what are the contra-indications to reflexology treatment
Contraindications to reflexology requiring written medical permission or client signing an informed consent form
A medical contraindication to reflexology means there is a reason not to treat unless permission has been gained.
Cardiovascular conditions such as thrombosis, phlebitis, hypertension, hypotension, heart conditions.
Any condition already being treated by a GP or other complimentary therapist.
Trapped/pinched nerve (sciatica) inflamed nerve
Any dysfunction of the nervous system, eg multiple sclerosis, parkinsons disease, motor neurone disease
Contraindications to reflexology that restrict treatment
Under the influence of alcohol or recreational drugs
Fever, contagious or infectious diseases
Diarrhoea and vomiting
Pregnancy, first trimester
Cuts, bruises, abrasions
Dawn - sorry, but I think you ought to review your list of contra-indications - looking at that I wouldn't be treating any of my clients! Pregnancy is not a contra-indication - reflexology is extremely helpful in fact. MS is not a contra-indication - reflexology is actually recommended - I know I treat several MS clients.
I would also add, that reflexology can also be used very successfully for cancer patients to help relax and calm them, give pain relief and reduce the side effects of their medication. I did my training in the Cancer Self Help Centre in Wales, which would not have been the case had it been contrainidicated. The nursing sister carried out research on the patients receiving the reflexology treatment and the therapist, and in both cases their blood pressure reduced to a calmer level.
I have also treated a patient with severe arthritis which affected one of her ankles causing excessive swelling, resulting in the foot being turned inward. Over a period of 15 - 18 months, with weekly treatments, being gentle so as not to cause pain, the foot gradually returned to it's correct position and the client was able to walk without pain on the foot.
As stated, it is essential to take a full case history and to discuss the treatment with the client. It is not advised in the 1st trimester of pregnancy, but can be highly effective in easing discomfort and speeding a difficult birth, if undertaken thereafter.
We have to be clear why the condition is contraindicated. A true inderstanding of how reflexology works and any necessary care taken will ensure we provide good quality, healing treatments. Gill Bright, CThA
I have been reading your postings about the contra-indications. I feel that most contras are given as a guidline to therapists. Each client is individual, with individual circumstances, and should be treated on an individual basis. As contras are generic, they don't always allow for this. The issues surrounding pregnancy/reflexology is quite confusing. Most say not to treat in the first trimester, but then you have Reflexologists that specialise in Maternity Reflexology, and you can attend courses to obtain this specialized knowledge. So not sure who's right! For other contras, such as diabetes, gout & arthritis in the feet, Hand Reflexology is used as an alternative. Hand Reflexology can also be useful for heart conditions, as the hands do not have a Heart Reflex. I also feel that with illness like MS, reflexology is useful for treating the symptoms, giving clients relief. As I believe in intergrated medicine, and from my experience, therapists and GP's are usually happy to consult and work together, to give the best possible healthcare to clients/patients. So consent is usually fairly easy to obtain, as long as the GP is informed of the pro and cons, of a particular therapy. However I know that this is not always the case, but it should be remembered that most therapies are complementary, and works exceptionally well along side conventional medicine in treating clients/patients. All good therapists will assess the clients 'contra' situation, and take advice on how, or not to proceed. I think as a basic rule of thumb, with most experienced therapists is, if it doesn't feel right to treat any client, with or without contras, then don't treat them.
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I qualified in May 2009 - A & P, Holistic Massage, Reflexology, Indian Head Massage. All my qualifications are with ITEC and I attained a Distinction in all four. I have since qualified in Hopi Ear candling, Indian Face Massage, seated Acupressure, and I have progressed to Reiki Master (over 3 years).
I consider myself to be dedicated and knowledgeable (although not experienced as many others - yet!) and that my clients should receive the best possible treatment. If for any reason I felt I could not deliver this I would refer them to someone who was more appropriately experienced.
I was therefore disappointed to read in your advice on this subject that potential clients should ask, before booking, how long the therapist has been practising? This seemed to imply that newly qualified therapists are inferior to someone who has been qualified longer. I personally have over 10 years experience of caring for people with chronic health problems, also being "mature" I have substantial life experience which I feel gives me an empathy with many of my older clients. I know that experience is very important and I have already learned a lot since qualifying, but how are we to gain experience if clients are cautioned against using newly qualified therapists?