Reflexology is an ancient healing technique dating back to at least as early as 2500 BC. It is believed that every culture has a history of some type of footwork.
So, what exactly is reflexology? The clinical definition is “stimulation of pressure points located on the feet, hands or ears that connect, correspond to every organ, gland and function of the human body.” Yet there is so much that this doesn’t tell you!
The power of touch is a profound communicator – it can convey feelings/emotions, can make us feel supported, cared for, nurtured.
In reflexology, the touch is gentle yet firm, always working within the client’s level of comfort by using specialized finger movement techniques that relax both at the skin level and deeper. When we touch, we are in communication with the entire body through the nervous system. As touch is applied, messages are sent through the intricate and complex webwork of nerves to the brain, spinal cord, sympathetic, parasympathetic and peripheral nervous systems. It is there that the change occurs – not only do our brain waves change, the body releases different chemicals that promote homeostasis or balance which affect your entire body!
It really is all connected!
When we are stressed – we are in that “fight or flight” mode. Our blood pressure, respiration, and pulse rate are increased, muscles are tensed – ready to do battle! Think of how often you feel that throughout your day! By promoting homeostasis or balance via reflexology, the body is encouraged to release chemicals that promote the “rest and digest” mode, a.k.a. the Relaxation Response. This is where the muscles relax, blood pressure, pulse, and respiration come back to baseline or below, and the release of the beta endorphins leaves you feeling peaceful and relaxed. Plus your feet or hands feel fabulous!
During a reflexology session only the socks and shoes need to be removed, pant legs pulled up, or if doing hands – jewelry removed and sleeves pulled up and you are in a reclining position. A light lotion or non-petroleum jelly is used.
BENEFITS OF REFLEXOLOGY
- Improved blood flow
- Increased oxygen saturation and lowered respiration
- Reduced anxiety
- Pain reduction
- Enhancement of medical care i.e. Diabetes and asthma
- Complimentary to cancer care – can reduce pain, nausea, vomiting, anxiety
- Easing PMS and menopausal symptoms for women and prostate problems for men
- Improved blood flow to kidneys, intestines and feet
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