How Can Reflexology Help Me?
Stress has become recognized as being a major factor contributing to ill health. Modern life offers plenty of opportunities for stress and, although our bodies are designed to cope with short periods of it, if not managed properly, chronic stress can cause the body to become exhausted and make us more prone to illness, disease and injury. This can manifest as back pain and other muscular and skeletal symptoms, sleeping difficulties, depression and anxiety, digestive issues, blood sugar imbalance and obesity, raised blood pressure and heart conditions, a reduction in the effectiveness of the immune system, fertility issues and many other health problems.
Because reflexology is so deeply relaxing, it is a wonderful way to reduce stress, tension and anxiety, thereby improving sleep, mood and wellbeing. This allows the body to restore its own natural mechanisms for balance and self-healing and makes reflexology a useful preventative complementary therapy to maintain good health and wellbeing and it can also be useful to help people cope with chronic illness or acute conditions. It should, however, be noted that, as a complementary therapy, reflexology focuses on the whole person and does not diagnose or claim to cure and is not an alternative to seeking medical advice for a specific condition.
History of Reflexology
Historical evidence of reflexology has been found in civilizations such as Japan, China, India and Egypt going back over 2500 years ago. However, reflexology as we know it today is rooted in and has been internationally developed from the pioneering work of American physiotherapist, Eunice Ingham (1889-1974), considered to be the "Mother of Reflexology". She collaborated with the physician Dr Joe Shelby Riley who had built upon the work of Dr William Fitzgerald, an ENT specialist. Fitzgerald had discovered that "direct pressure upon any part of a particular zone can have an anaesthetising effect on another part of the same zone". He mapped out areas on the feet and established "Zone Therapy" by which name reflexology was known until the early 1960s. Shelby Riley refined the techniques and developed diagrams of "reflex points" on the feet and also the ears, hands and face. Eunice Ingham further developed the work of Fitzgerald and Shelby Riley and, through her many years of working with clients, identified and mapped out reflex points specifically on the feet corresponding to organs, glands and areas of the body. By applying controlled pressure techniques to these reflex points, the link between the nerve endings and the brain can enhance the body’s own mechanisms to promote self-healing and balance, release blockages in energy flow and improve blood and lymphatic circulation.