Reflexology is a natural healing art based on the principle that there are reflexes in the feet and their referral areas within zone related areas, which correspond to every part, gland and organ of the body, through the application of appropriate pressure to specific points and areas on the feet, hands, or ears.
Reflexology is generally relaxing and may be an effective way to alleviate stress.
The theory behind reflexology is that these areas correspond to organs and systems of the body. Proponents believe that pressure applied to these areas affects the organs and benefits the person’s health.
Reflexologists use foot charts to guide them as they apply pressure to specific areas. Sometimes these practitioners use items, such as rubber balls, rubber bands and sticks of wood, to assist in their work. Practitioners of reflexology include chiropractors, physical therapists and massage therapists, among others.
Where are the reflexology points and areas?
In reflexology theory, points and areas on the feet, hands, and ears correspond to specific organs, bones and body systems. Practitioners access these points on the feet and hands (bottom, sides, and top) and the ear (both inside as far as the finger can reach and outside) to affect organs and systems throughout the entire body.
Maps of reflex points have been passed between practitioners across the globe. Understandably, there is not agreement among all reflexologists on all points; however, general agreement does exist on major reflex points. Some scientific documentation of linkages between the skin and internal organs also exists.
To represent how the body systems correspond to one another, reflexologists use reflexology “maps.” A good example of a reflexology map exists for the feet. Each foot represents a vertical half of the body:
- The left foot corresponds to the left side of the body and all organs, valves, etc. found there.
- The right foot corresponds to the right side of the body and all organs found there. For example, the liver is on the right side of the body, and therefore the corresponding reflex area is on the right foot.
The illustration to the right shows a reflexology map for the feet.
A reflexologist may perform a general, integrated session, or may focus on specific problem areas on the feet, hands or ears. For example, if time is limited and the person really needs to relax, the reflexologist may choose just to work on the ears.
Whatever the specific technique, reflexology theory holds that the practitioner is working to release congestion or stress in the nervous system and balance the body’s energy.
Hand reflexology – health at your fingertips!
Hand reflexology can be very beneficial for people working constantly with their hands for example in the IT field. With this type of work it would be advantageous to have hand reflexology sessions to help avoid conditions such as RSI, as reflexology would help to improve circulation to the arms and wrists.
Recently, the popularity of hand reflexology has grown with the increase in hand-use intensive activities such as: gaming, key boarding, and texting – because hand reflexology provides a relieving respite in the hand’s busy day. Hand reflexology can therefore serve as an accessible tool to get some relief from the stresses that new technologies sometimes put on our hands’.
What are the benefits of Reflexology?
Reflexology primarily eases stress and tension, which in turn can improve blood circulation, lymph drainage, assist in the elimination of toxins, and strengthening of the immune system. It enables the body’s natural healing processes to promote wellness.