This week is World Reflexology Week, a national awareness day for the practice of reflexology, which we are supporting here at Acupuncture That Works. Some of you may be wondering exactly what it is, and what the benefits of it are.
Reflexology is an ancient Chinese practice of manual therapy focusing on the feet, which is becoming increasingly popular as a modern holistic therapy to relieve pain and stress.
The therapy works by massaging different areas on the feet that correspond to other parts of the body, stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system to heal itself. For thousands of years this has been utilised by Chinese practitioners to re-balance the bodies Qi to aid a number of conditions, promote healing and improve wellbeing and vitality.
Initially a reflexologist will ask about your medical history, health issues, lifestyle and diet before starting the session, which consists of applying painless pressure to your feet using thumb and forefinger to identify any issues throughout your body.
A reflexology session typically lasts 30 to 60 minutes, focusing on the soles of your feet, and usually five or six sessions are required to aid specific health conditions.
How does it work?
Reflexology is based on the Chinese principle that certain areas on the soles of the feet and hands, known as reflex zones, contain millions of nerve endings which correspond to other parts of the body.
The belief is that reflexology stimulates the body into healing itself through improving circulation, reducing stress, reducing pain and restoring natural balance to your body.
What can reflexology help with?
Reflexology can be used to help to restore balance and entice your body into healing itself, and is commonly used to boost sluggish circulation, useful for aiding with stress, anxiety, back pain, migraines, poor digestion, irritable bowel syndrome, respiratory problems, asthma, headache, bladder problems, menopausal symptoms and period pain.
The relaxing nature of the massage also has a positive psychological impact on wellbeing, whilst pregnant women find that reflexology relieves the pressure on legs and feet.