While reflexology origins date back 4000 years, modern reflexology is both art and science starting in the 1930’s; while a continuous research study, and sound knowledge of the techniques is unavoidable, it is dedication, patience, and loving care of other human beings that yield the best results.
Mosby's medical foremost known dictionary defines a reflex as "a backward or return flow of energy or of an image, as a reflection", while reflexology is defined as "a system of treating certain disorders by treating the soles of the feet, using principles similar to those of acupuncture". One must keep in mind however, that although there is certain undeniable likelihood in principles between acupuncture and reflexology, reflexology is entirely non-invasive. Instead of needles - gentle pressure is applied through the fingers to the tiny reflex points, and related areas in the soles and on the "back"/top the feet and hands. This in turn has a stimulating effect on specific systems and organs of our body. By using specific reflexology techniques, one can directly affect the nervous system in a very positive, relaxing way. When the body is relaxed and the nervous system stimulated, healing has a perfect chance to occur.
Click to an interactive reflexology maps
The condition of a foot is a reflection of the condition of all major body parts and systems: skin, nervous, musculoskeletal, hormonal & secretory and circulatory .Reflexology uses sound knowledge of anatomy, and physiology in combination with highly skilled hand work, applying various degrees of pressure and flexing over the complex nerve ending network of our feet. Reflexology is an effective treatment for all ages. You can often calm a distressed infant simply by applying reflexology to the baby's feet , and provide relief from pain to a cancer patient.
THE BENEFITS OF REFLEXOLOGY
Certainly one of the best ways to truly relax is through reflexology. The reflexologist stimulates over 7,000 nerves, while touching our feet, and encourages the clearing, and opening of obstructed meridians and neuronal pathways.
Restoring the inner - balance
Our system, by its very nature, seeks a dynamic state of balance (know as homeostasis). Since the body is made up of thousands of parts, areas, each performing its functions in a very unique way, the only way for the body to be healthy is through synchronization of its functions, just like an engine of a car, to keep the body running in harmony, a tune-up is often required. Reflexology provides for the restoration of inner harmony..
Reflexology stimulates a cleansing process in our body. The body has it's mechanisms for self-cleansing : the kidneys, the liver, they lymphatic system, the skin, the colon etc. An obstruction in the function of any of these may cause toxic buildup, which in turn intoxicates the body, and causes disease. Through deep relaxation, along with direct stimulation of the self-cleansing process, reflexology, helps the body to perform more efficiently, and rid itself of the waste..
While it's a common knowledge that proper flow of blood carrying oxygen and nutrients throughout our body, and bringing about the elimination of toxins and waste, some of us may not be aware that in order for the blood to circulate freely, it has to flow through a very sensitive and complex circulatory system. Stress & tension cause the constriction, and tightening of the cardiovascular system, thus impairing the blood flow. Once more, by reducing stress and tension reflexology helps restore unobstructed blood flow..
Many of us heard the terms Chi or Qi which according to the Oriental philosophy represent the universal power behind any movement, whether it is the flow of water, the blowing of the wind, or our own life energy. The nature of energy is by definition - to move, to flow, to create. The unobstructed flow of life energy is imminent to our well-being . Feeling good healthy and energetic requires free energy flow. By relaxing, and opening up of the energy channels, which follows reflexology revitalizes the whole body, as well as the mind and the spirit..
Preventive care through reflexology
As we realize the ever growing health threatening dangers of our environment: air and water pollution, chemical additives in food, stress, etc, we must also consider the additional strain these conditions cause to our immune system. Reflexology helps bolstering our immunological defenses, and thus minimizes the chances of illness..
A first session will invariably begin with a health history intake.The health history of the patient that may have great importance in the understanding of the patient's condition, and the best way to derive maximal benefit from future session.
Reflexology may be applied with ease not only in the reflexologist's clinic, but also in one's bed, In a comfortable recliner, or even on the floor. Naturally, the patient remains fully robed, with the exception of the shoes .
Playing very quiet, relaxing music, as well as the use of Guided Imagery. Aromatherapy may be used as well to enhance the healing powers of the patient's body.
The treatment itself consists of a very gentle and cautious application of pressure, flexing and stretching to both feet. It is wrong to think that a very firm or ever so gentle touch is a written recipe. The art of reflexology is based not only on a certain techniques, but also on the intuition and mental focus of the therapist and his non-verbal communication with the patient.
Upon session's end, the patient (if not asleep) is asked to remain resting, and slowly return to normal awareness. I suggest offering the patient a drink of water, and encourage to keep drinking a lot of water after the session, due to the fact that the session causes the body to detoxify, and the water helps us to flush the waste and toxins out.
A typical session takes some 50 minutes, however the very weak, or elderly people are to be treated shortly (15-20 min) , while babies often respond to reflexology applied for 5 minutes only.
Since every person is unique, no two people react to reflexology in the same way, nor do they experience the same results after each treatment.
Most people experience deep relaxation, thus it is only natural that many fall asleep during the session. The reflexology related sleep is good. When the session is over, most people feel more balanced, revitalized, even if during the first minutes they may feel a bit disoriented.
Highly intoxicated patients may experience a "healing crisis" which may begin already during the session, or within the 24-36 hours after the session. The healing crisis may be exhibited by headache, nausea, coldness, diarrhea etc. Actually these signs indicate that reflexology is indeed in place. The unpleasantness, if any, passes usually within 24 hours or so, and is unlikely to happen during the next sessions.
Click Here to View Some Current Reflexology Research.
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Examples of Reflexology sessions ( performed by various therapists)-1
Examples of Reflexology sessions ( performed by various therapists)-2
Examples of Reflexology sessions ( performed by various therapists)-3