Ticklish feet - Therapy

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Ticklish feet - Therapy

Postby Quandry7777 on Tue Jul 10, 2007 6:19 am

Awhile back I posted a thread called "The Negative Stigma of Tickling" which came from another thread, "Very Ticklish Client". The very first thread was started by a massage therapist concerning a client who was not only ticklish on her feet, but found great benefit in it as a form of stress relief. I've been having this same treatment done by my therapist (an LMT) for almost two years and though I have had reflexology and foot massage, etc., this treatment has been amazingly beneficial. It has helped with lower back pain, allergies, stress eduction, knee pain, etc. The endorphine release caused by the laughter is scientifically proven to help in may areas. Plus, its fun. I have just run across another individual who is also sold on the therapy. I have discovered that there are not as many open minded people out there as they claim, but there are a few. I am asking that some of those more open minded give this a shot. My own therapist, who had previously never done this until I asked her about it, is amazed at how it works. Maybe even incorporate it into a massage.

When I first posted, even though I was sold on it, I've not run into others who have tried it but that is starting to change. I'm sold. I think people think this is flaky cause they associate it with childhood rough housing, but it's not even close. Historically it was done in several countries, usually among royalty. Anyhow, for those open minded enough, let me give you some tips to try:

1. Have the person lie flat on their stomach.

2. Tell them about the therapy before hand so that its not a surprise and let them know you will stop immediately as soon as they ask.

3. Place your palms on the soles of the feet...either one at a time or together. My therapist starts with only one, but eventually does both together. Let them get acclimated to your palm. Then begin to slowly and lightly tickle the sole.

4. One thing we have found out is that certain very sensitive spots relate directly with reflex areas used in reflexology and worked through.

5. Don't do it long, just enough to produce light giggling which is often very relaxing. When my therapist started, it was for brief moments and eventually you can build up. My usual treatments are a mixture of the tickling and a relaxing foot massage usually balanced out. Sometimes I request more of one than the other and that just depends on what I feel like. Yesterday, for the first time in almost two years, I asked her to do as much stimulation as possible and she tickled my feet for almost the whole time! It was extremely intense but extremely stress releasing. I came home and slept for a couple hours! I could have never handled that at the beginning stages.

I would love to know how it goes and hear of your results...I think you will be pleasantly surprised. If I can answer any questions, I would be more than happy to do so. It really is a great therapy and one that should at least be explored a little. My therapist shared some insight recently that I would be glad to share as to why she thinks this works. Again, I'd be glad to share
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Postby BJB-LMP on Tue Jul 10, 2007 1:01 pm

Would your therapist be willing to come here and post about this too?
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Postby Quandry7777 on Tue Jul 10, 2007 1:41 pm

I'm sure she would and will eventually. Her computer is down and has been for over a year! (I actually printed out all the replies to the other thread and took them to her to read.) I have asked her several times when she is going to get back on line, and its just not a high priority for her. But, I will mention it to her and maybe she can go to the library or something. She is an owner in a co-op health store, has two kids still at home, etc., I think she's just content with that. Me, it would drive me crazy not to be connected :) I'll see what I can do...
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Postby Quandry7777 on Fri Jul 13, 2007 7:03 am

I talked to my therapist. I was going to wait until I saw her Monday, but called instead. She has no internet access. I told her it was requested that she post and she said, "About what?" I said I wasn't sure exactly but she said, "They probably want my take on the whole thing." Anyhow, the best she said she could do at this point, was write out her input and experience with the therapy, and then I could post it. I really think she"s really not into the internet. Anyhow, I will keep you posted.

As I stated before, this therapy was done for centuries and throughout history in Russia, 17th Century France, Egypt, etc. I thinks its funny that since it is primarily historical, and not a ready part of our cultural or holisitc knowledge it is not considered. Therapists should be jumping at the chance to open new doors, expand their knowledge and experience, and find more ways to heal.
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Therapist input

Postby Quandry7777 on Mon Jul 16, 2007 9:05 am

My therapist has not yet posted as previously explained but does plan on doing so one way or another. However, I wanted to share some of her thoughts she shared in our session today:

1. "Most massage therapists are very open minded to new techniques and modalities."

2. "NO technique or modality works on EVERY person. Everyone is different and its not an exact science."

3. She said she got her idea from John Harvey Kelloges' "The Art of Massage" a curriculum book used in the state of Ohio. Evidently, he is one of the few MD's who has written a book on massage. She did say that the technique described in the book was not given to cause laughter, but it is the same technique.

4. She said, "Reflexology is a proven therapy. Laughing is proven as providing great health benefits...why not combine them."

