Reflexology and Pain Management

Reflexology Offers Some Pain Relief

A small scientific study on reflexology as a treatment for acute pain finds that it may be as effective as painkillers. The authors suggest reflexology may usefully complement conventional treatments for conditions like osteoarthritis and cancer, which are often associated with pain.

Carol Samuel and Ivor Ebenezer, of the University of Portsmouth in the UK, report their findings in the upcoming May issue of the journal Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, which is already available online.

Reflexology is a complementary therapy that applies pressure to the body and works well alongside conventional medicine.

While pressure may be applied to any body area, most treatments involve applying pressure to the feet or hands. In this study, the treatment was applied to the feet*.

For the study, 15 participants underwent two sessions where they had to submerge their foot in ice water. In one session they received reflexology before they submerged their foot, and in the other they believed they were receiving treatment from a TENS machine, but it was switched off.

The experiments yielded two measures: pain threshold and pain tolerance. Pain threshold is the time it took for the participants to start feeling pain, and pain tolerance is the length of time from first inserting the foot in the water to when they could no longer stand the pain.

The results showed that when they received reflexology, the participants had higher pain thresholds and tolerances than when they received the sham TENS treatment.

Receiving reflexology resulted in about 40% less pain, and ability to withstand it lasted about 45% longer.

Samuel, a trained reflexologist who conducted the experiment as part of her doctoral thesis, says in a statement released this week:

“As we predicted, reflexology decreased pain sensations. It is likely that reflexology works in a similar manner to acupuncture by causing the brain to release chemicals that lessen pain signals.”

Ebenezer says they were very pleased with the results, and although it is a small study, they “hope it will be the basis for future research into the use of reflexology”.
Complementary Therapies Not Often Tested Under Controlled Conditions
“Complementary and alternative therapies come in for a lot of criticism, and many have never been properly tested scientifically. One of the common criticisms by the scientific community is that these therapies are often not tested under properly controlled conditions,” says Ebenezer.

In this study the researchers wanted to avoid such criticism, which is why they tested the effect of reflexology against a sham TENS treatment that the participants believed was giving them pain relief.

Samuel says more research is now needed to take the findings from this small study further, such as to find out how reflexology actually works.

In another recent study published in the April issue of Journal of Endocrinology, researchers suggest that understanding the molecular underpinnings of acupuncture’s success could increase its acceptance by mainstream medicine.

Written by Catharine Paddock PhD

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How to Use Reflexology to Ease Menstrual Cramps
A Natural Alternative to Traditional Pain Medication

Menstrual cramps can be dreadful to deal with, if you are a woman who gets them on a monthly basis. Menstrual cramping occurs when the uterus works to shed its inner lining — otherwise known as the endometrium — when there is no pregnancy, and it is no longer needed. The contraction of the muscles in the uterus can cause discomfort and even pain in the abdomen and pelvic area.

Of course, pain medications typically help to alleviate some of that pain. But what if there are none available, or if you cannot take painkillers for some reason? Reflexology is one way to help ease menstrual cramps naturally.

What is reflexology?

The practice of reflexology consists of applying pressure to specific points on the hands and feet, which correspond with certain organs in the body, to improve the recipient’s health. It is often used either alone or in conjunction with traditional medicines as an enhancer, and has been proven to be useful in treating various health conditions. How can it be used to get rid of cramping in women?

How to use reflexology to ease menstrual cramps

It is very easy to use reflexology to get rid of cramping. The ovary and uterus reflexes are located on each side of the heels of your feet; use your fingers to work the medial and lateral sides of both feet. Then work each area of the endocrine system: the pituitary gland, the thyroid and parathyroid glands, adrenal gland, pancreas, and ovaries. Locate these areas on the reflexology map, which you will find here (you will need to scroll down a little).

Work these areas of the feet several times a day, as needed.

Does reflexology work to ease cramping?

I was able to try reflexology for menstrual cramps myself, and it does seem to have helped a little. I am no reflexologist, but I simply walked my fingers over the pressure point areas listed above and applied steady, firm pressure to the tender areas. I noticed that some of the points, especially on the sides of my heels, felt pretty tender when I applied the finger walking techniques. So I just worked those areas a little more than the others.

