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Reflexology: Restoring Your Body’s Own Healing Abilities

written by: bcronin • edited by: Lisa Lambson • updated: 10/13/2009

Reflexology is an ancient form of healing dating back to ancient Egypt, China and India. Made popular in the United States by Eunice Ingham, foot reflexology, maps specific points on the foot to other parts of the body. Learn about the basic reflexology theories and benefits.

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    Reflexology: Restoring Your Body’s Own Healing Abilities

    Our world is full of toxins, stress and the increased need for “quick fixes”. We load our bodies up with foods that aren’t good for us, inhale toxins and live with higher stress levels than ever before; our health suffers and we turn to pharmaceuticals that only mask or even worsen the problem. Reflexology is a tool that can accompany traditional medical practices in restoring your body to health. Reflexology unlocks your body’s own innate healing powers.

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    Reflexology’s Beginnings

    Reflexology dates back to ancient days. Used widely in India, Egypt and China, evidence of reflexology (wall drawings) was even found in Ankhamor’s Tomb (The Physician’s Tomb).

    First introduced to the United States as Zone Therapy in 1913 by William Fitzgerald M.D., Zone Therapy, as it was called, was believed to have an anesthetic effect on the body. Dr. Fitzgerald believed that pressure on certain parts of the hands and feet had an anesthetic effect on other specific parts of the body.

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    Qi and Reflexology

    Reflexology manipulates the feet and hands using pressure and dry massage. The feet and hands are “mapped”; each part of the hand and foot corresponds to another part of the body. The theory is that pressure on these areas of the hands or feet stimulates blood flow to the corresponding body part. Energy flow increases and supplies of nutrients, nerve messages and blood supply helps to heal the part of the body in need. The body uses what it has to heal itself.

    Reflexology helps to restore the body to homeostasis or equilibrium. This means that the Qi or energy flow is unblocked. The reflexology theory believes the blockage of Qi impairs the body’s own innate healing abilities restoring this flow through hand and foot manipulation allows healing to begin.

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    Foot Reflexology

    Foot reflexology is particularly popular today. Introduced by largely by Eunice Ingham in the 1930’s, foot reflexology focuses pressure on the feet. Ingham was the first to map the feet to organs, glands and other vital body parts. The heel = lower back and intestines; arch of the foot = liver, pancreas and kidney; toe tips = head and much more.

    There are numerous benefits of reflexology. Studies by reflexology practitioners and users boast relief from disease (some report no change in condition). Following a foot reflexology session sore, tired feet are refreshed and feel great. Other benefits are:

    • Overall relaxation
    • Improved circulation
    • Cleansing of stored toxins
    • Stress reduction
    • Pain reduction
    • Improved sleep
    • Arthritis relief
    • Tension headaches are gone
    • Digestive disorders relieved

    A session usually lasts for about 45 minutes or one hour. Your practitioner should ask you a few lifestyle and health questions. Pressure is applied “dry” while you sit in a chair or lay on a table. Both feet are worked during a session.

    A quality practitioner can tell from manipulation, foot viewing and sensitivity where you may have problems. Calluses, bunions and other foot problems can indicate prolonged stress on other vital body parts.

    Today there are many places to turn for help with health issues. Many traditional medical practices, although valuable, often only mask the problem. For example pain pills only divorce the body from pain; the pain still exists. The use of pain pills is on the rise. Living in a healthy body that responds to illness and injury with its own cures and treatments is optimal. You’ll spend less money, feel better and actually treat the real problem.

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    Disclaimer

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