5. She said what sold her besides the fact that we have been doing this a year and a half, is the specific benefit it has given me, specifically where my sinuses/allergies and stomach problems are concerned. She said it just amazes her...it just works!

6. She is also surprised at how quickly I go from the stimulated state when she is actually tickling the feet to the parasympathetic (sp?) state almost immediately when she does the relaxation.

7. She said that in my case too, that is is helping my adrenal glands to self-regulate.

Hopefully, some of her thoughts or statements will trigger some thought on this. Its fascinating stuff.
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Postby thebodyworker on Fri Sep 14, 2007 1:14 am

The Art of massage is online for free at
http://www.meridianinstitute.com/eamt/f ... lcont.html

I did just a quick search through it and only found reference to ticklishness and the reflex arc.

Tickling sound like torture and of course you would be exhausted afterwards from all of the stress of it all.

I have had a few people who have other areas that are highly ticklish like backs and even necks along with the common feet area. I work with these people to get rid of their ticklishness and see it as a form of tightness. One woman I couldn't even touch the top of her feet, but worked slowly over the course of a few months and got rid of all the tension in her feet without tickling her and she actually could enjoy foot massage.

I guess I am jaded because I was only ticklish when I was a kid until my dad said something like - "It's just all in your head".

:D

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Postby Quandry7777 on Fri Sep 14, 2007 1:59 pm

This completely depends on the person I think. I have been having this done for almost two years. It is not stressful at all and in fact, it is very stress releasing,,,unbelievably so! Yes, it is exhausting, and yet when my therapist has finished, I go into a parasympatheic state, dropping like a rock as she puts it. Usually I have an extremely high energy level, like a runners high. I really think most people have that negative stigma either because of a bad experience as a kid, or even now, that it is uncomfortable...instead of just surrendering to the sensation and laughing the stress away along with triggering those reflex points. I would be happy to share my experiences...still trying to encourage my therapist to get online...though I just recently found another one who does this same thing.
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More confirmation...

Postby Quandry7777 on Mon Oct 01, 2007 4:00 am

Though my therapist has yet to post, I found a website that confirms the treatment I had mentioned. In the following link the practitioner gives ideas to overcome ticklishness, however, at the end, she suggests to perhaps embrace it, rather than try to stop it. Here is the link and quote:

http://www.myreflexologystore.com/nl/Oc ... Client.pdf

"Something else to consider is that the release of the emotional component creating the tickle response can be a healing event. Because ticklishness is often a protective mechanism, focusing on such an area can promote a powerful release. While most therapists are accustomed to emotional releases in the form of tears, laughter can be just as effective."
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Postby aimeelmt on Fri Dec 14, 2007 6:53 pm

Thanks for this topic, so interesting to learn something new.

This is completely counter-intuitive to what I personally find relaxing. I like heavy deep pressure, but I can appreciate what has already been said here--no one thing works for everyone.

Thanks again.
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Clients & Hobbyists Talk About Massage

Postby jsw on Sat Apr 11, 2009 1:29 pm

I find it amazing that you have found a message therapyst who will employ tickling. Abosultly everyone I have talked to has said flat out no. That it is imapproriate and they are taught not never do this. So I am stuck. I know for a fact that it is great for stress and used to use it all the time but now do not have anyone to do the tickling and we all know that you can not ticke yorself.

Any tips on finding such a therapyst in my area?
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Re: Clients & Hobbyists Talk About Massage

Postby pueppi on Sun Apr 12, 2009 4:06 pm

jsw wrote:Any tips on finding such a therapyst in my area?


You could ost your area here in this thread, and if there is a therapist interested in helping you from this forum, they can PM you. :)
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Postby familymassage on Sun Apr 12, 2009 6:16 pm

i have a toddler that i affectionately term my 'napalm-induced bonfire.' he's a sweet child that can take any situation or inducement and vamp it up another three or four notches. the more tired he gets, the more 'tasmanian devil.' we find a good tickle-fest, well-timed, helps him maintain more socially-acceptable self-control and utilize some of that excess energy in a positive manner. i have taught my children to say 'no thank you' if they truly were not interested in being tickled and they are very good at utilizing such. sometimes they will end a tickle-fest to catch their breath and then ask for more...literally 'i want more tickles please.'

i personally dislike being tickled, it feels disempowering to me and i concede that it probably has a great deal to do with how tickling was approached as a child. i have great hopes that our method of enjoying tickling with our children in a safe and nurturing manner is truly safe and nurturing, and empowering, for them.

thanks for the topic. much to ponder.
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Postby JLWmassage on Mon Apr 13, 2009 2:51 pm

I just had a random guy email about this. He wanted to use me to practice on. I don't like the idea of being tickled on my feet so I passed on being his practice person
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Postby Quandry7777 on Wed Apr 15, 2009 2:23 pm

I appreciate familymassages approach and hope his/her children grow up with a healthier perspective. I have talked with people who were "tortured" as a child and that does tend to cause negative feelings later on.

