WHAT IS REFLEXOLOGY?
Reflexology is a theory and a therapy that uses the feet in order to balance the whole body. The therapy was developed in the mid to late twentieth century. However, the principles behind it – massaging the feet, dividing the body into zones or lines of energy and treating the body holistically, or as a whole, date back thousands of years.
THE HISTORY OF REFLEXOLOGY
Massaging and touching the feet to help the body is a very ancient practice. The tomb of Ankhmahor in Egypt is thought to date back to 2330 BC and shows a series of pictures showing foot massage. Feet have always been very important to American Indian tribes for whom massaging the feet was considered a method of maintaining physical, mental and spiritual balance. The Chinese have been using the application of pressure for over 5000 years to help unblock energy and let the body heal itself.
THE THEORY AND CONCEPT OF REFLEXOLOGY
Its main principle is that by massaging and applying pressure to parts of the feet known as reflex areas, other corresponding and connected areas of the body will feel the benefit. In reflexology the feet are like mini maps of the body’s anatomy and each part of the foot has a different ‘reflex’ area which connects to a different part of the body. This connection is represented by the ten longitudinal zones. These zones run front to back, head to toe, and are most easily accessible via the feet. By manipulating a particular area of the foot, the rest of the organs in that zone will feel the benefit.
The reflexologist uses their thumbs and fingers to look for areas of imbalance and tenderness in the reflexes. The aim is to stimulate the body’s own healing process in order to keep it in homeostasis, or balance. It is a holistic therapy which means that it works on the principle that the whole person must be treated. It encourages both relaxation and stimulation. The first helps the body rebuild its energy resources and recover from illness and disease, and the second helps activate the circulation and the nervous system, making both more efficient and benefiting the body as a whole.
HOW COULD REFLEXOLOGY BENEFIT ME?
Reflexology can be very useful in dealing with a wide range of symptoms incuding migraines and headaches, stress and anxiety, sinus problems and hormonal and menstrual problems.
Some general benefits include:
reduces stress and tension and has a deeply relaxing effect
promotes a feeling of well-being
improves blood circulation, and increases the efficiency of all organs and cells
releases trapped nervous energy and improves neural efficiency (approx. 700 nerves are stimulated by reflexology)
revitalises and increases energy levels
enhances the body’s own healing ability
ADVANCED REFLEXOLOGY TECHNIQUES
I have completed an Advanced Reflexology workshop, and I'm qualified to use Advanced Reflexology Techniques. These techniques are highly effective in a wide range of symptoms and suitable for clients who enjoy a firm reflexology treatment.