Extracted from The Back Pain Sourcebook by Stephanie Levin-Gervasi
is a Western pressure point therapy which focuses on the feet. Reflexology
postures that points on the bottom of the feet are linked to specific
organs. By massaging these areas reflexology promotes health to
corresponding organs. Reflexologists believe that the toxic deposits
collect in the feet and that reflexology breaks them up and facilitates
Extracted from www.reflexology.org
What is Reflexology?
The ancient healing art of reflexology has been known to man for
many thousands of years. It was first practiced by the early Indian,
Chinese and Egyptian peoples.
In 1913 Dr. William Fitzgerald, an American ear, nose and throat
surgeon, introduced this therapy to the West. He noted that pressure
on specific parts of the body could have an anaesthetising effect
on a related area. Developing this theory, he divided the body into
ten equal and vertical zones, ending in the fingers and toes. He
concluded that pressure on one part of a zone could affect everything
else within that zone. Thus, reflex areas on the feet and hands
are linked to other areas and organs of the body within the same
In the 1930's, Eunice Ingham, a therapist, further developed and
refined the zone therapy into what is now known as foot reflexology.
She observed that congestion or tension in any part of the foot
mirrors congestion or tension in a corresponding part of the body.
Thus, when you treat the big toes there is a related effect in the
head, and treating the whole foot can have a relaxing and healing
effect on the whole body.
How Can Reflexology Help You?
The body has the ability to heal itself. Following illness, stress,
injury or disease, it is in a state of "imbalance", and vital energy
pathways are blocked, preventing the body from functioning effectively.
Reflexology can be used to restore and maintain the body's natural
equilibrium and encourage healing.
A reflexologist uses hands only to apply gentle pressure to the
feet. For each person the application and the effect of the therapy
is unique. Sensitive, trained hands can detect tiny deposits and
imbalances in the feet, and by working on these points the reflexologist
can release blockages and restore the free flow of energy to the
whole body. Tensions are eased, and circulation and elimination
is improved. This gentle therapy encourages the body to heal itself
at its own pace, often counteracting a lifetime of misuse.
Who Can Benefit From Reflexology?
Since reflexology treats the whole person, not the symptoms of
disease, most people benefit from treatment. The therapy brings
relief to a wide range of acute and chronic conditions, and is suitable
for all ages. Once your body is in-tune, it is wise to have regular
treatments in order to help maintain health and well-being. An increasing
number of people are using this safe, natural therapy as a way of
relaxing, balancing and harmonising the body.
What Happens When You Go For Treatment?
On your first visit there is a preliminary talk with the practitioner.
The reflexologist then begins to work on your feet, or hands if
necessary, noting problem areas. There may be discomfort in some
places, but it is fleeting, and is an indication of congestion or
imbalance in a corresponding part of the body. For the most part,
the sensation is pleasant and soothing. Reflexology will relax you
while stimulating the body's own healing mechanisms.
Usually a treatment session lasts for about one hour. A course
of treatment varies in length depending on your body's needs. Your
reflexologist will discuss this with you at the first session. After
the first treatment or two your body may respond in a very definite
way: you may have a feeling of well-being and relaxation; or you
may feel lethargic, nauseous or tearful, but this is transitory.
It is, however, vital information for reflexologists, as it shows
how your body is responding to treatment.
Further information can be found at:
Reflexology World Magazine
British Reflexology Association