ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Reflexology and Cancer

Updated on July 5, 2008

Reflexology and Cancer

I'm always looking out for trends and innovations in reflexology. If reflexology and cancer isn't the biggest one today, I don't know what is.

In the days of my early bodywork training (Polarity Therapy - yes, there was a time in my life before reflexology!), students were cautioned about working with cancer patients - even when working off the body!

The massage field at that time was also uncertain whether its techniques would help or hinder the disease.

Thank goodness compassionate touch has won the day. It's better to comfort with gentle touch than to deny the stress relieving comfort and nurturing that it affords.

As with all medical situations, you need to get an okay from a doctor in order to work with anyone who is very sick - whether from an illness or from the treatment of a disease.

However, if the opportunity arises to work with someone who has cancer, consider yourself lucky because they'll already have a variety of medical supports. This will be a team of one, or many, of the following: doctors, nurses, osteopaths, physical therapists, acupuncturists, etc. Becoming a member of that team is a privilege.

Now, everyone on the team needs to know about each other. This only makes sense. Call the doctor(s) and introduce yourself, say that their client has asked to receive reflexology from you and find out whether this is okay and if there is anything you need to know.

I've never once had the experience of a doctor being dismissive. On the contrary the response has been positive, although you do need to be prepared to explain what reflexology is.

Here's some useful information, research and resources currently available for reflexology and cancer:

1. As I mentioned before, the University of Michigan has received a 1.3 million dollar grant from the NIH (National Institute of Health) to study reflexology as a support for the effects of the treatment breast cancer. As their website states:

"Breast cancer patients turn to reflexology for comfort" 9/30/2005

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Researchers at Michigan State University are finding that many women who are receiving chemotherapy while in the late stages of breast cancer are turning to a complementary therapy known as reflexology to help them cope.

In a pilot study, researchers from MSU's College of Nursing tested three different complementary therapies -- reflexology, guided imagery and reminiscence therapy, in which women recall times in their lives when they've met and overcome challenges. Of those three, reflexology proved to be the most effective...

2. The Memorial Sloane-Kettering Cancer Center, in New York City, has recently offered a two day course in "Reflexology for the Cancer Patient".

From all reports it was an amazing learning experience aimed at giving reflexologists with the best information possible for working with cancer patients.

Watch for this workshop. Next time it becomes available, I'll let you know. There's probably no better training out there for reflexologists working with people with cancer.

3. The First Symposium on Reflexology and Cancer will be held in Israel this coming October 29th -- 31st, 2008.

It certainly promises to be a stellar symposium with speakers, research and supporting techniques offered by speakers from around the world.

I'll be disappointed if I can't make it. My husband and I are already planning for it.

More information can be found at: http://www.isreflexology.com/?categoryId=23405

Check with your accountant to make sure because this should be a tax deductable trip for any reflexologist.

4. My favorite book on cancer and bodywork is "Medicine Hands, Massage Therapy for People with Cancer", by Gayle MacDonald, M.S., L. M. T.

Although geared towards massage therapists, it gives you great and important information about the different types of the disease and the effects of many of the treatments -- both on the patient and also on the caregiver or therapist.

If there's a better book out there, please drop me a line and let me know.

You've heard me talk about how inspiring my mother has been to me. What you might not know is that she's had cancer four times.

And, she's been a survivor (make that thrive-r) for over 40 years. I only wish I knew then what I know now. It would have been wonderful to be able to show her my love and support through reflexology.

Today, I give her reflexology - not so much to heal her, but rather to communicate with and demonstrate with every gentle alternating thumb and finger walking pressure that she is not alone, that she is special, that I care and that I am present... in the moment... with her.

Healing is never a one person experience. With reflexology, as with other complementary and alternative modalities, healing is a profoundly shared experience.

For many people, cancer is a passage into another part of life. For some it is their final passage. To walk alongside anyone who has embarked upon this journey and to hold their hands or feet is truly an honor.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      guruofreflexology 6 years ago

      Reflexology and Cancer. It is a big topic and i think a lot of good information given in the above article.

      http://www.guruofreflexology.com/brief-reflexology...

      People should know that reflexology courses can be very helpful and if understood properly can be very helpful in curing cronic diseases like cancer.

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 9 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      Looking forward to more!

    • profile image

      Wendy Coad 9 years ago

      Thanks for you comments. Reflexology offers such a safe and compassionate touch, it's not surprising that it's getting the recognition it deserves.

      I've posted a series of videos on Youtube.com. You'll find them if you search ReflexologyProf.

      If you want to hear about more experiences, stay tuned, I'll be adding other articles as well.

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 9 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      I've always believed any form of "hands on healing" should be embraced by "modern" medicine. Glad to see they're finally doing so. For far too long, cancer patients have been treated like lab experiments, not human beings. Never mind doctors have known for decades that infants denied human touch cannot (and do not) thrive. It's only logical that this would be true for adults too.

    • desert blondie profile image

      desert blondie 9 years ago from Palm trees, swimming pools, lots of sand, lots of sunscreen

      So interesting and so lovingly personal as well. Welcome to hubpages!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)