Reflexology Therapy is an ancient natural healing art and science that uses the application of systematic pressure and stimulation of reflex points on the feet, hands, or ears to stimulate parasympathetic relaxation of the nervous system, releasing endorphins (natural pain killers), relieving stress, increasing blood and lymph circulation (transporting nutrients and removing debris), and supporting immune function, all of which help to facilitate restoring balance and natural functioning to all the systems of the body.
The oldest written evidence of Reflexology discovered to date is on Egyptian hieroglyphs that are believed to be more than 5000 years old. There are also written references to it in both Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic documents that are 3000+ years old. Most indigenous populations also practice a form of foot manipulation and interestingly enough, the locations of the reflex points for the body’s organs and glands is quite consistent despite many of these traditions being oral and passed from one generation to another.
Unlike other modalities that work from the outside of the body to affect change inside the body, Reflexology Therapy works the other way around. How can it do this? Our feet contain more than 7200 nerve endings that are a direct point of access into all the systems of the body through the central nervous system. By working with them in a very specific way, we can affect change in the whole person, essentially from the inside out.
What does this mean for you as a client?
Reflexology Therapy produces three key benefits: It improves and encourages flow in the body which affects blood circulation, lymphatic and cerebral-spinal flow, and energy movement, it encourages a return to homeostasis throughout the body which is our optimal set point for internal balance and alignment across all systems, and it engages the Parasympathetic Nervous System which is our body's rest and repair mechanism.
According to the American Journal of Medicine, stress is known to be a factor in more than 80% of all illness as it in turn causes inflammation throughout the entire body. Reflexology Therapy causes chemical changes to occur in the body, reducing stress at a cellular level. It complements traditional and allopathic medicine as well as all other healing arts.
Reflexology Therapy is beneficial to support many acute and chronic health issues along with being an excellent preventative.
What can I expect during a session?
The initial appointment will last approximately 90 minutes as we will discuss your health history and what you are looking for assistance with. From there we will decide on a plan of action and then proceed with a session. Subsequent sessions will last approximately 1 hour.
During the session you will be comfortably ensconced on a massage table with only your feet bared. Generally, your entire body and all systems within the body will be worked with, with extra attention focused on areas that are causing distress.
If you are new to this form of Therapy, I generally suggest that you arrive prepared to commit to 3-5 sessions, depending on what your individual issues and concerns are, as Reflexology Therapy has a cumulative effect. It generally takes several sessions for new clients to become aware of the changes happening within their physical being. That said, some folks elect to come for a few sessions when they are in crisis with something acute like whiplash from a car accident while others come more regularly for a 'tune-up and re-balancing'.
Healing is always an individual and intimate process and cannot be performed or caused by another. It happens when we facilitate the right conditions within the person for them to heal themselves.
What people say about Reflexology Therapy:
In general, when I ask clients who have been seeing me regularly over an extended time frame what keeps bringing them back, they consistently report that they feel better in general and have more energy, they sleep better with fewer interruptions and feel more rested upon waking, they fall ill less frequently and with less severity, and they no longer suffer with the same degree of aches and pains.
Each Therapist will have her/his own areas of interest and specialties. I encourage all prospective new clients to ask lots of questions to make sure the principles and skill level of the chosen practitioner are in alignment with their specific needs.
Who can benefit from Reflexology Therapy?
Most people can benefit from Reflexology Therapy, from the very young to the more aged.
As with most things, there are some dis-qualifiers. Reflexology Therapy is ill advised for anyone who has active blood clots or anyone in danger of forming blood clots (ie folks who have very recently had surgery), pregnant women in their first trimester, anyone with an open wound/infection on the feet. or anyone suffering from blood borne or lymphatic cancers.