Reflexology…. one of the fastest growing complementary therapies in the world…….this ancient therapy has been around since the Egyptians. It is depicted on the walls of the physician’s tomb at Saqqara, Egypt dating back to 2330 B.C
Modern Reflexology evolved from the work of two American physicians, Dr. William Fitzgerald and Dr. Joe Shelby Riley in the 1920′s. Together they experimented with dividing the foot into vertical and horizontal planes and linking sections to body areas. Eunice D. Ingham, a physiotherapist, worked closely with Dr.’s Fitzgerald and Riley and developed their knowledge into a usable therapy and reflexology map. Eunice Ingham was responsible for teaching groups of people her method of Reflexology in the late 1930′s through the early 70′s. The Ingham method is perhaps the most widely practiced method in the world today.
A Reflexology Treatment is immensely relaxing and non-invasive (only footwear needs to be removed), and the only tools used are the therapists hands & maybe some cream/oils or talcum powder. During treatment the entire area of the foot is stimulated, therefore relaxing the muscles and increasing the efficiency of circulation.
Reflexology improves nerve and blood supply throughout the body, and reduces stress by bringing the body into a state of deep almost trance-like relaxation, which is highly therapeutic in an age where high stress is a constant state for most people. Energy is able to flow unhindered, and the result is a feeling of total well-being.
In this fast-paced world, we rarely give our feet a second thought. We take these two amazing structures of engineering for granted until something goes wrong. The emphasis is more on pedicures and making them look good in high heeled shoes. These, often ill-fitting shoes can result in problems such as hammertoe, bunions, corns and calluses, not to mention the damaging effect it can have on the back. It’s only when blisters, calluses, cuts, bruises, sprains or aching feet impede our daily frenetic activities, that it brings our attention back to our feet.
Very few people really understand the power of Reflexology. There is nothing quite so relaxing for most people as having their feet touched. Many of us suffer from ‘skin hunger’, especially those who are isolated from family and friends, but even those who are too ‘busy’ to give healing touch much thought.
It is especially effective for those who feel stressed, anxious, overwhelmed and unable to cope with life. Our feet are not only the foundation of our physical body, they also hold the key to returning our body to a state of balance from where it can then heal.
All glands, organ and parts of your body have corresponding reflex points on your feet. With an estimated 100,000 – 200,000 nerve endings in the feet (according to the Barefoot Professor – Daniel Howell M.D author of the Barefoot Book), your feet are among the most nerve rich parts of your body. Due to gravity, the toxins or waste products accumulate on these nerve endings. As the calcification becomes greater, it upsets the communication between the brain and various parts of the body which in turn upsets balance and harmony, leading to disease. By working these reflex points, a qualified Reflexologist can break down the calcifications which encourages an opening and clearing of neural pathways. Reflexology is based on Zone Theory, the theory that there are ten energy pathways…five on each side of the body, running down from the head to the toes. The belief is that any blockage affects all of the organs and glands in that zone. Illness in one of the zones imbalances the entire body which then tries to compensate. Without balance and harmony, the body becomes even more stressed. Bringing homeostasis back to the body through stimulation of the feet is one of the goals of a Reflexologist.
After effects may include various symptoms of detoxification e.g. headaches or a runny nose, but most people go away feeling relaxed, yet energised.
Connie is a Certified Reflexology Practitioner, HeartSpeak and Shell Essence Practitioner and Professional Member of the Reflexology Association of Australia who loves working with anyone who is ready to let go of whatever no longer serves them: www.conniehardyreflexology.com
Louise is a Professional Member Reflexology Association of Australia amongst many other qualifications. Zen Reflexology offers non-judgemental, practical treatment that nurtures and supports your own innate healing with gentleness and compassion: www.zenreflexology.com.au