What Is Reflexology?
Reflexology is a unique method of using the thumb and fingers to stimulate more than seven thousand two hundred nerve endings in each foot. These nerve endings correspond to all parts of the body, including organs and glands. Some reflexologists also work with the hands and the ears.
Stimulating the appropriate region is intended to eliminate energy blockages thought to produce pain or disease in the related areas.
Reflexology is used to prevent, rather than cure, and is used to relieve a wide variety of ailments.
Origins Of Reflexology
Dr. William Fitzgerald, in his book Zone Therapy, states that “a form of treatment by means of pressure points was known in India and China five thousand years ago. This knowledge, however, appears to be lost or forgotten. Perhaps it was set aside in favor of acupuncture, which emerged as the stronger growth from the same root.” There also appears to be evidence of reflexology being used in Egyptian art around 2330 B.C.E.
What Does Reflexology Do?
Reflexology can relieve stress and tension within the body. It improves circulation and lymphatic flow and works to unblock nerve impulse pathways. These benefits all work toward helping the body to heal itself by restoring balance to the vital energies.
According to Shelly Hess, author of The Professional’s Reflexology Handbook, “Reflexology works to discover how the soft tis-sue organs and the entire skeletal system are functioning. Through trained fingers, the reflexologist can detect early warning signs that the body is struggling and can then help restore the internal system to better balance.”
In reflexology, there are three areas—both in the evaluation and the treatment—that your reflexologist will concentrate on: feet, hands, and ears.
How Much Time Should I Allow?
You should allow thirty to sixty minutes for the reflexologist to work. The client may be treated in a reclining reflexology chair or on a massage table.
Who Can Benefit From Reflexology?
People of all ages can benefit from reflexology treatments. We all suffer from stress at one time or another, and aches and pains are a part of daily life. Reflexology has a long history of promoting relaxation and healing.
How Frequently Should I Have A Reflexology Treatment?
Once a week is normal; an extreme case would be twice a week. The body needs time to normalize between treatments.
Reflexology also works wonderfully in conjunction with other body therapies. Again, you should wait about a week between therapies to avoid overloading the body.
Can I Do This At Home?
Certain areas of the hands can be worked on, but it is rather awkward to work on your own feet. Some areas are hard to reach, and it’s difficult to relax. Still, your therapist can share some self-help reflexology points with you.
Will My Feet Be Washed?
If you have come directly from a day at work or have a problem with foot odor, the practitioner may wash your feet before the beginning of the session.
But I’m Ticklish!
The practitioner will adjust her touch to what is comfortable for you. Sometimes a little more pressure alleviates the ticklish feeling. Relaxation helps, too, and the practitioner will have several techniques for relaxation at her disposal.
What Are Some Specific Conditions Where Reflexology Might Be Helpful?
• Allergies and sinus problems
• Backache and sciatica
• Carpal tunnel syndrome
• Headaches, including migraines
• High blood pressure
• Menstrual cramps
• Premenstrual syndrome