How Does It Work?
When the reflexes are stimulated, the body's natural electrical energy works along the nervous system to clear any blockages in the corresponding zones. A reflexology session seems to break up deposits (felt as a sandy or gritty area under the skin) which may interfere with this natural flow of the body's energy.
Manipulating specific reflexes removes stress, activating a parasympathetic response in the body to enable the disharmonies to be released by a physiological change in the body. With stress removed and circulation improved, the body is allowed to return to a state of homeostasis .
Homeostasis is the " automatic " process that the body incorporates to bring it back to the " normal " state. For example, if the blood pressure is abnormal, the kidneys will secrete the enzyme renin which is involved with blood pressure, and the hormone, erythropoietin that increases the rate of red blood cell production.
Reflexology demonstrates four (4) main benefits:
Reflexologists Do Not:
Reflexologists do not diagnose medical conditions unless qualified to do so. The only diagnosis made is a " tender reflex ." A reflexologist will refer to other qualified health care practitioners when services required are outside the reflexologist's scope of practice.
Similarly, reflexologists do not prescribe medications unless qualified to do so. The therapeutic intervention is limited to " working the reflexes ."
Types of people seeking reflexology sessions are of all ages, but approximately 70% are females. These people are usually health conscious and wish to explore health alternatives. The vast majority of clients usually realize the benefits of reducing stress from a reflexology session which in turn minimizes physical symptoms.
Usually, referrals are made in conjunction with other existing forms of therapy to supplement ongoing medical treatments. Reflexology has been known to help clients deal with physiological symptoms such as the side effects of cancer chemotherapy.
Reflexology may be performed on everyone, from the newborn to the elderly. It can be used for a general " tune-up " or for an unhealthy body. It can be used throughout pregnancy, or pre surgically and post surgically. In all cases, common sense should be used in selecting this therapy.
When a client asks when the next visit will be, the reflexologist explains to the client that the benefits of the session will go on working for five or more days. Beyond this, the reflexologist cannot guess the client’s requirements. The frequency of the client’s next visit(s) will be determined by the client based on their requirements and expectations. The client may decide to return in a week, a month or six months. The reflexologist has no way to measure how much stress the client has gathered or the state of their health since the last visit. Reflexologists who say ‘ I want to see you three times a week for six months’ without just cause are considering their own pockets instead of the true requirements of the client.
A complete session on both feet is always performed. Depending upon the reflexologist's level of experience and the client's requirements, sessions will last between 45 to 60 minutes.
Reflexes are worked according to the body’s requirements. Stress removal is the first priority; followed by enhanced circulation with attention paid to reflexes relative to the body requirements. Pressure exerted by the reflexologist usually ranges from 0 to 10 or 20 pounds. Common sense dictates when less pressure is required.
A firm pressure is used when working the reflexes of the feet. We work within the pain threshold of the client. As an indicator, use a scale from 1 to 5, with 1 being sensitive and 5 being painful. Encourage the person to let you know when they experience any discomfort, and adjust your pressure accordingly. Reflexology is not meant to inflict pain . You can test this on yourself by applying pressure on your arm until it becomes uncomfortable.
The optimum location is a quiet, relaxing environment with the client comfortably seated. A recliner chair is most suitable as the reflexologist and the client can see eye-to-eye. In reality, reflexology can be administered anywhere - sitting up or lying down. Receiving the therapy when necessary is more important than waiting for optimum session conditions.