What is REFLEXOLOGY?
Reflexology is a science that maps out the reflexes to the whole
body on the feet, hands, or ears. By pressing these specific areas
of the feet, hands, or ears, every organ, gland, muscle, and body
part is affected. Techniques such as thumb walking, finger walking,
hook and back up and rotations on a reflex are used. These hand techniques
are unique to traditional Reflexology and are different from the motions
used in other types of massage.
In addition to traditional Reflexology which relies on reflex points,
modern Reflexologists also consider the foot as a foot. The health
of one's feet is a big concern and foot assessments may be done and
suggestions made as to the wearing of properly fitting shoes, foot
strengthening exercises, referrals to other medical specialists such
as podiatrists, etc., if necessary. Feet that are healthy and pain
free are very important for one's overall well being and are an important
consideration in Reflexology.
How Does REFLEXOLOGY Work?
There are many theories as to how and why Reflexology works. Some
of the well established and researched reasons are as follows:
- Relaxation Response: This is well documented. When the
body is in a relaxed state, many physiological changes take place
in the body which are beneficial to good health. Stress reduction
is what Reflexology does best.
- Endorphin Release: These chemicals are the body's natural
pain killers. When one receives Reflexology, these "feel good" substances
are released into the bloodstream and relief from pain can be obtained.
- Increased Circulation: Direct pressure on the feet and
hands increases venous return or better blood flow. This tends to
warm the extremities, helps nutrients get to the cells, and takes
away waste products. It also moves more oxygen into the cells where
it is needed.
- Direct Nerve Stimulation: Direct stimulation on the feet
or hands puts pressure on the many thousands of nerve endings that
reside there. This can benefit one's overall health.
- Benefit of Touch: Touch is a basic human need and being
nurtured and touched increases one's sense of well being.
Most Common Benefits of REFLEXOLOGY
- Relieves many types of foot or hand pain.
- Decreases stress on emotional, physical, and mental levels.
- Increases circulation.
- Detoxifies body.
- Increases physical energy.
- Gives general sense of well being.
- Has the potential to change certain degenerative processes.
What to Expect in a Typical REFLEXOLOGY Session
- Sessions last about an hour.
- You will need to fill out a health history on your first appointment.
- Sometimes the entire session will be devoted to the feet; at
other times it will be combined with work on the hands and ears.
- You will remove shoes and socks.
- A short foot/hand inspection may take place.
- You will either lie comfortably on a massage table or on a Reflexology
lounge-type chair with feet elevated.
- Coconut oil is used to facilitate reflexology techniques.
- Initially, there is a foot soak to stimulate the reflexes.
- The practitioner will make every effort to work within the pain
tolerance of the individual.
- Afterwards, a relaxed state is generally felt.
- Water intake should be increased after the session to facilitate