What is reflexology massage? Reflexology is a type of massage that involves the application of focused pressure onto certain key areas of the body in order to relieve pain. This is done without the application of lotion or oil. While there are many different schools of thought on just what is reflexology massage, most agree that it is used to treat a variety of ailments including pain, tension, stress, disorders of the muscles, foot and back pain, and headaches.
Basically, when a reflexologist manipulates certain key areas of the body, it is called “manipulation”. In order to successfully perform a reflexology treatment, your reflexology therapist will need to determine what part of your body corresponds to which key areas. For example, if your left foot has pain going down your leg, your reflexologist might apply pressure onto your right calf muscle so that the calf is stimulated to send signals to your brain that there is pain in this location. The same principle applies when treating various aches and pains in your left arm, left hand, and neck – in each of these locations, the appropriate part of the body will be targeted.
There have been many studies conducted on what is reflexology and how it can help those who suffer from chronic pain, fibromyalgia, migraines, ADHD, anxiety, ADD, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), and Multiple Sclerosis. One study comparing the effects of reflexology and hypnotherapy was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). This study compared the effects of a single session of reflexology on pain and sleep for a sample of adults with chronic pain. The participants had a variety of long-term ailments, ranging from arthritis and whiplash to depression and multiple sclerosis. After four and eight weeks of receiving regular treatments, there were no significant differences between the group that received massage therapy and the other group receiving counseling alone.
In a more recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, a group of nurses in upstate New York gathered to compare the effects of a single reflexology session on a range of chronic illness symptoms, from high blood pressure to chronic pain. No significant differences in symptoms were observed between the group receiving massage therapy and the group receiving counseling alone. Of particular interest to the authors of this study were the differences in the types of ailments the individuals were treated for. Headaches were common, as were back pain, leg pain, stiffness, sore shoulders, and poor concentration. The researchers found that those receiving massages had significantly fewer problems with chronic health complaints than did those in the group receiving counseling alone.
How is a Reflexology Massage Treatment Different From Other Healing Treatments? A massage is designed specifically to focus the benefits of the body’s natural defenses. When receiving a reflexology session, the therapist will work on specific points along the feet or hands in order to promote overall wellness, reduce pain, or relieve stress. Reflexology therapists claim that when these specific points are stimulated, the body can release certain natural chemicals or “thermosensins,” which are then absorbed into the body. By tapping certain points along the feet or hands, you can help your own immune system by helping to fight off illnesses.
So, how does a Reflexology session work? During a reflexology session, the therapist will use their hands or the thumbs to pinpoint certain areas on the feet or hands that are related to various health issues. Once these areas are targeted, pressure is then applied to the area in order to relax the muscles in that area. Pressure is also applied to certain areas on the hands or feet that relate to specific ailments, such as headaches, diabetes, asthma, or even more serious conditions like cancer or heart disease. As the pressure and muscle relaxation are applied, special waves of energy are transmitted from the body to the parts targeted. The theory behind this type of treatment is that these energy waves can be picked up by the nerve endings in the target areas, and then be delivered to other areas throughout the body, promoting healing in all areas.
There are some basic qualifications required for a Reflexologist. A degree in Oriental medicine is recommended, as well as at least three years of experience. Some therapists also receive additional training in different areas, including acupuncture, reflexology, and osteopathy. In order to treat a patient with reflexology massage, the therapist must also have extensive training in the proper techniques for treating these various conditions. Depending on how a reflexologist manipulates the different points on the patient’s feet or hands, it may take between five and thirty minutes for a Reflexology massage to be effective. There are no guarantees, however, as each patient’s condition may respond differently to applying pressure in different ways.
Although many people believe that Reflexology massage is based solely on intuition, it should not be mistaken for dream therapy. There is evidence that certain types of Reflexology may have benefits beyond pain relief. For instance, certain types of Reflexology massage can improve the quality of sleep, enhance relaxation, increase the effectiveness of certain medications, decrease the symptoms of depression, reduce the frequency of headaches, increase lung capacity, improve eyesight, lower blood pressure, improve the nervous system, promote the development of immunity, increase energy levels and help to prevent certain diseases. These are just a few of the possible benefits of Reflexology massage. As more information about this ancient art of Reflexology is uncovered, it will no doubt become an even more popular therapy.