What is reflexology?
Reflexology is a non-intrusive natural healing therapy based on the theory that the anatomy of the body is reflected in different points or areas on the feet and hands. Specific pressure techniques and massage are used on these points (known as reflex areas) which Reflexologists believe have an energetic effect on the corresponding organ or systems within the body, encouraging the body towards self healing.
How does reflexology work?
There are a number of theories about how it works and these are based around reflex areas, nerves and energy. However, no one knows for certain.
Ancient texts, illustrations and artifacts show that the early Chinese, Japanese and Egyptians worked on the feet to promote good health. In 1913 Dr William Fitzgerald observed that different areas on the hands and feet were linked to different areas of the body. In the 1930s, Eunice Ingham developed this further and 'mapped' these areas of the body to specific points on the feet and hands.
Reflexology today follows these specific points (reflexes), and believes that energy pathways running through the body provide the link. Blockages in these pathways can lead to illness or disease, and stress or injury can block them. Reflexology seeks to open up these pathways through a particular type of massage to the feet or hands to restore balance, allowing the body to heal and function normally.
You don't need to be ill to benefit, you may just want to take the opportunity to relax and take time for yourself.
Will reflexology help me?
Reflexology is a very individual treatment and a practitioner will work with you holistically. This means being concerned with you as a whole person, your mind, body and spirit, rather than separating out specific parts or conditions. We are complex beings and our symptoms or illnesses should not be regarded in isolation. A practitioner will work over the reflex areas in your feet or hands to detect imbalances and will aim to correct the flow of energy. In addition, a state of deep relaxation is induced allowing the nervous system to calm down and function more normally. Many people use reflexology as a way of relaxing the mind and body and counteracting stress, and regular treatments may be ideal as a preventative measure.
Please be aware that reflexology should not be used as a alternative to seeking medical advice.
What is reflexology used for?
Reflexology seeks to support people through a wide range of acute and chronic, physical and mental conditions. A reflexologist treats the person not the symptom/illness and in turn aims to promote a state of overall well being.
What benefits can be expected?
Reflexology can offer:
- Increased relaxation
- Release of tension and emotional distress
- Improved sleep
- Improved mood
- Increased well being