Reflexology and Cancer

Myths about Reflexology and Cancer Care

  • Reflexology can cause the spread of metastases through the lymphatic & circulatory system.
  • Reflexology can have the adverse effect on someone having chemotherapy or make it less effective.
  • Can working over tumor reflexes cause harm?

There is no evidence to support these myths. At the Touch Institute, Miami, research shows touch lowers stress and increase white cell count.

Reflexology is a positive touch; it can help alleviate some side effects e.g. nausea, lethargy and diarrhea. It can also provide emotional support, particularly to help patients continue with difficult & debilitating treatments. It can boost a depleted immune system; therefore, reduce the risk of infection. Reflexology may help limit damage to healthy cells and optimize liver & kidney function. It may be given before, during & after chemotherapy.

Reflexology and the stages of Cancer

Before diagnosis people are often in a state of anxiety, uncertainty, dread and fear. During this time a reflexology can offer a sense of calm and support.

During the treatment reflexology can help to relieve side effects e.g. nausea, constipation and support the continuation treatment.

After treatment clients may feel abandoned and unsure of how to go back to normal life, reflexology can help the client get back on their feet.

Terminal illness may induce feelings of isolation, depression and loneliness. Reflexology can relax and calm the client.

It is essential that the carer is also treated. Not only will this bring joy to the patient but the carer needs as much care and support as they give.

Physical and emotional benefits of Reflexology

  • Promotes relaxation which relieves stress, fear and anxiety.
  • May lower pain levels, therefore reduce medication.
  • Can reduce side effects of chemotherapy, radiotherapy, analgesics and other medication.
  • Can relieve digestive problems e.g. constipation and diarrhea.
  • Can boost the immune system.
  • Can assist the body to heal and repair after surgery or radiotherapy.
  • Can optimize liver and kidney function resulting in increased efficiency of detoxification and elimination.
  • Can help reduce ankle edema.
  • Helps manage depression.
  • Can boost energy levels.
  • Assist sleep.
  • Help to keep a positive outlook and a sense of well-being.

Lymphatic drainage

The lymphatic drainage treatment works hand in hand with the cancer treatment but also can be a great benefit for all other clients

A reflexology- lymphatic drainage treatment is a holistic approach to promoting a healthy lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is a complex network of vessels and ducts that move fluid throughout the body and is responsible for moving toxins away from healthy cells and carrying germ-fighting materials to cells when they are under attack by viruses. Though fluid moves through the lymphatic system, it does not have its own pumping mechanism. Lymphatic drainage is a type of therapy that is intended to help the body produce a free-flowing lymphatic system.

When the lymphatic system becomes blocked, lymph nodes may become swollen. Further, the system fails to remove the body’s toxins and can even affect white blood cell counts. Lymphatic drainage is believed to reduce blockage, which promotes health in the lymphatic system as well as other bodily systems such as the circulatory, respiratory, muscular and endocrine systems.