Reiki, Massage, Reflexology & What's in your Personal Care Products
Can Reiki Help Your Chronic Pain?
This ancient Japanese touch therapy has shown real
results for managing chronic pain.
The practice of
Reiki sounds almost too good to be true. By "laying on hands" on
specific parts of your body or even just positioning hands slightly above your
body, a qualified Reiki practitioner can help bring relief to your chronic pain
and make you feel better than you
have in years. It is an ancient Japanese technique and a form of alternative
medicine also sometimes referred to as a "biofield" therapy.
In alternative medicine
, Reiki is a
treatment in which healing energy is channeled from the practitioner to the
patient to enhance energy and reduce stress, pain, and fatigue. Practitioners
say that it works by opening up a channel between healer and patient to
transfer energy — a Reiki healer restores the body both physically and
During a Reiki
session, muscles are relaxed, and energy flow is unblocked. This helps reduce
physical tension and pain. Anxiety and stress also are reduced, helping to
unblock and release emotional pain. Although you may not be completely
pain-free, you feel relaxed, refreshed, and better able to cope
with your condition.
Reiki and Chronic Pain: What the Research Shows
may sound very "new-agey,"
the effectiveness of this ancient treatment has been shown in some studies.
"A [recent] issue of the International
Journal of Behavioral Medicine
reviewed 66 clinical trials on
biofield therapies," says Julie Kusiak, MA, a Reiki practitioner in the
integrative medicine department at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich. The
authors of the review concluded that there was strong evidence that biofield
therapies help reduce the intensity of pain in general and moderate evidence
that these therapies help reduce the intensity of pain for people who are hospitalized
or who have cancer, Kusiak says.
In addition, Kusiak
says, a separate review article of 24 studies also showed that touch therapies
were successful in reducing pain. This review article noted that the studies
involving Reiki therapy seemed to have the most success.
When Reiki is
examined for its impact on more specific types of pain, the results seem to
hold up equally well. "Recent studies on Reiki therapy reflect a broad
spectrum of its benefit for pain relief," says Kusiak. "During
colonoscopy, Reiki treatment resulted in decreased anxiety and pain. With
abdominal hysterectomies, the women who had Reiki therapy both before and after
their procedures experienced lower anxiety and pain. Cancer patients being
treated with Reiki reported lower fatigue, less pain, less anxiety, and better
quality of life. And in a community of older adults, those who received Reiki
therapy were documented to have reduced pain, anxiety, and depression."
Another plus about
Reiki, adds Kusiak, is that it seems to be effective with very few side
effects. "No serious side effects or risks have been identified in the
medical literature on Reiki, and it is considered to be a very low-risk
intervention," she says. "Since Reiki is facilitated either with a
very light touch or with no touch — slightly off the body — it provides a
therapeutic option for those who are in pain or unable to be touched."
Seize the Daylight Savings Opportunity; Massage Therapy Can
Help Reduce Winter Blues
EVANSTON, Ill., Oct. 29,
People looking to fend off the winter blues may find relief by
integrating massage therapy into their health maintenance routine. Shorter days
and colder temperatures leave many Americans feeling depressed and lethargic,
yet studies show that regular massages improve mood and reset circadian
rhythms, leading to better sleep and more energy.
Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, is recognised as a major depressive
disorder with seasonal patterns. A less severe form of seasonal mood disorder,
known as the winter blues, impacts an even larger portion of the population.
Combined, the two disorders affect as many as one in five Americans and may be
aggravated by the change to Daylight Savings Time. Symptoms include
reduced energy, difficulty rising in the morning and a tendency to eat more,
especially sweets and starches. "As we approach the colder, darker months, massage therapy may be
an effective method of deflecting common seasonal challenges," said Jeff
Smoot, President of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA).
"Massage benefits the way our bodies react to negative influences, whether
that's weather, anxieties or disorders."
A growing body of research is documenting the impact of massage therapy
for relief of anxiety and depression for people in a wide range of health
situations. For example, in a controlled study composed of HIV-positive
adolescents, participants who received massage therapy reported feeling less
anxious and less depressed by the end of the 12-week study.
