Reflexology is based on the principle that there are reflexes in the feet, hands and ears which represent every gland and organ of the body. The body is mapped onto the feet: the toes represent the head, the ball of the foot corresponds to the internal organs, and the heel of the foot corresponds to the pelvic area in our body. Similar maps of reflexes are found on the ears and the hands.
Through this specialized form of touch—which includes thumb-walking, hooking and compressing on these reflexes—Reflexology enhances blood circulation, increases oxygen level and lymphatic flow, and helps promote the natural function of the related areas of the body.
What is Reflexology?
A natural healing art
Reflexology is a natural, non-invasive therapy embracing the whole concept of holistic treatment. The ears, hands, and feet are microcosms of the body. By stimulation the nerve endings in the ears, hands and feet, we send messages along the nerve pathways to communicate with the nerve network to the body. This helps to balance the energies within the body. We are not diagnosing or treating a specific condition, we are treating an existing imbalance in the energy of the body. There are few other therapies that treat the whole body in such a gentle, non-invasive manner which have no adverse side-effect. We simply encourage the body to heal itself. This is nature's gift to mankind.
How does reflexology work?
Para sympathetic mode of the nervous system
Reflexology works with the central nervous system. There are more than 7,200 nerve endings in each of the feet which have interconnections through the spinal cord and brain with all areas of the body. The reflexologist's application of pressure to specific spots on the feet, hand, ears, sends a calming message to the central nervous system, which in turn signals the body to adjust the tension level. Reflexology is very effective in reducing stress by putting the client into a state known as the "parasympathetic" mode of the nervous system. This state facilitates the body's ability to reduce pain, re-balance its self-healing potential and maintain an internal balance of "homeostasis"
To obtain the balance and maintenance of harmony within the body, there must be a free and unimpeded circulation of "vital energy" flowing through the body's organs. The feet are under constant physical pressure. Tension and stress through friction and repeated trauma seem to cause blockages that impinge on muscles and nerves. Reflexology breaks up deposits of toxic by-products(such as lactic acid and uric acid crystals caused by ineffective elimination of metabolic by-products). Scar tissue, pooling of lymph fluid, corns, and callouses can also create internal and external "blockages" defined as "physical obstructions." Among other sensations such as swelling, and softness and hardness of muscle tone, these may also be felt as a sandy or gritty are under the skin and may interfere with the natural flow of the body's electromagnetic energy. Reflexology breaks down the blockage and restore the free flow of energy and blood circulation through the energy channels beneath the skin.
How can reflexology alleviate pain?
Get instant relief with reflexology
The stimulation(Pain signals) of reflexes on the feet, hand, and ears stimulates the release of endorphins from the pituitary gland (in the brain) which is the body’s natural pain killer. Also, according to the commonly known "Gate Control Theory," the nervous system can only respond to a limited amount of sensory information at one time. When the system becomes overloaded, it closes the gate reducing the amount of sensory information available for processing and encourages the brain to produce more endorphins. The pressure on the feet, hand and ears also acts to confuse the body with too many sensations to which it must respond, forcing the body to close the pain gates. This interrupts the pain cycle, eases pain and helps the body to relax.
Benefits of reflexology
Reflexology improves circulation, stimulates lymphatic system and reduces pain.
By stimulating the nerve endings of the feet, through application of pressure and touch, reflexology improves blood and nerve supply to all areas of the body, stimulates the lymphatic system which boosts the immune system, improves circulation to aid in elimination of excess waste products and fluids, increases oxygen from the lungs to all tissues, and promotes the natural function of the body. It is a holistic non invasive therapy where the client and practitioner interact together to achieve balance and wellness.
What conditions can reflexology help?
The most common conditions that may be helped by reflexology are:
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Emotional, mental, or nervous conditions
Headaches (Tension Headaches Migraines)
Hypertension (high blood pressure)
Hypotension (low blood pressure)
Inflammatory Bowel Diseases
Muscle spasm or cramp
Pain in any area of the body
Recovery following injury or surgery
Seasonal Affective Disorder(SAD)
Stiff, aching and painful joints and muscles
Toxins in the body
For more great articles about holistic medicine, subscribe to get updates.