Sunday, July 7, 2013

All About Reflexology

By: Linda Kraan - Benson​

The feet, hands, body & ears are divided into “zones”.  Within each “zone” is a “system” which contains organs and glands.  When there is a blockage or imbalance within the body, it is noticeable within these “zones”. 

Light pressure, applied by the thumb, fingers or whole hand, is applied to certain “reflex” points on either the foot  hand or body, which increases the “energy” flow to blocked or inflamed areas where treatment is being done.  The ear has smaller “reflex” points, often referred to as “acupressure” points.
Reflexology can help to correct, balance and stimulate movement within these “zones”.
Reflexology is a wonderfully therapeutic, relaxing & soothing treatment for the hands, feet & ears.  The feet & hands also represent a “reflex map” of the entire physical system.  The ears are often used for alleviating “acute” pain, pressure & fever.  

A brief history lesson:   In 1915 an ear, nose & throat physician, Dr. William H Fitzgerald, introduced his research findings on “zone therapy”. He believed that certain areas on  the feet and hands were linked to other areas and organs of the body.  He realized that the when applying pressure to the tip of the big toe, headaches were gradually diminished.  When pressing the heel, congestion from the intestinal area also improved.   The heart and chest corresponded to the ball of the foot. 

In the 1930’s, American Physiotherapist, Eunice Ingram, would further develop the “zone” theory.  She realized that when stimulating or applying pressure to key points on the body, which she referred to as “reflex” points, a signal, from the brain, would be sent to the corresponding organ, causing the release of hormones into the system. It is thought that the release of these hormones is responsible for the healing effect of Reflexology.  Eunice would later travel the world and speak with medical practitioners on the benefits of probing the feet for a story of health.  In 1938 she wrote her first book entitled, “Stories the feet can tell”.  

All health conditions, whether physical or emotional.  Releases tension & stress.  It can induce relaxation and a state of well being.  Reflexology also promotes a healthy sleep pattern, pain management, increased energy and mental clarity. Reflexology also helps to remove blockages, release toxins, reduce swelling & restore balance within the glandular system.

You may recline in a chair, or lie on a massage table.  Whether for the feet, hands, or ears, the practitioner may or may not use essential oils. Gentle “finger pressure” will be applied to stimulate certain “reflex points” within different “zones” of your body.  This is normally a comfortable feeling, however, depending on how “sensitive” you are to “applied” touch, or how “chronic” your condition is, you may feel a slight pressure or sensation. 

 The practitioner, will record any discomfort you feel, during the these sessions. There are many different techniques used to create a relaxation response, to calm & soothe your physical systems.  Normally, a client will fall asleep during this phase.  

Depending on whether you are having foot, hand or ear reflexology, a treatment takes anywhere from 30-65 minutes.
(Caution:  in pregnancy, epilepsy, heart regulation, i.e pacemakers)
A toe to knee massage is incorporated in foot reflexology, wear loose pants, no tights.  A 3 session program is suggested, and needs to be done twice yearly for maintaining optimal health.
20% off for all “Gusto” readers on 3 treatment program

Linda Kraan- Benson

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