Reflexology is all in Your Foot... (or your hand)!
Have you heard of "reflexology" already? It gets bandied about, but maybe not everyone knows what exactly it is!
Quick definition: therapy consisting of pressing certain predetermined pressure points on the sole of the foot (and hands) to relieve pain and promote circulation...
...that's what makes it one of the holistic remedies.
Sounds pretty straightforward, doesn't it? But does it work? is there scientific backing? "Can I just rub my own foot?" the Health Hound wonders.
So, as usual, the Hound went sniffing around for more information about this alternative therapy. And here it is for you:
Working with a Map
Yes, these practitioners (reflexologists) have maps to show where specific pressure points on the hands and feet correspond with -- and connect with -- bodily organs and glands. Just watch Karen Frasier in the video below as she demonstrates for Expert Village how to read the reference chart. Audio quality is a bit rough, but explanation is clear. Run time, about a minute and a half.
Stimulating pressure points has been found helpful for:
proper bowel function
allergy symptoms, and
chronic fatigue syndrome.
If you want to know the Origins....see page on Historic roots. (which the Health Hound will be writing next!)
A typical visit to a reflexologist takes about 40-45 minutes for the feet; this may be followed by a 15-minute hand therapy session. To read more...
A safe practice, this foot stimulation may even be done by you on your own soles, in a limited form, whenever desired. Its ultimate purpose is to promote wellness; basically, it's a form of preventive therapy.
Warning: diabetes patients and pregnant women! You may want to avoid this treatment...it has accidentally induced labor. Be sure to consult with a reflexologist in order to determine the safety and appropriateness of reflexology therapy for your specific health problem or condition.
What the Research Says and Global Acceptance
In 1993, the first controlled trial was performed, and has been documented in medical journals. Currently, this therapy is practiced worldwide at different levels of medical care. In Russia, for example, only licensed physicians may legally perform this treatment. In contrast, the practice is a commonplace home-style remedy in the Netherlands.
The Internet "Home of Reflexology" (I'll use "Ref." for short.) lists at least 66 professional organizations worldwide, including New Zealand and Malaysia. Associations include the following:
Israeli Ref. Association
Chinese Society of Reflexologists
Academy of Ref. Austria
International Council of Reflexologists (whose headquarters are in San Diego, USA)