A Brief Background on Reflexology

Is it possible to make your body feel better by rubbing certain parts of your feet? Can you cure a headache if you push the right section of your hand? Many people say that applying the principles of reflexology can relieve pain and improve circulation, but is this 4,000 year old treatment right for you?

The theory behind reflexology is that specific areas on the feet, ears and hands correspond to different parts of your body. Reflexology therapists work from the outside in, believing that specific areas on the feet line up with particular parts of the body.

Reflexology map.In reflexology, the body is devoted into 10 separate zones, 5 on the left side and 5 on the right. Reflexologists differ on their belief of how reflexology works, but they all agree that areas on the foot affect specific parts of the body, and that manipulating the spot on a foot will improve the health of that particular body part. Massage and essential oils are another step that is frequently added in reflexology treatments. These, along with soothing voices, can lead to a profound sense of relaxation for the patient. The reflexologist will then use their hands to assess painful areas in the feet, to get an idea of what body parts are being affected.

Reflexology has been around since ancient times. There are written records and drawings that show reflexology has been around for more than 4,000 years, and that it was actively practiced in China, Japan, Egypt and India. While it was kept alive for thousands of years, it didn’t reach the rest of the world until Vladimir Bekterev, a Russian psychiatrist and neurologist, who was also a rival of Ivan Pavlov, came up with the name “reflexology” and then introduced it to the rest of the world in 1917.

While the healing benefit from reflexology hasn’t stood up well under clinical trials, there’s little argument that reducing stress and tension in your life is good for your health. Because this is such a controversial issue, I strongly suggest that you discuss reflexology with your chiropractor before undertaking a new program. You may also want to discuss it with your primary care physician, but your chiropractor may be more knowledgeable about alternative medicines and holistic care than a physician would be. Remember that when it comes to your health, the more advice you receive, the better.

As the video states, reflexology is not designed to cure or treat disease. It is to be used as part of a holistic plan that includes proper diet, exercise, regular visits to a chiropractor along with medical treatment. While it’s an extremely controversial treatment for curing and diagnosing disease, there’s no doubt that reflexology feels good and can help you relax. 

Story credit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hy-zUcmGMMo

Photo credit: http://www.reflexology-usa.net/facts.htm

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