Reflexology - some common remedies

Never use them as substitutes for your prescribed medicines.  Always ask your doctor if in doubt.

Acne – Massage reflex areas – solar plexus, lung, thyroid, pituitary, intestines, kidneys, adrenals and liver. 

Arthritis – Massage reflex areas – whole foot, spine, parathyroids, solar plexus, kidneys and adrenals. 

Backache – Massage reflex areas – solar plexus, spine, shoulder, neck and sciatic. 

Colds – Massage reflex areas – solar plexus, lung, bronchial, thyroid, shoulder, oesophagus, pituitary, stomach, spleen, ileocecal valve, intestines, duodenum, adrenals and liver. 

Headache – Massage reflex areas – solar plexus, shoulder, neck, thyroid, spine, pituitary, brain, sinuses, pancreas, ileocecal valve, intestines, adrenals and sciatic. 

Knee Pain – Massage reflex areas – spine, shoulder, sciatic and elbow. 

Neck Pain – Massage reflex areas – solar plexus, shoulder, neck, toes and adrenals. 

Shoulder Pain – Massage reflex areas – solar plexus, lung, shoulder, neck and spine. 

Aromatherapy - some common remedies

For External Use Only.  Never use them as substitutes for your prescribed medicines.  Always ask your doctor if in doubt.

Muscle Strain/Stiffness – 5 drops eucalyptus, 5 drops peppermint and 5 drops rosemary into 1 tablespoon of carrier oil. Massage.

Dandruff – 1 drop cedar, 1 drop rosemary and 2 drops tea tree into 1 tablespoon olive oil. Massage.

Itch – 1 drop eucalyptus and 1 drop tea tree into 1 teaspoon carrier oil. Dab.

Sunburn – 4 drops lavender and 2 drops peppermint into 4 ounces water. Mix and apply.

Headache – 1 drop peppermint into 1 teaspoon carrier oil. Massage.

Stomachache – 7 drops peppermint into 1 tablespoon carrier oil. Massage.

Bad Breath – 2 drops fennel, 2 drops lavender and 2 drops peppermint into 1 glass of warm water. Gargle and rinse mouth. Do not ingest.

Flatulence – 5 drops fennel/peppermint into 1 tablespoon carrier oil. Massage.

Foot Odour – 3 drops lavender, 3 drops peppermint, 3 drops rosemary and 2 drops tea tree into sufficient amount of water. Soak feet for 10 minutes.

Cold and Cough – 2 drops eucalyptus, 2 drops peppermint, 2 drops lemon and 2 drops rosemary into 1 ladle of hot water. Inhale.

Aromatherapy - some common oils

Eucalyptus essential oil

Properties: Anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, decongestant, deodorant, antiseptic, antibacterial, and stimulating.

Health benefits: Useful in the treatment of respiratory problems, wounds, muscle pain, mental exhaustion, dental care, skin care, diabetes, fever, and intestinal germs.

Lavender essential oil

Properties: Calming, sleep inducing, analgesic, disinfectant, antiinflammatory, antiseptic, and antifungal.

Health benefits: Beneficial for treatment of issues with the nervous system, insomnia, pain relief, urine flow, respiratory disorders, skin care, hair care, blood circulation, indigestion, and immune system health.

Peppermint essential oil

Properties: Analgesic, anaesthetic, antiseptic, antigalactogogue, antiphlogistic, antispasmodic, astringent, carminative, cephalic, cholagogue, cordial, decongestant, emenagogue, expectorant, febrifuge, hepatic, nervine, stimulant, stomachic, sudorific, vasoconstrictor and as a vermifuge.

Health benefits: Used in the treatment of pain relief, as a way to induce numbness, protect against sepsis, reduce milk flow and discharge, relax spasm, strengthen gums, stop hair loss, and lifts skin. Also, it induces firmness in muscles, stops hemorrhaging, removes gas, is good for brain and memory health, and promotes bile discharge, clears congestion and eases breathing. Furthermore, peppermint essential oil relieves obstructed menstruation, expels phlegm & catarrh, reduces fever, is good for the liver, nerves, and stomach, while promoting perspiration and slight contraction of the blood vessels

Rosemary essential oil

Properties: For stimulating hair growth, and as a disinfectant, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, carminative, antibacterial, and analgesic substance.

Health benefits: Useful in terms of hair care, skin care, mouth care, anxiety, mental disorders, depression, pain, headache, rheumatism, respiratory problems, bronchial asthma, indigestion, and flatulence.

