Reflexology is an ancient form of alternative medicine that claims to promote health, wellness and healing. Here’s what you want to know about reflexology.
The Definition Of Reflexology
The Reflexology Association of Canada defines reflexology as:
“A natural healing art based on the principle that there are reflexes in the feet, hands and ears and their referral areas within zone related areas, which correspond to every part, gland and organ of the body. Through application of pressure on these reflexes without the use of tools, crèmes or lotions, the feet being the primary area of application, reflexology relieves tension and stress, improves circulation and helps promote the natural function of the related areas of the body.”
Proponents of reflexology believe that energy or chi travels through the body on pathways called meridians. These little energetic highways transport chi throughout the body. They believe that health problems are caused by blockages along those pathways, causing an obstruction which causes the pathways of energy to distribute the body’s internal electrical energy in an inefficient manner.
Why is that important, well it’s because that according to the reflexology school of thought, that’s when health problems of all sorts begin, including many of the health problems that require medicine or surgery. They also believe long term blockages can cause serious health problems, and/or make it easier for you to develop those serious problems because you aren’t in a state of optimal health and wellness.
To rectify this, they reflexologists work by manipulating certain key points along your meridians, most notably in a person’s hands or feet or ear(s).
Benefits Of Reflexology
What are the benefits of reflexology? Proponents will say it can help reduce stress, increase relaxation, reduce or eliminate pain, detoxify your body, make you feel better, prevent diseases and increase your range of motion. These days people are more and more open to alternative therapies for a variety of reasons. Maybe they don’t have healthcare and traditional western forms of therapy say physical therapy, prescriptions or surgery aren’t options they can afford.
Maybe they just would rather try some other kind of therapy before engaging a permanent corrective action like surgery. Some people are just exclusively into eastern medicine in the way that some people solely rely on western medicine and thing that alternative therapies such as reflexology are a bunch of tree hugging hippy crap or maybe they simply don’t believe in this.
What does the traditional western medical community say about reflexology? Not much, really. Some studies have been done on the subject, but no exhaustive, super final and conclusive study has been done. The studies that have been done on reflexology aren’t exactly what you would call resounding endorsements or condemnations of it.
Even people who are proponents of reflexology and regularly sing it’s praises will tell you that you should always seek treatment from your regular primary care, western medicine loving doctor first. And they’ll also tell you reflexology shouldn’t be the basis of your entire medical treatment or preventative medicine plan. Simply put, reflexology is the icing on your health and wellness cake (assuming you believe in it), and your western medicine doctor (or doctors) along with diet and exercise from the case that is your vitality and energy and all that tasty stuff.
Does It Really Work?
While nothing should stop you from exploring your potential interest in reflexology, it is important to note that the jury is out among the medical community as to whether or not this actually works. Western medicine practitioners will say no, Eastern medicine practitioners such as acupuncturists will often say yes. It’s definitely a case of buyer beware here, folks.
It’s also important to note that you don’t need any license to practice reflexology. Yes, there are schools out there that teach it to students, but that’s not saying much in and of itself. There are tons of schools out there teaching all kinds of things. Doesn’t mean they are legitimate.
At the end of the day, if you try reflexology and you enjoy reflexology and you feel reflexology is working for you and is helping you reach and maintain a state of health and well being, then why not do it? It’s your life, do what you feel is best for you.
There’s nothing to say that reflexology will work for you and that if it doesn’t that it won’t work for someone else. It’s not really about what works, it’s more about what works for you and at the end of the day it’s your life and your health and you should be in charge of it.