When I was getting my Master’s in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (MAcOM) from the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine (OCOM), you could choose between two different bodywork tracks - Tuina and Shiatsu. There was a minimum requirement to complete, but if you liked the bodywork aspect of Chinese Medicine, you could complete the full courseload towards attaining a separate and additional certification in Asian Bodywork, should you desire. I absolutely loved it. I completed the full Tuina course, did two (extra!) internships in the OCOM Massage Clinic and completed the Foot Reflexology addendum.
I have always included bodywork in all of my Acupuncture sessions from day one, therefore, and Foot Reflexology especially. I find that Foot Reflexology is a powerful tool that can be used to greatly enhance Acupuncture results and can be very fruitful alone. In fact, I’ve had excellent results treating Headache and Constipation especially using Foot Reflexology only for the needle shy.
Hence - the post you are reading right now! How does reflexology for headache work? What part of the foot do you focus on for headache specifically any why? Read on to learn more.
Reflexology for Headache
Headache is one of my favorite things to treat using Foot Reflexology. Why? Because headaches often have several components to them and can have many triggers - stress primary among them.
In Chinese Medicine headaches are often tied to disturbance of the Heart (energetically, not physically!) and Gall Bladder with underlying causes in the Kidney, Liver and Spleen. Don’t worry - if you suffer from cluster headaches, migraine headaches, tension headaches or any other there isn’t necessarily anything physically wrong with these organs, these are simply the energetic organs that tie to, or have direct energetic channel lines on, the face and head.
Through the feet, not only can we treat each of these organs and energies in the body by applying pressure to organ-specific reflex zones, we can also treat the head itself by massaging the “head” zone on the feet! Foot Reflexology can improve circulation, improve detoxification and support lymphatic flow. Plus, Foot Reflexology is VERY RELAXING so if there is a tension trigger to your headache, that headache better watch out, yo! A good reflex treatment in the feet can melt that tension right away.
Where is the “Headache” Reflex Zone on the Feet?
Your feet are a map of the entire body as if you were looking at the soles of your feet side by side with the big toes up. That means the Left side of the body is represented on the Left foot and the Right side of the body is represented on the Right foot. Everything that is midline to the body is in the middle where your feet are touching or side by side.
The Head? Why at the top of course - The Big Toes. If you’ve ever had anyone really massage your big toes you know there is something special about it. It sounds odd, but it feels great and everything head and neck related (forehead, nose, thyroid, top of head, temples, etc.) is represented on the big toe and the “neck” of your toe where the toe connects to the metatarsal area.
In addition to treating the organs listed above, therefore, depending on the underlying energetic reason for your headache (something an Acupuncturist can diagnose for you), special attention is always given to the big toes when treating headache in Foot Reflexology.
Is Foot Reflexology in China Different than in the US? How do you practice Foot Reflexology in Portland?
Yes. In China, Foot Reflexology has two specific differences, in my personal opinion:
I personally believe that the physiological stress response associated with pain has a negative effect on therapeutic benefit, so I always seek “comfortable tolerance” when it comes to depth and pressure for maximal results.
Headache be Gone with Foot Reflexology!
I really think the best combination for treating Headache is a combination of Acupuncture, Chinese Herbs and Foot Reflexology. With this trifecta, you can treat all kinds of headaches physically, energetically, internally and externally with amazing results.
If you have questions or want to know more please don’t hesitate to call or email me any time. You can book online 24/7 using the “Book Now” button at the top of the page!
Until next time,
I often send patients to WebMD if they want a relatively reliable perspective from “Dr. Google” on an injury or illness as they seek to be proactive in their care (yay!). As I was reviewing some of their information on whiplash, I was very surprised to read that from a Western research perspective, the two most important indicators of recovery from neck pain after a car accident, are pain level on a scale of 1-10 at 3 weeks past injury and a patient’s expectations of recovery.
Did you know that patients who expect to recover fully are 4 times more likely to do so than patients who do not according to over a dozen research studies? Fascinating.
The reality of these findings does not surprise me, however - research confirming them and being published on WebMD does! I often tell my patients that even if they feel fine, they should come in for treatment immediately after any car accident and continue for at least a month because in private practice, I have always found that the worst pain from a car accident hits between the 10-15 day mark. This is often unexpected for the patient, but reliable to me as the practitioner.
