Reflexology is the practice of applying pressure to the feet and hands using specific thumb, finger and hand techniques without the use of oil, cream or lotion. This practice is based on a system of zones and reflex areas that reflect an image of the body on the feet and hands. The premise is that reflexology effects a physical change in the body creating relaxation, improved circulation, exercise of the nervous system and the benefits of touch.
Benefits of Reflexology
Research has shown the specific techniques of reflexology to be effective and beneficial in numerous ways.
- Blood flow to the feet, brain, kidneys and intestines
- Post-operative recovery
- Medical care
- Mental health – reduces depression and anxiety
- Complements cancer care – easing pain, nausea, vomiting, and/or anxiety for chemotherapy patients
- Pregnancy, delivery and post-partum effects
In general, the benefits of reflexology have to do with the reduction of stress. Because the feet and hands help set the tension level for the rest of the body, they are an easy way to interrupt the stress signal and reset the body’s equilibrium.
History of Reflexology
Evidence points to ancient reflexology medical practices in Egypt (2330 BCE), China (2704 BCE) and Japan (690 CE). Ancient Chinese techniques were re-discovered in the 1980’s, making reflexology popular throughout Asia.
The concept of reflexology began to emerge in the 19th century with European and Russian research into the nervous system and reflexes. The ideas of reflex use for health improvement were carried on sporadically and brought to American in 1909 by Dr. William Fitzgerald, an eye-ear and nose specialist from Connecticut. Physiotherapist Eunice Ingham is credited with developing a system of reflex areas by 1938.
Length of Reflexology Session: 30, 45, 60, 90, or 120 minutes. **Reflexology is a complement to standard medical care. It should not be construed as medical advice. It should not be a replacement to medical help.**