Reflexology is a wonderful tool to bring relaxation and stillness into the lives of over-stressed individuals. The benefits extend beyond stress relief, though, as reflexology offers a variety of health benefits. These benefits are believed to be a product of neural stimulation. The therapy may even be beneficial to individuals struggling with certain health problems.
Reflexology, also called zone theory, uses pressure points located on the feet, hands, and ears to address a particular area of the body. Similar to acupuncture, reflexology says that specific areas of the body can be targeted through the neural pathways that connect to them. Targeting these pathways, which essentially engages and activates the nerves, is thought to help improve their function and ability to operate efficiently. Every function of the body is coordinated and orchestrated by communications of the nervous system. As many as 7,000 nerve endings may be stimulated during one reflexology session. The wide array of nerves that can be accessed through this leads to the variety of health benefits believed to associated with reflexology.
While much research is still needed to learn all the ways reflexology may help our bodies, the studies done so far reveal that it may be helpful with things like providing pain relief, reducing anxiety, helping with sinus problems, and reducing labor pains. People with certain health conditions may be benefitted by incorporating this therapy into their regular care. One study found that cancer patients were able to reduce some of the symptoms of chemotherapy through reflexology therapy. It also helped to relieve patient’s anxiety and improve their sleep. This therapy may be helpful for many people, however, it may not be right for everyone. Talk to your doctor about this therapy option before adding it to your routine.
Reflexology may take place in a serene spa-like environment similar to what you would expect for a massage. Many spas even offer reflexology as an option. Typically, sessions range from 30 to 60 minutes long. Beforehand, your reflexologist will spend time discussing and determining your needs. Based on these findings, they may decide to work on a combination of pressure points on your hand and ears as well as the feet. Results may be slightly varied from one person to the next. Some may find the experience leaves them feeling relaxed while others may feel energized afterward.
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