One thing that is maybe taking you by surprise is the popularity of alternative medicine. Everyone you meet at least knows something about alternative therapies, and are more than willing to share with you. Among the treatments that are taking the medical world by storm is reflexology.
Reflexology massage definition
This is a kind of therapy explicitly focusing on reflex points. Ancient Chinese believed that you could treat any body part by working on these areas on both hands and feet. According to them, there are millions of connections between certain parts of hands and feet and other parts of your body.
The ancient practice has been in force for more than three centuries where practitioners use pressure to bring about the desired effect. Its reputation has grown in recent years as people try out different techniques to alleviate pain and stress.
Reflexology works by stimulating the nervous system and having a positive effect on a body part. Apart from that, the technique works by improving the general wellbeing of the person receiving it.
The main objective reflexology is repair of body parts by application of pressure on your feet and hands. This pressure is quite painless, and you cannot compare it with a foot massage or any other type of massage.
The tips on your toes have a connection to your head while those on your foot’s ball to the heart and chest. And for your lower back and intestines, the link is at the back of your foot – heel.
Many people find reflexology profoundly relaxing and easily become return customers. It is not a painful experience like some massage techniques. If there is any kind of pain, then it means that there is something wrong with the way you are conducting it.
Ideally, the technique should be within your comfort zone so that you can get rid of any muscle tension. If there is any soreness or tenderness, then you will need to spend a little bit of more time on them. Deal with any tension on the hands and feet before moving on to others.
Any ticklish feeling will indicate that pressure is too light. Apply more of it or fine tune the reflexology equipment accordingly to accrue the benefits.
Reflexology Massage Techniques
When going to visit a reflexologist, make sure you have your medical history at hand. Your lifestyle and diet is other relevant information the therapist will require.
There are various reflexology techniques, and they include the following.
1. Slide and Press
You move both your thumbs to the heel and slide each of them from the middle of the foot to your foot’s edge. The interchange between the right and the left thumb as you move up in the direction of the toes.
2. The Back and Forth Movement of the Toe
This movement is primarily for removing tension. For this technique, your hands should be on either side of the foot. Ensure the fingers are on top of the foot. Then using your left hand, push it gently and then pull back using your right hand. Continue with pushing and pulling to obtain the right effect.
3. The Toe Rotation
The primary aim of this movement is to work on your toe’s neck area and release tension. This area is where the tension is and working on it helps get rid of it.
4. The Primary Thumb Technique
By not bending the thumb too far, utilize the medial edge of the thumb to work on the heel. The right placement if the thumb allows an enhanced accuracy and better relief. If you bend your finger’s joint too much, then you may make the person receiving the massage to feel uncomfortable when their nail touches their feet.
5. Using the Index Finger
You use the index finger to work on the foot’s top side and side. As with the thumb, you will use the inside of your index finger. However, you bend the first point of the finger just slightly making it easier to work up the foot.
The perfect placement of the finger allows efficient working in the problematic areas.
For this technique, you use your holding hand to support the foot. And using the thumb of the other hand you are working with, work through the reflex area. You then dig your thumb in and back the foot sharply.
The technique is useful where you need to center on a particular reflex – the small and hard to reach. The placement and use of fingers are essential here and require a high level of precision to pull it off.
The Reflex Rotation
This move is for working on a painful foot reflex. The technique is for the upper abdominal area of the feet. As a matter of fact, you use the move when you come across a tender region on foot. It involves keeping the thumb in position and rotating the other part of the foot around.
For more on how to reflexology, watch the following video.
What are the benefits of reflexology massage?
Has a Positive Impact on the Central Nervous System
The theory underpinning reflexology has its origin in the research by Sir Charles Sherrington and Sir Henry Head in the late 19th century. They sought to prove that there was a connection between the internal organs and the skin. According to them, a stimulus can make the nervous system to adjust as necessary and bring about the appropriate change.
On the basis of this theory, any pressure the therapist applies to any part of the body acts a stimulus reaching the central nervous system. The result is that your body then adjusts to accommodate the tension level. Your body’s overall reaction also changes accordingly, and all your bodily functions accept to act in a positive manner.
