There is a lot of help out there these days with the physical and curative treatment. However, what about the holistic point of view? Cancer patients can initially suffer unbelievable shock, disbelief and anger. Perhaps they have always looked after their health using diet and exercise. Excellent, well done but what about your whole body? Your mind and spirit? Have you ever caught yourself maybe watching TV and realising that your shoulder’s are hunched and your neck is sore? It happens to most of us. So what do you do when you have received bad news and have to plan appointments for treatment maybe every other day perhaps in different hospitals having to get used to different staff and their ways? Will you be able to park at the place? Will someone have to drive you? Do their schedules have to be altered in order to take care of you? Do they have to wait for you?

The questions and stress from all of this leaves the patient exhausted and at the end of their tether before they even start. I have noticed in clients going through all this they find it very difficult to relax and give their body a real rest. It seems that they are unable to turn off their mind; they are almost ‘high’, rigid in body, with clenched fists. Maybe the idea of yet another pair of hands on them is just too much. This is why a full and informative explanation is vital.

This is where reflexology comes in. A gentle but firm working on the soles of the feet can really help. Because my lovely clients are so tense I like to start with some gently breathing exercises. Making them feel warm, by placing heated towels on their feet and safe, by using a sound machine to have the sound of gently lapping waves in the background help create an environment that can erase the outside world, even for a short while. Clients are encouraged to get comfortable, keeping their arms down by their sides and adjusting the bed to the optimum position for them. Some like the bed flat; others like to sit upright to keep an eye on me!!

With the lighting dimmed we begin. A little gentle massage and then onto the main theme, completely relaxing. Starting at the tips of the toes, I apply gentle pressure on the pituitary gland which will help release the ‘feel good’ hormones. Then, working down the sole of the foot I start to encourage the lungs to work more efficiently thus giving the client more nice oxygen rich blood to flow around the body. Liver, kidneys, adrenals are the next points which all help in detoxifying the body and reducing inflammation helping towards pain reduction. Then I set to work on the pancreas which helps sugar stability, so no sudden drops in glucose to help energy levels steady, (did you ever notice how grumpy you get when your blood sugar is low? Maybe you don’t but I guarantee others do!)

Finishing with working on the bowels which as we know that can be a real problem. Then to finish with the hands on treatment, a nice foot cream massage extending to right up behind the knee. Now I have you, we finish with more breathing excuses and voila a totally chilled out person.

The main words my clients use is, spaced. Many a person has tried to leave the clinic through the wrong door afterwards!

This article is dealing with the relaxing effect of reflexology. It is used mainly to get your body into the best possible shape to let it heal itself. Of course this treatment will help with the other aspects of cancer treatment ie: nausea, exhaustion, constipation and other problems. Everyone is different, but it would be a very boring old world if we were all the same!!!

Sharing is caring: avail of 15% discount on Reflexology Therapy during the month of October. If you know someone who is suffering with the unpleasant side-effects of cancer treatments please share this post.

Michelle Rathigan, RGN and Reflexology Therapist

To book your appointment  please  email info@physiofitwoman.ie