The definition of “reflex” is an involuntary response to a stimulus, it also indicates the “reflection” of all organs, systems and structures of the body onto the feet or hands.
Reflexology is the practice of working on these reflexes in such a way as to produce a relaxation and response in the corresponding body region. The reflexology practitioner applies controlled pressure, with thumbs or fingers, to those reflex points and areas on the feet, or hands, in a specific, coherent sequence.
This stimulates the body to achieve its own state of equilibrium for good health. Pressure on the reflexes not only affects the corresponding organ or region of the body but also influences the relationship between different functions, processes and parts. Its purpose is to encourage healing, and restore and maintain
the body’s natural state of balance.
Traditionally it is believed that the ‘energy’ flows through channels in the body. When these become blocked or depleted parts of the body are starved of energy so become dis-eased. Reflexology is believed to clear these channels and restore the free flow of vital energy. A more modern theory is that reflexology works through the nervous system.
We know that there are over 70,000 nerve endings in the feet which connect via the spinal cord to all parts of the body. By working on these nerve endings reflexology stimulates the nervous system to normal healthy functioning. Another theory is that reflexology allows interaction with the body’s electromagnetic energy fields; working with the body’s own natural vibrations and healing potential.
One of the advantages of reflexology is that the whole body is treated through the feet, so that the client only has to take of shoes and socks, relax and enjoy the soothing sensation of massage on the feet. For each person the application and effect of the therapy is unique.
Experience trained hands can detect tiny deposits and imbalances in the feet and by working on these points can release blockages, restore the flow of energy and help the nervous system to achieve normal function. Tensions are eased, the immune system is stimulated and circulation and elimination are improved. This gentle therapy encourages the body to heal itself at its own pace, often counteracting a lifetime of misuse.
Reflexology is a holistic therapy, practitioners do not treat problems – they treat people. We do not claim to cure diseases and reflexology is not a substitute for orthodox medical treatment. However, it has proved to be very beneficial for a wide range of chronic and acute conditions, especially for stress related problems. It is deeply relaxing and as so many modern illnesses are the result of negative stress and tension, most stress – related conditions respond well to treatment.
Reflexology helps to release physical tension and mental strain to allow the body’s own healing potential to restore health, energy and well – being on all levels. Many practitioners have reported that clients with problems such as sinusitis, asthma, migraine, depression, muscular and skeletal disorders, hypertension, bowel disorders and menstrual problems etc. have benefited from treatment. Reflexology has also helped small babies with colic and maintained athletes in peak condition.
Reflexology is understood to be holistic in approach. The interaction of the mind and the emotions with the physical body is taken into consideration together with the client’s lifestyle, personal history and inherited factors, as well as their current relationships and social environment. Each client is seen as a unique individual and treatment is tailored to their personal needs. Reflexology is seen to be natural and non- invasive, and therefore safe, without the unpleasant and often dangerous side effects of orthodox drug therapy. Although reflexology is a treatment in its own right it does not replace orthodox medical treatment.
It is not an alternative to surgery or the conventional treatment of medical conditions. Reflexology is not aimed at treating or suppressing symptoms Symptoms are seen as an indication of an underlying problem and treatment is aimed at helping the client to identify and deal with any negative patterns which may be contributing to disease. Reflexology is known to reduce the side effects of many prescribed drugs, enhance other forms of treatment and work well in conjunction with both orthodox medicine and other complimentary and alternative therapies.