy impacts every system of the body, not just her mid-section.

Physiological Changes Require Modifications for Pregnancy Massage

Clearly the most obvious changes in a pregnant body occur in the uterus. A normal uterus goes from approximately 80 grams in weight to 1200 grams by the final week of pregnancy, displacing abdominal organs and straining uterine ligaments.

The cardiovascular system increases blood output by 20 – 30 %, heart rate increases about 10 – 15%, and total blood volume increases from    30 – 50%. Pregnancy massage therapists need to modify which types of strokes they use, watch for varicose veins, and use positioning to keep the weight of the baby off the major blood vessels.

The pulmonary/respiration system requires a 30-40% increase in inhalations to meet the body’s increased demand for oxygen. Pregnancy massage therapists need to free the intercostal muscles to enable the ribs to expand fully.

The digestive system must take in extra food and digest it through displaced intestines. The renal system workload increases 35-40%. The integumentary system becomes prone to rashes, stretch marks, and pigmentation changes. The skeletal system becomes strained from the gravitational shift of the body, and joints become less stable due to a hormone the body creates during pregnancy, designed to relax ligaments for the hips to open during the birth process. The endocrine system has several hormones unique to pregnancy.

Recent research even shows that a woman’s brain chemistry changes during pregnancy, and those changes are long-term. (Citation: Nature Neuroscience volume 20 (2017), pages 287–296) Researchers in a long-term study discovered that grey matter volume changes linked to postpartum maternal attachment endured for at least 2 years post-pregnancy.

Most of these changes also require modifications in the type or focus on massage therapy strokes. Simply shifting a pregnant woman to a side-lying position will not begin to address all these needs. Pregnancy massage therapists need to tailor a massage session specifically adapted for the needs of a pregnant body.

Pregnancy Massage Certification Training

To become certified as a prenatal massage therapist, Institute of Somatic Therapy (NCBTMB approved provider 280672-00) offers an online two-part 24 CE course specifically designed to ensure that massage therapists can give the best possible therapy to their pregnant clients. To learn more, click here.

Be sure to note our package options for doula labor support, infant massage, and fertility massage.