There is a far greater understanding of complementary therapies in the 21st century than there has ever been, since perhaps two or three thousand years BC.
In those far off days Acupuncture, Herbalism, Massage and Reflexology as examples, were commonly used means of improving health and dealing with the stresses of the day.
But then the benefits somehow 'got lost' mainly because of the growing sophistication of Allopathic or conventional medicine and the belief that it was the answer to all our ills. However, that has changed dramatically. People suddenly realised that such care was not the world of weirdoes or quacks and very soon therapy practices were mushrooming everywhere.
Most people know or have heard of Herbalism and Acupuncture but surprisingly, far fewer understand either the mechanics of the benefits of Reflexology. Surprisingly because it is actually one of the most sought after treatments with the public as well as being one of the oldest.
Reflexology works on the premise that there are thousands of pinhead size reflex points in the feet that have a stimulating link to the rest of the body and what is even more interesting, (and a fascination for those who enjoy it's benefits), is that whereas the normal application of pressure to these points (and it is a pressure therapy - not a massage) provide a pleasant if not soporific sensation. Where a reflex is linked to some part of the body that is less than well, that reflex becomes very sensitive and time and again this link has been demonstrated to people. If you have a back ache and that is the only relevant part of the foot which is sensitive (Reflexologists usually have wall charts showing what links with what), then it has to be impressive since it is not something that can be contrived by the therapist or the result of a placebo effect!
This is probably the one thing that is totally unique to Reflexology and can be very useful in its own right. For example, if a horse rider has an unfortunate tumble and is clearly is considerable pain and complaining of pain in the back, even before X-ray or unnecessary movement, reflexology can sometimes be used to determine what vertebrae are affected - very useful!
So what is the actual treatment process and what can it do for you?
Well, let's discuss what it can do first. As said earlier, the reflex points link with all parts of the body and is a channel, if you like, that can be used to encourage the body to work more efficiently as a tool of repair. As a means of encouraging cleansing from within, this means, for example, stimulating the liver and kidneys to deal with toxins at cell level, a major issue in today's living environment. It may mean the need to encourage the body in ridding itself of dead cells, used mineral or the 'ash' from burning glucose, our main energy source. If the body has become sluggish at doing this house-keeping , then all the new sources of energy that the body needs will have difficulty getting to where it is needed until the 'junk' has been moved out of the way.
Reflexology is good for this cleansing stimulation.
Then there is stress – and don't we know the effects of that! What makes it worse is that the more 'professional' your career path is, the more likely you may be to becoming a victim and casualty of stress. The trouble is, you see, that the human body, for all its miraculous abilities is not very clever at dealing with ongoing tasks without respite. You can run far and fast maybe, but not forever. If you don't allow the muscles to rid themselves of the lactic acid then cramp will result. Your heart will pump for maybe 100 years, but it has to rest between each effort. How many man-made pumps could work for so long with doing so much? Each 'moments of rest' are mandatory.
So, it is with stress - Bursts of stress and the adrenalin that goes with it can enable one to reach peak performance for the benefit of all, but go on too long and the body moves into a much more critical phase. As it depletes itself of adrenalin and then potassium, which it uses as an alternative, with resultant cell inefficiency and eventual cell death. We then have the immune system falling over with illness and other issues arising such as depression, Cramps, Hypertension, Ulcers and many other undesirable fall-outs. Probably 80% of today's ills are stress related in some way. But Reflexology can help.
The benefits of reflexology go on. It is not going to mend a broken arm but it can reduce the repair time significantly. Backaches, Sciatica, Digestive issues, Constipation have all responded to Reflexology sessions. Why? - because the body has been given a jump-start to sort out the issues. Complementary therapies cure nothing, but they do bring about a new impetus from within that enables nature to do a better job than it would on it's own.
By Terry Cullen
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