Learn About Reflexology

In my blog I will mainly speak about foot reflexology and regularly present a new aspect of this wonderful healing technique  - I hope you enjoy the blog, it's free to learn.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Unusual Reflexology Chart

There are many foot reflexology charts out there but I had never seen one quite like this one. I like the "realistic" drawing of the organs. It's helpful for students as they can immediately identify the reflex area corresponding to the organ, they don't need to refer to a list with numbers. It is somewhat different from Bayly's, Byer's or Kunz's versions to name a few and it does not seen to contain all the organs and glands. Nevertheless I like its looks and the fact that it is unusual.

For information, I've found it on a site about Bali (http://blog.baliwww.com/guides/609/). Apparently reflexology massage is becoming very popular with tourists to that area. I don't know how it compares with the Western reflexology we practice here, I would like to find out more so post a comment if you have done any comparative study.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Reflexology and Insomnia

Foot reflexology is effective in the improvement of many health conditions but is it useful for insomnia?

First what is insomnia? Well, if you are reading this article at 3 am instead of sleeping, you could be suffering from insomnia!
In fact, there are many types of insomnia and therefore various symptoms such as difficulty to fall asleep, not staying asleep, waking up frequently during the night, waking up early in the morning feeling exhausted...

Our sleep is divided in cycles. The REM cycle corresponds to active sleep, it's the period during which we make those strange vivid dreams. Sufficient REM sleep is crucial for memory storage, retention, learning and emotional balance. Therefore sleep deprivation can have devastating effects for the sufferer as insomnia reduces concentration, coordination, creates fatigue, irritability, stress and headaches.

Insomnia can occur in children as well as adults. Since sleep patterns changes with age, old people tend to need less sleep at night so they might believe that they suffer from insomnia when actually they don't.

Insomnia is not a disease but a symptom which can be due to stress, anxiety, physical problems, medication. Depression is actually recognised as one of the main causes of insomnia. In fact counseling would be the most effective treatment for depression in addition to or instead of medication. The same applies to stress related insomnia, the cause of stress needs to be addressed in order to cure insomnia.

Also insomnia can be caused by too much drinking, high caffeine intake, drug use, irregular sleep-wake cycle, shift working, jet lag, partner's snoring, financial or emotional problems. If this is to be temporary, eliminating the causes via a re-adjustment in one's life would solve the problem although this is not always easy to achieve. Many sufferers don't want to rely solely on drugs to deal with insomnia so they turn to alternative holistics treatments such as reflexology.

As far as I know there are no proven scientific link between reflexology treatment and insomnia improvement. Studies have been carried out on this topic but they don't always follow the scientific study rules to be recognised. However any reflexologist can vouch for the benefits of reflexology treatment in case of insomnia and will have many cases to back this.

Reflexology treatment on patients suffering from temporary or chronic insomnia can help them relax and cope better with stress. Reflexology cannot get rid of external causes but it can help the patient get a better rest at night. Most patients will find the treatment useful in improving their sleep patterns with longer sleep cycles, less interrupted sleep and deeper sleep. Since reflexology aims at restoring balance in the body and mind and freeing the flow of energy, it can have a beneficial impact on insomnia sufferers who suffer from imbalance in this area.

The treatment should last at least 6 sessions to see if it has any impact. The reflexes to be specifically worked on are the brain, solar plexus, spine, respiratory and circulatory systems.

When applying pressure to the solar plexus, use breathing exercice to enhance the relaxation effect. As you press on the reflex point, ask the patient to breathe in and as you release the pressure, tell him to exhale.

Each reflex point or zones should be worked on several times to help with relaxation and sleep disorders.

If you have any further information regarding this topic, leave a comment.

Monday, November 12, 2007

New Reflexology Web Site

I've translated my French reflexology web site into English so you can now read more information about this relaxing natural therapy at Reflexology foot massage.

I try to explain the difference between reflexology and foot massage so people know what to expect from a full reflexology treatment.

I also give a summary of other therapies which provide a sense of well being and can help you to remain in good health, such as aromatherapy, indian massage.

