Introduction to full-body-reflexology - part 7 - by Arve Fahlvik

Reflexological treatment of mental disorders.
In my opinion 90% of peoples problems are located between their ears. Much of peoples muscle and skeletal problems comes from major tension in the neck, usually caused by stress. Also intestine problems is highly related to stress.

When I work on somatic problems my dialog with the client focus on discovering the clients life situation, and pointing on changes that can better the life situation in general and the actual problem in specific. Over and over again clients complains about physical problems in our first meeting, but quite soon they have other stories to tell.

In our western society it is easier to talk about somatic problems then psychological problems. I have seen clients coming to me to get a painful wrist healed, that after some minutes cry when they are telling me about their troublesome relationship to the parents.

Soma or Psyche?
I have only superficial knowledge about TCM, but I have seen that the separation between soma and psyche is not as sharp there as in western medicine. This separation can also be seen in reflexology. For instance had the danish survey (Published in 2006, by Leila Eriksen and Jan Møller Jensen) about the use of reflexology only somatic alternatives when asking for the reason for treatment. To me this separation seems artificial. If some one hits you, both the soma and psyche are wounded. If someone bullies you, of cause your self esteem is reduced, and you might as well get pain in your stomach. A person is one unit, and all subunits are interconnected. This is exactly why reflexology works.

Even if your consciousness forget what you have been trough during your life, your body will never forget it.

Later in this text I use the term psychologically dominant problem. When we address a problem we usually do it by mention what hurts most. There can be any number of additional minor problems caused by the same reason, both physical and psychological. The clients don't even know that they are interconnected. It is up to therapist to discover the connections.

A stressor is the cause for a stress situation. If you are going to have a speech for a big audience for the first time of you life, it will probably stress you. But the tenth time it will hopefully not bother you. Two persons in equal stress situations can, and probably will, develop different pathological reactions. It is not who you have it, but how you handle it. So, how DO we handle it?

One of the wrong strategies on handling stress is to introduce a new stressor so that the pains caused by the original stressor will be temporally neglected. In severe cases this can lead to self-harming. “Poor people” we say to our selves, and go home and watching soap operas on the TV. Many people are using TV and internett as a refuge from their problems. Yes, I have been there, and some times I'm still there.

We need a better strategy.

Sorry, I don't have the universal solution for all of you and your patients problems, ...but I still have a strategy.

Back to the clients, and how to handle them. My opinion is that it can be of crucial importance to reduce stress reactions in parallel with working on the clients somatic problem. Some illnesses demand an exclusive focus on the psychological aspects of the client. Some types of cancer can be an example of such illnesses. It is of no use to treat a mans prostate on prostate reflexes if the hormone system and the central nerve system continuously makes the environment for the prostate in such state that the cells in the prostate reacts by doing unlimited cell division.

The first step in the process with this kind of problems is to assure that the reason for the problem is not there still. It can be hopeless to try treating stress while the client is still in the stressful situation. It is beyond the scope of this document to guide in such situations, to treat the client out of the situation.

Treatment protocol.
The following is a description of how I work when the focus is on a psychologically dominant problem.
1. Reduce the acute stress reactions. Reduce the tension in the projections of the limbic system in all reflexological systems you know. Ears, fingers, toes and tongue have given me best results. In one extreme situations I work for two hours several consecutive days on these projections. The order of the next two steps can be swapped, depending on the nature of the clients symptoms.
2. Many different difficult life situations can give us a feeling that the chest is tightening. There are feelings related to these situations, and both the feelings and the chest tightening are get stuck even if the situation betters. We often call this anxiety. It can be possible to determine the time of the incident based on the location of the tension on the chest or the chest-projections. Work on the sorest spots will give most relief. If the client give me the time I try to cleans the whole area.
3. Some times persons can do irrational things, and know about it them selves. It not possible for them to alter behaviour by will. For example can this be obsessive-compulsive disorder. The solution is to balance the cortex. One way of doing this is to work the knees, where there is a good projection of the cortex. Bend the knees as much as possible, and massage away all the small, hard spots you find in subcutis covering patella. This can be a big and painful job.

Copyright (c) 2012 by Arve Fahlvik. This work is made available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license, .