Around the world and throughout history, reflexology has been rediscovered and reinstated as a health practice repeatedly by people across the globe seeking to deal with health concerns. Reflexology is an ancient eastern technique that addresses our life force energy. This is the energy that flows between the organs of our body, permeating every living cell and tissue. Reflexologists believe that this energy can become blocked, creating imbalances in our bodies, which can manifest themselves physically and emotionally. By using specific pressure techniques on the hands and feet, the therapist can detect, through the presence of crystal deposits, or “gritty areas,” areas of blockage.
In the West, the concept of reflexology began to emerge in the 19th century, based on research into the nervous system. The practice of foot and handwork in a variety of cultures, belief systems and historical periods speaks to reflexology as a universal bridging concept for health.
Benefits of Reflexology
In general, the benefits of reflexology have to do with the reduction of stress and the unblocking of energy. Because the feet and hands set the tension level for the rest of the body, they are an easy way to interrupt the stress signal and reset homeostasis in the body’s equilibrium.
Benefits of reflexology include relaxation, pain reduction, improved blood flow, rejuvenation of tired feet, and amelioration of symptoms for health concerns. There is an impact on physiological measures such as blood pressure and cholesterol measurements by ECG, EEG, and fMRI. Reflexology is beneficial for postoperative recovery and pain reduction. It can enhance medical care of persons with cancer, phantom limb pain and hemodialysis patients. Reflexology aids in easier birthing, delivery, and post partum recovery.
To get the best results with reflexology, the techniques should be applied consistently; daily is suggested for best results. This requires self help, family help as well as guidance from qualified practitioners. A reflexologist can provide you with a relaxing experience and quality work as well as educate you in how to do it yourself. You and your family can provide the quantity of reflexology work to frequently break up the stress patterns in your feet and hands. Build reflexology into your life. It is easy to do reflexology while doing other activities. Put a foot roller under your desk or work your hands while waiting for the kids at school. Be creative and consistent. Five minutes a day is worth more than an hour once in awhile.
How Does Reflexology Work?
Pressure sensors in the feet and hands are a part of the body’s reflexive responses that makes possible the “fight or flight” reaction to danger. Feet ready to flee, and hands ready to fight communicate with the body’s internal organs to make this possible. The sudden adrenal rush that enables a person to lift a car is an example of this reaction. Reflexology taps into this reflex network, and thus the internal organs to which they are inextricably tied.
Pressure is applied to the feet and hands using specific thumb, finger and hand techniques. Stretch and movement techniques are utilized as “desserts” to provide relaxation to the foot. Oil, cream and lotion are not used in traditional reflexology work. Tools or instruments may be used for self-help application
What to expect
Sessions usually last about an hour. You will sit in a reclining chair or lay on a massage table placing your feet so that they are convenient for the therapist to reach. You will remain clothed for the session unless other modalities will be performed that would indicate otherwise. The Reflexology therapist will seat themselves at the foot of table and begin with gentle stretching and mobilization techniques before beginning the more thorough and methodical thumb and finger walking techniques, which will be applied to the entire foot. The Reflexologist should work within your comfort zone. Personal preference regarding pressure is something you should communicate with the therapist about.