- Alternative & Natural Medicine
What is Reflexology and How does Reflexology work?
What is Reflexology?
Reflexology is an art combined with scientific knowledge that aids in relieving problems in the ailing body. It is based on physiological and neurological study and is used both skillfully and scientifically by it's practitioners. In other words, we may also define reflexology as "holistic healing".
How does Reflexology work?
Reflexology involves specialized massage techniques that are used to stimulate the nerves of the hands and feet and that produce a positive effect on the entire body or a part of the body depending on which pressure point was stimulated. The techniques require proper application of pressure to the reflex areas by use of the thumbs and fingers, it is a simple but effective art that does not require complicated equipment or specific years of training to master. The practice of reflexology does not promise to cure the underlying cause(s) of any symptom(s) but may alleviate the stress related causes or problems in the body. Reflexology affects the whole person by inducing a flow of energy by ‘skillful pressure technique’ that balances the induced flow of energy based on the premise that, reflex areas on the hands and feet synchronize with all body parts.
Energy is the master basis of all life on earth and it has vital flow of power that heals and through reflexology an individuals' healing energies may be awakened and revitalized. The initial step to make reflexology work is to learn to relax before undergoing a session. Although most of us are constantly under some kind of stress or anxiety it requires a firm positive mindset to be able to relax. We have to discipline our mind first to think positive and the body will follow suit. Everyday, chemical changes take place in our body. Negative thoughts, anxiety, grief, fear and worries will cause negative results. This attitude will never cure the body but worsen it. On the other hand, positive attitude will aid in healing. When the body is relaxed, the healing process is accelerated.
When one gets a professional reflexology massage, often times the reflexologist may be able to point out any imbalances in the body and apply pressure to a part of the hand or foot specific to the imbalance in order to correct it. Specific points on the hand and foot that correspond to body organs are referred to as reflex zones. By applying systematic pressure to these zones, the reflexologist may be able to increase blood circulation in the body and thus positively affect certain ailments. In this therapy, although the reflexologists do their best, the clients also have to take a certain degree of responsibility in disciplining their body, mind and spirit in order for it to work to their benefit. Reflexology is commonly used for fatigue, circulatory disturbances, severe or mild headaches, backaches, menstrual problems, toxin removal from the body and retaining proper fluid balance in the body.
Researchers estimate that 50-70% of modern diseases have a stress-related background. Some of these diseases include cardiovascular illnesses, high blood pressure, cancer, endocrine and metabolic diseases, skin disorders, infections, peptic ulcers, arthritis, allergies, asthma, migraine, constipation, nervous breakdown, skin disorders, diabetes and many more. Due to the pressure and demands of modern life, we may not be able to change the patterns of stress in our daily lives, but we can learn to cope with it (click on the following link to read about stress).
Natural healing techniques such as meditation and yoga can significantly assist in controlling stress related ailments.
The reflexologist may first take a quick medical history of the person interested in undergoing a session. Next, the reflexologist may apply pressure to certain areas of the foot to assess the clients general state of health. Some reflex areas may be sensitive to pressure than others, applied pressure at the reflex point energizes the organ of the specific body part where pressure is applied and may correct any imbalance that may be present. The reflexologist will usually start with the left foot, which is the negative pole, and end with the right foot which is the positive pole. The first session almost lasts for 30 to 60 minutes depending upon a person’s sensitivity to the reflexed areas.
To improve circulation, slowly but steadily pressure is exerted on the reflex areas until a little discomfort is experienced, then, pressure is released slowly. Certain individual massage points need a certain degree of application of pressure. So, the amount of pressure needed will vary from person to person.
Reflexology at home
After the reflexology session, gently apply essential oils like lavender to the feet to relax you. There are many wooden foot rollers available in specialty stores which can mimic the hands-on action of a skilled reflexologist. Use it for 10 minutes and it will increase circulation and relieve tension and pain.
Daily foot exercise will keep your feet in good shape and may prevent any deformities.
1) Rotate your foot in a circular motion to ease up stiff muscles and tendons.
2) Walking is the best exercise, walking barefoot on the grass, beach, or bare earth brings the feet in contact with the earth and provides a revitalizing energy to the body. Other benefits of walking include, strengthening the calves, shins and thighs, improving cardiovascular and lung function, improving glucose tolerance and many other benefits.