The ancient therapy of reflexology was developed thousands of years ago and first passed down through an oral tradition. It is still practised around the world. Reflexology is a gentle healing method that has helped many people who need relief from stress and tension.
Reflexology is based on the scientific principle that reflex areas in the feet, hands and ears relate to specific organs and other parts of the body. During a reflexology treatment the therapist applies pressure to these reflex areas to bring health and balance to the body. The body's own in-built healing capacity is stimulated. Reflexology is generally a very subtle and non-intrusive therapy. It is one of the few natural therapies that have been adopted by the nursing profession. It is being used increasingly for palliative care, midwifery and aged care programs. Also it is used to complement massage and other tactile therapies.
It is known to help quickly relieve stress and tension, bring harmony to the body and improve immunity. Research studies show that long-term treatment can assist with a wide range of ailments from menstrual syndromes to migraines, digestive issues and arthritis.
The benefits of reflexology vary from person to person and are available to almost everyone. You do not have to believe in reflexology for it to work: it will have an effect anyway. It reduces stress which makes it beneficial to use with any other therapy modality. It is commonly used to help with back, shoulder and hip pain, headaches, respiratory disorders, female issues, maternity and working with the elderly.
Up to 80% of illness is caused by stress and tension. Reflexology can assist greatly in reducing stress by calming the nervous system. The application of pressure slows down nerve velocity, which calms the whole body. By stimulating the nerves in the feet reflexology encourages the opening and clearing of neural pathways. Also pain pathways are interrupted, reducing aches and pains. Reflexology stimulates the production of encephalins and endorphins which are great for inducing a sense of euphoria.
A recent study by the University of Portsmouth in the UK found that reflexology may be as effective as painkillers. The study had 15 people submerge their hands in freezing water. In one treatment the participants were given reflexology beforehand and in another session they believed they were receiving pain relief from a machine that was not actually turned on. When the participants received reflexology treatments, their pain threshold and their pain tolerance were greater than when they were given the control treatment, registering 40% less pain and 45% greater tolerance.
To detoxify and reduce swelling you need to improve circulation. Reflexology on its own or combined with massage may help. Blood should flow freely through the body to carry oxygen and nutrients to all the cells and remove waste products and toxins. Reflexology allows the cardiovascular vessels to conduct the flow of blood more easily due to the reduction of stress and tension.
Reflexology has a very balancing, enlivening and stimulating effect on the client. Mental acuity and alertness is greatly improved. If you're looking for a gentle therapy to support your healing, consider reflexology.
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