Reflexology as we know it today is attributed to the work of Eunice Ingham, an American Therapist.
Eunice mapped out reflex points on the feet and hands that correspond to all of the organs, glands and parts of the body. Her original work is taught exclusively by the school that she founded, The International Institute of Reflexology.
It involves stimulating the nerve connections in the sole of the foot to balance and restore energy to various organs in the body. It works on the principle that there are areas on the feet and hands which correspond to the major glands and organs of the body. By using pressure on a specific area of the foot, an effect will be stimulated on the corresponding area of the body.
It is believed that different points or zones on the feet, hands or ears correspond to specific anatomical features in the body in a logical pattern. Many maps exist showing the correlation of the foot, hand or ear to different organs, glands and structural features of the body. The goal of the reflexology is to stimulate those points and break down any crystal deposits located in the feet, hands or ears to restore normal function to that body system. We do not fully understand how reflexology works but one possible theory is that it works by releasing restricted energy in the body, by improving blood supply and by promoting parasympathetic nerve stimulation to assist in healing. Another theory is that it works by stimulating the sensory nerves in the extremities having effects on other parts of the body. Reflexology may also work by increasing the release of endorphins into the bloodstream providing pain relief and a general sense of well-being. When the reflexes are stimulated, blockages along the meridian lines and nervous system are removed. A blockage is felt as a sandy or gritty deposit under the skin present in these particular areas.
Medical studies have shown and Doctors agree that over 75% of our health problems can be linked to nervous stress and tension. By applying pressure to the reflex points on the hands and/or feet, circulation is improved, relaxation is induced, the body’s organs and glands become balanced and blockages are cleared. Reflexology is now widely accepted in the UK and recognised by the NHS, many GP’s and hospices.
Reflexology can be performed on everyone, infants, teens, adults and seniors to enhance health as well as treat specific conditions. It is also safe to perform during pregnancy, treatment for cancer, before and after surgery.
Specific conditions which benefit from reflexology include:
- Restless leg syndrome
- Back pain
- Bladder infections
- Chronic fatigue
- Chronic pain
- Ear infections
- Hay fever
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Menstrual cramps
Reflexology treatments begin with a relaxing foot massage. There may be discomfort in some places, whilst the reflexes are stimulated but this is temporary and may be an indication of congestion or imbalance in the corresponding part of the body. For the most part, the sensation is pleasant and soothing. Reflexology will relax and de-stress you while stimulating your body’s systems.
“Feeling great after my reflexology treatment yesterday thanks to Joanne Tinsley.”