A bit of history……
Like most complementary therapies, reflexology is believed to have its roots in the ancient civilizations: Egypt, China, Africa and the native Indian tribes of America.
In 1913 Dr William Fitzgerald introduced this therapy to the West as ‘zone therapy’. In the 1930s Eunice Ingham developed zone therapy into what is now known as reflexology.
Sometimes the body is in a state of ‘imbalance’ following illness or injury, disease or stress and energy pathways are blocked preventing the body from functioning effectively. The use of precision pressure movements allows the whole body to relax and de-stress, restoring and maintaining the body’s natural equilibrium and encouraging healing.
For more information on reflexology research Google: `Reflexology Research’
Reflexology today is based on the principle that the anatomy of the body is reflected in small areas, on reflex zones on the feet, hands and ears. Stimulating or sedating a reflex point triggers a response in the corresponding area of the body.
Reflexology helps to create a healthy harmonious state within the body and triggers the body’s natural powers of self-healing. Reflexology is the application of specific pressure by the practitioner’s hands, thumbs, and fingers to reflex points in the client’s hands, feet, or ears.
Techniques include using alternating pressure, thumb and finger walking, hooking in and up, rotation on a reflex, and often repeating specific reflex stimulation throughout the session.
When To Use Reflexology?
The effects of reflexology are unique to each person. It is believed that reflexology triggers the body’s relaxation response. Sensitive, trained hands can detect tiny deposits in the soft tissues and imbalances from touching the feet, hands or ears.
Reflexology gently nudges the body toward better functioning by improving lymphatic drainage and venous circulation. It stimulates the nerve pathways, induces muscle relaxation, and helps the body to balance itself. Since reflexology treats the whole person, not just the symptoms of particular problems, most people can benefit from treatment. Reflexology is normally totally safe for most people, including those with certain health problems as pressure and duration is tailored to meet individual client needs.
Reflexology can be considered ideal for:
- relieving pain
- reducing stress and tension
- acute and chronic conditions
- relieving stress and tension
- improving nerve and blood supply function
- balancing the whole system (homeostasis)
- revitalising energy
- activating the body to cleanse toxins and impurities
- a preventative therapy
- children and adults of all ages
Considerations are needed for babies, children, elderly and the very sick. In these instances treatment is of lighter pressure and shorter duration. If indicated, some clients are advised to consult their medical practitioner for permission prior to receiving treatment.
Specific conditions with reported benefits include
- PMS and other hormone imbalances
- Digestive disorders
- Sleep disorders
- Anxiety and mild depressive disorders
A full session means working all areas of both feet. This can vary from 30-60 minutes depending on the style of Reflexology practiced and wellness level of client. During a reflexology treatment the client may experience:
A feeling of deep relaxation and the desire to sleep sensations of the body expanding and spreading out as it relaxes twitching or tingling warmth in the area of the body being worked on some discomfort in certain areas, however this will usually be brief, and may indicate areas of imbalance in the body.
A course of treatments can vary depending on individual needs and is planned through discussion with the Reflexologist. By stimulating or sedating the relevant reflex points on the feet or hands, relaxation can be achieved. Medical and complementary health professionals tend to agree that many of our health problems can be linked to stress.
A body trying to function while under the influence of prolonged stress is less capable of organizing its defences against illnesses or repairing damage caused by injury. Stress can be mentally, emotionally, physically, or environmentally induced. Reflexology is primarily a relaxation technique, negating the effects of stress while helping the body to relax and balance. Through the relaxation process the body is more capable of dealing with the stresses placed on it by daily living and those associated with illness.
Check out more on the Reflexology New Zealand webpage!
“Feels like my whole body has had a massage, pure bliss.”
“WOW! I was so deeply relaxed during my Reflexology treatment, I’ll be back!”
“Milinda was spot on with what showed in my feet & gave me great holistic options to help improve my wellbeing – thank you.”