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Reflexology is a gentle art, a fascinating ancient science and an extremely effective form of therapeutic foot massage that has carved an impressive niche in the field of complementary medicine. It is both a science and an art, a science because it is based on physiological and neurological study and an art because much depends on how skilfully the therapists apply their knowledge.
The feet are a microcosm of the body. All the organs, glands and body parts are represented in similar arrangement on the feet. Reflexology works on the premise that all organs in the body have reflexes in the feet and by stimulating these reflexes we are stimulating the body to heal itself. Reflexology maps the feet, including the toes, as a mirror concept of our body organs.
Pressure is applied to the reflex areas using specific thumb and finger techniques. This causes physiological changes to take place in the body as the body’s own healing potential is stimulated. As a general understanding, the science of Reflexology states that where there is sensitivity in a reflex area that would be an indication of stress or weakness in the corresponding organ or body part.
Reflexology: Has an ability to stimulate nerve functions that help you’re your body increase your energy levels, circulation, central nervous system, prevent migraines, clear urinary infections, sleep disorders & depression.
Reflexology restores balance in the body by inducing relaxation
The goal of Reflexology is to trigger the return of homeostasis in the body, a state of equilibrium or balance. The most important step towards achieving this is to reduce tension and induce relaxation. Relaxation is the first step to normalisation and when the body is relaxed healing is possible.
Reflexology is a holistic treatment incorporating body, mind and spirit.
As a holistic therapy, Reflexology aims to treat the body as a whole and endeavours to get to the root cause of disease and treat this, not the symptom. For best result, the participation of the patient is required as ultimately the Reflexologist is not responsible for the patient’s health. In all holistic therapies, emphasis is placed on taking responsibility for one’s own state of health.
Reflexology facilitates the body to maintain good health
Correctly applied Reflexology pressure techniques allow subtle changes to take place in the body that facilitate internal balance. Reflexology works to maintain health and balance in much the same way as regular exercise would in maintaining a firm, toned body. Patients should therefore continue with a maintenance programme of Reflexology treatments once they have achieved a desired level of health.
Reflexology facilitates the achievement of health, harmony and equilibrium
When the body is functioning optimally, it is in a state of homeostasis or balance. The goal of Reflexology is to assist the body to return to this state of balance by facilitating the elimination of toxins and the decongestion of blockages. Reflexologists do not claim to heal the body or cure disease. Reflexology, as a treatment and holistic healing approach, can only assist the body to perform its functions naturally.
Reflexology revitalises the energy flow through the body
Energy flows throughout the body by way of electrical impulses generated by the nerves or through chemical messengers such as hormones or endorphins. A body that is out of balance or diseased has congestions in the flow of energy to the vital organs and systems. Reflexology is a method of unblocking these congestions and allowing the vital energy to once again flow in an unimpeded manner enabling the body to heal itself.
Reflexology is an antidote to stress
A stress reaction is a primitive response to a threatening or dangerous situation. When a person experiences stress, certain hormonal and chemical defence mechanisms occur in the body. In today’s modern age, these mechanisms do not have quite the same outlet as in the case of a primitive man where running, fighting and aggressive defence reactions were a means of survival. Today if a person experiences prolonged stress, this will eventually result in the depletion of essential vitamins and minerals from the system and exhaustion sets in. Reflexology helps to alleviate stress by inducing deep relaxation, easing stiff, tense muscles and unblocking congestion in the nerves and blood vessels. Blood can once again circulate freely, oxygen and nutrients are transported more efficiently to all organs and systems, while toxins can be more readily removed.
Reflexology facilitates a more optimal functioning of the neural pathways
When neural pathways are impaired, the body’s nerve function is impeded and this impacts negatively on a person’s reactions and cognitive processes. A subsidiary effect of the revitalisation of the energy flow throughout the body is that the nerve function is “jump-started” and neural messages are delivered more rapidly and efficiently to all parts of the body, thus allowing a more optimal level of functioning.
Reflexology improves circulation of blood and oxygen through the body
Body tissues depend on adequate blood supply to function properly as oxygen and nutrients are transported to the cells while toxins are removed. Chronic stress and tension are inclined to tighten up the cardiovascular system and restrict blood flow. This results in a sluggish circulation and high or low blood pressure. Reflexology encourages oxygen and blood to move through the body. In addition, the lymphatic system, dealing with the absorption of fats, the distribution of excess fluids and elimination of harmful substances, is also encouraged to work more efficiently.
Reflexology encourages the endocrine system to function properly
A further subsidiary effect of the revitalisation of the energy flow throughout the body by the stimulation of reflex points is that the endocrine system is encouraged to function more efficiently. The endocrine system is an intricate network of glands which secrete hormones. These function slowly, but steadily and influence all facets of growth, development and sexual function. They also exert a powerful influence on thoughts, emotions and personality, and the malfunction of any of the seven principle endocrine glands can result in the disruption of hormone secretion and imbalances in the body.
Reflexology eases pain and helps the body to relax
Stimulation of the reflexes not only encourages the brain to release pain-killing endorphins, but also results in an overload of sensory information. This eases the pain and helps the body to relax.
Reflexology breaks down crystal deposits and helps to remove toxins
An excess of acidity in the bloodstream may result in the settling of grainy deposits in the nerve endings of a body organ. These are considered to be calcium deposits which develop into acid crystals and can impede normal blood circulation. Feet are at the end point of circulation in the body and are often the prime targets for these crystal deposits. They settle beneath the skin surface, cause congestion, impede circulation and cause toxins to stagnate in the feet. Reflexology stimulation results in the breakdown of the crystals and the removal of toxins through improved circulation. This also eases pain and swelling in the feet and legs.
Reflexology assists with the general condition of patients with terminal diseases
Reflexologists cannot claim to cure diseases or heal the body. However, given the right conditions, the body has tremendous potential to heal itself or regulate the harmonious functioning of its systems in such a way that it can function optimally. Reflexology may not be capable of removing the cause of terminal diseases such as cancer, AIDS or multiple sclerosis, but it may assist in improving the patient’s general condition by stimulating the circulatory system, respiratory and elimination systems and by promoting relaxation and pain management. Reflexology can therefore contribute significantly to a better quality of life for terminally ill patients.