Reflexology is a popular holistic therapy that basically involves massaging the feet. During a treatment, the therapist gently massages and applies pressure to various parts of the feet which correspond to different parts of the body and the organs located in those areas.
Image Credit: Om Feet
If you believe in Chi (life force energy) and the subtle energy system, by massaging the correlating parts of the feet in a reflexology session, Chi energy is stimulated throughout all the energy channels (meridians) in the body and the organs. This is said to activate and boost the body's own innate healing mechanisms. After 24 years of being a therapist, I strongly believe that Reflexology and other holistic therapies create "the space" for the body to heal itself.
On a more scientific level, there are literally thousands of nerve endings in the feet, Reflexology has a profoundly relaxing effect on the nervous system. As we now know imbalances in the nervous system can be due to prolonged stress which causes a variety of health conditions. So regular deep relaxation is essential for both stress management and also to reduce the risk of developing stress related conditions.
During any form of massage, including Reflexology, endorphins, dopamines, oxytocin and serotonin are released. These chemicals help to relieve pain and uplift the mood.
Massage also boosts the circulatory flow, bringing fresh blood, nutrients and oxgyen and releases stagnant lymph and toxins held in the body.
Clincal research has shown Reflexology to be beneficial for
- General pain managment: including musculo skeletal pain, menstrual pain, laboour pain etc
- Migraine and Headaches
- Recovery from a Stroke
- Stress Relief and anxiety
- Sleep disorders
- Relief from the symptoms of Multiple Scerlosis
- Peripheral neuropathy (numbing and pain) in the feet in people with diabetes
- Symptom relief for patients with breast cancer and other forms of cancer
As you can see, Reflexology is a gentle but powerful holistic treamtent that can be used to help treat a variety of health conditions. For relaxation and stress relief I would advise a regular monthly treatment of Reflexology plus some form of "me time" on a regular basis in between treatments.
If you are local to Stockport, I offer Reflexology combined with aromatherapy by using an organic massage oil with an organic essential oil blend customised to meet your individual needs.
Until next time
Revisiting reflexology: Concept, evidence, current practice, and practitioner training
Nurul Haswani Embong,a Yee Chang Soh,a,∗∗ Long Chiau Ming,a,b,∗ and Tin Wui Wongc
Health-Related Quality-of-Life Outcomes: A Reflexology Trial With Patients With Advanced-Stage Breast Cancer
Gwen Wyatt, RN, PhD, Professor, Alla Sikorskii, PhD, Assistant professor, Mohammad Hossein Rahbar, PhD, Professor, David Victorson, PhD, Assistant professor, and Mei You, MS, Information and statistical analyst
A Randomized-Controlled Trial Examining the Effects of Reflexology on Anxiety of Patients Undergoing Coronary Angiography
Mehdi Molavi Vardanjani,1 Negin Masoudi Alavi,2,* Narges Sadat Razavi,3 Mohammad Aghajani,2 Esmail Azizi-Fini,2 and Seied Morteza Vaghefi4
Comparing the Effects of Reflexology and Footbath on Sleep Quality in the Elderly: A Controlled Clinical Trial
Leila Valizadeh,1 Alehe Seyyedrasooli,1 Vahid Zamanazadeh,1 and Khadijeh Nasiri1,*