Symposium on Reflexology and Cancer


The First International Symposium on Reflexology and Cancer was held between Oct. 29th – 31st, 2008 at Kibbutz Shefyim in Israel.  
Without going into full details about the speakers and all the topics, I would like to summarize what I learned from this important conference:
I found the conference absolutely awe inspiring.   This was the first time I had the privilege of attending an International Reflexology Conference (as was true for most of the Israeli participants.)   Meeting participants from as far away as Australia and North America as well as from all over Europe was exciting as well as educational. We 
compared the different ways we all practice Reflexology.
A little over a year ago, I still believed, as taught by my Reflexology teachers, that treating someone with Cancer was a contraindication.  Well, if there was even a sliver of doubt left in me or any other Reflexologist, it was gone after this conference.  Reflexology can only help patients undergoing medical treatments for cancer.
Speaker after speaker, told of their years of research and experience working with cancer patients.   It was amazing to see research from all over the world consistently showing the same results:
  • Reflexology helps Cancer Patients reduce symptoms from medical treatments such  as chemotherapy, radiation and surgery by reducing pain, nausea, fatigue and constipation
  • Reflexology reduces anxiety and depression
  • Reflexology promotes relaxation and induces good sleep.
  • And finally, in Palliative Care, when the medical community has nothing more to offer, Reflexologists do.
There really are no contraindications for treating a patient with cancer, except for using 
common sense:
  • Light pressure so as to not cause additional pain
  • Not work when a patient who has a low platelet count so as to not cause bruising.  This condition is seen as small brown spots on the body.
  • Not work on open wounds, areas of severe edema or weeping tissue (but you can always work hands and/or ears instead)
  • Susan Berenson also recommended not working on someone with psychosis.
In addition, several of the speakers told about the importance of adapting their treatments which included working on a patient in whatever position was comfortable (i.e. lying on side supported by pillows) and through the elastic stockings he/she was wearing.
Also - treatments were given before, immediately before, during and after chemotherapy.  None of the speakers felt that a certain time was more effective.   It seemed that most important was to give a treatment when it was comfortable for the patient.
Everyone should be extremely proud to be a Reflexologist.  There are so many people we can help.
Special thanks Moshe Kruchik, President of the Israeli Forum of Reflexology, for organizing this truly historic conference.
Oran Aviv, a senior Reflexologist since 1995, has been helping adults and children stay healthy for over 15 years.   Oran teaches basic Hand Reflexology workshops all across the country, showing people how to literally, put their health in their own hands.  To have Oran lecture or teach your group or to arrange a Reflexology and consultation session  

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