Inspired by this article, however, here is how I believe Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine can help you whip the whiplash for good and help you, and those you love, ensure that you are in the group of people who fully expect to recover and therefore do!
Whiplash - Why Acupuncture?
Whiplash is a horrible experience. The neck pain, stiffness, headaches, impact on your home and work life - you don’t fully realize all the things that a pain-free neck allows you to do until you have a painful one. When even washing your hair or putting on a shirt hurts, it becomes rather eye opening.
Acupuncture as part of Chinese Medicine is an excellent treatment for whiplash and car accident pain for a whole host of reasons. Here is the short list:
In short - Acupuncture is part of Chinese Medicine which includes Chinese bodywork therapies. Typically, when treating whiplash or any car accident pain or injury, Acupuncture is combined with Cupping, Gua Sha, Tuina and heat therapies such as Moxa or a heat lamp to treat the injury from as many angles as possible towards generating effective and efficient pain reduction and functional improvement. Truly, an arsenal of modalities are available and a competent practitioner will use as many as possible to help you feel better fast and maintain that feeling long term!
Whiplash - How to Whip it for Good!
Okay - Acupuncture is good for pain, whiplash included. How do we use it to its best ability to make sure that the collective “we” are in that upper eschalon that rates their pain low at the 3 week mark and believes they are going to recover fully? It goes right back to the first statement I made at the beginning of this article: GET IN IMMEDIATELY.
There is no such thing as too much Acupuncture. Traditionally in China you would come in for 10 treatments in 10 days and then reassess for any illness or injury. Furthermore, you would continue getting regular “maintenance” treatments for general health and wellness every month, so even if you are perfectly fine Acupuncture is good to help you prevent colds and flus, reduce stress and manage pain. So when you are injured, there is no reason not to come right away - even if you aren’t experiencing a highly increased level of pain immediately after an accident.
If you experience the “whiplash wave” motion, there is a chance whiplash pain could hit anywhere from 10 days to 2 weeks after the accident - be proactive and come in for treatment as soon as possible after a car accident, and continue weekly for at least one month. By getting ahead of any possible pain that might settle into your body post treatment, you will be highly likely to be part of that group that (A) experiences a low level of pain at the 3 week mark and (B) believes they can make a full recovery because hey, if you’ve been coming in for treatment this whole time, by 3 weeks you should be a long way towards recovery already!
As you’ll already be well on your way and be in the hands of an experienced provider, you will be in an excellent position for your whiplash to truly be a thing of the past in a reasonable period of time! I also strongly advocate for all my motor vehicle accident patients to pursue Physical Therapy in conjunction with Acupuncture because they make such an excellent tandem treatment. The Acupuncture helps to reduce the pain of the injury and the pain sometimes associated with working through constricture and injury with a PT, meaning that recovery on all fronts goes that much faster and lasts that much longer!
In a Car Accident? Book in immediately!
So if you or someone you love has been in a car accident, book in immediately! I generally prefer to see my car accident pain patients for 90 minute sessions because it gives us more time to incorporate cupping, gua sha and Tuina massage techniques - and your PIP insurance will cover the treatments 100%, so if time allows it is worthwhile to do 90 minute sessions for at least the first 3 weeks if not 4. If time doesn’t allow, however, that is just fine - all treatment will do its work to help you recover on many levels at much faster rate than going it alone or pursuing Acupuncture-free recovery.
If you have questions or want to know more please don’t hesitate to call or email me any time. You can book online 24/7 and if you’re in an accident, you should book it for the first appointment available of any length you can find. Faster treatment = faster recovery, I guarantee!
Until next time,
Thousands of years ago the Imperial Physician in China was tasked with all things health and wellness related for the Emperor and Empress - aches, pains, colds, flus, fertility, vigor, focus and yes - appearance. To rule a nation one had to appear as youthful and strong as possible and, since each Emperor wanted his dynasty to last forever, both actual longevity and the appearance of youth to maintain the confidence of the people was of tantamount importance.