A randomized study found women with stage 1 and 2 breast cancer
benefited from regular massage therapy sessions. The immediate massage
benefits included reduced anxiety, depressed mood and anger while the long-term
impact reduced depression and increased serotonin values. Serotonin,
a neurotransmitter with functions in various parts of the body, works to
regulate mood, appetite, sleep, memory and learning. Massage therapy was
also found to improve sleep, specifically by assisting with circadian rhythms,
or the body clock. A study investigating the effects of massage therapy on the
adjustment of rest to activity, as well as melatonin secretion rhythms in
full-term infants, found massage therapy enhanced coordination of the
Research on Reflexology
From the moment the reflexologist’s hands start their work, the relaxation begins. Measuring real-time as reflexology is applied, an EEG shows that the brain immediately goes into a more relaxed state as reflexology work commences.
A single reflexology session reduces the onset of pain as well as Those who received a single reflexology session were more able to forestall the perception of pain when hands were immersed in ice water and were able to withstand the pain for a longer period of time.
Pain reduction following reflexology work is documented in 27 studies including research showing impact on individuals of all ages and health states: birthing mothers; menstruating women; sinusitis, phantom limb and lower back pain sufferers; diabetes, cancer and kidney stone patients; senior citizens and individuals with pain following surgery.
Amelioration of Symptoms from Health Concerns A survey of 169 studies from 21 countries found reflexology to be 80% effective in its testing over 78 disorders. Good results were produced as symptoms were ameliorated for health concerns stemming from tension (e. g. elevated blood pressure, anxiety, constipation, headaches, labor times for the pregnant) and pain relief. Further responses (e. g. for those with asthma, diabetes, cholesterol, incontinence) were found to require an appropriate number and frequency of sessions. Research shows reflexology provided by a partner or self-help application bolsters the reflexologist’s efforts and/or is beneficial research using advanced technology shows specific reflexology work impacts specific parts of the brain and body.
Reflexology helps many where nothing else can: phantom limb pain sufferers, neuropathy patients, and hemodialysis patients to name a few. Helping Your Body Work Better Research using advanced technology shows specific reflexology work impacts specific parts of the brain and body.
There are reasons why reflexology gets results and improvement in blood flow is seen as one of them. Studies measuring blood flow in the brain using fMRI technology found that reflexology applied to a reflex area in the foot increased blood flow in the part of the brain related to that part of the body (e. g. intestine reflex area and intestines). Doppler sonogram measurements showed improved blood flow to the intestines when technique was applied to the intestine reflex area as well as with technique applied to the kidney reflex area and the kidneys. Such research provides explanation for studies showing the positive impact of reflexology applied over time on constipation and kidney function.
Research shows that reflexology influences measurements of the body’s functions. Research provides an objective yardstick to measure reflexology’s effects and explain its benefits with measurements of blood pressure and cholesterol as well as those indicated by ECG, EEG, fMRI and Doppler sonogram (heart activity, brain activity, blood flow to the brain and blood flow within the body.)
Adjunct to Mental Health Care In addition, women in need of emotional support, hospice residents, and individuals with severe and enduring mental health problems were helped by reflexology work. Following reflexology work, chemotherapy patients showed improvements in: pain, nausea, vomiting, and/or anxiety. Beneficial for Post-operative Pain Reduction and Recovery Fifteen studies demonstrate post-operative recovery improvements: reduced pain, lessened use of post operative pain killers.
What's in your Personal Care Products
Is Your Bathroom Poisoning You ?
Is your home the biggest
environmental hazard to your good health? Between cosmetics, perfumes, personal
care products and feminine hygiene products, the average woman uses 12 products
containing 168 man-made toxic chemicals every day, whilst men typically only
use 6 personal care products daily containing 85 man-made toxic chemicals
according to research published by The Environmental Working Group.
use of toxic commercial body-care products is the NUMBER ONE reason why women
typically have TWICE as much man-made chemical
toxins in their body than men! If you go to your bathroom, flip the bottles
you use around and look at the ingredients, can you even pronounce them?
ingredients to evict from your Bathroom and Toilet Bag:
known Class A carcinogen (cause of cancer) banned in Japan and Sweden.
