Foot Reflexology

Foot Reflexology stimulates the reflex points on the feet that correspond to all parts of the body via a “foot massage.” This gentle, but powerful, therapy encourages the body to heal itself at its own pace. Reflexology is a holistic healing practice used to help promote health and well-being. Reflexology relaxes while stimulating the body’s own healing mechanisms.

This gentle, but powerful, therapy encourages the body to heal itself at its own pace.

Foot Reflexology was developed by Eunice Ingham in the 1930’s, building on the work of William H. Fitzgerald, M.D. There is some evidence that some form of Foot Reflexology was used as long ago as 5,000 years ago in Egypt. Foot Reflexology is an ancient form of “pressure treatment” and involves applying focused pressure to certain known “reflex” points located in the foot, which correspond to certain other areas in the body. Foot Reflexology is a science founded on the basis that areas of the feet are comprised of zones and reflex areas that correspond to all glands, organs, and bodily systems. Foot Reflexology is a technique whereby pressure is applied to these areas resulting in stress reduction.

About seventy-five percent of disease can be attributed to nervous tension, otherwise known as stress. Reflexology is known to relax the body and ease this tension by helping the body systems to work more effectively. When the body is balanced it has its own natural healing ability. Using Foot Reflexology promotes physiological improvements in the body. Some of the recognized benefits from receiving a Reflexology treatment include increased circulation, relaxation, and release of tensions. Reflexology can give you a complete feeling of relaxation and well-being.

It is amazing how accurately the feet reveal the state of the body. Often a persons physical conditions and symptoms can be identified through the congested areas of the feet that are detected during a session. For example, in working with someone who has sinusitis there is often tenderness in the sinus reflex areas on the feet. The physical results are often quick as a result of the treatment. Chronic conditions may take a series of regular sessions to provide improvement. Reflex points in the feet are massaged or stimulated to normalize the function of the body’s internal organs. Foot Reflexology works to bring balance to the system thereby supporting the body’s own healing abilities.

A Foot Reflexology session takes about an hour.

Benefits of Reflexology
By relaxing the body, tension is relieved and the circulation of blood and lymph is restored to its natural flow and all of the body’s processes function more efficiently.  Simultaneously, awareness of one’s body is heightened.  These effects have been observed to facilitate the natural healing processes of the body and enhance a person’s general health.

Reflexology works by reducing stress and tension in the body, so, it is very relaxing. It is relief of stress that produces the therapeutic benefits of reflexology. As your body relaxes, your blood and lymph circulation and nerve supply to your cells improve. Consequently the cells of the body get cleansed and nourished, and the glands and organs of the body are revitalized and rejuvenated. In this way reflexology creates an environment that allows the body to more effectively heal itself.

By reducing stress and tension, reflexology improves blood and lymph circulation, strengthens the functioning of the immune system, improves assimilation of nutrition and elimination of toxins, and calms the nervous system. In these ways, reflexology facilitates the body’s natural healing processes and thereby enhances the body’s health and vitality.

In general, the more frequently that you receive reflexology the more beneficial it will be for a health condition.

How Does Foot Reflexology Work?
Definition of Reflexology:
Foot reflexology is a method of stimulating reflex areas of the feet that relax and rejuvenate each and every part of the body including the glands and organs.  The stimulation of the microsystems has an effect on all the glands, organs and other parts of the body.  A microsystem is one part of the body that contains a reflection of the whole body.

Stress as a Cause of Illness: Chronic stress causes the part of the brain that controls the stress response (the hypothalamus) to constantly pump out stress hormones (cortisol).  Cortisol is the major steroid hormone produced by our bodies to help us get through stressful situations.  If you’re chronically stressed, the part of the brain that controls the stress response is going to be constantly pumping out a lot of stress hormones.  The immune cells are bathed in molecules which essentially tell them to stop fighting. So in situations of chronic stress your immune cells are less able to respond to an invader like a bacteria or a virus.

The professional practice of reflexology has been integrated into the mainstream provision of health care in China, Denmark and the United Kingdom.

History of Reflexology

REFLEXOLOGY RESEARCH
Reflexology has been shown to be effective on a very wide variety of health issues.  Following are a few select studies conducted by the Pacific Institute of Reflexology.  More can be found at:  http://www.pacificreflexology.com.

FOOT REFLEXOTHERAPY IN THE TREATING FOR DIABETES AND DIABETIC COMPLICATIONS – REPORT OF 215 CASES.
By Wang Haizhong, Foot Massage Clinic, Linqing City, Shandong, China

215 patients (118 males and 97 females) were treated for diabetes mellitus (DM) with foot reflexology therapy (FRT). Patients ages ranged from 36 – 70 years (mean = 53 years). The history of DM was 3 – 5 years in 27 patients, 5 – 10 years in 132 patients and 10 – 16 years in 56 patients. The hypoglycemic drugs were discontinued in mild cases and tapered gradually in severe cases. After 1 – 6 courses of FRT (10 days each), 130 cases (60.5%) became asymptomatic and normoglycemic; 80 cases (37.2%) were left with mild symptoms and nearly normal blood/urine glucose; while the remaining 5 cases (2.3%) stayed unchanged. A description of the FRT treatment strategy and, five typical cases were presented.

