Natural Allergy Relief

Sorry I’ve not blogged for a while but we have moved, sold our old desktop computer and bought a new lap top! In December, I passed my reflexology exam (yay!) and am now a certified reflexologist through the Reflexology Association of Canada.

I wanted to share something I have been doing recently to relieve my allergies. This year, my winter allergies have been very bad; I used to live in Mexico during the winters to get relief but haven’t done so for 10 years now. As it turned out, consistent but careful doses of natural vitamin D really helped! (Take your vitamin D!) So in order to find some natural relief from sinusitis and rhinitis, I have started to practice a lymphatic drainage routine for the face (overlaps the sinus area including two points I added in for rhinitis, on the forehead following inner edge of eyebrow halfway up) followed by a nasal rinse and a herbal tea Throat Coat. I found that doing this routine does an incredible job of emptying out the sinus cavity so be sure to have lots of tissue handy during and after this sequence hence why a nasal rise after is so effective. I am also working on strengthening my immune system with larger doses of vitaminD, omega oils, probiotics and fruits and vegetables.

On top of this, I am giving my vagus nerve (key parasympathetic nerve) lots of love. If you’re curious about why this is important, read this. Speaking of vagus nerve, I have targeted that reflex point on my ears with seeds, as it felt tender. The point is located about halfway down the dorsal (back) side of the ear at the crease – where the ear meets the head. As I’ve just completed this session, I am breathing much better.

I found this video by Me Leonora to be incredibly helpful. I happen to have several Dien Chan tools but you can use other items or your finger as well. So if you are challenged by allergies and are looking for a natural way to find relief, try this sequence followed by a rise and a tea!

Reflexology & Pineal

Markus received a reflexology treatment this past Saturday as he is now back on his outdoor mail route and is putting on the kilometers again bringing fatigue to his body, especially his feet and lower legs. To make matters worse, fire smoke from the US has blanketed southern British Columbia making the air quality hazardous. It’s so bad that the mail delivery has been disrupted.

After doing a foot reflexology session, Markus did facial massage on his own while using the Dien Chan tools. His skin cancer scar has healed very well but is still reddish in colour and will need irrigation for some time still. He has started using rosehip oil on his skin as it’s come highly recommended by European facial therapists. Over the past month, I completed an online facial therapy course and will start to introduce some of those methods to his face over time. We still have a journey ahead of us.

Unfortunately a spot has re-emerged where the cancer was before, on the new part of the cheek that replaced the old, that was removed. We will be going to Vancouver to see the surgeon next Monday and Markus will get an examination of his healing progress and an examination of the red spot that has emerged, along with another that emerged on the other side of his face and was treated a few months back. In the meantime, we do our best not to stress about it and know that he is in the best hands now. We recently learned that Markus inherited Basal carcinoma and he is also at risk of melanoma among other kinds of cancer. We really hope the new spot is not another skin cancer emerging. If it is, then hopefully it is early enough to do something not too invasive as he just went through that. But it’s hard to believe we are mentally bracing for this again.

The cards used in this session are the Racoon from Wild Unknown Oracle (representing artistry and creativity) and the Pineal Water Crystal card, which is a gland situated in our brain that regulates our sleep/wake cycle. In reflexology, we compress a reflex point on the big toe that is related to this gland. Due to poor sleep quality the night before, it seemed a little uncanny that he randomly chose this card. I made sure to give the reflex a good rub’n!

Something interesting has happened. The area on his face where the new spot is emerging overlaps the reflex of the lung, in the realm of facial multi-reflexology. While the medical experts do their thing, we may as well try ours. I am unable to interact with this part of his face other than rehabilitating massage so I decided to locate the lung reflex on the ear, which is located on the back side (dorsal) of the ear. Coincidentally, Markus found that particular spot on his right ear to be very painful. Strange! So I placed ear seeds (a small magnetic ball on a bandaid) on this point on the backside of the ears, where the reflex point can be pressed and activated often. Markus revealed to me that his area has been tender for sometime, but I didn’t know.

The seeds stay in place for up to 5 days and then are removed and replaced again as needed. What is interesting is that after 5 days, when the seed was taken off, the pain was gone. Wow!

And with that I have enrolled in an online ear reflexology course to better understand the mystery. Ear reflexology is recognized and standardized by WHO, making it a widely accessible modality. Many people swear by it for a variety of issues. My journey with reflexology also started with the ear, when I was treated last year in Denmark for rotary cuff tendonitis. After half a year of failed rehabilitation and constant pain, it was reflexology that solved the pain so that I could rehabilitate my shoulder, arm and hand. Although not 100%, I recovered to about 98% and when I run into a flare, I turn to ear seeds and place them on my hands and ears where tender.

