Many discoveries has been made in various fields by man in Twentieth century and one such discovery of the century is the relationship of the feet with the body. According to this discovery, the whole body is mirrored in the feet, each organ or gland of the body has a reflex point in the feet. Internal disorder of any part of the body expresses itself in the form of pain or discomfort feeling at the reflex point in the feet when pressure is applied. Working on the reflex points in the feet is of great therapeutic value. This therapy is called Foot Reflexology.
Reflexology is a Holistic treatment. In the day to day life of cut throat competition, stresses are many. We have to face all sorts of pollution, of air, water, food and sound etc. We also have to face viruses and bacterial infections. It seems difficult at various stages of life to maintain the balance between mind and body, which is defined as health. The whole body including mind is to be taken care of Reflexology does exactly that. The goal is to restore homeostasis.
“Reflexology is a method for stimulating the reflexes in the feet to cause reactions in corresponding parts of the body. The reaction could best be described as relaxation or a return to equilibrium or homeostasis.” With specific hand and finger techniques , reflexology causes responses (relaxation) in corresponding parts of the body. Relaxation is the first step to normalization, the body’s return to a state of equilibrium or homeostasis, where circulation can flow unimpeded and supply nutrients and oxygen to the body cells. With the restoration of homeostasis, the body’s organs , which are actually aggregations of cells, may then return to a normal state or function as well. One’s state of health depends upon this ability to rebound to homeostasis after a trauma or challenge i.e. injury, disease, stress etc. So we can say that it is the very purpose of reflexology to trigger this return. Since stress and disease are ongoing facts of life for most of us, reflexology, in addition to its therapeutic uses, can serve as a preventive program. It enables each individual, on a daily basis, to help his or her body restore and maintain its natural state of homeostasis.
If the body is subject to regular doses of stress over an extended period of time (as most are ), the effects are cumulative and it becomes more an more difficult to return to homeostasis.
To understand little more on Reflexology front , here are some more points as follows :
- Reflexology is a natural healing
The tendency of the body is to restore normalcy. The self healing and self repairing mechanism is within the body. Whenever there is any blockage or problem in the working of this mechanism, we make use of the repair kit provided by the nature in the feet .It is the body that cures itself.We with the help of REFLEXOLOGY only help nature to help us.
- Reflexology causes relaxation
The modern estimation is that 80 to 90 % of diseases are caused by frequent, excessive and prolonged tensions. The answer to this stress and tension is relaxation. Reflexology alleviates the effects of stress by inducing deep relaxation. It helps in improving the blood circulation thereby creating an even flow to the nerves.
- Reflexology improves blood circulation
By giving pressure treatment on the tender reflexes in the feet, the corresponding body organs/glands get improved blood supply. Improved circulation can prevent the stagnation that leads to disease and also helps in the removal of wastes, accumulation of which hinders health.
- Reflexology improves nerve supply
Nervous system is the control system of the body.if there is a blockage of nerve impluses to any part of the body it can cause a disorder. FR causes unblocking of nerve impluses.
There are some special features to make it effective and special therapy worth mentioning are :
• Treatment is safe.
• Treatment is simple.
• Treatment is free from side effects.
• Treatment gives lasting cure.
• Diagnostic value
• Treatment has compatibility with other forms of treatments.
• Treatment is economical.
• Treatment can be helpful as preventive treatment.
• Treatment is beneficial for all ages.
• Treatment can be a first aid in emergencies.
Some general benefits are that reflexology:
- reduces stress and tension
- improves circulation
- balances the nervous system
- boosts lymphatic function thereby reducing oedema, reducing toxicity and improving immunity
- stimulates sluggish, congested systems
- reduces pain
- enhances the body’s natural healing process, improves sleep, increases energy and vitality
- promotes body awareness
Relaxation is the first step to better health. Reflexology , due to its profoundly relaxing nature, can bring relief directly to the area of the body where tension is held thereby easing and relieving symptoms. Regular sessions work gently to bring the entire body back to a state of wellness.
- Side to side
- Hook in the ankles
- Spinal twist
- Slip hand (Foot stretching)
- Ankle rotation
- Toe rotations
- Lung press
- Foot feathering: Solar plexus, diaphragm (feather touch)
- Foot feathering: vertical movements covering full feet.
Reflex working techniques:
- Thumb walking
- Finger walking
- Holding the foot
- Evaluating/Examining the feet
- Preparing touch (preparation of working hands)
- Evaluation through body systems
|Right Foot||Left Foot|
|Adrenal gland||Adrenal gland|
- Pituitary: Known as master gland because apart from producing its own hormones, it has enormous influence on many of the endocrine glands and monitors their activities working as chief regulator i.e. supervising the other glands. They control skeletal growth (structural growth such as body height), growth and development of gonads, secretion of milk by memory glands, contraction of womb after delivery, acts as a break on kidneys, regulates the arteries of the heart and body, water balance, blood pressure, sexual maturation, & reproduction and control the body temperature.
- Adrenal glands: “Fight or Flight” hormone. It stimulate heart action, releases glucose, raises the blood pressure and increases the circulation of the blood to the muscles. It relaxes air passages, stimulates breathing and prepare the body for action. Controls the water and mineral (Sodium, Potassium) balances to help the operations of the muscles. Produces cortisone which aids in reducing inflammation, Prevents stress, helps body to fight against fatigue. Works very well to fight against any allergies.
