Thursday, June 26, 2008
The pain of shingles is caused by an inflammation of the nerve that lies just beneath the skin's surface. Shingles originates from the same virus which causes chickenpox. The virus, after infecting the person with chickenpox, retreats to the nervous system where it remains dormant for many years. It reappears in the form of shingles, only if the immune system is weakened, or as a result of a more severe or lengthy illness, extreme stress, or a therapy involving suppression of the immune system. Herpes zoster is common in people with a weakened immune system, such as AIDS patients or people taking anticancer or immunosuppressant drugs. Shingles is more common in the elderly, who tend to have less efficient immune systems. Overall health and nutrition often determine the severity of illness and length of recovery. No treatment has yet been discovered to prevent or halt shingles. Although steps can be taken to shorten the duration, the virus must simply run its course. Early medical attention may prevent or reduce the scarring that shingles can cause. Medications may be prescribed to reduce inflammation and help you cope with the pain. Antiviral drugs may help stop progression of the rash. Mild to moderate cases may be controlled with over-the-counter painkillers and self-help remedies. For postherpetic neuralgia, a non- prescription cream containing capsaicin from hot red peppers provides relief for 75 percent of sufferers by anesthetizing the skin's surface.
Hydrotherapy for Shingles
For the first three or four days, try ice for 10 minutes on, five minutes off, every few hours. Later, apply cool, wet compresses soaked in aluminum acetate. (available over the counter in the form of astringent solution, powder packets, or effervescent tablets.)
Take a neutral bath (body temperature). Soak for thirty to sixty minutes. (Add hot water occasionally to keep heat at blood temperature.) This is very calming to the nervous system and reduces stress.
Reflexology for Shingles
Try working the diaphragm, spine, ovary/testicle, pancreas and pituitary, parathyroid, thyroid and adrenal gland reflex points on hands or feet.
Researchers at Emory University, Atlanta, Ga., and Yale University, New Haven, Conn., recently studied 50 pairs of male twins by hooking them up to electrocardiograms for 24 hours. They concluded a link existed between depression and reduced heart rate variability (HRV) or fluctuations between heartbeats. Decreased HRV can weaken the heart and make it more susceptible to sudden fatalities.
Reflexology can be a natural, low cost option to offsetting the effects of stress on heart and overall health. Reflexology endeavors to treat the body, mind and spirit as a cohesive system by getting to the cause of disease not its symptoms. Reflexology possesses the capacity to cancel out the effects of stress while it helps the body to reach a place of deep relaxation where it can balance the body systems.
Through the relaxation process the body is more capable of dealing with the stresses placed on it by daily living and those associated with illness. Reflexology gently nudges the body towards improved functioning of the system by improving lymphatic drainage and venous circulation, simulation to the nerve pathways, and muscle relaxation.
In a report on reflexology research published at www.reflexology-research.com a Chinese study demonstrated how reflexology efficiently alleviated the effects of extreme stress. Twenty patients being treated for neurasthenia, a condition of extreme emotional stress-- were given a course of reflexology at the hospital’s department of physiotherapy. The treatments focused on areas of the feet relating to the adrenal glands, kidneys, bladder, sinus, brain and heart organs that are compromised by the effects of stress.
The treatments were given daily for a week with the following results presented at the China reflexology symposium in July, 1993: 40 percent experienced a complete cure; 35 percent were greatly improved; 15 percent mildly improved; and 10 percent reporting no change at all.
Reflexology therapeutically reduces stress and tension throughout the body’s systems to improve blood and lymph circulation, increase nerve supply to the cells and release toxins from the body’s tissues. It is believed to encourage the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good hormones, well documented in their ability to relieve stress.
These physiological benefits facilitate improvements in the body's assimilation of nutrients, elimination of wastes and immune system stimulation. Reflexology supports the body in its process of self-healing and maintaining the balance that leads to good health.
Plus, reflexology feels great and nearly everyone is a candidate for reflexology--even people who are not candidates for traditional massage therapy due to physical restrictions or who may be inhibited about disrobing. With reflexology, all you remove is footwear.
About this contributor: Thomacine Haywood is a writer, teacher and practitioner in private practice in Indianapolis. She is a Reiki Master, certified reflexologist, massage & sound therapist. Website: http://healing.about.com/od/reflexology/a/stress_reflex.htm
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
A client of ours found the "golf ball technique" so effective he would pass out golf balls and instructions to all his friends. He told them it took two weeks of daily application but after that it was a matter of maintenance. The directions he passed out are below.
It is best if you can do the technique several times a day. Some people do it about the same time as they have meals or time it with some activity like watching television or reading a book.
