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Foot work practices have existed throughout the history of humankind. Remnants of foot work practices span time and place from the Physician's Tomb in Egypt of 2300 B.C. to the Physicians Temple in Nara, Japan, of 690 A.D. The authors have labeled this pattern as a form of archetype or archestructure. Archetypes are "symbolic image(s)...without known origin and they reproduce themselves in any time or in another part of the world--even when transmission by direct descent or 'cross fertilization' through migration must be ruled out" Jung, C.G., Man and His Symbols, Dell Publishing Co., 1968, p. 58). "An archestructure can now be defined as a felt or perceived function or structural feature of the nervous system, projected or unconsciously acted out in the lifestyle or the beliefs, customs, and social structures of the individuals concerned or of whole communities" (Gooch, S.F., Total Man, Ballantine Books, 1972 p. 299).
The modern history of reflexology is rooted in research about the reflex in Europe and Russia 125 years ago. The idea that a stimulus applied to the body produces a response was utilized as a therapeutic tool by British physicians and researchers who applied heat, cold, plasters, and herbal poultices to one part of the body to influence another. While such uses did not take root in the medical communities in the United States and Great Britain, the furthering of such ideas for therapeutic use continued in Germany and Russia throughout this century.
Russian physicians of the early 1900's followed the reflex research of Nobel Prize winner Ivan Pavlov to create reflex therapy. Their basic idea, to influence reflexes and thus brain-organ dynamics, survives as a medical practice today. to physician- researchers, such as Vladimir Bekterev who coined the word "reflexology" in 1917, an organ experiences illness because it receives the wrong operating instructions from the brain. By interrupting the body's misguided instructions, the reflex therapist prompts the body to behave in a better manner. Conditioning of better behavior is achieved by the application of a series of such interruptions.
American physiotherapist Eunice Ingham kept alive a specific practice, that of foot reflexology. She accomplished this by traveling around the country teaching groups of people, perpetuating a grassroots enthusiasm for the subject in the United States. A community of reflexology users emerged. Legal questions were raised about the practice of medicine without a license. Ms. Ingham's book of 1945 ascribed the workings of reflexology to the nervous system. The revised work published in 1954, deleted any such mention. the explanation of the workings of reflexology took on metaphorical terms that were to color the practice for decades to come.
The term reflexology itself was considered illegal until a legal skirmish over the publication of Mildred Carter's book Helping Yourself with Foot Reflexology in 1970. The U.S. postal Service asked that the publisher cease and desist publication of the book on the grounds that it consisted of the practice of medicine without a license. The publisher's attorneys successfully defended the publication of the book Subsequently the word could be used to describe one's practice; it was also used in the titles of books. The idea became widely disseminated as Mrs. Carter's book sold one million copies and became one of the best-selling titles ever for the publisher.
In the following quarter century, the idea gained informal sanctioning in the United States on a community level. Since then, practicing reflexologists have emerged, some 30 reflexology books have been published, and the number of magazine articles published has climbed by 500 percent since 1982. Television appearances by reflexologists have increased by 500 percent since 1988.
What is Swedish Massage?
The term "Swedish Massage" refers to a variety of techniques specifically designed to relax muscles by applying pressure to them against deeper muscles and bones, and rubbing in the same direction as the flow of blood returning to the heart.
Swedish massage was developed in the 1700's by a Swedish doctor named Pir Henrik Ling.
The Purpose of Swedish Massage
The main purpose of Swedish massage is to increase the oxygen flow in the blood and release toxins from the muscles.
Swedish massage shortens recovery time from muscular strain by flushing the tissues of lactic acid, uric acid, and other metabolic wastes. It increases circulation without increasing heart load. It stretches the ligaments and tendons keeping them supple and pliable. Swedish Massage also stimulates the skin and nervous system and soothes the nerves themselves at the same time. It reduces stress, both emotional and physical, and is suggested in a regular program for stress management. It also has many specific medical uses.