The slight pressure enhances the blood flow to your body making sure that nutrients and oxygen reach where needed for optimum functioning – from the rubbing action.
Stimulates nerve function
As you age, your sensitivity grows less and less. Getting a foot reflexology enhances this sensitivity. The technique also clears the pathway for the nerves supporting their optimal function.
Having a foot massage is one of the most natural and most effective ways of relaxing after a long day running up and down. We mentioned something about reflexology and the opening of neural pathways. This leads to a better and relaxed state resulting in improved sleep.
And if your better half or child has trouble sleeping, then you can try a foot massage or reflexology. The technique will efficiently induce sleep and can finally sleep like a small child. Reflexology is also one of the ways you that you can treat insomnia and other sleeping disorders. This is because pressure on particular points of your feet and hands help the nerves relax.
Reduces Symptoms of PMS and Menopause
Some of the most common symptoms among women include irritability, fatigue, headache, mood swings and insomnia when it is that time of the month. It is possible to alleviate these symptoms a daily dose of the massage. To treat the PMS symptoms, you target the specific point where the big toe intersects with your foot.
Massage this point billed the Grandfather Grandson, and your PMS problems may be taken care of.
Improved Blood Flow
Reflexology involves the rubbing of various body parts. This action has the same effect as massaging on blood circulation. A few reflexology sessions will improve blood flow to your body for improved health.
When there is better circulation of oxygen, the bodily functions obtain the necessary nutrients and oxygen to perform the tasks they should. Better blood flow also means better metabolism, cell growth, and healing – your wounds heal faster and more efficiently.
Lower Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is one common condition affecting millions of people across the world. This condition is responsible for such fatalities as stroke, heart attack, and kidney disease. Massaging the hands and feet with the goal of reaching pressure points actually lowers the systolic pressure.
In order to have the necessary effect on blood pressure, you should target a reflex point with the name solar plexus. You will quickly find this point by rubbing the side of the foot. The hallow you see is where solar plexus is.
Use your thumb to press this point for a few seconds two times a week. This treatment will reduce pressure and alleviate any instances of a bad mood.
Relief from Cancer
While reflexology is not a treatment for cancer, it helps reduce the effects of radiation and chemotherapy. The therapy will help them sleep better and keep them from feeling nauseated. It will also reduce instances of anxiety and problems with digestion.
The increased blood flow brought about by reflexology promotes antioxidant activity within your body that reduces the further development of cancer.
Reduce Stress and Pain
In science circles, the neuromatrix theory supposes that pain is a byproduct of our brain – it is subjective. As a result, such factors like stress and a bad mood can affect your experience of pain. This means that reflexology can get reduce any pain by dealing with stress and bad moods to have an impact on pain.
Serotonin is the nerve responsible for promoting happiness in your brain. This means that when it is less, you may become depressed and all moody. Foot reflexology, especially on the top of toes, enhances the production of this hormone.
Other glands such as the pituitary gland, pineal, and adrenal all have a role to play in your happiness. A few minutes of the massage every day is adequate to stimulate the reflex points and alleviate the bad moods.
Your feet are one of the most hardworking body parts and they deserve some pampering to ensure they are functioning optimally. Reflexology alleviates stiffness, reduces pain and improves the range of motion – your feet become better.
Reflexology is among some of the ways to quickly keep associated foot problems at bay – all this rubbing and pampering has a positive impact on toenail fungus, plantar fasciitis and Achilles heels.
The foot reflexology will enhance the strength and flexibility of your ankles – this especially good for those that spend significant amounts of their time standing and moving from one place to the other.
Those suffering from foot tendonitis and inflammation may significantly benefit from massaging with warm olive or coconut oil.
What do I wear for reflexology?
The most appropriate clothing should be loose and comfortable. You need to feel relaxed during the session so that you can comfortably accrue the benefits. You will not need to undress to get reflexology.
Reflexology is one technique comparable to massage but makes use of reflex points on your feet and hands. The central theory behind this method is that there is a connection between the reflex points and the other parts of the body. Working on the reflex points brings about several health benefits that include stress relief and enhanced blood circulation.