By the way, I know of serveral therapists who are willing to use this as a therapy. I think its funny (in a sad way) how many therapists are so rigid in the "that is what I was taught" mentality. If that were the case, we would still be practicing old wive's tales for medical practice instead of exploring, reaching out and trying new things. I remember when reflexology started to become popular and it was railed upon by many massage therapists (who practice it now)!!!

It is an amazing therapy that really relieves the stress and tension and gets those endorphins pumping! I think the hard part of finding a therapist is maybe the approach and trust issue. You need to trust the therapist and they need to trust you. I would never ask a therapist to tickle me, but I would be honest and explain the technique involved and go from there. Unfortunately, the word itself has a very negative conotation among many therapists because of what they were "taught" but almost every therapist will agree that crying and laughing are great emotional releases.
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Re: Ticklish feet - Therapy

Postby bearcatfan on Fri May 15, 2009 3:38 am

I recently joined this board and was surprised to see this post. I also go to a LMT who employs tickling during our sessions. I started out going to therapy for my back (scoliosis) but now mostly do it for stress relief. Eventually the therapy evolved into involving tickling and I have found that the laughter generated during the tickling is very stress relieving. My LMT tickles not only my feet but also my sides/belly which I have found I enjoy more and also my back. She gets me to the point where I am laughing hysterically and I feel so much better afterward. Glad I am not the only one who enjoys tickling during massage. Would love to hear other peoples points of view of this.
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Re: Ticklish feet - Therapy

Postby Quandry7777 on Sun Jun 06, 2010 1:42 pm

Its been a while since I posted but I wanted to share this. The clips are in Spanish (translation anyone?) but it seems to describe the therapy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qe4xE8QB ... re=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4f6ndbWch1E&feature=fvw

Any thoughts?
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Re: Ticklish feet - Therapy

Postby JLWmassage on Sun Jun 06, 2010 1:54 pm

I watched them. And it makes me less than impressed with the therapy :smt017 The guy is just tickling her feet. Big deal, my six year old can do the same thing.

I do enjoy a good laugh just like the rest of us. And I always feel better after. I just do need someone to do tickle therapy on my feet to give me the beneifts of a good laugh
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Re: Ticklish feet - Therapy

Postby Quandry7777 on Sun Jun 06, 2010 8:12 pm

I don't completely disagree, this is not exactly like what I had done as my therapy was more intense. I wish I could understand his explanation. I understand he is "just tickling her feet"...but it is the effect that it has on the body. Historically this WAS used in ancient Egypt, Russia, etc. I would agree his technique is a little generic too, mine was much more exact, but my point was that the modality is becoming more recognized. I had posted this quote a while back that helps clarify it a little as well. It is a quote from a now defunk website called "Sensitivity Mapping" which was a link from a reflexology site. The quote deals with stress relief and actually tickling the feet to acheive it. I personally found it very interesting!

"The wild, uninhibited laughter of a child, as opposed to the more cerebral laughter of an adult, can be attained by a prolonged and intense tickling of the soles of the feet. Considered torture by some, tickling itself can actually be a great way to relieve stress if the recipient can handle the stimulation and surrender to the sensation. This is easier said than done-tickling is confusing, a literal love/hate relationship, as the mind says, " yes" and the body screams, "No". Tickling can be perceived as both pleasure and pain, like an itch that cannot be scratched. It is this quandary that the body both craves and resists, sometimes simutaneously. Specifically, tickling the sensory-rich soles of the feet bring other stress relieving factors [reflexology/nerve stimulation] into play as well. Tickling and laughter are both mysterys that in recent years, have received much deserved attention."
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Re: Ticklish feet - Therapy

Postby riversinger on Mon Jun 07, 2010 4:30 am

Quandry:

Many modalities have ancient roots & can certainly be effective. While I believe that you have received benefits from the treatment you have gotten you might want to consider this: As children and as adults many people have been forced to endure touch which they had no control over. If this is repeated over a course of time it can cause one to become overly sensitive to that experience - either avoiding it entirely, numbing out, or perhaps becoming addicted to it. I am not saying that tickling is bad, just that as others have stated, that it should only go on so long as the person it is being done to actually enjoys the experience.

Having had more than one client over the years who were "tickle tortured", as children (usually by family members) and knowing that they felt this was imposed on them (meaning they had no control over the situation) I would not use this "modality" in my practice. While this is in no way the same as what is typically called "abuse" (physical or sexual) it can be a form of it - in that boundaries can be blurred, as there can be a sense of being a helpless victim involved.

