With all the stresses of daily life it is important to take time out and have a little TLC. A foot massage is a great way to de-stress, but by combining it with reflexology you can gain some extra benefits. Reflexology is an ancient Chinese therapy that is non-invasive, suitable for all ages, and can bring relief from a wide range of acute and chronic conditions.
What is Reflexology?
Reflexology is an ancient Chinese practice used to rebalance Qi which is the life force flowing through energy channels in the body. It is based on the principle that specific areas on the soles of your feet (known as reflex zones) correspond to different parts of the body. Reflex zones contain millions of nerve endings and by applying pressure to these zones you can stimulate the nervous system to release tension which can benefit your general health.
Reflexology helps unblock energy pathways which stimulate the body into healing itself by improving circulation, reducing stress, relieving pain and restoring natural balance. Reflexology is a therapeutic foot massage that aims to break down any blockages in the reflex zones which may cause you to feel unwell, encouraging a free flow of energy through the body and cleansing your body of toxins.
What happens during Reflexology?
Reflexology is a non-intrusive complementary health therapy that works with the body’s energy through the stimulation of points (reflex zones) on the feet. It is believed that our body systems correspond to different areas on our feet, and generally speaking, the left foot corresponds to the left side of the body and the right foot corresponds to the right side of the body. During reflexology the therapist applies varying pressure to specific areas on the feet using their thumb and fingers to release tension in the nervous system and stimulate and balance the body’s energy.
What are the health benefits of Reflexology?
There can be many physical and psychological benefits to receiving Reflexology. Apart from being a relaxing experience, Reflexology helps the body restore its balance naturally and has been shown to be effective in relieving stress and muscular tension and encouraging better sleep. It can help to restore balance in the body which can help with hormone imbalances, PMS and menopausal symptoms.
It can also help to relieve the symptoms of headaches and migraines, and digestive complaints such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Through stimulating the nervous and circulatory systems, Reflexology can also coax your body into healing itself, revitalise energy and promote a sense of well being.
Reflexology is suitable for all ages and is a non-painful, therapeutic massage. Reflexology may not be suitable is if someone has skin complaints such as verruca’s or Athlete’s Foot, or if they have a recently broken bone in their foot.
How will you feel after a reflexology treatment?
Reflexology is a non-intrusive, complimentary therapy and can offer many benefits. After treatment, you should feel very calm and relaxed, and you may experience better sleep immediately. Most people note a sense of well-being and will begin to experience a relief in other symptoms but this depends on the degree of symptoms beforehand. A second session may be very beneficial, as too would regular ‘up-keep’ sessions.
The origins of Reflexology
Reflexology has been around for about 3,000 years and originated in China. Practitioners applied pressure to points on the hands and feet to re-balance Qi and treat a number of conditions. By stimulating the nerve endings, energy pathways can stimulate organs and promote health.
Reflexology is often used to complement Western medicine to promote healing and improve wellbeing and vitality.
Modern day reflexology has its origins in Zone Therapy which was pioneered by Dr. William H. Fitzgerald in the United States in 1917. He developed ‘Zone therapy’ which divided the body into
ten longitudinal zones. His theory was that reflexes operate along these zones and that pressure and stimulation of a reflex could relieve pain affecting body parts within a given zone.
Eunice Ingham further developed zone theory in the 1930s. She believed that tension in any part of the foot is mirrored in the corresponding part of the body. She developed reflexology maps which divided the feet into the corresponding body parts, using a ‘thumb walking’ technique to apply pressure to the various points on the feet, Reflexology as we know it today was born.