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Reflexology is the practice of applying pressure to the feet and hands utilizing specific thumb, finger and hand techniques with the use of oil, cream or lotion based on a system of zones and reflex areas that reflect an image of the body on the feet and hands with a premise that such work effects a physical change in the body.
Reflexology works as the pressure techniques applied to the feet or hands interact as a part of the body's nervous system creating:
relaxation, improved circulation, exercise of the nervous system and the benefits of touch.
The reflexologists believe that the feet and hands mirror the body. All organs, systems and glands of the body can be mapped onto areas of the feet and hands called reflex points. A reflexologist knows how to stimulate the reflex points in order to bring about a response in the corresponding part of the body.
What are the benefits of reflexology ?
* The specific techniques of reflexology to be effective and beneficial in many ways had been shown by a research. A survey of 170 reflexology studies from 21 countries shows that reflexology is effective, impacting a variety of physical and psychological concerns.
* Creates relaxation. The stimulation of reflexology's pressure techniques creates change in the body's basic level of tension as demonstrated by research showing that reflexology relaxes the body using a variety of measurements: brain waves, blood pressure, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, pulse rate, and anxiety.
* Lessening of pain. Reduction of pain is a significant result of reflexology work. The lessening of pain in response to reflexology is documented in individuals of all ages and health states: birthing mothers, menstruating women, phantom limb pain sufferers, lower back pain sufferers, cancer patients, kidney stone patients, senior citizens and individuals with pain resulting from surgery. Such results find explanation is what researcher Dr. Nancy Stephenson considers as affect on the neuromatirx of the brain, an expansion of the Gate Control Theory of Pain. According to Wikipedia: "Gate control theory asserts that activation of nerves which do not transmit pain signals, called nonnociceptive fibers, can interfere with signals from pain fibers, thereby inhibiting pain." Stimulating nerves that sense touch, heat, cold and pressure- as does reflexology- overcomes the action of the pain nerves.
* Ameliorates health concerns
* Improves blood flow: Separate studies show that reflexology work increases blood flow to the feet, brain, kidneys and intestines.
* Aids post-operative recovery: Reflexology work aids recovery after surgery as shown by several studies, reducing pain and lessening the use of post operative analgesics.
* Impact on physiological measures (e. g. blood pressure and cholesterol)
* Enhances medical care: Reflexology helps where nothing else can for many: phantom limb pain sufferers, neuropathy patients, and hemodialysis patients to name a few.
* Benefits mental health.
* Complements cancer care: Twenty-four studies conducted by nurses in ten countries show that reflexology helps with each stage of the cancer experience: following chemotherapy, post operatively, management of symptoms and during palliative/hospice care. Research demonstrates that cancer patients who receive reflexology work show significant improvements in physical and emotional symptoms: lessened pain, anxiety, depression and stress; reduced nausea and vomiting; lowered fatigue and improved quality of life.
* Eases pregnancy, delivery and post-partum effects: Women who received reflexology experienced shorter labor times and used less analgesia. In addition, reflexology showed a positive impact on postpartum depression, anxiety, urination and bowel movements.
* In general terms, the benefits of reflexology have to do with the reduction of stress. Because the feet and hands help set the tension level for the rest of the body, they are an easy way to interrupt the stress signal and reset homeostasis, the body's equilibrium.
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