Reflexology is the practice of applying pressure to the feet and hands utilizing specific thumb, finger and hand techniques with the use of oil, cream or lotion based on a system of zones and reflex areas that reflect an image of the body on the feet and hands with a premise that such work effects a physical change in the body.
What is a reflexology chart?
A reflexology chart mirrors a reflection of the body on the feet and hands, left foot or hand representing the body's left half and right foot or hand its right half. In reflexology practice, technique is applied to the relevant reflex area(s) to prompt a change in the related part of the body. Research has demonstrated such effects for several reflex areas and their reflected parts of the body, i. e. the kidney reflex areas and the kidneys; the intestine reflex areas and the intestines and the brain reflex area and the brain.
Research has shown the specific techniques of reflexology to be effective and beneficial in many ways. A survey of 170 reflexology studies from 21 countries shows that reflexology is effective, impacting a variety of physical and psychological concerns. Reflexology:
· Creates relaxation: From the moment the reflexologists hands start their work, the relaxation begins as shown in research using EEG brain activity. All together reflexology has proven relaxation effects.
· Reduces pain: Pain reduction following reflexology work is docum showing impact on individuals of all ages and health states
· Ameliorates health concerns: Research shows that reflexology work helps individuals of all ages with some 78 health concerns ranging from aggressive behavior in children to urinary concerns of the elderly.
· Improves blood flow: Separate studies show that reflexology work increases blood flow to the feet, brain, kidneys and intestines.
· Aids post-operative recovery: Reflexology work aids recovery after surgery as shown by several studies, reducing pain and lessening the use of post operative analgesics.
· Impact on physiological measures (e. g. blood pressure and cholesterol; measurements by ECG, EEG, and fMRI)
· Enhances medical care: Reflexology helps where nothing else can for many: phantom limb pain sufferers, neuropathy patients, and hemodialysis patients to name a few.
· Benefits mental health: Research demonstrates that reflexology can reduce depression and anxiety.
· Eases pregnancy, delivery and post-partum effects: Women who received reflexology experienced shorter labor times and used less analgesia. In addition, reflexology showed a positive impact on postpartum depression, anxiety, urination and bowel movements. Subject to consultation.
In general terms, the benefits of reflexology have to do with the reduction of stress. Because the feet and hands help set the tension level for the rest of the body, they are an easy way to interrupt the stress signal and reset homeostasis, the body's equilibrium.
Reflexology is a complement to standard medical care. It should not be construed as medical advice. It should not be a replacement to medical help. Please use it wisely. We care about your safety.
How does reflexology work?
Reflexology works as the pressure techniques applied to the feet or hands interact as a part of the body's nervous system creating: relaxation, improved circulation, exercise of the nervous system and the benefits of touch.
Pressure sensors in the feet and hands are a part of the body's reflexive response that makes possible the "fight or flight" reaction to danger. Feet ready to flee and hands ready to fight communicate with the body’s internal organs-think adrenal glands and adrenal... to make possible either eventuality. The sudden adrenal surge that enables a person to lift a car is an example of this coordinated activity. The perception of pressure by the feet and hands taps into the reflex network that makes possible our every move. Reflexology, consistently applied, provides an exercise of these pressure sensors and thus a conditioning of the internal organs to which they are inextricably tied.
What should I expect from a reflexology session?
Reflexology sessions last from 30 minutes to an hour. The client sits in a reclining chair placing the feet conveniently for the reflexologist's work. The reflexologist use pressure, stretch and movement to work through the foot methodically. Technique is applied to the whole foot or hand. Sit back and relax. Or, ask for an on-going assessment of stress cues of the feet; education in the location of reflex areas of the feet or education in how to apply self reflexology techniques. Ask about research relevant to your health concern.
You should feel relaxed at the end of a session. How long that relaxation lasts is a good indicator of the effectiveness of the session. Make note of this and tell your reflexologist your response to the session at the next session. This can be helpful information to the reflexologist.
Expect the reflexologist application of technique to be within your comfort zone- not too heavy and not too light but at a level within your personal preference. Communicate this preference to the reflexologist. Expect technique application to be "dry," without the use of oil, cream or lotion. Use of these emollients constitutes a foot massage and not a reflexology session. Use of any tool or instrument is outside the professional scope of practice for a reflexologist.
Do not rely on a reflexologist for medical help. The reflexologist is limited to complementing medicine not replacing it.
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