Reflexology is the application of pressure to specific points on the feet, hands, or ears. Reflexologists believe that these areas and reflex points correspond to different body organs and systems, and have beneficial effects on the organs and person’s general health.
Reflexology is an alternative medicinal practice. It is a holistic therapy which has been used for thousands of years. Some people use this therapy occasionally to treat a specific disorder, while some get this massage done regularly for maintaining good health. Those who receive this therapy claim that this therapeutic massage helps maintain their health and well-being.
What is It?
According to The Reflexology Association of Canada, the definition of reflexology is – A natural healing art based on the principle that there are reflexes in the feet, hands and ears and their referral areas within zone related areas, which correspond to every part, gland and organ of the body. Through application of pressure on these reflexes without the use of tools, crèmes or lotions.
The feet are the primary area of application, which relieves tension, improves circulation and helps promote the natural function of the related areas of the body. Sometimes massaging of hands and ears is also involved. In the reflexology chart diagram, you’ll see that the feet or hand show different zones which the practitioners believe correspond to the organs in the body. So, by applying pressure on these pressure points, it is believed that a particular organ can be restored back to health.
It is an ancient therapeutic practice and is considered as an ancient art. The exact date of the origin of this practice is not known, however there is evidence showing that this therapy was in practice 5,000 years ago in the Middle East and Asia. Some historical evidence of reflexology is also seen in Egypt and Greece. Doctor William Fitzgerald introduced it to the West in the 20th century. Fitzgerald referred to this treatment as zone therapy.
Foot reflexology is performed only by a practitioner, who is formally trained and educated in the use of zone therapy. It is believed that a professional reflexologist can detect even subtle changes in the zones of the feet; and by applying the right pressure to the particular zone the professional can affect a particular organ or the body system which corresponds to that zone.
As reflexology is a massage therapy it can greatly help to relieve stress. Stress weakens the immune system and by stimulating nerve endings, a person can relax and heighten their immunity. Reflexology by nerve stimulation also encourages clearing of neural pathways and interrupts paint pathways, and thus allows nerves to function sharply.
It also helps to improve blood circulation. It is believed that Qi, which is the life force is carried by the blood to all the parts of the body. Also, blood carries oxygen to all the parts of the body. Improper blood circulation can create many health problems, reflexology helps the heart to function properly and aids in smooth circulation of blood. It also helps to improve flexibility. It is considered beneficial for joint-related problems like knee problems, frozen shoulder, arthritis, stiffn
If you are thinking of starting reflexology massage as an alternative medicine, then consult your doctor. Also, make sure you get an experienced professional to get the best results.
Disclaimer: This HolisticZine article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.