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Evidence shows that the ancient Egyptians, Chinese, Japanese, Russians, and Indians all worked on the feet as a tool to encourage good health. Originally known as ‘reflex zone therapy’, Reflexology is a holistic healing method that involves pressure and massage of the reflex points found on the feet and/or the hands. Reflexology teaches that one’s vital energy circulates between the organs of the body, permeating every living cell and tissue. If the energy becomes blocked or congested the part of the body relating to the blockage is affected. These reflexes found on the soles of the feet or the palms of the hands reflect the health of the whole organism. Through stimulation of the circulatory and lymphatic systems, and by encouraging the release of toxins, Reflexology supports the entire body in healing itself.
A method for ‘activating the healing powers of the body’, modern Reflexology is both a science and an art. As a science, it requires careful study, practice, technical knowledge, and skill. As a healing art, Reflexology works best when the therapist works with patience, dedication, intention, and (most importantly) loving care.
Reflexology is not a ‘foot massage’. Reflexology does not diagnose illness. Reflexology does not treat specific diseases. However, when combined with sound healing practices, reflexology can help to facilitate healing and encourage well-being.
Many benefits of Reflexology:
Stress Reduction and Relaxation- Reflexology assists in alleviating the effects of stress by inducing deep relaxation. The nervous system is allowed to rest and consequently functions in a more balanced state. As the body moves toward homeostasis, healing can take effect. Lavender essential oil is fabulous for decreasing stress and facilitating relaxation. 3-4 drops of therapeutic grade Lavender essential oil in the palm of your hand and then gently holding your friends or clients feet with the intention of sending them love and relaxation. Other relaxing essential oils include: Sandalwood, Frankincense, Blue Tansy, Rose, and Roman Chamomile. A lovely calming blend includes equal parts Lavender and Chamomile in the carrier oil of choice. Rose essential oil is fabulous for opening the energy of the heart.
Cleanses toxins and impurities from the body- Gravity pulls toxins downward. Inorganic waste material (such as uric acid and calcium crystals) can accumulate in bottom of the feet. An experienced Reflexologist can break up these crystals with various reflexology techniques. Soaking your friends feet in epsom salts with a few drops of essential oils can help to facilitate the release of old energy. This is a very healing therapy that is safe for elderly, pregnant, and children. Use ¼ to ½ cup of epsom salts in warm water. Add in 3-4 drops of essential oils and relax for half and hour. Foot baths are wonderful for those who have been ill or are exhausted. Aromatherapy baths are generally considered safe as long as the essential oils are properly dispersed throughout the water. Grapefruit, Geranium, and Juniper are all wonderful essential oils for detoxification.
Revitalizes energy- Reflexology works on with subtle energy flows to revitalize the bodies natural internal healing mechanisms. The epsom salt foot bath is also wonderful for revitalizing one’s overall energy. Choose essential oils that are uplifting such as Black Spruce, Bergamot, Rosemary, Rosemary blends nicely with lavender for clearing nervous exhaustion. Remember with essential oils that a little goes a long ways. You can always blend the oils with a small amount of carrier to ensure that the oils do not burn the skin. Bergamot is considered relaxing, calming and restoring. It may also help to lift depression as it encourages the flow of Chi (life-force). Always dilute Bergamot in a carrier before applying to the feet or skin.
Balances and integrates the body- as energy pathways are opened, strengthened, and brought into balance, the body returns to its natural rhythms. Energy flows. The body, mind, and spirit are brought back into balance. Rose essential oil is a wonderful oil for balancing and integrating the energy pathways of the body. Facilitate this healing by gently ‘anointing’ your friends feet with Rose oil and then along them to bask in the high vibration healing of this beautiful flower. Ylang Ylang essential oil is lovely for balancing one’s masculine and feminine energies.
Improves circulation- The feet are furthest from the heart (where circulation can tend to be stagnant); Reflexology stimulates and encourages blood flow to the feet thus helping to nourish all the extremities of the body. A non-toxic, non-irritating oil Spruce is an excellent choice for those with poor circulation. Ylang Ylang, Sweet Marjoram, and Lavender essential oil have been found to reduce blood pressure.
Preventative health care- Good health depends on balance, equilibrium, and the natural functioning of all the body systems. This dynamic state of balance is called homeostasis. For the body to function optimally, all systems must work in synergistic harmony. Body work in general and specifically Reflexolgy is a wonderful preventative healing technique. Trust your instinct when choosing a reflexologist or massage therapist. Ask a friend for referrals and be consistent in getting body work.
Nourishes practitioner and client- The Reflexologist is a conduit for healing. As healing takes place, the practitioner and the client both experience a sense of well-being. This well-being can carry into other areas of the clients and practitioners life and the dynamic benefit is then extended out into the world. Reflexology is an amazing and dynamic tool in assisting oneself and one’s client in becoming independently healthy. In my opinion as having both received and shared reflexology sessions with clients and friends, this method of healing is fantastic!
1) Feet First, a Guide to Reflexology; by: Laura Norman with Thomas Cowan, Simon and Schuster, New York, 1988.
2) The Complete Guide to Reflexology (Revised); by: Kevin and Barbara Kunz, (International) Reflexology Research, New Mexico, 1993.
3) The Joy of Reflexology (Healing Techniques for the Hands and Feet to Reduce Stress and Reclaim Health); by: Ann Gillanders, Little, Brown, and Com
pany, Boston and New York, 1995.