Where to find a practitioner

If you wish to consult a certified reflexologist for deeper issues, ask friends, family or your physician for referrals. Otherwise, you will find several professional reflexology associations online, such as the Reflexology Association of America, that might have listings for your area.

Tonya writes about a variety of topics that interest her. Having earned a degree in Interior Design, she is knowledgeable in various aspects of the home improvement industry, including decorating and green l… View profile

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Romney’s MS Scare

Romney’s MS Scare Highlights Variable, Unpredictable Disease

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, left, stands with wife Ann as they arrive to speak at a town hall, in Youngstown, Ohio, March 5, 2012. (Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)

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By CARRIE GANN (@carrie_gann) , ABC News Medical Unit
April 26, 2012
Ann Romney’s struggles with multiple sclerosis kept her away from her husband’s campaign shortly before Super Tuesday.
The wife of the presumptive GOP’s presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, told “Entertainment Tonight” about a “health scare” she had in the days leading up to the marathon day of primaries in March.
“I was quite fatigued, and I knew I couldn’t quit. I didn’t tell anybody I was tired,” Romney said.
As she continued her work on the campaign, she said her symptoms worsened.
“You know, what happens with me is that I start to almost lose my words. I almost can’t think. I can’t get my words out. I start to stumble a little bit and so those things were happening and I thought, ‘Uh oh, big trouble.’”
Experts say Romney’s experience with MS is fairly common for the majority of people who deal with the symptoms of the disease, which is characterized by variable, often unpredictable symptoms.
Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks the protective covering, called the myelin sheath, surrounding nerves in the brain and spinal cord.

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When the nerves in these key structures are damaged, the impulses controlling basic functions like movement and cognition become distorted, producing a wide range of symptoms, some minor and some severe.
“MS is the most variable of serious neurologic diseases,” said Dr. Fred Lublin, director of the Corinne Goldsmith Dickinson Center for MS at Mount Sinai Medical Center. “It can be very, very mild, to the point where some people don’t know they have it, and it can be very debilitating for others. And everything in between.”
Romney’s experience with MS has become a central part of her husband’s presidential campaign. The Romneys often discuss her 1998 diagnosis at age 49, and how she dealt with the disease while raising her five sons. Experts say a number of things about Romney’s current schedule and role in the campaign may have aggravated her symptoms, producing the effects she described.
“Those who have MS have some underlying damage to the nervous system. If their system is off — if they get overheated or stressed a lot or unusually tired — the symptoms may manifest themselves” by making the transmission of impulses along the already-frayed neurons even worse, Lublin said.
According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, about 400,000 Americans and 2.1 million people worldwide live with MS. Most experience a range of symptoms that can come and go, but for some, the disease worsens progressively and becomes physically disabling. Romney herself has said she once feared that she would be confined to a wheelchair and would not be able to cook or care for her family.
MS is chronic, and there is no cure. But experts say the treatments for MS have vastly improved since the 1990s. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved eight medications, half approved in the last five years. The drugs work to block the immune system’s attacks on the brain and prevent relapses of the disease.
The drugs have been fairly successful in treating people like Romney, said Tim Coetzee, chief research officer at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
“The unmet need is tackling the need of people with more progressive, debilitating forms of the disease,” he said.

• Romney has said she keeps her MS under control with traditional medicine, but also uses a combination of alternative therapies, such as reflexology and yoga, to keep her symptoms in check. Romney is also an avid horseback rider, which is actually also a treatment for MS.
• “It’s known that horseback riding is particularly good for MS patients,” said Dr. Adam Kaplin, an assistant professor of psychiatry and neurology at Johns Hopkins Medical Institute in Baltimore. “It helps people coordinate their balance and train their muscles.”

