This story is from a student exam on Reflexology where she shares her experience with one of her clients. Although her client gave her permission to share the story, the name of the student and location as well as the client’s name are not mentioned to keep privacy:
Client has had 3 surgeries for unexplained pain in foot and ankle. In the last surgery a piece of tissue growing in the inside joint was removed. Pain has been going on over 1 year. Unable to walk, apply any pressure or weight on foot before and after surgeries. And Surgery for Endometriosis recently.
Initial Visual observations left foot
Entire foot was swollen. The top of her foot was the worst. Dark black bruising on top where incisions was, and on inner and outer ankle were puffy and swollen.
Right Foot Visual Observations foot had no obvious bruising. Right foot is puffy on ankle and in area of female organs and also on her heel in sciatic area, and stiff all over, not at all relaxed. Toe nails white, smooth, nothing out of normal on both feet. I did not see anything abnormal on nails.
Observations through touch I found the following on the left foot: Extreme tenderness when touched on top, ankle on both feet in areas of female organs were swollen and tender to touch. Muscle on the top of foot starting at second and third toes across the right foot and up the leg very tight. On the Bottom of the foot the toes corresponding to legs are tense, hard and tender. Her Hip, tailbone,sciatic area all tender and very tight to touch. No flexibility at all, very little movement or flexibility in left foot. Outside ankle, near heel and up the leg are tender, swelling and bruising. Pain and tenderness following sciatic nerve from her lower back to her ankle.
Right foot Tender on ankles in area of female organs and the heel in sciatic area was tender as well.
After preparing her foot by soaking in warm water with Essential Oils and drying it I started to feel her foot. Very gently near incision, and swollen areas. Checking for tender areas I started at the toe and worked my way to the heel, then ankles and the top of the foot. I was able to get more information from touching, applying pressure and asking questions while working on her foot. I also watched her face for signs of discomfort and pain while working on her foot. I did that knowing she has been in pain for a long time and is used to hiding pain, and not admitting it when asked. Due to surgeries I wanted to go slow and very gentle. Client is very upset as she was active before she hurt her foot. Started with 15 minute session 3 times a week. I applied reflexology on both hands and feet. Very light on injured foot(left foot) after 2nd surgery incision was bruised for months and swollen. After 6 sessions the bruising faded, swelling went away as well. Only did 9 sessions total before 3rd surgery was done. I began Reflexology again 1 week after surgery. Careful to avoid incision, and applied more to right foot and hands. Working areas that were tense until they would relax. At start of each session her foot would be so tense it had no movement, slowly the movement has returned and she is able to move the foot. Client has relief from pain for hours after a session. Usually pain starts again due to her over doing it when not in pain. Working on moderation with her. Have had her apply ice in between sessions. Currently focusing on outside of foot and leg. Have found a series of trigger points along leg that when pressure is applied hurts clear to her foot. Working on trigger points as well as reflexology. Slight puffiness most times when we start on ankles and top of foot. Swelling is usually gone or less when done. Her pain is less or gone when done as well. Have shown client to use a tennis ball and smooth round rock on trigger points to help them go away. Also using round smooth rock on bottom of foot placing it on floor and rolling foot along it on floor. Have her doing this on days I do not see her. Her right foot has been OK aside from areas relating to female organs.
She has a history of Endometriosis. She just went through surgery for the Endometriosis. The area up the front of the foot no longer is tense and her pain is less than before even at start of session. Most of the pain from trigger points is gone. Foot is flexible again at this point. Pain returns after she is on foot for long, she generally walks with a walking stick. Due to Previous history of Endometriosis and the pain issues currently being experienced I made sure to pay attention to those areas of the feet each session. She just had surgery for the Endrometriosis and some tissue was removed. Continued pain, bloating and bleeding still. Will be working on her foot 2 times a week for 30 minutes a session if tolerated. If not I will go back to 3 times a week. Using Consultation form, Reflexology, questioning, observations, we work together to help ease pain and issues experienced. Using Diet, Herbs, Homeopathic, Reflexology, Trigger Point therapy, and Energy Healing combined she is making progress. I am teaching her children and husband to use reflexology to help ease her pain when I am not available since it is more effective than anything else tried.
I had Client fill out questionnaire while soaking her feet at first session. We talked while she did, and I took notes on our talk and observations. She has seen a Physician, pain specialist, sports injury specialist, Herbalist and massage therapist. After working with her for months her pain is tolerable and controlled much better. Her Issues with trigger points are no longer an issue and I check regularly to make sure they stay gone.