The aim of Reflexology is to help the body to restore its natural balance and to help with relaxation and healing. It is non-intrusive and is a popular complementary therapy that many people feel helps them to cope with the stresses of modern life. Although it has not been clinically proven to be effective in the treatment of cancer and other serious diseases, many patients claim that they benefit from reflexology treatments in terms of pain relief, relaxation, stress reduction and mood enhancement.
How Reflexology Works?
Reflexology works by massage and pressure being applied to certain areas on the hands and feet - most commonly the feet. Reflexologists can also apply pressure to other areas of the body such as the lower leg, face and ears. The theory is that reflex areas in these areas correspond to other organs and parts of the body, and the pressure applied is believed to affect the same kind of energy pathways as are used in acupuncture. The left big toe, for example, represents the left side of the head, while another area of the foot would represent the lung.
If the therapist feels reflexology would not be an appropriate treatment for an individual, they will be able to let them know at this stage. The patient will normally be expected to sign a consent form prior to treatment commencing.
Some people also believe that reflexology helps to: Fight bacterial, infections and colds, Reduce problems with sinuses, Reduce pain from arthritis and similar conditions, Reduce problems with digestion, Boost the immune system, Help with fertility problems.
4,000 BC in China
Reflexology is believed to have been used for many centuries. The ancient Egyptians are thought to have developed a form of the therapy which was also used in China and India, although the West was much slower to adopt it.
Dr William Fitzgerald
Dr William Fitzgerald introduced reflexology, in the form of "Zone therapy" to the USA in 1913, and this was further developed in the 1930s by Eunice Ingham, a nurse and health visitor. Her 1938 book "Stories the Feet Can Tell" promoted the benefits of reflexology and helped to make it the popular therapy it is today.