Reflexology - Health Benefits From an Ancient Therapy

in Body

Reflexology is a form of massage conducted primarily on the feet and hands. Reflexology dates back as far as 2330BC to ancient Egypt where Egyptian hieroglyphics have been discovered showing physicians working on the peoples feet and hands. Reflexology is still practiced today.

Modern reflexology dates back to 1917 when a medical doctor, Dr William Fitzgerald developed Zone Therapy, where the body is sectioned into ten zones with each zone representing particular organs or body systems. Dr Fitzgerald made the discovery when he worked on patients hands and feet, and found that it helped to relieve pain in the related organ of the body. Today a growing number of people are able to feel the benefits of reflexology and see their own health improve.

Reflexology is a non-invasive, wholistic therapy that complements all forms of medicine and alternative therapies. We can view the body as a finely tuned instrument and if everything is functioning properly the body remains in a healthy well-balanced state. However, if certain organs or body systems are not functioning properly the body will feel unbalanced and disease may occur.

Reflexology can help to bring the body back into balance by helping to reduce stress, improve circulation and boost lymphatic function. There are thousands of nerve endings in the feet and these are interconnected to other body systems via the spinal cord and brain. A reflex is actually a reflection of an organ or body system located at a specific region on the foot or hand.

During a foot reflexology session the practitioner incorporates gentle stretching techniques to relax and loosen the foot and then works the entire body systems using their thumb and fingers, gently massaging over each reflex area to stimulate the point. By stimulating the reflex the aim is to improve energy circulation and blood flow to the organ or body system represented on the foot. This process also assists in providing the body with a gentle, yet effective detoxification. Sessions are usually one hour in duration. Following treatment, clients usually comment that their feet feel lighter and freer. With our hands and feet working overtime on a daily basis it makes sense to provide them with a little TLC.

The benefits of Reflexology are now becoming more widely known within the community. For people with diabetes, those who have had a stroke or those experiencing difficulties with menopausal symptoms or any circulatory issues, these people may find reflexology beneficial. It can assist in helping to improve a variety of conditions. Whereas one visit will provide the client with a general feeling of relaxation, it is recommended that the client allow at least 3-6 visits to fully assess the effects reflexology has on their condition.

It is very interesting to see ancient healing therapies like reflexology, acupuncture and massage still offering health benefits to us in the 21st century. It is as though we have rediscovered ancient wisdom that was lost somewhere along the way.

Copyright 2009. Marita Reynolds

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Marita Reynolds is a practising Reflexologist in Melbourne, Australia. For further information on the health benefits of Reflexology please visit

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This article was published on 2010/04/02