Your Feet Reflect Your Entire Body
Reflexology is an increasingly popular, holistic healing technique which encompasses mind, body and spirit.
These feet were made for the art of reflexology they also hold the key to good health and a balanced mind.
We don't often think about them; we may squeeze them into unsuitable shoes and we stand on them every day. But our feet deserve a lot more attention, according to reflexologies such as myself. Many health complaints including stress and tension, fatigue, constipation, migraines, sinus congestion and skin problems can be on precise points on the feet and is eased or cured by massaging the feet.
Reflexology is an increasingly popular holistic healing technique which encompasses mind, body and spirit. It works by stimulating feet with pressure and relaxation techniques. It affects the whole body and helps to restore and regain its balance.
One shouldn't confuse the art reflex foot massage with basic foot massage or massage in general. It is a technique, which works on precise points on the feet and is based on the theory that reflex areas there correspond to all body parts. The soles of the feet can be treated to relieve stress and pain, stimulate the blood supply and the immune system and induce relaxation.
Reflexology is a very natural treatment; it needs no external factors, and by working on the reflexes in the feet you can detect imbalance in the energy zones. Treatment can correct the flow of energy and improve the circulation.
The theory of Reflexology dates back to 2330 BC. Ancient texts, illustrations and artifacts tell us the early Chinese, Japanese, Indians and Egyptians worked on feet to promote good health.
In Europe it can be traced back to the 16th century, when it was used for healing. A few centuries on, in the late 1890's the Germans were developing healing techniques, which became known as reflex massage.
However, it was an American ear, nose and throat specialist, Dr William Fitzgerald, who in 1902 popularized "Zone Therapy". He observed that direct pressure on certain parts of the body could produce an anesthetic effect in a corresponding part, and he began to perform certain operations without anesthesia. But it wasn't just the numbing of pain that ensued, healing appeared to follow, too.
This was then developed in the 1930's by American physiotherapist Eunice Ingram, who began to apply zone therapy exclusively to feet. She found they were the most responsive part of the anatomy for working the zones because they were extremely sensitive.
Eventually, she mapped the entire body on the feet and discovered that an alternating pressure on the various points had therapeutic effects beyond pain reduction. Today she is widely accepted as the modern-day founder of Reflexology.
How it works?
The body is divided into ten zones (the meridians of acupuncture) from the head down to the toes and fingers. The body's essential energy (the Chinese concept of chi) flows through these zones ending at 'the fingers and feet, where there are more than 7,000 nerve endings interconnecting to the brain and the vertebral column.
Six of the main meridians (liver, spleen and pancreas, stomach, gall bladder, bladder and kidneys) end in the feet and correspond to different body systems. For example, the big toe equates with the brain; the tops of the smaller toes to the sinuses; and the heel to the sciatic nerve and pelvis.
Other reflex areas include the ankle, which corresponds to the reproductive area; the inner foot (spine); the outer foot (outer body); and the tops of the feet (circulation and breasts).
Pressure on specific areas causes an involuntary reflex to the corresponding part of the body and is used to calm over-active areas or stimulate under-active ones.
A typical Reflexology massage consists of a series of relaxing movements followed by specific reflex ones and lasts for about 30-40 minutes or so, depending on the number of reflex points worked on. This increases blood circulation to the corresponding parts of the body, brings nutrients to it and removes accumulated waste products. The treatment kick-starts all the elimination systems into working more efficiently.
Further, grainy crystal deposits may be felt around the nerve endings on the soles. These are thought to be calcium deposits caused by excess acidity in the bloodstream, which have settled beneath the skin's surface at the nerve endings. These deposits, together with restrictive shoes, can slow down the nerve and blood supply but are broken down by Reflexology massage, the residual waste being removed by the blood circulation.
Reflexology heals by increasing energy flow in the zones, increasing circulation and increasing elimination. Feet are the mirror of the body, and Reflexology is a powerful and effective form of healing.
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