On October 14, 2005 a healthy 51-year-old Mark Schaeffer suffered a stroke and was in a coma for a number of days and remained in the Cleveland Clinic for 16 days. Mark received paralysis to the entire right side of his body including loss of speech and all motor skills on the right hemisphere. However, after being transported to Hillside Clinic, therapy began and a painful process of rehabilitation commenced.
In February (2006) Physical Therapist Jill Wilson and partner colleagues helped restore Mark’s speech to the point where he could be understood and a certain amount of motor skills to the right leg and right arm. However, with all the genuine care from physicians and the PT (Wilson), Mark’s progress came to a screeching halt. That’s when Jill recommended me. As a reflexologist, I might be able to help Mark progress further.
Treatment #: 1, 2 & 3
Date: September 7, 2006
Signs during treatment:
Here’s the issues - little to no range-of-motion in his right hand; nor feeling in the tips of this fingers. Little to no range-of-motion in his right foot; unable to move the great toe. Little to no control of the right leg. Mark wears a leg brace to help stabilize his right foot; which he has no control over. Unable to substantially control the right arm and perform minor functions (like grabbing a zipper on a pair of pants and pulling). Still slurring in his speech.
- When striking the mid-thoracic reflexes of the spine, along with the hip-sciatic reflexes, would cause a chain reaction in the leg that would cause it to flex at the knee (almost 90% and pulling me out of my sitting position), the hamstring, quad muscles to contract and flare (like a cobra’s neck) and then muscles in the leg would roll in a wave-like pattern from the calf up to the medial part of the groin muscle. Then Mark’s foot would quiver involuntarily for 30-40 seconds as if he had cold chills. Yet Mark said he felt no pain and was not in control at all of the motion. Mark seemed thrilled at the prospect of this kind of muscle expansion since he has not had that happen since the day of his stroke.
- Also when working Mark’s right hand in Zone 5 between the thumb and the first metacarpal bone, again, extreme flexing of the right bicep and a pulling motion towards his chest. It was as if Mark and I were arm wrestling. Mark was elated. He had not experienced muscular contractions of this sort since the day of his stroke. His comment to me was that, “With all the electrogesic put on my leg and my arm, it could not cause all the contractions that I’m seeing!”
- By the third treatment, Mark has sensation in his right fingertips, greater articulation in his thumb and a greater range-of-motion in the entire arm up to the shoulder. He also can move his right foot and the tip of his great toe; he’s able to dorsal flex the great toe for the first time since his stroke.As you can imagine, Mark is happy with the progress of just three treatments, as am I.
Special reflexes that where noticed: (SS stands for sensitivity scale)
Right foot Hip-sciatic reflex 10+ SS
Right foot Head/neck reflex 7 SS
Right shoulder reflex 7 SS
Symptoms and reaction from the patient:
* “That’s just incredible! I am so glad to see the muscles in my leg move like that. There’s still hope.”
* Mark’s response from first treatment was soreness in both feet. Second visit, we did both feet and right arm. He had soreness in his right arm, but he had a greater range-of-motion. No other side affects other than sleepiness from the first treatment.
Conclusion of first three visits:
Even though Mark’s speech has not improved, progress has been made in both the right foot as regards the great toe, contraction and range-of-motion in right leg, contraction and range-of-motion in right arm and sensation in phalanges of the right hand. Mark was very surprised at the progress and I have to admit I was as well. Both of us are very hopeful of continued progress from reflexology treatments. Mark’s treatments will continue once a week for the duration.
With Mark’s permission, he wants us to continue to follow his case in writing for helping us to understand the reflexology theory and put it to scientific understanding. Mark knows that there is no cure (I believe this also, that there are no cures in life) but keeping the feet healthy will give him the best chance at organic healing.
One thing that can be said to those naysayers of reflexology is, “Try telling Mark that reflexology doesn’t work and it’s just in his head.”
Mark sees his physician and physical therapist weekly.
Doug Holland I.R.
*(SS) stands for Sensitivity Scale
*Scale goes from 1 to 10. 1 is like a light tickle and 10 feels like a nail is being driven into the foot. Reflex pain above a 7 gets my attention.