Reflexology alleviates the effects of stress by inducing deep relaxation, placing us in a “safe space,” and allowing the nervous system to calm down and function more normally. Circulation proceeds smoothly, blood flow is improved, and oxygen reaches all the cells. We are no longer activated for fight or flight. The body seeks balance, and healing can then take place, and the person experiences a sense of well-being at all levels.
Reflexology is a method for activating the healing power of the body. It is both old and new. From ancient texts, illustrations, and artifacts, we know that early Chinese, Japanese, Russians, and Egyptians worked on the feet to promote good health. Today many of these same techniques have been developed into a modern scientific method called Reflexology. What joins the ancients with the modern is the long-established principle that there are energy zones that run throughout the body and reflex areas in the feet, hands, ears, head, and face that correspond to all the major organs, glands and body parts. The feet are the most responsive areas for working the zones because they are extremely sensitive.
Reflexologists address ten energy zones that run the length of the body from head to toe – five on each side of the body ending in each foot and running down the arms into the tips of the fingers. Not only do these zones run lengthwise, but also they pass through the body, so that a zone located on the front of the body can also be reached from behind. All the organs and parts of the body lie along one or more of these zones. Each zone can be considered a channel for the intangible life energy called chi. Stimulating or “working” any zone in the foot by applying pressure with the thumbs and fingers affects the entire zone throughout the body. For example, working a zone on the foot along which the kidneys lie will release vital energy that may be blocked somewhere else in the zone, such as in the eyes. Working the kidney reflex area on the foot will therefore revitalize and balance the entire body and improve functioning or the organ.