Reflexology does help arm and back problems quite often. I suppose that most reflexologists have experienced that. In case of a mouse arm the connected reflexzones on the feet are most often affected and easily found on the top of the third metatarsale and cuneiforme. The back will show up on the feet as well in practically all cases. The neck reflex of course is the most expected zone to be painful, but the lower back will be affected too. It even can be so that the lower back is the primary cause. With reflexology I have the best results with clients who are in real pain. We can treat in that case rather symptomatically the reflexzone of the most painful place in the arm - very often the wrist - and always the shoulders and neck. I for one do so in the ear and the hand as well as on the foot.. In a few treatments and often already during the first one, the pain will abate and that is something and needed to give people air to reflex a bit, to see what further has to be done to get really rid of the RSI. In this next phase reflexology can be helpful, I'm sure, although the succesful cases are much less and it will cost many treatments on average. I use to treat mainly the reflexzones of the spine and the shoulders after a massage of the neck and shoulders themselves with the client lying on the back.
Any illness, the mouse arm included, has to do with the psyche. So if a physical change for the better takes place, - pain abades, stiffness lessens or strength returns - something is happening psychically as well. It is not always possible / easy to see, but that doesn't make it less true. An ill person - no matter if it is called a somatical or psychical illness - can improve as well by a physical (self)treatment as by a psychical one. Which one fits the best depens on the client, the moment and the therapist, if one is involved. Reflexology has, as I consider it, a somatic approach in the main, it effects in the first place the body, but besides this it had the ability to work directly on the psyche by special techniques/light touch, as for instance TT does. Isn't it one of the reasons we love reflexology as we do? But often there is no or little awareness of a possible psychical change or it comes much later. There is nothing wrong with psychical changes, that take place without much awareness - for some clients it's the very proper way -, but with a clearer awareness the change has a greater possibility to be more enjoyed by the client, what in turn improves the quality of life. A psychotherapy beside the reflexology can bring this about. One can think of a cognitive therapy, but for the kind of illness we discuss here - the mouse arm and back problems - an approach addressing itself to the awareness of the body with the traumata and feelings storaged fits most often better. Breath awareness therapy is a good one for this. Of course the awareness in neck, shoulders and lower back plays a main role during the breathing exercises used in the therapy. I'm very happy combining this therapy with the reflexology myself, but working together with an other therapist can be as good. For an example of a case where I succesfully used both therapies alongside eachother, I refer to my article on a Hernia Patient.
The kind of work we do as reflexologists makes us potential RSI patients. My work as breath therapist gave me insight that the way of sitting and the techniques used make a great difference in this respect. We cannot just go and sit another way than we are used to, but awareness creates possibilities. The better our body awareness, the better our therapeutic attitude and the less danger to develop a mouse arm or any injury on wrist or thumb. A 'good' and relaxed way of sitting releases the shoulders and reduces the needed tension og the arm and thumb muscles and tendons to a minimum while working.
A very important superadded effect is that through this minimized tension the sensitivity of thumb and fingers increases, what makes the possibilities to diagnose the texture of the foot zone objectivily as optimal as it can be.
And thus the circle is round. To find the affected pinpoints / zones on the foot that matter, while working with a client with a mouse arm and / or back problems, is not always easy. An optimized thumb and finger sensitivity may be helpful.