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• Generally, experts say any exercise is helpful for managing symptoms of MS.
• Although a stressful, tiring lifestyle can take its toll, many patients are able to keep their symptoms in check by staying tuned to their body’s signals. They said there’s no reason to think Romney’s MS will keep her from fulfilling her responsibilities to her husband’s campaign or her potential role as First Lady.
• “There are scores of people with MS in highly active and stressful positions. They do just fine,” Lublin said.

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Reflexology and Autism… Will it help?

Studies regarding the use of reflexology for Autism. Does it help?
In a nut shell, yes, reflexology does help. But you can do some simple
techniques every day at home. Improvement may be unnoticeably gradual so a third
party observer might help in assessing effectiveness.

Work on the pituitary, pineal and brain reflex points on the feet and/or hands,
which ever your child best tolerates.

Not many charts on line show the pineal reflex point. Hold up your thumbs
straight up in front of you. On the side of the thumb on the outside (the left
side of the left thumb and the right side of the right thumb), half way down the
nail on the edge of the thumb is the point you are looking for. It’s beside the
nail, not on the nail.

Work the pineal and pituitary reflex point with your thumb or finger. Pressure
should be firm but not painful. I prefer to use the edge of my thumb and “hook”
in an upward (or towards the tip) motion without sliding off the point. Don’t
use lotions at this point because you want grip, not slip.

The technique for working the brain reflex is called thumb rotation. Hold the thumb, fingers or toes firmly with one hand, and rotate your thumb on the tip of the fingers/thumbs/toes with the other. Make 3 circles in one direction, 3 the other, then 3 more in the original direction. I
don’t think you need to spend more than 20 seconds on each.

Perhaps you belong to a support group and you could hire a reflexologist for a
day to go over what I just gave you. It is difficult to teach reflexology
online, but the techniques are simple to learn and there is no need to take out
a second mortgage to pay for weekly sessions when you can do most of it at home.
When you have a ASD child, you do want to try everything. Speech is the thing we are working hard on. We used to have some speech, and then lost it. So I tried Reflexology and I have to say I am starting to see some progress…..
Reflexology techniques are used throughout the healing world along with Naturopathy, Homeopathy, Massage, Chiropractic’s, Acupressure, Nutrition, Magnetics, etc. These techniques have been practiced for years and are becoming more popular every day due to the results that are being achieved.
Because reflexology’s ever growing popularity there are more and more people getting involved and learning this practice. There are courses and conferences all over the world, from Jordan to Jamaica! In fact, Jamaica will be hosting a conference in February 2012 so please keep this in mind. Moshe Kruchic, Martine Faure-Alderson, Farida Irani, Chris Stormer and Lone Sorenson have tentatively agreed to attend. Beryl Crane is a friend of Jamaica and will also try to make it. There will also be some course held either before or after the conference so start saving your pennies for a wonderful learning experience.

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Strange Reflexology News…

I shunned IVF for reflexology

“I THOUGHT you were a clever girl. If you think paying 50 pounds for someone to fiddle with your feet is going to get you pregnant….

When Andrea Sennett shunned conventional medicine in her bid to have a baby her doctor was doubtful to say the least.

But as she cuddles her beautiful baby girl, the proud mum is certain that Niamh is the magical result of the alternative therapies she turned to to achieve her dream.

I am absolutely certain that the reflexology helped me to get pregnant, she smiles. And being a mum is incredible. Niamh is magic. She is just starting to talk and becoming a real best friend. She is great company and really giggly.

Like many women, Andrea had always assumed that when the time came to want children she would be able to get pregnant. She had discovered, at 16, that she had polycystic ovaries (a condition which limits ovulation) but was told that it could cause problems conceiving not that it would.

Neil and I got married quite young, at 24, and we wanted to enjoy each other at first. But a few years ago we decided the time was right to have children.

When she failed to get pregnant after a year Andrea and Neil went to see their GP but were relieved when they were told that, other than the inhibiting factor of her ovaries, there was no reason why they couldn’t conceive. But, a year later, nothing had happened still. We were told that drug therapies and IVF were the only option, but I didn’t want to go through IVF and drug therapies, at least not until I had exhausted every other avenue.