Nutmeg essential oil

Properties: Analgesic, antiemetic, antioxidant, antirheumatic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, and antiparasitic. It is also used as an aphrodisiac, cardiac, vermifuge, laxative, prostaglandin inhibitor, stimulant and a tonic.

Health benefits: To relieve pain, stop vomiting, counter premature aging, treat rheumatism and arthritis, and to protect wounds from developing sepsis. It also reduces spasms, kills parasites and worms, enhances libido, improves heart health, clears bowels, and stops prostrate enlargement.

Sweet Almond carrier oil

Contains vitamins A, B1, B2, B6 and E and is particularly suited for nourishing the skin and moisturising eczema. Vitamin E is one of the most powerful natural antioxidants helping to combat the emergence of free radicals and other damaging elements in the skin. Sweet almond oil is water dispersible and can even be used with or without essential oils as a convenient and highly beneficial bath oil.

Grapeseed carrier oil

It is a light, gentle oil that is high in linoleic acid and vitamin E. Vitamin E is one of the most powerful natural antioxidants helping to combat the emergence of free radicals and other damaging elements in the skin. These elements combined make grape seed oil an excellent oil for moisturising and protecting normal to dry skin leaving it soft without feeling greasy.

Coconut carrier oil

It is used as an emollient for skin and hair where it is particularly suited to oily skin. It is also believed to help filter harmful rays from the sun and is commonly used to aid tanning. Coconut oil also has good anti-fungal properties that could be beneficial in dealing with fungal infections such as candida, thrush, athelete’s foot and even ringworm.

Olive carrier oil

It is high in monounsaturated fat content (mainly oleic acid), polyphenols, Vitamins E and K. It is used for arthritis, to soften cuticles and strengthen nails. It is a rehydrating oil suitable for sore and inflamed skin and mature or dry complexions. Olive oil promotes healthy skin growth.


A Therapist is Not A Doctor

A therapist is not a doctor and cannot act like a doctor. He or she does not diagnose nor claims to cure. He or she helps the body to cure itself.

That brings me to another incident which happened years ago back in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

My then 5-year old niece came home crying in pain.  She was just pinned down by a fallen wooden fence.  I suspected bone fractures in her left leg and advised that she be sent to hospital for treatment. Traditional therapists cannot help as they do not possess the modern equipment to check for broken bones. The parents instead opted for a quack in Pudu, Kuala Lumpur, who bandaged her leg with herbs. He claimed to have reset the broken bones into position. For one long day and night after the so-called treatment, her painful crying never stopped. We finally took her to the Kuala Lumpur General Hospital. The x-ray showed a compound bone fracture. The bones had never been reset into position as was earlier claimed. Treatment followed and today she walks like a normal person.

An Ignorant Layman is also A Quack

In my last post, I mentioned “quack”. Now, does it include a layman who medicates himself/herself? I would say it does, if not all the time, then many a time.

Years ago, I suffered from a left shoulder pain.  It was caused, probably, by carrying my mum in my arms to and from clinics and hospitals for her medical appointments. After she departed us to meet her Creator (May the Almighty Bless her Soul!), I massaged myself. After a week of self-medication, the pain multiplied, and my arm was locked. The problem rendered me not able to look after my personal hygiene. It was later diagnosed in the hospital as a frozen shoulder. Many years later, in this foreign land, I was asked by my supervisor to machine-buff the floor of a store. After the 2 hours of work I knew I had pulled my lower back muscles. I massaged the painful area and the next morning I found myself not able to lift my right leg with pain running down my leg from my buttock. The whole leg was numb and for a moment I thought I was paralysed. How I went through those agonising months of pain and survived will be shared in my coming posts.

In the course of my work, I have come across several similar cases. There was this young man who came to see me for a stiff neck problem. He pulled his muscles on the right side in a gym and he massaged himself. The next day when he visited me it was already a bilateral problem – both sides were locked. Next was this man who came to me for a lower back problem. He had earlier thought it would go away by massaging himself. The problem instead spread to his buttock and he could neither walk nor sit without pain or difficulty. The third one visited me also for a back problem. He did not massage himself but had earlier on asked his toddler son to walk on his back to relieve his back pain. The problem aggravated. There were a few other cases where their wives or loved ones turned their problems into nightmares.

So, “Look Before You Leap.”

A Professional versus A Quack

In my earlier post, I talked about Holistic Therapy in which I touched on natural therapists among other things.  Simple and easy as it sounds and appears, but do not be mistaken, for looks can be deceiving!  It takes years of learning, practising, self-testing and sharing to become a professional who can help and dispense. Watching YouTube, without going through the mill, will only make one no more than a quack.

