Specific points on the feet, hands, and ears are said to be linked to various organs in the body. Foot reflexology is one of the methods of doing reflexology. Every organ system has nerve endings in the ears, hands, and feet. Each organ system is also called a zone and hence the term “zone therapy”. As a result, the state of the body’s anatomy is viewed as reflex zones on a person’s feet. These can be stimulated for the proper functioning of the organ system. In the case of some disease or illness, there is an imbalance of energy in the organ system. To trigger a response, pressure should be applied in the area corresponding to a specific organ system. You can do this manually by using the thumb or fingers. The organ system now tends to come to a harmonious state and a natural healing process is set in removing the underlying issues of the organ system. This action of applying stimulus is called Reflexology.
Reflexology dates back to 2330 BC when a pictograph related to this was found in the Egyptian tomb of Arkhamor. The knowledge regarding Reflexology was passed down orally. Evidence of the same was also found in China and India. The Chinese Yellow Emperor has made references to foot analysis and treatment. Marco Polo translated some of the Chinese work to Italian in the year 1300 and introduced it to Europe.
In 1915, an ear, eyes, nose, and throat specialist named Dr. William Fitzgerald wrote about the vertical zones of the body and the pain-relieving stimulus points on the feet, hands, and outer ear. Dr, Fitzgerald is known as the “Founding Father of Reflexology”.
Dr. Shilbey Riley did more research on Dr. Fritzgerald’s work and came up with a map that depicts the diverse reflex points and part of the foot. He then divided the body into horizontal sections and linked those reflex points to them. Eunice Ingham, an American physiotherapist, worked with Dr. Riley and developed a comprehensive chart for foot reflexology which is still being used today. She discovered that the feet were quicker to respond to Reflexology procedures. Her nephew, Dwight Byers who is the founder of the International Institute of Reflexology, worked on the Foot Reflexology chart further to give it a polished look.
Reflexology addresses holistic health as well as issues of each organ system. Below are some of the benefits of foot reflexology:
Rehabilitate the Nervous System
The sensitivity of the nerves in our bodies becomes less as we grow old. Doing reflexology can help enhance our sensitivity. In a single session of reflexology, nerve endings of up to 7000 can be stimulated. This aids in increasing nerve sensitivity and proper nervous system function. It can also remove any blockage in the neural system.
Regain Energy Levels
General energy levels in the body will increase when the imbalances in the different organ systems are removed through foot reflexology. It can also improve metabolism thereby boosting vitality.
This is one of the most important applications of foot reflexology. It is commonly used to relieve pain due to headaches and migraines. The tension in the underlying muscles is released by reflexology which causes the pain to disappear. Stress could also be one of the causes of a headache that can be tackled by this process.
Post Surgery or Wound Healing
Healing is one of the powerful foot reflexology benefits. By improving the circulation of blood in the body, cells can regenerate faster, and hence the healing process is faster. Reflexology can be done along with the conventional treatment method since it has no side effects.
Pregnancy and Childbirth
Pregnant women can undertake reflexology to gain a number of benefits. Labor pain becomes manageable and painkillers may not be necessary post-childbirth. With the hastening of the body’s recovery, women can come back to their normal health as soon as possible. Even though foot reflexology is safe, it’s still best to consult your doctor first.
Since foot reflexology removes the energy blocks in the neural paths it brings in peace of mind and reduces stress in the body. It helps to keep the body and mind calm and hence is a good form of relaxation.
If you have any injury, a disease in the blood vessels that cause clotting, varicose veins, or foot problems, please check with your doctor first before getting into foot reflexology.
To help you maintain excellent foot health, try our Shiatsu Foot & Leg Massager, a machine that massages the calves, ankles, and feet at the same time. It will surely leave you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated.