Reflexology is the physical act of applying pressure to the feet and hand with specific thumb, finger and hand techniques without the use of oil or lotion. It is also called “zone therapy”. It is based on the theory that each body part is represented on the feet and hands and that pressing on specific areas on the feet or hands can have therapeutic effects in other parts of the body.
Reflexology is said to have originated in China some 5000 years ago when pressure therapy was used to correct energy fields in the body. It was not until 1913 that the therapy was introduced to the west by Dr. William Fitzgerald. He called it “Zone Therapy”. In the 1930’s Eunice Ingram decided to experiment giving a person a complete treatment by working solely on the feet, finding people were responsive to the treatment. “Reflexology” was born.
Kevin and Barbara Kunz, for example stated: “The individual’s foot reflex areas reflect the individual’s overall state of tension that has resulted from a lifetime of adaptation to stress. Stress cues in the feet are a roadmap to the reflexologist. Wherever it is found on the foot, it is a sign that stress and its effect have begun to accumulate in the corresponding parts of the body where pain may exist.”
It is a gentle and effective form of therapeutic treatment used to induce a state of balance and well-being within. It can bring relief to a variety of conditions and is suitable for all ages, including children. It is thought that illness occurs when energy channels(qi, ki, chi) in the body are blocked, causing pain. Massage is aimed at destroying these blocks and allowing energy to flow freely again, thus healing the pain.
Benefits of reflexology
Promotes a sense of well-being
Cleanses body of toxins
Reduces anxiety and panicky feelings
Improves intestinal functioning
Strengthens the immune system
Theory of reflexology The body is divided into 10 longitudinal zones- five on each side of the body. Each organ that is on the right or left hand side of the body corresponds with the foot or hand of that side. The practitioner can diagnose abnormalities by feeling the hands or feet. Massaging or pressing each area can stimulate the flow of energy, blood, nutrients, and nerve impulses to the corresponding body zone and thereby relieve ailments in that zone.