I will gradually add to the web site. In particular, I am translating an ebook intended for anybody wishing to learn the specific technique of foot reflexology. This book will be very precise with many charts and illustrations.

Have a look at the site and enjoy it.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

How to occupy your children while learning foot reflexology

I've got to share this site with you. It has nothing to do with reflexology but it can be very useful for mums who want some quiet time giving or receiving a foot reflexology massage.

It's a web site with plenty of drawings for kids to print out and color, such as halloween and christmas drawings.

Although it's a French web site http://coloriage.mobi/
you can also visit its English section.

This site also has drawing competitions for kids and adults. At the moment there is a competition about animals on the French side of the site. My son James has entered this with a dozen pictures as he is very keen on drawing. Have a look and vote for him if you like his art (he's only six so make some allowances!)It makes a good game for your children to learn French alphabet using animals.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Reflexology and Acne

I've found an amazing article about treating skin disorders with reflexology. In particular this article gives great details of a case study involving a young woman with acne.

This article was written by Beryl Crane who is the founder and director of the Crane School of Reflexology, a Fellow of the Reflexologists' Society and a Fellow of the Association of Reflexologists.

Beryl Crane explains that eczema, acne and many other skin disorders are often the result of a malfunction in the internal organs. This imbalance can be made worse by poor eating habits.

So her treatment focuses on working the reflex points for liver, adrenal gland and kidneys. She also stimulates the endocrine system and calms down the sympathetic nerves. In addition she recommends a diet to change incorrect eating habits which exacerbate skin disorders.

If you are interested, read her article

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Origins of Foot Reflexology

Reflexology is mainly used for:
- relaxation, stress is the cause of many physical and psychological dysfunctions
- activation of the blood and lymphatic circulation, cleansing of toxins, stimulation of the nervous system of digestive system
- prevention, reduction of many functional disorders thus aiding homeostasis. The body can recover its natural harmony and equilibrium.

Foot reflexology as we know it today has evolved from the zone therapy of Dr William Fitzgerald. Indeed in 1913 he exposed his theory which consists in virtually cutting the body in 10 longitudinal zones. Imagine dividing the body into two equal halves at the midline, and then again into 5 sections each side.
- zone 1, in the middle of the body goes from the thumb to the top of the head, down via the nose to end in the big toe;
- zone 2, from the index to the top of the head, down via the eyes to end in the second toe;
- zone 3, from the middle finger to the top of the head, down via the breast to end in the third toe;
- zone 4, from the annular finger to the top of the head, down via Bauhin’s valve on the right or the spleen on the left, to end in the fourth toe
- zone 5, from the little finger to the top of the head, down via the shoulders to end in the fifth toe.

Dr Fitzgerald mainly based his theory on acupuncture notions known at the time.
For him, each pressure applied within a zone had an effect of another part of the body situated in the same zone. For example, concerning foot reflexology, a pressure applied on the big toe will have an effect on the organs situated in zone 1. The main purpose of his method was to relieve pain.

His technique was later on promoted and refined by Dr Riley and Eunice Ingham who found that the technique could be used for all therapeutic treatments, not just for pain relief. Dr Riley mainly used the mouth whereas Ingham focused on the feet. In the 30s, she further developed her approach and trained many practiciens. Her maps of the reflex zones are still used in modern reflexology.

Doreen Bayly built on the existing theory with the notion of cross referral areas.
Indeed, according to Bayly, the cross referral area can be massaged instead or in addition to the problem zone. This is useful for injured organs that cannot be touched directly, and also to speed recovery.
Examples of cross referral areas:
- hand-foot
- wrist-angle
- elbow-knee
- shoulder-hip

Hanna Marquardt in Germany developed the theory of Transversal Zones, the body can be divided in 4 horizontal sections on the foot:
- phalanges include head and neck
- metatarsals include chest down to the waist
- tarsals include intestines, lower abdomen
- calcaneus for pelvis area

Development and refinement are ongoing in reflexology therapy. It is encouraging to see more and more nurses and doctors using this natural method as part of their treatment and patient care. Although it is not recognized by many countries, it is widely accepted and enjoyed as an efficient alternative medecine.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Foot Reflexology Treatment for Sinus Infections

Many people suffer from terrible sinus pains. Reflexology can help this ailment and act as a preventive treatment.
The feet are the mirror image of the body, so the reflex points for sinuses are also found on the feet. In fact, they are on both feet at the tip of the toes, on the opposite side of the nails (yellow points on the picture). By pressing or massaging the fleshy part of each toe for 20 seconds, you can relieve the pain and breath better. Do this everyday as well as your usual sinus treatment.

