By: Tyler Laducer L.M.T., C.R.
The best way to think of Reflexology is that it is a foot massage with a little flair to it. The flair that is added, acupressure, is used on specific areas of your feet to create relaxation and healing not only for the feet, but also for the body itself. The specific areas on the feet happen to correlate with the organs and systems of the body. The way that Reflexology works is by sending what’s called a “reflex arc” up the nervous system and into those correlating systems. Because of this there are five very surprising benefits that can occur after receiving a Reflexology massage treatment.
Several studies indicate that reflexology may have effects to reduce pain and psychological symptoms, such as stress and anxiety. Since it helps reduce these symptoms it can also enhance relaxation and contribute to more REM sleep for most people. The main culprits that cause stress are the adrenal glands which respond to stressful situations and release hormones that cause bodies to stay in a state of stress. Believe it or not these glands can be worked on through the foot with reflexology treatments.
Relief of tension headaches and migraines.Stress headaches can be relieved by also relieving the adrenal glands when talking about tension headaches and migraines though the best way to relieve them is working on structural areas. These are areas such as the spinal and neck reflex in the feet.
Digestive disorders can also be healed through reflexology, this covers both constipation and diarrhea as well. The entirety of the digestive tract can be worked through the foot, form the esophagus, into the stomach, and through the intestines which is beneficial to getting some relief.
Sports injuries and back pain. By using the spinal reflex it can help with both of these, obviously if there is a different area that has the sports injury that can also be worked upon. Knees, shoulders, and elbows just to name a few are common sports injuries that reflexology can affect.
Hormonal imbalances and menstrual disorders. The pituitary gland which is the called the “master gland” can cause most hormonal imbalances and by relaxing it and giving it some care can help regulate the imbalance being caused. By working on the ureteral reflex, menstrual disorders much like premenstrual syndrome (PMS) can be helped and healed.
Relieving stress and anxiety is key in today's society which makes reflexology a very helpful modality. These other symptoms and disorders can be very individualized, but may happen at any time to any one and keeping in mind what can help relieve these symptoms may be helpful. These are the five most surprising results of reflexology and there are still many other results that can occur during and after a reflexology session.
Tyler Laducer L.M.T., C.R. is a licensed massage therapist (LMT) and certified reflexologist (CR). He practices at Washington Park Chiropractic as the lead massage therapist and specializes in Sports massage, Medical massage, and Reflexology.