It’s such an emotional rollercoaster to go through, and I already felt I was on one. I wasn’t prepared to put my mind, body and relationship through that. You can’t understand how hard it is until you’re in this situation. It becomes the most important thing, you plan your whole life around it.

Andrea, a customer relations manager for a software company, went to see clinical reflexologist Tracey Turton at the Natural Fertility Clinic, based at Cheshire Natural Health in Warrington.

Reflexology uses gentle pressure on precise points of the feet, ankles and hands that influence corresponding parts of the body, soothing away tension and eliminating toxins to encourage the body to revitalise itself.

Within months she became pregnant and broke the news to Neil on their seventh wedding anniversary. I can’t stand anyone touching my feet and, when I first went for reflexology, I thought I was going to hate it. Tracey didn’t just focus on fertility. But she would ask if I had a sore shoulder and I would think, how did she know that?. Eventually I just let her get on with it. And it was incredible.

Andrea and Neil were due to go on holiday to Las Vegas and had decided that, after the holiday, they would begin the IVF process. But that was not going to be necessary. I knew before I did the test. The night before the 14 days were up to do it I couldn’t sleep all night and I got up at 6am and I was like, woo-hooo, I’m pregnant.

I had terrible morning sickness for which I went to Tracey and pre-eclampsia at 31 weeks, but Niamh was worth all the worry and effort. Tracey says: “With reflexology, you treat the person as a whole. It induces a deep state of relaxation.

Tension can have an effect on the hormonal balance and blood sugar which is important with polycystic ovaries. If people are stressed the first thing that’s affected is the reproduction system because that is not essential for survival.

We work on meridians (energy channels). When there is a blockage, that stops the energy flowing through the body and leads to ill health. Reflexology clears them and allows the energy to flow and the body to function well.

As Andrea is happy to confirm: I have a wonderful baby daughter. And I hope she’s not my last!

Source: Nov 12 2008 by Janet Tansley, Liverpool Echo

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Reflexology relaxes, heals

Written by
Lauren Yanks
For Living & Being

Scott R. Way
Phone: 845-235-9329

Curtis Momber-Jackson
Phone: 845-399-4010

Everyone longs for more relaxation in today’s fast-paced world; perhaps taking the time for a reflexology treatment could make all the difference.
An ancient healing modality used in a variety of cultures, reflexology is the practice of applying pressure through a range of finger techniques to the feet, hands or ears — usually the feet — without the use of oil or lotion. Reflexology is based on the idea that the feet, hands and ears have zones that correlate with the rest of the body, so working on these zones helps the whole body.
“Reflexology helps to balance all the organs and systems of the body,” said Scott R. Way, a Poughkeepsie reflexologist. “If some part of your body is hyperactive, a session will calm it down. If something is underactive, it stimulates it and in that way creates equilibrium. When the body is in its natural stare of equilibrium, it’s better able to heal itself.”
Way first became involved in reflexology about 15 years ago, when he was suffering from inflammation of the tissues in his foot.
“I went to the doctor, and he gave me the usual anti-inflammatory medication, which addresses the symptoms and not the root cause,” he said. “Then somebody recommended reflexology, so I gave it a try.”
After three sessions with his reflexologist, Way said he was amazed when he was able to get out of bed in the morning without any pain. He kept going back for more because it also made him feel relaxed and centered, and eventually he took a reflexology certification class at Omega in 2003. Way now has his own reflexology and Reiki practice out of The Cunneen-Hackett Arts Center in Poughkeepsie.
“The reflexes in the feet and in the hands are reflections of body parts,” he said. “Their locations and relationships to each other follow a logical pattern which resembles the body itself.”
By applying specific pressures using the thumb, fingers and hands, reflexology can help increase circulation, release toxins and improves the function of the immune system. By helping relieve overall tension, reflexology can also help a person’s mental and emotional state.

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Strange patent… for a ‘hand reflexology glove’!???