If you suffer from sinus infections or sinusitis, check out this site which contains many articles on the subject:

Topic 1- Post Nasal Drip/Sinus Infection/Sinusitis/Sinus Headache articles
Topic 2- Post Nasal Drip and Bad Breath
Topic 3- Sinus Operations
Topic 4- Sinus Related Book Reviews
Topic 5- Sinus Success Stories
Topic 6- Articles from Top ENT's
Topic 7- Sinus Irrigation and Treatment
Topic 8- Miscellaneous Sinus Articles
Topic 9- RSS Feed of Recent Articles from MedicineNet

Monday, March 26, 2007

What to expect from the first session?

The first visit will last a bit longer than subsequent ones as the foot reflexologist needs to find out about your medical history, your diet and general health before examining your feet. The reflexology treatment is often preceeded by a relaxation massage or a warm foot bath to put you at ease.

During the treatment, you will be laying on a massage table or sitting in a recliner chair. The reflexologist will be sitting in front of your feet. You do not need to undress, only your feet will be bare.

A Reflexology session should feel relaxing, calming and restorative. Some pressure points will be sensitive if there is an imbalance, so some people may experience tenderness on different areas of the foot. However, the treatment should not be painful or cause discomfort. A good reflexologist will adapt his touch to each person and feedback is encouraged to create the most effective treatment. Since the touch is firm, it is not usually perceived as ticklish.

In general, a session will last 45 to 60 minutes. The young or elderly will generally be given shorter treatments.

Sometimes you may have a reaction to the treatment - usually pleasant reaction such as feeling calm, relaxed or rejuvenated. Other reactions are cleansing reactions, such as increased urination, more frequent bowel movement, tiredness or headaches. These should last no more than 48h, and are a sign that the body is eliminating toxins. It is worth keeping a note of these to tell the reflexologist during the next session.

How many sessions are required depends on your goal and your state of health.

Well-being thanks to foot reflexology

The feet contain thousands of nerve endings which connect reflexes to every organ and muscle in the body. By identifying sensitive areas on the feet, the professional reflexologist can identify the precise part of the body where dysfunction is occurring. By working this reflex, he can eliminate the blockage, evacuate the toxins and activate blood circulation therefore restore balance and harmony.

By having the whole body represented in the feet, the method offers a means of treating the whole body and of treating the body as a whole. This latter point is an important factor of a natural therapy and allows not only symptoms to be treated but also the causes of symptoms.

Most people who have experienced treatment would agree that the method can be most beneficial and is also a very relaxing therapy. Several sessions are required for a satisfactory result although the feeling of well-being appears even after the first session. The treatment can be spaced out by 3 or 4 days or more. Some people like regular monthly treatment as they appreciate the state of relaxation induced by reflexology and understand the importance of preventive treatment.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

How does Foot Reflexology work?

Reflexology is a holistic complementary therapy which helps balance the body and stimulate the body's own natural healing abilities. Reflexology does not claim to diagnose illnesses and it can be used safely alongside conventional medicine. Reflexology not only treats the symptoms but also the causes of the disorder to restore the body's natural harmony and equilibrium.

There are about 7200 nerve endings in the feet. These have interconnections through the spinal cord and brain with all parts of the body. The feet are the mirror of the body, each organ is represented on the foot. Some organs are found on both feet, for example the lungs, whereas others are on one foot only, for example the spleen is on the left foot. By stimulating a reflex area on the feet, balance is restored in the corresponding part or organ.