I am excited to see what happens once I begin to combine ear with foot reflexology.

Disclaimer: Reflexology does not diagnose, prescribe or treat for specific conditions. Always seek proper medical attention should you suspect you have a medical problemReflexology is not a replacement for medical treatment.

Facial Reflexology

Although I am still finishing my foot reflexology case studies and hope to be certified in the fall, I have entered into the world of Dien Chan aka multireflexology aka facial reflexology. This is a newer modality founded by acupuncturist and Professor Bùi Quôc Châu of Saigon Vietnam, in 1980. Since then it has made its way over to Europe where it has been cooperatively further developed in Spain and Italy. This modality is now making its way from Asia and Europe to North America.

I have been wanting to incorporate the face into my practice and when I discovered this modality, I knew this was it. Multireflexology offers dual benefits of cosmetic and health benefits. Facial reflexology points are said to communicate to the brain and from there connects to different parts of the body. Although I cannot personally explain how effective this is for healing as I have yet to try it, I approached Dien Chan for cosmetic reasons and I have not been disappointed with the results. When I started playing with my tools, I really didn’t know what to expect other than the fact that it felt good and the tools looked and felt really cool. I took the plunge and ordered the starter kit and now own a family of five tools. The tools are not cheap, as they are handcrafted and consciously created. Each tool serves a unique purpose. Over time, I will be adding more to my toolkit and they are useful all over the body, not just the face.

Since I have started using my tools on a daily basis, I have noticed that my skin is tighter, softer and lines / wrinkles are diminished. I have also noticed my double chin has reduced. No matter how much exercise I do, this area always requires additional attention, as it does for many. Areas of my face that I am focusing on are: lines, double chin and skin, small deposits around nose, eye bags and discolouration. As you may or may not already know, my husband just under went skin cancer surgery and has been left with a very large scar along the left side of his face. In a weeks time, we will begin facial massage therapy and in a couple of months time, I will be introducing the Dien Chan to his facial therapy routine. I have picked out the tools that will help to restore form and colour to the scare and face. You might be interested to follow along as I will be blogging about that progress over time.

Eventually, I aim to become certified in Dien Chan and will offer this as a service along side of the foot reflexology that I am currently working on. I really feel that both the feet and the face are the perfect combination as they are the book ends of the body where we carry a lot of tension. Do you find you carry tension in your face? If so, try rubbing your face with fingers or better yet with a stone. With Dien Chan, we use a specialized hammer to tap our face and it’s a unique feeling. Once you start, you probably won’t be able to stop! It’s important to wash your hands and stone before and after you rub your face.

In time, I’ll add face charts with key points you can try tapping for different issues. But first I need to explore those techniques on myself. I won’t promote something that I have not yet tried on myself. However on a cosmetic level I am definitely liking the results.

From Feet to Face

Now that the surgery has passed, there is much therapeutic work to be done, at least 18 months worth. At the end of June, I will be taking an introductory crash course in facial massage therapy and reflexology through a Danish school in order to help with rehabilitating my husbands face since having skin cancer surgery on June 9. Our sessions with the feet will continue however I will be focusing more of my attention on his face and you will get to see how that process unfolds over time through the blog.

Starting July 1, we will begin massage techniques as prescribed by the surgeon and later I will be integrating multi reflexology tools into the routines. These tools and routines are specialized in helping to restore the face while addressing facial imbalances, dampen scars and discolouration. I am feeling a bit overwhelmed to say the least however I am receiving guidance from experienced reflexologists in approaching this task and am also seeing this traumatic experience as an opportunity to learn to help someone else. Because the scar is large and irregularly shaped, I will need to work with a variety of approaches over time. For instance, the stitching near the eye intercepts softer more delicate skin than lower down on the face and will require different tools and techniques. In addition to the scar, there is also face rejuvenation occurring where part of the cheek was removed. Currently, there is no feeling in this area however it is supposed to return within weeks or months.

I am not currently working on Markus’s feet as I don’t want to move energy around the body while he is in the earlier recovery stages. However I am working with his hands, arms and legs by tapping the skin with a small reflexology hammer. This feels good and helps to bring some circulation into the body while not over energizing. This is important because too much movement and exercise can disrupt the scar healing process and so he has remained mostly indoors and very low activity. It is the first time in a long time where his body has received an abundance of rest. On his job as a postie, he can walk up to 30 km a day, is very physically active and during the pandemic, the work load skyrocketed causing high stress and burn out. We suspect this contributed to the cancers growth. Once back to work, we are hoping that he will work indoors to shelter from the summer sun. He is not to be exposed to UV rays for a year and this is especially critical during the first three months. When the season changes in the fall, there will be less UV rays to worry about but until then, he must gaiter up when outdoors.

