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Τετάρτη, 22 Ιανουαρίου 2014

Orthopedic Reflexology speculation

A few days ago a discussion begun in a facebook group regarding reflexology. The discussion follows, and though it is difficult to 100% understand what is being said (possibly if descriptions where made in terms of skeletal anatomy this would be easier) I find this challenging and have dicided to tackle it through an Orthopedic Reflexology rationale.  

- Very interesting reaction today. Right in the centre of the median arch of the foot almost on the foot itself was a very sensitive spot which gave the client severe cramping. Fortunately it is a reacton she was already aware of and apologised for not telling me! Was able to work the rest of the area and from kidney, down urinary tract to bladder with no issues. Only thing I could think of is that it is linked to her IBS. She also had very sensitive areas at the thoracic/lumbar area with no reported back issues. Possibly linked to the IBS via inneravation?
- Also I was able to ease the pain on the spinal reflex with a few seconds of soft pressure.

- The area you describe sounds like the end and beginning (on each foot) of the transverse colon (if I'm understanding your description correctly) so this would make perfect sense that it was associated with her IBS. Sometimes reflexes are not in exactly the same spot on the feet from one client to another as indeed they do vary slightly in the body itself. As the colon is a muscle it could also make sense that the foot was cramping when the bowel reflex was worked on - as the bowel may have been cramping at the same time. Be interested to here other theories too.

- Yes, I also linked the cramping in her foot and the spasmodic nature of IBS. Although then I wondered if that was too obvious!




So let us begin by detecting the spot that triggered the cramping. 
If I have understood correctly, the area at hand would be the reflex area for the large intenstine (transverse colon) in the 1st zone (Right in the centre of the median arch). This would be around the joint medial cuneiform and navicular bones. This area is a "tricky one", it has been referred to as a zone of confusion! The zone is illustrated in the picture (right).

Here, due to the confusion, it is proven how essential it is to observe and notice the result of the cramping. The "result" will tell us which muscle(s) are associated and following the zone and meridian. What could follow is initially placing/naming the reflex area and then working this area out, either it being a reflex area, a muscle, a tendon sheath, a nerve sheath,  or trigger point.

Red structures are solar plexus and mesenteric plexus according to Nerve reflexology and Hanne Marquardt mapping. Adrenals are somewhere there also!

So if the 1st toe plantar flexed it would be the flexor hallucis longus tendon with the associated brevis hallucis muscle.
If the foot everted and plantar flexed it would be the peroneus longus tendon .
If the foot inverted and plantar flexed it would be the tibialis posterior muscle as "The main portion inserts into the tuberosity of the navicular and the plantar surface of the first cuneiform." 
The latter seems the most attractive hypothesis because the Reflexologists asking states: 
1st "Also I was able to ease the pain on the spinal reflex with a few seconds of soft pressure. = insertion of main protion. 

And 2nd  "She also had very sensitive areas at the thoracic/lumbar area with no reported back issues."
And this tendon has attachments as described: The plantar portion inserts into the bases of the second, third and fourth metatarsals, the second and third cuneiforms and the cuboid.

Now there is this issue with the clients IBS - Irritable bowel syndrome, and all visceral issues that proceed well with the "complementary help" of Reflexology! 

In their book, Barral and Croibier (pg 10) describe something interesting having to do with the plantar  and palmar surface of the feet and hands, exactly the areas reflexologists focus their work on.  
 “These dysfunctions are found typically at the distal ends of the extremities; They mainly occur when nerves with a high neurovisceral portion* are involved, like the median nerve or the tibial nerve.”
*Of or relating to innervation of the internal organs by the autonomic nervous system.



Tibial innervation all the way!


So there is possibly an association between this clients IBS and the cramping in her feet, but is there also vice versa the "therapeutic handling" of her IBS symptoms through her feet?
HYPOTHESIS
If we Reflexologists "work" on the soles of the feet (reflex map), we are also working on the cutaneous innervation to the sole of the foot which is provided by the tibial nerve which has a high neurovisceral portion. When we do this in an appropriate way, staying in the pain limits (hedonic tone = hurts good!) of our client, is it possible to alleviate this womans IBS symptoms?
 I do not utilize the word "cure" because as Hippocrates states in his 1st aphorism, it is not all up to us!  

Aphorisms

Section I

Life is short, and Art long; the crisis fleeting; experience perilous, and decision difficult. The physician must not only be prepared to do what is right himself, but also to make the patient, the attendants, and externals cooperate.

There is also one more comment which is quite accurate but needs even more highlighting, "Sometimes reflexes are not in exactly the same spot on the feet from one client to another as indeed they do vary slightly in the body itself."


"Have a look at these pictures, does the large intenstine look anything like the one on the reflexology chart you where taught in Reflexology school? " 

No worries Reflexology friends, either way your experienced hands are guiding you, and when in doubt always, always remember Eunice Ingham's aphorism, we (modern day reflexologists) have shown her enough diesrespect!


In conclusion I still have a "gut feeling" that the structure(s) at hand is/are the lumbricals and the Flexor digitorum longus muscle

but I would need to know what was the result of the cramping to have a better idea.
Well as Hippocrates said in his 1st aphorism 
Life is short, and Art long; the crisis fleeting; experience perilous, and decision difficult.