Foot reflexology also works on a system of energy zones throughout the body ending in the feet. It is possible to detect dysfunctions in these energy zones and to correct the flow of energy within the zone by applying pressure on the reflex areas. Foot reflexology unblocks energy flows and increases blood circulation, thus helping to restore health and equilibrium. Indeed, reflexology creates a deep state of relaxation and it releases stress and tension from the body.
Indeed, the first immediate effect after a session is a reduction in stress levels as Reflexology relaxes the mind, body and spirit.

Reflexology is ideal to ease most disorders such as headaches, breathing disorders, asthma, migraine, hormonal imbalances, menstrual problems and stress. The number of treatments required depends on the patient and the problem. Reflexology also acts as preventive medecine, so it is advisable to have regular treatments.

Self treatment is possible although it is easier on the hands rather than the feet.
Learn how to use it for you and your family !

When you discover the benefits of foot reflexology for relaxation, you will want to use it at home. In fact reflexology should be part of everyday life within a family, as a means to comfort, bond, and communicate with each other. Everyone can benefit from it - young or old.

Monday, March 12, 2007

History of Reflexology

Let's have a look at the main milestones of reflexology.

Foot reflexology is an ancestral art and has been practised in various forms for a long time. Did you know that it was V.M. Bechterev, a Russian physiologist, who first coined the term "reflexology"?

5000 BC Chinese practised a form of pressure therapy and foot massage which might be akin to reflexology therapy.

2300 BC In Egypt, inscriptions found in Ankhmahor's tomb at Saqqara show foot and hand massage.

1917 In the US, doctor William Fitzgerald, an ear, nose and throat specialist, published a book illustrating the reflex areas with their corresponding connections. At the time, he showed that applying pressure had an anesthetic effect on another area. Today's foot reflexology is issued from his findings.

1938 Reflexology was further developed by Eunice D. Ingham (1899-1974), a nurse and physiotherapist. Her first book entitled "Stories The Feet Can Tell" and many others became standard textbooks for students. Ingham found that the feet and hands were especially sensitive, and then mapped the entire body into "reflexes" on the feet. It was at this time that "zone therapy" was renamed reflexology, and found to be effective for more than just pain reduction.

1960 The late Doreen Bayly was the pioneer of reflexology in Great Britain and her teachings are still continued today through the Bayly School of Reflexology.

Today, with reflexology, a practitioner can help you fight stress and achieve deep relaxation. By the way, remember that the term foot reflexology is prefered to foot massage.

Reflexology to Improve your Well-Being

Foot reflexology is a complementary therapy which consists in treating different disorders using pressure-point massage on the reflex areas of the feet. The foot is seen as a microcosm of the human body meaning that there are reflex areas in the feet corresponding to each part of the body.

The art of foot reflexology is to apply a specific pressure on these reflex points to detect tensions and blocked energy in the organs in order to eliminate the problems and restore balance throughout the body. The application of this pressure is assessed on the basis of ten longitudinal zones and areas mapped on the feet in the body's image.

With foot reflexology, you have at your feet a natural technique that can help you to get up and run.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Foot Reflexology

Are you looking for a method to reduce stress and relieve pain? Have you heard about a natural therapy called reflexology? Are you aware of the negative effects of stress on our body? It has an impact on all of the systems of our body. Here are a few examples of the disorders you might encounter:

  • blood circulation: varicose veins, hemorroids, high blood pressure etc.

  • digestive system: bloated stomach, stomach pains, acne, cold, allergy, loss of hair etc.

  • nervous system: insomnia, irritability, nervous breakdown, lack of concentration, memory loss etc.

  • articulations: osteoarthritis, muscular pains, sciatica etc.

Keep reading this blog to find out more about reflexology.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

What is Reflexology?

Reflexology is a natural healing therapy which has been practiced throughout history across the world. Today it is mainly used as a complementary medicine, however it does not replace medical treatment.

Reflexology is a technique which applies pressure and movement onto a specific area of the feet or the hands in order to effect the corresponding part of the body.

In my blog I will mainly speak about foot reflexology and present an aspect of this wonderful healing technique every week - I hope you enjoy the blog, it's free to learn.