Reflexology and IBS

Reflexology and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
IBS may responds very well to reflexology - I think it should be mandatory! The only challenge is that it takes a few treatments before there is a noticeable relief from the symptoms, and by that time the client has often forgotten how uncomfortable they used to be.

The secret is in the initial consultation. A detailed note should be made of the existing condition, using questions beginning ‘How often….?, How severe…..?  What sort of pain….? etc. Preferably record the client’s own words so these can be read back after three or four months when the symptoms may be occurring less frequently and with less intensity. The difference will highlight the efficacy of the treatments to the client and as therapists we all deserve and enjoy some appreciation!
The most balancing and calming point for the digestive system is St 36 This is found about 4 fingers below the kneecap and a little to the outside of the leg. Working on both legs at the same time, your fingers should fall nicely into the hollow between the tops of the tibia and the fibula. Gently massage the point for 2 or 3 minutes before stroking several times along the path of the stomach meridian from St 36 down to the lateral edge of the nail on the second toe.

(For chronic conditions such as IBS, always work in the direction of the flow of the relevant energy meridian.)

Do this at least twice during the treatment.

St 36 should not be worked if the client is feeling nauseous or has just had a heavy meal.

I often link St 36 with the reflex on the foot corresponding to the part of the digestive system that has been causing the most pain. For stomach bloating I place the middle finger of one hand on St 36 and the middle finger of the other hand on the stomach reflex and hold gently until I feel an energy balance. This could take a few minutes.

‘Energy balance’ is difficult to explain. Sometimes the feeling in the fingers will be a pulse, sometimes a vibration, whatever – when both fingers feel the same sensation a balance has been achieved. The same principle can be used with, say, the colon reflex or whatever seems appropriate for that particular client.
Other standard calming and relaxing moves should also be incorporated into the reflexology treatment. A short guided relaxation or meditation period before the treatment can be helful and work on the chakras will help release any deep seated emotional issues. Combined with dietary advice, all this makes reflexology an ideal therapy for managing IBS.


Steve said...

I have just found reports on two controlled trials that proved that reflexology doesn't make any difference to IBS.

Footloose said...

Hi Steve. Thanks for calling by my blog. You are right, the few trials of reflexology (and other complementary therapies) are often shown to be ineffective. I can only report from my own experience.

Anonymous said...

It depends who does the treatment and how much and how many times a day and weather the patient is ready for cure or not!!!
It also requires lots of councelling

Footloose said...

Yes, I agree, there are often emotional issues involved. And I believe training as a counsellor is a very useful skill for a reflexologist to aquire. Thank you for your comment.

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