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Τετάρτη, 26 Φεβρουαρίου 2014

Reflexology: Sedation and Stimulation techniques ...or something else?

The Association of Reflexologists has definetely done it again by preparing another high quality video which you can see here and do watch it before you continue reading.

Αt 2:26 of the video Tracey Smith AoR begins describing, on the reflex of the adrenal gland (one of the most important reflexes) the clockwise and anti-clockwise approach of Ruth Hull.
The comparison with the "screw" is accurate and helps visualize what you are trying to do.

Now at 3:08 something really interesting can be noticed, especially if you are trained in Orthopedic Reflexology (OR). 

The third technique, is according to Suzanne Enzer,  named the "unwind technique", and it is a sedation technique. 
The direction of rotation depends on which foot you are working on. So on the right foot an anti-clockwise movement is made but on the left foot a clockwise movement is made. (light blue arrows in the picture above) 
Tracey Smith comments that this acknowledges the direction that energy or chi flows around the body, meaning down the medial leg and up the lateral leg. 
She also correctly uses the term "restore natural balace and calm reflexes"!

Well through OR speculation. Suzanne's technique is "right on the spot" at least having to do with this reflex (adrenal gland) and I will explain this. 

At this reflex point, anatomicaly, is something very important that basic Reflexology training has not covered.

And why should it? The truth is, that learning the anatomy of the foot can be very frustrating and trivial if you do not specialize in the feet. And that is why in OR we have given a lot of attention to provide this vital knowledge in an easy to absorb way. Question is, should Reflexologists know their foot anatomy?

This area is referred too as the Zone of Confusion due to the many attachments of tendons to be found (right picture). But the one at hand we are interested in would be that of the peroneus  longus tendon PLT (Greek) or fibularis longus tendon (latin)!

The peroneal longus muscle is attached proximally to the head of the peroneal bone and its 'belly' runs down most of this bone. It becomes a tendon that goes posteriorly around the lateral malleolus of the ankle, then continues under the foot to attach to the lateral sides of the medial cuneiform and the base of the first metatarsal.

Right around where your average Reflexologist would place the adrenal reflex. I will point out that "waistline" (most of the time) is found from the tuberosity of the fifth metatarsal and crosses across to the base of the medial cuneiform (pink arrow in the top picture).

So when this tendon tightens up, and it does very often, in order to loosen it you would have to "unwind it" against the direction it is coming in, exactly as described in the video.

So lets go a bit further. The insertion point coincides with the all important adrenal reflex. This reflex is found many times needing our experienced and skilled techniques, but where is the strain, the pull coming from?
One answer to this question would be the lateral (and spiral) line(s) according to Tom Myers, Anatomy Trains and Myofascial Meridian work. Read as much as you like here

To keep it simple though,  the strain/pull could be coming from anywhere along the blue coloured lines in the following picture. 
Kind of like Dr. Fitzgeralds Zone Therapy, but there is the detail that here we have a connection between the 1st and 5th zones.

To make things more sophisticated...

Anatomy Trains: Myofascial Meridians for Manual and Movement Therapists page 115

Postural function of this Lateral line is to balance the front - back and the left - right sides of the body, it also mediates forces among other lines. This line can bend the body, flex the trunk, and function as a brake for any lateral and rotational movements. It participates in frontward or backward movement by "containing it". When we use this line in movement we go or turn sideways = think of obstacles in life, avoiding them or looking the other way.

It has also been suggested that there is an overlapping of Principal Meridians and myofascial meridians on the simulated human anatomical model.

So in this case the lateral line would coincide with the gallbladder meridian. 
If you like read the following, consider what is stated regarding Myofascial speculation and relate to adrenal reflex. Do you "see" any similarities?

The Gall Bladder is responsible for making decisions and judgments, as well as providing courage and initiative.  This organ is sometimes called the Court of Justice or The General's Advisor.  Although the Kidneys control drive and vitality, the Gall Bladder provides the capacity to turn this drive and vitality into decisive action.  The Gall Bladder has an influence on the quality and length of sleep.  If the Gall Bladder is Deficient, the patient will often wake up suddenly, very early in the morning, and be unable to fall asleep again.  Patient's who are timid, indecisive, and easily discouraged by slight adversity, are said to have a weak Gall Bladder; conversely, decisive and determined patients are said to have a strong Gall Bladder.

Regarding the downward movement of energy, since this line/meridian represents the upward movement, it would be associated with the tibialis anterior and posterior, but that is another story.

In closing this blog post, I would like to state that this is my favourite reflex point and I agree with the statement "it restores natural balace and calms reflexes".  I hope you now understand why!

Now watch the video again.

This has been a product of Orthopedic Reflexology speculation, none of this is a product of mine, but rather a putting of pieces together, and respecting the sources handed down to me by referencing them.