Reflexology is thought to have originated in China a few thousand years ago and it was also used by the ancient Egyptians. It was brought to Western society by an American Doctor called William Fitzgerald. What he did was to apply ten zones to the surface of the body and these zones were regarded as paths along which a persons 'vital energy' flowed, ending at the hands or feet. Therefore when pain was experienced in one part of the body, it could be relieved by applying pressure somewhere else in the same zone. The uses of reflexology are numerous. It is especially effective for the relief of pain (headaches, back pain and toothache), treatment of digestive disorders, stress and tension, colds and influenza, asthma, arthritis and many more.
It is also possible to predict a potential illness and either give preventive therapy or suggest that specialist advice be sought. The massaging action of reflexology creates a soothing effect that increases blood flow. This action benefits the whole body.
No form of medication is used in the practice of Reflexology. A person's vital energy is thought to follow certain routes along the body, connecting every gland or organ with a pressure point at the hands, feet or at another part of the body. When the available routes are blocked and a tenderness on the body points to such a blockage, this is an indication that there is an ailment somewhere else in the body. These routes can be cleared by the massaging of particular reflex points thus restoring the energy flow and healing any damage. Reflex massage causes a soothing effect that results in muscular and nervous relief.
For example the pressure of a finger applied to a particular point may create a sensation elsewhere in the body which will indicate a connection between the two points. This is the basis of Reflexology and although pain may not be eliminated immediately, continued massage will usually have a beneficial effect. On a warning note, there are certain conditions where Reflexology is not appropriate. These include diabetes, heart conditions, osteoporosis, disorders of the thyroid gland and phlebitis. It may also not be suitable for pregnant women. The recommended way to undergo Reflexology is by a trained therapist who will usually massage all of the reflex areas.
Although there have been very few large scale clinical trials to ascertain the efficiency of Reflexology, it is generally thought that it does little harm but much benefit.
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