In 1993 a US patent for a for a Hand Reflexology Glove was established:

“As an improvement to the utility and techniques of hand reflexology, a hand reflexology glove (54) comprised of a pliant plastic material is intended for placement upon a hand (14). A hand reflexology zone morphological map (50) along with a plurality of reflex zone lines (24L, 26, 28, 30 and 32) provide an accurate hand reflexology guidance interface during a reflexology treatment (60) being performed by a hand (34). Reflexology glove (54) directly overlays actual organ and bodily function reflex receptor zone points naturally occurring in hand (14), allowing an individual to instantly and accurately access any hand reflex receptor zone of interest.”

thinking It appears to be an idea for an innovative type of hand glove that should stimulate certain zones of the hand; by the way… I am not aware that it was ever produced as a commercial product.

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Holistic Treatment

Reflexology: A wonderful mode of treatment for suffering patients
Medical science has improved by leaps and bound in recent past but treatments that are offered by doctors entail various side effects which might hamper functioning of vital organs of the body. It is a well known fact there are many diseases that occur due to modern life style. Cancer is considered to be a killer disease along with Arthritis and others. Apart from convention allopathic treatment there are other modes of providing relief to the patients. Reflexology presents an entirely different approach to the present scenario. People who argue in favor of above method explain that it follows a holistic approach and is multi-dimensional in nature.
Various attributes of Reflexology:
Reflexology consists of different activities which include massaging of various parts of the body that would help you to be relaxed. There are many issues which face individuals when they encounter health problems in their lives.
• Many people suffer from the problem of insufficient blood supply. It can prove to be a great impediment for a good health.
• Heart pumps blood so that it reaches vital organs of your body. If it is not able to perform above function you might land in to trouble.
Reflexology massage is more that physiotherapy because it helps to increase bold flow in your body to ensure that you feel refreshed after a period of time. There are certain points in the body which are activated when massage oil is applied. It creates a unique sensation in the patient. You need to attend multiple sessions of therapy so that your body becomes habitual and relaxed to increased blood supply which helps in transferring essential nutrients. Combined with other medicines it can work wonders to your health. Many people scoff at the idea of reflexology but there is not denying fact that after massage you would feel as if you are reborn with new energy. Therapy helps in the healing process and rejuvenates you in facing challenges of life with renewed enthusiasm

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First Experience with Reflexology

My first experience of reflexology

Personally, I’m not one for new age “holistic” treatments. I’ve always been a fanatical adherent to the principles of science, and any medical treatments with unproven effectiveness leave me feeling very skeptical. In the past, I’ve discounted homeopathy, dismissed traditional Chinese medicine, and derided all forms of alternative and complementary medicine. It was a very skeptical man who walked into that reflexology practice yesterday.

Reflexology is an incredibly ancient practice, dating back over 5000 years. The first recorded evidence of reflexology was found in an Egyptian tomb, and thousands of miles away in the east a painting of the Hindu god Vishnu with reflexology charts on his feet was found in India. This, along with a wealth of other evidence, proves that the wisdom of reflexology was widespread in the ancient world, stretching all the way from Egypt to Japan.
The basis of reflexology is the theory that there are areas on the hands and feet that correspond to other parts of the body. When these reflexology points are gently stimulated with specific techniques, beneficial effects are observed in the corresponding areas.

The mechanism of action is firmly grounded in pseudoscience. Practitioners believe that a reflexology massage helps with energy imbalances and blockages throughout the body, and that all kinds of ailments and maladies can be very powerfully dealt with through skillful manipulation of the hands and feet. This goes against conventional medical wisdom, yet reflexology patients often feel that they have received some vast benefit from undergoing the experience. Society is divided on whether reflexology is a genuinely valuable complementary therapy, or a simple foot massage wrapped up in new age quackery.

Despite the skeptical view that medical science holds, there is no doubt that many people claim to experience remarkable effects from reflexology treatment. That alone compelled me to give it a try.
I walked into a very reputable reflexology clinic in West London. I’d done a significant amount of research online and I was determined to have the very best experience possible. I was immediately reassured when I stepped into the clinic, and I was greeted with an atmosphere somewhere between a very plush private clinic and a high-end spa. A gentle and relaxing aroma of essential oils lingered in the air. It was, without a doubt, a very nice place.

