and Reflexology are excellent aids in getting over injury or strain—be
it from work or play. When a part of our body, like the knee, becomes
stressed or strained, our body releases histamine into the bloodstream
to swell the surrounding tissues with fluid. The swelling is designed
to protect the area and stop any further injury from taking place. The
pain you feel is a side effect of this process and is designed to act
as an alarm to get you to STOP what you are doing!
For immediate injury, it is best to apply cold to the area for 10
minutes, then remove for 10 minutes for a period of 24-48 hours. The
cold helps to stop the tissues from swelling further. It also
stimulates the circulation into the area to remove the swelling. As the
swelling decreases, so does the initial pain.
Reflexology is terrific as an immediate therapy to help speed the
process of decreasing tissue swelling. A light touch called the
"lymphatic sweep" helps the lymph system drain the excess fluid from
the injured area. Reflexology treatments can aid in pain reduction and
help the body to relax. A relaxed body heals much quicker. Further
sessions stimulate the body's nervous system to continue healing the
injured area. It also acts as a "re-trainer." When a body part is
injured, the nervous system sends those impulses to the brain that make
us say "OUCH!" Even after the injury is healed, nerves that lead into
that area can still send that same message to the brain. Applying
acupressure to the reflexes located on the hands and feet help the
body's nervous system understand that there is no further injury to
that part of the body.
A follow-up to reflexology
is massage therapy. A massage therapist can continue to apply cold
and/or heat to the injured area and massage the areas surrounding the
injury to decrease tension in the muscles and soft tissues. No massage
is applied directly to the injured area. It is best to wait several
days before receiving a massage. After the injury has healed, massage
therapy is an excellent way to soften and break up any adhesions,
muscle knots and scar tissue that the injury may have left behind.
As with all injuries, please consult with your health care provider
before proceeding with treatment.