FOOT REFLEX ZONE MASSAGE ALLEVIATES SYMPTOMS INDUCED BY CHEMOTHERAPY IN PULMONARY MALIGNANT TUMOUR PATIENTS
By Li Long Yun and Associates, Associate Professor of the Union Hospital, China

Twenty-one subjects were used in this study. Nine in the control group received chemotherapy. Twelve in the treatment group received chemotherapy and Foot Reflex Zone Massage (FRZM). The treatment group received 30 – 40 minute FRZM daily for 12 days. It was concluded that FRZM might play an important role in alleviating gastrointestinal tract symptoms such as anorexia, nausea and vomiting, and, that FRZM was found beneficial in managing adverse side effects induced by chemotherapy in patients with malignant tumors.

REFLEXOLOGY, ASTHMA AND BRONCHITIS
Unpublished 1988, report available from FDZ Research Committee

Eighteen persons who suffered from asthma and bronchitis had received extensive medical treatment without real improvements were treated with reflexology. Two patients left the study; the remaining sixteen patients received ten reflexology sessions each. At the end of treatment 3 patients (18.75%) reported a complete cure, they no longer required spray treatments; 9 patients (56.25%) felt considerable improvement and could reduce their spray treatments from 8 – 10 x day to 1 – 2 x day; 2 patients (12.5%) felt better; 1 patient (6.25%) felt a little better, and, 1 patient (6.25%) felt no improvement.

REFLEXOLOGY AND THE PROSTATE
By Bauneholm School of Reflexology, Denmark

Forty-six participants, (14 aged 40 – 60, 32 aged 60 – 90), received thirteen foot reflexology treatments. Results showed that thirty participants (65%) experienced a reduction in their need to urinate, thirty-one participants (67%) experienced a better bladder pressure, thirty-seven (80%) experienced reduced sexual problems, and, twenty-eight (60%) experienced improvement of their general condition. It was concluded that reflexology can help prostate problems as improvements were noted in all reported parameters.

REFLEXOLOGY AND PAIN REDUCTION
Unpublished Report available through the FDZ Research Committee, Denmark

This study evaluated the effects of reflexology on shoulder, neck and head pain. Twenty-nine persons, 22 females and 7 males (aged 17 – 71 years) who had suffered from pain 6 months to 30 years (average = 10 years) were selected to participate from forty applicants. Three women withdrew before the end of the study. Each of the remaining 26 participants received 10 foot reflexology treatments. All 26 participants complained of neck pain before treatment. After treatment, 13 participants (50%) were pain free; 8 participants (30.77%) felt considerable effect; 2 participants (7.69%) felt little effect, and 3 participants (11.54%) felt no effect. Twenty-three of the 26 participants complained of shoulder pain before treatment. After treatment 8 participants (34.78%) were pain free, 10 participants (43.48%) felt considerable effect, 2 participants (8.70%) felt little effect, and 3 participants (13.04%) felt no effect. Twenty three of the 26 participants complained about headaches before treatment. After treatment, 11 participants (47.83%) were pain free, 6 participants (26.09%) felt considerable effect, 2 participants (8.70%) felt little effect, and 4 participants (17.39%) felt no effect from the treatment. Four participants felt pain reduction in other areas of the body, improvement in allergy and asthma symptoms, increased energy and increased well-being. Many (number not reported) participants reduced or eliminated their need for medication.

HAS REFLEXOLOGY AN EFFECT ON INFERTILITY?
By Leila Ericksen, FDZ Research Committee, Denmark

To determine the effect of reflexology on infertility 108 women under 35 years with no previous children, and that had attempted to become pregnant for more than two years were selected from 260 applicants. Forty-seven of the 108 withdrew. The remaining 61 women were given sixteen 45 minute reflexology treatments over a 7 – 8 month period. Treatments were given 2 times a week for 4 weeks, then 2 treatments before ovulation. Nine women (15%) became pregnant within six months after starting treatment. Of two thirds of the women who had menstruation problems 77% experienced an appreciable improvement, with the majority totally getting rid of the problems. Three quarters of all the women reported improvements in other ailments such as: muscle tensions, psychic imbalances, indigestion, poor circulation and general imbalance.

IS CHEST PAIN AFFECTED BY REFLEXOLOGY INTERVENTION?
By Margaret Rose Berker, Exeter University, UK

Four patients with chest pain for periods of 18 months to 13 years were treated with weekly 45 minute foot reflexology for eight weeks. Patients recorded in a diary before and after treatment: the number of episodes, the intensity, and, the duration of the pain. All subjects experienced positive results. It was decided to extend the reflexology by 7 weeks to continue the momentum of the improvements. All four patients returned after a period of months for 2 more sessions when some symptoms returned. After nine months, three patients now suffer no chest pain and the fourth had experienced a reduction in pain. The four patients had been prescribed a variety of medications, some of which was stopped or reduced during or after treatment.

TREATMENT OF ACUTE LUMBAR SPRAIN WITH MASSAGE OF THE REFLEX ZONES: A REPORT OF TWENTY CASES
By Xiao Zhengke, Hospital of Beijing College of Languages.

Twenty patients 35 – 55 years old, who suffered from acute lumbar sprain were treated with massage of the foot reflex zones. Duration of the problem was 2 hours in 18 cases, 2 days in one case and 15 days in one case. Five patients were cured (pain was eliminated, function restored to normal, no discomfort) after one treatment, 10 patients were cured after 5 to 7 treatments. During the treatment no drugs were used.