Reflexology is a natural, holistic, non-invasive therapy performed on the feet or hands using special manipulations with varying degrees of thumb or finger pressure to provide benefits at a physical and emotional level.

Reflexology can negate the effects of stress while it helps the body relax. Through the relaxation process the body is more capable of dealing with the stresses placed on it by daily living and those associated with illness.

Reflexology gently ‘nudges’ the body towards better functioning by improving lymphatic drainage and venous circulation, stimulation to the nerve pathways, and muscle relaxation.

Dr Joseph Riley and his assistant physiotherapist Eunice Ingham (1879 – 1974) ‘mother of modern reflexology’ observed that the reflexes on the feet are a mirror image of all the organs, glands and parts of the body linked by energy pathways. Eunice worked on mapping the entire body on the feet into five zones and developed the reflex points. The Chinese practice of acupuncture and Japanese Shiatsu similarly use meridian points.

The feet are the most responsive areas for working the zones because they are extremely sensitive. Imbalances in the body – congestion, inflammation or tension – can be detected in the foot and may be experienced by the client as a sharp or dull pain and by the therapist as a ‘gritty’ area. This sensation mirrors an imbalance in the corresponding part of the body, so by applying pressure, it stimulates the movement of energy along the pathways and effectively treats to restore balance and well-being.

Also read article under Archives for October 2006