- Increases levels of the toxic form of oestrogen which lies behind many cancers
like breast cancer, testicular cancer, colon and prostate
cancer. Also lowers sperm count.
- Banned in the EU, but still in toiletries – they damage the liver,
kidneys, lungs and reproductive system -especially developing testes.
- Another plastic-based oestrogen mimic.
Lauryl Sulphate (SLS)
- Skin irritant, stops hair growth, can cause cataracts in adults.
- A neurotoxin that can damage the liver, disrupt your hormones and cause
- Associated to dementias.
in industrial anti-freeze, robs your skin of moisture and causes your skin to
known carcinogenic and has been linked to an increased risk of ovarian
and endometrial cancer and general urinary tract disorders.
petro-chemical toxic cocktail linked to allergies and breathing difficulties –
26 of the most commonly used chemicals are on the EU hit list for being
/ xytol / dimethylbenzene
- Damage your liver, and causes skin and respiratory tract irritation.
- Diethanolamine, also
Tri- and Mono- (DEA, TEA and MEA
- Cancer causing
- Pre-sensitises the skin to the harmful effects of Ultra Violet
- Triclosan sometimes
listed as 5-chloro-2 (2,4-dichlorophenoxy) phenol
- Breakz down in water to create a member of the dioxin family, a proven
carcinogen. Serious concerns are under investigation right now.
- Implicated in numerous bladder cancer cases in California. But where does all this Toxic rubbish
come from? And why is it put in products in the first place?
- 1: Formaldehyde
known Class A carcinogen it is used as a disinfectant, fixative, germicide
and preservative in a wide variety of products from deodorants to liquid soaps,
and from nail varnish to shampoos. Also known as formalin, formal and methyl
aldehyde, it has been linked in research to lung cancer and leukaemia. It
can also be sourced from chipboard and ceiling and floor tile glues. It can
damage DNA, irritate the eyes, upper respiratory tract and mucous membrane, and
may cause asthma and headaches. It is banned in Japan and Sweden.
- 2: Parabens
Listed as alkyl parahydroxy benzoates -butyl/methyl/ethyl/ propyl/
isobutyl parabens on products such as some toothpastes,
moisturisers and deodorants. They are used as a preservative but, like
phthalates, can act as oestrogen mimics. Research suggests that mimics can
increase levels of active oestrogens in the body – oestrogen lies behind many
cancers like breast cancer, testicular cancer, colon and
prostate cancer. Xenoestrogens, as these chemical oestrogens are termed,
have also been linked to reductions in sperm count.
- 3: Phthalates
referred to as “gender benders”, these are a family of industrial
plasticisers already banned in the EU from being used in plastic toys, but
still widely found in plastic bottles and plastic cups. If the
contents is heated, the heat can further denature the plastic causing a greater
release – forever. Phthalates can be absorbed through the skin,
inhaled as fumes and ingested in liquids and contaminated food, and even
via breastfeeding. They are xenoestrogens, or oestrogen mimics. They can be
found in shampoos, shower gels, and even your posh mountain fresh water
bottles. Also found in hairsprays, top-selling perfumes and nail
varnishes. Animal studies have shown they can damage the liver, kidneys, lungs
and reproductive system -especially developing testes. THEY
ARE BANNED IN THE EU FROM BEING USED IN PLASTIC TOYS, BUT ARE STILL IN our
- 4: Bisphenol
A (a plasticiser)Found
in plastics, the white linings inside cans, and babies bottles. Recent Canadian
research turned BPA up in cans of fizzy soft drinks too. Banned in Canada, and
in toys for the under 3´s in California, BPA is another plastic-based oestrogen
- 5: Sodium
Lauryl Sulphate (SLS)is
one of the ingredients in many a shampoo, bubble bath, liquid soap etc. Why,
when it is a known skin irritant, stops hair growth, can cause cataracts in
adults, damage childrens eye development and cause urinary tract infection? Because
its cheap and produces lots of bubbles when mixed with salt. Hardly
compensation! Sodium Laureth Ether Sulphate (SLES) is a
slightly less irritant form of SLS, but may cause more drying. Both can lead to
potentially carcinogenic cocktails of nitrites and dioxins forming in shampoos
and cleansers, by reacting with other ingredients. SLS actually increases the
permeability of the skin by about 40 per cent. Skin is not a barrier – it´s a
carrier. If anyone tells you otherwise, ask them how HRT and nicotine patches
- 6: Toluene
common solvent found in nail enamels, hair gels, hair spray, and perfumes. It
is a neurotoxin and oestrogen mimic and can damage the liver, disrupt the
endocrine system and cause asthma.