Swedish Massage Techniques
Swedish massage techniques include: long strokes, kneading, friction, tapping, percussion, vibration, effleurage, and shaking motions. The usual techniques are:
1. Effleurage: Gliding strokes with the palms, thumbs and/or fingertips
2. Petrissage: Kneading movements with the hands, thumbs and/or fingers
3. Friction: Circular pressures with the palms of hands, thumbs and/or fingers
4. Vibration: Oscillatory movements that shake or vibrate the body
5. Percussion: Brisk hacking or tapping
6. Passive and active movements: Bending and stretching
Benefits of Swedish Massage
Swedish massage feels good, is relaxing and invigorating. It affects the nerves, muscles, glands, and circulation, while promoting health and well being.
A recent study of nearly six million births has found that the risk of death to newborns delivered by voluntary Caesarean section is much higher than previously believed.
Researchers have found that the neonatal mortality rate for Caesarean delivery among low-risk women is 1.77 deaths per 1,000 live births, while the rate for vaginal delivery is 0.62 deaths per 1,000. Their findings were published in this month’s issue of Birth: Issues in Perinatal Care.
Possible reasons cited for the higher rate of infant mortality in planned, low-risk c-sections:
The stuggle to make breastfeeding a cultural norm worldwide is facing yet another threat in the USA; as The World Health Organization is preparing to pass a resolution that promotes breastfeeding (it reads similar to the American Accademy of Pediatrics recommendations and the full text can be read here), member of congress, Barbara Cubin is fighting for the rights of the poor, underfunded and under-represented formula companies against the "excesses" of the World Health Organisation.
I've posted Congresswoman Cubin's letter to her colleagues followed by an article by one of her pals, James K. Glassman of The American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (a right-wing think tank in the States similar to the Fraser Institute here in Vancouver).
Check out the links section of this site for a link to breastfeeding.com if you'd like some reminders about why the claims made below are so outrageous (like her claim that adoptive mothers and working mothers are precluded from breastfeeding - grrr!). Doesn't it make you wonder who might have some vested interest in profits made by Nestlé and the like?
PLEASE NOTE: The following reflects the opinion of Congresswoman Barbara Cubin. I am including it here to exemplify why breastfeeding still needs protection, promotion and defense on many levels.
United Nations Jeopardizing 100 Years of Progress by Women
[By Barbara Cubin]
The World Health Organization (WHO), the health agency of the United Nations (UN), is holding the 58th meeting of the World Health Assembly next week in Geneva, Switzerland, where it will debate a controversial resolution regarding infant and young child nutrition. This resolution could have catastrophic consequences for women worldwide. To the untrained eye, the resolution seems harmless. In reality, it could lead to an eventual ban on infant formula all over the world. For more details, please review the attached resolution EB115.R12 and the Naples Daily News column by syndicated columnist James K. Glassman entitled, "Time for Congress to Get Serious about WHO's Excesses."
Over the last century, women have made substantial progress in achieving equality in the workplace. Infant formula was critical to allowing women with children to enter the workforce. The resolution now pending before the WHO could jeopardize that success, set women back and risk the health of newborns around the world.
· Infant formula is a safe and effective nutritional product for newborn infants. Alternatives to infant formula such as fresh cow's milk and starch gruel from rice cannot substitute the nutrition derived from infant formula. These facts are confirmed in a new study by the Independent Women's Forum that can be found at iwf.
· The resolution not only hurts working women, but is offensive to adoptive mothers and those new mothers with medical conditions that preclude them from breastfeeding, such as mastitis, plugged milk ducts or cutaneous candidiasis.
· WHO's 'breast is best' policy recommends that mothers who are HIV positive continue breastfeeding, even when the U.N.'s own statistics acknowledge that up 20 percent of infants born to HIV mothers acquire HIV via breast milk. This even contradicts overarching UN policy recommending that women in developing regions who are infected with HIV allow their babies to breastfeed from other women. How can the WHO possibly reconcile this inconsistency?
As a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Health, I urge you to consider the consequences for working women if infant formula is denied to new mothers.
Please join me in signing the attached letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt to express deep concern about the WHO resolution that could jeopardize 100 years of advancement by working women worldwide. For more information please contact Landon Stropko of my staff at 5-2311. Thank you for your consideration.
