Touching the feet; we hardly ever do it, in fact some people manage to put on their socks and shoes without really coming into contact with their feet at all.There they are hidden away inside our shoes, taking all the weight of our bodies day after day, trying to keep us balanced and stable with very little thought, at least not until they start to hurt. Yet foot massage is thought to go as far back as 2330BC and has certainly been used by the ancient American Indian tribes who believed that massaging the feet was essential to physical, mental and spiritual balance.
Reflexology in its current form was brought toBritainin 1966 and uses specific massage techniques on the feet which are used as anatomical maps to treat the whole body. Reflexology activates the healing powers of the body and works on the principle that energy zones run throughout the body. Working on specific areas of the feet will have an effect on corresponding areas of the body within that energy zone. Dr William Fitzgerald and his colleague Dr Edwin Bowers used a dramatic demonstration to prove this theory by sticking a pin into a volunteers face after first anesthetising the area by applying pressure to a corresponding reflex point in the hand. The feet however are more sensitive than the hands and have proved to be more effective for treatment.
Reflexology works by balancing the body and bringing about a state of homeostasis (which is the state in which our body is at its most efficient and healthy). Stress cannot be avoided, we live with it and in it every single day, both good and bad forms of stress. When we don’t handle stress well the body’s immune system starts to suffer and we become prone to illness, disease and infection. Reflexology can help to reduce stress by generating a deep and tranquil state of relaxation and can be more beneficial and restorative than a full night of restless sleep.
Reflexology can revitalize energy levels and create a special sense of wellbeing.When we are in stress the body becomes tense which tightens up the cardiovascular system causing a restriction of blood flow and making circulation sluggish. This in turn means that vital nutrients and oxygen are prevented from getting to the tissues and organs. By reducing stress, reflexology allows the blood to flow naturally.
Every part of the body is controlled by messages sent along nerve pathways. Thesepathways are both living tissue and electrical channels and can become impinged or polluted by many factors such as stress, illness or muscle tension. When nerve function is impeded the body processes operate less effectively.By working on the feet reflexology stimulates more than 7000 nerves, which encourages the opening, clearing and unblocking of the nerve pathways allowing the body to operate at optimum levels.
Reflexology is a non intrusive treatment as only the feet need to be exposed.The treatment can also be carried out with the receiver in a seated position rather than laying on a couch and is therefore suitable for people of all ages including those with disabilities or mobility difficulties.
Reflexology treatments have been found to be particularly helpful in the treatment of
· Hormonal imbalances
· Recovering cancer patients
· Stress…………and much more.
Reflexology was recommended to me by the nursing team that monitors the condition that I suffer from called ‘Secondary Lymph oedema’. This condition, which results in the swelling of limbs, caused by excess lymph fluid is incurable, uncomfortable and distressing. I was told, however, that it can respond to treatments such as reflexology which has been known to alleviate symptoms and bring relief to the affected limbs. Having enjoyed six lovely long sessions with Angela I have found that not only is there a slight but welcome reduction in the swelling of the affected limbs, I leave the session feeling wonderfully relaxed and thoroughly pampered. It is also nice to know that something which feels so self-indulgent is actually doing me good.