What is Reflexology?
Reflexology is a focused pressure technique, usually directed at the feet or hands. It is based on the premise that there are zones and reflexes on different parts of the body which corresponds to and are relative to all parts, glands and organs of the entire body.
How Does It Work?
When the reflexes are stimulated, the body's natural electrical energy works along the nervous system to clear any blockages in the corresponding zones. A reflexology session seems to break up deposits (felt as a sandy or gritty area under the skin) which may interfere with this natural flow of the body's energy.
Manipulating specific reflexes removes stress, activating a parasympathetic response in the body to enable the disharmonies to be released by a physiological change in the body. With stress removed and circulation improved, the body is allowed to return to a state of homeostasis.
Homeostasis is the "automatic" process that the body incorporates to bring it back to the "normal" state. For example, if the blood pressure is abnormal, the kidneys will secrete the enzyme renin which is involved with blood pressure, and the hormone, erythropoietin that increases the rate of red blood cell production.
What Are The Benefits?
Reflexology demonstrates four (4) main benefits:
Relaxation with the removal of stress.
Assists the body to normalize metabolism naturally.
Complements all other healing modalities.
Indications and Reasons for Referral:
Types of people seeking reflexology sessions are of all ages, but approximately 70% are females. These people are usually health conscious and wish to explore health alternatives. The vast majority of clients usually realize the benefits of reducing stress from a reflexology session which in turn minimizes physical symptoms.
Usually, referrals are made in conjunction with other existing forms of therapy to supplement ongoing medical treatments. Reflexology has been known to help clients deal with physiological symptoms such as the side effects of cancer chemotherapy.
Reflexology may be performed on everyone, from the newborn to the elderly. It can be used for a general "tune-up" or for an unhealthy body. It can be used throughout pregnancy, or pre surgically and post surgically. In all cases, common sense should be used in selecting this therapy.
Reflexes are worked according to the body’s requirements. Stress removal is the first priority; followed by enhanced circulation with attention paid to reflexes relative to the body requirements. Pressure exerted by the reflexologist usually ranges from 0 to 10 or 20 pounds. Common sense dictates when less pressure is required.
A firm pressure is used when working the reflexes of the feet. We work within the pain threshold of the client. As an indicator, use a scale from 1 to 5, with 1 being sensitive and 5 being painful. Encourage the person to let you know when they experience any discomfort, and adjust your pressure accordingly. Reflexology is not meant to inflict pain. You can test this on yourself by applying pressure on your arm until it becomes uncomfortable.
Communication with the client is essential. Ask whether the pressure is too light or too great. It is important to remember that when tender reflexes are located, they must be worked with a degree of pressure to effect the desired result. Massaging or pampering the foot may feel good but does nothing to stimulate the reflexes and to assist the body’s natural response to normalize the metabolisms. Well-worked reflexes prove to the client the necessity of pressure by the process that homeostasis has brought to the body. The reflexologist always works within the pain tolerance threshold of the individual.
A reflexologist always works within the pain tolerance threshold of the individual.
The client practices cleanliness.
The client sits comfortably in a reclining chair for the session for eye-to-eye contact with the reflexologist.
The client gives the reflexologist a completed and signed Reflexology Health Record (with consent given) and accepts responsibility for the session.
The client tells the reflexologist the pain tolerance threshold.
The client may enjoy the session and perhaps fall asleep.
The client is encouraged to rest upon returning home while the body is in the parasympathetic response.
It is suggested that the client drink a glass of water to help cleanse toxins released from a session.