What is Reflexology?
Reflexology is a gentle technique, a highly effective form of therapeutic massage of the feet. As treatment it is classified in the field of "alternative medicine" treatment. It is considered to be a holistic healing technique which treats the person as a whole entity in order to bring about a state of balance and harmony in body, mind /spirit. Wholeness means that we are not simply a sum of muscles, vessels or neurons but all of them combined together, a set where all institutions are interrelated but at the same time interdependent.
The feet, connect us to the ground: this is the link between our earthly and the spiritual / cognitive live. We connect to the ground literally and figuratively. Our feet take us, place us, carry us, support us, every ‘moment’ and they do it in such a simple way that we usually ignore them, in essence we take them for granted and we do not pay attention to them, nor do we look after them. The motion that our feet give us, the feeling of well-being that movement gives us, the sense of freedom that results from this motion is one of the most valuable assets we have as humans. The constant motion and movement of people through the centuries is what keeps us alive and healthy, both physically and mentally.
In the legs we can find the most nerve endings which start from the brain travel throughout the body. All organs, glands and other body parts are positioned in such a way that they “synchronize“ together with the feet, the feet act as “reflexes” for all body parts (by the term “reflex” we mean an involuntary or unconscious reaction to a stimulus).
In reflexology, when we stimulate feet reflexes, we cause an involuntary reaction of the organs associated with these reflexes. Proper stimulation of these reflexes may significantly affect the health condition.
The aim of reflexology is to achieve balance in the body, which it is primarily achieved through relaxation.
The professional massage reflexology is used to identify which parts of the body do not function effectively. With proper treatment the body regains its balance and smooth operation.
What can reflexology do for us?
Reflexology is neither a magic form of healing nor a way of immediate treatment. Its role is to facilitate healing, help the body to activate its own healing energy but mainly it is to be used as a preventive method rather than a cure.
The human body is a complicated “machine” whose parts operate simultaneously and its functions are interrelated. If any part, even a small-is not working properly, then the overall efficiency of the body and mind is impaired, because everything is interdependent.
Reflexology can help reduce tension (stress): leads to relaxation and this in turn, helps the body to heal itself by strengthening the immune system and helps it to operate more efficiently.
Reflexology improves circulation: the good circulation relieves the body from toxins that accumulate when the endogenous purification systems (lymph, excretory) are not working properly.
Reflexology improves the nerve function (nervous system): the relaxation reduces the pressure on nerves and blood vessels, improving blood flow and supply of oxygen and nutrients to all body parts.
Reflexology and Acupuncture
The practices of both reflexology and acupuncture are based on the concept of «energy» channels, the two methods both argue that the vital energy runs through the body from head to toe "through" imaginary lines / channels. In acupuncture, these lines are known as ‘meridians‘, and in reflexology as ‘zones‘.
Diseases are caused by "blockages" along these channels of energy and treatment focuses on the removal of these obstacles by stimulating various points along the channels. In acupuncture needles are put into points scattered throughout the body. On the other hand Reflexology focuses on areas and parts of meridians (energy channels / lines) found on the soles and on the dorsal surface of the feet.
FREQUENTLY AND NOT SO FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. Who is reflexology good for?
Everyone can benefit from Reflexology, regardless of age. Eg. Children, adults and elderly.
2. How long is a session of reflexology?
And how often do you do it?
A session usually lasts 45-60 minutes. However, if a “short” session is desired, then 30 minutes is enough. The standard is once a week for 45-60 minutes. After a discussion between the reflexologist and the customer, it can be performed twice a week for 50-60 minutes. (Usually applied to cases were reflexology has rapid and positive results).
3. Are there different kinds of reflexology massage for different occasions?
No. The massage will be more "light", ie more smooth and relaxed when it comes to young children, elderly and pregnant women, in the cases were the human body is more “sensitive”.
4. Is reflexology a relaxing or healing massage?
Reflexology is both. It relaxes the body, and helps better function. This improvement works therapeutically. However, reflexology should have preventive results rather than therapeutic.
5. Is reflexology safe during pregnancy?
Yes, although it should be avoided for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, ie during this first period the body adjusts to the hormonal and other changes. After 12 weeks the future mothers find that reflexology helps them in dealing with fatigue, morning sickness and other symptoms of pregnancy.
6. Is reflexology safe for people with chronic diseases?
Yes. Reflexology can only do good and is known to significantly help in pain management. In these cases, massage should be particularly relaxing.
7. Can a patient do reflexology alongside chemotherapy?
Yes. Reflexology will help relax and deal with the fatigue of chemotherapy. Many hospitals abroad recommend reflexology to patients as part of their program.
8. Can I just perform reflexology by myself? How often?
Yes. Just find a convenient posture to facilitate the pressure on the soles. Every day some time is ideal.
9. Does reflexology have side effects?
No. Reflexology can calm the client while at the same time it gives a feeling of wellbeing and energy. Some people have a light headache immediately after, during and some hours after the session but it almost “immediately” goes away.
10. Is reflexology painful?
Not in general. Sometimes it can cause slight discomfort or pain some hours after the session when particular nerves in the soles are pressed / activated.
11. Does it matter if someone falls asleep during the session?
No. In this case, the reflexologist will make a more gentle massage and the client will awaken more rested and refreshed.
12. Is reflexology a science?
No. It is not rendered as science in the way western medicine is. It is an ancient therapy technique that has quick results and relieves pain. In recent years it has become widely known and popular and even accepted by the traditional medical community. It is used in several hospitals around the world.
13. Is reflexology a preventative method?
Yes. And it works preventively. Most people try reflexology after having been disappointed by other therapies. It is better to try reflexology before the problem occurs: preventive therapy, so as to have better health.
14. Is Reflexology useful in multiple sclerosis?
Yes. Reflexology helps to relieve and improve minor problems of the disease, such as spasticity, balance, unsteadiness, double vision, difficulty swallowing, constipation, fatigue, etc. thus improving the quality of the patient everyday life.
15. Can reflexology cause damage?
No. Even if someone who is not qualified massages our feet we will have a feeling of relaxation and relief.
16. Are there cases when we should not do reflexology?
1. If someone has just eaten it would be better to avoid doing reflexology until he digests.
2. In cases when someone takes psychiatric drugs, monitored by a psychiatrist / psychologist, in general, psychological problems.
3. In case someone has a metallic 'device' in some part of his/her body. (Eg, blades, etc.).
4. In case someone has just been released from hospital.
If you have problems with your posture, then a wide range of exercises and techniques will help you reduce stress levels, minimize or even eliminate pain in back and neck area, it will strengthen your core, improve posture and coordinate your movements. This can also help you improve your productivity in your job and well as your whole life in general.
Your personal trainer will achieve all of the above by helping you to improve balance and symmetry. As a direct result you will be able to achieve muscle relaxation easier, better flexibility, self-esteem and moreover you may also improve your immune system.