Reflexology is a focused practice of energy healing. It is similar to massage in that there is active massage, but it is mostly limited to the feet and/or hands. It also bears a resemblance to acupressure, but again that’s not quite it either.
Reflexology is its own specialized practice. It works on the principle that our feet, our hands, and even our ears act as a road-map to the entire human body; our muscles, bones and internal organs can be treated using Reflexology.
Using a reflexology chart as the guide, or road-map if you will, the reflexologist will massage the pressure points illustrated in the chart to affect the desired results. It is a form of energy healing, and as with other forms of energy work, Reflexology helps to bring the human energy field back into balance.
A body that is out of balance can be a harbor for dis-ease and illness. Anyone can look at a reflexology chart and begin to help themselves be free from pain and stress by gently manipulating and massaging the specific area that corresponds to their particular discomfort.
What is Reflexology Mapping?
The highways, roads and trails available to the Reflexologist are shown on a reflexology chart or map. The reflexology chart illustrates specific pressure points that correspond to areas within the human body.
For example, the sciatic nerve corresponds to a place on the foot about one inch up from the bottom most part of the heel. It runs in a strip from one side of the heel to the other and when gentle massage is applied, it may relieve pain and spasms from the sciatic area of the lower back.
Is Reflexology safe During Pregnancy?
Reflexology and pregnancy belong together. What a wonderful way for mom-to-be to relax and pamper herself and her unborn child. Whatever benefits mom receives serves to benefit her baby as well. So, a person should just keep a few things in mind then, lay back, relax and enjoy the pampering.
A few things a Reflexologist should know when working with a pregnant woman:
- Avoid the ankles – there are several pressure points to stay away from when working near the ankles. A well-versed Reflexologist will know where to work, and where not to.
- The pregnant woman should be past the first trimester of pregnancy, and reflexology should not be performed past the 35th week of pregnancy.
- Reflexology tools should not be used. Stick with the hands to massage the feet.
- A pregnant woman should check with her doctor before scheduling a Reflexology appointment.
Foot Reflexology and Hand Reflexology – Let’s Compare
Are you wondering what the difference is between reflexology for the hands and for the feet? While reflexology is usually thought of as a practice performed on the feet, there are specific treatments that can be used when working with the hands.
When you observe a map or chart of the reflexology points on both the hands and the feet you will find similarities in the locations of certain pressure points for organs and muscles groups. For example, the tips of the finger and the tips of the toes are both access points for the sinuses.
It is not necessary to use reflexology massage on both the hands and the feet, but it is not uncommon during a professional treatment to be treated to both hand and foot massage. A trained reflexologist will likely stimulate the pressure points on the ears as well.
It is also not uncommon for a nail technician to know the reflexology points and to use them during the hand massage portion of the manicure treatment. That same nail technician might know just where to massage the foot during a pedicure to release tension or ease other indications.
Reflexology points are taught at many beauty schools, but not necessarily all. Don’t expect your nail tech “knows” where to apply pressure to relieve your headache. Reflexology is an intuitive practice as well, and is often used by many people without them even being aware of it.
Reflexology for Headaches
It is not necessary to see a trained Reflexology professional when seeking relief for a headache. Although chronic headache sufferers may find that regular reflexology appointments lessen the frequency and the intensity of headaches.
When working with reflexology headache relief is a practice that an individual may do for themselves. If you are able to get to your feet, remove your shoes and stockings, squeeze each toe and apply steady pressure to whatever area of the foot feels good.Often the intuitive way, or finding the place where it feels good, locates the proper trigger points and allows the pain to release.
To use hand reflexology for headaches, take the thumb of one hand and press it firmly into the palm of the opposite hand. Then take each finger in succession and press the tip into the palm. Do this with both hands. Because the trigger points for the head are located within the tips of the fingers this should cause the headache to release.
Typically reflexology practices do not carry side effects as such, but as with all energy practices it moves the body’s natural energy. This may cause thirst, diarrhea or restlessness in a person who is unfamiliar with the treatments. These mild symptoms are suppressed over a short amount of time and will decrease in intensity with each successive session. As with any energy related practice, be sure to take in plenty of fluids to flush the toxins from the body.
Reflexology is a fun and relaxing way to better health and when practiced regularly may be able to keep common ailments from becoming debilitating illnesses or disease.