Reflexology is a massage technique based on the belief that certain areas of the feet are connected to different parts of the body and its organs by energy pathways. It is practiced to alleviate several health conditions.
It has been practiced for centuries, in India and China it was already known a form of treatment by pressure points. However, this therapy appears to be lost and forgotten, perhaps in favour of acupuncture that emerged as the outbreak of the same root.
Over the centuries it has evolved from an old traditional and intuitive technique to its current form.
W. Garfield, twenty-American
president (1831-1881) relieved
chronic pain he suffered as a result
of an assassination attempt by
applying pressure at various points
on the feet.
The relationship between the reflex
points and internal organs of the
body was known by various American Indian tribes who used it to treat their ailments.
Eunice Ingham played an important role in the acceptance and diffusion
of reflex therapy areas. She develop a special method of subtle massage
called "The Ingham method of compression massage" which she published in her book entitled "Stories feet can tell" in 1938. Her original massage it was modified over many years and today is considered the cornerstone of this therapy.
How does it work?
It is based on the idea that the feet are a complete representation of the organism. Each point is associated with a particular organ or part of the body and its stimulation by pressure regulates its operation. Every point and the combination of them have a different effect in our health.
Does it hurt?
Although you will feel a minimal amount of pain when the point it is stimulated. It cannot be considered a painful technique. Most people experience it as a very pleasant and relaxing moment.
Is it safe?
It is a very safe technique and it has not adverse reactions or interactions with other medical treatments.
It is very important to do a very exhaustive clinical history in the first visit in order to establish a good treatment.
What does it treat?
Reflexology can help to treat and alleviate several conditions such as:
Neuromusculoskeletal conditions: Arthritis, neuralgias, dizziness, muscular pain
Emotional and psychological disorders such as: Depression, insomnia, stress and anxiety.
Circulatory disorders: Hypertension, anaemia
Addictions to alcohol, nicotine and other drugs
Respiratory disorders: Sinusitis, asthma, allergies, bronchitis
Gastrointestinal problems: Ulcers, chronic diarrhoea, constipation, indigestion, gastritis
It is a great technique to combine with other therapies. And a very good alternative for those who cannot have acupuncture due to phobia to needles or other causes.
It should be noted that the technique of the reflex zones of the feet may be accompanied by various reactions. They are an indication of the activity carried out of our internal healing ability itself and they are a sign of decomposition and elimination of metabolites and toxins.
They are divided into two main groups:
1. Reactions that take place during the reflex massage:
- Spontaneous and perhaps profuse sweating in the palms.
- Alternatively increased sweating may occur on the palms or across the body.
- Cold in the extremities.
2. Reactions that take place in the interval between treatment sessions:
Usually appear within the first 5 o 6 treatment sessions and last a few days. All reactions should be considered desirable and early signs of self-healing.
However the reactions leading to suspicion of a serious illness should be reported to the doctor.
- Sleep can be disrupted and dreams may be more frequent. This will change to a deeply relaxed feeling, sleep becomes restful and deep. Improves physical and mental vitality and conversely can be disrupted
- Increased activity of the skin with increased perspiration odour. Sometimes rash appears, the tone of the skin and tissues will eventually be considerably improved so that the overall look will be healthier
- The kidneys produce more urine; it may be turbid with increased odour and with large amounts of sediment.
- Depositions increase in size, volume and frequency. They can increase flatulence.
- Secretions of the mucous membranes of the nose, pharynx and bronchi are increased, indicating a cleaning process.
- In women vaginal discharge may occur to be acidic, concentrated and irritating.
- A brief episode of fever may occur. This should be interpreted as a general mobilization of the body's defences against disease and not as a sign of this.
- Infected teeth can be painful as badly healed scar tissue.
- The emotional or psychological concerns can be expressed in many different ways from crying to frank discussion of the issues.
What can I expect on the first visit?
Reflexology is a holistic approach to the person. It is essential to elaborate a very exhaustive clinical history. You may be asked questions about your sleep habits, tolerance to humidity, cold or heat, dietary habits, examination of the tongue and pulse... As odd as it can seem it is very important in order to establish a diagnosis and elaborate a personalized therapeutic plan.
The first visit will take about 60- 90 minutes and you will have your first treatment done.
It may take several visits to achieve an improvement or healing of your problem. Each session will take between half hour and an hour. The intervals between sessions may be longer, as improvements are observed.
That is why it is very important to establish a regular plan of visits with your therapist to fulfil your needs.