What is Reflexology?
Reflexology is a system of massage used to relieve tension and treat illness by the application of pressure to areas on the feet, hands and ears. Proponents of reflexology believe that pressure applied to these areas affect the corresponding organs and systems of the body to provide health benefits. Reflexology is generally relaxing and may be an effective way to alleviate stress.
Reflexologists are trained in understanding your foot structure and the importance it plays in your alignment. Using foot charts to guide them as they apply pressure to specific areas, reflexologists sometimes use rubber balls, rubber bands, or sticks of wood to assist in their work.
Benefits of Reflexology
Research studies indicate positive benefits of reflexology for many conditions, and is a modern holistic therapy to relieve pain and stress. After a reflexology session you many experience one or more of these benefits:
- A deeply relaxing and therapeutic response
- Increased digestive response and constipation relief
- Sinus drainage while still in the session
- Decreased bronchi and lung congestion
- Uterine reflex stimulation to bring on overdue babies or late menses
- Uterine reflex stimulation will also relieve some of the symptoms of PMS (premenstrual syndrome)
- Reduced muscular tension in the neck, shoulders, elbows, hips, sciatic area, and spine
- Reduced swelling in the feet and lower limbs
- Increased lymphatic, nerve, and blood circulation
- Kidney stones have been reported to pass with the stimulation of the kidney reflexes
- Many clients report they are as relaxed as if they had a full body massage
Who Benefits from Reflexology?
People of all ages benefit from a reflexology session. Babies can receive a reflexology treatment that focuses on points for colic, sinus congestion, constipation, and relaxation. Benefits for children include an increase immune function, easing of digestion, and even a reduction in ADD (attention deficit disorder). Reflexology benefits adults who have stressful lifestyles (stress is the number one reason to receive a reflexology treatment) because reflexology increases deep relaxation and deep breathing.
Pregnant women often hear that they cannot receive a foot massage or reflexology because it could put them into early labor. A trained reflexologist knows where to work and the points to avoid. The points for hips, spine, sinuses, and digestion all bring welcome relief from common pregnancy induced discomforts.
Elders love reflexology because of the benefit of touch – they are often not touched enough, and miss the benefits it provides. A reflexology session is easy for the elderly since they do not have to get undressed, and they benefit from an increase in circulation and resulting sense of deep relaxation. The chronically ill can also benefit, with both pain relief and digestive support.
Cancer patients can also benefit from the increase in immune function brought about by a reflexology session. Treatment can offset the nausea that often accompanies cancer treatments and the endorphin response will help alleviate pain. Those with autoimmune disorders, will also benefit from the increased immune function and pain relief.
The terminally ill will respond to reflexology in profound ways. It will ease their anxiety and assist in breathing. It also supports the functioning of the organs, the digestive system and the kidneys.
What to Expect in a Reflexology Session
Each Certified Reflexologist creates his or her unique approach in giving a therapeutic reflexology session. Your session may include:
- The use of hydrating foot cream
- Whole hand strokes to release tension and increase circulation
- Specific point stimulation of reflex points and areas
- Foot and toe stretches
- Hand reflexology to further enhance the relaxation and therapeutic response
Disclaimer: Integrative Reflexology is not intended to diagnose or treat conditions that require medical attention. Please consult with your medical practitioner with any medical concerns.