How reflexology works is really quite interesting. In the 1800’s Sir Henry Head and Sir Charles Sherrington did some research that showed a relationship between the skin and the internal organs. This research also showed that our entire nervous system is affected by certain types of stimulus.
This theory indicates that when pressure is applied to certain areas of the feet, ears or hands a signal is sent from the nerves in these areas to the central nervous system. When the signal reaches the central nervous system it then sends a signal to adjust the discomfort in the area associated with the spot being massaged. As the signals are transmitted and received they help improve the function of all or your internal organs so the work optimally. They help the body utilize more oxygen, nutrients and waste removal. Reflexology also affects all of the other systems in the body. It helps with circulation, immune system, respiration, neuropeptide system, and endocrine system.
There is another theory that suggests that pain can be relieved through reflexology. I know from experience that this one works. I would suggest that anyone with fibromyalgia or any other pain, chronic or otherwise, try reflexology. According to this theory reflexology can help balance the emotional factors that contribute to the sense of pain. Things like stress or a bad mood can contribute to how we feel pain and reflexology can help balance these things.
Still another theory suggests that if the vital energy of the body is blocked by things like stress, depression, pain or other contributors a person will become ill. Reflexology unblocks these things to keep the energy flowing. This one sounds like a combination of the previous two to me.
I believe that how reflexology works is a combination of all three. I’ve had several reflexology treatments and see parts of all three theories happen when I have them regularly. How reflexology works might be a mystery to some but to me it’s one of the best things I’ve tried for my fibromyalgia pain and the depression that goes with it.
Some believe that reflexology began 5,000 years ago in China. Others say it was the Babylonians and Egyptians that started it because they have records of reflexology from between 2500 – 2330 B.C. The reflexology that started in Japan is Shiatsu which means pressure with fingers, before it moved through Europe. In 1582 the North American Cherokee Indians relieved pain with it. Dr. William Fitzgerald created the body map for Reflexology in 1913. Eunice Ingham (the Mother of Reflexology) began teaching in 1920 and in 1981 the first chart was designed by Mildred Carter. She did so by using pebbles in her son’s shoes.
A session of Reflexology includes: A drink of water. Removing shoes/socks and cleansing feet or hands. Massaging the hands or feet at certain points paying attention to what the client tells the therapist as to what their complaints are. Another drink of water at the end to help keep you hydrated and flush out toxins and a few minutes to rest and relax. A session lasts between 30 – 90 minutes depending on what you are having done.
If the additional pressure is needed, the therapist will let you know that you might be uncomfortable for a while. Other than that, a session should not cause pain or discomfort.
Benefits of Reflexology are: Stress reduction, relaxation, better circulation, detoxification, balancing of the body and hormones, revitalization, and a general feel good feeling.
As you can see reflexology has been around for thousands of years. Today treatments are given by practitioners who have been to classes especially for this. Most of the time your are given a treatment in a quiet area and if you’re really lucky you will have soothing music to listen to. Some reflexologists use lotion or essential oils when they do a treatment and some do not but will apply them afterwards. I would like to suggest that you try a session and see for yourself how reflexology works for you.
How Reflexology Works
This particular reflexology video made me relax just by watching 🙂