For those of you that have seen The Strength Agenda’s latest video on self massage, you may have noticed I talked briefly about Reflexology. If you haven’t seen it, go check it out then come back. After the video we received a lot of questions from people wanting to learn more about Reflexology. Of course we want to make our fans happy, so we scoured our ever- growing book collection and the world wide web to give you the low down on Reflexology: what it is, how it can help you, and where to find a place that provides this service?
What Is Reflexology?
Reflexology, also known as zone therapy, is an alternative medicine that employs the practice of applying pressure with your thumbs, or other tools that resemble this shape to specific areas of your hands, feet, or ears. The thought process behind this practice is that by applying pressure to these spots that correspond to various parts of the body, you can alleviate illness, pain or other problems you may be experiencing. The body is divided up into ten “zones” that correlate to these spots, five on the left and five on the right, that cover every part of the body. This is considered one of the oldest forms of natural treatment in the world and is based off of the scientific technique of pressure. This form of treatment has been around since the Egyptian times and the Chinese have been using this practice for the last 3,000 years because they believe it helps center their Qi (their word for life force flowing through energy channels, prounounced “chee”). It was then introduced in the U.S in the early 1900’s. These early forms of the practice had no specific correlations from points to parts of the body. Instead, the main idea was that by simply applying pressure there was an anesthetic on other parts of the body. During the 1930’s, a physiotherapist, Eunice Ingham, mapped out the zones of the body and where these specific points were on the feet and hands. This idea is the basis of what is practiced today in chiropractor offices, training rooms, and physical therapists’ locations all over the world.
Can It Help Me?
While there is research that both refutes and supports the claims of reflexology, the ailments it can used to heal are numerous. The main claim of reflexologists is that it balances the body and “coaxes” it into healing it self. It has been used to treat minor issues such as stress, anxiety, back pain, headaches, asthma, digestion and respiratory problems, and menopausal symptoms. There are also claims that is can help aide in the healing process for bigger issues such as pain from multiple sclerosis and cancer treatments. Notice I did not say it can treat these issue,s nor is it recommend that you use this practice in place of conventional drugs. Of all the research and information I dug up, there were numerous accounts of pregnant women saying it helped relieve pressure they felt in their feet and legs. Gentleman, keep that in mind to help out your future girlfriend or wife. Overall it seems to be a good option for any type of pain, pressure, or discomfort you are feeling. Just like chiropractic care or acupuncture, this is alternative medicine and therefore not for everyone.
Where Can I Find This Service?
Google is your best friend when it comes to finding a place that offers this service. Depending on where you are located, some insurances may be able to cover it, and regardless the costs are comparable to getting a massaged. But be careful when searching out a specialist. Not everyone that claims to be a reflexologist may be trained in the proper ways of employing this technique. Just like with anything you search out do your homework and make sure you aren’t getting one pulled over on you. I have often found that the best way to find information on topics like this are to ask around. Sure you will get some run around, but there are those few acquaintances you have that either know someone or have seen a specialist for the same reasons you are looking for one.
Just like with everything else we write about, Reflexology is just another option. It is not the end all be all of alternative medicine, but it may be able to help you in whatever you are having trouble with. This practice may leave you feeling better than ever, or you may feel the same as you did before. Either way it won’t hurt to give it a shot and if it’s not right keep searching until you find that one thing that works for you.