Please understand while many of us practitioners can be open-minded and willing to work with our clients on many levels, we do have a line to walk, as professionals, and there are many standard methods for taking a client into a para-sympathetic state of relaxation. Personally bringing someone into a stimulated state first & then moving it into a state of relaxation through tickling seems counter-intuitive to me.

It would be interesting to see what a psychologist/psychotherapist would have to say about it.
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Re: Ticklish feet - Therapy

Postby Quandry7777 on Mon Jun 07, 2010 6:56 am

Again, I agree 100%. I would never think this is for everyone. By the way, I had a frind in college who couldn't stand his back rubbed or touched and would never get a massage of any type. I know many people who would never get a massage for a variety of reasons, many of which most therapists try to address on almost any therapist's site...self-consciousness, body image, nervousness, etc. There are many childhood traumas that prevent people from getting a massage at all! So I am not suggesting that people who have been tickle-tortured who benefit from this. But there are many who would. Even in the popular modalities, not everyone likes everything nor benefits from everything. Everyone forgets that reflexology was looked at as quackery 40 years ago!

As far as a blur, okay, not sure I agree 100% on that. A few differences is that the individuals in the videos are obviously not beng tortured. They are not restrained in any way, they are being monitored (he hands them a towel to wipe their face, etc.) and they are obviously willing participants. I am no suggesting this is done to anyone not willing. I can say from personal experience that you have to just give in to it and laugh. And when it was first introduced to me, I thought it was crazy. By the way, after the trickling, when I was brought down into the para-sympathetic state, I actually fell asleep and when I awoke after just a few minutes, I would be in a giddy, yet relaxed euporic state for a couple days. I HAVE tried MANY modalities that claim to do the same an none of them worked...for me. I'm not trying to make a believer out of anyone, just to encourage those who claim to be open minded to test the validity. The therapist who originally did this was an LMT. She told me that most massage therapists are very closed minded and will not try anything that they had not been taught in school...despite the claim they were open-minded. PLEASE KNOW, this is NOT an attack on anyone here who has claimed that!!! I have shared this with a few therapists as a trade and they were all doubtful and hesitant at first and every one was amazed at the positive affect it had on them. However, the majority of therapists I have spoken to have dismissed it and will never know. The fact is, this modality IS becoming more popular and perhaps like reflexology will be a cmmon modality in the next twenty or thirty years.

I know it works for me, its just a mystery that I want to understand.
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Re: Ticklish feet - Therapy

Postby riversinger on Tue Jul 06, 2010 6:36 am

Gwenwon, yes massage therapy can help you - but I would suggest you work with someone who is not only informed what the issue is about for you, but who can be very present & responsive to your needs too. Whoever you go to, make sure you communicate with them during the session if you are uncomfortable in any way.

Long deep gliding strokes are generally more well tolerated by those dealing with being ticklish, then any form of light feathery touch. I feel they are more effective for releasing mental/emotional & muscular tension as well.

I've also found that using a couple of my hot stones laying on top of the blanket (across the abdomen, & lower sternum region) effectively helps people relax more quickly & deeply at the beginning of sessions. Sometimes essential oils can aid in the process, especially for those who are tense & don't feel safe to let go to touch, have a couple of ways in which their system is being directed toward relaxation. This type of stimulation of the senses allows the breath to slow down & deepen, while the mind is processing what is happening without having to be in a hyper alert mode.
Last edited by riversinger on Tue Jul 06, 2010 6:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ticklish feet - Therapy

Postby JasonE on Sat Jul 10, 2010 10:57 pm

I've never had a ticklish person who couldn't be made nonticklish. So far, that is. The things that make us ticklish are the same as the things that make us feel tight and sore. Slow down, sink in, and calm the nervous system.
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Re: Ticklish feet - Therapy

Postby jsw on Sun Aug 22, 2010 3:49 pm

I have not been able to log in since April but I do want to report that I found someone in my area who was ok with trying this and I had 5 sessions with er where she did deep tissue (the massage I prefer) and concluded it with tickling my feel. It was absolutly great. It is the best I have ever felt. She has sense move out of state but refered me to someone else who took over and is great at it. It was a new thing for her but she really gets it and understands the benefits. She even starts giggling at my reactions. We are set up for every other week. This is the best I have felt in years.
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Re: Ticklish feet - Therapy

Postby Quandry7777 on Thu Oct 21, 2010 10:33 am

Congratulations JSW!!! It works wonders, doesn't it. I've said it over and over, you have to surrender to the sensation and not fight it. My therapist loves it!
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