Reflexology: Healing with a Feeling
What is Reflexology?
Time and again, stress or pain is experienced mostly by one and all, right from the moment of waking up to the time of hitting the bed. This could be due to various reasons such as depression, anxiety, wayward lifestyle, ailment or an injury. This ever-increasing pain or stress adversely affects our performance at work, which in turn also impacts our home-life making us increasingly tired-both physically and mentally. The age-old quote that ‘Health is Wealth’ is an important aspect to be worked upon with the fast-paced lifestyle led by us all. One way to relax, de-stress, detox, and strengthen our immune system under such stressed circumstances is through the healing art of Reflexology.
Reflexology is a type of massage that involves applying different amounts of pressure to the feet, hands, and ears. It is based on a theory that these body parts are connected to certain organs and body systems. People who practice this technique are called reflexologists.
It is an ‘ancient refined science’ developed in China more than 4000 years ago and practiced across the world as a gentle, non-invasive complementary therapy that works on the reflex areas of the feet, hands, spine with the purpose of helping people to Relax, Rejuvenate, Refresh and Re-energize.
Principles of Reflexology
Several clinical studies have revealed the incredible benefits of a power nap of 15 to 20 minutes or more in restoring alertness, performance and learning ability of a person in stress. Similar to a power nap, a reflexology therapy session lasts anywhere between 15 minutes to 1 hour where you receive the therapeutic touch of a trained reflexologist, who practically uses the healing power of his hands to put the receiver to sleep, in an enlightened state of surrender.
Due to the many advantages of reflexology, such as it being a clothes-on therapy where you may need to remove only your socks and shoes, and can spring back to work all charged up post the therapy session, it can be the best solution for reducing stress at workplace.
Reflexology can help reduce the build-up of lactic acid in the muscles by up to 4x faster, thereby improving the blood circulation and building a stronger immune system. This could make reflexology the new go-to treatment for the corporate to help provide the muscle pain relief felt from the stress of being physically still and mentally super-alert.
While most people think that reflexology is just another word for foot massage, it is in fact much more than that. What exactly is reflexology and what does it do?
Beyond the feel-good effects of the treatment, the practice and purpose go deeper than the skin and muscles by taking specific reflex points on the foot to induce a healing response in corresponding organs and areas of the body, as seen in the chart. Kneading the soft fleshy ball of the foot, pulling on the toes, tracing around the heel and pushing deep into the arch are just a few of the many small, intense movements one will experience during a reflexology treatment.
Treatment using Reflexology
Reflexology therapy helps address anything from headaches to sinus problems to stomach issues, if sensitivity or tenderness is experienced when certain areas of the foot are stimulated, it usually indicates bodily weaknesses or imbalances within the corresponding organ. With repeated practice of applying pressure and manipulating nerve endings (traditionally in the foot), reflexology can help to clear any channels of blocked energy through moving the flow of blood, nutrients and nerve impulses to ultimately improve overall health and balance. In addition to manipulating the pressure points on the foot, reflexologists sometimes work on the hands or ears to trigger relaxation as well.
Benefits of Reflexology Therapy
A professional reflexology therapy session for the feet or back has immense benefits to tackle the underlying causes of stress and not simply the symptoms.
- It improves circulation.
- Reduces neuropathy risks.
- Beats stress, lethargy, and tension.
- Relaxes the patient.
- Quick Mood up-lifter.
- Overall boost.
- Keeps vital organs in good condition.
- Cleanses the body of toxins.
- Boosts the immune system.
- Increases circulation.
- Promotes healing.
- Balances energy.
The Reflexology sessions help stimulate or energize 7,200 nerve endings, 19-muscles, 107-ligaments and 26 bones in each foot.
Side Effects of Reflexology
Although minimum, there are a few side effects that you can watch out for while undergoing reflexology therapy, such as:
- Cold or flu-like symptoms may follow the therapy.
- Some people may develop headache and feel tired after the session.
- People may experience different reaction after therapy. Some may feel happy and laugh while some may feel like crying.
- You may experience tenderness and increased sensitivity post the session.
- Some other side effects may be nausea, excessive sweating, insatiable thirst, and skin rashes.
It is often said, “The Feet Tell It All”. The tenderness of the reflex points felt by the therapist in the client’s feet can pin-point which organ or body part needs special attention. Take the help of a professional to get an accurate analysis of the trouble areas.
To be effective, a reflexology practitioner must be certified and understand the meridians related to each pressure point. Most spas offer reflexology, and the treatment typically lasts approximately 30 minutes. It is important to have a conversation with your reflexologist beforehand to discuss your issues, whether it is constipation, a tension headache or trouble sleeping.
During a reflexology session, you are clothed and seated or lying down while the therapist rubs, presses on and squeezes points on your feet. The therapist may concentrate on specific areas to alleviate ailments (if you have sinus trouble, the therapist will focus on your toes) or work on the whole foot with the aim of strengthening every system in the body.
Things to Remember
- Wait at least 1-hour post eating to get a massage.
- Do not receive reflexology if you are pregnant.
- Drink water following the treatment to eliminate toxins and lactic acid build-up that occurs during the massage.
- Consult a doctor first if you have foot problems, an injury, a blood vessel disease associated with clots or varicose veins.
End note from WG Team
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