Reflexology is massage of the feet. It is said to have originated from the ancient Egypt and China. It is done by applying pressure on certain zones and reflex areas that trigger relaxation to other parts of the body. It is both a relaxation massage and also a healing therapy. I can be used to restore the proper functioning of body organs that exist between the tip of the toe and the top of the head.
Everybody loves a good foot rub. But did you know foot massage dates back to ancient Egypt and China? That’s right, over 5,000 years ago our ancestors were rubbing each other’s feet. In the late 1800s, Europeans invented reflexology: applying pressure to a person’s feet (or hands) in order to affect a physical change to the body. Placement of pressure is based on a system of zones and reflex areas that correspond to other parts of the body.
Also called “zone therapy,” this mixture of healing art and science is based on the premise that an energy channel encompassing 12 vital organs exists from our feet to the tops of our heads. Applying pressure with his/her hands, a reflexologist unblocks that channel to restore proper health and organ function.
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During the first time consultation, the therapists checks whether reflexology is applicable to you by conducting a brief health history. The therapist then explains how it works and what to expect during the session. This is also where you can ask all the questions pertaining to the therapy. If the answers provided are not conclusive, it could be a sign to terminate the session.
A reflexology session begins with the practitioner conducting a brief health history, checking in case reflexology might not be the best choice of therapy for you.
The practitioner explains how reflexology works and what happens during a session. The reflexologist also informs you that reflexology does not treat specific illness and is not a substitute for medical treatment. You may be asked to sign a consent form.
Remember that it is okay, and even expected, for you to ask questions. You should feel comfortable communicating with the reflexologist. If the practitioner is not forthcoming with information, or is dismissive of questions or concerns, this could be a “red flag,” and you have every right to terminate the appointment.
After the consultation, the practitioner applies lotion on the feet to help reduce friction between your feet and his hands. The lotion is applied gently from the ankles to the toes, feet facing up. This is done repeatedly until the feet are warm enough. After the top part has been massaged, the sole is massaged by rubbing the thumbs from the heel to the ball on the ankle. This is also done repeatedly until the sole is warmed up.
You may start your Reflexology Foot Massage by applying massage lotion to the feet. This is not mandatory but is usually recommended since most feet have some degree of callous which the lotion can help alleviate, as well as reducing the friction between your hands and the patients’ feet.
Warm up the lotion in your hands by rubbing your hands together before applying in a downward motion from the ankles to the toes on the top portion of the foot. Repeat this wiping motion, downward from the ankles to the toes, spreading the lotion and promoting circulation, warming up the feet.
Next apply lotion to the soles of the feet, one foot at a time, using both hands. Hold the foot in your hands with your thumbs on the sole of the foot and your fingers holding the top of the foot. Rub your thumbs repeatedly from the heel area up through the arch of the foot to the ball of the foot, one thumb and then the other thumb, over and over, spreading the lotion and warming up the sole of the foot. Your pressure should be fairly light to begin with.
The benefits of reflexology range over a wide and impressive spectrum. It helps in relieving stress and relaxing the mind. The therapy also helps in soothing sore and tired feet. The gentle movements of the hands ease the pain and tension. Since reflexology stimulates certain body organs, it helps in general health enhancement as well as improving blood circulation.
Reflexology is a popular alternative therapy that is considered to have a range of uses. Some of the most common uses of reflexology include:
Stress reduction – Studies suggest that reflexology can aid in alleviating the negative effects of stress.
Relaxation – The therapy encourages the body and mind to enter a deeply relaxed state.
Soothing tired feet – The techniques and special hand movements can help to ease tension and pain in the feet.
Reducing pain – Research suggests that the therapy is an effective pain reliever.
Improving circulation – Reflexology helps break down deposits in the blood stream which can affect circulation.
Enhancing overall well-being – Many people use the therapy on a regular basis to support a healthy mind and body.