Member of Congress
TIME FOR CONGRESS TO GET SERIOUS
ABOUT WHO'S EXCESSES
By James K. Glassman
Scripps Howard News Service
April 04, 2005
Paul Volcker's report last week on the oil-for-food scandal uncovered shocking incompetence and venality at the United Nations. But if Congress really wants to reform the agency, the place to start is the World Health Organization (WHO), which, in the latest absurdity, has embarked on a campaign to drive baby formula underground - and, eventually, off the face of the earth. The big losers if the WHO is successful will, of course, be the world's poor - the same victims of WHO blunders in fighting HIV/AIDS and malaria.
With AIDS, the WHO got a black eye for placing 18 Indian-made ripoff medicines on its list of approved drugs. Those medicines turned out to be uncertified copies of the patented HIV drugs from which they were copied.
With malaria, the WHO has refused to encourage the use of DDT and other proven insecticides and has engaged in what a group of scientists, writing in The Lancet, called "medical malpractice" in its use of a poor regime of anti-malarial drugs.
A U.N. agency that was set up in 1948, the WHO, more and more, has come under the influence of radical health and environmental activists, who push a bitterly anti-enterprise ideology.
Congress should insist that the WHO stick to the basics. Instead, having botched campaigns against the two worst epidemics in the world, the WHO, incredibly, is focusing its attention on the bottle-feeding of infants.
You probably remember the infant-formula imbroglio - a real blast from the left-wing past. Promoters of breast-feeding managed to smear the use of healthy formula to nourish babies and discourage marketing of bottle-feeding products.
Now, breasts are back.
In January, the WHO recommended the adoption of an extreme anti-bottle-feeding resolution at the 57th World Health Assembly - the WHO's annual meeting, set for mid-May in Geneva. The immediate objective of the resolution is to force infant-formula packages to carry warning labels akin to those on cigarettes or liquor. The ultimate goal is to scare mothers into abandoning bottle-feeding.
There's a deep irony here. The WHO wants to discourage the use of baby formula, whose efficacy and safety have been established over many decades - while at the same time, the WHO has been approving untested anti-AIDS drugs.
Certainly, there is no questioning the benefits of breast-feeding. But many women lack the time or, in some cases, the health to feed their babies from their own breasts. For them, infant formula is an excellent substitute.
For example, if a woman wants to pursue an active career outside the home, breast-feeding is often impractical. Infant formula provides the freedom that many women want, and deserve. Trying to make formula anathema is to thrust such women back to the Dark Ages.
This question of choice for women is especially compelling in developing nations, where economies are beginning to draw females, as well as males, into the work force in key positions.
But radicals advocate a double standard for the poor - in feeding babies
as well as in HIV therapy.
There's a correlation between high rates of infant-formula use and low rates of infant mortality. The reason is not that infant formula is better than breast milk, but that, as a country develops, infant health and nutrition improve, and the use of formula, at the same time, increases.
Nestle sells more infant formula in a healthy nation like Belgium than it does in all of Africa, which has 60 times Belgium's population. The best way to boost good health in Africa is to boost African economies. And time-saving technologies like infant formula can help.
This means that Africans should be able to choose, and not to be scared or shamed into breast-feeding. Radicals and their supporters at the WHO, however, want to keep African women, in effect, barefoot, denying them the choice, as they modernize, of a healthy, convenient product.
It's time for Congress to get serious about reining in the excesses of the WHO. Defeat this silly resolution in May and insist that the Geneva health bureaucrats concentrate on whipping AIDS and malaria with proven medicines, not on pleasing the ideologues.
James K. Glassman is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and host of the Web site TechCentralStation.com
Post-Partum Doulas and Gay Dads
When I decided to write something about the advantages that a postpartum doula could bring to adoptive gay fathers, I was pretty surprised by the paucity of information out there; it seems that doulas have not realised the need for their services in this community.
Postpartum doulas don't have medical degrees but rather are trained or experienced in providing care during the first days or weeks after childbirth. We do all sorts of things to help ease your transition to new parenthood — from caring for you and your baby and offering feeding advice to cooking, babysitting, running errands, and even doing light housework.
As a postpartum doula my role is not that of a surrogate parent; instead I work to assist you to bond with your new baby, and to help you adjust to your new life together.
In my capacity as a postpartum doula I can also offer help with:
Maybe you don't have a friend or relative ready to pitch-in after you come home with your baby. Or maybe you'd simply prefer to use a doula's services instead of, or in addition to, that help. Either way you'll find the help of a good doula invaluable.