Getting stressed with lives’ daily grind and brouhaha? Try reflexology.
Reflexology also known as “zone therapy”, is a form of alternative healing that involves the application of pressure to the feet, hands, and sometimes, the ears with specific thumb, finger, and hand techniques without the use of oil or lotion. It is based on the belief that there are “zones” or “reflex areas” in the foot that correspond to all the parts of the body including major organs. These zones are also mirrored in the hand and in reflexology, applying pressure to specific areas on the feet and hands can affect our body’s system or a person’s “qi” and thus promote good health.
Research has shown that reflexology techniques are effective and beneficial in many ways, impacting a variety of physical and psychological concerns.
Reflexology has been known to:
- reduce stress – Reflexology reduces stress by helping the body regain balance and allowing self-healing. It promotes calmness and a well sens of being. Once the reflexology massage starts, the relaxation begins, which is confirmed by EEG brain activity. It is important that our stress level is reduced because we are more susceptible to illness and diseases when we are stressed.
- improve blood circulation – Studies have shown that reflexology increases blood flow to the feet, brain, kidneys, and intestines, because reflexology relaxes the overall body, including cardiovascular system, and thus it pumps blood naturally and easily. When blood flows freely, oxygen and nutrients are carried out to the cells and removes metabolic wastes and other toxins.
- stimulate nerve function – Reflexology can stimulate over 7,000 nerves in the feet and encourages the opening and clearing of neural pathways.
- improve the immune system – Reflexology induces the lymphatic system and therefore reduces risk for infection.
- promote a well sense of being by inducing the production of endorphins (the feel good hormones), leading to increase in immune power and a happier state of mind. It can help in faster recovery after surgery by reducing pain and helps to reduce the use of analgesic. It also interrupts pain pathways and can reduce pain.
- increase one’s energy level – Reflexology revitalizes energy throughout the body by stimulating and relaxing energy pathways.
- promotes a healthy reproductive health by stimulating reproductive glands in producing hormones. It clears blockages of the pelvic area in females. Women, who received reflexology experience shorter labor times compare to those who don’t undergo reflexology. In addition to this, it has a positive impact on postpartum anxiety, depression, bowel movements, and urination.
- helps prevent digestive disorders by stimulating muscle action and peristalsis which aids in smooth passage of food as it is digested. It also boosts the liver in disposal of unwanted substances which are passed on the kidneys for excretion.
Reflexology is suitable for all age groups but certain conditions affect the length and the type of reflexology treatment that your therapist may advise you. Advise the reflexologist if you have ay of these:
- Acute undiagnosed pain
- Arthritis, if joints swollen or painful
- Hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism
- Imminent medical test or procedures
- Injury to the feet (or hands)
- Pregnancy (in the first 3 months)
- Varicose veins, if severe
Reflexology works for any age, but if you have a long term term medical condition that requires monitoring, it’s always best to tell your doctor of any treatment you’re undergoing as reflexology may stimulate some organs (like the liver and thyroid).