Healing Heel Pain with Reflexology

Plantar Fasciitis…

a pain in the bottom of the heel…and it’s becoming a more common problem for many.

What is it?

For those dealing with this condition it’s usual to experience sharp pain first thing in the morning (which may or may not improve through the day) and again in the evening after resting.

If you study the structure of the foot and it’s biomechanics it all makes sense. There is a band called the plantar fascia that runs from the ball of the foot to the heel. This band doesn’t stretch easily and when it is forced beyond it’s “elastic limits” it can tear at it’s weakest insertion point, the heel bone.

There are many sites with information about Plantar Fasciitis and what causes it…let’s explore what can be done to help heal it. (this is assuming that you have a correct diagnosis)

Natural Solutions

  • Reflexology benefits this condition because it relaxes and stretches the muscles of the foot and the calf. Through specific techniques it also increases circulation to the area…and increased circulation always brings healing oxygen and nutrients to the area, while at the same time taking away toxins.  It will likely take a few treatments to help the area to heal…you didn’t develop this condition overnight so be patient with your foot.
  • Some times what feels like Plantar Fasciitis isn’t that at all, but instead is actually referred pain caused by tightness in the calf muscle, especially the Soleus. Be sure to have your muscles assessed … if the Soleus is the cause then no amount of treatment to the plantar fascia is going to release it.
  • Any term that ends in “itis” means inflammation and Ice is a great help with reducing that. Applying an ice pack to the bottom of the foot, placing your foot on a bag of frozen peas or rolling a can of frozen juice under your foot all help to ice the area BUT remember that ice causes things to contract (like muscles) so BEFORE you get up and move around take a break from the ice and let some warmth return to the muscles.

    Reflexology Path

    Reflexology Path (Photo credit: kingcountyparks)

  • Stretching & strengthening the plantar muscles is vital. When something hurts we tend to want to keep it still but these muscles need to be worked (gently!) to begin healing. Warm them up in a foot bath (with Epsom salts to help reduce soreness) and then scrunch your toes, flex them, pick up pebbles with your toes starting with golf ball size and gradually working with smaller ones…
  • REST! The area needs to be given a break…this is when you really need to just “put your feet up”!  If you have to be up on your feet be sure that you are wearing shoes with a lot of support, especially in the arch. When walking the only part of your foot that should be moving is where the ball of the foot meets the toes.
 “Reflexology is a foot-focused therapy that I think is more than just a relaxing spa treat. It’s a health-supporting treatment. I’ve prescribed Reflexology for Plantar Fasciitis and other foot and ankle problems, with good results.”  Dr Andrew Weil

Have you experienced Reflexology?
Have you used it to help with Plantar Fasciitis?
What other natural remedies have helped you to deal with foot pain?

Clinical Reflexology…Where Touch Imitates Nature

Clinical Reflexology for those Vulnerable Feet (& Hands)!

Humans are the only mammals on earth to wear shoes and keep our feet covered most of the time.

We wear shoes that decorate our feet, give us added height, keep us dry and warm, let us run over any surface … BUT through this we have lost touch with the natural stimulation our feet receive when walking barefoot. It seems also, that because we usually keep them under cover, some of us feel squeamish, uneasy and even vulnerable when having our feet uncovered, exposed and touched.

Reflexology is so much more than a foot massage. Our feet have over 7,000 nerve endings and are a map to the entire body.

From a holistic practitioner’s point of view I realize and honour that when I hold your feet in my hands, I hold your whole being.

Each of the nerve endings in both your feet and your hands, correspond to different parts, glands and organs of your body, thus creating a map and a mirror for how your body is doing. (see Historically Healthy Feet) Through stimulating these nerve endings with very specific thumb and finger techniques I offer more than a foot massage, I offer the benefits of a skilled Reflexology session.

The benefits of Reflexology have been known to us for centuries though we seem to have forgotten many of our ancestors natural remedies and cures. This non-invasive holistic treatment is one that has survived the test of time and scientific research as a way of restoring our bodies to their normal functioning state of well-being. Studies have shown the benefits of Reflexology to include:

  • Relaxation – which begins as soon as the session starts and encourages our body’s natural healing abilities to kick in. There have been numerous studies using EEGs to track the brain’s activity and to show the relaxation effects of Reflexology.
  • Improved Circulation – increased and improved flow of blood and lymph means that the flow of Oxygen and Nutrients to cells as well as the removal of wastes and toxins is improved. This facilitates the body’s natural detoxifying processes and encourages homeostasis of bodily functions.
  • Pain Reduction – there have been multiple studies performed with people of all ages and in all states of health which have clearly shown reduced pain as a result of Reflexology. It has been shown to be of benefit for Post Operative pain, Arthritic pain, Tension Headaches, Back Pain…
  • Mental Well-being – relaxation encourages stress release which in turn has a positive effect on the symptoms of depression and anxiety. Insomnia related to stress is also shown to be reduced.
  • Cancer Care – Reflexology compliments cancer care and can be an aid in easing the pain and nausea associated with treatment.
  • Plantar Fasciitis Relief – a very painful foot condition often caused by standing for long periods of time, poorly fitting footwear, muscular weakness, etc. is helped by Reflexology in that it stretches and loosens the ligaments and muscles of the foot while also reducing inflammation and pain.
  • AND – as tension and stress are released and blood flow improved Reflexology helps with digestive disorders, colic, constipation, hormonal imbalances, symptoms of PMS and Menopause, teething, migraine headaches, respiratory and sinus conditions, etc.

Why Clinical Reflexology?

The results you gain with Reflexology are as good as the Reflexologist that you have your session with because it is more than just a foot massage. A good session requires not only a natural talent but skill and training in the specific thumb, finger and hand techniques. You are placing not just your feet or hands in my care, you are placing your body there.

Is it going to hurt? In spaces where there is congestion of nerve tissue or chronic pain it will likely feel tender or hurt as my fingers go over that area. The pain stops when the pressure is removed and gradually decreases each time I pass over that area…the soreness will reduce with successive treatments as your body’s condition improves. The pressure that is used is always adapted to each individual’s tolerance and is not pushed beyond that.

Will it tickle? Not usually because of the pressure that is used. However, for those with highly sensitive feet there is the option of Hand Reflexology.

Natural Reflexology occurs whenever we slip off our socks and shoes and walk barefoot upon the earth. While walking on sand or small pebbles we receive stimulation of  the nerve endings in the bottoms of our feet. Experience it yourself …take some time to close your eyes and notice the sensations the next time you walk barefoot upon carpet, wet grass, dry sand, the cement of a sidewalk… Breathe and notice how other areas of your body feel as you walk.

There are many who have realized the benefits of a Reflexology session…share the story your feet have told!