Reflexology is a natural healing art based on the principle that the body has natural reflexes in the hands, feet and ears that correspond to every gland and organ in the body. Through application of pressure on these reflexes, reflexology relieves tension, improves circulation and promotes the natural function of the related areas of the body.
Reflexology has been practiced for thousands of years in areas around India, China and Egypt. Reflexology corrects the three negative factors that are a part of the disease progression: congestion, inflammation and tension. Congested conditions are responsible for bringing about growths; inflammatory conditions are those such as colitis, bronchitis, or sinusitis; and tension is responsible for lowering the efficiency of the immune system.
Reflexology aims to improve and strengthen the weak areas of the body responsible for causing the condition or symptoms. This is achieved by targeting the problem areas through the reflex points found on or around the feet or hands.
Many medical doctors agree that over three-quarters of our health problems can be linked to nervous and physical tension.
By reducing stress and tension, reflexology improves blood and lymph circulation, strengthens the functioning of the immune system, improves assimilation of nutrition and elimination of toxins, and calms the nervous system. In this way reflexology facilitates the body's natural healing processes thereby enhancing the body's health and vitality. Reflexology is essentially painless, oriented to revitalizing the whole body, thereby supporting the body in it's own healing process, rather than working with a treatment orientation.
The purpose of treatment is to normalize the body's functioning, to help break down tension, and to improve nerve functioning and blood supply throughout the whole body. Pressure applied to the foot produces a mirrored response in the body, and that the response will be found in specific parts according to the specific points of the foot that have been touched. The link between these corresponding parts seems to be energetic, rather than a direct material link.
Wherever there is illness in the body a corresponding area can be found in the foot that may be tender or painful, and where waste materials have collected in the form of deposits. Reflexology works by massaging the feet to break down these deposits, dispersing the pain and restoring the energy flow to a state of balance. Tension is relaxed throughout the muscles and the nervous system, and circulation is increased, releasing or reducing the strain from which the body is suffering.
Muscles control the workings of the organs as well as large movements of the body through activity of the limbs. Treatment stimulates the circulation of the blood and lymph so that the removal of waste products and toxins is increased and the supply of nutrients throughout the blood supply is improved. By releasing long-term muscular contractions, the constrictions they have imposed on the nerves are relieved and the nerve supply is freed.
The 1996 China Reflexology Symposium Report found foot reflexology to be 93.63% effective in treating 63 disorders. After an analysis of 8,096 clinical cases, Dr. Wang Liang reported that reflexology was significantly effective in 48.68% of all the cases, with an effective/improved treatment in 44.95% of the cases. Another study, in Britain, involved fifteen women in half-hour reflexology sessions for eight weeks. The findings included noticeable physical and emotional improvement, increased self-esteem and confidence, an ability to stay motivated and be heard and taken seriously, and an improvement in concentration.