Reflexology is based on the scientific knowledge that there are zones and reflex areas in the feet and hands which correspond to all areas of the body. Disease is created by stress. Reflexology reduces stress in all parts of the body by generating deep, calm relaxation. By applying direct pressure to points on the feet or hands corresponding to stressed body areas, the tension is reduced and there is a resulting physiological change in the body. Stress and tension also restrain the cardiovascular system and restrict blood flow, resulting in sluggish circulation. By reducing the stress and tension, Reflexology allows the cardiovascular vessels to conduct the flow of blood naturally and easily.
Reflexology has been practiced for thousands of years in such places as India, China and Egypt. An ancient Egyptian wall painting of the 6th Dynasty (approx.2400 B.C.) found at Saqqara in the tomb of Ankhmahor, an ancient Egyptian physician, depicts two men working on the feet and hands of two other men. Reflexology has been used as a healing therapy by the North American native people for generations, and was thought to have been passed down by the Inca civilization.
Reflexology is a natural healing art based on the principle that there are reflexes in the hands, feet and ears that correspond to every part, gland and organ of the body.
Through application of pressure on these reflexes, reflexology relieves tension, improves circulation and promotes the natural function of the related areas of the body.
In ancient times we stimulated reflexes naturally by walking barefoot over rocks, stones and rough ground, or by using our hands more often to climb, build or work. In today’s modern world we have lost much of nature’s way of maintaining a balanced and healthy equilibrium. Reflexology helps to restore this balance and promote natural health and vitality.
Although Reflexology does not diagnose or treat specific ailments by definition, it has proven highly successful over time to relieve symptoms or ease pain or discomfort that have manifested themselves physically in the body - either as a result of stress, trauma or disease.
The human body is a delicately balanced machine that is synergetic, everything working together for the benefit of all. The human body could be compared to a racing machine which works best when it is in tune, each part functioning at its peak, all parts working in harmony to make the machine work at optimum capability.
Reflexology is a science that deals with the principle that there are reflex areas in the feet and hands that correspond to all the glands, organs and parts of the body. Reflexology is a unique method of using the thumb and fingers on these reflex areas. Reflexology includes, but is not limited to relieving stress and tension, improving blood supply and promoting the unblocking of nerve impulses and helping nature achieve homeostasis.
Reflexology relaxes Tension
Since approximately 75% of today’s diseases are attributable to stress and tension, various body systems are affected in different ways and to varying degrees. One person may exhibit cardiovascular problems, another gastrointestinal upset, anorexia, palpitations, sweating, headaches, mentioning just a few of the myriad of bodily reactions to stress. Tension could be described as a tourniquet around the body’s system, a tightening that can lead to serious consequences.
Reflexology improves Nerve and Blood Supply
In order to keep the body at a normal balance, it is imperative that the blood and nerve supply to every organ and gland be at a maximum. Of course, the organs and glands contribute to the overall well-being of the body, each making contributions to maintaining an efficient, full operated mechanism, but all receive their instructions from the most intricate of all networks, the nerves.
These cord-like structures, comprised of a collection of nerve fibers, convey impulses between a part of the central nervous system and other regions of the body. They are the wiring system of the house you call your body. As with any complex wiring system, a short circuit can mean trouble.
A short circuit is often caused by tension putting pressure on a vital nerve plexus or even a single nerve structure supplying a vital organ.
As tension is eased, pressure on the nerves and vessels is relaxed, thus improving the flow of blood and its oxygen-rich nutrients to all parts of the body.
Reflexology helps Nature achieve homeostasis
Overactive glands or organs can be helped to return to normal. Conversely, if an organ or a gland is underactive, Reflexology can help return it to its normally functioning level. It is important to note here that the normalization action of reflexology is never one of opposite extreme. In other words, once homeostasis or a normal condition is achieved, working the area too much cannot unbalance it. Overworking can cause some minor reactions such as diarrhea or perhaps some nasal mucus being secreted (runny nose). These reactions though are cleansing poisons from the body. Succinctly, Reflexology cannot harm a system, it simply brings it back into balance.
The Zone Theory
Reflexology embodies the relationship of the reflexes in the feet to all of the glands and organs in the body. The zones are like the wiring in a house, the reflexes travel through the zones similar to electricity through the wires. But please note that this analogy is not to be confused with the nervous system in the body, reflexes as far as we know today, are not nerves.
The link from the feet to the organs and the glands in the body is a series of imaginary longitudinal lines each encompassing a zone. In order to locate the zones accurately in the arms and hands, the thumbs need to be places toward the body, the opposite of the anatomical position.
