Reflexology is the application of appropriate pressure to specific points and areas of the feet, hands and ears. All these are reflex points and are able to correspond to different organs and systems in the body and pressing them or applying pressure on them yields positive results for the body and some believe it is essential for better health. A specific spot in the arch of the foot for instance corresponds to the bladder and when a reflexologist uses his or her thumb to apply pressure on the arch, bladder functioning is directly affected. Reflexologists use foot maps to guide their work. The soles of two feet have been drawn and different areas painted in different colors to correspond to the part of the body that is directly affected by the pressure. The left foot corresponds to organs on the left part of the body while the right foot corresponds to the organs on the right.
Many at times, reflexology is confused with massage, Reiki or acupuncture. All these are therapies and they are all different in a number of ways. First, massage therapists manipulate soft tissues in larger areas of the body while reflexologists focus on specific areas to apply pressure on. Reiki is different in the sense that it does not involve physical touch. In this therapy, light is used to focus on vibrations that are thought to surround the body. Acupuncture and acupressure both use reflex mechanism just like reflexology; the points on which pressure is applied are different. Acupuncture uses points over the entire body. Despite their differences, they are all used to alleviate stress by managing the symptoms that are stress-related.
Reflexology is not used to diagnose or cure diseases but it has been proven to be effective when used to complement treatment especially when dealing with conditions like anxiety, asthma, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, severe headaches, kidney function, sinusitis and PMS.
Benefits of reflexology
- Decrease anxiety
- Complements cancer treatment
- Improve headaches
- Enhance overall wellbeing
- Balances energy
- Increases circulation of blood
- Cleanses the body of toxins
Essential tips on reflexology
- Wait at least an hour after a meal before you go in for your reflexology therapy
- Do not receive reflexology if you are pregnant
- Drink plenty of water after reflexology to eliminate toxins and lactic acid build up
- Consult and get clearance from a doctor is you have a foot injury or a blood vessel disease that is associated with clots or varicose veins