By Mark Reynolds /Wilson and Reynolds Reflexology
Evidence of the use of reflexology suggest that it dates back thousands of years. There have been references to working on the feet, hands and ears in many civilizations throughout history. An early Egyptian tomb drawing depicts what looks like a modern day Reflexology session and the fact that it was found in the Physician’s tomb seems really relevant. The hieroglyphics read “Please do not hurt me” and the reply is “I shall act so you praise me”.
Reflexologists believe that every part of your body is reflected in your feet and hands and that there are micro (miniature) versions of the macro (larger) version to be found all over the body, even on the ears! Exiting new techniques mean that each treatment can be adapted to clients’ specific needs and faster results can be achieved in promoting the body’s own healing response.
Research is enabling us to learn more and more about how reflexology works, the power of the healing touch and the importance of hands-on therapies in reducing stress and tension. Even how amazing the power of the mind is over the body’s responses – sometimes referred to as the Placebo effect. Stress is understood by the medical profession to be instrumental in developing and exacerbating many health problems. So it is imperative that we find effective ways of managing stress – reflexology can be extremely effective in minimizing the effects of stress on mind and body.
Reflexology rests on the ancient Chinese belief in qi (pronounced “chee”), or “vital energy.” According to this belief, qi flows through each person. When a person feels stressed, their body blocks qi. This can cause an imbalance in the body that leads to illness. There are current stress studies which estimate as much as 90% of all illness and disease is stress related. Reflexology aims to keep qi flowing through the body, keeping it balanced and disease free. In Chinese medicine, different body parts correspond with different pressure points on the body. Reflexologists use maps of these points in the feet, hands, and ears to determine where they should apply pressure. They believe their touch sends energy flowing through a person’s body until it reaches the area in need of healing. On a more simplistic level, have you ever been upset and had someone give you a hug? Did you feel better afterwards? “To touch can be to give life”, said Michelangelo. Given that we know how important touch can be to our health, given that we have data to suggest how invasive stress is to our overall health. Is it then a stretch to think that stimulating the thousands of nerve endings in the feet can bring about change to our overall health?
The concept of mind, body, spirit health concludes that overall health is determined by a balanced approach where by all senses of self are important. We cannot be fully healthy unless all aspects of self are addressed. In the last year, most of us have experienced pandemic stress to one degree or another. Have you noticed that this mental stress has impacted other facets of your health? Has it affected your sleep patterns? Your eating and drinking habits? Your motivation to exercise? Your moods and levels of irritability? Have you experienced an increase in pain and inflammation? If you answered yes to just one of these questions, the relationship of stress and its effect on the body may have become more clear!
In the last twelve years of practice, I have witnessed how addressing health issues through touch and manual stimulation has had a positive effect on my patients overall health. The benefits of reflexology include but are not limited to; pain reduction, better sleep, improved circulation, improved digestion and bowel movements, increase in energy and vitality. Reflexology is preventative in nature, much like taking your vehicle in for an oil change. If you continue to change your oil with regularity, you will feel confident that you may have fewer related issues. The same applies if we keep the energy flowing through the body unencumbered, we increase the body’s ability to heal naturally.
Who stands to benefit the most from reflexology? Let us start with mental health. Given the pandemic, there are many who are experiencing increased levels of stress. I think of those front-line health care workers, emergency room staff, paramedics, those working in retirement and long term care homes, grocery store employees, those affected by loss of employment, those whose visits to doctors and specialists have been delayed, those under lockdown with small children and limited space. Many, many people could benefit from the interruption of stress and stressors.
On a physical level, reflexology can reduce pain and inflammation thus reducing the need to medicate. With every drug, there is the chance of side effects. Less medication, less complication. Many who experience reflexology notice better sleep and more energy. The correlation between a good restful sleep, more energy and better health is well documented.
If we are addressing our mental, and physical health with positivity, it would make sense that this would then improve our emotional health. As you can see, they are all connected. Reflexology is a hands-on therapy that will support all aspects of health improvement. Don’t be reactive, be proactive and enjoy a better quality of life, and fewer health issues.
Wilson and Reynolds Reflexology currently practices out of the Sunflower Health Shop and Services located in downtown Brighton.
Appointments are usually an hour in duration. Appointments can be made by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 613-391-7198.