Your State Association of Professional Reflexologists

October 2019 by Linda Schroeder


T o u c h p o i n t

Round About: The Immune System

RAIA Fall Conference 2019

Presenters: Dorthe Krogsgaard and Peter Lund Frandsen from Denmark

Dates: October 5 & 6, 2019

The Iowa Reflexology Association welcomed Dorthe Krogsgaard and Peter Lund Frandsen from Denmark to Cedar Rapids, Iowa in October. There were twenty-two attendees from the Midwest part of the country, eager to learn about the physiology aspect of the Immune System.

As we may know the immune system is our defense against infections and foreign substances and at the same time an integral part of the self-healing and self-balancing system.

It is the immune system that maintains and repairs the body by being able to distinguish between self and non-self, between internal and external. It sets the boundaries; removes damaged or worn out cells and helps building new tissue after injury. The nonspecific immune system (innate): Passive as in surfaces, skin (low pH), mucous membranes of respiratory tract, and mucous membranes of the digestive system (low pH in the stomach, microbiota). Active as in Phagocytes (neutrophils, macrophages and the compliment system).

The lymphatic vessels are found in the connective tissues. Their walls are soft and collapse easily, so blockages in the connective tissue or muscle tensions may decrease flow of lymph.

New hypothesis of chronic inflammation. As part of the inflammation process neutrophils release a cascade of oxidative chemicals that break down bacteria and damaged cells. These are positively charged free radicals, which are highly chemically reactive because they lack one or more electrons. Some of the surrounding healthy tissue may also be affected and the decomposition material may then coagulate and form a barricade around the site of inflammation. This barricade prevents antioxidants and regenerative cells to reach the repair site. Healing is not complete, and the immune system continues to try to repair. This is the beginning of a vicious cycle, which can lead to chronic inflammation. With heat, redness swelling, pain and loss of function.

Good antioxidants from whole foods and a colorful plate of food!! Vitamin D is a must. The vicious circle can be prevented by ensuring supply of antioxidants (various negatively charged ions, ultimately free electrons) that can keep the process under control so as to avoid damage to the surrounding tissue and the formation of the inflammatory barricade. Inflammation is necessary but the communication is mixed. The body needs to break down the inflammation.

Question: Where is the largest concentration of lymph nodes in the body found? Not the neck, lungs nor central abdominals, but the superior mesenteric artery at the level of the head of pancreas and the duodenum. 

To mention that the thymus, spleen, liver, adrenal glands are other immune organs. Does the adult thymus play a role? It is reduced in adults and it has a negligible importance after puberty. Others believe the thymus can be seen as and “immune university and library” which educates immune cells and store information about antigens and most of the “basic training” takes place in childhood it may maintain an important function throughout life.  Part of theory is during fetal stages in the womb, what was going on in the mother’s life and back generations.

Touching on topics such as Potential effects on the immune system

Massage, touch, heart coherence: Pro-inflammatory verses Anti-inflammatory

Stress, Diet, Microbiota, Thoughts/Emotions, Metabolism, Exercise, Holistic Therapies, Earthing.

Peter and Dorthe spent a great deal of time demonstrating each protocol for implementing the various techniques in Touch Point Immune System. One thing of importance, having client awake thru session, while giving feedback to therapist.

To Relax the autonomic nervous system, we use an energy technique, where we gently touch the reflexes. It is an advantage only to touch the skin where you want the body to focus the energy, finding a comfortable position so you can maintain a stationary grip for up to a few minutes. The duration in individual and depends on an intuitive assessment and feedback from the client. 

Bilateral energy technique: Sympathetic (T1-L2) Parasympathetic: (Brain stem-C3)

Parasympathetic (S2-S4);

Unilateral energy technique: Sympathetic (T1-L2), Parasympathetic (Brain stem and sacrum).

We discovered the Spleen and liver on the lower leg. From the Karl-Axel Lind method system. The entire body is reflected in the lower legs and feet. The reflection is upside down, so the feet reflect the head and the body is located up the lower leg. Reflexes for the Vagus Nerve is a cranial nerve originating in the brainstem and takes a long course through the neck, thorax and abdomen.  Recently discovered, that 80-90% of the neurons in the nerve are so called visceral afferents, meaning they convey sensory information from the inner organs to the brain.

I found it to be refreshing as Dorthe revisited the Resonance techniques, which also was demonstrated, at the last conference in Chicago. The idea is to find the power and rhythm which fits into the client’s vibration pattern. You will get information from the body: Does it move freely? Is IT STAGNATED? Is one side more rigid than the other? This technique stimulates the communication between body cells and can help release congested or stagnated energy.

At the end of the weekend our focus was on Earthing and how this can be an effective way to regulate inflammation processes in a simple way as grounding. Taking at least a half an hour every day as a positive effect on the course of inflammation and tissue repair. I love to go barefoot on the ‘earth’ until it gets just too cold, like now in Iowa. Tour de France cyclists use “recovery bags” to speed up healing of injuries and overused muscles. 

For me it is always hard to see a class end, but let’s not forget the Immune System big picture and how our eating habits plays a role in the Anti- inflammatory nutrition and suggestions that one can use for an anti-inflammatory diet. Mia Damhus, a Nutritional therapist DET shares with us to eat fish or take supplements of fish oils; cut down on meat from four legged animals and all animal fat; eat small healthy in-between meal morning and afternoon;  Avoid: sugar and artificial sweeteners, white bread, white pasta and white rice, milk, caffeinated beverages (teas in moderate amount is OK;  Take supplements of probiotics (good bacteria) daily; use freshly grated raw  ginger in tea, dressings and for cooking and add 1 tsp turmeric daily and drink enough water daily.

Supplements: strong multi vitamin, D vitamin 35-70 mcg, probiotics 1 tsp daily,

C vitamin 1500- 3,000 mg, N-3 fatty acids (fish oil), flaxseed 1-2 tblsp daily

There was a lot of information passed during this class, which I know it was received with gratitude and will be implementing techniques to each of our toolboxes. Everyone is the class shared giving and receiving techniques that were mirrored to us by Peter and Dorthe.

It was a pleasure having these two wonderful instructors/teachers in our community, which reflects Reflexology therapists sharing the knowledge which in turn is power. I hope one day I can attend one of their classes in Denmark!!

If you would like to know more about Touch Point Round About: The Immune System you can go to


RAIA Conference in Chicago (April 2018)

RAIA Conference in Chicago (April 2018)

Back Row (L-R): Donna Jones, Karen Hageman, Kim Lande, Dorothy Hartman, Joye Meyer, Barb Duwe-Peterson, Janet Latchaw, Natalie Anderson, Pat Barrance
Front row: Linda Schroeder, Amy Petersen

OUR MISSION for the Reflexology Association of Iowa is to promote dialogue throughout the reflexology community as the primary means of creating unity among reflexologists and to protect and preserve the skills of reflexology and encourage communication, education, and ethics for reflexology practitioners and the clients they serve in Iowa and to protect our legal rights to work as reflexology practitioners.

RAIA is the Iowa State Affiliate of the Reflexology Association of America.

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