Reflexology massage involves the application of different amounts of pressure to the hands, feet, and ears. Based on the principle that there are areas and points on the feet, hands, and ears, that are connected through the nervous system to corresponding parts of the body, reflexology believes in applying pressure to these points and areas, to stimulate the movement of energy along the nerve channels, thus helping to restore the balance of homeostasis in the body.
According to science, there are around 7000 nerve endings in the human foot, with each nerve ending serving as a reflex point that corresponds to a different body part. A reflexologist may use special finger and thumb movements to stimulate these points. There are many benefits of reflexology. It primarily helps the body relieve stress, amongst other things.
Benefits of Reflexology
1. Provide Relaxation
Reflexology massage benefits you by opening neural pathways thus flooding the nervous system with neuron activity. This puts the body in a more relaxed state. By making you feel relaxed, reflexology thus induces a sense of calm throughout your body and mind. Thus, it may be used as a cure for insomnia, and help get your normal sleep patterns back.
2. Improves Brain Power
The stimulation of nerves and neural pathways means that information flows much faster and effectively to the brain, something that may help your brain process information faster. This may lead to faster cognitive and physical reactions, as well as a memory boost.
3. Improves Nerve Function
As we grow older, our nerve endings become less and less sensitive in our extremities. Opening up and cleaning out our neural pathways may help improve the functionality and flexibility of nerves, as well as cells in various organs in your body. Neural pathways are like muscles. It is highly important to keep them active.
4. Improves Blood Circulation
Blood, along with oxygen gets cycled and delivered throughout the body more effectively. The improvement in circulation also means that more oxygen reaches the vital organs. This optimizes the latter’s functioning and further increases metabolism. The deliverance of oxygen throughout the body also results in faster regrowth and healing of any damaged cells.
[ Read: Lymphatic Massage Benefits ]
5. Flushes Out Toxins
As it improves blood circulation, a reflexology foot massage improves bladder function, and that may prevent the occurrence of urinary tract infections. Hence, there is an efficient system of eliminating toxins and other foreign elements from the body(1).
6. Helps Reduce Headaches
One of the most common ways reflexology massage techniques help is by reducing the severity of migraines and headaches. It does this by relieving tensions in the muscles that result in such conditions. Since stress and psychological factors are often the cause of a migraine, any headaches brought about by stress may be cured using reflexology(2).
How to Perform Reflexology?
While you should make an appointment with a certified reflexologist, there are certain things you can do for yourself after meeting one and learning how to apply pressure.
1. Relieve Tension in Your Neck and Head
Apply pressure to the joints of your 8 little toes. If you are experiencing tension in one area of the neck, you may feel the tension in the corresponding toe. Since your entire head is represented by two big toes, apply pressure to them to reduce tension headaches.
2. Make Your Chest Relax
Apply pressure to the balls of your feet, to alleviate chest discomfort. Stress often causes a tight chest, and you may feel as if you’re having trouble taking a good, deep breath. This technique helps you work the reflexes to your lungs, thymus gland, airways, chest, and shoulders.
3. Relieve Stomach Tension
If you feel what many call ‘the jitters,’ press the reflex points on your instep, i.e the non-weight bearing area on the bottom of your foot, to relieve discomfort in your abdominal organs.
4. Loosen Your Limbs
If your legs, arms, and shoulders feel tight with stress, you may use reflexology to loosen up. You may discharge tension in your arms and legs by application of pressure to the reflex points on the outer edges of your feet.
5. Get Better Sleep
Try to apply pressure to a combination of all the reflex points to relieve insomnia. Usually, it is stress that causes insomnia, so you may relieve your sleeplessness using the same reflex points that you would use to relieve tension and stress.
1. Reflexology hurts
Reflexology may only hurt when there is no communication between you and your therapist. If you are effectively communicating your pain threshold, there is no reason it can hurt you.
2. Reflexology can diagnose an illness.
Well, it can’t diagnose a disease, but it can bring your body to a state of healing so your body can start doing so.
3. Reflexology is not for the young
This is untrue. Anyone from an infant to an elderly person may be able to experience the benefits of reflexology.
Generally, reflexology appears to be safe and does not cause too many side effects. Most people feel relaxed after a treatment, so they may feel light-headed.
In conclusion, reflexology massage benefits are many. This ancient massage technique that targets pressure points in the foot, is a great way to get rid of stress and induce the body to develop a state of relaxation, mental and physical.
While it may not be a scientifically proven medical treatment for the disease, there are studies to suggest that it may be a useful complementary treatment, especially for stress and anxiety.
1. What Is Reflexology Good For?
Reflexology may help relieve migraines, stress, anxiety and also reduce abdominal complaints and menstrual pain.
2. Can Pregnant Women Get a Reflexology Massage?
Well, usually, massages induce labor pain. So it is not advised to get a massage if you’re pregnant. Kindly consult your gynecologist first.