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Can I have Reflexology if I have Diabetes?

Can I have Reflexology if I have Diabetes?

Can I have Reflexology if I have Diabetes?

In very simple terms, yes you can have reflexology if your diabetes is well-managed and fairly stable with no additional complications. Diabetes presents in different ways in different people so it’s important that we take a holistic approach, look at what is happening for you as an individual, consider how your diabetes is managed and take a sensible, balanced view. 

Complications of Diabetes which may mean you either can’t have a treatment or have a slightly adapted treatment

There are, however a few complications of diabetes what would mean that you wouldn’t be able to have a treatment or that the treatment would have to be adapted in some way.

Thin, Dry, Brittle skin that breaks easily

If you have very dry, thin, brittle skin that is prone to cracking there is a risk of the skin cracks allowing bacteria to get in. As one of the symptoms of diabetes is to have skin that is slow to heal, it would be inadvisable to have reflexology as we don’t want to increase the chance of infection.

Leg Ulcers

Also if you have leg ulcers these will be very sore so foot reflexology would not be possible. It may be possible to offer Facial Reflexology instead. 

Peripheral Neuropathy

If you have peripheral neuropathy (lack of feeling in your extremities including feet) then a lighter treatment might be offered, or in severe cases it may not be possible to offer a treatment.

Fungal Infections including Fungal Nail Infections

If you have a fungal infection including fungal nail infection then you will not be able to have a treatment until it has cleared up.

Gangrene of the legs or feet

If you have gangrene of the legs or feet then Reflexology is definitely contraindicated. 

Test your blood sugars before or after your reflexology treatment

What should I do before my Reflexology treatment if I have diabetes? 

Before your reflexology treatment, take your blood sugars. If you need to adjust them then do so. 

It is useful to have to hand whatever remedies you would normally use to re-balance your blood sugars so that if you do notice a change following your treatment you can quickly and easily adjust them. 

You are the expert and know what works for you! Whilst it is fairly unlikely one treatment would make a big change, it’s worth noticing.

Keep hydrated by drinking water after your reflexology appointment

What should I do after my treatment? 

It would be a good idea to take your blood sugar levels again, just to double check that there has been no change to them. If there has been a change, then adjust them as you would normally do. 

It is also vital to follow the usual Reflexology Aftercare Advice of drinking plenty of water, resting, avoiding stimulants like caffeine, alcohol and spicy foods, and having a gentle stroll after dinner if you can.

Can Reflexology have a positive effect on diabetes?

Reflexology has a known effect on lowering stress levels. Studies have found that lowering stress levels can have a positive impact on blood sugar levels. So anything that would help you keep calm and less stressed has to be a good thing. 

Reflexology is great for calming and creating a space and time just for you. It is also good for boosting the circulation. Circulation problems often go hand in hand with diabetes so again, Reflexology may be of benefit if you have diabetes. 

Can I have Reflexology if I have Diabetes

I’ve not had a Reflexology treatment before, should I do anything different?

If you have not had reflexology before having a shorter, lighter treatment might be a good idea. Once you see how you feel after your treatment we can build up to full sessions. This can allow you to see if you have any healing responses to the treatment and to ensure that the pressure is at the correct level for you.

Medical Emergency Plan

If necessary, we may complete a Medical Emergency Plan for those of you who have hypoglycemic events or who need specific help in case of emergency. This is a simple form which needs filling in at the first appointment stating what you’d like me to do should you have a hypo etc. This is very straightforward and give us both peace of mind that if you do have a hypo (or other diabetes related crisis) I will have an action plan on a piece of paper attached to your notes that I can refer to to get you the help you need when you need it! 

Keep Calm and Carry On!

Having regular Reflexology treatments can help maintain your stress levels. Reflexology has a cumulative effect and so if you have a course of treatments or a monthly treatment booked in the diary these will all start building up with a greater effect than just having one treatment. 

Over a period of time you *may* be able to alter your treatment, under the guidance of your GP if your blood sugar levels start to lower. (This will need to be carefully monitored and adjustments made by your GP as necessary) Everyone reacts to Reflexology in a different way, so there is of course no guarantees.

Related Article:

Please read my article ‘What is Diabetes’ for more information about the different types of Diabetes.

For Further Information and Advice about Diabetes 

If you need further information about Diabetes please go to www.diabetes.org.uk and www.diabetes.co.uk

How to choose a good Reflexologist

How to choose a good Reflexologist

 Things to consider when choosing a good Reflexologist

 A good reflexologist will be well trained, insured, take regular CPD (additional training to make them a better therapist) and be a good listener. They also need to be adaptable, intuitive and be able to think on their feet. They need to be understanding and kind as well as approachable.

Where do you start looking for a good reflexologist?

