Put simply, reflexology is the application of gentle and controlled pressure to specific points on the feet, hands, or ears. Reflexologists work on the notion that these areas and reflex points correspond to different body organs and systems. They believe that applying pressure to these points has a positive effect on their patients’ organs and general health.
For example, reflexologists believe that a specific spot in the arch of the foot corresponds to the bladder point. When a reflexology practitioner uses their thumbs or fingers to apply pressure to this area, bladder functioning may be improved.
Although reflexology is not used to diagnose or offer a cure to health problems, millions of people around the world use it to help with their symptoms or to complement other treatments when addressing conditions such as anxiety, back pain and headaches.
Reflexology offers enormous and varied benefits. Helping with the symptoms of stress and aiding pain management are two of the most common reasons why people seek out reflexology therapy.
Reflexology to Reduce Stress
Reflexology techniques involve finger or thumb “walking”. In other words, reflexologists “walk” their fingers or thumbs across different areas of the feet in a set sequence. They also massage and knead the patient’s foot using their whole hand. The experience is typically firm, but gentle, and does not cause any discomfort or pain. Results vary from patient to patient, but the soothing action of reflexology generally induces a deeply relaxed and peaceful feeling.
Reflexology to Reduce Pain
Reflexologists work on the understanding that illness is caused by blockages in the meridians or energy channels. These blockages slow the flow of life enhancing energy, also known as ‘chi,’ causing a build up of negative energy, which results in pain or disease.
There are over 7,000 nerve endings in the feet. These are connected to the entire body through the central nervous system. Reflexologists work on the belief that massage of the feet (therefore massage of the nerve endings) encourages the body’s self-healing abilities.
Reflexologists believe that their techniques have the ability to restore the delicate balance between the different body systems and functions, thus restoring harmony within the body. As a result of this, tension is removed from the body, stress is reduced and pain is diminished.
Reflexology treatment is becoming more widely used and increasing in popularity due to the deep relaxation effects it typically has on the body.