VRT Membership Newsletter
1, Vertical Reflex Therapy and Cramp by Lynne Booth Winter 2008
2. Vertical Reflex Therapy and Bell's Palsy by Lynne Booth Summer 2008
Each quarter we reprint an article from the current newsletter
Vertical Reflex Therapy and Cramp by Lynne Booth Winter 2008
How many of your clients, young and old, occasionally suffer from cramp when you are treating them? Many people report excruciating cramps at night often in their calf, or a foot, that causes them considerable pain, can result in insomnia and also may disturb the sleep of a partner..
Cramps are often caused by a lack of potassium, resulting in an electrolytic imbalance. Strenuous exercise with sweating and diarrhoea or other bowel disease may cause loss of potassium and other important minerals. It is very important to replace them with supplements. Some people get leg cramps at night for no apparent reason. This is called Restless Leg Syndrome.
A definition of muscle cramp:
Cramp happens when an involuntarily, and forcibly contracted muscle, does not relax. When we use the muscles, such as those of our arms and legs, that can voluntarily be controlled, they alternately contract and relax as we move our limbs. A muscle (or even a few fibres of a muscle) that involuntarily) contracts is called a "spasm." If the spasm is forceful and sustained, it becomes a cramp. Muscle cramps can last anywhere from a few seconds to a quarter of an hour, and occasionally longer. It is not uncommon for a cramp to recur multiple times until it finally goes away. The cramp may involve a part of a muscle, the entire muscle, or several muscles that usually act together, such as those that flex adjacent fingers. Muscle cramps are very common and become increasingly frequent with age. Any muscle under voluntary control (skeletal muscle) can cramp. The legs and feet, and particularly the calf are especially subject to cramps.
Cramping often comes while you are exercising.
• Keep hydrated. As you sweat, you lose important electrolytes, which are needed to prevent cramps.
• Warm up for 10-15 minutes before exercising. This will stretch out the muscles you will be using.
• A mineral deficiency of calcium and/or magnesium is probably the most frequent cause of night leg cramping.
• Acupressure: To stop leg/foot cramping, firmly press on the upper lip or point between middle of lip and nose. This is the meridian which is connected to the legs and feet.
• Some people support the old wives’ tale of putting corks in the bed!
VRT Nail-working “Toe Pinch” aims to help stop cramp anywhere in the body.
I hope you will experiment with the following techniques and report back to Booth VRT so we can share your findings in the next newsletter. If a client experiences cramp: immediately pinch the base of their big toe or thumb and hold centre nail-on-nail for 30 – 40 seconds. I have been experimenting for a year and it can sometimes almost instantaneously release a cramp. Repeat on the other foot or hand.
For self-help ideally hold the each thumb nail in turn and then squeeze the base of each thumb.
Bell’s Palsy – Facial Paralysis by Lynne Booth Summer 2008
Many reflexologists will see this condition in the course of their career but the information below could mean the difference between disfiguration for life and full recovery. Act immediately!
Definition: Paralysis of the facial nerve, the nerve that supplies the facial muscles on one side of the face. Bell's palsy is also called facial nerve paralysis.
The cause of facial nerve paralysis is often not known, but is thought to be due to a virus. The facial nerve is the 7th cranial nerve.
The disease typically starts suddenly and causes paralysis of the muscles of the side of the face on which the facial nerve is affected.
Treatment is directed toward protecting the eye on the affected side from dryness during sleep. Massage of affected muscles can reduce soreness. Sometimes prednisone is given to reduce inflammation during the first weeks of illness.
The prognosis (outlook) with Bell's palsy is generally good. About 80% of patients recover within weeks to months. Conversely, about 20% of patients do less well.
The condition was originally described in 1830 by the great Scottish-born anatomist and neurologist Sir Charles Bell (1774- 1842). The word "palsy" is a corruption (and contracture) of the French word "paralysie" which means "paralysis."
Letter 1 Bell's Palsy: I have an interesting client at the moment who has a 9 month old son (says she didn't sleep for the first 7 months) and she developed Bell's Palsy following the birth. I have mentioned this to a friend of mine who said, years ago in Yorkshire, her friend also developed Bell's Palsy after having had a baby and she was very worried and thought she had suffered a stroke - when she went to the doc, doc confirmed it was Bell's Palsy but also said she was the second new mum to see him with the same condition in a week. I am interested to see if there is a trend here.
