Reflexology & Prostate Problems

There is a host of information available on Prostate problems, so this aims to summarize the general prostate problems that can occur and how reflexology may be able to reduce or alleviate the symptoms.

The prostate gland, part of the male exocrine system, is situated at the base of the urethra, the tube that carries urine out of the body. It is roughly the size of a small kiwifruit or a large walnut, and grows with age.

Common prostate disorders are:

  • prostatitis
  • benign prostate hyperplasia, i.e. prostate enlargement; and
  • prostate cancer.

The symptoms of these disorders are an inflammation, or enlargement of the prostate. This puts pressure on the urethra and it can affect frequency of urination, difficult starting or stopping urination, painful urination etc. If you experience any of these symptoms you should seek medical help. Read more below…

Prostate Enlargement

A normal prostate weighs between 20 and 30 grams, while an enlarged prostate can weigh up to 100 grams. There are a number of disorders that can affect the prostate, all of which are generally more common in men over the age of 50, indeed a third of all men over the age of 50 will have symptoms of prostate enlargement. However some men can experience problems earlier.

 

Prostatitis

Prostatitis is where the prostate gland becomes inflamed and swollen, often, but not always, caused by a bacterial infection.

Unlike prostate enlargement or prostate cancer, which usually affect older men, prostatitis can develop in men of all ages, most common however in men aged between 30 and 50.

Other Symptoms with prostatitis:

  • pain in the pelvis, genitals, lower back and buttocks
  • difficulty, frequency or pain when urinating
  • pain in the perineum

 

Again, it is advisable to seek medical attention if you experience any symptoms at all. The earlier the problems is diagnosed, the easier it can be successfully treated. The treatment is usually painkillers and a type of medication known as an alpha-blocker, which can help to relax the muscles of the prostate and the neck of the bladder. Medication that shrinks the prostate gland may also be helpful. Most men will recover within a few weeks or months, although it can take longer than that.

 

Prostate Cancer

In the UK, prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer in men, with over 40,000 new cases diagnosed every year. One in 8 people in the UK will get prostate cancer at some point in their lives*. One in 9 Men will get prostate cancer in the USA*. One in 7 men globally will be diagnosed*.

 

Prostate cancer begins when cells in the prostate gland start to grow uncontrollably. It’s not clear why it occurs, but your chances of developing prostate cancer increase as you get older. The condition mainly affects men over 65, although men over 50 are also at risk.

 

The risk of developing prostate cancer is also increased in men who have a first-degree relative (dad or brother) with prostate cancer and in men of Afro-Caribbean origin. The outlook for prostate cancer is generally good because, unlike many other types of cancer, it usually progresses very slowly. Many men die with prostate cancer, rather than as a result of having it.

There is little empirical evidence of the effects of Reflexology and Prostate Cancer, but there is one study conducted by The Bauneholm School of Reflexology in Denmark*. Forty Six participants with prostate enlargement (prostatitis received eight reflexology treatments on the feet, and the results showed:

 

  • Thirty participants (65%) experienced a reduction in their need to urinate
  • Thirty one participants (67%) experienced a better bladder pressure
  • Thirty seven participants (80%) experienced reduced sexual problems
  • Twenty eight participants (60%) experienced improvements of their general condition

Reflexology cannot fight infection and cannot cure cancer. What reflexology may help with is the symptoms, as shown by the study above.

 

A reflexologist would work the prostate, the direct reflex; and also:

 

  • Testes, groin areas
  • Pituitary gland, for foreign growth
  • The adrenal glands, for the sex hormones and to reduce inflammation
  • The Bladder, to help urination difficulties
  • Lumbar/sacral/pelvic region, for nerve supply and pain relief
  • Back of the leg, the chronic prostate area

 

These reflexes can be treated by wearing Revs® massage footwear (you will need to massage the sides of your heels as well to target the direct prostate and testes reflexes). You can locate these reflexes by using the chart below. Reflexology is a safe, natural therapy, and can be done during cancer treatment. If you are in any doubt, please check with your medical practitioner. We like to think Revs® can help reduce the discomfort, pain and symptoms.

 

References: www.reflexologymelbourne.net.au/mens-health-and-prostate-health/; https://prostate.net/articles/does-reflexology-treatment-for-prostatitis-work; Dwight C. Byers & Nancy S. Byers: Anatomy & Reflexology Helper Areas

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