Reflexology

By · Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

Reflexology,”means the stimulation of areas beneath the skin to improve the function of the whole body or of specific body areas away from the site of the stimulation” (Mosby’s Fundamentals of Therapeutic Massage, p.466). The theory of reflexology is that there are areas in the hands and feet that correlate with the major organs of the body and other areas of the body. Eunice Ingham is credited with formalizing this method; however its origins can be traced back to China, with foot reflexology being the most popular of the modalities. By stimulating certain areas on the feet the response is communicated to through the neural pathways in the body that activate the body’s electrical and biochemical activities thus promoting healing.

Many people may don’t know this, but the foot is actually a very complex structure. Extensive nerve distributions exist in the hands and feet and in so being the sensory and motor centers of the brain devote a large area to the feet and hands. In so being it would seem logical that by stimulating the hands and feet that a response would be felt in other areas of the body. It is interesting to also see that many of the nerve endings on the feet and hands correlate with well-known acupressure points, which are known to trigger the release of endorphins and other body chemicals.

According to research, these are some of the  reported benefits of reflexology:  It promotes relaxation, reduces chronic pain, improves blood flow, benefits mental health, reduces stress,  helps to control anxiety and much more (www.reflexology-research.com). If you are skeptical of or just interested in how reflexology may be able to help, then my advice is to try it for yourself.

Everyone is different and not every massage therapy modality is for everyone. I can say that I have had clients of mine in the Inland Empire report to me decreases in body pains and headaches due to reflexology. I myself have even experienced headache relief through hand reflexology.  Find someone who specializes in reflexology, or call our office  and try it for yourself, and then you be the judge.

 

Kandace Fields,LMT

 

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