Reflexology is an old treatment method that goes back almost 5000 years when certain types of pressure therapy were practiced in Egypt, India, China and Japan. An Egyptian wall painting was found in a tomb of a physician at Saqqara that shows patients being treated on their feet and hands. This method of pressure therapy concerns the study of certain reflexes in the feet that correspond to different areas in the body.
Reflexology today is practiced because it was found that pressure and reflex stimulation relieved pain and stress. Practitioners have found that by using the pressure from fingers and thumbs on certain areas of the feet and hands, therapeutic results were achieved in the corresponding organs of the body. That is why reflexology is based on a notion that certain reflexes in the hands and feet of the human body correspond to organs, glands, and other parts of the body.
The aim of this holistic approach is to relieve stress and muscular tension, to encourage the natural healing process of the body, to improve the blood circulation and supply, to encourage the balance, equilibrium and homeostasis of the body, to unblock nerve and energy paths in the body, to cleanse and flush out deadly toxins from the body, to revitalize the body, and to stimulate productivity.
Reflexology is also known as “zone therapy” that surmises that the parts of the body are represented on the feet and hands and putting pressure on certain areas of the feet and hands will stimulate the flow of blood, energy and nutrients to the corresponding zones in the body resulting in stress relief and pain relief in those zones.
Reflexologists claim that most of the problems and conditions that pertain to health are due to stress and tension. Reflexology is not designed to diagnose or treat a person for any particular medical problem or disorder. It is done to promote good health and is like an exercise or even a diet program. The practice of reflexology should help to release stress.
A reflexologist works on the reflex areas on the hands and feet which triggers the release of tension in the corresponding body zone and has an overall balancing/calming effect on the organs and glands. Reflexology should not be a painful experience and the practitioner should have experience and be well trained in the art of massaging the feet and hands. Today people seek the help of reflexology therapy to help them with the following conditions:
- Digestive disorders
- Headaches and migraines
- Hormonal imbalances
- Injuries caused by sports
- Back pain
An alternative therapy, reflexology is becoming as popular as acupuncture and Indian head massages. This is because people have found that it promotes complete relaxation, reduces pain, soothes the feet and even encourages healing. Because it is also known for being used in palliative or post-operative care, cancer patients tend to use reflexology as an alternative or complementary therapy. However, reflexology cannot replace any sort of medical treatment. This is because there is no scientific basis or proof of its medicinal value.
Reflexology is a holistic and natural treatment/therapy which activates and supports the human body’s healing processes and mechanisms in a natural way. It is non-invasive and has developed into a well accepted and recognized complementary therapy.