What is Reflexology?
The world of reflexology opens the door towards a most holistic approach towards alternative therapy. Reflexology is more of a zone therapy which dwells on the underlying fact that the human body is a power house of energy, which is triggered at various reflex points.
These key meridian points are stimulated with fingers, thumbs and reflexology tools, which inevitably create a flow of energy which has a therapeutic and relaxing effect on the body. Reflexology finds its roots in ancient China, Egypt, Africa and the native American culture, where it evolved with the serene ideology of exploring the body’s intrinsic meridian points and opening up the different energy channels, where lies the secret to this subtle therapy. Dr. William Fitzgerald was the first to introduce reflexology to the west as zone therapy.
Our feet, arms and face have the switch to these energy channels which reciprocate with the positive energy flow or “Chi” as they say in Chinese. Reflexology massage is equivalent to full body massage, in which every part of the feet corresponds to a part of the body which is prone to healing. The most obvious benefit of a reflexology massage is of stress reduction. It produces a total body effect by improving blood circulation, boosting immune system and curing chronic disorders and joint ailments.
Reflexologists believe that any particular ailment is borne out of blockages in the meridian points, which create negative energy that leads to different ailments. The human anatomy gives access to over 7000 nerve endings in the feet, which could be stimulated to configure the central nervous system. Reflexology massages boosts the body’s innate sense of healing by working upon the reflex points located in our hands, ears and feet. It restores the body’s overall sense of well-being and natural harmony.
Normally we consult a reflexology therapist to reap the benefits of reflexology through a series of reflexology sessions. In a typical reflexology session, the patient is seated at a comfortable position and then through a synchronized movement of the hands, thumbs and fingers, pressure is applied to the client’s hands, feet or ears.
When To Use Reflexology-
Every person has specific needs for which reflexology acts as an important tool. Since reflexology treats the whole person, not just the symptoms of particular problems, most people can benefit from treatment. Reflexology is normally totally safe for most people, even those who’re suffering from hypertension or diabetes and even certain overlying symptoms of cancer like pain, sickness, sleeplessness and anxiety. A skilled Reflexologist can detect tiny deposits in the soft tissues and imbalances from touching the feet, hands or ears. Reflexology gently kindles the body toward better functioning by improving lymphatic drainage and venous circulation. It stimulates the nerve pathways, induces muscle relaxation, and helps the body to balance itself. Sometimes, directly massaging areas of muscle spasm and tension may be too painful for a client, causing further muscle contraction. By stimulating or sedating the relevant reflex points on the feet or hands, relaxation can be achieved.
Since reflexology treats the whole person, not just the symptoms of particular problems, most people can benefit from this treatment. Reflexology can be considered ideal for:
- Relieving pain
- Reducing stress and tension
- Acute and chronic conditions
- Relieving stress and tension
- Improving nerve impulses and blood circulation
- Boost energy.
- Activating the body to cleanse toxins and impurities.
- Children and adults of all ages.
- PMS and other hormonal imbalances
- Digestive disorders
- Sleep disorders
- Anxiety and mild depressive disorders
Difference between Reflexology Massage and Normal Massage-
A massage is a systematic manipulation of the soft tissues of the body by using various techniques like kneading, tapping, stroking and rubbing to relax the muscles.
Reflexology concentrates on reflex charts of points located in the feet, hands and ears with the purpose of stimulating the body’s natural healing process through energy zones. Massage therapists are meant to work “outside in” working upon the specific muscle groups to release tension. Reflexologists work “inside out” stimulating the nervous system to release tension.
Another difference between these two therapies is that in a massage therapy the client is expected to remove clothes during massage session, while during a reflexology session a client is fully clothed except for removing his shoes.
What is a Reflexology Session Like?
The reflexologist considers all aspects of the client’s being: body, emotion, mind, and spirit. A relaxed body can induce calm emotions, a serene mind, and an integrated spirit. The client does not need to acquire any special habit or skills to induce reflexology. A reflexologist firmly believes that he is just a participant in the session than a ”healer”. He is just trying to restore the body’s primal energy force though which it can repair and nurture itself.
Only lying down in a quiet posture will help the client to experience the positive flow of energy from one part of the body to another.
A normal reflexology session from 30 minutes to an hour minutes depending on the problem areas and expertise of the reflexologist. During a reflexology treatment, the client may experience the following sensations:
- A drowsy and calm feeling all across the body.
- A feeling of contraction and relaxation of the reflex points.
- Twitching or tingling sensation.
- A sudden release of energy or warmth in the area of treatment.
- There may be certain discomfort in the area of treatment which may wear off after sometime.
A reflexologist usually gives you a treatment plan which needs to be followed according to the type of disorder that needs to be addressed. A typical session might take place in a reclined or laid back position and the patient is fully clothed, except for the socks, which are removed. Usually, after a treatment your tension may be reduced and you might feel relaxed. You might also notice yourself sleeping better and find your mood and sense of wellbeing improving. You might also feel thirsty as the body undergoes detoxification in the process.
With ever elevating stress levels in daily day life, it is important for people to take more responsibility for their own healthcare needs. Reflexology may be one of the ways to mitigate the stresses of modern life.