Reflexology and Pain Management – Part 1 7 Mar 2020
Pain is a fact of life, it is a necessary part of being human. Pain is a universal experience that serves the vital function of triggering avoidance.
Pain is not a simple sensory experience, it can occur even in the absence of tissue damage. It involves emotional, social and cognitive beliefs. The four pillars of pain include
Peripheral nervous system or the movement system
Autonomic system, composing the sympathetic, parasympathetic, hormonal and visceral systems
Central nervous system
Psycho-emotional aspects, such as stress, anxiety, fear, social life and memory of pain.
Physiological pain acts as a warning of actual or potential tissue damage and is usually transient. It may be accompanied by an increase in heart rate, blood pressure and temperature. Physiological pain of pathological origin results from tissue damage. Tissue damage causes the release of neurotransmitters into the bloodstream creating inflammation, which can produce redness, swelling, and heat and further enhance the pain experience. The area may also be sensitised, stimulating further neurochemical output and resulting in an ongoing cycle of pain - referred to as chronic pain.
A growing evidence base for reflexology in pain management. It is not yet fully understood how reflexology helps manage pain, although current opinion suggests it works on the neurological system through the release of endogenous opioids*.
So if you are in pain, why not book a reflexology treatment.
Stephenson NLN and JA Dalton (2003). Using Reflexology for pain management; a review, Journal of Holistic Nursing 21(2) pg 179 - 191
Mackereth P (2005) An explanation of therapeutic outcomes of reflexology and relaxation interventions for people with multiple sclerosis, University of Mancherster