The worked zone is used for several significant reasons. There are ten zones. Easy enough to remember: one for each finger and one for each toe. Zone one starts at the thumb and great toe. These zones run the entire length of the body, from the top of the head to the tips of the toes.
It is extremely important that all of us become zone oriented, so we must be thoroughly familiar with the basic zones and the anatomy associated within them. An organ or a gland found in a specific zone will have its reflex in the corresponding zone of the foot. Any sensitivity located in a specific area on the foot will signal to you that there could be congestion in that area.
It should become evident then, that by working the entire foot, you are affecting the entire side of the body, the left foot representing the left half of the body. It is important to remember another significant aspect of Reflexology: an abnormality in any part of the zone may affect anything in that zone.
The Inside… the Organs
The body is packed with vital organs and glands, which are packed on top of everything else in the body.
Start at the spine, the midline of the body, as a means of orienting yourself to the relationship between the foot reflex points and the organs of the body. Now, you have a reference point for each foot. Then use the waistline guideline for your horizontal or lateral marker. The most important body organs are located in four distinct quadrants.
The feet are a reflection of the body with all its glands, nerves and organs having distinct locations on the feet. Being sure that you are thoroughly familiar with this concept of location makes the zone theory so much easier.
The referral areas are an interesting and extremely useful adjunct to Reflexology. They allow you to refer one area of the body to an alternate area.
The right and left hands are referral areas for the right and left foot respectively. The palm of the hand is facing forward in the anatomical position. So this will make the arm bend in the opposite direction from the leg. This will orient you to the anatomical relationships.
* The palm of the hand refers to the plantar surface of the foot
* The inner forearm refers to the calf of the leg
* The bony part of the forearm refers to the shin bone
* The elbow refers to the kneecap
* The front of the elbow refers to the back of the knee
* The front of the upper arm refers to the back of the thigh
* The back of the upper arm refers to the front of the thigh
Note, the relationship of the thumb to the great toe, the thumb being in the opposite position to the great toe.
The basic reason we call these areas referrals is simply because of the anatomical relationship existing between them.
For instance, it is quite easy to see the similarity of the ankle to the wrist if we were like other animals and walked on all fours. The articulated movement of the ankle would correspond to that of the wrist for motion.
Now, suppose there were a misstep and an ankle became badly sprained. As a Reflexologist, we would know that pressure would soon build up in the area of the sprain unless immediately relieved. Naturally, the ankle is too injured to touch, much less work, so we would work on the wrist, for it is anatomically related to the ankle, a logical choice to prevent soreness, swelling or other possible complications,
A referral area is an anatomically related area, which can be worked instead of, or in addition to, the affection area. This is true of all referral areas.
One way to remember this is when thinking of the ankle, refer to the wrist; when thinking of the elbow, refer to the knee, etc. Your client can be taught to use the referral areas and also how to work on their hands between follow-up sessions. this exerciser will reinforce your own efforts.
And why is all of this so significant?
For the simple reason that if you can’t work an area on the foot, you can work the corresponding area on the hand, or the elbow, etc. When there is a severe injury, say, a broken leg, you then simply select the corresponding area on the arm and work that area in order to help the circulation to the injured areas and ultimately hasten the healing process. The basic reason the Reflexologist uses the foot is simply because it is one of the most pampered and protected areas of the body and is one of the most sensitive to touch. Also, the foot’s resemblance to the body’s outline makes it easy to visualize the body on the foot.
Helper areas are additional areas worked to aid the specific area of congestion. They are the reinforcements you send to aid the specific area.
For instance, a headache. You would naturally work the great toe, which represents the head. To help that area, we would also work the neck, seventh cervical and coccyx reflexes, as this may be the area causing the headache. A headache is usually telling us that there is an imbalance somewhere in the body.
Helper areas are just that, they are areas that when worked, help to relieve tension or congestion associated with the afflicted area. They are reflexes that may have a direct or indirect effect on the afflicted area and are the reinforcements needed to make sure you reach the desired results. You are sending help to the afflicted area.
Try it for:
. ear aches
. sore necks
. head aches
. back problems
. sinus problems
. sore knees and hips
. body aches and pains
. stomach aches and upset stomach
. Sore Feet (this could be a structural problem!)
. Improve circulation
. Assist the removal of heavy metals from the tissues
. Chronic conditions like fatigue, bad lungs, painful tissues, etc.
. Inflammation ANYWHERE
e.g. shoulder, bursitis, colitis, laryngitis, arthritis, tendonitis, or any other ‘itis’ type of problem.
. Stressful lifestyle symptoms
And the List goes on…