What is Reflexology?

What is Reflexology? It is time for a little review on Reflexology, or for new folks, an introduction. Reflexology is a natural, non-invasive form of complementary medicine. It is a body-based general health modality that helps to stimulate your body's innate healing abilities at fundamental levels and assist the body in recovery while boosting overall vitality and general health. ​Our working definition in the profession is stated this way: Reflexology is both an art and a science using specific manual touch, pressure, and relaxation techniques, primarily on the feet and hands, to bring about a physiological and psychological calm and normalization. This restorative relaxation creates an environment in the body that inhibits the stress response and promotes normal parasympathetic functions associated with rest that can result in improved sleep and digestion, faster healing of tissue, reductions of pain, increased clarity of mind, better circulation, lower heart rate and blood pressure, and more. In 2016, Reflexology was newly defined. The three arms of reflexology in the United States agreed on one definition to describe the practice.​ Reflexology is a protocol of manual techniques, such as thumb/finger-walking, hook and backup, and rotating-on-a-point applied to specific reflex areas predominantly on the feet and hands. These techniques stimulate the complex neural pathways linking body systems and support the body’s efforts to function optimally. The effectiveness of reflexology is recognized worldwide by various national health institutions and the public at large as a distinct complementary practice within the holistic health field. ​The 3 arms of Reflexology in the United States are​

  1. American Reflexology Certification Board (ARCB: www.arcb.net), the nonprofit, independent testing agency.

  2. Reflexology Association of America (RAA; www.reflexology-usa.org), the national membership organization.

  3. National Council for Reflexology Educators (NCRE: www.reflexedu.org), the voice and resource center for reflexology educators.

Reflexology can be beneficial in a variety of ways but overall helps to reduce symptoms of stress and therefore helps to reduce stress related problems. It also supports your body's natural healing abilities and allows your internal awareness to direct resources in the body. Reflexology may

  1. slow down your heart rate and breathing and aid in lowering blood pressure and blood sugar.

  2. help to reduce anxiety and depression

  3. assist with elimination of toxins by stimulating the lymphatic system

  4. boost your energy and immune system

  5. promote self-healing and healing of tissues

  6. help to improve nerve conduction

  7. help with digestion

  8. improve quality of sleep

  9. may interrupt pain pathways and reduce pain.

  10. promote psychological well-being

  11. improved circulation of blood and energy

  12. assist with hormonal balance

  13. foster clarity of thought and creative thinking

  14. assist with relieving foot pain and improving balance and a sense of groundedness

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