Firstly I’d ask amongst friends. They might go to a reflexologist in your area or might have heard great things about one of their friend’s reflexologists. 

If they don’t know of anyone, try looking on a professional register. For Reflexology the Association of Reflexologists Find a Reflexologist Search is a good place to start.

 

Do they have membership of a Professional Organisation?

Being a member of a professional organisation ensures that the therapist has to keep updating their skills and knowledge so that year on year they become a better therapist.

They also have to agree to abide by a code of conduct and be of good character. Look out for people with initials like M.A.R or M.F.H.T or MCThA after their names. 

This means that they have got a membership of a professional organisation and have had to prove that they are fully qualified and insured in order to join.

Some of the health insurance companies will give you a refund on your treatment fee if the therapist is a member of a professional organisation. It is worth checking with your insurance if this is the case and if so which associations they are looking for. 

Cosy Environment

Are they on a professional register or in a Find a Reflexologist Search? 

The Association of Reflexologists have a Find a Reflexologist facility (which will bring up a list of the members in your area) Here is my listing 

Word of Mouth

If you have friends in the local area, ask for recommendations. A friend may have already found a great Reflexologist. It would be worth giving them a call and seeing if they’re right for you. 

Check out Reviews both on Google or Facebook.

Good therapists tend to get Reviews on either Google My Business or on their Facebook Page. Check these out to see if you can get a feel for how the therapist operates and what sort of  person they are. Here is my Reviews Page

 

Cosy Environment

Check out their Social Media and Website, Read their Blog Posts

It can help to get a feel for what kind of person the therapist is by checking out their social media presence on Facebook and Instagram. If they have a mailing list maybe sign up to that, again so you can start the process of getting to know them. It’s important to get a sense of whether you’d get on on a personal level. 

Listen to your gut!

At the end of the day the most important thing is to listen to your gut feeling. You need to feel safe and comfortable in the presence of your therapist so it helps if you get to know them on some level before booking your appointment. I believe that the therapist you choose has to feel right. It may take a few different treatments with a few different therapists until you find the right one for you.

Good luck! Please let me know how you chose your therapist in the comments below.

 

 

Look after your legs

Look after your legs

Look after your legs

Taking care of our legs is vital. There are lots of ways that we can help our legs stay in tip-top condition.

Keep the blood flowing.. Move your feet!

Keeping the blood flowing nicely is really important to leg health. If you spend most of your time sitting at your desk, try getting up and moving around as often as possible. If you’re not able to for some reason, doing some foot rotations under your desk or at least flexing and rotating your ankles will help. Dancing whilst the kettle boils will also help your mood and your circulation. Just keep moving!

Getting the balance right

Try not to stand up all day long if you can. (Getting the balance between the two is really important!) If possible walk whenever you can. If you have simple, light errands to run and you’re able to walk, do them on foot! I normally walk to the post box or if I need a loaf of bread from the bakers I walk down. It’s all about doing what works for you.

 The fresh air will help you feel better as well as keeping your legs healthy. Often when you get back you feel like all the cobwebs have been blown away. 

Moisturise Regularly

Make sure you keep your feet and legs moisturised using a good quality moisturiser. Often we remember to moisturise our faces or have some hand cream in our desks or bag. But our legs often get forgotten! Treat yourself to a nice body lotion and make it part of your daily self-care routine.

Make note of any problem areas

If you notice any broken skin, dry patches, redness or other signs of discolouration get it checked out if it doesn’t clear up quickly. 

If you feel any pain in your legs and/or feet during or after exercise please do get it checked out. 

Further Information 

Legs Matter have produced a Useful Leaflet about how to care for your legs

Here’s a useful leaflet produced by Legs Matter about looking after your legs Click Here

What do you do to keep your legs healthy?

  Please let me know in the comments

Stories the feet can tell

Stories the feet can tell

Stories the feet can tell 

Reflexology is fascinating and the more I do reflexology, the more fascinated I am by it. One of the first things a Reflexologist does at the beginning of a Reflexology treatment is to make some observations of the feet. 

Here are some of the stories the feet can tell 

How the feet are presented can indicate how relaxed the client is. If it’s the clients first treatment and they’re anxious the feet can be close together. This is known as a closed position. If the client is very relaxed the feet may be fairly wide apart. If I see that my client has a very closed posture I will use lots of relaxation techniques in my opening sequence. This should help them relax and settle into the treatment.

Arches

The positioning of the arches of the feet can tell us all kinds of things. If the arch of the foot is very high it could indicate that the client has either spent a lot of time wearing high heels or it could mean that they have some back pain, amongst other things. 