In China this meant a combination of Acupuncture, Herbs, Massage, Gua Sha, Cupping, Dietary and Lifestyle advice - all the tools Licensed Acupuncturists still employ in tandem today to help YOU stay healthy for the long term!
In the realm of natural anti aging specifically however, in addition to Acupuncture, herbs were not only taken internally to support the constitution and maintain health, but also used externally as masques to prevent visible aging and turn back the hands of time when needed.
One of the truly lovely things about Chinese Medicine and Chinese Herbology specifically, is that FOOD is MEDICINE both internally and externally. Here, therefore are my five favorite Chinese herbal facial masques to help prevent and reverse aging using ingredients you can easily get at your local health food store or asian market. If all else fails, Amazon surely has what you need in stock!
5 DIY Chinese Herbal Masques - Natural Remedies for Anti Aging
Most of these require the use of a cloth masque - you boil a tea and then soak the tea in the cloth masque, apply cloth masque to face. If you don’t have a cloth masque, you can easily make one with an old t-shirt or just use gauze.
**To use a T-Shirt - cut out a circle that is the size of your face and under chin area - you can extend all the way to the collar bone to encompass the “decollette” area if you like. Soak in tea, apply!
**To use gauze - pick up some large squares or a roll of gauze in the first aid department of the drug store. Open enough packages, or cut enough strips, to cover the face. Soak in tea, apply!
Anti Aging Facial Masque Ingredients and Indications:
Contact Rebecca for More Information - See Her at New Seasons This Month for More Anti Aging Tricks!
For the ultimate in anti aging therapies, Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture is your best holistic natural anti aging face treatment. Encompassing thousands of years of Chinese Medicine knowledge, your personal constitution is assessed and specific techniques are applied to your individual concerns to turn back the hands of time. Expression lines, fine lines, deep lines, complexion concerns, are all addressed using a combination of highly individual Acupuncture, herbal, massage and home therapies that not only treat your appearance, but also your internal physical and energetic self to optimize health and wellness.
In Chinese Medicine, the face cannot be divorced from the rest of the body. The energetic channels represented there include Stomach, Bladder, Gall Bladder, Large Intestine, Conception Vessel, and stimulating them stimulates and balances the internal organs while we are treating those pesky signs of aging. It is a quite a bit more than skin deep!
As for the information above, all of these herbs can also be taken internally in capsule form, or cooked and consumed as tea. Yes, even rose! So don’t hesitate to use them both internally and externally if they match your constitution.
If you want to more, please peruse my website, facebook page or pinterest page. Better yet - contact me! You can contact me via email anytime or schedule an appointment or free consultation (phone or in person) online 24/7.
You can also catch me in person at New Seasons in February for a lecture on Chinese Medicine Facial Rejuvenation and Anti Aging - see dates below. Email email@example.com to sign up for these **FREE** classes or call the wellness class hotline at 503-280-5177. I hope to see you there!
Until next time,
The Year of the Ram starts February 19th, 2015 and with it a new and inspiring Lunar New Year!
2014, the Year of the Horse, seemed to bring challenges for many but the Year of Ram should promise new direction. As a Wood element year, its a great time for creative passions to manifest - so if you have a project waiting on the back burner for inspiration to strike, expect it to come soon! The Ram itself is known as sensitive, considerate and honest so we can expect 2015 to also be a year of personal growth and self discovery.
As a seasonal energetic medicine, Acupuncture is an excellent way to harmonize the body with the seasons, not to mention a proven method for reducing pain, increasing energy, improving digestion and reducing stress!
To ring in the Year of the Ram I am offering a 3 Treatment Special for the month of February - purchase a package of 3 one-hour Acupuncture sessions for $200 instead of $231! A great way to save some funds while meeting your deductible if needed, OR an excellent gift for a friend.
Click the button below to purchase online via my "gift certificate" service. If you're purchasing it for yourself, just gift it to you! This offer is available all month (as many as you'd like to bank!) until February 28th.
Rebecca M H Kitzerow is a Licensed Acupuncturist practicing in La Center, Washington. With over a decade of experience she has won 10 Nattie consumer choice awards from Natural Awakenings Magazine since 2014.