Joanne Davies Reflexology
What is reflexology and how does it work?
What is reflexology and how does it work?
HISTORY OF REFLEXOLOGY
Reflexology is an ancient therapy and has been around for over 2000 years and was practiced by Egyptians, Chinese, Indian and Native Americans. But the science of modern Reflexology practiced today was developed by Dr. William Fitzgerald, an American Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) surgeon in the 1920's and was known as ZONE THERAPY, as Dr. Fitzgerald divided the body into 10 vertical equal zones. Later in the 1930's Eunice Ingham an American Physiotherapist, mapped the reflex zones onto the feet and Reflexology was based based on the observation that tension in the foot corresponds to tension or congestion in the related part of the body.
WHAT IS REFLEXOLOGY?
Reflexology is a non-intrusive complementary therapy based on the principle that different zones, points and reflexes on the feet, hands, face and ears, which relate to the internal organs, glands and other structures of the body. By stimulating these reflex points, through using massage techniques with fingers and thumbs to stimulate these reflex points. Specialised techniques are used on the reflex points which creates changes in other parts of the body to help to restore health, overcome illness and correct imbalances in the body . It encourages the body’s own natural ability to heal and regenerate itself on a physical, emotional and spiritual level. For me it's like switching a computer off and on, a reset, just holding space to breath and relax.
Reflexology is a touch therapy; by making hand contact with the clients feet, hands, face and ears
WHO IS REFLEXOLOGY SUITABLE FOR?
Reflexology is suitable for all ages, but being mindful of contraindications a full health and wellbeing consultation will be assessed prior to your appointment. Reflexology is not a substitute for medical intervention and its important that for any medical conditions, diagnosis is made by a medical professional. As Reflexologists, we cannot claim to cure, prescribe or diagnose, but we do believe it is a great opportunity to re-balance, relax and restore mind, body and spirit, holistically.
WHAT DOES REFLEXOLOGY DO?
Reflexology is an incredible relaxing, non-invasive therapy which can alleviate everyday stress and tension, improve circulation and in turn bring about an overall sense of well-being. Reflexology may help with many ailments that are acute, as well as chronic. It can also help to manage life’s challenges, helping to re-balance then mind, body and spirit, helping your body get back to its normal balance and promote healthy circadian rhythms.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
There are several theories of how reflexology works:
Reflexology Works With The Central Nervous System
Research in the 1890's by Sir Henry Head and Sir Charles Sherrington, showed that a neurological relationship exists between the skin and the internal organs, and that the whole nervous system adjusts to a stimulus. By applying pressure to feet, hands, or ears sends a calming message from the peripheral nerves in these extremities to the central nervous system, which in turn signals the body to adjust the tension level. This enhances overall relaxation, brings internal organs and their systems into a state of optimum functioning, and increases blood supply (which brings additional oxygen and nutrients to cells and enhances waste removal). It positively affects the circulatory, respiratory, endocrine, immune, and neuropeptide systems in the body.
Reflexology reduces pain by reducing stress and improving mood
Another theory that may also explain how Reflexology can produce pain relief is the gate control theory, or, more recently, the neuromatrix theory of pain. This theory suggests that pain is a subjective experience created by your brain. The brain does this in response to the sensory experience of pain, but it can also work independently of sensory input and create pain in response to emotional or cognitive factors. Thus things that influence the brain, such as mood or external factors like stress can also affect your experience of pain. According to this theory, reflexology may reduce pain by reducing stress and improving mood.
Reflexology keeps the body’s “vital energy” flowing
Yet another theory holds that there is a "vital energy" in the human body. If stress is not addressed, it leads to congestion of energy, which in turn causes bodily inefficiencies, which can lead to illness. According to this theory, reflexology helps keep the energy flowing.
The recognition of reflexology as a specific type of treatment began with Zone Theory, in which the body is divided into 10 vertical zones. Each zone corresponds to fingers and toes all the way up to the top of the head.