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What Is Reflexology?
According to ancient and modern teachings, the human body is found to be completely reflected, as "reflex" points and regions, on the feet, hands and ears. These areas house a reflection of your health, being mirrors to the entire body, and serve to help adjust the body's natural processes to regain and maintain an equilibrium. Reflexology is a natural pressure technique applied to these reflex areas to help promote relaxation and aid in adjusting physiological and psychological changes within the body. My technique may be compared to a mixture of soothing massage and therapeutic acupressure. It is safe, non-intrusive and aids in creating a sense of health and well being.
How Does Reflexology Work?
There are numerous theories on how reflexology works. Some of these theories include:
- Bio-mechanics: Bones & muscle misalignment, compromising the integrity of posture & health
- Zone Theory: Corresponding reflex zones with related areas within the body
- Eastern Theory: Re-circulating vital energy through meridians and micro-acupressure systems
- Western Theory: Relieving congestion in the nerve endings
- Laying on of Hands / Energy Healing: Energy from giver to receiver
- Holographic Health: Each part of us contain the message of the whole. By working the feet, we work the whole body.
- Outer Energy Balance: Energy fields return to balance
- Energy flows through blood vessels and fluid
- Rest: Coping mechanism, allows body to self-heal
- Caring Touch: Healing power of love
- Robert Becker: Energy attracts to areas of need through impulses
- Placebo: Healing if you think you will... 30% of healing is placebo. That's the power of the thoughts!
I believe there is some validity in all these theories, however, let us take a closer look at one theory in particular... bio-mechanics:
The feet are the foundation to the entire body structure, as is the foundation of a building. If the foundation is unstable, so will the entire building. Therefore, if the feet are not bio-mechanically stable, are tight or stressed in any way they can alter the postural integrity of the entire body, affecting the skeletal framework, muscles and body organs. This is because the body has to compensate for the imbalances at its foundation -- shifting off center. Palpating and relaxing the feet and lower legs enables the mechanics of the foot to move towards normalcy. By increasing the structural integrity of the body's foundation, the alignment and health of the spine, body and organs can begin to stabilize to a more natural position and process. Therefore, it affects the whole health of the body.
The bio-mechanical theory of foot reflexology does not apply to the hands and ears, and so we look again to the numerous theories listed above. However, the results of hand and ear reflexology cannot be ignored. In fact, it is the integration of the foot, hand and ear reflexology, in addition to addressing the bio-mechanics of the foot, that brings about the most holistic and valuable approach to health enhancement in this type of complementary health system.
So the single answer to how reflexology works is still somewhat a mystery (as the mysteries of life and health are still an eye-brow raising question). But the fact is, the results are in every person who benefits in the slightest way... because that is the real reason for the application. To bring a sense of health and well being to you.
Why Choose Reflexology?
Reflexology, in most cases, is very relaxing. This in itself reduces the stress that creates many of our ailments today. Also, reflexology can be self applied. So once you've had a session or simple education in it, you can work on yourself in between sessions and in times of need. Below is a list of important benefits found with reflexology:
increase postural integrity
soothe nerve endings
promote relaxation and reduce stress
promote balance and normal body functioning
promote pain control
cleanse toxins from the body
improve oxygen and nutrient delivery to cells
improve chemical function
promote a sense of well being
In addition, many reflexology clients have found relief or improvements from such ailments, as a result of whole health enhancement.
neck, shoulder & back pain
constipation & hemorrhoids
stress and anxiety
PMS & mood swings
headaches and sinus complaints
stroke, bells palsy, paralysis
repetitive stress, carpal tunnel
Almost everyone can benefit from reflexology! If you have feet, hands or ears you are well on your way! Reflexology can be applied to the young and to the elderly and all the ages in between.
Reflexology Foot Massage Benefits
Beyond the benefits of reflexology map correlation to the body that aids healing processes indirectly, reflexology foot massage can also have a direct benefit to the feet (and its owner and body) due to the direct work on the foot structure. I have seen benefits in my clients who put a lot of demand on their sore and aching feet, including:
Athletes of all kinds
Medical & care giving professionals
People who stand all day
People who wear high heels or other conforming and stressing footwear
Also, people with specific conditions that can cause sore feet can also reap relieving benefits, including those who suffer from:
Foot traumas, injuries & surgeries
Most anyone with foot pain