Spine and Back Problems

The side of the foot running down from the big toe is the spine reflex region. Often when a client has been suffering from back pain there is a distinct tightness or bend in the foot in a place that correlates to the painful area. Sometimes one foot can be a completely different shape to the other one, again this is of great interest to reflexologists.

Other signs we look out for

Hard skin and sock fluff tends to fascinate Reflexologists way more than it should do!

One thing that many of my clients have commented is that they feel they need a pedicure before they come for a treatment. It’s absolutely not the case. We can tell a lot about what might be happening for the client by seeing where there are areas of hard skin, corns and calluses.
Hard skin often forms over an area that is imbalanced, as a form of protection. 

Hard skin can also form where there has been contact with footwear. Often hard skin will form on the same area of both feet, especially when foot wear has been rubbing.

Sock fluff can also gather over reflexes that need re-balancing. So don’t be too quick to rub it all off before your treatment! Most Reflexologists will refresh the clients feet with either wipes or hot towels or offer a foot spa if applicable, so there really is no need to worry about sock fluff before your appointment

Redness

Areas of redness can mean a range of things, often anger and frustration but can also mean that you’ve been wearing footwear that have caused your feet to press down in an uncomfortable way. This is especially true of high heeled shoes where the bulk of the weight is on the ball of your feet. This can cause your feet to sting.

Pregnancy

In pregnant clients there is often a small bump over the uterus reflex too, especially in the later stages of pregnancy. (This is really interesting to see!)

Whatever your feet look like chances are we will have seen it all before and you really needn’t worry! 

What stories do you think your feet would tell me about you?

Please let me know in the comments below.
Sarah Cooper Blog

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How often should I have a Reflexology treatment?

How often should I have a Reflexology treatment?

How often should I have a Reflexology treatment?

When I get asked by clients ‘How often should I have a Reflexology treatment?’ my answer is usually something along the lines of it depends on you as an individual, what is happening in your life right now and of course your budget. 

Do you have some kind of on-going issue that you’d like help to address?

If you have some kind of on-going issue like anxiety or tension in a particular area or are struggling to sleep etc you might benefit from having a weekly or fortnightly treatment for a while, followed by top-up appointments every three to four weeks. 

Image of a reflexology treatment

Are you wanting an appointment to help you maintain your wellbeing?

If you are otherwise fine and are having Reflexology treatments to maintain wellbeing it would be most beneficial to have an appointment once or twice a month, although there is no reason why you couldn’t have a weekly appointment if you wish.

Is there a maximum amount of time to leave between appointments?

Although there’s no definitive answer to this, I would say the maximum time to leave between appointments would be about 6 weeks tops. 

It is worth remembering that treatments have a cumulative effect so that the more often you have a treatment, the better it will be overall as each treatment adds onto the last treatments effects. 

It’s a bit like going to the gym, eating a healthy diet or weeding your garden. If you do any of those things once you’ll make some progress towards your goals, but doing them frequently and consistently will give better results.  Going to the gym, eating healthily or weeding your garden once a year is great but doing it with some kind of regularity is greater! 

Is there a maximum amount of treatments I can have a week?

Again, your budget will probably be the one to decide how many treatments you can have a week. I suggest having a maximum of two or at a push three treatments a week for most clients, although again this is not set in stone, and sometimes a short burst of very regular appointments can be beneficial. Longer term, I would recommend having a maximum of 1 or 2 reflexology treatments a week. 

In the later stages of pregnancy (37 weeks plus) a twice weekly reflexology appointment may be helpful. 

Some Weekend Appointments Available

What are the benefits of having regular Reflexology treatments?

The benefits are that it keeps you feeling that bit better. I know when I go for regular treatments (as I’ve started doing after suffering from a bit of lower back pain last year) I feel a lot more uplifted and less tense.

If you’re feeling tense and have regular treatments, that tension is likely to be less than if you didn’t have regular treatments. Also coming for treatments means you get regular support. As part of what I do I listen to what you have to say without passing judgement and often just to be able to off-load those thoughts and release them can be helpful. I’m not a trained counsellor so all I can offer is a friendly ear before tucking you up on my couch for your treatment.

Book early to avoid disappointment

Booking your next appointment at the end of your current appointment makes sure that you’ve secured the time you want into the diary and you don’t miss out on next months couch time. I know with my own massage therapist that I’m not going to miss out on an appointment if my therapist gets fully booked as it’s there in her diary (and mine)  

It is also reassuring knowing that I’ve got a date in the diary for next month so I’m not having to find my glasses and my diary and a pen and paper and *shudders* call someone to book an appointment. I’ve chosen the therapist that I like so I’m not having to decide from a heap of names plucked up from google which therapist to ring. It just makes the whole process so much less stressful and afterall, who needs more stress in their lives? 

 

Over to you!

How often do you have a reflexology treatment? Please let me know in the comments below

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