Reflexology can assist people with the quite rare genetic connective tissue disorder Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. Sufferers display soft velvety skin which is highly elastic, mobile and tears easily. The condition which affects around 1 in 5,000 people affects collagen in most areas of connective tissue, it is a cause of chronic and severe pain and reduces the physical strength of the skin, muscles and ligaments and may lead to hyper mobility of the joints. Muscle cramps and low energy are common. All types of fascia in the body contain collagen. Many sufferers of this disorder develop both physical and psychological pain as the condition is often not diagnosed correctly and this leads to stress and anxiety. There is no cure for this condition currently but reflexology can assist by reducing the pain and relaxing the body.
Reflexology therapy settles the nervous system and assists fascia connections throughout the body. According to Julie Day, a physiotherapist working with the Stecco Group in Italy: “The fact that the superficial fascia and the deep fascia almost fuse together in the soles of the feet and the palms of the hand could be an explanation for why working deeply in these areas, as in reflexology, can affect areas that are distant from the area that is being worked on.”
Ehlers-Danlos syndrome sufferers generally suffer a heightened level of pain throughout the body and reflexology therapy for this condition is slow and extremely gentle. The outcome of the treatment is reduced pain and increasing energy levels. Treatment generally involves 1-2 treatments a week for several weeks reducing to weekly or fortnightly treatments depending on results.
Julie Day. What’s New in Fascial Anatomy. Terra Rosa E-magazine No. 8, July 2011.