That brings me to today’s chat, “A Professional versus A Quack – In the Hand of a Professional, It Helps, but, In the Hand of a Quack, It Exacerbates”

One day, decades ago, while I was in Malaysia, I had an encounter with a quack in Rawang, a small town in Selangor. I twisted my right ankle while playing handball there. When the game ended, I consulted a school teacher there who said he could massage my sore ankle the traditional way. Half an hour after the treatment, my ankle doubled in size and turned purplish. I walked in to see him unaided but I could hardly walk out after that, let alone drive home. A herbalist attended to me later in Kuala Kubu Baru, another small town.

Years after that, I had another painful encounter with this quack ‘specialist therapist’ in Hulu Langat, a small village in Selangor.  I injured my right ankle while working. Overall, I was alright except that dull pain in the ankle. I could perform my daily chores without problems. One day, through a friend, I consulted that “specialist” to heal me. I walked in to see him unaided but after 30 minutes of treatment, I came out with clutches. That quack massaged my foot like a bull with his foot and a piece of wood under my foot. An x-ray later revealed that the quack had fractured my bone.  An orthopaedic surgeon from Kajang, Selangor, attended to me. I was ‘out of service’ for 3 months.

The question now is – Can we get a genuine professional?

The answer is – Yes, but a bit difficult. This is because, out there, almost every therapist says he/she is certified and qualified.

Even if we get one finally, many of us would not seek his/her service because by nature, we are “Penny Wise Pound Foolish.” “If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.”


Necessity is the Mother of Invention

I come from Malaysia, a country where traditional and spiritual medicines thrive and almost one and all accept them. They are passed on from generation to generation and were very popular decades ago due to the scarcity of modern hospitals and doctors, ignorance, lower cost and easy availability. Do they serve the populace? I think they did at one point of time.

I had a granddad from China, who too was a “sinseh”, or a traditional therapist. All in one, he was a dentist, a massage therapist and an herbalist. As a child, my siblings and I, would watch him brew his medicines in our backyard. But out of bound to pregnant ladies because it was a taboo.  We would then follow him to attend to his patients or peddle his wares.

After he passed away, none of us had the skill or interest to continue his work. We ended up hardly able to help ourselves when the need arose. I regretted very much during a time when I could not help my own parents and other family members who were in pain. The turning point came when I landed in a foreign country.

I was a menial worker. The hard work gave rise to musculoskeletal problems which at times crippled me. Doctors I went to advised me to rest and to take painkillers. I could not help myself and my loved ones who too, due to stress, needed attention. Many a time, I too could not lend a helping hand to my colleagues who were down with work related pain. I felt so useless and regretted for not learning the rope from my granddad while he was alive. And that was the breaking point. I started the journey to where I am now, although I have still a lot to learn.

So, out of necessity, I plunged into complementary and alternative medicines to find or invent a cure. I studied holistic therapies in colleges in the UK. I furthered my studies by taking up other courses over time and I am continuing my quest for more knowledge in this field. Learning never ends. There is nothing more valuable than a smile from somebody you have helped.

I shall from now, over several instalments, come up with posts on my past bitter encounters with pains and how I managed them eventually. It will take me back in time decades ago until now. Pain comes and go as we live our lives. Nothing is more pleasurable than to see yourself able to help yourself and others.

Reflexology is a Holistic Therapy

Reflexology, like any other holistic therapies, is holistic because it treats the body as a whole and not a part like in other medicines or therapies. It is believed that pain or disorder comes about because a certain dis-eased body part is not functioning efficiently. So, until and unless it is eased, the problem lingers on. But, causes are inter-related and cumulative as well, one problem leads to another, like a sluggish circulatory system can give rise to a poor respiratory system or a defective excretory system. If a person with constipation is treated only for that particular disorder without knowing the root cause, the problem recurs. A trained holistic therapist calms the whole body to solve that single sore problem - constipation, believing that when all the systems work well, all is well! It is akin to a peaceful society in which every group works inter-dependently upon the other groups for the overall well-being of one and all. Imagine the chaos if the water or the energy provider's facilities or plants were blown up one day. Yes, natural therapy or holistic therapy is not proven to work scientifically. It is a myth, they claim. But, does it matter if it performs at the end of the day?! Accupuncture helps a lot; reflexology does that too, as what Dr. Wm. H. Fitzgerald and Eunice D. Ingham had said and proven. Fortunately, more and more people have realized the truth and have begun to take an interest in it. Look at the mushrooming number of traditional natural and holistic schools offering training for those disciplines around the globe. They surely don't come cheap!!