Would you like a foot rub? How about a hand massage? What about a foot AND hand rub that can aid your digestion, relieve your headaches, and promote overall body function?
You’re in luck! This wonderful treatment actually exists, and it’s called reflexology.
Reflexology is an ancient healing practice which involves the application of pressure to specific points and areas on the feet, hands, and ears. These areas and reflex points correspond to different body organs and body systems. When the appropriate form of pressure is applied to these areas and points, it can have a very beneficial effect on the overall health of the body.
How is reflexology different than massage?
While both massage and reflexology use touch, the approaches are very different. Massage, as you most likely know, can be applied to many parts of the body, and can involve many different techniques such as kneading, friction, and rubbing. Like reflexology, massage can relax the muscles and has the ability to improve internal body functioning.
But whereas massage works from the outside in, reflexology is said to work from the inside out.
Reflexology techniques are applied only to the hands, feet and ears, but not in order to relax these three areas; that’s just an added bonus. Very specific points and areas of the hands, feet, and ears are stimulated in a very specific way in order to create a response in a corresponding area of the body. It’s sounds complex, but don’t worry. There are trained reflexology practitioners who know every little point and its corresponding partner. Using micro-movement techniques, such as thumb or finger walking, they target your body’s specific needs and promote overall balance and function.
What are the benefits of reflexology?
In addition to providing relaxation and promoting overall body function, reflexology has also had positive effects on treating back pain, migraines, bladder problems, menopausal and period symptoms, and sinusitis.
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 cancer, cardiovascular and kidney disorders, anxiety, digestion problems including IBS, asthma, and diabetes.
What can I expect from a reflexology session?
Many reflexology sessions are similar to a massage therapy session with the exception of the areas of the body being worked on. At a good location, you can expect the same relaxing environment, a comfortable place for you to sit or lie, and a knowledgeable practitioner. Unless you’re receiving reflexology along with another treatment, only your socks and shoes need to be removed. A complete reflexology therapy session typically focuses on all of the points of the feet, hands, and sometimes the outer ear. The session generally starts at the fingers or toes, and works down to the heel of the hand or foot, then works the areas on the sides and top.
Whether you come into a session with specific needs or the practitioner locates congestion, tightness, or pain during the session, specific pressure and techniques will be used to target those concerns and attempt to bring the body back to balance. Experiences with reflexology sessions vary from a general sense of relaxation, to a conscious, internal awareness or sense of energy in the corresponding area of the body the practitioner is targeting through the foot, hand or ear.
Where can I get reflexology?
Check out your local spas, holistic health practices, and wellness centers to find a reflexology practitioner near you. If you’re in the Greater St. Louis area, Halcyon Spa offers reflexology as well as many other revitalizing and relaxing treatments and services. Click here to make your appointment, and you’ll be on your way to a more balanced you.