Many people today experience ‘stress’ on a daily basis. Stress is our internal response to the world around us that impacts our entire body. Adrenaline is released, muscles tense up, our stomach tightens, our heart rate quickens, breathing becomes shallower, blood pressure rises, and digestion and intestinal processes shut down.
Stress is meant to be a short-term response to immediate danger, yet we live in a society that is always presenting us with stressful situations. Some are very specific, such as challenges at work, financial pressures, and family issues, while some are somewhat vague, generalised feelings of being at the mercy of other people’s needs and external forces beyond our control.
Unless we take conscious action, our stress response stays permanently turned on, even at low levels. Stress can only be maintained for so long before our minds and bodies show signs of exhaustion.
Experts believe that stress is the leading cause of modern-day illness and disease since over time, chronic (or long-term stress), can deplete the body of essential vitamins and minerals, including those necessary for a fully functioning immune system.
Many people don’t realise that you can cure your illness, keep stress under control and return the body to its natural balance by having your feet massaged.
What is Reflexology?
Reflexology, both a science and an art, is a proven method to help you deeply relax and let go of your stress. Reflexology stimulates the reflex areas and soothes the thousands of nerves in your feet, hands, ears and face that resonate with every part of your body.
Reflexology is a holistic treatment based on the principle that there are areas and points on the feet, hands, and ears that map via the nervous system to corresponding parts of the body. When pressure is applied to these areas and points, it stimulates the movement of energy along the nerve channels and helps to restore homeostasis (balance) in the whole body.
There are 7,000-7,200 nerve endings in the human foot alone, and each of these is a reflex point that corresponds to a body part. That’s why the effects of reflexology are so calming and soothing. Reflexology uses finger/thumb manipulations to stimulate reflex points, which will encourage the flow of energy to the corresponding body part.
This manipulation of the nerve endings gradually helps to restore homeostasis and stimulate the body's ability to heal itself, physically and emotionally. Imbalances manifest themselves through crystals at the affected reflex point. Dispersing these crystals is what unblocks energy channels, and this is done by applying firm pressure with the thumb (or fingers depending on where on the foot the reflex point is).
Reflexology is a very individual treatment which is tailored to you as a whole person. Usually, after a treatment your tension may be reduced, and you might feel relaxed. You might also notice yourself sleeping better and find your mood and sense of wellbeing improving. You may also discover other aspects of your health improve too; The best way to find out is to try it!
Here are four of the benefits you’ll receive when you try reflexology to boost your own health and well-being.
1. You’ll gain some much-needed relaxation and stress reduction
Many people use Reflexology to help them cope with the long-term effects of stress. Foot Reflexology encourages the body to relax and restores natural balance. Just think how relaxing a gentle foot massage feels after a long, hard day at work, especially if you have been working on your feet all day.
It’s good for fighting stress levels. Reflexology is going to release the crystal blockages in your system and help reignite your energy, so you no longer feel stressed or fatigued, and the whole ‘fight or flight’ stress response calms down.
2. You’ll get a better night’s sleep
Sleep is important. Lack of sleep can affect our ability to cope with stress and has an impact on our immune system.
Again, Reflexology is a great thing. It is going to help you relax, and it will promote a better and healthier sleep than you would typically have when you don’t have Reflexology. It will also help you get to sleep faster.
Reflexology has a wonderful ability to give you what you need so if you are unable to get to sleep or stay asleep then try a course. Get your pillows plumped up ready!
3. You’ll get rid of aches and pains
There are a number of aches and pains that can easily be treated with foot reflexology. A study published in the Journal of Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice concluded that “Reflexology may be as effective as painkillers for common conditions such as osteoarthritis”. Those who had the treatment felt about 40 per cent less pain and were able to stand the pain for about 45 per cent longer when they used the complementary therapy as a method of pain relief.
It can even help to treat gout, which is an extremely painful form of arthritis, as well as headaches, migraines, neck pain, and back pain.
4. You’ll improve your circulation and have more energy
If you work at a job where you sit all day, it is going to affect your blood circulation. It is also going to drain your energy, even though you are not exerting much physical energy.
Even wearing the wrong shoes can affect the blood circulation in your feet, but you can improve it with Reflexology. This treatment will carry oxygen to the cells in your body, which will improve your overall health and give you more energy.
Regular foot massage can help to improve your circulation, relieve tired, sore feet and give you more energy.
The time you invest to pamper yourself with any form of relaxation will leave you feeling nurtured, loved, grounded and much better about who you truly are. Step forward and discover your best self with reflexology.