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Foot Reflexology- Far more than a Foot Massage

A foot reflexology chart based on traditional Chinese medicine

Foot reflexology is a holistic healing technique that involves applying pressure to specific points on the feet. These points are believed to correspond to different organs and systems of the body. By stimulating these points, reflexologists aim to promote relaxation, improve circulation, and support overall health and well-being.

Source: American Reflexology Certification Board.

What is reflexology or Zone Therapy?

Foot Reflexology should not be confused
with a Foot Massage?

Modern Foot reflexology is often associated with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) because it shares some similarities with the meridian system and acupuncture points used in TCM. In TCM, it is believed that energy, called "qi," flows through the body along pathways called meridians. These meridians are connected to specific organs and systems. Acupressure and acupuncture are techniques used in TCM to stimulate these points to promote health and balance the flow of qi.

Similarly, in foot reflexology, it is believed that there are reflex points on the feet that correspond to different organs and systems in the body. By applying pressure to these points, foot reflexology practitioners aim to stimulate the flow of energy and promote healing in the corresponding areas of the body. While foot reflexology is not a direct practice of TCM, it is often seen as aligned with TCM principles due to its focus on energy flow and the interconnectedness of the body.

Foot Soaks and Foot Reflexology

Foot reflexologists may start a session with a foot soak in some cases, but this practice is not very common in the United States or Canada. The use of a foot soak before a reflexology session is far more common in Asian countries like China, Japan, Thailand and India where it is seen as a traditional or complementary part of the treatment. The soak would involve warm water infused with herbs believed to enhance the therapeutic effects of the treatment.

Given a primary reason for a foot reflexology session is to reduce stress and relax,  Slumber Soak is an ideal foot soak blend for use prior to the reflexology.   Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Ayurveda (the traditional healing of India) both consider sleep to be an essential aspect of overall health, with disruptions in sleep being seen as a reflection of imbalances in the body's energy flow.  Whether this is due to insomnia, general restlessness, difficulty relaxing, stress or worry, the herbs used in this foot soak are historically and anecdotally  recognized as aiding with these issues.

A foot massage generally comprises mainly muscle and soft tissue work.  This does help with stress relief, increased local circulation wherever being massaged, and similar beginning and ending relaxation techniques. But that is where the similarity to foot reflexology ends. A reflexologist  believes that the entire body can be mapped out on the feet.  It is divided into ten longitudinal zones or energy zones that run from head to toe.  Each zone can be stimulated by applying finger pressure which in turn stimulates the organ, nerve, ligament, bone, muscle and tendon that falls in that zone.

Recognized benefits of foot reflexology are noted to be:

  • Relaxation: Foot reflexology is known to induce a state of deep relaxation, which can help reduce stress and anxiety.

  • Improved circulation: The massage techniques used in foot reflexology can help improve blood flow to the feet and throughout the body.

  • Pain relief: Foot reflexology may help reduce pain and discomfort in the feet and unblock nerve impulses.

  • Enhanced well-being: Many people find that reflexology leaves them feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and more balanced.

  • Better sleep: Foot reflexology is thought to promote better sleep by helping the body relax and reducing insomnia.

  • Improved mood: Some people report feeling happier and more positive after a reflexology session.

Foot reflexology is rooted in Traditional Chinese Medicine
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