Neuropathic pain is a condition in which the nerve fibers have been damaged, through injury or dysfunction, and send out incorrect nerve signals to pain centers. I’ve been working with clients to manage neuropathic pain for over nine years as a Reflexologist and over three years as a Clinical Aromatherapist.
Reflexology and Neuropathy
Reflexology is a pressure point modality applied to the maps of the feet, hands, and/or ears which resemble a mirror image of the human body. The therapy works through the chemical, electrical, and nervous systems of the body – sending messages to balance organs and parts in far reaching areas of the body. With neuropathy Reflexology has a unique opportunity to gently nudge the damaged nerve fibers to send and receive correct nerve signals. Through light to moderate pressure techniques a stable rhythm of information is sent and received through the Central Nervous System. We see an improvement in blood and lymph circulation throughout the body, an improvement in nerve response, and a general sense of wellbeing after a Reflexology treatment. Research into using Reflexology for peripheral neuropathy, diabetic neuropathy, phantom limb pain, multiple sclerosis, HIV-induced neuropathy, and other forms of neuropathic pain indicate this therapy may be of benefit to this population of pain sufferers.
Aromatherapy and Neuropathy
Clinical Aromatherapy is the use of aromatic plant concentrates, known as essential oils, for therapeutic properties according to their chemistry. When supporting a client with neuropathic pain I will select essential oils based on their chemical properties known to enhance circulation, change the perception of pain, and to have analgesic effects when applied topically.
Combined Reflexology and Aromatherapy Efforts
In my treatment room I frequently use a combination of Reflexology and Aromatherapy for their synergistic effects on the body. After a Reflexology treatment I may send a client home with an aromatherapy product such as a liniment, base for a foot soak, or a personal inhaler, to help stretch the effects of the session longer.