Reflexology dates back thousands of years and has been used by many different cultures. It is a method in which there is a gentle pressure applied to the reflexes on the feet and hands to encourage a deep relaxation, to stimulate the body's own healing process and to achieve the restoration of the body to its natural state of balance.
Reflexology works on both physical and emotional well being. It is a therapy, which is based on energy that moves along the paths through the body called zones or meridians. The body has ten zones that run beginning at the top of the feet up to the whole length of the body. Disease is likely to occur when the energy channels are blocked. The right foot correspondents to the right side of the body and the left foot, the left side. The feet are the map of the whole body. Sensitivity in an area on either the feet or hands makes an inequality in the whole length of the zone. By means of stimulating these lines it will have a revitalizing effect on the whole body.
Reflexology is a natural healing art anchored in the belief that reflexes in the hands and feet correspond to every part of the body. Through the stimulation and application of pressure on the hands or feet, reflexology promotes specific bodily and muscular functions and increases the blood circulation.
The feet and hands are very sensitive, capable to detect pressure, exercise, stretch, and weight distribution. It uses the body to fight or flee in order to relax the body, with a full range of pressure sensors. It stimulates the flow of energy (Chi) and nerve impulses in the involuntarily, autonomic nervous system by way of applying massage, pressure, relaxation techniques with the use of the thumb, fingers, and other parts of the hands that provide constant or altering movements . A wave of force is passed on through the nerves that have been stimulated to move energy and heat to a connected part of the body.
The typical professional Reflexology session lasts 30 minutes to an hour. Removing the shoes and socks is required. Some reflexologists use a chair, while others use a table. Some of them use oil as part of the therapy, most do not.
The reflexologist uses pressure, stretch and movement techniques to work the foot in an orderly manner. The whole surface of the two feet is usually worked in a single reflexology sitting. The reflexologist will be working within the comfort zone of the patient to keep away from too much pressure that probably will cause harm or injury. It is essential for the patient to inform the reflexology therapist as regards the amount of pressure that is preferred. A great reflexology experience is supposed to leave an individual feeling comfortable and relaxed.