The Ancient Art of
Healing through the sole
Reflexology is a hands-on treatment whereby a trained individual known as a reflexologist using controlled pressure with their thumbs massages the reflexes on each foot during the treatment. This is a drug free treatment that has many benefits including relaxing and de-stressing the recipient on many levels.
So what is Reflexology? If the text books and ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs are to be believed, reflexology was the “spa” treatment of the ancient royals. That is proof of how reflexology was practiced by ancient cultures a long time ago. Somewhere I read that reflexology was a prelude to acupuncture in ancient China. Whether that is true of not I cannot say, however I do know reflexology is a form of acupressure. Why? Because of the pressure applied to the feet during a treatment.
It surprises me when someone asks with a perplexed look “what is Reflexology?” I have had a few individuals look really puzzled when I tell them I am a trained Reflexologist and give a brief explanation of the benefits one derives from a treatment. Recently, I had someone looked me straight in the eye and retorted, ‘who would want to work on people’s feet!’ After that encounter I decided it may help to share the origins and positive attributes of this wonderful relaxing ancient art that is widely used in Clinics and hospitals in Europe and which is catching on in North America.
A reflexology session is known to elicit complete relaxation and can de-stress the most anxious or stressed individual. “Working on the sole, calms the soul.” This wonderful ancient art has many positive effects on the nervous system and I am told it is one of the treatments of choice at Mount Sanai hospital used in their Breast Cancer recovery program. Hat’s off to their progressive approach to healing. Having volunteered at a Hospice many years ago offering Reflexology treatments, I experienced first-hand how reflexology helped each individual.
The oldest reflexology text book I know of was written by Maybelle Segal, R.N. R.D., Naturopathic Doctor (sometime in the ‘40’s). She practiced this ancient art on her clients/patients and went on to share her knowledge in a simple hand book called Reflexology in which she also shared the positive benefits of this drug free therapy. Some of which are:
Relieves migraines – Relieves Stress and promotes Relaxation – Relieves Menstrual Cramps
Helps with Post Surgery healing – Relieves sinus congestion – improves circulation for diabetics
Our feet mirror the state of our body and for every organ, gland, limb and body part there is a corresponding reflex on the bottom of the feet. (See chart below). Sometimes, when someone is having a treatment and pressure is applied to a certain area of the feet, the individual may feel the response in the area of the body corresponding to the reflex that is being worked on. That is validation that reflexology works on all levels of the body.
It is important to note that Reflexologist cannot diagnose, prescribe or treat for specific conditions. Reflexologist treat the body as a whole , working the entire areas on both feet and not one specific area. Clients are made to understand that reflexology is a complementary treatment and should see their physician for any concerns they may have regarding their health. To find a Reflexologist in your area, you may want to check out a holistic magazine such as Alive or simply go online.
I welcome your questions and especially your comments if you have had a reflexology treatment.