What is reflexology massage? Reflexology is a non-invasive therapy based on the principle that reflex points in the hands and feet correspond to different body parts, organs, and systems. When these reflex points are stimulated with appropriate pressure it results in improvement of health in the related part, organ, or system. Reflexology massage can be used to relieve stress and pain in certain parts of the body such as the neck, shoulders, legs, and feet.
To determine which areas, receive attention during a session, practitioners look at your palm lines or your soles’ map then they apply pressure along them for several minutes. It’s usually performed by applying some light touch with the thumb, index finger, or both simultaneously. Besides its benefits for general well-being, it can also help people who suffer from migraines, sinusitis, tension headaches, and PMS (premenstrual syndrome) by stimulating the nerve endings in the feet.
While reflexology is believed to have been practiced for more than four thousand years in China and India, it was first introduced to North America in 1913 by William H. Fitzgerald who coined this simple yet effective healing art as “zone therapy”. Since then, many other terms have been used such as “zone therapy,” acupuncture without needles,” and “applied kinesiology.” Because of its effectiveness, over 60 million Americans have tried reflexology at least once although only a small percentage have continued receiving regular treatments. In 2002 alone there were close to 1.5 million practitioners worldwide while almost half a billion people visited these therapists on a regular basis.
Reflexology can be used to treat many conditions such as pain, digestive disorders, stress and sleep disturbances, immune deficiencies, respiratory problems, and hormonal imbalances. Its benefits include: Stimulating the production of serotonin which helps control mood swings Reduce stress by promoting deep relaxation Increase energy levels Get rid of insomnia by relieving tension and encouraging sound sleep Improve breathing and restore the normal balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood Clear up skin disorder such as acne and eczema May provide some relief for chronic fatigue syndrome Lead to lower blood pressure Naturally improve digestion Can help women during pregnancy Reflexology is extremely safe even when applied over very weak areas of the body.
People with serious illnesses or who are taking medications should consult their health care providers before receiving it. Some precautions to take are listed below: Avoid getting a massage on the area of your body that is injured or inflamed (when you have a cold, flu, fever, etc.) and do not receive treatment if you’re feeling tired; Make sure that your feet and hands are clean before the session; If you suffer from diabetes, pregnancy or other major illness, make sure that your doctor approves of this therapy; Do not try reflexology if you wear a pacemaker. This technique must be performed very carefully around this device because its electrical pulses can disrupt the rhythm of massaging; Do not continue receiving reflexology if you feel pain while having the procedure.
Reflexologists believe that every organ and system of the body is represented on the hands and feet; therefore, they will focus their strokes more on those areas that correspond to the problem. A thorough session usually lasts between 30 and 60 minutes during which your reflexologist may use a variety of massage techniques such as kneading, tapping, and stroking. To receive these treatments, you need to be fully dressed and comfortable so we suggest wearing loose clothing such as tracksuit pants or shorts with T-shirts. During your first visit, your therapist will complete an interview that enables them to determine your state of health both mental and physical before proceeding with treatment.
If you decide to continue receiving regular treatments then it would be wise for you not only to find a practitioner who has experience but also to attend a seminar given by a qualified instructor. Your therapist should have completed the training program accredited by one of the following associations: American Association of Reflexologists (AAR) American Association of Bodywork Therapists Australian Reflexology & Massage Association Australasian College of Health Sciences International Council for Professional Training in Clinical Reflexology National Federation of Professional Trainers in Clinical Reflexology South African Reflexology Association
Reflexology sessions are not expensive and will help you look after your total well-being. It also might be a great way to make new friends who share similar emotional interests! So, what are you waiting for? Give it a try today and take care of your mind, body, and soul!