A Form of Bodywork that Focuses on the Feet
Reflexology is the application of pressure to areas on the feet, hands and ears. The theory behind reflexology is that these areas correspond to organs and systems of the body and applying pressure to these reflex areas can promote health in the corresponding organs through energetic pathways. The results may include reduced pain, anxiety, stress, and depression; and enhanced relaxation and sleep.
A study in the American Cancer Society journal found that one-third of cancer patients used reflexology as a complementary therapy. Reflexology is also used for post-operative or palliative care. Several studies funded by the National Cancer Institute and the National Institutes of Health indicate that reflexology may have many health benefits.
Reflexology should not be painful; however, some areas may be tender or sore, and the reflexologist may spend extra time on these points. The soreness should decrease with pressure.
Reflexology may help with:
- Stress and stress-related conditions
- Tension headaches
- Digestive disorders
- Hormonal Imbalances
- Sports injuries
- Menstrual disorders, such as premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
- Digestive problems (constipation)
- Reduced pain
- Improved circulation
- Soothed tired feet
- Overall better healing
Most people feel calm and relaxed and even sleepy after a treatment. As part of the healing process, one may feel nauseous, anxious, or tearful, but this is temporary and considered part of the healing process.
Although reflexology is not used to diagnose or cure health disorders, millions of people around the world use it to complement other treatments when addressing conditions like anxiety, asthma, cancer treatment, cardiovascular issues, diabetes, headaches, kidney function, PMS, and sinusitis.
Reflexology is growing increasingly popular across Europe and Asia as both a complement to other treatments and as a preventive measure. One example is Denmark, where various municipalities and companies have employed reflexologists since the early ‘90’s.
According to several studies, this practice in Denmark has resulted in reduced leave and absenteeism (and significant economic savings for the employers). Employees have consistently reported complete or partial improvement in conditions where they sought reflexologists’ help and even relief for additional problems related to stress. In one municipal district, almost one-third of the employees reported greater satisfaction with their jobs after completing six sessions with the reflexologist.
If you are pregnant, consult your doctor. Reflexology is a complementary therapy and should not replace medical treatment.