When my appointment came, a friendly reflexologist approached me, and she asked me a few questions about my medical history and what I hoped to get out of the session. After telling her that I had no specific problems, she welcomed me into one of the treatment rooms.

The reflexologist explained to me that many of her clients come to her for nothing specific. Apparently, it’s just as common to visit a reflexologist to cope with the stresses of a hectic life, or to try to maintain a balance. She mentioned with a smile that the procedure was so pleasant that often people need very little excuse to arrange a session. A few minutes after the treatment started I began to agree with her.

She firmly massaged my feet with the incredibly wonderful smelling essential oils that I caught the scent of as I entered the clinic, and I began to feel very relaxed. As she applied specific pressure to certain areas of my feet, I began to feel something beyond a mere foot massage. I felt a sensation that was very odd, yet pleasant, and it continued all the way up my legs. The tingle was something I’d never experienced before, and it left me feeling great.

As the treatment continued we had a chat about her client base. In addition to the stressed out individuals we’d discussed earlier, she told me of many successes she’d had with clients. After just a few sessions, she said, most people felt a marked improvement in all kinds of conditions. From chronic back pain to kidney stones, she claimed to have helped all manner of medical problems.
One area she mentioned where reflexology has almost miraculous effects is helping couples conceive children. Apparently the technique is very effective for both men and women, and the results are exceptional. “I’ve helped many little lives come into this world” she proudly stated as she palpated my feet.

As the session continued, I felt even more relaxed, and I began to perceive further intriguing effects. I felt very relaxed and balanced, and I noticed a real shift in my state of mind. This went beyond what you’d expect from a massage. I felt calm, confident and like I’d been reset somehow. I had the overwhelming experience of feeling my batteries being recharged. It was quite something. I’m still feeling the effects right now.

As I left the clinic, I felt full of energy, and full of life. I walked in OK, but I came out of that room feeling something far better. It was quite an exceptional change! After an hour of treatment, I was left in no question about the gentle effectiveness of reflexology treatment to deal with stress. There is something quite special about the technique used.

It’s hard to deliver a comprehensive verdict on the genuine therapeutic value of reflexology from just one session, and this problem is compounded by the fact that I wasn’t attempting to treat any particular condition. I must say, however, that if it was just a massage, then it was the most energizing and healing massage that I’ve ever experienced. The entire experience was deliciously indulgent, and I felt the money I paid was money well spent, even for a completely healthy person.

This session has piqued my curiosity about the power of reflexology. The next time I am suffering from a genuine medical complaint, I’ll definitely give reflexology a try. I’ll be very interested to see if I can achieve the same results as others have claimed. Even if I don’t find a miraculous cure, I’m confident that the relaxing and healing power of the reflexology massage will be enough to make me feel better.

Paul LaRoche

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Toes and Reflexology

The Toes are Critical for Reflexology

Some of the most important parts of the body with regards to reflexology are the toes. Different points of the toes can relate to different points around all parts of the head.

The tips of the toes are often linked to the paranasal cavity. This relates of a series of spots that are located around the nasal cavity. These include areas around the eyes and nose. These spots can influence the ability of the body’s sinuses to be protected. This may work to help make them easier to keep from dealing with

The toe neck spots are also essential points to review. The toe neck is the lower part of the toe. It is compared to the neck on one’s body while the tip of a toe can be seen as the head.

The toe neck spots will relate to different parts of the body. These can be linked to the ears and eyes. The two smallest toes will link to the ears while the two other toes besides the big one will be linked to the eyes. The toe neck spots can be massaged and relaxed to help ease the flow of energy into the head. This can work to potentially stop headaches or keep them from being worse than they could be.

The large toe on each foot will relate to the cerebrum, nose and pituitary gland. The large toes will need to be massaged and eased to where they will feel loose. Stiffness in these toes can cause headaches and some cases of confusion or memory loss.

The effects on the toes for reflexology will end at the spine of the foot. This is the part of the foot that goes up the inside part of the foot. It ends where the roots of the toes are found.

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