Although reflexology massage, which is used as a supportive treatment method, is known as foot massage, it is also applied to different parts of the body. Reflexology, which stimulates the nerves by applying pressure to certain points, provides relief for people as it is a therapeutic method. The method that increases blood flow and strengthens the central nervous system is nowadays applied both in addition to the treatment of many diseases and after surgical operations.
What is Reflexology?
Reflexology; It is a method aimed at treating the organs and systems connected with these points by applying pressure to the special reflex points in the feet, hands and ears. The first evidence of the application of reflexology, which is thought to be applied in China 5000 years ago, appeared in Egyptian papyri. In the 20th century, Dr. William Fitzgerald discovered that organs are connected to some standing points, and physiotherapist Eunice Ingham, who mapped the points on the hands and feet, laid the foundations of reflexology. Reflexology; It is widely used today as one of the complementary, supportive and reliable alternative medicine methods. Reflexology applications are used in neurological diseases; physiological ailments such as pain; sexual ailments; It supports the treatment of psychological disorders such as anxiety and depression.
Reflexology is among the therapies called alternative therapy today. The dictionary meaning of the word reflex is “involuntary muscle contraction due to external effects”. However, the term reflex in reflexology means reflection, reflection. Our hands, feet, eyeballs and ears carry some kind of map of our body. In other words, every organ has a place where it is reflected in the hands, feet, pupils and ears. Each organ is also in a relationship with these reflection fields. Since the points on which the organs reflect on the feet are spread over a wider area than others, it is easier to work on them.
Reflexology helps the body’s energy to spread to the organs in a balanced way and provides balance to the body. Energy in the body; It can become blocked as a result of sadness, stress, diseases and traumas. As a result of these blockages, some organs take more energy than necessary and some take less energy. This imbalance, on the other hand, gradually causes the organs not to perform their duties well. Thanks to reflexology, these blockages are opened with the pressure and massage applied to the necessary places in the foot and the flow of energy is provided. The energy dispersed in harmony with the organs revitalizes the body. The body, where the energy is spread evenly, is healthy and has a strong immune system.
Reflexology points in hands, feet and ears correspond to certain organs, systems and bones in the body. In this sense, in order to have an effect on organs and systems, the lower, upper and lateral parts of the hands and feet; Massages are applied to the visible points of the ears. Reflexology is applied over the maps of reflex points in the feet, hands and ears. The feet where the points where organs and systems are reflected are the widest. Different organs are stimulated in the right and left feet, which represent the body vertically. All organs on the left side of the body, especially the heart, are represented in the left foot, and organs on the right such as the liver are represented in the right foot. The reflexology points on the hand consist of ten pressure zones. The connection between organs, bones and systems and hands, feet and ears is possible with nerve end points. Pressing or rubbing the nerve ends with hands and fingers reveals electrochemical stimulation. Neurons transmit this warning to the organs with which nerve endings are connected and stimulate them.
- In reflexology theory, the points and areas on the feet, hands, and ears correspond to specific organs, bones, and body systems. Practitioners massage the feet and hands (bottom, side and top) and the ear (both within the finger reach and outside) to affect organs and systems throughout the body.
- Reflexologists use reflexology “maps” to show how body systems correspond to each other. According to this map, each foot represents a vertical half of the body:
- Left foot; to the left side of the body and all organs located there, the heart, etc. it will effect.
- Right foot; corresponds to the right side of the body and all organs located there. For example, the liver is on the right side of the body and hence the corresponding signal area is in the right foot.
- The reflexologist can focus on specific points on the feet, hands or ears to create a general or regional effect. For example, in situations where time is limited and the person really needs to relax, the reflexologist may choose to work on their ears.
- Regardless of the specific technique, reflexology theory uses reflexology massage to reduce congestion or stress in the practitioner’s nervous system and to balance the body’s energy.
How is reflexology massage done?
Good reflexology foot massage; In addition to helping to relieve many symptoms such as headache, insomnia, chronic fatigue, dizziness, it also helps to treat the underlying cause of many internal diseases such as liver disease, kidney disease, heart disease. High blood pressure is also one of the problems treated with reflexology massage.
In the application of reflexology massage, first of all, the reactions of the patient are measured by applying pressure to the feet. In this way, the problematic areas of the patient’s feet are identified and what kind of massage should be applied is determined. There are points on the feet that send signals to every part of the body. By sending signals to various parts of the body with the massage applied to the feet, both feet and the whole body are relaxed. Reflexology massage takes an average of 30 – 45 minutes.
In reflexology massage, each organ in the body corresponds to a nerve tissue in the foot. In order to improve the general health of the patient, these points on the foot are massaged and treated, including internal organs.
The duration of the reflexology massage varies between 30 and 45 minutes on average. In addition, reflexology massage is applied individually, so it is applied differently to everyone. When planning the massage, the points to be applied are decided by considering the age of the patient, the type of the disease, and the patient’s physical and psychological health.
When appropriate reflexology techniques are used, you will have one of the most enjoyable experiences you can have. A proper foot massage is among the strongest stress treatments I have. It is one of the best ways to relax the whole body.
There are some key elements to a proper foot massage technique:
- Hands and feet should be clean.
- Massage should be applied by pressing firmly to prevent the feet from being tickled.
- In order not to cause pain, the right points should be massaged.
- Foot massage should be started from the ankles.
- All ligaments and nerves along the ankle should be relaxed.
- Then the soles of the feet should be passed.
What Are the Benefits of Reflexology?
- Provides a deep feeling of comfort
- Relieves tension and stress
- By regulating the circulatory system, it reduces aches and pains
- Deepens sleep and reduces insomnia
- Detoxifies the body from additives and toxins
- Balances hormones and helps with irregularities such as menopause and premenstrual tension (PMT)
- Improves skin type and skin tone. Relieves indigestion, constipation, diarrhea, and other digestive disorders
- It helps to heal urinary tract problems such as bladder plague.
- Stimulates mental functions and helps concentration
- Searches and finds the cause of the disease. Regulates emotional imbalances
- When reflexology is applied to young children with pneumonia along with drug therapy, it has been observed that they recover much faster than those who only receive medication.
- When reflexology was applied to children with colitis, a 50% reduction in crying time and much faster recovery was observed.
- In a clinical study conducted on 50 children, it was found that reflexology solved the problem of urinary incontinence to a great extent.
- Children with cerebral palsy experienced significant improvements in those who underwent reflexology compared to those who did not.
- Significant improvements were observed in the height, weight, health status, social and mental development of mentally disabled children who underwent foot reflexology compared to those who did not practice reflexology.
- Feet have 7200 nerve terminations. With the techniques used in reflexology, these nerves are stimulated and the nerve messages from here are sent to open neural pathways.
- The responses originating from the stimulated nervous system elicit rapid responses in vital organs and other body structures.
- With the stimulation of the autonomic nervous system, the endocrine / glandular system is activated and hormonal responses occur like a cascade.
- Warnings revealed by reflexology; It helps the autonomic nervous system to work regularly by ensuring the harmony between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system.
- The signals created by the pressure applied in reflexology are transmitted to the peripheral nervous system and from there to the central nervous system and then processed in various parts of the brain.
- It is transmitted to the relevant body after passing these routes. The desired effect on the organ is revealed.
- Energy Deficiency and Immune System With Reflexology, blood circulation can be accelerated and the amount of blood oxygen in the body can be increased. This supports cell renewal and energy increase.
- Foot reflexology was effective in 95% of menstruating women.