- 7: Fluoride
America toothpaste labels clearly warn about fluoride use. Consider
carefully this warning: ´As in all fluoride toothpastes, keep out of
the reach of children under 6 years of age. If you accidentally swallow more
than used for brushing, seek professional assistance or contact a Poison
Control Centre immediately´. Fluoride is even added to mouthwash. It
probably does no good at all if you are over 35 and the FDA has stated that it
should be avoided by pregnant women. Some states in America have started
banning fluoride from water supplies.
- 8: Propylene
cosmetic form of mineral oil (refined crude oil) used in
industrial anti-freeze. People handling it are warned by the manufacturer to
avoid skin contact and wear respirators and rubber gloves etc, and yet this is
a major ingredient in most moisturisers, skin creams, baby wipes and sun
screens. Why? Its cheap and gives the “glide” factor in body lotions – but is
in fact robbing lower layers of skin of moisture. Lanolin and collagen can also
clog pores and cause skin to age faster than if nothing was used.
- 9: Talc
recognised as carcinogenic and has been linked to an increased risk of ovarian
and endometrial cancer and general urinary tract disorders. On some baby powder
tins it actually says, Do not use near mouth or nose! The distant cousin of
asbestos, so dont dust it on your babys, or anyone elses, bottom! And certainly
not near your mouth and nose – of course it is in make-up face packs and
- 10: Parfum/perfume
typical cosmetic can contain up to 150 chemicals in the perfume alone! 95 per
cent of these chemicals are synthetic compounds derived from petroleum -26 of
which are on an EU hit list. Fragrances have been linked to allergies and
breathing difficulties and they penetrate the skin. The ingredients do not legally
have to be declared. Avoid all skin contact with fragrances.
- 11: Xylene
also listed, for example, as xytol or dimethylbenzene on
nail varnish bottles. It can damage your liver, is narcotic in high
concentrations and causes skin and respiratory tract irritation.
- 12: Diethanolamine
also Tri- and Mono- (DEA, TEA and MEA) are absorbed through skin where
they accumulate. If found in products also containing nitrates, they react and
form nitrosamines, which are carcinogenic.
- 13: Retinyl
palmitate (synthetic vitamin a)Is
found in many skin creams, skin lotions and sunscreens. There is a growing body
of research expressing concern that, far from helping with skin damage or
protecting against sunburn, this either pre-sensitises the skin to the harmful
effects of Ultra Violet rays in sunshine or is actually carcinogenic where in
sunlight! The FDA is reviewing concerns that this may actually cause more skin
- 14: Triclosan
listed as 5-chloro-2 (2,4-dichlorophenoxy) phenol, is
an antibacterial agent in deodorants, toothpastes, vaginal washes and
mouthwashes. Toxic dioxins are produced during its manufacture or incineration.
It is stored in breast.tissue. There
are so many Natural products for both personal use and for your home and are
available from your local health food store, The Body Shop and from Neil’s
Yard. Many supermarkets now stock Ecover
and Method natural products which are better for you and for our environment. We
feel better, cleaner and more alive when we reduce our toxin exposure on all
levels, by using natural products, eating clean and/or organic foods, drinking
pure mineral water reduces toxin overload in our systems.