Reflexology is a technique of diagnosis and treatment in which certain areas of the body, particularly the feet and hands, are massaged to alleviate pain and/or other symptoms in the organs of the body.
Reflexology is believed to have originated in China around five thousand years ago and was also known to be used by the ancient Egyptians. Reflexology was introduced to the Western world by Dr William Fitzgerald, an American ear, nose and throat consultant. Dr William Fitzgerald applied 10 (ten) zones or energy channels to the surface of the body and these channels or zones are considered to be the paths along which a person’s ‘energy force’ flows.
If pain is experienced in one part of the body it can be relieved by applying pressure and massage elsewhere in the body. Reflexology uses a specific type of massage at the correct designated locations on the body. The body’s energy flow connects every organ and gland, with an ending or pressure point on the feet, hands or other part of the body.
Placing pressure and massaging particular reflex points enables the body’s energy channels to be cleared, healing any damage and restoring the energy flow to the affected area. The massaging action of Reflexology creates a soothing effect that enhances blood flow to the entire body. The process of Reflexology is one of calm and gentle movement. Reflex massage brings muscular and nervous relief. The pressure applied to a particular pressure point (or nerve ending) creates a sensation elsewhere in the body. This indicates or suggests the connection or flow between the two points.
The soles of the feet contain a large number of zones or reflex points that connect with organs, glands and/or nerves in the body. There are a small number of reflex points on the top and insides of the feet.
The palms of the hands contain a large number of reflex points, reflecting the arrangement of those on the soles of the feet. The backs of the hands mirror the top of the feet, although contain a smaller number of reflex points.
The hands are considered to have electrical properties. The right-hand palm is considered ‘positive’ and the left-hand palm ‘negative’. The right hand has a reinforcing, stimulating effect and is used to revitalize the body and restore the energy flow. The left hand has a calming, sedative effect and is best used to abate and/or stop pain. The back of each hand is opposite to the palm, thus the right is ‘negative’ and the left is ‘positive’.
The right foot is linked with the past, and these emotions must be released before the present and future aspects are dealt with in the left foot.
Reflexology’s positive effects are numerous and it can be used for the relief of pain (eg. toothache, back pain, headaches etc) stress, colds and flus, arthritis and asthma to name a few. It is believed that the stimulation of the reflex points leads to the release of endorphins. Endorphins are compounds that occur in the brain that have pain relieving qualities.
Not to be used to treat such conditions as diabetes, heart disorders, osteoporosis, thyroid gland disorders, arthritis of the feet. It may also not be suitable for pregnant women.