Overall, Markus is said to be healing remarkably well according to the surgeon who has seen recent photos. We attribute this to his lifestyle and diet change that he started at the beginning of May where inflammatory foods were removed from his digestion. None the less, he will forever bare a large scar on his face, always reminding him and everyone else around him of the tough lesson he’s come to face. This time cancer spared his life and so we work to ensure his health and safety to the fullest degree as he is now predisposed to getting cancer again. While he rests, I study and prepare to work on his face.

Due to the expansion of this work, a new domain has been added to this website: feet2face.com as I will be focusing on both ends of the body.

I’ve selected two cards for inspiration; one being the DaVinci Strength card (symbolically a woman working on a face) and the other being the Masaru Emoto Water Crystal card of Hope.

Reflexology Presurgery

This weekend, I carried out a reflexology case study session for my husband, Markus, this one being the last before his Mohs (skin cancer) surgery on Tuesday. A miracle happened two days ago; he got the call on Friday to go in for Tuesday as there was a cancellation. His original surgery was scheduled for the end of October and we have been putting pressure on the medical system to see if there was a way to get him in sooner, but we were loosing hope. We are quite relieved and very grateful as the wait has been a long one (a year now). We leave to Vancouver on Monday and return home on Wednesday.

Markus is tired from his job (letter carrier) during the pandemic and since we didn’t do a session last weekend, it was overdue. He has noticed however an increase in energy on the job due to his new (gluten free) diet. I noticed something interesting during today’s session; the large bunion on his left foot is significantly smaller! His feet have been surprising us lately! There have been many changes over the past weeks and months from new shoes to diet changes so I am guessing the combination of footwear correction and inflammation reduction have helped the bunion to shrink. The lifestyle and diet changes implemented in May continue to make significant changes in Markus’s well-being and have given us hope. I have started to adopt some of these changes into my own life as well. We are now both gluten-free.

After a full foot reflexology routine, I accentuated the stress-relief reflexes (solar plexus and pituitary) on the foot with the tuning fork. Then, we spent time working on facial reflexology. I have introduced myself to Dien Chan, a unique facial reflexology system founded in Vietnam by acupuncturist and professor Bùi Quôc Châu and further adopted and developed in Spain and Italy. These techniques are used to release tension in the face, for beauty and also health benefits. Oh and it also feels good! I have acquired a few additional tools and have been exploring some new techniques. Since I have been experimenting on my own face, I have noticed a change in my skin and a few of the deeper character lines have receded a bit. Today Markus explored using some of the tools on his own face. After his surgery and once he is healed, he will also be engaging in Dien Chan regularly. Dien Chan is also said to be helpful for healing surgical scars. It will be interesting to see how his face responds since having dealt with skin cancer. In the future, I hope to get certified and offer this modality along side of the foot reflexology. But in the meantime, we will experiment as we are the perfect guinea pigs. Stay tuned for those updates.

Markus appeared very sleepy during the session and expressed some excitement and nervousness around the surgery, but an hour later felt energized. He commented as usual about how amazing his feet felt after the session. Reflexology is effective for reducing the stress of surgery. I will approach carefully afterwards. You can find peer reviewed articles on Google Scholar about this.

Although his (Basal Carcinoma) cancer isn’t fatal (at this stage or that we know of), once we saw it starting to spread back in April – we knew we were in trouble as we realized this wasn’t an isolated incident. Thankfully with the abrupt diet and lifestyle changes, things have helped to calm some inflammation. None the less it has been incredibly scary as we felt so out of control – this in combination with the pandemic have made it a very trying time. I do feel optimistic that we are now in the home stretch.

Markus picked the Wolf (reminds me of the wolf who visited our village in the mountains of Italy last year) card and I added in the Healing Archetype card from the Wild Unknown card series (Kim Krans). Finally we used the Healing card from the Water Crystal (Masaru Emoto) deck for intentionally inspiring his cup of water. This is a special session, so I decided to combine an additional card (Healing) for guidance and good luck.

Markus selected the Italian Dolomite mountain footage for his ambience.

I will close with this new music video from Depeche Mode : Fragile Tension

Disclaimer: Reflexology does not diagnose, prescribe or treat for specific conditions. Always seek proper medical attention should you suspect you have a medical problemReflexology is not a replacement for medical treatment.