Reflexology, Acupressure & Aromatherapy for Arthritis
Arthritis, as many people know, comes in two main varieties. Osteoarthritis causes painful and stiff joints accompanied by knobby overgrowth of bone at joints, originating from changes in cartilage. The second type, rheumatoid arthritis, is an inflammatory and autoimmune arthritis causing swelling, pain and deterioration of joints.
Reflexology can help lessen the inflammation, pain, stiffness, and swelling of joints. In the case of osteoarthritis, it can potentially reduce or prevent further bone growth at joints. One major benefit of Reflexology generally is that it stimulates the circulation both of blood and of lymph. Since blood and lymph vessels run throughout the entire body, a complete hand or foot treatment will be beneficial for arthritis. Extra attention given to the reflexes of the lymphatic system will help the body eliminate and detox the acidic cellular waste that puts extra stress on the joints and makes arthritis worse. This in turn strengthens the immune system. A Reflexology Therapist will focus on secondary reflexes in customizing an individual treatment for arthritis, which include: the liver (for detoxing), the urinary and digestive systems (for elimination), and the endocrine or glandular system (including adrenal gland reflexes to help reduce inflammation).
Acupressure and Aromatherapy can also be incorporated into the Reflexology treatment for additional benefit. The Reflexology Therapist stimulates key Acupressure points alongside the reflexes during a treatment. Finally, Aromatherapy can help lessen arthritis symptoms. Beneficial essential oils include Rosemary, Eucalyptus, Lemon and Juniper Berry. A few drops of individual essential oils or a blend can be applied to hands or feet, either pure or blended into lotion or oil. In this way, the core Reflexology treatment can be enhanced by Acupressure and Aromatherapy. Used together, these modalities give the Reflexology Therapist many options to customize both individual sessions and longer-term treatment plans, in order to lessen arthritis’s symptoms as well as to help minimize the severity of future flare-ups and the further degeneration of joints and bones.