Can Reflexology Help to Heal Peripheral Neuropathy?
Neuropathy means nerve disease or damage, and if you are reading this you may know of it first hand. Symptoms can range from numbness or tingling, to pricking sensations, muscle weakness, and more. Over the years, I have had only a few calls for assistance with those suffering neuropathy. No one has yet stayed the course with me, but I wonder if doing so might well help achieve meaningful resolution. Here are some things I have learned about neuropathy that lead me to believe reflexology offers the possibility of supporting nerve regeneration.
Toxicity from the chemotherapeutic agents and radiation is typical of clients who have inquired about healing from neuropathy. An estimated 30-40% of people who receive chemotherapy develop peripheral neuropathy, and is it often a reason chemotherapy is discontinued. Oftentimes, the neuropathy resolves when these medications are suspended or adjusted. Reflexology is known to stimulate the lymphatic system, thereby assisting in detoxifying the tissues.
Peripheral nerves have the ability to regenerate axons, as long as the nerve cell itself has not died. This can lead to functional recovery over time. Being present to what you are experiencing and responding accordingly can help prevent permanent damage. As is good for overall health, neuropathy can benefit from positive choices in regards to exercise, rest, diet and nutrition, etc... Self-care skills such as meticulous foot care and careful wound treatment in people with diabetes and others who have an impaired ability to feel pain is believed to be significant in alleviating symptoms and improving quality of life. Such changes often create conditions that encourage nerve regeneration. Reflexology is a practice that can similarly provide healing support.
As Acupuncture, massage, and herbal medications are used as treatment of neuropathic pain, reflexology is worth considering, too. All of these modalities can stimulate flow in the body to remove what needs to go and invite what is needed for healing. If you have neuropathy of the feet, reflexology may be too uncomfortable to receive. Yet if a reflexology session is comfortable for you, it may in fact be soothing and supportive of your healing.
A Holistic Approach
While receiving one session of Reflexology can provide soothing, likely a longer course of care (possibly months of coming weekly) may be needed to truly support your system in the nerve regeneration you may be seeking. And it is worth remembering that all is connected. As you commit more intentionally to your health, find yourself in a more relaxed state, and increase your ability to read the signals your body is sending, the reaches of your vitality can bring fourth unexpected benefits. Healing is a process that can be a life changing experience.