Reflexology is the art of healing through touch and stimulation of specific areas of the body.
Foot reflexology, hand reflexology, facial reflexology, energetic reflexology and atrial reflexology are part of the larger family of reflexology.
Reflexology is a form of massage particularly known for its therapeutic virtues, both physical and psychological. It is based on restoring the balance of the body by acting on strategic points called reflex zones.
What is reflexology?
Reflexology is a manual method classified as non-conventional medical practices. A particular form of massage, it is based on the theory that a specific point located in the hands, ears or feet is linked to specific organs or physiological functions of the human body.
A massage studied or a precise support on these points leads to the localization of tension and aims at restoring the balance of the body.
Reflexologists thus put forward the idea that their practice activates the body’s self-healing potential. The stimulation of specific zones acting on the physiological function can then restore the balance of the physiological function, thereby stimulating healing.
Reflexology: basic principle
Reflexology is a medical method that the practitioner performs with his hands.
Similar to shiatsu massage, the method integrates an energetic and general approach of the body through manual contact. Far from pride itself on curing specific illnesses, reflexology aims to bring a total relaxation by the unwinding of areas of tension, or by restoring balance when an organ works more than necessary.
This hyper-functioning is usually recognized by a painful reflex zone to the touch, referring to the organ in question. Reflexology is therefore intended to be a practice aimed at relieving many ailments such as respiratory disorders, headaches, intestinal problems, stress and also contributes to the treatment of certain mental disorders.
History of Reflexology
Concerning the basis of reflexology, ancient writings and illustrations tend to situate the first practices in antiquity. The method was then practiced in China and Egypt, including foot reflexology.
In Western countries, the first traces of reflexology date back to the 16th century. Two physicians particularly made their name known at the time, one named Dr. Atatis and Dr. Adamus, thanks to their publication on the subject in 1582.
Four centuries later, another U. S. physician introduced reflexology when he discovered that pressure on certain parts of his patients’ bodies led to a reduction in pain. While searching for a method of anesthesia, Dr. William Fitzgerald led to the development of a modern reflexology theory in 1913. Its postulate is based on a division of the human body into 10 energetic points, these points being connected to precise internal parts of the body.
His assistant Eunice Ingham will then develop the reflexology technique, which is the one we are practicing today.
The physiotherapist also set up the first reflexology training institute, which today still provides training throughout the world.
Reflexology and its different types
The reflex points are indexed from head to toe. However, foot reflexology is the most widely practiced form. Nevertheless, other forms of reflexology exist such as facial reflexology, energetic reflexology, atrial reflexology and hand or palm reflexology.
What are the benefits ?
The therapeutic virtues of reflexology are multiple. She is particularly well known for:
- Relieve headaches and back pain.
- Its contribution to the treatment of certain mental disorders by relieving stress and anxiety and building self-confidence.
- Its effect on the relief of premenstrual pain.
- Treat intestinal problems such as constipation.
Reflexology: Precautions to take
Reflexology is not dangerous at first sight. However, it is recommended that certain precautions be taken with pregnant women, especially during the first three months of pregnancy. Similarly, caution should be exercised when dealing with people with cancer or diabetes.
Important: in the event of heart problems or circulatory and lymphatic system problems, the practice of reflexology requires the accompaniment or advice of a doctor.