Reflexology precautions

Posted on 16. Feb, 2010 by Anthony Larkin in Uncategorized

“Without prejudice”






The use of Talc, Oils, Creams & other Emollient products

In the interest of the health of Reflexologists and their clients/patients, I have written this treatise in the hope that it will help all concerned to maintain, and perhaps improve their health.

It is my opinion, based on over 30 years practicing, researching and teaching Reflexology, that some vital information has not been brought to the attention of practitioners with regard to their personal health.

During some 20 years of teaching reflexology to both Practitioner Diploma Level and Post-graduate Advanced Level, I have always discouraged the use of Talc (wherever feasible) as I have found it easier to work the reflexes without any medium getting in the way – I concede that Corn Flour/Corn Starch may be considered where the skin is too damp/sweaty. My opinion on the use of Aromatherapy oils, other oils, be they medicinal or otherwise, emollients, creams, lotions or other “goo” is legendary – they NEVER have a place in Reflexology. We must always remember we are treating the patient, not the disease!  Aromatherapy oils are medical preparations used to treat specific medical conditions; other oils may have allergic/sensitivity implications for some people. If a Reflexologist is also (adequately) qualified in Aromatherapy they may then consider the feasibility of using Aromatherapy as an adjunct to (following) Reflexology.

Careful use of the various “classical” techniques (for those who have been taught them) has served us well for some 70 – odd years.

I would encourage practitioners to peruse the following information and give careful consideration to its implications.

Talcum powder

Talcum powder is a powder made from a purified mineral called talc. Talcum powder poisoning may occur when someone accidentally or intentionally breathes in or swallows talcum powder or from prolonged use in a Reflexology practice or other environment.

This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poisons exposure. If you have an exposure, you should call your local emergency number (such as 999) or your doctor.

Poisonous Ingredient


Where Found

Talcum powder or powders containing Talc

Some antiseptics


Most symptoms can be caused by accidental or long-term breathing in (inhaling) of talc dust, especially in Reflexologists, therapists, nurses, clients/patients, parents, carers, infants and others. Breathing problems are the most common problem.

Bladder and kidneys

Urine output, decreased significantly (or none)

Eyes, ears, nose, and throat


Eye irritation

Jaundice (yellowed eyes)

Throat irritation




Heart and blood



Low blood pressure


Acute respiratory distress


Difficulty breathing

Respiratory failure

Nervous system



Lack of desire to do anything

Twitching of arms, hands, legs, or feet

Twitching of the facial muscles



Blue skin, lips, and fingernails


Shedding (sloughing) of skin

Yellow skin

Whole body


Action to take

Seek immediate medical help. Do NOT make a person throw up unless told to do so by a GP/Doctor or a health care professional.

If the person breathed in the talcum powder, immediately move him or her to fresh air.

Before Calling Emergency

Determine the following information:

Patient’s age, weight, and condition

Name of the product (as well as the ingredients and strength, if known)

Time it was swallowed

Amount swallowed

Take along the product to the Doctor/hospital

What to Expect at the A & E (Emergency Room).

The staff will measure and monitor your vital signs, including temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure. Symptoms will be treated as appropriate. You may receive:

Breathing tube

Fluids by IV

Medicine (antidote) to reverse the effect of the poison

Medicines to treat an allergic reaction (diphenhydramine, epinephrine, or prednisone)


You may be admitted to the hospital.

Outlook (Prognosis)

How well you do depends on the amount of Talc swallowed and how quickly treatment is received. The faster you get medical help, the better the chance for recovery.

Breathing in talcum powder can lead to very serious lung problems, even death.

Use caution when using talcum powder on babies. Serious lung damage and cancer have also been reported in workers who have breathed in talcum powder many times over long periods of time.

Alternative Names


Reminder – following any Reflexology treatment the recipient should be informed/reminded of any likely reactions that may arise and be advised on what action to take.

This information is being presented for Informational Purposes Only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional, licensed medical or other services. We are not responsible for inaccuracies in this information. Information is subject to change. Always consult a doctor or A & E facility for medical problems.

This treatise may be freely copied and shared, but must be used un-edited if it is to be printed in any publication.

Copyright Anthony Larkin 2010

First Blog Post

Posted on 18. Dec, 2009 by admin in Uncategorized

Welcome to the, the new home for Larkin’s Reflexology Booklist, established in 1996.

This is probably the most comprehensive list of Reflexology books available anywhere in the world comprising of a personal collection of more than 270 Reflexology books in the English language. Comments and recommendations welcome.

Please help to keep it accurate and up-to-date by contacting us here with your suggestions.

We’ll keep you up to date on the blog with any additions or changes to our booklist.