Reflexology is a form of alternative medicine that is based on the belief that a person’s hands and feet have ‘zones’ or reflex areas that correspond to each organ of the body, and that these organs can be healed by applying pressure to the corresponding zone on the hands or feet. Reflexology may appear new to one who hasn’t heard of it before, but the truth is that it has been in practice since ancient Egypt and China, although it was popularized in the U.S. by Dr. William H. Fitzgerald, Dr. Edwin Bowers and Eunice D. Ingham.
A reflexologist uses a foot chart to identify the parts of the feet that correspond to the various systems and organs of the body. He then applies pressure on the relevant area, usually without any oil as is commonly used in massages. The understanding is that this pressure sends signals to the nervous system which initiate a healing of the respective organ or system. A reflexology session usually leaves people feeling relaxed and calm.
The effects of reflexology on serious illnesses like cancer have mixed reviews, but several people have relief from common everyday ailments with reflexology. Here are 7 common ailments that can be healed with reflexology.
Headaches are probably the most common everyday ailment ailing adults in the urban world. Causes are several including eye strain, stress, improper sleep, low blood sugar etc. In reflexology, the big toe is connected to the brain, so this toe is massaged first, followed by the tips of the remaining toes.
2. Menstrual Cramps
You can skip the pills now; reflexology can save you from those dreaded pains every month. The areas corresponding to this are on the inner and outer parts of the ankle, corresponding to the uterus and vagina in women.
For digestive problems, the main areas targeted are the bottom third of the foot. These are considered to correspond to the location of the small intestine and colon. You can also place a small ball between your palms with your fingers interlocked and rub the ball with your palms for a few minutes.
4. Back Pain
The inside edges of both feet are the go to places for lower back pain, along with the heel. Stick to the top of the feet below the toes for upper back pain. On the hands, go along with the outer areas of the palms, starting with the right hand and then moving on to the left.
Having problems with sleep usually indicates a pituitary that isn’t fully functional. The big toe comes into play again, but this time, the middle of the toe will be targeted from below. Another reason is stress, so servicing the stress zones of the feet will also help.
6. Knee Pain
The knee joint is the biggest joint in the body and also the most vulnerable to injury, especially as we age. The reflex area for the knee joint is located on the corresponding leg, an inch below the ankle bone.
7. Common Cold
It doesn’t get any more common than this! A cold doesn’t have one sole reflex point, since it usually manifests itself with multiple symptoms. The chief areas of interest here are the sinuses and lungs. The sinuses are on your little toes, so applying pressure on them will relive any headache. The lungs are on the balls of the corresponding feet, stretching across the area from the second to the fourth toes.
As always, get your doctor’s advice before trying out reflexology, especially if you’re pregnant, have circulation problems or other illnesses like diabetes. Getting your treatment from a certified reflexologist is certainly the best way to reap its benefits, but you can do it at home too. Just be sure to use gentle yet brisk pressure, or else you might get too tickly. This is also a lovely bonding opportunity for you and your partner; your ailment is healed and your relationship is strengthened.
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