Updated: Jun 18, 2019
Have you ever thought about how much weight and abuse your feet take each day? Do you reward your feet everyday or weekly? Your feet hold your entire body weight each day and all the activities you do throughout the day! Amoung the different componets of the feet are tissues, 26 bones, 100 ligamnets, 20 muscles and an intricate network of nerves and blood vessels.
Did you know your feet are actually more sensitive than anything in your body! They are sensitive because of the wealth of nerve endings and partly because we keep them protected and covered.
Reflexology is a massage for your feet, a reward for your feet! Yes! A massage dedicated just for your feet!! By putting your feet first, you'll realize how good you can feel!
"Egyptians, Babylonians, and other ancient people considered it essential to step on sacred groud with bare feet to absorb the holy influences from Mother Nature" Barbara Walters wrote!
Lets take a deeper dive into what really is reflexology!
History of Reflexology
Among the world's oldest depictions of medical practices are the pictographs of hand and foot reflexology dating from the 6th Dynasty at the Tomb of the Physician in Saqqara! At the Temple of Amon at Karnak they used reflexology to heal the feet of the soldiers at the battle of Qadesh (1274 BCE). The thought of helping and saving our soldiers feet is absolutely amazing! We all have read in our history books about Queen Cleopatra VII (69-30 BCE), well she even enjoyed reflexology!
There is no real records of Chinese using reflexology but, they date Chinese reflexology practices to the rule of the legendary Emperor Huang Ti (2704-2596 BCE). During the Han Dynasty they investigated a method called "Examining Foot Method". Reflexology then flourished during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 CE). At which then spread to Japan.
The earliest reflexology is Japan would be seen in Yakushiji a Medicine Teacher's Temple (680 CE) in Nara.
Reflexology began to emerge in the 19th century. Scientist were studying into the nervous system. They studied the concept of reflex and determined it to be "an involuntary response to a stimulus". They explored when pressure is applied to one part of the body it will influence another part of the body!
In 1893, Sir Henry Head made a breakthrough in the understanding of the nervous system!! He discovered areas on the skin to be sensitive as a result of a diseased internal organ. He found how the skin and various parts of the body are linked together known as "Head's Zones".
In the early 1900s led Russian physicians formed the hypothesis that health can be affected in response to external stimuli. This concept is known as "reflex therapy". Then in 1917 physician Vladimir Bekhterev coined the term "reflexology". According to the theory an organ experienced illness because it received the wrong instructions from the brain. By interrupting such "bad" instructions, a reflex therapist could prompt the body to behave in a better manner and return to health.
What is Reflexology?
Reflexology is also called zone therapy!
Reflexology a method for activating the healing powers of the body! It is a therapy based on the principle that there are small and specific areas of innervations on the feet that corresponds to specific muscle groups or organs of the body! Reflexology works with reflex areas in the feet corresponding to glands, organs and other parts of the body.
Reflexology is gentle manipulation or pressing on certain parts of the foot to produce an effect elsewhere in the body. More than 14,000 nerves are stimulated when touching both of the feet in a reflexology session!! Wow!
Energy Zones in the Body
Energy flows in zones or meridians throughout the body. There are 10 energy zones that run the length of the body from head to toe. Five on each side of the body ending in each foot and running down the arms into the tips of the fingers. Zones not only run lengthwise, but pass through the body, so that a zone located on the front of the body can also be reached from behind. All organs and parts of the body lie along these zones. This is why reflexology is also called zone therapy! Reflexology corresponds with zones of the body!
By stimulating or "working" any zone in the foot by applying pressure with the thumbs or fingers affects the entire zone throughout the body.
Who can Reflexology Help?
Reflexology can be done on anyone from a tiny baby to the very elderly. Reflexology aids in detoxifying the body and therefore supports the protection of the immune system; indeed if people used reflexology when minor symptoms presented themselves then many serious conditions would never develop!
Benefits of Reflexology
Relaxation of tense muscles in the feet
Unblock nerve impulses
Improvement of circulation and blood flow
Reduce generalized stress by generating deep, tranquil relaxation
Help the body achieve a state of deep relaxation and homeostasis
Complementary treatment for neuropathy
Stimulate the body's natural ability to self-heal
Faithful source of strength and well-being
Restores mental alertness
Improves the attention span
Allows the cardiovascular vessels to conduct the flow of blood naturally and easily