A Self-Help Reflexology Technique-Allergies, Asthma, & Sinus Problems
Results in reflexology are achieved by applying an exercise-type program of pressure technique to specific parts of the hands or feet. Traditionally, the stimulus of pressure is applied to the adrenal reflex area to create a healthful response by the body to allergies, asthma, and sinus problems.
On the hand, this area is found on the palms of both hands, halfway down the long first metacarpal bone of the hand below the thumb. To find the area, rest your right thumb on top of your left thumb. Reposition the right hand moving the right thumb down, toward the wrist. Your hand is now positioned so that your right index finger can curl around the hand and exert pressure at the midpoint of the long bone. Rest your finger tip on the on the palm of the hand and press. Does the area feel sensitive or very sensitive? If not, reposition your finger tip slightly to test another area. Now that you have a target area, try a pressure technique. The above testing technique can be utilized as a working technique. Position your fingertip on the sensitive area and eight to ten times. Repeat with the other hand.
The simplest pressure technique involves the use of a golf ball . Hold a golf ball in your hand. Clasp your two hands together, inter linking fingers. Roll the golf ball over your palms below the thumb. Target the general area of the adrenal reflex area.
How long should this exercise last? There are several strategies. Try a pattern of using the golf ball technique for 15 to 30 seconds and resting for 15 to 30 seconds, alternating work and rest throughout a five minute period. Try this four times though out the day such as morning, noon, dinner time, and bedtime. After two weeks, evaluate your results.
As you continue using the technique, your strategy may change. You may find yourself reaching for your golf ball at the onset of the sniffles or other symptoms. And, then, you may find yourself continuing the exercise until you get lessen the symptoms to your satisfaction.
Warning: This is the application of a hard surface, the golf ball, to a soft surface, the hand. It is possible to apply too much pressure or to apply pressure for too long a time. You've done too much exercise if your hand feels bruised or sensitive to touch. Quit the exercise until the sensitivity passes. When you apply technique again, limit your time to maintain your comfort level. The golf ball technique is a self-help technique not a technique for use on others.
Note: This technique is not for everyone. A key to reflexology use is its application in a conscientious program. Are you willing to spend some time doing this? Think of this as you would any exercise. Just as a certain number of sit-ups is needed to influence one's waistline, a certain amount of reflexology technique application is needed to get results. Many have gotten results and find it worth their time.
Within the physical body, the solar plexus is found right in the middle of the upper half of the trunk of the torso, where the rib cage comes together at the stomach level in front of the diaphragm.
On the feet, it can be found if you draw an imaginary line from the second toe down, below the ball of the foot, right within that hollow. It can also be found if you gently squeeze the top of the foot inward. You should find a "little dimple space"- that’s the solar plexus point.
The solar plexus is a great network (or ganglia) of nerves that sits directly behind the stomach. It goes out to all parts of the abdominal cavity and has been sometimes called the "abdominal brain". It is highly affected by stress.
There is a very strong connection between the feet and the solar plexus. Notice that when your feet are cold, you can feel a tightening of the stomach. And if you eat something while you’re feeling like that, your digestion will be more difficult than usual.
You will find that if you soak your feet in hot water it will give you a delightful sensation of relaxation at the level of your solar plexus. This is why in previous posts I have talked about the importance of the "foot bath". It’s a wonderful way to influence and strengthen the solar plexus. Now that you know where your solar plexus reflex point is located, I will share with you how to stimulate it.
• While seated, bring the foot of your choice up and over the opposite knee and allow it to comfortably rest there.
• With the opposite side hand, use your thumb to press in and slightly upward on the point (hold for 20 seconds). As you slowly release pressure, don’t loose contact with the point; just relax the pressure. Repeat this 3 times and then move to the opposite foot.
• You can also try inhaling as you press in and exhaling as you release out. If you have been under a great deal of stress, this reflex point may be sensitive- so work gently and compassionately at first. As the sensitivity dissipates, you can gradually increase the pressure. You’ll be amazed at how you will immediately feel a "stirring" within the center of your body.
This reflex point is great for relieving insomnia, stress and anxiety. However if you are feeling a little "low in energy" this point will also help to increase energy levels. Reflexology will always work to balance the body from any extreme.
Personally, I use this technique right before I go to bed each night and upon awakening in the morning. It has always given me whatever I needed in that moment.
So now that you’ve been introduced to your solar plexus point…..enjoy it! I hope it brings to you as much balance and harmony as it does for me. Press away……..and be well!
Reflexology does not take the place of mainstream medicine. On the contrary it helps and complements the medical profession.
