Reflexology is the application of appropriate pressure to specific points and areas on the hands, feet or ears. Reflexologists claim that a system of zones and reflex areas exist, reflecting an image of the body on the feet and hands, with the principle that work on these areas effects a physical change to the body. Through the application of pressure on these reflex zones, without the use of tools, creams or lotions, the feet being the primary area of application, reflexology reduces stress, relieves tension, improves circulation and the immune system and also helps promote the natural function of the related areas of the body.
To represent how the body systems correspond to one another, reflexologists use reflexology “maps.” A good example of a reflexology map exists for the feet. Each foot represents a vertical half of the body:
• The left foot corresponds to the left side of the body and all organs, valves, etc. found there.
• The right foot corresponds to the right side of the body and all organs found there. For example, the liver is on the right side of the body, and therefore the corresponding reflex area is on the right foot.
A reflexologist may perform a general, integrated session, or may focus on specific problem areas on the feet, hands or ears. For example, if time is limited and the person really needs to relax, the reflexologist may choose just to work on the ears. When points are found to be tender to pressure, they are worked upon for longer periods, in order to stimulate such an area. Whatever the approach, the reflexologist attempts to release congestion or stress in the nervous system and balance the body’s energy. The normal time it will take a practitioner to work on both feet would be an hour, but that would also depend on what is done for the client. A detailed medical history should be recorded during the first reflexology session.
When the reflexologist works on the feet, the sensations range from the feeling that something sharp is being pressed into the foot, to a dull ache, discomfort, tightness or just firm pressure. Sensitivity varies from person to person and also from treatment to treatment. As the treatment progresses, the tenderness should diminish as balance is restored in the problem areas. One body part is completed totally before moving on and both feet are treated alternatively in a smooth and even way. No matter what the sensations are like, Reflexology is always effective and should leave the client feeling light, tingly and pampered.
Reactions to a Reflexology treatment can differ…
People differ and so do reactions to a Reflexology treatment. On a whole, reactions immediately after a treatment are pleasant, leaving the clients relaxed, energised and rejuvenated. Reflexology activates the body’s own healing power and some form of a “bad” reaction is inevitable as the body rids itself of toxins. This is referred to as a “healing crisis” and forms part of the cleansing process. The response of toxins being released can manifest itself as increased darker and stronger-smelling urination, flatulence and more frequent bowel movements, aggravated skin conditions, increased mucous secretions, disrupted sleep patterns, dizziness, nausea, tiredness and headaches. Some clients may also become emotional and could have an overwhelming desire to weep.
Reflexologists never diagnose diseases, prescribe or adjust medication. They do not treat specific diseases, although by bringing the body back to a state of balance, Reflexology helps to eliminate problems caused by disease. Tender reflexes indicate which parts of the body are congested. It is important to be aware that this “diagnosis” merely indicates which parts of the body are congested, not specifically named disorders.
We offer reflexology treatments here at the African Health Spa. so do yourself a favour and book a treatment when you visit us in the bush!
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