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A hand of a massage therapist doing a reflexology massage to the right foot

Reflexology is more than a glorified foot massage. Reflexology works points on the hands, feet, and ears that are a reflection of the body as a whole. The feet are most commonly worked. The feet are reflected images of the body, with the head at the toes, and the rest of the body following down the foot.  The systematic application of pressure using the thumbs and fingers accesses the reflex points. The reflex points represent areas of the body, as well as organs and glands. Working these areas creates an overall feeling of euphoric relaxation.

What is Reflexology?

This modality creates a safe, trouble-free environment in which the client can release stress and find total relaxation. Reflexology can teach the client the importance of letting go and give them tools to accomplish this level of relaxation. Reflexology massage can improve many things, including circulation, depression, migraines, arthritis, hypertension, sleep disorders, pregnancy, and low energy levels. It can also aid in disorders and diseases like multiple sclerosis, cancer (helps with the side effects of treatments), urinary infections, and central nervous system disorders. This is just a few of the many things that reflexology massage can help with. The process involved with this holistic method allows for an elimination of toxins from the body, as well as restoring peace of mind and a deep sense of wholeness.

Diving Deeper . . . How Exactly Does Reflexology Work?

We all get stressed. Stress is a natural factor of life; however, each time a person overreacts to an experience of a negative stress factor, the flow of energy throughout the body is interrupted, allowing weakness and disease to set in. Ultimately the body may become too congested and begin to shut down, causing a break somewhere in the proper function of the body. When the body holds onto too much stress, we start to experience things like chronic fatigue, headaches, teeth grinding, and excessive anger. Chronic muscle fatigue is another side effect of stress overload. Excessive stress can cause anxiety and depression and even a weakened immune system, leading to things like heart disease and cancer.

When your body is working properly, you are in a state of homeostasis, which means balance. With homeostasis, every system of your body is working properly. To break it down scientifically, energy flows through the body by way of electrical impulses, which may be nerves or chemical messengers such as hormones or endorphins. Some pathways of energy move with the nervous system, and others use meridians, zones, or chakras. When these pathways are blocked for an extended amount of time, toxins set in and interrupt the body’s homeostasis, resulting in long-term illness and pain. (Toxins are any substances that interfere with the body’s natural balance.)

Meridian therapy believes that when the flow of energy is blocked, the passage of blood, lymph, and nerve supply to the organs is hindered. This can cause things like chronic pain, fibromyalgia, myofascial syndrome, arthritis, or even irritable bowel syndrome. It is a proven fact that energy does exist and that reflexology massage assists in removing any resistance to the flow of energy. Stimulation to points through reflexology breaks up these blockages and allows the energy to flow freely through the body again. Reflexology massage encourages oxygen, blood, and lymph to move through the body, assisting in proper circulation. Normal blood pressure is restored through the process of reflexology, as well. Fresh oxygen and food move through the body as it reacts to the reflex action provided by the thumb and finger techniques on the foot, allowing the body to naturally restore itself and be brought back into homeostasis.

Reflexology affects every system, creating an environment for whole healing. This modality encourages the immune system to continue to defend the body from all toxic invasions. If you are healthy, reflexology will support your continued good health. The more reflexology treatments a person receives, the better that person will feel. Subtle changes will begin to take place within the internal balance. As a healing art, reflexology encourages healing from within. By now you can see that our bodies are very smart! Sometimes they may need a little push (on the feet) to get them working correctly, but they can pretty much take care of themselves. A reflexology massage session is a loving gift to give. Everyone benefits from compassionate touch. Whatever age or condition, a gentle, caring session of reflexology will enhance the life of the receiver and giver.

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