In our Summer issue of International Therapist magazine (Issue 133), we published ‘Man Kind’, a feature looking at the benefits of physical therapies on supporting male mental health.
Kelly Foord, MFHT, contributed a case study to this feature. ‘My client is in his 40s and came to me for reflexology under strict orders from his wife,’ writes Kelly.
‘He was suffering with long-term chronic pain that was having an impact on his sleep and in turn, his mental health. He reported severe arthritis affecting his neck, shoulders and lower back, and more recently has been suffering additional pain in his hips and, experiencing numbness going down his thighs. In our initial consultation he stated that he was only attending sessions because he was desperate, making it clear that he had low expectations of reflexology.’
‘During the first treatment he reported pins and needles in his hands. When he stood up following the treatment, he crouched slightly, and we heard a very loud crack in his ankles – after which he said he felt a pleasant sensation going up both calves. I explained that these were the hip and sciatic reflexes. When I followed up 24-hours later he reported feeling looser and having slept well.’
‘In subsequent sessions he began reporting pins and needles, night sweats and sleeplessness, all signs that things were starting to release and balance.’
‘In our first few sessions, my client was very closed about his condition and the effect it was having on him, reporting he was OK when I knew that it possibly wasn’t the case. Now he is much more honest about the level of pain he encounters and how it impacts him psychologically. In doing this, my client has opened himself up to a higher level of understanding around him including his family, friends and work colleagues, who can now all be much more effective in their approach towards him.
‘I have a supportive network of therapists and we regularly swap knowledge and ideas; another great benefit is being able to refer clients who need it. I suggested my client should get in touch with a colleague I know who is trained in somatic experiencing, as I thought this could help to address the psychosomatic aspect of his condition, he has told me he is going to consider this during the lockdown period.’
Kelly Foord, MFHT, is trained in reiki, reflexology, Indian head massage and facial reflexology. Kelly runs her own therapy practice, Reflexerenity, and is based in Kent.
FHT members can access the full Man Kind feature at fht.org.uk/international-therapist-archive