Plantarotherapy, in contrast to manual therapy, is a massage that is made by feet. In the past this type of massage was considered an additional procedure within bath procedures and sport massage. One may encounter recollections of this massage in Canon by Avicenna, in Alexander Pushkin memoirs, in memoirs of general Muravyev-Karsky. Elements of these massage are used now by “mekise” in Tbilisi (Georgia). Plantar massage is mentioned in the book by А.А.Biryukov «Bath and massage» (1997) and in the book by V.I.Dubrovsky «Everything about massage» (1993), where it was described how children walked on spines of patients in South-Eastern Africa and in Northern Europe. Plantar massage as a curing technique was not widely distributed due to less optimal position of a massage specialist and a patient in relation to each other, due to limitations of bath procedure and possibility of traumatism.
Planterotherapy (plantar massage) acquired its new life in practical workout of famous Turkish osteopath Meriem Yildirim, who for the first time experimentally applied it and made the technique perfect in the Department of Balneotherapy and physical therapy of the Scientific Research Institute of physiotherapy, rehabilitation and health resort treatment in Georgia, and when after that she successfully practiced it managing patients with musculoskeletal system disorders in Turkey. М. Yildirim invented a massage machine, that eliminate the effect of excessive pressure of a massage specialist’s body onto a patient and, hence, traumatism. М. Yildirim elaborated the formula of dosed influence on a patient in such parameters as the extent of pressure, speed and sequence of maneuvers, control over a patient’s condition during the procedure. At last, plantaroptherapy by M.Yildirim was modified due to installation of mobilization and manipulation maneuvers of manual therapy.
Maneuvers of plantar massage are fulfilled by the all plantar surface of a foot, by a heel , by a base of toes or toes themselves. The basic maneuvers are stroking, grinding, limbering, vibration and striking (light thrashing and slapping). Additional maneuvers are dragging, wringing out, rolling, sawing, double annular limbering. Combined maneuvers are also used.
Observations made during treatment of patients with osteochondrosis and patients with predilection to it showed several peculiarities of plantar massage effects. The center of gravity of the massage specialist is displaced upwards, so he may dose the influence in diapason of tender stroking to deep pressure. The synthetic character of plantar massage allows to achieve a deep relaxation affect (patient may fall asleep on the 5th-12th minute of the procedure) as well as intensive work with deep structures of a body, more intensive than in manual therapy. The effect of psychological resonance between the massage specialist and a patient is achieved via a sense of heat transduced into a patients body from the plantar part of a foot. Heat is intensively produced in the second half of the procedure during traction and distraction.
Plantarotherapy can normalize glucose level due to improvement of blood supply in azygoa and hemiazygos veins that course along the posterior surface of thoracic cave and the spine. It improves venous drainage of pancreas, that is the putative mechanism of blood glucose level normalization. Such a deep work with tissues is possible only with plantar massage and never in manual therapy. Plantar massage harmonize blood pressure and heart rate (BP within 15 mm Hg and HR in diapason of 8-18 heart beats).Plantar massage produces a marked venotonic effect of Batson vertebral plexus and on blood supply in equatorial arteries due to influence on the paired sympathic trunk. This influence is not only segmental, but produced alongside the whole trunk. In many cases of back pain sympathic component of inflammation is eliminated by plantar massage and simultaneously the tone of paraspinal muscles can be normalized. All that may normalize anatomic relations of the intervertebral disc space. Plantar massage may positively influence on potency in males and fertility in females. It is explained by stimulation of reflexogenic areas , but require a special scientific study.
Let us adduce several examples and references of patients who were treated in the International Spine Health Center of Meriem Yildirim (Istanbul, Turkey).
In 1986 I got a serious wound during an explosion. The explosive wave hit me and pushed onto the ground. After that one of my hands became stiff, I hardly kept a glass in it. I had very intensive pain and even thought about a suicide. I could do anything to get rid of pain even for a moment. I appealed to Clinton hospital (the USA) and paid 130 000 USD, but in vain.
I came to Turkey to die. I couldn’t even think that will be born hear for the second time. I got used to give orderd, but when Meriem appeared I understand that now I should obey her. She did impossivle – she preserved not only my health, but my life. Without army I couldn’t even imagine my future. No I have no problem…
Three years ago during the opening of the International airport in Astana I shuffled, felt a strong pain in a left knee and felt down. People brought me to the airplane on a stretcher.
When I arrived to Istanbul I was admitted to the specialized clinic, and their verdict was – surgery is inevitable. Before I gave consent my son advised me to appeal to Meriem Yildirim.
Meriem looked through all X-rays and said that I don’t need surgery. She proposed me plantotherapy. I started to go to massage two times a week. After three months I felt improvement. Today I feel myself very well. Despite I was born September 2, 1927, I play tennis two times a week now. It is owing to the professional help of Meriem Yildirim.
Doctor Meriem managed to unite Thai massage and Korean massage, and that is why her name is sited in the Cuinness book. Her popularity is unbounded – patients come to her from the whole world. Owing to plantotherapy many women obtained the happiness to become mothers, and now they come to their doctor on their children birthday to express gratitude.
I know about this technique of massage and go to preventive therapy. Before I suffered once in a three months from pain in the cervical spine. In the past I visited a lot of well-known massage specialists, but when I got acquainted with this unique technique, I forgot about my problem.
I could have never imagined, that bad luck will grab me at the summit of my carrier in sports. When that happened, I understood that my legs are not as they were before. I can hardly express my feelings at that moment! Impossibility to enter the football field, cancellation of contracts that have been already signed and total oblivion – all that awaited for me. I had only half a year. I had to improve my health within this period or leave the team. I visited the best clinics in the world, but in vain! My general condition grew poorer and poorer.
I heard about plantotherapy many times from colleagues. I knew that the coach of Turkish national football team Senol Gunes had dislocation of the spine. He underwent treatments in Italy, Austria and heard everywhwre: You need surgery. Only owing to Meriem Yildirim and her technique he not only avoided surgey, but returned to sports. Such examples are multiple. That is why, feeling worse after the next-in-turn visit to some clinic, I decided to appeal to Meriem.
After that I appeared on a football field again and scored a goal that was pivotal in a destiny of my team and, dare say, in the honor of my country. Meriem returned me my health, self-belief and everything best the life encompasses.
Now the followers of Meriem Yildirim are working in “Real Health” Clinic in Moscow!