One of my favorite self-care modalities is going for regular Reflexology sessions. Not only do I find it so beneficial for my health and wellness, but it’s so relaxing! And I am one of those people who love having my feet touched, rubbed, and given attention :-), so this works for me.
In reflexology, pressure is placed on areas of the hands and feet in order to improve healing and reduce pain. The idea is that there are points in the hands and feet that correlate and are connected to other areas throughout the body. These points are called reflex areas.
You may have seen a reflexology chart before that shows these areas of connection. For example, the ball of the foot is connected to the heart and chest while the lower back and intestines are connected to the heel of the foot. Reflexology dates back to at least ancient Egypt. Illustrations on tomb walls show physicians using the foot to heal the entire body. Over time, this practice has evolved, and today modern research backs up the premise that these points exist. (http://reflexology-usa.net/history.htm)
Reflexology and massage often go hand in hand, but they aren’t the same thing. Massage can take place all over the body and focuses on the soft tissue in the body such as muscles and fascia. Reflexology is a specialized practice that focuses on the reflex points in the hands, feet, and ears, whereas massage often takes place over the entire body.
Acupressure is another similar healing art, but it is also different from reflexology. Acupressure addresses energy lines called meridians. With this practice there are 14 long lines of energy that run the length of the body and there are hundreds of pressure points along these lines.
Some of these pressure points are found along the feet, hands, and ears. However, there are relatively few compared to pressure points found throughout the entire body. Again, reflexology focuses only on the feet, hands, and ears.
Reflexology may be combined with massage or acupressure, but it can stand alone as well. Some reflexologists choose to get certified in multiple therapies while others work only in reflexology.
Reflexology has been known to have health benefits for thousands of years. It can help to improve physical and mental health by reducing the effects of stress and anxiety. It can provide relief from headaches and other forms of pain. It can improve blood pressure, circulation, and can be used to combat the symptoms from cancer and cancer treatment.
This healing art can improve your sleep, increase your energy, and assist with improving your mood. If you suffer from mental health issues, arthritis, diabetes or a neurological condition you’ll find that reflexology is complementary therapy.
As far as side effects go, reflexology has relatively few. Some people report having sensitivity in their feet after a session. You might also experience fatigue, a runny nose, or coughing afterward. This is because the practice of reflexology can release toxins and your body will work to rid itself of those. Side effects usually last less than a day and are rarely serious.
I highly recommend this wonderful modality as part of your regular self-care. Taking care of yourself is a very high form of self-love and is so, so important. Reflexology is an excellent way to practice self-love, healing, and improving your overall well being.
Maggie Holbik.com is a Board Certified Nutritionist and Certified Life Coach who loves to both encourage and see people do more things to show their body that they indeed love it. She believes the more you love and show your body you love it, the more it will love you back! 🙂
“When a woman becomes her own best friend life is easier.”
― Diane Von Furstenberg