Got your attention yet? When I watched Dr. Oz do a segment on the many benefits of reflexology, I had to do the 180 degree neck whiplash because it sounded just too good to be true! If you’re new to the lingo, let’s get caught up. Reflexology is the practice of applying pressure to the feet, hands, or ears. There are 7,000 nerve endings in our feet (seriously) that correspond to other organs and systems in our body. The theory behind it is that applying pressure to certain points on the body will benefit the corresponding other areas. Hmmmmm. Like how, I wondered? Well, I decided I had to do some research and see exactly just how great the benefits would be. If Dr. Oz could zen-out Oprah with it, then it was worth a try.
Research Appt. #1:
The practioner woman almost did a little foot-massage-swaying-dance as she rubbed my feet to a tribal music cd. I didn’t get any medical explanations, and wouldn’t have noticed if she tried, as I snored and drooled the majority of the session. Oops! So much for my research skills.
Research Appt. #2:
They were not all in the same day, but all in the same town. This one was with a gal who has a whole tool bag full of wellness skills and techniques. At this session, the reflexology made me nearly jump off the massage table with pain! She questioned, “I thought you had this done before, and knew what to expect?” I said, “ Yes, and I was expecting another great foot massage, and NAP!” She laughed, and explained that the deeper benefits would come with a little stronger pressure if I could tolerate it, and those tender areas were the ones needing attention. Well, I couldn’t tolerate the pain , so she pressed lighter. I asked, what is my problem that it hurts so much? She said she declines to get medically specific, due to some clients going to their physicians and telling the doctor how to prescribe treatment, which I understood completely. But she said she could tell I had some digestive issues, and that I needed to go pee. (TMI?) Anyway, the treatment session was relaxing, definitely the equivilant of a massage.
This practioner gave me a whole download on training and certification people should have, and on all the issues my body had that were evident in the nerves/muscles/tissues of my feet. Too many to list here probably, but he pretty much nailed it all. I asked if he did that intuitively or by the feel of the foot. He replied, “Both." It actually was kind of creepy having him “see” into my body issues simply by working on my feet. That’s all I better share in a public forum?! In the beginning of the treatment, it hurt like heck, but by the second foot, I was beginning to relax and sink into a state of total relaxation and no cuss words. All I could think of was, “Thank goodness I put dinner in the oven before I came!” because I could tell when I got home, I would be too relaxed to tackle chores.
I was totally a noodle after each reflexology session. I slept like a rock. I was thirsty and hungry. It is like having a great work-out; you know your body is doing something good on the inside, but you can’t exactly see the details. I like understanding the science and research behind the treatment, but then just trusting the practioner to do his thing.
The practioners and recipients and emerging research claim that the treatment can alleviate pain, stress and improve the health and function in many areas of the body.
For headaches, PMS, and a DIY reflexology foot chart, look here.
I think reflexology is a great tool for healing and easing many body stresses and quirks, and is a great jump-off point for people hesitant to try a massage. Want to see a chart so you can do some more reflexology on yourself? Check out this video App.
Next time you are thinking of what to get yourself and others for Mother’s Day, birthdays, graduation, or any other special event, try a gift certificate for a reflexology session.
Top Image via Trinette + Chris Photography.
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