Reflexology is an alternative therapeutic treatment based on the idea that areas of the feet, hands and ears are connected to other areas of the body. According to reflexology, pressure applied to the right reflex points can correct problems with correlating body parts, organs and zones. For instance, a point on the arch of the foot may correspond with liver function. When pressure is applied to the reflex point on the foot, it will improve the liver functioning.
Reflexologists use “maps” of the hands and feet to determine which body systems correspond with one another. The extremities are broken down into tiny color-coded sections on the map that make it clear which organs, valves and bones will be affected by applying pressure to certain areas.
There are maps for the feet, hands and the outer ears. For example, in the feet, the left side of the foot corresponds to organs on the left side of the body, while the right side of the foot corresponds to the right side of the body. More specifically, the gallbladder is on the right side of the body, and therefore the reflex point is on the right side of the foot.
Reflexology has a number of benefits. At its most basic level, it is a soothing experience that is helpful for stress relief. If the specific reflex points are targeted correctly by a reflexologist, the benefits can be remarkable, including relief from migraines, circulatory and digestive issues, sinus problems and more. In general, any organ of the body with a correlating reflex point can be improved through regular reflexology treatments.
Reflexology can also help:
- Decrease anxiety
- Promote relaxation
- Promote better sleep
- Increase circulation
- Assist with healing
- Balance energy
How Does Reflexology Work?
Reflex points on the feet, hands and ears connect to organs, glands and all parts of the body, similar to the meridians in acupuncture. By massaging those reflex points the associated glands, organs and systems are stimulated. These cells receive more blood supply, more oxygen, and the lymphatic system assists the immune system by removing toxins and cellular waste. Reflexology has been shown to release endorphins – the “feel good” hormones.
Reflexology massage treatments usually last between 30 and 60 minutes. Treatments can be performed as frequently as necessary, but most people choose to visit a reflexologist every two weeks for optimal health benefits.
Reflexology is an ancient art. The precise date of origination is unknown, but there is evidence that it was a common healing treatment practiced 5,000 years ago in ancient Asian and Middle Eastern cultures. Reflexology is coming back in vogue and is the top alternative medical treatment in Denmark, where it is incorporated into employee health programs.