"People of any age or sex can derive positive benefits from reflexology."
Feet: Some are ugly, some are cute, some are perfectly pampered. Did you know that your feet are the gateway to better health? Imagine being able to alleviate pain and make yourself feel better just by pressing certain areas of your feet.
The ancient Chinese practice of Reflexology, a manual therapy focusing on the feet, has recently enjoyed a surge in popularity as a modern holistic therapy to relieve pain and stress.
For 3,000 years Chinese practitioners have used Reflexology to re-balance Qi (the life force flowing through energy channels) to treat a number of conditions.
Reflexology is a holistic treatment based on the principle that there are areas and points on the feet, hands, and ears that map via the nervous system to corresponding parts of the body. There are between 7,000 and 7,200 nerve endings in the human foot, and each of these is a reflex point that corresponds to a body part.
Reflexology uses special finger/thumb manipulations to stimulate reflex points, which will encourage the flow of energy to the corresponding body part. This gradually helps to restore homoeostasis (balance) and stimulate the body’s ability to heal itself, physically and emotionally.
There are many benefits to this practice. Reflexology can assist in such conditions as:
- Back Problems
- Blood Pressure
- Frozen Shoulder
- Hay Fever
- Neck Problems
- Stress Disorders
- Hormone Imbalance
- Knee Problems
One qualified reflexologist, Michael O’Connell says: “If you have been injured or are lacking energy, reflexology can help to restore balance and coax your body into healing itself.
“It can boost a sluggish circulation and is useful for treating stress, anxiety, back pain, migraine, poor digestion, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), respiratory problems, asthma, headache, bladder problems, menopausal symptoms and period pain.”
Effects of Reflexology
Reflexology increases the flow of energy, increases the circulation and stimulates the digestive system. It is so effective at this that most people feel a need to pee after a session, and are nearly always thirsty, as toxins are eliminated from the body. It is also recommended that you do not drink alcohol in the 24 hours before or after a session, as the effects of the alcohol can be multiplied.
It is also inadvisable to have reflexology if you have a pacemaker fitted, or if you have diabetes. A typical treatment lasts between 45 and 60 minutes.
The most obvious effect of reflexology massage is that of stress reduction. The techniques of reflexology include finger or thumb walking – where the Reflexologist walks the finger or thumb over different areas of the feet in a set sequence – and massage and kneading of the foot using the whole hand. The experience is generally firm, but gentle, and should never cause discomfort or pain.
According to The Complete Illustrated Guide to Reflexology: “People of any age or sex – the elderly, women, men, teenagers, children and babies – can derive positive benefits from reflexology.”
Although results vary from individual to individual, the soothing action of reflexology generally leaves the recipient feeling deeply relaxed and peaceful afterwards.
Reflexology is becoming more popular among mother and baby groups. Parents giving baby Reflexology to their baby’s feet may strengthen the natural loving bond between mother and baby, and father and baby.
It has been found that parents may easily calm their babies with this fuss free, convenient and soothing treatment as well as helping conditions such as Colic, teething and digestive problems in babies.
Reflexology can also be offered as part of palliative care for patients undergoing treatment for Cancer to help with pain relief, boost their immune system and fight off infections.
Reflexology has also been a cause of a rise in success for fertility for people finding it hard to conceive. Some points on the foot are associated with a woman’s egg production and by manipulating these areas, Reflexologists claim they can correct the imbalances which can hamper pregnancy.
People who have not yet experienced the healing benefits and immense pleasure of reflexology may find it hard to believe that something so relaxing and enjoyable can be so good for you!