Reflexology is a holistic, ancient healing art and 21st Century science – as such, it aims to treat the whole person (mind, body and spirit) with the gentle spark of the body’s natural healing processes. Your feet and hands are maps of the physical body and subtle energies (Chi and meridian system) connected to nerve and meridian pathways (energy channels or circuits). Small reflex points correspond to different body areas, organs and glands. By applying deep pressure and healing techniques directly to specific points, energy pathways are unblocked, creating a more uninterrupted flow of Chi and natural balance.
Reflexology treatments are like body tune-ups. Among the many benefits are inducing deep relaxation, releasing toxins and wastes, boosting the immune system, restoring energy vitality and helping with the recovery from injury, illness or surgery. Some common concerns include inflammation, allergies, low energy, depression, chronic or acute pain, high stress and body system imbalances (such as endocrine, respiratory, circulatory, digestive, immune and urinary). It is a complimentary therapy that can be used in unison with other holistic and alternative services, integrative and conventional medicine.
In Zone Therapy (traditional Western approach to Reflexology developed in late 19th and early 2Oth centuries), the body is divided into 10 vertical (longitudinal), neurological and energy zones. Each zone extends from the head, ending in the toes and fingers. All muscles, glands, organs and body systems lie within these zones. The reflex points located on the feet and hands reflect a mapping of the body and its systems. Using direct pressure techniques, massaging the reflex points on the feet and hands can spur mental, emotional, physical health and well-being throughout the entire body. It helps to unblock nerve pathways (bio-physical energy channels), bringing a more uninterrupted flow of energy and natural balance.
Neurological, bio-chemical and electro-magnetic responses (electrochemical impulses) are brought on by the therapeutic effects of Reflexology treatments. Reflex responses can stimulate the lymph and circulatory systems. This promotes a clearing of energy blocks, removing toxins and breaking down crystallized deposits through the body’s elimination systems. In essence, the physical body is closely connected to (separate and overlapping), highly energized by and dependent upon the subtle energies for balancing body functions, cellular activity and sparking the body’s natural healing processes. While the nervous system is the central focus of Zone Therapy, the endocrine system provides a vital link between the physical and etheric bodies. The endocrine system, the body’s chemical system, guides most body functions in concert with the nervous system. In addition, each of 7 endocrine glands (among them adrenal, thyroid, pituitary and pineal) interconnects with a related Chakra and major nerve center.
Chinese Reflexology has evolved over thousands of years. It is considered a preventive health option and cure in Chinese energy medicine. In the meridian system (subtle energies) all body areas, glands and organs are linked by meridian channels that run through the entire body, unifying all of its parts into one human organism. Each of seven Chakras (energy vortexes) receives and distributes Chi to the body. Chi (major life force and underlying source of energy vitality) flows through the meridian channels integrating with acupoints, energetic streams (Nadis), Governing and Conception Vessels (main rivers of energy), the 12 major organ meridians (bilateral) and the physical body. According to the 4,500 year old Nei Ching (Chinese medical journal), “Chi circulates along meridian channels similar to the pathways of the blood, lymph and nerve circuits in the body….” Six of the twelve major organ meridians (along with their respective reflex points) pass through the feet. These points and the Chakras have specific locations on the feet, allowing the Reflexologist to work the body’s major nerve centers, systems, meridians and Chakras. In the East and West, modern science has measured and observed meridian channels and Chi through thermal, electromagnetic and radioactivity, among others). Acupuncture and reflex points have been monitored to identify the location of imbalances in organs and body systems. This process has been done successfully by electrographic scans and other modern technologies, as well as foot readings by highly-skilled Reflexologists. Recent Chinese studies have revealed the discovery of a high concentration of adrenal hormones in meridian fluids, proving a strong, direct bio-physical link between the endocrine and meridian systems.
Reflexology is a universal option for better health and natural balance in that it touches the mind-body connection, subtle energies and psyche of the client; it can be blended with any wellness strategy. Recent American, Chinese and European studies have shown that clients with chronic or acute health problems (pain, inflammatory conditions and the like) benefit the most from regular treatments.
Some Benefits of Foot & Hand Reflexology
- Opens Nerve & Meridian Pathways
- Reduces Chronic & Acute Pain
- Deep Relaxation & Rest
- Helps Release Toxins & Wastes
- Lymph Flush & Immune Booster
- Relieves Sinuses & Allergies
- Promotes Energy Vitality & Balance
- Eases Headaches & Migraines
- Lowers Inflammation
- Lessens Computer Strain
- Joint Mobility & Movement
- Helps Blood Circulation
- Plantar Faciitis & Other Foot Conditions
- Speeds Recovery-Illness, Injury, Surgery
By: Ken Orr, LMT & Reflexologist
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The material contained herein is provided for information and educational purposes. It is not intended as medical advice. Licensed Massage Therapists (LMTs) do not: (1) diagnose illness, disease, or any other physical/mental disorder; (2) prescribe medical treatment or pharmaceuticals; (3) perform spinal manipulations. LMTs and Massage Therapy are not a substitute for medical examinations or diagnosis. Consult with a physician or certified alternative health care provider when you may have an injury, illness, disease or other health concerns. All client information is held in strict confidence.