At present, there is no cure for MS. There are, however, effective treatments that can help reduce the severity and frequency of attacks and help manage the symptoms. Two common courses of treatment include drug therapy or alternative healing modalities, commonly known as holistic treatments (including acupuncture, osteopathy, chiropractic, homeopathy, aromatherapy, and reflexology.) The earlier one is treated, the more effective treatment appears to be. Early treatment may potentially limit the amount of nerve damage incurred and also delay the onset of subsequent attacks. Many people find a combination of drug therapy, physical therapy and complementary methods achieve the best results. -Nancy Bartlett
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
MORE FOOT FACTS:
- Walking Barefoot can cause plantar warts. The virus enters through a cut that could be so small you won't notice it.
- Feet are like a building's foundation. An unstable underpinning creates havoc for the structure it supports. When the 26 bones in your foot are misaligned, chances are that the body will follow suit.
- 75% of us will experience a major foot malady in our lifetime. Women have four times as many foot problems as men.
A lot of foot pain can be avoided (and alleviated) by strengthening and stretching the muscles in your feet and legs. Do these exercises in bare feet:
- Heel Raise/Toe Point - While seated, (1) rise onto the balls of your feet, (2) go up onto your tiptoes, (3) curl your toes under. Hold each position for 5 seconds. Repeat 10 times every day. Good for people with hammertoes, toe cramps, and arch pain.
- Towel Scrunches - Sit on a chair with your feet flat on the floor. Place a medium-size towel on the floor in front of your feet. By scrunching your toes, pull the towel, inch by inch, into the arch of your feet. Do one to three times daily. Good for strengthening the whole foot.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Friday, June 20, 2008
- Scientists say the higher your I.Q. The more you dream.
- The largest cell in the human body is the female egg and the smallest is the male sperm.
- You use 200 muscles to take one step.
- The average woman is 5 inches shorter than the average man.
- Your big toes have two bones each while the rest have three.
- A full bladder is roughly the size of a softball.
- The acid in your stomach is strong enough to dissolve razor blades.
- The human brain cell can hold 5 times as much information as the Encyclopedia Britannica.
- It takes the food seven seconds to get from your mouth to your stomach.
- The average human dream lasts 2-3 seconds.
- Men without hair on their chests are more likely to get cirrhosis of the liver than men with hair.
- At the moment of conception, you spent about half an hour as a single cell.
- There is about one trillion bacteria on each of your feet.
- Your body gives off enough heat in 30 minutes to bring half a gallon of water to a boil.
- The enamel in your teeth is the hardest substance in your body.
- Your teeth start developing (in your gums) 6 months before you are born.
- When you are looking at someone you love, your pupils dilate, they do the same when you are looking at someone you hate.
- Blondes have more hair than dark-haired people.
- Your thumb is the same length of your nose.
- Feet may come in pairs, but they are frequently unmatched, sometimes differing as much as a full shoe size. Unfortunately, shoes are sold in pairs, not mix-n-match. Always buy shoes to fit the larger foot.
- Sherlock Holmes was the master of discerning limps, gender, social standing and foot disorders from footprints.
- People take an average of 10,000 steps in a day, adding up to about 115,000 miles in a lifetime - enough to go around the planet more than four times.
- Reflexologists’ believe that the feet mirror the body, with the toes relating to the head, the ball of the foot relating to the chest area, down to the heel which relates to the hip or pelvic region.
- There are 250,000 sweat glands in a pair of feet. Sweat glands in the feet excrete as much as half a pint of moisture a day.
- The feet of a person weighing 130 pounds absorb 500 pounds of pressure with every step. This impact reaches about five million pounds of pressure each day.
- Shoes are important to women since they generally average 10 miles a day, outdistancing men who average only seven miles a day.
- Feet are said to be the "mirror" of an individual's health. Arthritis and circulatory disorders often reveal their initial symptoms in the lower extremities. The foot also gives clues about a person - height, weight and gait.
- Your two feet contain 52 bones, a quarter of all bones in the body.
- Each foot also contains 33 joints, 107 ligaments and nerves, 19 muscles, tendons and blood vessels.
- Most Americans log 75,000 miles on their feet by age 50.
- A 150 pound person walking one mile exerts the equivalent of 63 1/2 tons, 127,000 pounds - on each foot.
- Feet are strong enough to support up to four times the body's weight during high impact activities, yet sensitive enough to detect a grain of sand.
- Your feet mirror your general health. According to conventional medical wisdom, conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, nerve and circulatory disorders can show their initial symptoms in the feet - so foot ailments can be your first sign of more serious medical problems.
- About 60-70% of people with diabetes have mild to severe forms of diabetic nerve damage, which in severe forms can lead to lower limb amputations. Approximately 56,000 people a year lose their foot or leg to diabetes.
- Only a small percentage of the populations are born with foot problems.