Reflexology Whats it all about Anyway?

Reflexology Whats it all about Anyway?

Image courtesy of satit_srihin at

Image courtesy of satit_srihin at

Reflexology is when nerves are stimulated on three different body parts: the feet, hands and sometimes the ears. The stimulation is done by applying pressure and by massage. The purpose is to cause any blocked energy to release from the body. It is a practice that is natural and promotes self-healing within the body. Those who practice reflexology believe that we have areas of the foot and hands that correspond to other areas of the body and when pressed, or massaged they can have an effect on the body part that they correspond with.

Reflexology Whats it all about Anyway?

There are two main theories about reflexology, the “nervous system” and the “Qi” theories.

The nervous system theory the reason reflexologist can relieve stress is because they apply a pressure and massage technique to the over 7200 nerves that are located in our feet. It is much like a telegraph signal traveling from the area being pressed on the foot that creates a release of a “message” that follows the path from the area being pressed or massaged to the corresponding area of the body.  The nerves are all part of our central nervous system and they travel to the brain relaying messages and then going on to the body part that it corresponds to and delivers energy and oxygen, which are needed for healing and well-being.

Then there is the Qi theory or otherwise known as the “life force” explanation about how healing is obtained through the flow of energy. This flow of energy can release blockages of energy. The reflexology therapist will use hands to massage areas of the feet and hands in a precise manner that will open any “imperfections” that may be present.

Others believe that reflexology releases natural painkillers that the body uses called “endorphins”.

The practice of reflexology involves a therapist applying an exact pressure to a particular area of the foot or hand, or a stretch or a movement that will have an effect on a corresponding body part. They believe that manipulating the feet and hands they can relieve stress on other body parts because of the connection between them.

Reflexologists view the feet and hands as the gatekeepers for the rest of the body. They firmly believe that there are areas of the feet and hands that can have an effect on the other body parts because of a relay system of nerves that travel along from the feet or hands through the nerves to the brain, where a processing takes placed and then it travels to the internal organs of the body where it is turned into energy or oxygen which is then transported into movement in the “motor system” of the body.

Reflexology is practiced by individuals, those who practice cosmetology, nurses and doctors in China. There are fulltime professional reflexology therapists and families who continue the care of reflexology at home. Most professional sessions last around 30 minutes but practicing it at home should take roughly 5 minutes, 6 days a week for maximum benefit.

The benefits of reflexology are that it is good for stress release. Those who practice it professionally will have clients either sit in a chair or lie on a table. Clients keep their clothes on but do remove their shoes and socks. Most therapists will do the massage, pressure or movements without oil, which is often called a “dry technique”, though some do use oil. The client should feel comfortable at all times during the session.

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