Reflexology has been used for generations to alleviate a wide range of health conditions. A form of massage, it involves applying varying amounts of pressure to different parts of the body, including the hands, feet and ears. Reflexology is based on the idea that these body parts are connected to certain bodily systems and organs. It’s thought that applying pressure to them can benefit a person’s health and wellbeing.

How does reflexology work?

Traditionally, reflexology rests on ‘qi’, which is an ancient Chinese belief. Qi is a life force energy that flows throughout the body. However, when a person is anxious or stressed, their body blocks qi. The aim of reflexology is to keep qi flowing in order to keep the body balanced and healthy. In Chinese medicine, different parts of the body are associated with different pressure points. There are maps of these points in the hands, feet and ears, helping reflexologists to determine where they need to apply pressure to promote healing.

Reflexology and the central nervous system

British scientists made an important discovery in the 1890s, establishing that nerves connect the skin to the body’s internal organs. They also realised that the nervous system adjusts to outside stimuli such as touch. As a result, people began to realise that pressure applied to hands, feet or ears could indeed calm the central nervous system down, promoting a deep sense of relaxation. This could help the internal organs and their various systems to functional more optimally.

Reflexology and zone theory

Zone theory is another belief used to explain how reflexology works. The idea is that the body contains 10 vertical zones, with each containing different body parts and corresponding to certain fingers and toes. Some people believe that massaging these fingers and toes lets them access each body part in a particular zone.

What are the benefits of reflexology?

Although unproven by scientific studies, there are many potential benefits of reflexology, including:

• reducing stress, tension and anxiety
• alleviating pain
• boosting mood
• improving physical and mental wellbeing

Some people believed reflexology has helped to:

• boost their immune system
• fight colds and other viruses
• fight cancer
• clear their sinuses
• Balance their hormones
• Support fertility
• Improve digestion

There have been many reported benefits of reflexology treatment. However, most medical professionals believe that rather than being an effective treatment for medical conditions, reflexology is a good complementary therapy that can reduce symptoms and improve quality of life, similar to massage.

Is reflexology safe?

Reflexology is safe for most people, even those who have serious health problems. If you have circulatory issues in your feet, blood clots of your leg veins, foot ulcers, gout, fungal infections, epilepsy, thyroid problems, or blood problems, we recommend talking to your doctor first. You may still be able to undergo reflexology but you might need to take some precautions.

Book a reflexology session today

If you’re seeking professional reflexology in Chelmsford, contact Faye Pattison Physiotherapy. Our reflexologists are highly experienced, ensuring they use the best, most effective techniques. Call us on 01245 901170 to book a reflexology session or discuss your requirements with one of our team.