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Reflexology is an acient form of therapy,Its earliest medical reference dates back to Egypt in 2500 BC.In the renowned doctor Ankhmahor's tomb there is a carving showing doctors working on their patients feet and hands.
However,Japenese prsctitioners of a branch of reflexology called Sokushinjutsou, believe the therapy was first used in India 5,000 years ago and then taken to China by Budhist monks.The Chinese used reflexology alongside acupuncture,based on presure points on the body.
By the 19th century British doctors who specialised in disorders of the nervous system discovered that by touching pressure points on various parts of the body could cause numbness and benificially effect the working of the internal organs.
In 1966 Doreen Bayley introduced reflexology to Britain,Ann Gillander set up the portable school of reflexology.
Reflexology is wonderful for general relaxation and stress relief as well as for specific health problems such as headaches,depression and PMT etc.
TODAY THE THERAPY IS RECOGNISED BY NHS AND MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS EVERYWHERE.IN REFLEXOLOGY ALL PARTS OF THE BODY ARE CONNECTED BY SUBTLE ENERGY WHICH FLOWS DOWN THE BODY FROM THE HEAD TO THE FEET,THROUGH 10 ZONES, SOMETIMES CALLED CHANNELS OR VESSELS.REFLEXOLOGY IS A WONDERFUL TREATMENT FOR BALANCING YOUR WHOLE BODY AND MIND. REFLEXOLOGY IS ALSO EXCELLENT FOR CHILDREN AND THE ELDERLY WHO RESPOND VERY WELL TO TREATMENTS.
DAILY MAIL ARTICLE 9th JANUARY 2007
REBALANCE YOUR BODY WITH REFLEXOLOGY
How can a treatment that seems little more than a foot massage possibly improve the health of your whole body, kick-start your vitality and, above all, boost your self- confidence?
Reflexologists are the first to admit their method stretches the imagination to the limit, and yet even mainstream doctors and surgeons are beginning to recommend reflexology, perhaps one of the most curious - and effective of all the alternative therapies.
Reflexology teaches that every part of the body, from head to toes, heart to gall bladder, is mapped out in miniature on the feet.
By touching the correct reflex point on the foot you can affect the corresponding organ, gland or area of the body.
The precise origins of Reflexology are shrouded in the mists of time. More than 5,000 years ago, the Indians and Chinese were using similar techniques and evidence suggests that the skill goes back even further too ancient Egypt.
Meanwhile, the Native Americans (in particular the Cherokee) have a long tradition of healing through putting pressure on the feet.
The technique was reintroduced to the west in the 1930s by an American physician, Dr William H Fitzgerald, who found that by applying very hard pressure to the reflex points on the feet he could relieve pain to such a degree that it could be used as a form of local anaesthetic before surgery.
Others took up the flag and now Reflexology is a refined and effective form of natural therapy.
Reflexologists believe the body is divided into ten vertical energy zones that run like thin slices from the base of the feet right through to the top of the head. As a result, our feet (and hands) contain reflex areas, or points, that correspond to every part and system of the body. The theory is very like that of acupuncture: if vital energy (known as chi or qi) is blocked, ill health usually results.
Pressing the reflex points has the same effect as needling an acupuncture point: it regulates the flow of energy to the organ or body system, helping restore balance and health.
A Reflexologist sees your feet as a mirror of your whole body. The right foot governs the right side of the body and the left foot, the left side.
When you bring the two feet together, you have a complete outline of the human body, with the big toe representing the head (here you will find the points for the brain, nose and throat, plus the pineal, pituitary and hypothalamus glands).
Move down into the main part of the foot and you will find the major organs - lungs, heart, liver, stomach and pancreas. Keep going and around the waist of the foot you will reach the small intestine.
The heel corresponds to the pelvis with a strip of the sciatic nerve running across the base of the heel. There are important areas on the upper part of the foot and toes, and even around the ankle.
All the reflex points relating to the various parts of the body can be found on the hands and wrists although because the hands are smaller and many parts are thin skinned and bony, its more unusual (and more comfortable for the patient) to work on the feet.
Once you become familiar with the techniques of reflexology, you will discover not only the various areas the press, but you will slowly become to understand how to detect congested or troublesome reflex points by feeling tense, granular-like deposits in the feet and hands.
You will-quite literally- be able to feel for yourself where the problems in the rest of the body lie. But even if you never get to that stage, you can still do an incredible amount with the simple power of touch.
A Reflexology session can be wonderfully gentle and a soothing treat. It can be used on anyone of any age- from the tiniest baby to the most elderly grandparent however, you should not treat anyone who is pregnant and you should be very careful with anyone who has a heart condition. Its not usual either to treat conditions of thrombosis and phlebitis (inflammation of the wall of the veins) with reflexology. These cautions aside, its a safe and effective treatment for almost everyone.
Reflexology is one of the most pleasurable ways of helping some of beating stress and anxiety. While none of us can escape stress altogether, reflexology gives you a straight forward way of making stressful times so much more manageable.
Regular treatments can help you take charge of your problems, rather than allowing yourself to be overwhelmed by them.
Its not only that a Reflexology session allows you a little time out from stress the combination of soothing touch and the balancing of your vital energy attacks the problem on all levels.
Mothers swear by Reflexology as it is a fabulously gentle way to treat babies and young children- used correctly it can help to ease common child ailments like colic and even bring the terrible twos under control!
Reflexology gives you emotional support- helping to soothe nightmares, calm hyperactivity and bolster self- confidence. It can help the family be happier.
Some people find, to their surprise, that regular Reflexology treatments make their self-esteem soar. They discover they can tackle difficult situations more easily; they feel more able to speak their mind and stick up for their rights.
Learning the basic techniques of this therapy can be a huge boost for your working and home life.
In the past, Reflexologists say, we would have naturally balanced our energy by walking barefoot. As our bare feet went over various kinds of ground from rocky beach to grassy plain, the reflex points would have automatically been stimulated, constantly keeping our bodies in balance.
Nowadays, of course, we rarely go barefoot- and so we need to use our own thumbs to get the benefits.
It eased my excruciating pain
Dawn Tuckwell, 25, is single and lives in North London. She works as a marketing executive. She says:
I have suffered from endometriosis excruciating period pain since my late teens. Until I started regular Reflexology treatments last year, I would have to take a day or two off work every month because of the pain.
Endometriosis occurs when tissue is found growing outside the womb usually in the pelvis. It can lead to infertility. My doctor suggested I have a laparoscopy to see where the problem was, but I was worried about having surgery. A Reflexologist friend offered to help. Though I couldnt see how a foot massage could help my problem. But I had two courses of six weekly treatments. The monthly pain has eased considerably and I havent had to take any time off work since. And the mood swings during my periods are less severe. When my friend works on my feet I can feel the area of my body she is targeting through the pressure points on my feet relaxing and easing.
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