Reflexology involves applying pressure to and massaging certain areas of the feet, hands and ears. Its aim is to encourage healing and relieve stress and tension. It is also used by many to maintain general health and well-being.
Reflexology treatment is based on the principle that certain areas of the feet - called reflexes - are linked to other areas of the body through the nervous system. The arrangement of the reflexes has a direct relationship to the area of the body they affect. For example, the right side of the foot is linked to the right side of the body. While the tips of the toes correspond to the head. The liver, pancreas and kidneys connect to the arch of the foot, and the lower back and intestines towards the heel.
In a session, a reflexologist will apply pressure to certain reflexes. The aim is to stimulate energy flow and send signals around the body - targeting areas of tension and pain.
How does reflexology work?
Reflexology aims to holistically restore balance to the body. This is done by applying pressure to certain points of the hands, feet and ears. Reflexologists don’t claim to prescribe, diagnose or cure. They aim to offer a tailored, alternate means of healing to address each individual’s specific needs.
Emotional and physical factors are taken into account if the reflexologist thinks they might be affecting a person's well-being and health. They will pinpoint areas on the feet where they can use specific hand movements, thumb techniques and apply pressure to stimulate healing energy. This energy flows through the body's energetic pathways to the targeted areas of the body.
Many feel that reflexology promotes reduced levels of tension and anxiety. Some have even claimed an improvement in physical symptoms. However, this does tend to vary between individuals.
What can reflexology do for you?
Reflexology is a popular and versatile alternative therapy. Some of the most common uses of reflexology include:
Stress reduction - Studies suggest that reflexology can aid in alleviating the negative effects of stress.
Relaxation - The therapy encourages the body and mind to enter a deeply relaxed state.
Soothing tired feet - The techniques and special hand movements can help to ease tension and pain in the feet.
Reducing pain - Research suggests that the therapy is an effective pain reliever.
Improving circulation - Reflexology helps break down deposits in the bloodstream which can affect circulation.
Enhancing overall well-being - Many people use the therapy on a regular basis to support a healthy mind and body.
Many people also find reflexology helpful in reducing stress-related ailments, including:
Tension headaches - The application of strokes over certain points on the foot by the big toe are thought to help ease tension headaches.
Arthritis - Reflexologists may work on specific points on the hands and feet to help with arthritis pain.
Digestive disorders - Reflex points for the digestive system are located on the plantar surface of the feet. Reflexologists will focus on these areas to relieve digestive discomfort and ease stress.
Insomnia - Reflexology can be soothing. The thumb and finger movements over certain reflexes help to target hormonal imbalances that can disrupt sleep.
Menstrual problems - Many women find the therapy useful for addressing common menstrual problems. These include severe pain, irregular cycles and general discomfort.
Back pain - Pressure on certain reflex points is thought to alleviate nerve problems in the back which can cause pain.
Sports injuries - Reflexology boosts the body's healing ability. It stimulates blood and nerve flow to an injured muscle or tissue.
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