The best foot massage
Reflexology is a gentle art and a fascinating science that developed in the East over 5000 years ago. The western world has just begun to acknowledge its almost miraculous health benefits. This extremely effective form of therapeutic massage can be considered a real credit to Alternative health.
Perhaps the most obvious benefit with alternative health is the holistic approach, which is the idea of incorporation of mind and soul in addition to the physical body. Holistic health also begins to acknowledge the idea that the physical body is a direct reflection of the emotional mind. With this, Reflexology is a scientific art that works with the idea of holistic balance in the body.
The ultimate goal is to restore holistic balance in the body
The concept of balance has long been acknowledged by differing cultures in regard to health. The Chinese acknowledge it when they refer to yin and yang while conventional medicine speaks of the state of homeostasis in the body. Your parents use it when they ask you to keep a balanced diet or tell you not to over do it. It is a key essential in all areas of health, not just physical health. In fact ask any health practitioner, and they would agree that it is vital component when considering good health.
This is what Reflexology offers, a gentle non-invasive procedure that can identify imbalances in the body, be it an emotional imbalance or a physical imbalance. The feet are place where the Reflexologist uses special techniques to correct them with the goal of restoring total balance in the body.
The History of Reflexology
The history of Reflexology is not well documented though it seems the Chinese had proven its benefits long before the European and American folk proposed their theories. The Egyptians are partial to some influence and perhaps are the earliest uses of this ancient art, which means it has been used as early as 2500 B.C.
The Chinese discovered that the body is made up of 12 meridian lines with 2 special meridians lines known as vessels. These meridian lines run from the top of the head to the tip of the toe and are considered the energy channels of the body. These meridians are systems that allow the universal energy to move thorough the body organs. This may sound a little airy fairie but it has been proven.
Other acknowledgements include Dr William Fitzgerald who at the turn of the century began to describe the effects of something he called 'Zone Therapy'. The initial discovery came about accidentally when he seen that pressure applied to specific areas of the body caused a remarkable anesthetising effect on another area of the body, enough to perform small surgical procedures.
Fitzgerald's theory divides the body into 10 equal longitudinal zones running the length of the body from the top of the head to the tip of the toes, by doing this he was able to predict an affect on another part of the body. Fitzgerald had difficultly evidencing how this happened and was not well received by conventional medicine at the time.
Further work complied by Eunice Ingham, who has since been labeled the mother of reflexology went on to better prove what Fitzgerald had described. Ingham separated the foot from the rest of the body and experimented on people to prove its worth, this proved very successful.
What about Today
Reflexology is just beginning to take of in New Zealand. It offers a relaxing, non-invasive, gentle massage of the feet that has wonderful benefits for health.
A Treatment can cost anywhere between $45-55 and should take about one hour. Anyone can attend. People of any age, sex, the elderly, teenagers, everyone has something positive to gain from a treatment. Contact your local natural health shop to get an appointment.
Acupuncture, which has recently been acknowledged by conventional medicine as extremely effective works with the same theory as Reflexology. Acupuncture has just recently received the tick for ACC funding. Reflexology is also currently been considered WOW.
Not everyone agrees on the exact reflex points and the charts below reflect this. I suggest you take these public domain charts as 'rule of thumb' and use them when you find sore spots as a guide to likely problems.
In general terms:
- the balls of the toes represent the head, the stems of the toes, the neck.
- The ball of the foot, the chest cavity
- the arch of the foot, the abdominal organs
- the inside edge, the spine
- the heel, reproduction and elimination
Note, this is not an instruction to attempt practising reflexology.
Dougans, I (1996) Reflexology: Therapeutic Foot Massage for Health and Wellbeing: Element Books limited, Australia.