My client's baby was IVF and she is coming to me in the hope that reflexology will help her conceive naturally but she is finding that the Bell's Palsy seems to be improving so I will keep you posted. From C.C.
Letter 2 Bell’s Palsy: I have taken on an interesting case I would appreciate your help with. A lady of 55 developed Bell's Palsy some 10 years ago. After suffering with the problem for some two years, she had a course of reflexology treatments with moderate success. Her facial muscles remained very relaxed on one side of her face though although there was generally good relief from the pain.
It is now 10 years since she developed the disease and she would like to begin having some reflexology treatments again. She says she is having increased pain which at times is intolerable. I am hoping VRT treatments will be more successful than the general reflexology treatments she had before. Any advice you can offer me before I begin treating this client will be very helpful. From G.L.
Lynne replies: Bell’s Palsy, at the time of birth, is more common than people think and the absolute essential action with this condition is to treat it asap, ie within hours of onset if possible. Acupuncture is always highly recommended as another alternative to reflexology. Homoeopathic Aconite potency 6 is sometimes indicated as a homeopathic remedy but do seek advice from a qualified homeopath. A many faceted approach is best for Bell’s Palsy including facial exercises. Sometimes the doctor will prescribe steroid injections but often won’t do this to a mother who will be breastfeeding. In many cases, the majority, people with Bell’s Palsy will naturally recover over a period of weeks and for this reason many GPs tell their patients to just wait to recover naturally. However, for the small majority that don’t recover it can be a painful and devastating time due to the possibility of permanent disfigurement. That is why acupuncturists and reflexologists recommend treatment at once. I would never advise anyone to “wait and see” if they recover naturally as, if the don’t, they have lost valuable days or weeks in regaining feeling in the nerve. Acupuncturists and reflexologists stress the need to get to treat the client at once. However, a lot of help can be given at a later stage too.
Method: Reflexologists should concentrate working round the cranial nerves reflexes on the weight-bearing toes, neck and head reflexes, adrenals for inflammation – plus eye and all facial reflexes below the big toe nail.
VRT will enhanced the treatment of these reflexes and you can clients homework to work their weight-bearing hands several times per day. Physiotherapists can give their patients facial exercises (usually practised when the client is looking in a mirror).
N.B. If you have a client with long standing Bell’s Palsy they can supplement the reflexology help given above with lots of self-help VRT daily plus they can seek medical advice below regarding electronic stimulation machines. Do consult the website below for excellent information. .
Diana Farragher (Cheshire),www.dianafarragher.co.uk, has pioneered electronic stimulation work for facial paralyse and has written a book called Loss of Face that can be obtained via her website. She is one of the absolute expects on this condition. DMI Medical Ltd sell an electronic stimulator for facial nerve paralysis but medical advice should be sought first.
DMI Medical Ltd., Medical Supplies,
Unit 1, Rosebridge Court, Rosebridge Way, Wigan, Lancashire, WN1 3DP
Tel: 01942 238259
Details: Diana Farragher OBE MSc. Grad Dip Phys. Dip TP. FCSP. is a chartered physiotherapist. She has specialised in the use of Trophic Electrical stimulation, particularly for the treatment of facial paralysis, since 1981. In that time she has lectured internationally to patients and health professionals to raise awareness of the issues involved in treating this patient group.
The Lindens Clinic, in Manchester, is an internationally established centre of excellence for the treatment of facial paralysis and regularly welcomes patients from throughout Europe. They also have a satellite centre in Aberdeen, for consultations. For further details or more medical background please contact head office on 0161 718 8620
The Lindens Clinic, 214 Washway Road, Sale, Cheshire, M33 4RA
The Lindens Clinic, Balmedie, Aberdeen, Scotland, AB23 8XR Tel: 0161 718 8620
Trophic Electrical Stimulation (TES) is applied to muscle with the specific purpose of influencing its metabolic pathway. It helps the body in the natural healing process and prevents or reverses the changes associated with atrophy. Basically it helps with the nutritional growth and development of the muscle. It operates on frequencies similar to those used by the healthy nerve and therefore operates on both the red/slow and white/fast muscle fibres.
Diana uses treatment units that are designed to be used at home supplemented by three monthly visits to the therapist for review on the treatments progress.
A Loss of Face is a self help manual written by Diana which explains the mechanisms underlying facial nerve function following damage, the use of TES, specific exercises etc. It also includes a useful section of patients own accounts of their facial paralysis and treatment.
The book is available from Diana for a cost of £11.90 (sterling) inc. p&p.