- Thyroid: Speeds up and slows down bodily activities. Iodine, required for growth and development of the body is stored in this gland. Helps in mental development, promotes functional activities of sex glands and adrenals, enhances muscle tone, helps in functioning of nervous system, controls texture of skin and lustre of hair. Works for weight loss or overweight, nervousness, control of heartbeat, dryness of skin, control of cholesterol level of blood and mental sluggishness.
- Para-thyroid: Controls the level of Calcium and Phosphorus in the body.
- Pancreas: Produces digestive juices and enzymes. Produces insulin which controls the glucose (energy food) level in the blood (in case of diabetics)
- Reproductive organs: Produces hormones used by adrenal glands in helping the body cope with allergies, maintain sexual urge and mental vigor and physical development.
Regulates rapid muscular and secretion (lubrications) activities of the body.
Brain: Left controls right half of the body and vice-versa. It controls both the voluntary and involuntary system of the body. In simpler words, it control the central nervous system and the endocrine system, to control the complex activities of the whole body.
Spinal cord and spinal nerves: Supports the head, provides attachment to the ribs. There are 5 groups: Cervical (7), Thoracic (12), Lumbar (5), Sacrum (1), Coccyx (1).
The cervical nerves control the neck and arms. The thoracic portion provides to the chest. The lumbar nerves are distributed to the lower extremities, the legs and feet, and the sacral nerves mainly supply the organs of the pelvis, the pelvic and buttock muscles.
Digestive System: It takes the complex molecules of our food and breaks them down into simpler forms for the body’s operations.
Stomach: A neutral organ, part of the digestive tract. Most of its common problems originate elsewhere. Emotional stress or tension affects the stomach first.
Liver: Body’s largest gland plays a very important part in digestion, as anything absorbed from the stomach is carried first to the liver for detoxification. Therefore, it gets a higher concentration of poisons than other organs. It stores glucose, proteins, fats, minerals and vitamins for later use. Bile is secretion of the liver, which helps break down proteins, carbohydrates and particularly the fats to prepare them for absorption into the blood system. Bile also lubricates the digestive tract.
Gall Bladder: It is embedded in the liver and acts as a store house for the bile, releasing it as needed. It emulsifies the fat making it easy to digest.
Pancreas: Produces digestive juices and enzymes. Produces insulin which controls the glucose (energy food) level in the blood (in case of diabetics)
Small Intestine: First part of the small intestine is duodenum where the digestion of food is brought near completion. It propels the food along the digestive tract.
Large Intestine: It consists of ascending, transverse and descending colon (including sigmoid and rectum). It absorbs water and electrolytes from the waste material and stores fecal matter until it can be expelled.
Ileocecal valve: It’s a passage way between the small and large intestine. Its principal function is to prevent back flow of fecal contents from the colon into the small intestine. It is responsible for the control of mucus (e.g. sinus and lung problems).
Urinary System: It is the chief disposal unit of the body.
Kidneys: are the chief organ of the urinary system, regulating fluid in the body and purifying the blood. Filtration in the kidneys begins with the straining of fluid from the blood. They regulate the acid/alkaline balance the body’s fluids, stimulate the production of RBC when needed, watch over the amount of salt and other substances in the blood.
Ureter tubes: are the link between the kidneys and the bladder. It’s a passage way through which urine passes after having been produced in the kidneys.
Bladder: acts as a reservoir. When it is full of urine, nerve fibres react to initiate urination.
Reproductive organs: Produces hormones used by adrenal glands in helping the body cope with allergies, maintain sexual urge and mental vigor and physical development.
The Lymphatic System: It’s a network of thin walled vessels found in all parts of the body except the central nervous system. These vessels contain the lymph fluid which bathes all of the body’s cells, feeding them with the nutrients removed by the small intestine. The fluid is filtered through little balls of cells called lymph nodes. These nodes are located mainly in the groin, armpit and neck. It produces antibodies which are body’s chief defense against infections. It transport wastes produced by cell metabolism. Lymph fluid can pool in the legs and feet, which then swell ( Oedema )
Spleen : It produces antibodies and filters the lymph fluids in the same way as a lymph node. It removes and destroys faulty or deformed RBC’s and recycles iron for hemoglobin production, which carries oxygen to the tissues. The spleen also is a reservoir for the storage of extra blood.
Thymus : It plays a key role in the development of the immune system, especially in infants.
The Circulatory System / The Cardio Vascular System It is responsible for the constant flow of blood and other body fluids.
The Heart : It’s a pump whose action keeps the blood circulating, carrying nutrients, hormones, vitamins, antibodies, heat and oxygen to the tissues and taking away all waste materials. In simple , it’s job is to pump blood from the veins into the arteries.
Lungs : Each lung is a network of hollow tubes and sacs which remove oxygen from the air in exchange for carbon dioxide.
The Respiratory System: For every cell in the body to produce energy to support life is Oxygen, Which is brought into lungs when we inhale and the waste product, carbon dioxide, is given off when we exhale. This process is called respiration. This process is associated with : The nose, the sinuses, the throat region ( pharynx and larynx ), the trachea ( wind pipe), the lungs, the diaphragm.