Opinions are divided on the validity of reflexology as a healing modality. The more scientifically oriented argue its method of action is yet to be proven under controlled conditions so therefore it is not effective. Those with a more holistic viewpoint argue that with reflexology dating to ancient Egyptian times, its longevity and continuance is proof of its effectiveness and validity.
What is Reflexology?
Reflexology is a hands-on based therapy working on the principle that there are pressure points on the feet and hands which correspond to all organs, glands and other parts of the body.By stimulating these points with the thumb and forefingers, the touch and pressure receptors of the reflected areas are affected.
These pressure points are known as reflex points and contribute to the pathway of energy thought to travel through the body along Meridian Lines. A Meridian Line is likened to a river of energy flowing along distinct channels through your body. Chinese medicine, acupuncture, acupressure use this same model of affecting energy flow through the body as the cornerstone of their healing. In reflexology it is believed through stimulating these reflex points it is possible to relay and reinforce energy along the meridian lines and affect the health of the connected organs.
For example, in reflexology stimulating the toes is reflected in the head and neck. Your spine runs up the inside of both feet. A qualified reflexologist uses a map more detailed than this but it gives you an idea of the corresponding zones.
Is Reflexology safe?
Generally regarded as a very safe healing modality there would be times when reflexology may not be appropriate. An article from the University of Minnesota reports reflexology to be contraindicated if your hands/feet are suffering arthritis, wounds, fractures or infection. Women who are in the early stages of pregnancy, diabetics and those with vascular conditions affecting the legs may find Reflexology not appropriate. For children including babies, reflexology is an appropriate, gentle, hands-on healing modality. It is a non invasive tool which even if not yet to be proven by science, encourages and reinforces the undeniable bond between baby and mother/father. This picture of a baby’s foot identifies the different zones and the area of the foot they relate to. By applying gentle pressure to the appropriate area it is possible to provide comfort and relief for a baby, naturally.
I like reflexology as a complementary healing modality. For me using it in conjunction with other therapies is appropriate, and even if the science is not there yet to back up its claims, I can see no harm only benefits. Touch is an important part of healing and one which is often overlooked in influence by modern medicine. Reflexology provides an opportunity for connection in the most basic and positive way.