Mobile Reflexology

CVA – Cerebrovascular Accident (Strokes)

There are two types of cerebrovascular accidents:

  1. Ischaemic Stroke (Blood Flow Restriction):
    This occurs due to a blockage in one of the blood vessels in the brain by a blood clot or atherosclerosis.
    The resulting blockage severely impairs the regular blood supply to that area of the brain, causing oxygen deprivation.
    As a result, nerve cells die, leading to dysfunction in the organs related to the affected brain area.
  2. Haemorrhagic Stroke (Brain Bleed):
    This is caused by a rupture in one of the blood vessels in the brain, leading to blood leakage into the brain.
    The bleeding disrupts the blood and oxygen supply to the area the damaged blood vessel serves.
    Additionally, the bleeding creates pressure on brain areas where no pressure should exist, causing paralysis.


A stroke can occur in any part of the brain.
Blockages or bleeds can develop in the middle of the brain, affecting both sides, or occur in several different locations in separate events, sometimes one after another.

The Impact of a Stroke on the Body

Damage to one side of the brain causes functional disturbances on the opposite side of the body.
The physical impairment provides an indication of the brain damage.

A person who has experienced a stroke has a higher potential for another stroke.


Major Risk Factors:

  • Uncontrolled and untreated high blood pressure (which can cause blood vessels to burst).
  • Diabetes – high blood sugar damages blood vessels in the brain.
  • Tendency towards hypercoagulability (thrombophilia) – increased risk of developing inappropriate or excessive thrombus (blood clot) formation.
  • Embolism – A blockage in an artery, caused by a foreign body, such as a blood clot.
  • Brain infections – e.g., meningitis.
  • Heart problems.
  • Brain tumours.
  • Accidents or head injuries.
  • Taking blood-thinning medications – which can either cause bleeding in the brain or increase blood clotting (as a side effect).
  • Very strenuous physical activity.
  • Excessive nervousness.
  • Poor diet (increases blood sugar and cholesterol levels).
  • Vascular diseases that weaken blood vessel walls, increasing the risk of haemorrhage.


Emergency Medical Treatment

Current medical treatment is emergency-oriented – the goal is to treat the event as soon as possible (within 4-5 hours after the event).
Time is crucial in a stroke because every minute, around 2 million brain cells die. Medical treatment includes administering clot-dissolving drugs in ischaemic conditions or stopping the bleeding in haemorrhagic conditions.
In cases of strokes that occur during sleep, MRI scans are performed to check for brain damage.


Stroke Signs:

  • Speech disturbance – sudden slurred or garbled speech.
  • Limb weakness.
  • Sudden visual acuity disturbance.
  • Dizziness and lack of balance.
  • Drooping of the mouth.


Steps to Take if a Stroke is Suspected:

  • Dial 999 immediately.
  • Ask the patient to smile – if unable, it may indicate a stroke.
  • Ask the patient to stretch their hands forward – if unable, it may indicate a stroke.
  • Ask the patient to speak – if they speak unclearly, nonsensically, or cannot speak, it may indicate a stroke.


Reflexology Treatments for Stroke Patients

Reflexology can be applied to an individual during a stroke (until the ambulance arrives or at the hospital with the medical team’s consent).
This treatment involves applying static touch to help stabilise and balance the body and brain as much as possible in the given situation.

Post-stroke reflexology aims to achieve the following goals:

  • Relaxation
  • Balancing
  • Managing stroke aftereffects (targeting specific organs affected by the brain injury)

Different techniques are employed during a session, varying according to the type of stroke (ischaemic or haemorrhagic).


Understanding strokes and their impact can significantly improve response and treatment outcomes.
Integrating complementary therapies like reflexology can offer additional support for stroke recovery and overall well-being.

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