What is Reflexology?
Reflexology is a holistic therapy/treatment that encourages natural healing and good health by balancing body systems. Every organ, gland and physical feature of the body has a reflex area in the foot; they can be found on the soles, tops and sides of the feet. A pressure massage is applied to these areas using the thumbs or fingers. The treatment also includes a pre and post massage.
Although there is scientific evidence that reflexology works there is no evidence about how it works. There are, however a few theories that may be relevant. One is that it works through the body’s subtle energy system, the meridians used in Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for acupuncture; many acupuncture points correspond with reflexology points.
The meridians frequently follow neural pathways, these pathways connect one part of the nervous system with another. There are over 7000 sensory nerve endings in the feet that send messages to the brain. The pressure massage used in reflexology stimulates these sensory nerves and it is speculated that this provokes a reflex reaction to establish equilibrium in the body.
Another theory is that reflexology stimulates the release of endorphins and encephalins which are the body’s natural opiates/pain killers that also lift the mood. Tiran (2002) cites the following research sources; Day et al 1987, Ferrell-Tory & Glick 1993, Ginsberg & Farney 1987, Kaada & Torsteinbo 1989 as evidence in the many observations of touch therapies aiding pain reduction.
40/50 minutes – £40
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- Bell’s Palsy
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Pre-menstrual tension
- Pneumonia and bronchitis
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Hypertension and hypotension
- Tension headaches and migraines
- Improves mobility
- Improves immunity
- Encourages relaxation
- Balances body systems
- Balances the body’s subtle energy system
- Encourages the circulation of blood and lymph
- Regular treatments help manage health disorders
- Raises the mood through the release of endorphins
Study – Pain Relief
BROWN, C. LIDO, C. (2008) Reflexology treatment for patients with lower limb amputations and phantom limb pain – An exploratory pilot study. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice Vol 14 p124-131 Available from: http://www.mnt-nr.com/articles/reflexology%20and%20amputations.pdf
TIRAN, D (2002) Reviewing theories and origins. In: Mackereth, P and Tiran, D. (eds) Clinical Reflexology: A Guide for Health Professionals. Philadelphia: Churchill Livingstone p9-10